Of all the Ask Me questions that have been submitted so far, I think this is my favorite.
A non-sewing related question–any favorite tried-and-true favorite dinner recipe?
Why as a matter of fact, yes! Because sewists have to eat, too, right? I’ve been meaning to talk about food for a while, so thanks for the little push.
I mentioned last week that we eat dinner together as a family every evening. During the week that means cooking at home, while on weekends we sometimes have time to take advantage of our neighborhood’s many fantastic, well-priced restaurants.
Since evenings are a bit of a rush, between shopping, cooking, eating, washing dishes (we don’t have a dishwasher), homework, and a rather lengthy bedtime routine (ugh), the shopping and cooking parts need to be efficient. New Yorkers, for the most part, don’t own cars, so we shop for groceries almost every day. This means we can buy fresh produce, but we shop every day mostly because the average person can only carry just so much when it comes to groceries. So here are our dinner tricks.
ZipList. Now that we’ve finally joined the world of smartphones, we’ve set up a joint shopping list with this app. I’ve linked many of my favorite recipes to our account (which is really easy to do, especially if those recipes live on-line someplace), and it’s extremely quick and easy to add the ingredients for a recipe to our shared shopping list. When one of us goes to the store the list is up-to-date, and items can easily be checked off as you put them in your cart. It’s not a fancy app and could certainly be improved, but we make regular use of it and find that it’s really helpful with meal planning and shopping and helps us to be efficient.
Favorite recipes. Please note: I’m a one-dish cook, due in large part to our small kitchen and to the fact that I like efficiency and simplicity. I generally don’t make multiple dishes for a single meal unless it’s Thanksgiving or you call dessert a side dish. I’ve found a lot of our favorite recipes at Martha Stewart. Also, S is a rather picky eater, so all dishes need to pass muster with her before they enter our regular rotation. Oh, and a lot of these recipes have Tex-Mex ingredients that may not be readily available outside the U.S. (Hello, black beans in Europe?) Also, I lean toward vegetarianism, but not everyone in the family shares my sentiments so I do include some meat in my cooking.
So, having said all that, here are a few of our favorites:
- Cumin Chicken With Black Beans: an old stand-by that everyone loves. We make this with extra black beans and corn, and we usually have leftovers for lunch the next day.
- Orecchiette with Chicken Sausage and Broccoli Rabe: I think we make this almost every week, we all like it so much. This is a great recipe for a crowd, too.
- Skirt Steak and Bok Choy Stir-Fry. No one at our house knew we liked bok choy (actually, I don’t think we really knew what bok choy was) until we made this. I could eat this every day.
- Black Bean Tostadas With Corn Relish. This recipe is so quick and easy and seems to make everyone happy. Save this for your really, really busy days, because there’s minimal cooking involved.
- West Coast Grilled Vegetable Pizza. I don’t make this very often, but we always like it when I do. We make all sorts of pizza, and I’ll share some of our other favorite pizza recipes with you sometime soon.
- Fast Chicken Fajitas. Another one of those quick recipes for the really busy days. One reason to like this is because everyone makes their own, so the eight-year-olds can customize and add as much sour cream as they like.
- Vegetable Enchiladas. S likes it best when I fill a few of these with just cheese for her. Which I do, because then I know she’ll eat them.
I’d love to know some of your favorite recipes if you want to share or link to them! Any meal planning tips?