The food I prepare echoes the events in my life. Last winter, after moving from Philadelphia to New Mexico, we got our first house with a yard – and soon after, our first grill. In May, I started my first full time job and became limited to quicker meals on weekdays. During the fall, I taught in the evenings after working at my day job, and – well, we ate a lot of leftovers for a few months. Now that things are settling down and I should have some more free time, I’m itching to get started on 2011’s list of favorites. But first, I want to make each of last year’s favorites a few more times…
Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese – This has all of the creaminess and richness that I love in traditional regular macaroni cheese, with the added sweetness, color, and wholesomeness of winter squash.
Jalapeno-Baked Fish with Roasted Tomatoes and Potatoes – There are very few meals I make more than once a month, and this has become one. I like to make extra sauce to store in the freezer to make this meal even easier.
Mediterranean Pepper Salad – I went through a gyro phase last summer, and this salad started out as the perfect side dish and morphed into the perfect topping. I’m impatient for the weather to warm up enough to grill so I can start another gyro phase.
Roll-Out Sugar Cookie comparison – It’s so rare when my comparisons have a clear result, and I love when it happens. But after spending the holidays at my mother-in-law’s and surviving almost entirely on her perfect sugar cookies, I think a rematch with her recipe is in order.
How to adapt any bread to be whole wheat – I use this trick – just a few minutes to mix up flour, salt, and yeast the night beforehand – nearly every time I make bread.
Vodka Gimlet – I drank a lot of these this summer. And then too many one night in October, and I haven’t had once since.
Chicken Fajitas – Chances were good that if it was a Sunday evening during the summer, if I wasn’t making some sort of gyro, Dave and I were grilling these.
Garlic Mustard Glazed Skewers – I make these when I need to be reminded that recipes don’t have to be complicated to be perfect.
Whole Wheat Bagels – Combined with a mug of strong black tea, these bagels make up the best part of my workday.
Bolognese Sauce – Despite this being one of those dreaded comparisons with no winner, it resulted in a freezer full of one of my favorite foods.