Friends, Romans, Countrymen…I have discovered the casserole. Mostly what I have discovered is cooking one big thing and having several days’ worth of leftovers for 2-3 people. From what I’ve heard, casseroles are merely the gateway drug to slow cookers, but I’m not quite there yet (I’m hesitant to add one more gadget to the kitchen, though I hear they are well worth it).
What we’ve made lately, savory:
- Macaroni and cheese casserole, Pioneer Woman (a.k.a. Ree Drummond) recipe. I added caramelized onion, broccoli, and chicken meatballs. Used traditional elbow noodles.
- Pasta and meatball casserole, America’s Test Kitchen recipe. I jarred sauce instead of homemade, made it with penne or rigatoni.
- Sweet potato and macaroni and cheese casserole, Nigella Lawson recipe. You may need a side of greens with this. I used cavatappi pasta.
- Fettuccine alfredo, America’s Test Kitchen recipe, except I think we used linguine, and we used less cheese because we didn’t have parmesan on hand, and I added a couple cubes of the pesto I made and froze at the end of the summer. And chicken meatballs. Pesto fettuccine alfredo? It was good.
- Thanksgiving dinner! Not just on Thanksgiving anymore. Turkey breast from Trader Joe’s, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, sometimes box stuffing.
- Cranberry sauce: two cans of whole berry cranberry sauce, a little water (or orange juice), half a lemon, some lemon or orange zest, an orange, clementine sections, chopped walnuts.
- Mashed potatoes: With butter and whole milk (at least. Half-and-half or cream also works), some salt and pepper, and whatever herbs are still alive – rosemary, thyme.
What we’ve made lately, breakfast-y or sweet:
- “Big beautiful muffins,” America’s Test Kitchen recipe, different variations: blueberry and lemon, raspberry, apple-cinnamon.
- Granola (Ben makes this from my friend Sarah’s recipe)
- Cranberry-apricot scones, America’s Test Kitchen recipe.
- Chocolate chip cookies, recipe from Good to the Grain (uses whole wheat flour and bittersweet chocolate instead of AP and semi-sweet)
- Molasses spice cookies, recipe from Flour by Joanne Chang (and someone just got a copy of Flour, Too for an early Hanukkah present…)
- Orange cardamom madeleines, recipe from Martha Stewart’s Cookies. I had the ingredients, neighbor Catherine had the madeleine pan (and an expert set of hands). Despite baking for more than twice the prescribed time, they were a little underdone, but still delicious.
- Pumpkin pie (homemade filling from my cousin’s recipe, frozen crust. Frozen crust is fine but use a sweet one, not a savory one!)
In a happy turn* of events, the kid is now eating food in quantities larger than a tablespoon at a time! She has enjoyed all of the above (but especially the muffins and madeleines).
*It was more like a fifteen-point-turn, rather than a U-turn or even a three-point-turn, but in her defense, you see a lot of those around here, on account of the insane layout of the roads, and the drivers who would probably drive the way they do even if all the roads were laid out on a perfect grid. Anyway, muffins!