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The Bland

24 Apr

Hi there. It has been a while, I know. I haven’t been cooking much these days!

We started off the year with a resolution to cook at home more often. It worked for a while, but with me trying to juggle work and school, it quickly became too much.

We’re still trying to dine out less, but the cooking I’ve been doing has been unexciting. Everything tastes bland and blah! I occasionally go through phases where food just isn’t good, though. I blame allergies. Do you experience anything similar?

My recipes seem old and stale, too, so maybe I just need to try a few new things.

On a happy note, tomatoes are finally starting to taste like tomatoes! Also, I’ve seen several recipes that use Greek yogurt in place of heavy cream, and I’m looking forward to trying a few of those in the near future. Other than that, I’m trying to make it through finals, and we’re gearing up to move into a new apartment.

If you’ve encountered any fabulous recipes lately, please feel free to send them my way!

Hope all is well with everyone.

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Quick and Easy

24 Jan

Tonight, we made Pollo Cacciatora from Nigella Express. You can find the recipe here. I opted to serve the cacciatore over rigatoni. I’m not much of a fan of chicken combined with tomatoes (unless we’re talking chicken parmesan), but it was actually quite good. The celery salt adds an interesting element of flavor.

I’ve quickly learned that for weeknights, dishes that can be prepared fairly speedily are necessary. The Nigella Express cookbook is great for that, as it’s filled with lots of fast, easy recipes. We need to be done with dinner by 6:30. It’s challenging.

When we started the project, we planned two weeks’ worth of meals and then shopped for ingredients. We’ve since cut back to choosing seven dinners at a time and then purchasing groceries accordingly. This way, nothing is in danger of going bad before we can use it.

We’ve also had the opportunity to make new-to-us meals. One of my favorite foods is spaghetti with marinara sauce, so that’s usually what I would make when I cooked. We’ve had all sorts of things lately, though: potatoes dauphinois, mustard pork chops, steaks, and even duck. This week, I’m even making Tikka Masala! Also on the menu: Schnitzel, Boeuf Bourguignon, Cheddar and Leek Risotto, Pizza, Baked Ziti, and Enchiladas.

One caveat: I am so tired of chicken. It’s inexpensive and fits well into a variety of dishes, but jeez. Summer cannot get here quickly enough; I am ready for more fruits and vegetables to be in-season and affordable. I’m looking forward to putting together a few tasty vegetarian dinners, definitely.

Also: If I can find time in the next few weeks, I’m going to tackle Julia Child’s French Bread! It takes over 6 hours, and the recipe is 7 pages long. Wish me luck!