Whole Lotta Cooking Going On

Greetings, and welcome back everyone. I know I haven’t posted many recipes lately, and I apologize for that. I’ve been concentrating on recording my upcoming CD and getting settled into married life. You can read all about both of those on my main site – LaneBaldwin.com. Also, let me remind you that, if you are on Facebook, you can LIKE my fan page to keep up on all my musical activities. Having said that, let’s talk about cooking!

You may remember that I moved into a new home (a rental) back in April. Now that I’m more settled, I’ve been really enjoying cooking again. The kitchen is of fair size, and has LOTS of storage. That means I can keep a well-stocked pantry and lots of gadgets – rice cooker, multiple crock pots, blender, espresso machine… all those things that make my life easier. It also means I have plenty of space in which to cook.

The rest of this post is basically a review of some of the things I’ve cooked lately. To get a better look at each dish, click on the photo to see the full-sized version. So without further ado, let’s see what I’ve been up to.

Chile VerdeOf course, I’ve been cooking a ton of Mexican food. This Chile Verde used my simplest recipe; I diced the pork into very small cubes this time around, although I have been know to do medium and large dice as well. I used pork center loin chops, which are boneless, and were sliced thin, so it was easy to do the small dice in very little time. The “verde” part of it came from a bottle of thick and chunky verde salsa that I love. Accompaniments included white rice and tortillas, both of which are very easy to prepare and don’t take much time.
Steak with Stroganoff NoodlesThis is one of the first steaks I did in the new home – a nice ribeye steak with Stroganoff noodles and sugar snap peas. Basically, you use the same ingredients for the mushrooms and onions as you would for Beef Stroganoff, then add a bit of beef bullion or base since you don’t have the pan juices. This is then ladled over noodles. Simple, huh? Sugar snap peas completed the meal, and a nice glass of Pinot Noir complimented it perfectly.
Pork RoastPork Roast is an easy yet elegant dinner. You can find several varieties at most grocery stores… everything from garlic and herb (such as the one shown) to barbecue, depending on your taste. This time, I paired the roast with penne (don’t forget the olive oil “bath”) and sugar snap peas. By the way, you’ll notice I serve sugar snap peas a LOT.
Spaghetti BologneseI love noodles. Any noodles. All noodles. And, of course, spaghetti is a favorite. Here’s a  shot of my Spaghetti Bolognese. I served it with a nice garden salad, garlic bread and wine. The next night, I converted it into a cheesy spaghetti bake for a slightly different take on an Italian classic.
Noodles with Green Chile Cream SauceYep! More noodles. Here, extra wide noodles are paired with a  green chile cream sauce. I used mild chiles – a bit of a switch for me. This was actually a quick hot lunch on a Saturday.
Grilled SteakI finally got a new grill… actually a smoker, but it also serves as a grill. Here’s the meal I did for Labor Day and my first time using the new “machine.” Perfectly grilled rib eye steaks with grilled corn, cole slaw, and potatoes with onion and garlic. The last recipe works great with red or white potatoes. It was my first time doing grilled corn, and it turned out beautifully.
CarnitasBack to Mexican! One day while shopping, I saw a marinade for slow-cooker carnitas. I was intrigued by the twist of slow cooking in a crock pot – instead of the normal oven method – and decided to try it. It was far “wetter” than the normal recipe, but very tasty. I’m keeping this one in my recipe file for days when I need to do a LOT of carnitas for a crowd, but don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.
Soft Chicken TacosYes, more Mexican. (I told you I love Mexican, and I wasn’t lying! lol) I picked up a roasted chicken at the store, and this was the first meal I prepared from it. The dip you see is one that I found recently, and I love it. It’s SO easy – it’s made with pureed salsa and sour cream. This meal was so good that I did it a second time from the same chicken!
Chicken Shephard's PieThis is meal number 3 from that same roasted chicken – a poultry version of Shephard’s Pie. Under the cheese and mashed potatoes are shredded chicken, onions, carrots and peas in a nice gravy. This was an experiment that turned out very well, and I’m sure I’ll do it again.
Unfried Rice BowlsThe last meal I did from the roasted chicken were these Unfried Rice Bowls. Basically, I mixed shredded chicken with peas, onions and leftover Mexican rice, the heated them in the microwave. It’s simple and inexpensive, but very tasty and filling. It also used up the last of the chicken and the rice.
Chef SaladOne day, I got a craving for Chef’s Salad, but I had never attempted making one myself. It was a ton of fun putting it all together for a nice presentation, and it tasted as good as it looks.
Strawberry and Blueberry ShortcakeStressed spelled backwards is Desserts. Coincidence? I think not. Because a great dessert will relieve your stress in no time flat. (Work with me here…)This Strawberry/Blueberry Short Cake is actually pretty easy to make, but looks like you slaved over it. And it’s a got a very high “OOH!” quotient. And since it’s got dairy, two fruits and no chocolate, to me it classifies as health food.
Triple Chocolate MouseFinally, here’s a store-bought triple chocolate mouse that I dressed up a bit. No, this one doesn’t actually qualify as my own, but I did take the time to present it properly.

So… obviously, this isn’t everything I’ve cooked in the last two months, but it’s everything I could find pictures of at the moment. Many of these meals were very easy to prepare and didn’t take all that much time. They all were very well received, and I’m really glad the people I served liked them so much, because several of them are my favorites.

You may have noticed links to some of the recipes, and I’ll be posting more of them as soon as I can. Please be patient, as I’ve already mentioned that most of my time is spent focused on the upcoming CD. Hopefully, these will keep you busy for a while. (smile)

Until next time, don’t forget…

Play with your food!


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About Lane

Lane Baldwin is a an internationally-acclaimed singer, songwriter, author and food lover. He wasn't trained in France, and he doesn't have his own TV show. He just loves to cook, and loves sharing what he's learned over the years. In his "real life," Lane has toured the world, bringing his special brand of Blues-infused Americana to millions of fans. At home he leads a quiet life filled with good books, good food and good friends.