Sunday, September 27, 2009

Trying something new

I have a strange interest in knowing what people ate for dinner. Call me voyeuristic if you must, but when I'm driving around in the evenings and see the light in the kitchen on, I'd love to know what's going on that table. Is it a family favorite? Chicken? Beef? Pasta? Who fixed it? From a recipe? I think it's just fascinating to know what people are fixing for dinner and why. Was it the easiest option? A celebration? Someone's favorite meal?

For the most part, I love to cook. I like meal planning and thinking through what we haven't had in awhile and coming up with a menu that we all like. I like to care for my family in this way and it comes very naturally to me. I also like to try new recipes. I aim to fix something new at least once a week. This is not hard because I'm inundated with magazines, blogs and shows that all offer me new ideas. You might think I'm crazy, but my biggest issue with planning meals is narrowing down my choices. Too many ideas, too few meals! This week's menu plan ended up getting turned all around and we ended up trying a new recipe every night. And because this is interesting to me, I thought I'd share for those of you who are also looking for some new dinner ideas.

Monday-Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas I have an excellent enchilada recipe that has been our favorite for years, but this one ranks right up there. So delicious! For a slight variation on this recipe check out the one here. I made two pans and stuck one in the freezer for another night.

Tuesday-We had a happy fall meal and I made Bacon wrapped chicken breasts with maple gravy. The gravy recipe is here. On the side was one of our absolute favorite sides, veggie potato mash.

Wednesday- I have been trying to utilize my cookbooks more often so picked Pasta with zucchini, roasted garlic oregano and feta from Robin Miller's Just In Time. (The link is to a similar recipe from Food Network.) It was good, not great, but healthy and quick to throw together. We all liked it and the leftovers tasted better, but probably not something I'd make again.

Thursday- I had something entirely different planned, but it didn't sound good so I dug through my list of want-to-try and found Tortilla and Black Bean Pie. It was a hit with all of us! Another benefit to having a well stocked pantry is being able to change my mind about a meal and come up with something different. This recipe was a great use of pantry items and things that I almost always have around, like whole wheat tortillas and cheese. Delicious.

Saturday- Another simple meal to throw together was Honey Mustard Chicken biscuits. We all loved these even though they didn't turn out quite right. The batter was too wet so next time (and there will be a next time!) I would add more bisquick or less milk. The vegetables in the batter add quite a bit of moisture and made them super moist. I think they were intended as a snack but we ate them for dinner and they were quite filling. They were a fun way to serve chicken for dinner and stretch a buck!

Yesterday afternoon Cale and I decided we need some sort of dessert-y treat so we flipped through my copy of Martha Stewart's Cookies. We settled on Banana-Walnut Chocolate Chunk cookies because 1)they sounded amazing 2)I had all the ingredients 3)they were easy to throw together. Oh my word- they are good! We've eaten waay too many of them since yesterday afternoon. I found a link to the recipe online, but once again, used my own cookbook. See, I'm really trying to utilize them!

So that's what we've been eating around here. Have you tried anything new lately and enjoyed it? What did you have for dinner?


Julie said...

Alan is not the most adventurous eater, so I often leave my recipes to try in their folder. You are inspiring me to change things up a bit! I did just try a fabulous chicken and broccoli bake that was great and freezer friendly!

Traci said...

Last night we had spaghetti w/Matt's AFIT group; it's quick, cheap, and easy. I did spice up some simple sauce by adding lots of garlic, herbs, onion and bell peppers. It was great! Tonight, we're having croque monsieurs, Thursday I'm trying a new pumpkin waffle recipe, and sometime this week I'm making a new Tex-Mex beef BBQ meal in the crockpot. I hope they're all yummy!