Most people who know me know I’m not the world’s greatest chef. To be honest, I don’t enjoy cooking as much as I think I should. I am a direct descendent of a gaggle of really, really good, southern cooks. Isn’t it hereditary? I thought being a seamstress who could whip out froufy dresses or beautiful quilts in a heartbeat was hereditary, too. I’m still upset about that one. But I digress. Anyhoo, I’ve gotten bored with my cooking repertoire. I mean seriously, when you’re cooking for one….it really comes down to chicken breast, a pork chop, or a rare stake (rare as in not very often, not as in mooing when you eat it - blech) combined with some variation of a “side” dish. Salad, rice, stuffing, vegetables, stir fry. The occaisonal casserole, but seriously, to make it worthwhile, you have to actually eat the whole casserole and I’m only good for a threepeat (three times in one week).
So, back to that bored thing. My momma taught me that only people with no imagination are bored, so I put my noggin' to good use, stumbled around a few cooking blogs, and upped the anty.
Introducing one of my two new favorite foodie blogs …. Iowa Girl Eats. Seriously, love it. First of all, she shops at Trader Joe’s a lot and tries new products. I love Trader Joes, but tend to balk at trying something new especially if it comes from a freezer. I know, weird. But I’ve discovered if she gives it a good review, I’m pretty much in agreement. So, I’ve purchased a few things I would have passed by that have become great staples.
I’ve tried several recipes….all of them wonderful! And all relatively easy. No more chicken and salad for me (well at least for little while).
How about Thai Peanut Noodles? To say I'm obsessed with these noodles is an understatement. I love asian food, but haven't ever been terribly successful at making it at home with the exception of a simple stir-fry. But these noodles? They taste just like they came from a restaurant. Awesome!
Whole Wheat Gnocchi with Spinach and Sausage. My first experience with gnocchi. It was good. My only problem with the recipe is the ground up sausage...which is a a textural thing for me. So, I change it up and used sliced sausage instead. Worked great!
Roasted Vegetable Salad with Balsamic Glaze. Ummmm, yeah. Perfection on a plate. My mouth is watering.
Don't get me started on Roasted Brussell Sprouts.
Or roasted Teeny Tiny Potatos from Trader Joes. Cutest little things, huge taste!
All photos from Iowa Girl Eats