Culinary Weekends

I’ve been having cooking weekends recently. Part of this is probably because it’s a relaxing activity for me during my stressful part of the year at work.  But I will admit that I’m trying a little harder to have more options available in the fridge every morning when I’m packing my lunch and every evening when I get home.  (I decided years ago that attempting to actually COOK at night for just myself is never going to work.)

So I have been looking through cookbooks, marking recipes I like and running them by YA. Last night as I was showing her some items I was considering for this coming weekend.  She said “how come you almost never make anything you’ve made before?”

Good point and I don’t really have a good answer. Probably just the excitement of seeing something new and thinking “that sounds good”.  So last weekend was Pesto Pasta w/ Potatoes & Green Beans, Broccoli & Cheese Galette, Mawa Cake (this is the cake I made for Blevins last time – so obviously I DO repeat recipes occasionally).

Coming up this weekend? Black Bean Sweet Potato Soup, Arugula & Pear Crepes, Pasta w/ Garlic & Breadcrumbs.  Maybe some West African Peanut Soup (which I’ve made before but found a new recipe for)?

Do you stick with tried and true favorites?

29 thoughts on “Culinary Weekends”

  1. I do stick with tried and true favorites. At this stage of my life, I don’t have the desire to try new recipes. Especially since I don’t do much of the cooking and the person who does isn’t a very adventurous cook. The drawback is that I’m starting to get tired of the same old food, especially since we rely on a lot of prepared food from the store (such as jarred pasta sauce) and super easy meals. So I guess I rely on Tried and True but they’re not Favorites.

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  2. VS, did you ever consider being a chef!?

    I go in spurts – will stay with tried and true (egg-and-cheese bakes, various meats in the same chili recipe… maybe change the veggies).
    Then I’ll acquire a new cookbook or magazine article and some free time, and I’ll try out new stuff. Or we get, say, a huge package of frozen blueberries, and it’s time to go recipe hunting.

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    1. No I never considered being a chef. Over the years when I have tried to make money out of my hobbies or things that I have a passion for, it’s become a real drag, really fast. So my crafts, my art my cooking, my reading.. I’ll just keep as hobbies that I adore.

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  3. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    OT. WP is being a pill again. It will not let me “like” anything now. FYI. This has gone on for about 3 weeks.

    I like both. I love my ole favorites: Beef Stew, Beef barley soup, Posole, Stir fry, etc. But I have some new ones I really like, too, which are slated to become “Ole Faves.” Damn Delicious, a website, has wonderful recipes. A crockpot recipe for Carnitas has become a favorite, as well as her recipe for Lo Mein.

    VS, I also cook on weekends, and I love starting the week with a refrigerator full of prepared food.

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  4. Nice photo in the header, vs. What is it? It looks yummy.

    I mix it up; some tried and true, interspersed with any recipe that has caught my attention. I tend to go in spurts; sometimes I’m really inspired to cook, other times, not so much.

    I have the luxury of being retired, so can pretty much cook whatever I want whenever I want. That said, I have never really been into cooking what I’d consider complicated dishes. Yesterday at the retina specialist’s office, I had a couple of pretty extended periods of waiting. Luckily there were some old – several years old – food magazines I could peruse. I don’t normally tear out pages of magazines at the doctors office, but since these were really ancient, I carefully ripped out two pages of easy recipes.

    One is for tomato-braised rotisserie chicken. Whenever we go to Costco, we usually buy one of their rotisserie chickens, and this is a recipe for sprucing that up a little. The other is for a pork, mushroom and artichoke fricassee. Both looks easy, and quick.

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    1. I can do you one better than ripping out pages from magazines in the waiting room, PJ. I have stolen entire magazines from the cancer center waiting room. A total of three. I justified it by telling myself that I really needed to read the articles in depth and that probably nobody else there would be interested in Outdoor Photography magazine.

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    2. I sometimes will pick up a rotisserie chicken even when I have other plans for dinner. I immediately strip all the chickens off the bones and have them ready for soup, casserole, or a pasta salad on a subsequent night.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. We have the complication of having Martha, our cat, who can smell a rotisserie chicken a mile away. I swear she can. She absolutely loves it, and makes a pest of herself until I relent and give her a little. And once I have cut into the thing, it just sort of evaporates. But usually, a chicken is good for two dinners, several Martha meals, and a pot of soup, not bad for a $4.99 chicken.

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  5. We do all our cooking for the week on the weekend. We have some tried and true recipes we go back to, but husband always is on the look for new recipes, too. There is a Spanish fish stew I make often, as well as Penzeys chili. I also have a favorite spinach cheese pie I make whenever we have fresh spinach from our garden,as well as Marcella Hazan’s three ingredient tomato sauce.

