People often ask me how often I cook… or more specifically, how many days a week do I cook. My response is simply “more often than not”…and yet their reaction is always a blend of guilt and awe. Let me be very honest here. Not every meal is a Home With Her masterpiece. In fact more than likely dinner is a bit of scramble in my house and the reality is I’m serving a bit of this and some of that.
For example, when the fridge is looking sparse I typically resort to some ingredients that I tend to always have on hand like pasta and butter with some freshly grated parmesan cheese. Or there are the days where I’m exhausted, either because I’ve been running around town all day, a lack of sleep or am feeling just plain lazy. Those evenings I will ensemble a French picnic which includes some cheese, charcuterie, baguette, cucumbers, tomatoes, etc. This is actually one of my favorite nights of the week, I love the casual vibe of gathering around the coffee table and using our fingers to dabble, not to mention clean up is a breeze. Then there are those rare days where I’m motivated and will be working away for hours on end over a new found recipe.
But the other important thing to take note of is my love for cooking. I truly feel at home in the kitchen. So unless we are in the thick of summer, cooking is rarely a burden or a chore. Lately I have been trying to get organized and build a game plan early in the week. It’s been a bit challenging as the French in me prefers to wing it and be inspired by the moment…but the reality being that this only works in my favor half the time. Typically I get distracted and time slips away from me. Before I know it it’s six o’clock and there I am disappointed because I’m serving buttered pasta.
So a recent goal of mine is to begin creating a menu for the next two to three days out. It’s realistic and practical, unlike so many other goals of mine. The key here is to right down a list before you leave the house.
With chilly days on the horizon, easy crockpot recipes like chili and soup will more than likely be found on the weekly menu. Grilled fish and roasted chicken are other classic staples. Speaking of which a tip I’ve learned is to stick to dishes, proteins in particular, that you’ve mastered. I’m sure you have a couple recipes up your sleeve. Personally speaking grilled fish and roasted bone-in chicken are easy go-to staples. Seeing I have a good grasp on these, I can turn my attention towards a new side dish. Whether it’s roasted vegetables, salads or grains I try my best to switch things up. This helps keep the meal feeling unique and fresh.
As you know we love working with seasonal ingredients. Seeing pears are here to stay we thought we’d bring you some new recipe inspiration to try and throw in with some of your meal planning this week. Hoping that you are inspired to mix things up a bit and test out a new recipe or two. As always make sure to find us Pinterest and follow along as we are always pinning new recipes (along with a handful of other inspirational things).
Now that the seasons are changing I will begin switching out my summer go-to breakfast of yogurt and granola for some oatmeal. Have you ever heard of “zoatmeal” before? It is this absolutely genius idea about adding finely shredded zucchini to your oatmeal. We try to hide greens into just about anything so this seems like a recipe right up our alley. The key for a recipe like this is to add in something sweet which is where those beautiful roasted pears come in…
Recipe and photograph from Sprouted Fig
Asian pears steal the show in this salad. Paired with the tart lemon juice and champagne vinegar the pears add the perfect amount of sweetness. Raw kale can often be a bit too hearty and thick for my stomach so I prefer recipes like so that slightly cook the kale. I’m going to bring this salad to Thanksgiving so at least one of the dishes will have some much needed nutrients in it. 😉
Recipe and photograph from A House in the Hills
I’ve been a fan of Donna Hay for quite sometime now. Her simplicity and use of seasonal ingredients and effortless photography has always been a big source of inspiration for me. In fact if you are ever looking for a great cookbook check out Seasons. I love a simple sweet dessert like this. I would probably serve it with a small scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. The best part about this recipe is you could make a bit more than needed and store the leftovers for your zoatmeal in the morning.
Recipe and photograph from Donna Hay