Cooking has always been a joy of mine and I believe it’s in my blood. My Italian grandmother was always in the kitchen, and sadly, even though I didn’t get to meet my father’s mother, I’ve learned she always was, too. (:
I’m not the type (yet) that creates my own recipes, but I do want to share some staples I always make in my kitchen! These are sure to knock your socks off, and your spouse (whichever one doesn’t cook) will surely be asking for more!
That’s right. You heard it! Peanut butter in curry. I got into curry after a friend at work told me how much she loves it. I was brave one night and made a traditional one, but then I found this recipe in Taste of Home. (Side note: highly recommend that magazine either in the online or paper version. I bought a subscription for a students’ fundraiser and it never failed me! I’m pretty sure it’s “average” people that submit their recipes & they are just delicious! Maybe not the healthiest…lol, but good!) I texted my friend the recipe and asked, “Do you think this would be good?!” To which she replied, “YES!” To shake it up, I add in peas and broccoli. You can always add in extra colorful veggies. I’ve never used pork, only chicken. If you use pork, let me know how it tastes! You ALSO can add extra peanut butter…don’t ask me how I know. (;
2. Joanna Gaines’ Chicken Spaghetti
This recipe comes from her beloved cookbook, which has a permanent place on our countertop. It’s special to me because it was one of the first recipes I made for my husband & I after we got married in our first apartment. It seemed difficult at first, but now it’s almost second nature to me. It makes A LOT, so I suggest having friends over for this one. (: Pair it with a nice salad, or don’t, and it’ll be a night to remember. To make mine, I’ve discovered THE HACK OF ALL HACKS to cooking. I go to Tom Thumb or Market Street and buy the already prepared and shredded chicken in the deli section. It’s either the same price or a few dollars more than raw chicken, and I believe it is SO worth it to save you the time of having to prepare the chicken and then shred it. I will never ever ever go back to the other way. This is far too easy and simple for me now! She also advises you to use Velveeta. I have before, but I also find just adding in sharp cheddar cheese is just as good. And, it makes me feel better knowing we’re basically not eating plastic – lol. We also don’t consume cow’s milk, so when I’ve added in unsweetened plain almond milk to this, we can’t tell a difference!
I just made this for the first time the other night and it’s already on our favorites list! I don’t think I’d ever cooked with leeks before, so I had to Google how to prepare them. It was super easy after watching this video. This pasta made me feel better about all the cheese & breadcrumbs in it since it has SO many leeks & broccoli. I bet adding peas would be good, too. I have to be gluten free because I have Celiac, so I always cook with gluten free pasta & breadcrumbs. Logan can’t tell a difference! We loved how spicy this was & will definitely be making this very soon again. I wouldn’t say Logan is a picky eater, but he also probably wasn’t jumping at the gun to eat leeks. HOWEVER, he had no complaints and said, “Please make this again soon!”
I’ve been coming back to Jenn’s website for years. It never fails me! We crave these all. the. time! I’ve actually used more meat than she calls for before & it’s worked out just fine. There’s a lot of chopping involved with all of the herbs, but trust me – it’s worth it. The sauce she has you make is just out of this world, but like she says – a little goes a long way. As a bonus, I also love to make her Thai soup. Bookmark her website – you’ll love her!
5. Easy Sheet Pan Parmesan Chicken
I think I discovered this one during quarantine. I can’t believe I haven’t made it in so long! But, adding to our list for the fall. (: Again, I made this one gluten free & it was amazing. I just love sheet pan dinners. Whether you’re a busy mom or just getting home from work, you can still throw this all together in a jiffy. It doesn’t take long, there aren’t that many dishes, and the smells are INCREDIBLE. I love this website, too because I think it’s just a bunch of “average” cooks that share recipes! I’ve found many good ones here over the years. If a recipe calls for red potatoes, I’m sold. They’re just so beautiful & good! Especially for fall.
Bonus: The Comfort of Cooking’s Herb Citrus Oven Roasted Chicken
My friend Hayley introduced me to this yearssssss back, and it’s truly one of the most beautiful dishes I’ve ever made. Pair it with her lemony orzo and your mouth will just be watering! This is another great one to make double of and host a beautiful dinner.
So, figure out which you’re making tonight or sometime soon. Drop a comment below & let me know. Happy cooking!