Blog Archives for category Week Night Recipes
I really can’t think of a single vegetable that isn’t more delicious when roasted. Ok, I didn’t think about that very hard, so I’m sure there’s at least one out there, but roasting is a great trick to have up your sleeve to feed your herbivorous side. Here’s how to roast vegetables: Preheat the oven. Cut up the food. Drizzle olive oil over it and season with salt and pepper. Place on a cookie sheet. Cook, flipping once. Doesn’t get much easier, hey? Here are my Top Ten I Heart Roasted Vegetables tips for success.
So there’s a chance that I might be an official Seattleite. It hit me 4 miles in, as I was running down the street with 2 fistfuls of snow peas. Pull up a chair, this is a good one. I’ve been on the waiting list for a P-Patch garden since moving here, and finally snagged a plot this spring. Seattle has an amazing network of neighborhood gardens, and for about $25 a year, you can have a 10′ x 20′ patch of dirt to call your very own. I’m sure you can understand how I have an aching in my bones to do this…
When we were little and in Capital “B” Big trouble, the big gun was called in for disciplinary purposes. The Capital “B” Big gun was my Dad. He’d come in from a long (long) day out in the barn, and really, the last thing he had was the mental energy to deal with my brother and I bickering over back car seat territory or my (alleged) smart mouth. Poor SUE!, at her witt’s end, she’d send us to sit on the hope chest at the end of my parents bed, and wait for him to come in for dinner and deal with us. I found myself sitting on that hope chest frequently.
But it brings up a good point, and one that people ask me about all the time: how do you get to that culinary zen where you don’t need to follow a recipe, and you can just wing it? Well, it’s not something you learn overnight, that’s for sure. But there are a few things you can do to tweak a recipe into a winner, salvage a broken dish, or anticipate what’s going to work and what’s not:
So I guess I can’t completely blame you, when you read the title: BEST THING I’VE EVER COOKED, and you are a little wary. I get it. I’ll chalk it up to consistent writing and pat myself on the back for the ability to keep you all coming back with (exaggerated) bated breath. But this time it’s not me. The designation of THE BEST THING I’VE EVER COOKED is completely (partially) unbiased, (mostly) unprompted, and (probably) warranted. Even divided by 60, this was still an above normal dinner.
Nothing beats a your favorite neighborhood takeout’s pad thai, but this dish is a good alternative. And it comes together in about the same time it takes to call in delivery. The best part is that it doesn’t use any of the authentic (read: hard to find and never in my pantry) asian ingredients. There’s a very good chance you’ll have almost everything on hand, or can source the missing ingredients from your favorite grocery store’s ethnic aisle. While the authentic versions are fairly consistent, this recipe is totally flexible. One of those great “clean out the fridge” dishes that tastes good no matter what you throw in it – use whatever vegetables and/or meat you like and have.
Can you operate a can opener? Check! Can you fry an egg? Check! Guess what – you can assemble this delicious dinner in like 10 minutes. No kidding. Everyone needs these super quick recipes up their sleeve for busy nights. This is one of my favorites because it’s delicious and (fairly) nutritious. Plus the ingredients are usually in my pantry, or it’s a cheap stop at the market if they aren’t.
Dinner Party Rock Star: Fish en Papillote – Maple Glazed Salmon with Bok Choy and Mustard Mashed Potatoes
Fish en papillote is a method of steaming fish in a parchment envelope. (“En papillote” means “in parchment” in french. Bonus points, now you’re throwing a FRENCH dinner party!) There are myriad reasons why this method is amazing, from juicy, succulent fish, to flavorful veggies, to a show-stopper table presentation that includes theatrical unwrapping of your own personal envelope of deliciousness.