Happy new year!
I’ve been awake sine 3:42 a.m.
And now it’s 5:21 a.m. and I’m three cups of coffee deep.
Is it because I crossed two time zones in the last two days and my body is like wtf are you doing to me?
Is it because I fell asleep last night at 9 p.m. and was actually annoyed by the celebratory fireworks going off down the street from me?
I guess we’re just going to squeeze as much out of this day as we can, aren’t we?
I thought I’d begin the first day of this year by doing what I said I was going to do: share all the delicious recipes I made at my parents’ house while I was home for the holidays—because you need to make these. Especially the meatballs. Ohhhh just wait until you try these meatballs. I had so much fun browsing Pinterest every day looking for new recipes and flavor combos to try out. And my parents had fun eating and doing no work at all. It was the least I could do since they let me invade their space for a whole month. My mom even asked me to send her a list of everything I made so she could save them to cook again later.
So. If you’re looking for some inspiration in this new year to switch up your weekly meals, then I hope you try some of these. They’re all pretty easy, don’t require too much time or attention, and they’re made with simple ingredients.
Spinach and Ricotta Stuffed Chicken: This was a real winner and turned out so flavorful. I was happy we had leftovers so I could enjoy it for lunch again the next day. I served it up with sautéed green beans on the side.
Slow Cooker Chicken Cacciatore: This one was really great! But I think I cooked the chicken a little too long because it came out on the tougher side. I would keep an eye on it and assess the tenderness periodically. Will definitely make again because slow cookers make everything easier. I had mine over spaghetti squash, but you could eat it as is or add pasta!
Momma’s Meatloaf: I’m sure everyone already has a go-to meatloaf recipe because they’re so easy you could make it in your sleep, but…I didn’t have one. And this one is delicious! I didn’t make the glaze and instead made my own tomato sauce topper. It turned out great and my family loved it. I paired mine with acorn squash and green beans.
Sweet Potato Gnocchi: Ok, so I really decided to get experimental one day and make my own gnocchi. Honestly, it is not that difficult because it requires so few ingredients, but it does require some finesse and practice. I definitely didn’t cook my sweet potatoes long enough, so there were chunks in my dough. And I didn’t make the butter sauce. And I also didn’t boil them. SO. These turned out differently than expected, but I am proud of myself for trying and I think I’ll try again because it was fun! I paired it with chicken sausage from Publix and broccoli topped with pasta sauce.
Shrimp tacos with this guacamole recipe: My dad loves shrimp, so he brought some home for me to make into tacos! There really wasn’t a recipe here, but I did follow one for the guac. Turned out really great, and we were so stuffed after these. Tacos are pretty much the easiest thing to make when I’m out of ideas, and there are endless variations.
Southwest Chicken and Rice Skillet: Can you really go wrong with chicken and rice? The answer is no because these recipes are so forgiving. I was feeling less than inspired one night, so I made this one so we could have leftovers for a couple days. I had mine with tortilla chips on the side.
Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili: The slow cooker got a workout while I was home. I really liked this one, but it wasn’t a slam dunk. Don’t know if I would make this again unless I adjusted the spices a little. Couldn’t quite put my finger on what was missing, but I might try again to figure it out.
Chicken Sausage Stew and Cheesy Herby Soda Bread: I ALMOST FORGOT ABOUT THIS STEW. Ok, this is up there with the meatballs I can’t stop talking about. This stew was just…omg guys. Please make this. Please, ok? It’s to die for. And this bread was pretty delicious, too. I will say, though, you need to eat the bread within a day or two because it gets stale real quick…which might actually make amazing croutons. Hmmmm. Also, I know my photos are pretty wack, but don’t judge a meal by my video screenshots.
THE BEST MEATBALLS EVER: That’s not the name of the recipe, but it’s the superlative I am choosing to award it because…they’re so good that I’m salivating as I’m typing this. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a photo because I inhaled them before I could even think about it. But I served this alongside broccoli and bow-tie pasta. Ask my mom. She loved them, too.
And some other things I made that also don’t have photos but are supremely worthy of your efforts in the kitchen:
Oven Roasted Garlic Parmesan Brussels Sprouts: Made these as a side for Christmas dinner. Big-time crowd pleaser!
Starbucks Copycat Banana Bread: We had some bananas that were dying a slow and painful death on the counter, so I made them into this bread. Super easy and really delicious with a cup of coffee in the morning.
Gochujang Chicken with Broccolini & Crispy Rice: I didn’t actually make this, but I intended to! I ordered Gochujang but it didn’t arrive in time, plus it needs to be refrigerated after opening, so I would’ve had to leave it at my parents’ house. They wouldn’t have used it, so I saved it so I could make this dish back in Colorado. I’ll report back if it turns out well, or if you try it let me know 🙂
And I think I end this with some things enjoyed that don’t have recipes but are some of my go-tos for lunch or breakfast.
Bowls! So. Many. Bowls. There’s nothing easier than roasting veggies and potatoes and pairing it with meat or eggs, which is what I did most days in between work and meetings. The variations are endless.
Cereal! Lol, wow so cool, Lindsay. This was my breakfast like 99% of the mornings after a run or ride. Some days I had a bowl of cereal mixed with yogurt, chopped nuts and a crack of sea salt. The salty/sweet/crunchy combo must not be missed, people.
What have you been making lately? Did you get experimental in the kitchen during quarantine?