Before I went back to work I looked though every cookbook on my shelf and found every recipe that I knew would be quick, I thought would be quick, or the author promised would be quick. Then I put them all on a master list along with what book & what page I would find the recipe on. I then added all those meals that just exist in my head for quick go-to meals - fried rice, dhal, frittata; basically things I can almost cook with my eyes closed. I call this list "Truly Easy Meals" to differentiated it from what Martha Steward might call easy, but would take me all weekend to prepare. This is my master list for reference and inspiration every weekend as I plan our menu for the next week.
I make a geeky menu as seen below, make a grocery list and we're off to the store.
|I was so busy taking a photo of Finley I failed to notice that Chèvre cheese was on sale!|
The other secret to our eating success is that if something can be frozen (and I believe most things can be!), I make a double batch and save some for a rainy day.
|Very big pot of Tuscan tomato soup|
In the past month or so, I've been trying to make Sunday night a special meal. It might be a new recipe, or an old favourite that we haven't had in a while. Not fancy, but fancier than Tom Soup + GCS (tomato soup with grilled cheese sandwich.) Most importantly, it is a time for Derek and I to relax together, catch up on the week and have some adult conversation.
Last Sunday I hit up another one of my Jaime Oliver Books for some inspiration and this is what I found:
Cookbook Challenge #18: Tender and Crisp Chicken Legs with Sweet Tomatoes from Jaime's Dinners
|An older and wiser Jaime than in my last cookbook challenge!|
|I've never made a meal that looks this much like the photo! But my pot is nicer than Jaime's!|
I have a inexplicable fear of cooking certain things: roast beef, pot roast, whole chicken, or even chicken that is still on it's bone. When I read this recipe and it called for chicken legs "dejointed", I almost changed my mind. I'm not an orthopaedic surgeon, I don't want to de-joint any legs. But fortunately I was able to buy the legs already dejointed.
This meal came together so easily, and then cooked away slowly in the oven for 90 mins, making the whole house smell like garlic, basil and tomatoes. I felt like an Italian Nona. With a loaf of sourdough and a salad it was a very special Sunday night dinner.
I'm not sure what I will make this Sunday, but I will look for my inspiration in my books tomorrow. Hey, maybe I'll even try a pot roast!