Monday, April 28, 2008

Good, simple dinner

Sometimes the simplest dinners just hit the spot. For me, an example would be spaghetti and meat sauce. It takes less than 30 minutes from start to finish even when the meat is frozen (love that turbo defrost feature on my microwave LOL). By the time the pot of water has boiled and the noodles are cooked, I can make a quick sauce (browned ground meat, tomato sauce, seasonings) and a salad. Today I also made a few pieces of garlic bread because DH and DD love it and we had leftover hamburger buns from a week-end dinner. I happened to have some leftover garlic butter I made for another recipe so that made it quick and easy for me, but still. A nice plate of spaghetti, and a salad with vinagrette dressing. So simple, so filling and warming (our weather has turned cold again), so quick. And so good! I have a pretty good stock of dinners that take under 1 hour to make, usually including defrosting time. Like chicken and rice? Slice your chicken breasts into smaller pieces and use basmati rice. The chicken cooks in minutes and the rice takes about 15 minutes total including letting it sit for 5 minutes. I wash the rice then let it soak while I am cutting up and seasoning the chicken. Then I drain the rice, and saute in a bit of olive oil and a touch of butter - I use a covered skillet. Add 1 1/2 cups chicken stock (or water), make sure it is boiling, then turn the burner to the lowest setting and slap that cover on. In 10 minutes? Perfectly cooked basmati rice. You can eat it right then but I like to fluff it then let it sit covered for five minutes off heat to steam. Saute the chicken pieces with cooking spray while the rice cooks. DH and DD aren't into pan sauces or fancy fixings so they eat their chicken with either sweet and sour sauce, or honey garlic sauce (from a jar, the horrors!). I usually toss a cup or so of frozen veggies into the microwave to steam for myself, and make a quick salad or cut up some veggies to eat raw with dinner. Plan jane? Yes. Because that is what DH and DD like. And there is nothing worse than spending an entire day cooking a special meal for them to either look at it like it is garbage, or swallow it without tasting while watching tv. Don't get me wrong, I like to cook and still make things like my own pizza dough, noodles, and so on. But when I do, it is for my own benefit because those two could care less LOL. In fact, I think they prefer processed food. Sigh. So wrong! This week if I get my butt in gear, I would like to try and make my own pita bread. Wish me well!

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