Jessica (miss_shortskirt) wrote,

fire it up

Maybe it's my apartment's abundance of counter space, and that magical, magical dishwasher.

Or maybe it's my schedule. If I don't want to get everything done, I have limited free time. If I want to get everything done, I have no free time.

But there's always dinner. And when I'm in the kitchen, dinner is all I have to do.

Last year, I used to come home from work or class, plop myself onto the futon, and will dinner to cook itself. Or, more likely, I'd will Lance to whip me up a plate of something, or bite the bullet and suggest takeout.

We did eat at home, though, 95% of the time, but meal planning often occurred while browsing the aisles at Trader Joe's, and once, Lance soothed me by saying, "It's okay. Why don't we just eat the same meals we ate last week? They were good. They tasted fine!"

We ate a lot of pasta, two choices of casserole - sometimes both in the same week - veggie burgers, nachos, and cheese pizzas made with those 99 cent bags of dough.

So maybe I've figured out how to grocery shop, figured out what I can and cannot achieve in the kitchen, and lost that "WHAT WILL MY BOYFRIEND EAT THAT I KNOW HOW TO COOK?!? anxiety.

Or maybe it was the farm share. 16 weeks of delicious, fresh, local, sometimes strange, always abundance produce. I was literally forced into new recipes. Italian stuffed zucchini? Did it. Beer-batter fried zucchini and eggplant? Done. Sweet corn risotto? Delicious, but my stomach is dying at this point. Tomato sandwich? Now that's what I'm talking about.

The season is over now, but I haven't served up a steaming plate of nachos for dinner yet, and I've kept the pizza/veggie burgers/frozen tamales to once a week.

Instead, I'm checking out cookbooks from the library and... actually cooking things from them!

It's exciting. Lance took a sick day last week and texted me to offer to make dinner, and I found myself feeling a little bummed out that I wouldn't get to make that pasta recipe that looked so good.

Just since October, I've made:

  • Moroccan lentil soup

  • Lentils and stewed tomatoes

  • Chipotle quinoa with black beans and corn

  • Chipotle corn chowder

  • Spicy taco soup

  • Italian sweet potato gratin

  • Homemade minestrone soup

  • Lots of roasted winter vegetables

  • Baked ziti with eggplant and spinach

  • Crispy baked chickpea bites

  • Mushroom bourguignon

  • Leek and mushroom quiche

Everything is vegetarian. Some of it is vegan. Everything was good. Some of it was TO DIE FOR.

It's just fun, I guess, to feel like a rockstar in exactly one room of your apartment.

My friend Lindsey and started a food blog earlier this summer, The Things We Eat, and we post sporadically with recipes and other ponderings. It's fun, but lately, I outcook my ability to blog my meals, and most of them are so delicious I forget to snap any photos anyway. We might not be the most regular posters, but we are always eating, and always scheming of something new and tasty to share.

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