Monday, January 3, 2011

A New Year of Cooking

I don't know how I got through the holidays without posting one time about holiday food. Honestly, I don't know that we did anything spectacular or out of the norm this year. We went to friends' home for Christmas Eve and made pasta -- complete with the moms tossing spaghetti strands across the kitchen to daughters. Good fun! Then on Christmas Big J did his annual smoked turkey breast. New Year's Eve was celebrated with cracked crab and champagne, followed by a New Year's dinner of baked ham.

I do know that with my job my cooking has changed. I don't feel the need to be as creative and fun as I did when I was in grad school. That is partly due to the fact that I'm making a monetary contribution and also that my time is more structured. I wouldn't say that I'm 8-5, but I definitely work a more regular schedule and I'm home a lot less.

So thinking about this year in food, I am going to focus on the simple. For instance, tonight we had chicken teriyaki, rice, and green beans. The dinner took about 30 minutes and, after Big J picked up chicken from the butcher, we had everything else on hand. The chicken recipe was from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything iPhone app, which I love and am pretty sure will be using on a regular basis.

The other thing about simplicity, frankly, is my need to shed a few pounds. While I love the complicated dishes, the velvety sauces, the cheese (Oh! The cheese!), I seriously need to have 6 days of healthiness with one day to splurge every week. Plus, I know I can make really delicious meals that don't add inches to the hips. Or as my grandmother once said, "You should just put that in your chair and sit on it, because that's exactly where it's going." Nice, Grandma!

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