Wednesday, February 3, 2016

If You Like To Cook But Don’t Like To Make Dinner

Boys doing dishes
The boys doing the dishes = happiness (although not necessarily cleanliness).

I like to cook. Chopping, sautéing, listening to music or a podcast and drinking a glass of wine while I get everything sizzling – that’s enjoyable. But making dinner – blah! Making dinner is work. Do people really need three square meals a day for which they didn’t pay (Anyone remember that song from White Christmas?)

Whenever I take recommendations for dinner, I always get the same suggestions: spaghetti, mac-and-cheese and taco salad. Double blah! While I tire easily of eating the same thing, I do have several recipes I keep in heavy rotation. In the summer, there’s a spinach salad with pretzels and poppy seed dressing. In winter, soups are a solid standby.

Here are a few of the sites I turn to when I need some dinner inspiration:

Dinner A Love Story – Her turkey bolognese is lovely and feels so much fancier than spaghetti. (It has fennel!) Also, this post about turning a lovey into Valentine’s Day art is superb.

Damn Delicious – Try the Chicken With Sun-Dried Tomato Cream Sauce. You’ll fight over the sauce.

Thai Foodie  - Anytime it’s just me and the kids, we eat Jok for dinner. In spite of my numerous trips to Thailand, I didn’t know how to make this staple until she told me how.

She Simmers  - More Thai food. Sometimes her recipes are kind of complicated but we eat the easier to make “train chicken” at least once a month. Even though I’d never make some of these lengthy recipes, I like reading them for the cultural bits.

When I cook more leisurely, I like to make pot stickers. There is something soothing about the repetitive pinch, fold, pinch, fold as you seal the edges. I usually have at least one assistant on pot sticker night and while I don’t know how much actual help it is when there’s a little person in the kitchen, I’m glad they are there.

I think most families only have one “chef.” There can, as the saying goes, be too many cooks in the kitchen. But I learned to cook from my mom and my dad. Cooking is a way to pass on the wisdom of the ages. Some of my happiest holidays memories are about being in the kitchen with my mom and my Nana: multiple generations hard at work.

PS - We took the pot stickers to a picnic once. Someone asked me if I had learned to make them from a family member. Why yes, I did – my Great Aunt Youtube taught me the proper folding technique. Ask Uncle Google and you too can find a bunch of helpful videos.

What's for dinner at your house tonight?


  1. I have quite a few from DALS and Pioneer Woman in the lineup. Garden Grazer has some killer salad recipes -- sometimes I try to make a gigantic salad at the beginning of the week and nibble on it for the next few days. I'm beginning to experiment with Rachel Khoo. Also have an assortment of slow cooker recipes when I just Cannot Be Bothered. And sometimes, if it's a night of me and the kids, we have "pizza in front of the TV" night, which is always a good time! -- K.

  2. Costco pizza is both our dinner of last resort and first resort sometimes! Going to check out Garden Grazer.