Archive for September, 2012

…More Thoughts on Recipes. Fall Edition.

Sunday, September 16th, 2012

It’s September and generally that minds a transitional changing of the guard for dinner time options (at least in places with seasons.  I understand it is 102 degrees in Encinitas right now–so this probably does not apply to my SoCal friends).

This summer consisted of a lot of random eating on the go.  We grilled chicken shish kabobs, ate lots of salad, made tacos, had hot dog parties, and took advantage of the new Ann Arbor/Pittsfield Twshp Costco for some delicious pizza. Nothing too exciting but we were busy, guys.

Now that school has started and its the light is waning in the evening, I think its time to get back on board with meal planning.  Hey–I did it for approximately three months back in January-February-March.  Maybe I can jump start it again. This was all prompted by a recipe I saw on Smitten Kitchen for Baked Orzo with Eggplant and Mozzarella. I had never cooked with eggplant before, but it looked so easy.  Plus it was vegetarian–and not that we are hardcore vegetarian–but its always nice to have a non-meat recipe in circulation. The first time I tried it was kind of a beast.  I hate the first time making a recipe that has a sh*tload of ingredients and steps.  I feel like most of my time is trying to cross check everything and re-reading the instructions over and over again.   “What wait?  You want me to do what?  With a carrot?!”….okay this has taken a bad turn but you get the idea.

I was a little dubious when I pulled it out of the oven and sitting down to dinner with Lars.  But then began the questioning.

L:  So is this healthy?

M: Well…I don’t think its “unhealthy” but I wouldn’t classify it as “healthy”.

L:  Was it easy to make?

M:  Hard to tell–I can never tell how hard it is to make the first time around.

L:  I like it.  It has a nice combination of flavors.

M:  **jaw drop**

I totally figured this was going to be a “B” recipe–of which I have many according to the Lars Jensen dinner-ranking-systems.  But given the positive feedback (yes, folks, the above is positive feedback), I decided to give it another go and see if I could streamline the process a bit and learn from my mistakes previously.  The second time around it was MUCH easier, but it did take more time than I normally like to cook.  Its not a come home after dinner weeknight meal that you just whip up but its a nice weekend meal with two or three more meals to be had from the leftovers.  I especially like the lemon zest in it.

Some more fall recipes I would like to entertain for this upcoming season are:

I’m sure there are more.  There has to be.  And there will be old favorites that are always in heavy rotation (Mock chicken tortilla soup, anyone?).    Fall is a great time to cook.