I had some free time over the weekend, so I sat down with my laptop, opened up Excel, and scheduled out every hour of my work week in a beautifully color coded spreadsheet.
Did I mention I’m an accountant?
Anyway, once I factored in sleep, work, exercise, commute, time to eat, and bathing/primp time, I found I have about three hours of “free” time each work day. THREE. I have big aspirations each week—home cooked meals, coffee with friends, blogging, Wheel of Fortune, flossing, plus 30 minutes of reading before bed—but with these dismal findings, it’s clear I can’t squeeze all of that in every night.
Years ago, in an effort to increase my workweek free time, I started batch cooking food on Sundays. Sunday morning, while I sip my coffee and listen to NPR, I get to work in kitchen cooking meals for the workweek and portioning them into single-serve containers. The single-serve containers are KEY.
A typical Sunday cooking session includes:
On a normal work day, I make myself eggs and toast before heading to the office, but when I’m really crunched for time I’ll cook a large batch of scrambled eggs or an egg casserole on Sunday that I can quickly heat up each morning before heading out the door.
I can get by eating the same breakfast, lunch, and snacks most days of the week, but when it comes to dinner I honestly get depressed if I eat the same boring thing every night.
Dinner ideas usually come from brainstorming ways to use up leftovers from the weekend. Other times I’ll cook a big batch of something that I can use in many different ways, so I don’t get stuck eating the same thing four nights in a row. That could be a giant roasted spaghetti squash, a batch of black bean burgers, or a pot of some sort of grain. This week, my dinners will revolve around a big ole batch of beans and bulgur.Read More
Ok guys, what’s the difference between a wet burrito and an enchilada? Is it really just the size of tortilla? A little tortilla leaves the filling exposed, while a big burrito-sized tortilla tucks everything into a nice little package. Is that all it is?!
I took a look on Wikipedia, and there’s mention that enchiladas are made with corn tortillas, while burritos are made with flour tortillas—but, I’m certain I’ve had flour tortilla enchiladas at Mexican restaurants… Plus, wet burritos are often called “enchilada-style” burritos.
Tonight, I was in the mood for something warm and gooey and hearty and comforting. Normally, this sort of craving would be assuaged by my sausage lasagna or a vat of creamy mashed potatoes, but this time around I opted for cheese and beans. You see, thanks to the folks at Cabot Cheese, I entered the week with eight bricks of assorted cheeses in my fridge. What’s a girl to do with EIGHT bricks of cheese? Cheese dip, cheeseburgers, cheese grits, cheese-on-a-stick… Yes.Read More
Call it Shrimp Fra Diavolo, as the Italians say, or simply spicy shrimp with tomatoes and onions in a garlic wine sauce. Either way, this easy pasta dish is one to add to your recipe repertoire, pronto.
When it comes to pasta, I’m usually a marinara kind of gal. I find cream sauces heavy and overly rich and oil based sauces often taste bland and greasy. This fra diavolo sauce is the perfect middle ground—light, yet flavorful, with a kick of heat from the red pepper flakes. Two bites into our pasta Saturday night, Jarrod and I agreed we’d be making it regularly. That’s when you know you have a good recipe on your hands!Read More
When it comes to food, I have an extremely hard time making decisions. I blame it on information overload, or rather, possibilities overload. Between cookbooks, magazines, recipe sites, delicious blogs, and PINTEREST, it’s practically impossible to zero in on “the one.”
This week, like the loving gal I am, I pushed the horrible task of deciding what to make for dinner onto my boyfriend. I handed him the latest issue of Cooking Light and asked him to pick out one recipe that we would then make for dinner. He diligently flipped through the magazine, cover to cover, jotting down notes along the way, and then presented me with a list of not one but TEN recipes he’d like to try.
I appreciate the enthusiasm, but ten?! So much for following instructions…
As inefficient as it sounds, this process was actually much faster than usual. Plus, we hit the trifecta: cheap, fast, and delicious.
I’m not usually a big fan of mixing sweet and savory, but this combination of pork, apples, and onions was fantastic—the perfect fall meal.
If you look at any list of most-hated vegetables, Brussels sprouts are at the top of the pack. I don’t understand it! When did Brussels sprouts get such a bad wrap? Call me weird, but I even liked them as a kid–though, back then my step mom covered the sprouts (and all vegetables, for that matter) with a thick blanket of melted Velveeta cheese. So, I’ve been eating Brussels sprouts since the 90′s, since before it was cool, that is, and mispronouncing the veggie just as long. I mean, did you know there was an “s” at the end of “Brussel”? It’s even more baffling than the first time I saw sprouts still attached to the stalk! (If you have no clue what I’m talking about, check out this pic!). CRAZY!
Brussels sprouts are one of my go-to vegetable sides, and this easy recipe resulted in the best batch of sprouts I’ve ever cooked. Tender, slightly salty, and dusted with sharp Parmesan cheese.Read More
When it comes to squash, spaghetti squash is my favorite. Granted, it took me a while to master how to halve a spaghetti squash without losing a finger, but I now enjoy a big plate of faux spaghetti (injury free) at least twice a week during squash season. 98.7% of the time, I top my squash with marinara. It’s not very creative, but it gets the job done PLUS it temporarily satisfies my persistent pasta cravings.
Tonight, after channeling my inner Arnold at body pump, I was ravenous. I could already feel the signs: tightness in my shoulders, tingling in my arms, and weak in the knees. Why, hello, low blood sugar, we meet again! Luckily, I pre-cooked a spaghetti squash last night (halved, then baked in a 375 degree for 20 minutes). Bonus points for thinking ahead, but sadly I neglected the absence of marinara fixin’s in my pantry.
Dang! Time to get creative!Read More