I still cook things sometimes


Cantaloupe Salad with Basil, Fresh Mozzarella, and Onions - When I got back from Italy, I was so inspired to cook All The Things, I went out and bought a basil plant and a parsley plant. (This was also somewhat necessary to replenish the balcony garden, since the great "My cat-sitter forgot to water my plants and it was 100 degrees while I was gone" of 2016 killed all my flowers, lol.) I immediately killed the parsley plant, lol, but the basil did pretty well. It's still alive, at any rate (and, booya! All but one of my "dead" flowers eventually came back, EVEN THE MARIGOLDS, which looked completely fried). Anyway, I was looking for things to use fresh basil in, and this fit the bill.

Lemon-Basil Chicken Salad
- Another "use the basil" recipe. Not that much different from my regular chicken salad, but good enough that I didn't get sick of it after eating it for lunch four days in a row, lol. It made, like, a whole chicken's worth of chicken salad, which is a LOT of chicken salad for one person.

Quadruple Chocolate Pudding Cookies - OM NOM NOM. The instant pudding mix in the cookies reminded me of [personal profile] mcmegan's mom's chocolate chip cookie recipe. Except with a lot more chocolate. Don't follow the recipe and make giant cookies. You won't need them. A little bit of these goes a loooong way. SO MUCH CHOCOLATE. But a big hit in work. The next challenge: QUINTUPLE CHOCOLATE cookies (yes, there is a recipe for them on that same blog). 

Shrimp Puffs
- I have had two cans of Pillsbury pizza dough in my refrigerator for way too long and haven't used them, so I finally broke one out for this recipe (even though technically it calls for biscuits, I figured it's all basically the same dough, right?). I also don't have a mini-muffin tray, so I made them regular muffin sized. I also couldn't find baby shrimp, so I used regular-sized shrimp and cut them into pieces. The pizza dough did turn out more doughy and less puff-pastryish than the biscuits probably would've been, so it's more like a mini shrimp pizza, but that's fine. If you're making them to serve at a party, maybe follow the recipe, but if you just sometimes like to eat appetizers for dinner (don't judge me), my way is just as good.

One-Pot Creamy Pumpkin Pasta - This was decidedly meh. I hate clean-up, so I'm all for a good one-pot recipe, but I don't think I'd bother with this one again. The goat cheese kind of overpowers the pumpkin flavor, and the garlic doesn't come through at all. Maybe if it was sauteed a bit in the pot before adding the other ingredients? Or possibly I just think I like pumpkiny things more than I actually do, because I am inevitably disappointed.

Chocolate Pumpkin Bread with Cinnamon Glaze - Between this and the peach bread fail, I am starting to get nervous about making these bread recipes. This one didn't overflow, at least, but the toothpick in the center kept coming out gooey, so I left it in the oven for a good 15-20 minutes longer than the recipe called for. I also had to add twice as much heavy cream to make the glaze glaze-like. I don't even know how it came out, since I am taking it in to work tomorrow, and I didn't want to cut into it ahead of time to check. If the raw batter (so chocolatey!) and the glaze (just like a cinnamon bun!) are any indication, it is DELICIOUS. I just hope it's cooked all the way through. 

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