Cooking For Two Notes

I got a new cookbook, 30 Minute Cooking for Two, but I've got some notes and suggestions:

Breakfasts
Pg. 16- Blender Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins- These were very bland, even with extra chocolate chips. Not bad, just disappointing.

Soups, Salads and Sandwiches
Pg. 39- Bacon, Brie, Raspberry Jam Grilled Cheese Sandwiches- Again, very bland and disappointing. I couldn't believe how well the mellow cheese, sweet raspberry and salty/smoky bacon combined to cancel each other out.

Poultry
Pg. 80- Italian Chicken and Green Bean Skillet- Fantastic! I use a pound of chicken breasts or chicken breast cutlets and two slices of bacon. And I usually put in extra green beans. I have also made it without the green beans when I have prepared them separately.

Pg. 85- Garlic Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Tenders- Use grated Parmesan cheese instead of shredded; it's easier to mix together. These were also bland, maybe because of the store brand panko bread crumbs.

Meat
Pg. 112- Thai Peanut Beef- These came out terrible, not anywhere close to what we expected.

Pg. 116- One Pot Cheesy Taco Pasta- The directions on this one are confusing. It says one pot, but directions say a saucepan and a pot. I did the meat in a skillet, the pasta in the pot and then combined them in the pot. One-half white onion is roughly equal to 1/4 cup of chopped onion. Three tablespoons of taco seasoning is a packet of taco mix. We don't like scallions so we skipped that and we also used regular diced tomatoes because I don't like cilantro. I also can't remember if I did the taco mix in the meat and onions like I was making regular taco meat or if I did it in the pasta like they say.

Pg. 117- Cheesy Sausage and Ravioli Skillet- Awesome!! And it makes a good 4-5 servings at least. Brown the sausage in the oven safe or cast-iron skillet while you cook the ravioli in a large pot. When the sausage and ravioli are done, pour the sausage into the ravioli to mix, then pour the final mix back into the skillet then cover with cheese. Broil on low, not high, for 90 seconds or less, it can burn fast. I recommend you start checking after 45 seconds.

Pg. 122- One Skillet Shepherd's Pie- Another good recipe. I just made up a packet of instant potatoes, since we rarely have enough leftover mashed potatoes except at holidays. The recipe calls for a 1/4 pound of hamburger, which is not enough. The first time I made it, I doubled the hamburger and Worcestershire sauce and it was okay, but still needed a little more flavor. Next time I plan to double the hamburger and triple the sauce. And again, 1/2 small onion is about 1/4 cup of chopped onion.

Desserts
Pg. 129- Peanut Butter Cup Shakes- Oh. My. God. Amazing. I used vanilla ice cream, because I don't like chocolate ice cream and was concerned it would be too much chocolate. I didn't bother reserving 4 extra peanut butter cups for the topping, I just put all 12 in the shake. Three cups of ice cream is about half a tub of ice cream, so a tub lets you make two batches.

Pg. 132- White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies- These were pretty good and could easily be done with just raisins or regular chocolate chips and walnuts, etc. Cut your stick of butter so you have the two tablespoons and leave that out to soften for a couple of hours in cool weather, less time in the summer. It's a good recipe because it makes a small serving quickly, rather than most recipes that take hours to use up all the dough to make a couple dozen cookies. You can always scale up the recipe for larger batches.

Pg. 142- Caramel-Apple Hand Pies-I have not made this particular recipe, but I have made a similar one and it is just too damn much work. Just go to the store and buy some Hostess or JJ's Snack Pies and microwave them for a few seconds to make them warm.