I thought I’d share the dishes I’ve cooked over the past week because they were delicious, inexpensive, nutritious (except – maybe, for the peach cobbler, which may not have been good for me but was certainly good to me). I want someone to know – besides my husband – that I’m working hard to keep pace with the slow-food, foods- cooked-from-scratch commitment that I made to myself a few years ago when we got married.
I grew up on foods cooked-from-scratch, with vegetables bought on weekly trips to Soulard Market in St. Louis, vegetables from one of my grandmothers’ backyard gardens and food kept in the root cellar. Then I lost my way for a few years and got too down with canned and quick, convenience food or take-out, although I always made hot breakfasts for the kids. Luckily I found my way back.
Most of these meals took 30-40 minutes to assemble.
I baked a deep dish peach cobbler and shared it with my colleagues at a planning meeting. (Fresh peaches in a crust made from scratch – filled with yummy butter- goodness.) Sharing it with colleagues meant that I could have my cake, uh, I mean pie and eat it, too. (It was still warm from the oven with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.) Mouth-joy!
I made an Orzo salad with a slices of chicken breast I roasted, zucchini, summer squash, tomatoes, olives, scallions, fresh basil and a homemade dressing with lime juice, olive oil, Dijon mustard, kosher salt, pepper, and a smidge of sugar. Mmm-mmm good. Served it on a bed of lettuce that I tossed with a bit of the dressing.
I made vegetarian pasta with rigatoni, sautéed zucchini, summer squash, mushrooms and garlic – tossed with goat cheese and fresh basil. Scrumptious!
I made chili with beans, ground turkey, olives, onions, garlic and spices (cinnamon is key). This was accompanied with cornbread made in a small cast iron skillet. (I rubbed the skillet with vegetable shortening and heated it in the oven before pouring the batter in. This was so good we feasted it on it for 2 days. My husband polished it off for a third meal. It tasted so good I wanted to slap myself. I think I’ll make a big pot of chili on one of those blustery winter days that is inevitable and have an impromptu gathering.
I made a veggie/chicken stew. Icut one small chicken breast into pieces and sautéed it. Then I sautéed an assortment of whatever bits of veggies I found in the fridge. To this I added a tiny bit of chicken broth and a small can of tomato sauce, fresh garlic and herbs. Served it over rice. De-lish. (Made enough rice that there will be a stir-fry in the cooking repertoire in the near-future.)
I made potatoes with Italian sausage and peppers*. I pan-roasted red potatoes I’d sliced into chunks with the skin on – seasoning the oil with fresh garlic, red pepper flakes, and peccorocini peppers. After an initial crisping – removed the peppers and garlic, then cooked the potatoes slowly with two sweet Italian sausages (one for he and one for me). Served with a simple salad of lettuce, tomatoes, and cucumber with a roasted garlic dressing. Yummy in my tummy!
I made a simple meal of beef hot dogs (on buns), vegetarian beans, and a salad with cucumbers, grape tomatoes, olives, and lettuce.
And I made a damn-good sandwich with turkey ham on whole wheat bread with lettuce, cucumbers, pepper jack cheese, and tomatoes with – mayo on one side and country mustard on the other. It hit the spot.
Hubby and I made a delicious lime-ade. (A perfect quencher for a hot summer’s day!) And he washed the dishes for all of these meals.
Can’ can cook, y’all. It is so pleasurable to have a willing person upon whom to relish these various recipes. What will I make tomorrow? I’m thinking, I’m thinking…
*This recipe came from a review of Lidia’s Italian cooking.
P.S. I’m nearly finished reading a food memoir, Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table, by Ruth Reichl. I recommend it highly. She is a great storyteller, had an interesting family and fabulous adventures that inevitably involved food. She is the restaurant critic of the New York Times or at least she was when this book was written in 1998.
Good work…I like to cook, make most of the meals now, my wife does the dishes, but I cannot ever put that many days together. I inevitably break down and we go out or we scrounge through the leftovers, neither a bad choice, but sometimes I wish I could string seven days’ meals back to back. By the way, you can cook for me anytime and then you can add me to the list of people who appreciate first hand your commitment to healthy living!
I hope there are more recipe blogs to come because the recipe that I really love is the apple bread you used to make for me and others at Madison Park. It was full of calories but so worth it. It’s amazing how after raising your children you still find enjoyment in cooking.
It is much easier to cook for adults than it was for children who’d like things one week and not the next and who weren’t as willing to try new things. My husband will basically try most anything.
Oh, by the way Jim, your invite will come.
This is a damn-good list.
I’m not entirely sure what a cobbler is (sort of like a crumble maybe?) but it sounds good anyway.
Where I grew up (St. Louis), a cobbler is a deep dish pie with crust on bottom, top and interspersed throughout the fruit.
So good, it’ll make you want to slap yourself, as my sister always says.
Mommy, I’m jealous we didn’t get any of this growing up. We ate the same things over and over…basically I only get to enjoy your new dishes when you visit, so when are you coming? Also it seems that you don’t use too many spices or am I wrong? If so please list some staples I should have in my pantry.
oh man oh man how come I wasn’t around? Sounds fabulous! I can’t make a pie crust to save my life…I wish I could. Tips?
The secret to a good pie crust is – ice water (I actually put ice cubes in the water to keep it cold), using wax paper or parchment paper to roll out the dough, and using enough shortening, butter or a combo. Finally, don’t handle the dough too much and chill it before rolling it out for baking.
I promise to not look at your website on an empty stomach. You’ve got me licking my chops. MMMMM-mmmmm good!