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  6. I try to strike a balance between what I really feel like eating on any given day and what ingredients we have in the house, especially those fresh ingredients that need to be used up. Many of our favorite dishes depend on a central ingredient from a specific source, so we keep those in stock. By the same token, I try to maintain a fairly full complement of common ingredients so our spontaneous preferences are minimally constrained. In any given season, I typically rotate a couple dozen choices with two or three new recipe experiments thrown in for variety. The rotation items change with the season. Sometimes those experiments with new recipes come as a result of something I’ve had at a restaurant and sometimes it’s just an appealing recipe that I happened to run across. Occasionally it’s a dish I invented and that turned out well. The successful of those experiments make it into the regular rotation.

    Usually about 4:00 o’clock I ask Robin what she would like for dinner but I know she won’t have thought about it and probably won’t have anything in mind, so I have to be prepared with two or three possibilities that we are equipped for and that sound good to me. I try to mix it up, with chilies, soups, pastas, stir fries, Singapore noodles, salads and pasta salads, casseroles, fish tacos, and sometimes just a basic meat or fish with a starch and a vegetable.

    Cooking for two is tricky and most of our recipes serve six to eight, so that means either substantial leftovers or I freeze two-person containers for those nights when we get home too late to cook. Fortunately, reheated leftovers are just about my favorite breakfast, so I don’t make an effort to cut down the recipes.

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    1. I am trying to buy more veggies fresh and use them right away. My habit of putting them in the crisper often means I forget about them till they’re less than stellar. It really only takes a few minutes here to stop at the store and pick up something to have for dinner, and my plan is to take my cue from what looks freshest. And here comes farmers market season!

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  7. Bill says cooking for two is tricky. Ha! Cooking for one is unimaginably simple. Actually, I no longer do anything that could be called cooking. I use up a jumbo rotisserie chicken in a week, adding a taste of chicken to soups, salads, sandwiches or rice dishes. Everything I do is quick and clean, with the fewest possible items to wash up. About three times a week I microwave a deli chicken noodle soup, after which I have only one bowl and one spoon to wash. Desert is always a Drumstick ice cream treat; no cleanup there, either. Drinking V8 from the plastic bottle means I rarely wash a glass.

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  8. i am boring
    at subway i always order exactly the same thing
    pizza always the same
    at home onions and potatoes start me off then the variations com into play
    my daughter turned veggie a year ago or so but she often won’t eat my cooking
    my family doesn’t like my cooking for me but appreciate when i cook for them

    i saw today in the minneapolis paper there is a new mega meatless player in the market in addition to the incredible burger which is featured at lots of places like bk arby’s taco bell etc .
    when it first got introduced to the market my daughter took me to agri culture i think it’s called to taste it and i paid ten bucks for a veggie burger that tasted just like i remember ground beef tasting . (i didn’t like the way hamburger tasted even back in the 60’s when i last ate it)
    the new bugger did an ipo and raised 4 billion dollars to bring it market because everyone is getting in the other meat bandwagon
    they said they are making them out of peas instead of wheat gluten (hooray)
    i go through spice preferences with cumin either stronger or not
    smoked paprika or garlic turmeric or ginger all get used hot sauce or off to dill and lemon grass
    i tend to end up with brown food with a tint of red in there with what i call stuff in a pan

    rice noodles veggies all get folded in
    it’s cooking sort of

    when cheese and bread left my bag of tricks my creativity got stunted then morphed into the new phase

    i haven’t figured out fake cheese yet but a sandwich can’t be beat

    the cooking gourmet supply list i saw a shirt while ago. it was like a list of supplies for beginners. i love my big kitchen cupboard scenario with lots of room for spices oils flour options beans and tomato sauce paste and purée
    sauce, indian and chinese will be my new focus that and my idea of veggie meat. i never thought of peas as a base. a whole new world …

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The vegetarian meat substitute is available at MyBurger too – it’s the Impossible burger. It’s really quite good. A bit expensive though.

      Trader Joe’s has some vegan cheese options that are quite good.

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      1. YA and I ran into the Impossible Burger at Burger Jones about a year ago. It is very expensive compared to a regular veggie burger or burger. And for those of us who haven’t had meat for 40 plus years, it’s too much like meat. Not my cup of tea.

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  9. I used to be better about cooking. Now I generally just want to dump three or four ingredients into a crockpot or a rice cooker and turn it on.

    At the library I recently found a book called Parchment Paper Cooking. The thing about parchment paper is that it is compostable, and if you line your cooking container with it, you don’t have to wash it. Maybe give it a rinse. How cool is that!

    Liked by 3 people

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