When folks tell me they don’t enjoy cooking, I truly understand. I only like to cook when I have everything all planned out and know all the ingredients are here and I only like trying new recipes. Rarely do I make the same things over and over and cooking just routine recipes, like steak and gravy and rice, are kinda boring. There’s rarely a week that I don’t have a menu planned out well in advance and all the ingredients lined up in my pantry for each day’s meals. On those days when I don’t know what I’m cooking for dinner, don’t have a plan, don’t know if the ingredients are here or not . . those are the days I don’t enjoy cooking.
Today was one of those days when I didn’t have a plan. Normally I keep enough ingredients here that I could cook for weeks without going to the store. With another move coming up shortly, I’m not stocking the freezer so we hardly have any meat. So far, I’ve found tons of green beans, canned tomatoes and coconut milk. There are only so many nights we can have those ingredients!
“Town” is almost 20 miles from home, which may not sound like a lot but in MO, the grocery store was .7 miles from home and Wal-Mart was 2-1/2 miles away. I got spoiled. When I go to town, it seems like I’m either taking Speck to the vet and cannot leave him in the car when it’s this hot, or Vince and I are together going to look at a house and I cannot shop with him. So, I hardly had anything in the house to cook for dinner tonight.
There was a package of boneless chicken breasts in the freezer so I took those out this morning. Usually by 2:30 or 3:00 p.m., I’ve started prepping for dinner. Today at 2:30, I decided I’d take a nap. How’s that for solving the problem? 🙂 After sleeping for an hour, I woke up to realize Vince would soon be home and we had no dinner. I went to Tasty Kitchen and the first recipe that caught my eye was Roasted Red Pepper Penne.
It calls for fresh red peppers. I knew I didn’t have those but there was a jar of roasted red peppers in the pantry.
It also called for fresh basil and I knew I didn’t have that but I did have some of my pesto in the freezer that I made last year. It also called for penne pasta and, pasta is pasta so I knew my rotini would work.
The recipe called for putting some of the ingredients in the food processor. I thought it looked like it could use a jar of tomatoes so instead of messing up the food processor, I dumped the roasted red peppers into a jar of tomatoes and used my stick blender.
I also had some fresh broccoli in the fridge and had planned to steam that but the steamer must be with the longarm handles. Couldn’t find it so I decided I’d put the broccoli in the sauce. I’ve seen Italian dishes with broccoli.
But once I added the pesto, it smelled so much like basil and I couldn’t see the broccoli with the basil. So, I ended up making Charred Lemon Broccoli and it was delicious. Thankfully, along with the broccoli, I had asiago cheese and lemons.
The longer the sauce simmered, the better the entire house smelled.
Vince came in and proclaimed that the house smelled wonderful! Then he tasted dinner and he said I could stay forever . . as long as I keep cooking like this. If only he knew how close he came to having no dinner at all!