Tag Archives: lunch

Fall = Soup and Salad

soup and salad

Fall = Soup and Salad

When the evenings start to cool, and the days have a little crisp in the air, I love to eat soup!  I’ll admit that I eat soup in the summer, but it’s not as enjoyable as in the fall. To me, it’s a signal of cooler days to come (which I love!)

Current favorites are anything chickeny. Chicken rice, chicken noodle, Italian wedding, chicken tortilla.  Pairing with a simple salad makes a perfect meal. I’ll add some cooked chicken on top of the salad, or maybe some shrimp. Store bought roasted chicken will do in a pinch!

Anyone can get this meal to the table in 15 minutes flat. Soup has to be made ahead of time obviously, but a nice Sunday afternoon soup cooking session will give you a bunch for the freezer. I’ll do another post with recipes and pictures of making soup.

The Humble Onion

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Onions are so versatile.  If I had to guess, I’d say I use onions in nearly every dish I make.  It is most certainly one of the staples you need in your pantry if you are planning to make quick and tasty meals on the fly.   You can thinly slice them to put on top of a Greek salad, you can finely chop them to put them in an omelet, you can dice them to put in a tuna nicoise salad, you can roughly cut them up to throw in a stew, you can make rings to saute  until caramelized and lovingly spread over a beautiful steak.    

There are so many types of onions to consider.  I always have a bag of yellow cooking onions in my cupboard, and 9 times out of 10 I have green onions in the vegetable drawer in my fridge.  A nice red onion is always welcome and the favorite of my partner J.  Sweet Vidalia’s make great onion rings, and an amazing start to French Onion soup.   Small cipollini’s are fantastic in a chicken and dumpling stew or a Boeuf Bourguignon.

Onions are generally inexpensive.  Onions usually keep quite well.  Suffice is to say I love onions, and would not be caught without some in my kitchen!  

Confession Time – What’s In My Fridge?

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The most important thing in determining what I’m going to make for breakfast, lunch or dinner, is what’s in my fridge.   Shopping and keeping a stocked pantry is very important to making tasty quick meals.   This doesn’t mean that you have to do one big, very expensive, grocery shopping trip.  

I’ve stocked my fridge and pantry over time.  Each week, I probably go to the grocery store twice.  Once a week I do a fairly large shopping trip, for a family of four I spend about $125 on that ‘big’ trip.  It includes all the basics: milk, eggs, bread, meat, stuff for sandwiches, fruit, vegetables, lots of salad stuff, drinks, cereal, crackers, and other things I might have run out of in the pantry.  Of course that also include toilet paper, shampoo, cat food, kitty litter, and a myriad of other things we don’t need to talk about here.

For the other shopping trip during the week, it’s usually for fresh meat (I tend to buy what’s on sale to work my dinners around), maybe cheese and deli meats, some more fruits and veg.  That trip is usually in the $20-40 range depending on what I buy. 

To stock my pantry, I buy a few things each time I shop.  It could be a spice mix, maybe a new oil (the latest is truffle oil), or a balsamic vinegar.  It could be anchovy paste, or wasabi, or kimchi.  Maybe it’s a great tin of Italian tomatoes, or a special pasta.  I usually find something cool at the store, and add it to my groceries, and it adds a fantastic variety to what we cook and eat!

Here’s a picture of what’s in my fridge today.  And the sheer ‘un-organized-ness’ of it inspires me to clean and re-organize it.  What’s in your fridge?

Tomato Salad with Croutons – Nice and Soggy!

tomatoThis is an easy, tasty salad especially if you like fresh tomatoes. Rough chop a whole ripe tomato. Finely chop about 1/4 of a medium sized red onion. Mix these two ingredients together in a bowl or on a plate. Pour a tablespoon of olive oil over the top. Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste (you’ll probably need more salt than you think you do!). If you have capers in your fridge, add some! Add 1/2 cup of good quality croutons, then mix the whole thing together with your (clean) hands or a couple of spoons. Let sit a few minutes and serve. Makes two sized portions.

You can’t live without food — and why would you want to?

Eating-Dinner-Together

Food is necessary. Food is one of the basic ingredients in a happy and healthy life. It took me a long time to like making meals, but now I love it. I never spend much time slaving over a hot stove, or incessantly chopping onions. My goal for most days is to be home by five and to be at the table eating by six. I’d like to share my meal ideas and prep methods with you! Let’s eat!