Wednesday, January 9, 2013

What's Cookin'...

One of my goals this year was to be better at menu planning. 

I chose this goal for a couple of reasons:

(1)  If we don't have a set meal for that night, we end up eating so late!  And it's stressful.  No one likes to eat dinner at 8 pm!  (Okay, actually, some people do, but I don't!) 

(2) When we eat dinner that late, Jack can't eat with us.  I want Jack to eat more and more "table food."
(3) I like for us to have a family dinner together.

So far, I have done pretty well.  We have had several soups, panini sandwiches, spaghetti (my first time to make homemade sauce!), and pizza.   

Here are a couple of pics (warning--they aren't good quality!):

Mexican Tortilla Soup

The recipe is here.  It's a Martha Stewart recipe, and it's AMAZING.  Very broth-y, which I'm normally not a fan of.  But the broth is really flavorful, and you add cotija cheese, tortilla strips (super easy to make with corn tortillas), and avocado.
***side note--A month or so ago, a waitress at a restaurant, when asked which appetizer she suggested, told my mother, my sister, and I that she didn't like avocado.  My sister, who could subsist solely off of avocado looked at her like she was legally insane.  But, really?  Not like avocado???***
Anyway, it's a really filling and fairly cheap soup.  I will be making this again soon!


Okay, so this isn't technically a picture of my spaghetti.  But, I had to include a picture of Jack, right?  Plus, I didn't take a picture of the actual food, so Jack will have to do.  I am not usually a big spaghetti fan.  But Jack--he LOVES it.  My dad loves spaghetti, too, so I think it's cute.

Like I said, I don't love spaghetti, so I've never actually made the sauce.  But I tried this time.  I just sautéd garlics and onions, added Muir Glen's Fire Roasted Tomatoes (which were also in both soups in this post and are seriously amazing), tomato paste, and some spices, then pureed the sauce with Bech's new immersion blender.  It ended up being yummy.  I used Whole Food's 365 Organic brand of pasta, and it was really good.  A pretty easy meal that we ate two days in a row!

Here's one of my pizza's from the other night.  This may be my proudest accomplishment to date.  I'm not even kidding.  I made the dough, the pesto, AND the mozzarella (I will blog about that adventure soon!).  So I made this pizza completely from scratch.  

Yeah, kind of excited about that.  And I used my homemade tomato sauce to make a pizza for Bech with red sauce.

Tonight's dinner, Black Bean Soup.

I used this recipe, but the original is in Cooking For Isaiah, which is a gluten-free cookbook.  This may be my favorite soup I've ever made.  I know, that's a pretty bold statement, but it's SO yummy.  It's a little spicy and super flavorful.  Again, very filling.  And the avocado creme?  Amazing.

So far, so good.  Now I just have to keep it up all year!


Courtney said...

I have to agree with the waitress - I don't like avocado either. I even tried it again this year just to make sure things hadn't changed. The pizza, on the other hand, looks delicious!

Erin L said...

Those all sound super yummy. I am in sort of a dinner rut myself. Maybe I'll try one of these soon.