August 31, 2010

The busy girl's guide to dinner!

I'm a self-proclaimed busy girl, but I don't think anyone would argue with me that I truly am busy! I'm a full-time law student, a part-time office worker (for lack of a better title) and in the midst of it all I'm a full-time *new* wifey! People who have only known me since my migration to the South probably can't picture me any other way... but everyone who has known me longer knows all too well that becoming a domestic diva was not a natural progression for me! But! Long gone are my days of catching delivery pizzas - literally - on fire, burning scrambled eggs to a (now, irreparable - sorry mama) pan and making chocolate chip cookies that caused my baby sister's tooth to fall out upon biting into them. I wish I was making this stuff up.

So, in 12ish months of marriage the questions I get asked most by people who know me best when I talk about being all domestic are along the lines of "since when do you cook?" Which I know is really code for "omg poor Andrew he is probably eating take out every night!" These questions are followed by dropped jaws and looks of bewilderment when I tell them that I actually do cook now, and I'm getting (kind of) good at it! In fact, I cook every night :) Not weekends... let's not get carried away. But Monday-Thursday, the quicker and easier the recipe - the better! Here are a few of my favorite weeknight staples that keep my hubby full and happy, and that keep me from slaving over a hot stove/oven for more time than I can afford to waste:

  • Lasagna - easy, delish, and leftovers for days! I use whole wheat noodles, and always mix up the cheese and sauce flavors for some variety.
  • Crock pot pork chops and potatoes - simplest thing ever, and perfect for nights when our dinner times don't align.
  • Chicken and pesto pasta - tastes so much better than plain old marina or alfredo, and my personal fave is to make it with campanelle noodles!
  • Baked salmon and rice - marinate in olive oil, lemon juice and toss in every seasoning in your spice rack... can't go wrong.
  • Stuffed burgers - stuffed with cheese, cheese and more cheese then grilled to perfection.
  • Spaghetti and meatballs - something about homemade meatballs just makes Andrew feel loved haha... and 1lb. of ground beef makes enough for meatball subs the next day :)
  • Reubens - my Irish hubbs loves a good reuben and they're our grown-up substitute for grilled cheese sandwiches.
  • Quiche - breakfast for dinner is always fun, and its even more fun when you have your entire meal contained in a single dish!
While these dinners are far from gourmet, they are do-able on a weekly basis in the midst of juggling school, work and home life. On nights when I have more time or just want to experiment with the zillions of recipe books we got for wedding gifts, I put a little more effort into our meals... but who am I kidding? These menu items have become staples in my kitchen and I am just happy to have graduated from pizza burning and teeth breaking to cooking edible, nutritious, and occasionally delicious dinners for our family of two :)

If you're wondering "where are the veggies?" ...that's another post, for another day!

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