I wouldn't think anyone other than myself has been keeping track, but if you were, you'd know that the hokey pokey I made the other night was in fact the 100th recipe I have completed since beginning this challenge. So that's 100 down, 476 to go.
I've certainly had ups and downs with the various recipes I've tried: some have been marvellous; others could have been marvellous if I'd done them correctly; and then there were one or two that I really wouldn't recommend.
So I decided to do a 'top 10' list. It was pretty difficult to select only 10 of all the recipes I've liked, but here's my final list:
THE TOP 10 SO FAR
This one was my absolute favourite of all the recipes I've tried so far. Lovely and warming, with a rich bacony flavour and a slightly spicy undertone, it's everything I love in a soup. Make sure you get good quality bacon bones - the ones I got for my pumpkin soup weren't nearly as good.
I was so delighted when I came across this version of the standard fruit crumble. I'd be the first to admit that the lovely black boy peaches I made mine with had a lot to do with the success of the dish. But the breadcrumb-based crumble was also lovely, and the crumble layer in the middle soaked up the juice and made the pudding more thick and filling. Yum.
I'd always been a bit ho-hum about ginger crunch. That was because I'd only had the bought version, which while tasty enough, is nothing wonderful. I was quite surprised at how much I liked my homemade version: a lovely crispy base with just enough icing to make it sweet and gingery, but not overpowering. Love it.
I love salmon; I love mayonnaise; and I love mustard. Why wouldn't I love a dish of grilled salmon with a sauce made from mayonnaise, mustard and dill? It's so easy to make that you could hardly even call it cooking. It's true that adding a high-fat sauce to a nice nutritious fillet of salmon is not the healthiest thing to do, but man, does it taste good!
My ideal summer dish,this salad is a meal in itself. The flavours are wonderful, and, with the addition of bacon and egg for protein, it's filling enough that you don't need to eat anything else with it. Well, I didn't, but then again, I have a fairly small appetite.
I couldn't believe how tasty this dish was, especially considering it was so easy to make. I've never been much into tinned fish, but this is a really nice way to use a can of salmon. Since I usually have pastry in the freezer, and a tin of salmon in the cupboard, this will be a good one for those "what on earth can I cook tonight?" moments.
If you want to turn a chocolate cake (or in my case, cupcake) into something truly decadent, try adding this icing. It's richer, smoother, and far less sickly than a sugar-based icing. Of course, it's more expensive to make, and very bad for you - so keep this one in reserve for a special occasion.
I wasn't expecting anything exceptional from this recipe. I thought it would be nice enough, but not very exciting. So I was quite surprised at the beautifully moist, but surprisingly light, cake I ended up with. I'll be making this one again.
I used to hate mushrooms. It's only in the past couple of years that I've started eating them, so I enjoy experimenting with different recipes. Stuffed mushrooms are so quick, easy, and above all, tasty. They're also an ideal 'cooking for one' dish, so I can see myself making them quite often.
I've only made two jams so far, but this one was so easy to make that it deserves a mention. The recipe presented no problems at all, even for an inexperienced jam-maker like myself. It makes a very nice tangy jam: quite a unique flavour actually. If you can get your hands on some cape gooseberries, I'd recommend turning at least some of them into jam.
THE BOTTOM 5
For the recipes I didn't like, I only did a 'bottom 5'. In contrast to the top 10 list, I had trouble finding even 5 recipes that were bad enough to be included. Often, when something hasn't turned out right, it's been entirely my own fault. But there were a few where I would blame the recipe:
This was by far the worst recipe I have tried. It really just tasted like raw onion and undercooked rice stirred through straight tomato paste. It was quite inedible, and I ended up throwing almost all of it out.
Definitely the strangest thing I have eaten in a long time. Supposedly a quiche, this recipe was based on an Edmonds pancake and pikelet mix - the main ingredients thereof being flour, sugar and raising agents. The result? A bacon, cheese and egg flavoured cake. Weird is the only word I have to describe this. I made it through about half the 'quiche' before throwing the rest out.
I'm sure I followed the recipe for oaty apple loaf correctly, but there was so much liquid that, despite my cooking it for much longer than instructed, the loaf never cooked through and came out a soggy, inedible mess.
I was quite excited about making my own tortillas from scratch. On the surface, they sound quite easy to make, but believe me, they're a lot of work! I'm happy enough to put in a bit of effort for a good result, but after all that kneading, rolling (and rolling..and rolling) and cooking, the tortillas were not that good. They went all soggy in my enchiladas, ruining an otherwise good dish. I think it'd take a lot of practice to get this right. This isn't really a terrible recipe, but you'd be far better off to just get a packet of tortillas at the supermarket.
So that's the best and worst of my first 100 recipes. It'll be interesting to see what crops up in the next 100!