We have this problem every year. It’s a week before we’re supposed to go back to the east coast or to middle America, our fridge is full of vegetables I don’t remember buying, we have been invited to endless parties, we’re not home half of the weeknights, and yet we’re expected to eat everything we have.
Currently I have a stalk of Brussels, a pepper, a cucumber, eight or nine jalapenos, half an onion, a bag and a half of carrots, some celery stalks, a lemon, grapes, two apples, an entire bag of tangerines, an entire bag of clementines to replace the tangerines because BOY are they seedy, and some broccoli. I have a movie night tonight with some friends, and tomorrow night is laundry night, when we don’t usually cook. Friday night I have a party at work. You see my predicament.
I find opportunities like this good times to either make a stir fry (which usually ends up being pretty non-traditional) or to explore other options from the kitchen people I trust most.
There are a few cook books I haven’t talked about in a while (and I want to tell you I DID still pull out PW to make pico de gallo last night) but I still find myself glancing through every few days.
One of them is Barefoot Contessa’s “At Home” cookbook. There are basic veggie sides that can be adapted for a myriad of vegetables, and since we are often eating broccoli for the second or third time in a week, I try to check her book, or check her online recipes, to see if there might be another way to serve one of Jeff’s favorite vegs. She’s the one who taught us how to make a good flag cake, to make Jeff’s favorite muffins, and her basics are easy and delicious.
Another place I tend to look is Food Network in general, which helps because it holds a myriad of recipes, hard and easy, fast to long, fancy to “I’m hungry right now.” I love to look at Alton Brown, Paula Deen, to name a few, but in general trust most recipes I find there. Let us not forget this simple Rigatoni that revolutionized “fast pasta” to a whole other level.
When that fails, I always have Corelyn’s family cookbook to fall back on, as well as the Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book which always has something I need, and has an excellent index, not to mention an entire page dedicated to emergency substitutions AND the basic ways to cook almost any vegetable, and more importantly WHEN TO THROW THEM AWAY. Priceless.
I can also scour friends’ blogs and other online blogs, such as Itty Bitty Kitchen, Sweet and Crumby, or Tasty Kitchen. I also recent stumbled on this site, which will absolutely rock my world, I’m sure.
Tomorrow night, pre-laundry, I’ll be sure to check into one of these quick recipes and cookbooks and at least get rid of one or two veggies. This weekend, stir fry might be on the menu…