Now that my appetite is finally back (rejoice!) I’ve been back in the kitchen and trying out some new recipes. I’ve been in a cooking rut for a while so it feels good to finally season the cast iron, dust off my knives, and get back in front of the stove. My husband has been pretty thrilled with my renewed chef spirit too.
I’m not a food blogger, though I often masquerade as one especially on Instagram, but I wanted to share some recipes that I’ve tried and enjoyed recently. I’m also including some notes from my own experiences that might help you in your culinary adventures. I found most of these recipes through Pinterest. They’re all relatively easy recipes to follow but resulted in some really delicious dinners.
I have my own version of “Shepherd’s Pie” that I’ve cooked a million times. (Note: Shepherd’s Pie made with beef is technically called Cottage Pie. #themoreyouknow) But I’ve always wanted to make a more authentic version. This recipe from The Pioneer Woman is perfect for Fall nights when you just want stick-to-your-ribs comfort food. I enjoyed this recipe so much, I made a pan to take to my friend who recently had a baby. And this recipe can also be frozen for nights you need dinner in a hurry.
TIPS: If you’re using dried thyme, use at least half of what the recipe calls for. Dried herbs are stronger than fresh herbs. I used a green bean, pea, corn, and carrot frozen mixture. Also, this is the strangest way I’ve ever made mashed potatoes but they turn out so fluffy and delicious, not the least bit gummy or sticky.
One Sunday I seasoned my cast iron and found a pack of bacon in the fridge that needed to be cooked so I tried out this recipe. Plus, I figured I can’t drink wine right now but no one said I couldn’t eat it! I think I overcooked my sauce a little bit but otherwise this dish turned out really good.
TIPS: I used onion instead of shallots because that’s what I had on hand. To be honest, I’m not sure what shallots taste like compared to onions so I don’t know how much of a difference this made. I also didn’t have herbes de provence (actually had no idea what that even was until I looked it up) so I used Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb seasoning. And lastly, I used chicken breasts because Adam isn’t really a fan of dark meat chicken (and that’s what I had on hand).
I am a HUGE fan of brussel sprouts, especially when they’re roasted with garlic and balsamic vinegar. Holy yum! I made these the same night I made the Skillet Chicken and they were a delicious compliment. I force fed Adam half of a sprout but he’s not a fan. I seriously just kept popping them in my mouth straight out of the pan.
TIPS: I’m fairly certain I skipped the honey in this recipe. I love the tangy vinegar too much. I also probably added more vinegar and garlic than what the recipe called for but who’s keeping track! If I was making these just for myself (which I will be from here on out since we’ve confirmed Adam doesn’t like brussel sprouts) I’ll leave out the bacon because I’m not a huge fan. *GASP!*
I have made this baked chicken numerous times and it’s always really good. I usually serve it with steamed Jasmine rice and sautéed veggies. This recipe works best with chicken that still has the skin on it. You can pop it under the broiler for a few minutes if you want a really crunchy crust.
TIPS: I make this without the white pepper or Chinese five-spice. I’ve put chicken in this marinade and left it over night to really infuse the flavor.
This is my new favorite way to cook green beans. SO GOOD! Not the healthiest way since there’s two tablespoons of brown sugar in the recipe (yikes!) but definitely delicious. I like the sweet from the sugar and the kick from the red pepper flakes.
TIPS: Cook in a regular pan to get the beans a little crispy. Fresh green beans work best. Frozen beans tend to turn out mushy. But this is one recipe I actually follow pretty closely. Kinda hard to screw up!
I will probably never make lasagna the traditional way again. This one-pot version is so easy and possibly even better than it’s casserole counterpart. I don’t think pasta reheats well so it’s a little iffy on the second day. But the first meal is magical.
TIPS: Use whatever jar pasta sauce you like. This recipe was sponsored by Prego so that’s what they used. I like Classico Favorites Traditional personally. I also don’t use as much stock to the soup so I skip the cream that’s supposed to thicken it. I skip the balsalmic and sugar because I don’t like sweet pasta sauce. I’ve also made this with penne pasta and it was a little easier to eat. Just cook the soup for less time or you’ll end up with mushy pasta. Nobody likes mushy pasta. (And if you do, we can’t be friends. Al dente for life.)
There’s been a recent trend of cooking videos in my Facebook feed. This one caught my eye and I decided to try it out for work lunches. The bowls turned out well. Not quite up to Chipolte standards but definitely a fulfilling workday lunch.
TIPS: I used a can or Ro*Tel tomatoes instead of salsa and a fajita seasoning mix over the chicken. But other than that, I followed the recipe pretty closely. You can add or take away toppings to your liking. I added jalapeños because I love a little kick and top with a dollop of sour cream.
Have you tried out any new recipes lately? If you try any of these, I would love to know your thoughts!