From The Kitchen: Martha Stewart Everyday Foods

Anyone who knows me knows that cooking is not my favorite thing. I don’t dislike it, there is always just something I would rather do. Because Jason and I are both home, we share the cooking although he cooks more than I do. For the first half of our married life, the meals we cooked were very repetitive and we easily got bored of them but they were the only recipes we had and we didn’t venture very far beyond them. Then, in 2008, the most wonderful thing happened to us. We got a subscription to Martha Stewart’s Everyday Foods.

It was a Christmas present from my sister-in-law (thank you Jodi!!) and it changed the way we cooked. Every month there were new recipes to try. And most of them were easy and a bunch of them were healthy. We started trying new spices and flavors and vegetables and it even became a little fun. Some of our favorite recipes have come from these little magazines and I’m thankful for the way they transformed our once boring menu to something we look forward to.

I have been cooking more lately and so I was thinking about our favorites and I thought I would share some of them with you.

Just this past week we tried this meatloaf recipe for the first time (pictured above). I also made the green beans that were included with the recipe on a different day but for this day I made zucchini with lemon and thyme along with a really simple but really yummy spinach salad.

Yesterday we made carne guisada. It was so good and so flavorful. We actually made it for a potluck at church so if you are looking for a good idea for a potluck, give it a shot. Since we shared it with the group I actually didn’t get to eat very much of it so I’m pretty sure this is going to go back on our menu list soon!

On Saturday I made these ratatouille phyllo wraps. They took a little longer to make simply because you have to make the ratatouille and then the wraps but they were so good and there is a bunch of ratatouille left to use for more meals. I will be honest, I only wanted to try these out because of the name :) Thankfully they were really yummy!

I haven’t made these for a while but they are definitely one of our favorites. Italian pot pies are super easy and we usually have most of the ingredients on hand so we can whip them up quick. A bunch of recipes call for carrots, onions, and celery. When we purchase them, the recipe doesn’t use all of them up and they seemed to go to waste all the time. So we started chopping the whole bag of carrots, onions, or celery and then freezing what was left over to use in a future recipe. It makes the cooking process faster and we save money. I’m sure you can do this with other veggies too but those are the main ones we have tried.

Another favorite, chicken enchiladas. Jason doesn’t like enchiladas that have baked in sour cream yet I love enchiladas. So when we found this recipe, minus the sour cream, we were stoked! I’m pretty sure I will love any Mexican dish that includes shredded chicken :)

Jason and I both love smoothies. Lately I have really been enjoying this banana oat smoothie. It’s super yummy for breakfast but I have also been enjoying it as my lunch. In fact, I just had one today :)

If we’re feeling like Chinese food, I love general tso’s chicken. It’s so good and we love the sauce so much that we make it and keep it in our fridge for stir fry and to use as a marinade. Try it if you like just a hint of spice!

Another great chicken dish is Pecorino-crusted chicken. If you make it, you also must make the spaghetti with Pecorino as well. I love them both so much and I haven’t eaten them for a while so I really should add that to my menu!

Want some breakfast food? Jason loves this baked french toast recipe. I’m not a big french toast fan but even I think it has potential :)

We also love seafood. A couple of good seafood recipes to try are shrimp with scallions and crispy potatoes and herb-crusted salmon. Seafood is probably my favorite type of food. Especially fish.

And one last recipe to try. I haven’t even touched on desserts and since they are my favorite food group I will just list one since I could go on forever :) We both love the phyllo cups with cappuccino cream. I also made these yesterday for the potluck and normally you make a batch of 6 but we just cut the phyllo into smaller squares and used our mini muffin pan to make them instead of our regular muffin pan. It made for a really cute, bite-sized treat. They are very light and perfect for after a large meal. Try them!

Well, if you’ve made it this far with me, I’m impressed! I even had to pick and choose which ones I would post about since I love so many of them. Just looking through the little magazines makes me excited about dinner and I think I’m going to plan a menu soon! If you try any of these recipes, let me know what you think and which ones you made. Or, if you have any recipe suggestions, I want to know!!