I think about food a lot. More than is healthy(on several levels) or reasonable, I suspect. It has something to do with the way we eat, but it has more to do with the fact that gas is $4/gallon and I educate my children at home. We don't leave the house a ton, so cooking has become something of a hobby. I like the whole process of following a recipe and creating something delicious with my hands. The kids have this terrible habit of wanting to eat three times a day, so it's a way to serve my family, too. The kitchen is a quiet place when I'm busy. I can block a lot out when I'm talking my way through a recipe. I think very profound thoughts when I'm scrubbing dishes. I feel so accomplished when I've wiped the kitchen down at the end of a meal.
Thanks to Pinterest, cooking has taken on a whole new feel. I am able to be a bit more adventurous. I've never been one to spend money on cookbooks. In fact, a Paula Deen cookbook was the only one I owned for years. I never use it. I probably never had enough butter in the house.
Pinterest has only let me down once. It was a doozy of a meal attempted last week. Bottom line, homemade pasta is destined to fail if you don't have a pasta roller. I don't make pasta enough to justify one. This particular meal took three hours of my time. I knew an hour in that it wasn't going to work and should've stopped while I was ahead. In the end, I was able to play the poor housewife who'd wasted her entire evening and ended up with a belly full of Chipotle.
A few weeks ago, it hit me just how much less garbage we create now that we eat real food. We used to fill up that huge, typical garbage can weekly. Here, we have a teeny, tiny outdoor garbage can that is rarely full for the garbage man. Just a thought that made me smile. Not in a carbon footprint kinds way, but in a way that makes me feel so healthy. :)
Anyways, recipes that don't come from a can or a box:
I didn't get this recipe from pinterest. It was a recipe born of the desire not to have to go to the grocery store. Cut up chicken breast, toss in olive oil, roll in crushed croutons, bake. 425X5 minutes, flip, bake five minutes more.
I did use a Pinterest Chick-fil-a sauce recipe on the side. Score. This will be a weekly thing, for sure. So easy.
Today, I made butternut squash wontons. While time consuming, they allowed for some one on one time with Mr. Simon. Yummy, but a little sweet. More of an appetizer or side than main dish.
Amazing and delicious and easy! Chicken pot pie with puff pastry. This is also going to be a weekly menu item until we're all sick of it. :)
A very creamy potato soup. It's good for feeding a crowd.
One last recipe, because I made myself hungry looking at pictures of food...another go-to. BEST, easy chicken recipe. So simple!
I don't compromise much on food, but I'm trying to adjust some things due to the/our economy. For instance, I reeeeeeally wanted pulled pork sandwiches the other night. The only semi-decent pork butt I could find was $5/lb. Considering pork is already really bad for you, even the "good stuff," it's not something I wanted to compromise on. After three trips to different grocery stores, I finally bought some pre-made stuff from Trader Joes. I don't trust TJ's(or any grocer, for that matter). They say they're non-GMO, but...they aren't willing to label their items as such. All that to say, it bothered me to buy it, it bothered me even more that the packaging was entirely deceptive. In the end, it didn't make me sick, so I know they don't use MSG in their pork or sauce.
On that note, I'm off to start dinner: burgers on ciabatta & baked potatoes!