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Monday, July 13, 2009

A list of things I make for dinner

We subsisted on leftovers this weekend, but I did cook all week. I also posted on Facebook about a couple of my baking projects. I got a lot of oohs and ahhs over the homemade pizza I made, and a lot of comments about the bread I baked (Farmhouse White from the Year In Bread Blog).  Dana asked if I would post what I make for dinner because she "makes the same things over and over".

The thing is, I think I do too! And furthermore, I think it's a really good idea to do it. If you have some good go-to recipes it can take a lot of the headaches out of food prep, you can buy in bulk for certain items that you make all the time, and you have a good base of foods for experimenting.

Things I make all the damn time:

Roasted whole chicken
Black bean and chicken burritos
Chicken soup
Vegetable soups
Mac and Cheese
Baked fish
homemade pizza
stir fry/fajitas
beans and rice
dinner salad

I will start with one easy-peasy menu for a quick but impressive dinner:

Tastes-like Homemade Tomato soup
1 can tomato soup
1 can diced tomatoes
1 package french onion soup mix
1 pt. heavy whipping cream

Heat up soup in sauce pan, add can of undrained tomatoes, stir in onion soup mix, when all is heated and bubbly, turn down heat and add heavy whipping cream.

Now, I have made this soup with sauteed diced fresh onions, a dash of beef bullion, and some milk when I lacked other ingredients. I have used the Italian diced tomatoes, never tried the mexican style diced tomatoes, but I bet it would be good too. The thing is when diced tomatoes go on sale for buy one get one, I stock up! Same thing goes for soup; I try to have these ingredients on hand all the time. My husband's half and half that he likes for coffee also works well in this recipe, we buy it in the largest size available and use it for coffee and cooking and baking.

Next for dinner: Simple salad:

Freshest greens you have
homemade vinaigrette dressing:
use a 3-1 ratio of oil to vinegar
add a dab of good mustard
mix all in a lidded container and shake to combine. 3 - 1 ratio can be anything from tablespoons to gallons, just depends on how much you want to make. Use the same measure for both and you cannot go wrong. But what oil? What vinegar? I dunno. What do you have on hand? About the only thing I can say is don't use regular white distilled. Rice wine works well, balsamic, apple, red wine whatever. Olive, vegetable, sunflower oils all work fine. If you have sad kind of wilt-y salad greens, you can soak them in a sink of ice water with a slug of the cheap distilled vinegar and get back that lost turgor pressure! Crispy greens in 20 minutes!

Beggar's Purses: believe it or not a Martha Stewart Recipe
1 can of croissants
1 bag of baby bel cheese
dijon mustard
chopped nuts

Pop the can of croissant dough. Instead of separating into triangles pinch closed the seam and make squares. In center of each square add 1 unwrapped baby bel cheese, 1 dab of dijon mustard, and a few chopped nuts. Pull dough closed at the top and pinch shut. It will kind of look like a little bag. (Martha ties her with ribbon and tops with an egg wash, I skip that step) Bake according to package directions in oven. YUMMY goodness in like 12 minutes.

If you don't have croissant dough, take leftover bread (even bread ends) spread with butter and top with cheese and put under the broiler until cheese is golden brown and bubbly.

These three dishes have never failed to impress the heck out of guests, family, my landlord, neighbors. Thanks to my MIL Deana for the tomato soup and beggar's purse recipes.

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