These recipes also tend to be simple enough that I can memorize them after a few uses. It drives me nuts to have a to be chained to my phone screen reading ingredient lists and instructions while preparing a meal. I can’t help JoJo with his homework then. Or fish Caleb out of the bathtub.
These recipes also tend to have some ability to be prepped in advance. For instance, the chicken and bacon in the marsala bake can be cooked beforehand. The cookie dough can be stirred up at my convenience and popped in the oven later.
And, lastly, they have to have some margin of error. As in, if I absent-mindedly put in five table spoons of butter instead of six, all will still be well. And a hair less fattening to boot.
Here’s what we’re eatin’ around here and most likely, what’ll you be eatin’ if you join us —
1) Honey Balsalmic Chicken
We eat this at least twice a month. Alright. Somewhere my husband is rolling his eyes. More like once a week. It’s our go-to fave. And so very, very easy. Cook it so it’s nice and dark, almost burnt looking. Since I serve this over brown rice, I double — and sometimes even triple — the last three ingredients to make more sauce.
2) Rustic Chicken Marsala Bake
This is my impressive dish, the one I take to other people’s houses so they can feel the love. Granted, it’s a little more work than the first one, but so worth it. Even my mushroom-hating husband tags it as his fave. I substitute turkey bacon for the pancetta and whole wheat penne for the regular enriched noodles. Grill the chicken, cook and crumble the bacon, and wash and slice the mushrooms beforehand for a quicker assembly on the day you plan to serve this. If it’s just me and my wild animals eating it at home, I skip the oven step, and we just serve it up right out of the pan.
3) Chewy Ginger Molasses Cookies
This is a new favorite. They’re so pretty and cute that I couldn’t help making them for Andy to take to work. And, after years of perfecting my chocolate chip skills, these were a welcome change up to the cookie we’ve all grown to love. They turn out every time, too. Even when I’m too busy jogging down the block to fetch Caleb to notice that the oven timer went off.
4) Brooke’s Best Bombshell Brownies
This recipe was discovered by Isaiah. In a short-lived summer experiment, I made my two oldest plan and prepare the evening meal. It went by the wayside after Josiah served us Eileen’s Potluck Tuna Pasta Salad one night. Even he wasn’t a fan.
However, Isaiah did turn up this winner of a dessert. I thought there was surely a typo in this one as it doesn’t include either of the baking brothers — powder or soda –, but have no fear. Deliciousness is near. For Christmas fun, I made these with a teaspoon of peppermint and then, once cooled, drizzled white chocolate and crushed up candy canes on top. Oh, for the love of festive!
5) Spinach and Pepper Jack Stuffed Chicken Breast
This one is more procedure than it is recipe. Once you’ve got the process in your brain, you’ll never look up the recipe again. And, it works with other cheeses, although, I will say that the pepper jack is the best choice. I make colby jack versions for my kids, and have more often than not, left out the spinach altogether. Bonus: if you buy a bag of frozen chicken breasts, I’ve found that they’re already thin enough as is, allowing me to me skip the pounding out step.
6) Chicken Lettuce Wraps
I make this one on Wednesday nights as our house is a revolving door between school, chess club, basketball practice, and church. I stir it up and leave it on the stove for Andy and I to eat as we run in and out. No child of mine will eat this, which is fine by the Mister and I — just leaves more for us. This recipe does break one of my rules. Sorta. It calls for hoisin sauce, which is a staple quietly residing in the Asian section of your grocery store, a fact I didn’t realize until I started making this recipe regularly.
I usually just use whatever lettuce I have on hand, most often, plain old romaine.
7) Crusty Bread
Normally, bread and I aren’t baking BFF’s. However, I stumbled across this recipe a few years ago and couldn’t be more impressed with how easy it is. I do use more yeast than prescribed — a whole teaspoon, sometimes a teaspoon and a half even –, and a little more water. Two tablespoons or so. I usually add a handful of parmesan, a good shake or two of dried parsley, and a tablespoon of minced garlic.
Since my oven is gas, it tends to cook faster. I take this out at 27 minutes instead of 30. And, I never make this without using parchment underneath the dough when it goes in the oven.