Wednesday, June 16, 2010

My kind of dinner...

I love to cook, whether it be recipes from a cook book or magazine, ideas from a cooking show or just creating something off the top of my head. People that know this about me often ask what I eat myself at meal time, and usually my response is a far less exciting one than expected. If I'm cooking for a special occasion or a luncheon or dinner my mother has "hired" me for, I obviously go all out; for two reasons. Reason number one; if it's for my mom, she's paying, so I can buy things I wouldn't normally be able to afford for myself. Reason number two; if the meal is for company, I'm out to impress, so I'll spend a considerable amount of time in preparation, which I don't usually do for just me.
Because of the exciting first harvest in the garden, I was set on making dinner at home tonight. (With it being just the two of us, we get asked to dinner at our parents house often, and it's amazing, we rarely have to take care of own meals. Or we have leftovers, and again because it's just the two of us, that usually will do. Or we just go out, which Martin loves to do, because it's just so easy, and we usually share something.) So, I wanted to make dinner, but haven't been to the grocery store in a few weeks, and all I had to start was a small handful of vegetables from the garden. We had to make a trip to target, so I picked up some frozen chicken breasts, which I love to have on hand. And when I was over at my parents, I picked up a potato, extra squash (they had a bunch from their garden), a leftover chocolate chocolate panera cookie, and a little bit of icecream (shhhh, don't tell anyone).
I came home, threw two chicken breasts on the george forman grill, washed the potato, poked some holes in it, and threw that in the microwave (they only take about 5 minutes in the microwave, as opposed to an hour in the oven). In a saute pan I put in a few tablespoons of butter, the green beans, sliced up pattypan squash (weird name I know, I think my dad got it from a friend's garden, they're delicious) and with salt and pepper, sauteed them for about 5 minutes. Added the tomatoes (they only take a minute or two to cook) and served them to our plates. When the potato was cooked through I sliced it open, added salt, pepper and butter, and a few thin slices of cheddar cheese and popped it back in the microwave for a minute. I had little bit of leftover alfredo sauce (from a jar) that I had used a week or so before, and I added that to the pan that had previously had the vegetables (I didn't wash it out of course). Put the chicken breasts in with the sauce (they take around 15 minutes on the forman) and let them warm up to the sauce and then.. dinner was ready. Placed the chicken on the plates, spooned the sauce over them, then added a little bit of fresh basil and shredded parmesan cheese and oh my goodness. Wonderful.

{I know that this doesn't look like much, because of the horrible camera phone picture, and the lack of presentation, but it was amazing, and either way, not the point. The point is how easy it can be to whip up a meal! It really only took me about 20 minutes!}

This meal consisted of pretty much random things that you just might have in your own kitchen. And the point of sharing this mess of a recipe, is so you can see how easy it is to cook without a recipe, and just use what you have in your kitchen. Often times all I eat for dinner is a can of tuna over some mixed greens, or a grilled chicken breast with a side of steamed vegetables; tonight just happened to fall into place a little better than we could've planned. But it can be this easy. Instead of leftover alfredo sauce, I was considering using leftover pesto, which ended up being all gone, or you could make a quick gravy (if you know how to do that, either broth or milk based). Instead of vegetables from your adorable garden you could use frozen, or canned, or whatever you have in the fridge (broccoli is one of my favorites, because it's so healthy and so easy). Potatoes are so easy and so healthy too. I always opt for a potato instead of pasta (healthier and not processed). If you wanna go all out healthy, skip the carb and throw in a salad. If you want to make things a little more gourmet, grill up some salmon. On the forman a salmon steak or fillet would only take about 10 minutes, possibly less.

Weird little squash, but they have such a delicious flavor. I'm not sure if I've ever seen them in the store, but I'm definitely gonna try and find some seeds so I can plant them in my garden.

Happy cooking everyone! Please ask questions or for suggestions if you ever need any help. I'm working on getting my new house together so hopefully soon my kitchen will be more equipped to cook and I'll have new recipes all over the place!

with love,

Kristin Ann :)

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  1. I am going to try to find some of those squash!

  2. Just found your blog through Just Cook Already. This dinner...umm, yum! I want it. Right now. But we would each be having our own potato. I'm too big of a pig to share :)

    Thanks for sharing this!