Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wednesday Fun #64 - Last Year's Learnings

First of all, sorry about missing last week, folks. It was Christmas Eve, we were away from home, I figured you'd all be busy, too... yadda, yadda, yadda. But hey, Wednesday Fun is back today, the last day of 2008!

My question for you this week, on the very last day of 2008, is what changed in your cooking during the past year? What did you learn? Did you make something for the very first time? (Fried green tomatoes for me. They were... eh.) Did a change of location (Hi, Diplowhat!) or diet or medical stuff overhaul your menu? What's different now in your cooking than it was at the beginning of 2008?

For me it was joining a CSA. Instead of being a "this is the recipe, I'll shop for the ingredients, ok, let's go" sort of cook (with some ability to substitute, etc.), I had to become a "hmmm, I've got carrots, tomatoes, a teeny bit of cauliflower... what can I do with this?" sort of chef. Granted, now that I'm NOT getting a CSA box weekly, I really do need to do a little more menu planning, but with the girls not liking things mixed together (casserole, soup, mac&cheese, etc.), it's gotten pretty basic Midwestern around here.

How about you?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wednesday Fun #63 - Argh! What's for supper?!

You know how it is. Sometimes, like, oh, say around the holidays, or during a busy week at work, you look at the clock, swear, then start digging in the frig and cupboard for something fast, easy, and hopefully nutritious to throw on the table.

You've got fall-backs, things you know you can usually make with what you've got on hand, but aren't "recipes" exactly. Well, I'd like you to share yours with us all. They might seem simple or no-brainers, but somebody else might be, "Oh gosh! I could TOTALLY make that tonight! Why did I never think to do that before?"

For us, it's often small pasta shapes (penne, radiatorie (sp?), etc.) with chunks of leftover chicken and/or chickpeas and/or pine nuts and/or ham along with some assorted vegetables - likely frozen peas or canned corn or oven-dried cherry tomatoes from the freezer or broccoli or quickly sauteed carrot coins. Mix it all together, throw it on a plate, top with some Parmesan and a little olive oil or the awesome porcini oil I got at The Olive Cellar, and YUM!

Occasionally at La Casa Di Huis is flour tortillas with leftover meat and/or chickpeas with cheese and some corn or other veg, and black olives as a plus with salsa for those who like. Either just rolled up as tortillas or heated up into quesadillas, these are a great way to use up ends and bits of leftovers. Plus, you know, melty cheese!

How about you? What's one of your I-can-almost-always-make-this dishes? Not that I'm hoping for inspiration for tonight or anything...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wednesday Fun #62 - Holiday Food Favorites

Are there any particular holiday foods or traditions relating to food to which you look forward every year? Do you always make a particular kind of cookie? Is Christmas the only time your grandma makes her special Potatoes Ala Gramma dish? Do you love stirring your hot cocoa with a candy cane?

What's a holiday food/food tradition that you love?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wednesday Fun #61 - The Non-Chef's Menu

This weekend, my folks were here, and my dad made shaped pancakes with Pumpkin for Sunday brunch. It's one of his specialties. I can't have pancakes or cheeseburger hamburger helper (with peas added) or ring bologna (to be served with mac & cheese) without thinking about my dad, 'cuz those were some of his standard dishes. Well, those and grilled cheese sandwiches.

I got to thinking. I bet in a lot of two-adult households, one person does the majority of the cooking. And the other person might have a few standard dishes they make. What's your experience? What are some meals/food you remember your non-main-cooking parent making? Or, if you're in a two-person household, what does the non-chef make at your house now?

Monday, December 1, 2008

December's Theme - Cookies and Sweet Treats for the Holidays

Our theme for December is "Cookies and Sweet Treats for the Holidays." So get out your sugar, cinnamon red hots, and aprons and have at it!

Previous posts that could fit this category include...
(I left out ones that seemed out of season due to theme or ingredients, but if you just click on the tags for "Cookies and Bars" or "Desserts," you'll get them all.)
Of course, feel free to mention in the comments if I missed one you think should be listed here and I'll take care of it. Happy Holiday Baking!