The Ultimate Recipe Challenge

When I make a new recipe, I do think to myself, would I add this to our home’s weekly rotation for lunch or dinner? 🤔

But what I'm really looking for when I try a new recipe is to find one that will impress someone. My mom has always shown us that the way to the heart is through the stomach ❤️. She sure has made hundreds of people love her for her food! No joke, my dad has people over all the time to eat, and they always want to come back to their home, mainly to eat her food 🏠. And any place we go visit, she charms people with the baked goods she takes them 🍪.

But going back to this idea, my goal is a great recipe, and how do I determine what a great recipe is or whether I am going to give it five stars in my Paprika App and not 4? 🌟 My first thought is, would I make this for my in-laws when I am visiting or if we had them over? I want to accumulate a great set of recipes to make when I see them.

But the real test is, would I make this for my mom? That's a hard one! There have been times I think she will really like it, and she doesn’t 😅. She is not the biggest foodie herself, but she is the best person to grade or test any recipe. If she approves of a recipe, you know it won’t fail, and you’ll add it to your best recipes 👩‍🍳.

Some of my friends might have tried my classic bundt cake in college, or my lemon cookies, magic bars, or even my Oreo cheesecake 🍰. None of these are MY recipes. These are all recipes my mom discovered on her own. And everyone loves them!

As I grow up and am on this journey, I am always trying to find recipes like those I listed above that I discovered on my own.

That is why when I have my friends try a recipe I have never made before, I am not looking for approval or "these are good" just to make me happy. I am really looking for honest feedback because I want to find the recipes that you REALLY love, so I can make them next time there is something special we are celebrating 🎉.

I am not looking for just a good recipe; I am looking for a great one! Especially one that my mom would approve of.

Recipes Made So Far This Year:

Goal: To try 7 different recipes each week 🗓️, aiming for a total of 365 this year!

 Number of New Recipes Tested as of 2/4: 100

Weeks Achieving 7 or More New Recipes: 11 out of 11

This Week’s Recipe Test Summary

Impress Someone🌟

This pesto was delicious and so easy to make🍃. I think it’s a great meal to prepare ahead of time, and just cook the pasta when you are ready to eat it for lunch on a workday. This will now be a classic meal in our home.

My sister, the salad queen 👑🥗, shared this recipe with me! I'm the opposite of a salad queen, but I'm trying my best to incorporate more salads into my diet, and this dressing is perfect. It lasts for two weeks in the fridge. I'm still enjoying it this week! I bought a big Costco box of spring salad, drizzled it with this dressing, and added some halloumi cheese (also another thing my sister got me into)— delicious!

Would Make Again 👍

I'm a huge burrata fan; I will order anything with burrata on it at a restaurant 🧀. I really liked this toast, but I would double the date spread because you can only make 4 slices of toast with it.

This cauliflower makes a great side dish. My mom and I decided that cutting the cauliflower into “steaks” and drizzling the sauce on top works better. The whole cauliflower didn't allow for tasting the sauce with every bite.

I'm adding this waffle recipe to my rotation whenever we have guests staying over 🧇. Simple and easy to make.

With ValeCooks, I'm also pushing H outside of his comfort zone since he is the main tasting person. He loves, LOVES raw salmon in sushi but has never liked it cooked. However, I thought maybe I could get him to like it now, and he gave it a chance and ate the whole thing. I was so, so happy — adding this to the easy work lunch list 🍣👨‍🍳.

Would Not Make Again 👎

These recipes didn’t live up to expectations or just weren’t to my taste.

Wild Mushroom Toast from The Newlywed Cookbook 🍞🍄

In case you missed it, I’ve put together some quick video tutorials showcasing my go-to recipe app - Paprika Recipe Manager.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, suggestions, or any recipe request you might have. Just respond directly to this email.

See you next week. Keep cooking! 👋 

Vale from ValeCooks