I, like most people out there, do not make gourmet meals every day. In fact, a lot of the time I cook what's affordable, easy, and comforting. I have a collection of recipes that foodies may snub because they are old fashioned - like casseroles - or use pre-packaged ingredients. I am not ashamed of these things because, hey, sometimes it's hard to get food on the table. So here are some recipes that I can depend on to save me when I am low on time, money, and energy.
Beefy Noodle Bake
This is a great recipe for getting rid of leftover produce, frozen veg, and canned goods. You can easily adapt it to use whatever you have on hand. I discovered it in a Taste of Home casserole booklet.
So two months after we started, Keerin and I finally managed to get another Vegan friendly restaurant under our belt and part of our self-assigned challenge. This time, we hit up Science Club near Farragut Square in DC.
Sourdough pancakes may sound strange to you, they certainly did to me the first time I heard about them, but they are a special treat in my husband's family. They are thin, almost crepe-like (or they should be anyway, I haven't managed to get mine that thin yet) with a little bit of sourdough tang. They take quite a bit more work than your average pancake, but for my husband (who craves this childhood favorite) it is totally worth it.
The first time I made this lasagna was during the period where Jasper and I were dating long distance. He was living out here in NoVa, and I was in grad school in California. He invited some friends over to play rock band at his apartment so that we could all hang out, and I wanted to cook something for the party that would suit a crowd. I thought lasagna would be great, but I wanted to try something different from my usual. My favorite lasagna recipe came from an episode of Tyler's Ultimate on Food Network, so I decided to try the other recipe from that episode. I found the recipe online and went to work, but things did not turn out as planned.
A while back I tried afghan food for the first time and I LOVED it. I went to Faryab in Bethesda, which despite having no website and a hard to find location made it into the Washingtonian's top 100 restaurants. That was a fantastic place to try afghan food for the first time, but certainly a tough act to follow. A recent Washingtonian article mentioned Panjshir in Falls Church, which is much closer to me, so I was really excited to try it. I ordered a selection of dishes (for take-out), and while the food was not as good as the food at Faryab, it was still pretty decent and certainly much more convenient for me.
I saw this recipe while watching the food network and thought that it would be perfect for my resolution (not the New Years variety) to add more fish (especially salmon) to our diet. This recipe looked light and fresh and fun, so I gave it a whirl. I liked it a lot, Jasper wasn't as enthusiastic, and it was a little bit more work than other salmon recipes I have. So I will definitely hang onto it, but not as a weekly addition.
I am a Texan at heart, and always will be. It's hard to be far from the culture and food that I grew up with, so I love whenever I find a recipe that reminds me of home. I loved even more when I found a whole blog and cookbook dedicated to displaced Texans. I am talking about The Homesick Texan - I love this site so much. I will definitely be exploring it more in the future. The recipe that introduced me to The Homesick Texan was a FANTASTIC pork carnitas recipes. It is super easy and incredibly delicious, and is definitely going to be a staple for us from now on. We loved it so much that I went back to the store to get more pork so that I could make it again!
We've all been there - you buy ingredients for a specific dish, but don't know what to do with the remainder so they sit around until they go bad. Or you make too much of a side dish and don't have anything left to pair with it so it gets thrown out. I've been guilty of this wastefulness, and I am trying to find ways to avoid it. So here are a few strategies that I have come up with.
When my friend Melissa and I get together it is usually to bake, or cook, or go out to eat - which is fitting for two food bloggers. We wanted to get together recently and cook up something satisfying and healthy. Melissa, who is a vegetarian, came up with a wonderful recipe for Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash - and you can read all about her take on her blog, Smells like Brownies.
This recipe is full of delicious veggies, packed with flavor and texture, and super healthy! Quinoa is not quite in the popular lingo yet, so for those of you who are unfamiliar with it, here is a brief rundown. Quinoa is a grain, similar in use to rice or couscous, but it is better than either of those because it is both a whole grain and a protein! It's basically a super food.