Friday, September 8, 2017

Food for Thought

I'm closing in on all the recipes I cooked, but haven't yet shared.  It's been hit or miss, okay miss, when it comes to menu planning recently.  I'm pretty much winging it.  The only upside to that is I haven't served cereal for dinner yet.

I was craving something creamy, it must have been a cool-ish day so this Cajun Chicken Pasta sounded good.  I'm pretty sure (it's been a while) that I doubled this recipe for In-Law Dinner night.  I do know itt was good, and creamy.  It had just the right amount of spice and a touch of heat.  I liked the fresh tomatoes on an otherwise one-pan meal.

I needed a side and was tired of my usual salad.  I could handle roasting the sweet potatoes in hell's kitchen for this Sweet Potato Rainbow Salad.  I roasted the potatoes earlier and opted to serve this on the cool, rather than warm side.  I really liked the dressing, but for us, I'd thin it a bit more.  It's a great meat-free lunch the following day.  It would also be good in a wrap.

I've done several meat-free dishes over the summer, without really being intentional about it.  Nobody in the family has said anything when it's been a meatless meal, so there's that too!  These Heavenly Hummus Wraps are a Pioneer Woman recipe.  It was a simple enough assemble, even with cooking down the onions - which I could have used more of, because they were great.  I diced the artichokes smaller, than just the halves called for.  I also used plain tortillas because I always have them on hand.  You can make this even faster if you use store-bought hummus.  Hummus is so easy to make though, I just whipped it up.  I had a bit left over, but with hummus that's not a big deal.  Adjust the hummus seasonings to your taste - we like a bit more cumin, and it will likely need a salt adjustment.  Make it thinner by adding more water.  Simple.  Good.  This would make a great side to soup when it's cooler.

My son was wanting waffles on morning and looking for a mix.  I have this homemade pancake mix, and told him to make a couple adjustments to it for waffles, but told him I'd look for a waffle-specific mix.  I found this Homemade Belgium Waffle Mix.  It mixed up thinner than I'm used to, but they cooked up light with a thin crispy outside that held up well to syrup and fruit.  I found, when I was out of milk, that half-and-half produced a little denser waffle that I really liked.

I've only ever thought of gnocchi as cool evening comfort food.  Then I found this Summer Gnocchi with Corn and Smoked Sausage.  It was awesome.  Those chewy pillows of gnocchi, crisp browned sausage and the lighter "sauce."  I opted to leave out the jalapenos - they've been too hot this season.

I just wanted something quick and easy - heat in the kitchen be damned.  I had blackberries from our bushes coming out my ears when I picked this Blackberry Bacon Grilled Cheese for dinner one night.  I didn't realize it was just blackberry jam.  So, I skipped that blackberries, though in hindsight I could have just mashed some fresh ones and added them to the berry sauce I did use.    I did use jalapenos, and they were freakin' hot...way too hot (which is why they weren't in the gnocchi recipe.)  Next time I'll opt for a poblano.

This Tomato Basil Artichoke Chicken Bake was another Parent-Dinner Night meal.  It was easy enough make for a larger crowd.  I used chicken thighs instead of breasts.  I loved the fresh ingredients - tomatoes and basil from the garden were a bonus.  It had good flavor and, well, there's the cheese.  You can't go wrong with fresh mozzarella.

Happy Friday,


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