It was really difficult coming back to my little apartment from Christmas and New Years vacation. I just couldn’t put my heart back into meal planning, cleaning, and cooking after those blissful weeks at the parents’ house. But the school routine has put me back in my place and I’m back trolling the internet for new dinner ideas!
Lately I have made a few discoveries in the kitchen that have helped give dinner planning a little lift:
1. Mashed Potatoes- This was by FAR my favorite food growing up and now it is in regular rotation as a dinner side. Buying a bag of red potatoes is a cheap way to get a lot of mileage from one purchase, which my wallet really appreciates. This past week when I was making a batch to go with Salmon burgers (sans bun), I realized we were out of milk and sour cream. Depression set in for about 10 seconds until I found a tub of ricotta in the back of the fridge. The cheese gave the potatoes the same amount of creaminess as sour cream and milk with some added richness. It was great! I really want to try this with goat cheese next time.
2. Spaghetti squash- Holy. WOW. I will eat spaghetti squash any way it is served to me! My favorites have been with butter, oregano and thyme, plus a little parmesan on top, or in stir-fry. Stir-frying the baked squash strands was just the most brilliant idea in the world, which I think I got from Mark Bittman. We just mixed in mushrooms, onions, and other veggies, topped with some teriyaki and went to town. It is FANTASTIC.
3. The crock pot- I’m so happy I finally have a crock pot in my possession! It has given me so many more options in the kitchen. I have made pot roast, jambalaya, and even Rotel cheese! It’s great to prep everything in the morning and have Matt turn it on around lunch time so he can eat before ultimate practice and I can eat when I get home. My next big plan is to get a pork butt and make either great barbecue or carnitas. If anyone has a good recipe, send it my way!