…More Thoughts on Recipes. Fall Edition.
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:
- A Jamaican Jerk Chicken Chili–but made vegetarian style with hominy instead of chicken
- Salsa Verde Chicken Tacos
- Anything Crock Pot. Love the crock pot. Embrace it.
- Trying again with African Peanut Butter Soup
- Palos Verdes Chicken Pot Pie
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.