So I’ve started this new concept for 2009 and it’s called COOKING. Yes I know. Very original.
I’ve been trying to plan out our meals and I’ve found that it makes the evenings a lot less stressful.
Last week I did not want to make a big trip to the grocery. I was craving pasta (which I could eat every day of the year) and I mentally scanned the ingredients we had on hand: jarred alfredo sauce, a red bell pepper that I’d bought and for some reason not used, and a little bit of cooked frozen spinach leftover from veggie burritos. In the past I probably would have ended up tossing the leftover spinach and then discovered the red bell pepper three weeks from now and ended up tossing it, too.
You’ve got to love the Internet because I did a search with those ingredients and found a couple of options.
This is what I ended up making…
Shrimp Alfredo With Sauteed Red Bell Peppers And Spinach…
or something like that. This is one of the first times I can recall improvising in the kitchen. Honestly my husband was thrilled and actually said, “This is restaurant quality.” He usually does most of the cooking so he was excited about my fooling around in the kitchen.
I sauteed a half pound of shrimp (which were on sale at Publix) in butter and garlic. Then I added the sliced red bell peppers and sauteed them for a bit and then I added the leftover cooked spinach. Make sure you always squeeze out the excess water when you’re cooking with frozen spinach, otherwise it can be very soggy. I then added the alfredo sauce. This simmered for a while and I served it over whole wheat angel hair pasta. We also toasted a whole wheat French bread baguette and then dipped that in a little olive oil with balsamic vinegar.
99 percent of the time I rely on a recipe, but it was nice to know I could trust my cooking instincts…that I never knew I had. Here are some of my favorite recipe websites that I turn to when I need an idea:
Southern Living (My Recipes)
So do you ever get adventurous in the kitchen or do you need a recipe? And please feel free to mention your favorite online recipe sites. I know there are a lot of great menu planning mamas out there, but I think that’s the topic for another blog post.