Saturday, December 11, 2010

Casual Comfort Cooking

Busy Saturday! Up early, cleaned the shower, ran a few shopping errands, went to the Post Office, picked up the paper, came back home, put in some laundry, and have been cooking ever since. A busy night tonight, so I figured it would be good to get a head start on cooking. Plus the weather seemed right for cooking creativity! Today's recipes are turning out pretty good so far.

I've made three culinary innovations today.

First, for lunch, I quickly prepped what I am calling a December Pasta Lunch. Organic whole wheat fusilli with pan sauteed grape tomatoes, spinach, red and green peppers, basil, garlic, olive oil, and smoked mozzarella, very lightly salted and moderately peppered. Serve it up in a ceramic bowl and the tomatoes gently burst on each first bite.

Second, I pre-prepared supper: The filling for Asian chicken lettuce wraps. These are inspired by P.F. Chang's (way too high in sodium) lettuce wraps. Sauteed ground chicken in olive oil and garlic with mixed asian vegetables (including water chestnuts). Seasoned with a pinch of salt, several shakes of pepper, a couple of dashes of poultry seasoning, and 4 tablespoons of WF Thai Peanut Sauce/Marinade. When I thought of this recipe, I believed I still had some WF Korean Sesame Marinade, but as it turns out, that was already gone. In any case, yummy! As an alternate to consuming this cooked mixture in a lettuce wrap, you could serve it in a half of baked/roasted green pepper. I took a taste and have to say it turned out quite fine.

The third dish, which I plan to serve for lunch tomorrow, is something that for now I am calling Honey Mustard-Paprika Chicken and Scallopped Yams. The aromas wafing through the house while this one dish wonder bakes are soothing in a most wintery way.

I am glad that I take the time to cook and expand my culinary creativity from time to time. Cinnamon, nutmeg, and paprika are a few of the seasonal tools I make use of at this time of year. What aromas and flavors comfort you at this time of year?

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