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Your favorite "everyday" recipes

My boyfriend and I recently made the decision to be adults and start cooking for ourselves. Well, I love going out to eat, so really my boyfriend and my often empty checking account decided.

I've gone back to college and I'm doing a workstudy while maintaining a second late night job, he produces a 11pm newscast. So, when we end our days we don't have a lot of time to work with to make meals. I've been looking around the internet for tasty sounding quickly made dishes but I'm never sure what I can trust. That's why I've come to you, my fellow chowhounds, whom I respect and admire.

What are your favorite "daily" meals? I'm looking for satisfying chow that you could make after a hard day of work and classes. Say, no more than 45 minutes prep time.

I love leisure cooking but I just don't have the time for it. If you could help me out it would be so greatly appreciated. full recipes, hints, ideas, direction. I'd love any kind of help you could provide.

Thank You!

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  1. I take chicken breasts, salt and pepper them, lay each on a piece of foil and put onion slices, crushed garlic, carrots slivers, celery pieces, green peppers and mushrooms on them. Then I pour a little white wine over it and fold up the foil into packets. Place in the oven @ 350 for about 30 minutes.

    Use a crockpot, I cook chuck roast, whole chicken, pork chops and throw in veggies with them. Easy and good.

    Sprinkle pork chops with lemon pepper and saute in a non stick skillet. Serve with applesauce and asparagus.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Janet

      Perfect!

      Substantial and quick, exactly what I was looking for! When we make this dish we will call it Janet Chicken.

      1. re: fullerton

        when I was in school, the foil packets were a regular staple in my house. you can nearly do anything in a foil packet and because it steams itself you keep in a lot of moisture and seal in all the flavour.

        not exactly from scratch, but for something a little comforting i'll take one of those foil roasting pans and put porkchops over raw rice with water/wine/mushroom soup and any other veggies you like. if you don't have a steamer this would be a fantastic way to do fish with soy sauce and ginger as well. i really like it because you just pour in all your ingredients and then forget about it until the oven beeps.

        to continue on the oven theme, i might take advantage of the broiler to do up steaks or other slabs of meat and vegetables at the same time. it's really quick because you'll only need around 10 minutes per side and even less for the veggies which can go on a lower rack.

    2. My default dinner meal is crepes w/ whatever I have on hand that's tasty thrown in.

      My crepe recipe:

      1 1/4 cups unbleached all purpose flour (can use some whole wheat, if you prefer, but you get a chewier crepe)

      1/2 teaspoon o' salt

      3 large eggs (2 eggs work, too, just add an extra 2 Tablespoons of water)

      1 cup milk (you can use nonfat, but whole is better)

      enough water to get a nice pourable consistancy (from 2 Tablespoons to 1/4 cup or so)

      2-5 Tablespoons of melted butter

      throw ingredients into a large bowl and blend completely w/ a stick blender OR put the ingredients in a blender and whir until mixed completely.

      Pour one standard ladel-full of batter onto a hot crepe pan (use a little butter on pan if it is not non-stick). If you don't have a crepe pan you can use any medium-sized nonstick frying pan.

      Cook until edges curl slightly. Flip. Add filling to middle of crepe and fold or roll edges inward.

      You can eat 'em plain. you can dessert 'em up (cinammon and sugar= oh so good! Don't get me started on Nutella, ice cream or jam, but any and all is fabulous. Savory ideas: cheese, sauteed mushrooms, fresh herbs, olives, on and on world without end.

      Save extra batter in the fridge. You have a fast breakfast or dessert for tomorrow night.

      5 Replies
      1. re: MollyGee

        oops. Forgot to mention that I'm a full-time student and a mom w/ 2 small children, so I am The Queen of Exhausted, Harried Cooks (the title is *not* official....yet).

        1. re: MollyGee

          Many thanks your majesty!

          I never thought of crepes! I mentioned your reply to the boyfriend and he got really excited and told me stories of making crepes in french club.

          Now I'm listening to stories about French club though and high school YAY! (scarcasm)

          We'll definitely be using your recipie. It's really appreciated.

          1. re: fullerton

            Happy to help!
            It could be worse. He could be going on and on about chess club. I wonder what recipe could inspire that!

            1. re: MollyGee

              Chess Pie:

              Ingredients:
              1 cup sugar
              3 tablespoons cornstarch
              6 eggs
              2/3 cup lemon juice
              5 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
              3 teaspoons grated lemon rind
              1 9-inch pie shell, unbaked

              Directions:
              1. Heat oven to 325 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine sugar and cornstarch. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. 2. Blend in the lemon juice and butter; stir in the lemon rind. 3. Pour mixture into the pie shell. Bake pie until puffed and golden and a thin knife inserted into pie comes out clean--about 50 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.

              hehe

        2. I am a huge fan of Trader Joe's. They make cooking so incredible easy. Pick up some fresh Tilapia, a bag of Panko(rice flour crumbs) and their frozen garlic cubes. If you're into spinach grab a bag there too. Saute the spinach with a bit of unsalted butter and a garlic cube or two. I also have their salt and pepper grinds and use these to season. Drown the fish in an egg bath then dip into a little flour. Redip into egg, then the panko. I add season to the panko. Sometimes salt and pepper, sometimes sweet curry powder, or grated asiago cheese. Then I saute in the garliced butter. I buy potatoes at a discount market but T'J's has too. Cut into chunks and boil 'till soft -15/20 minutes. Then smash. Add butter, salt, pepper and a little cheese. Enjoy!

          Also get their organic pasta sauce and the rice pasta. My BF loves their already made turkey meat balls. - I don't eat meat. I love to make this too. Easy and fast. I complement w/their pesto pizza. Yum!

          Third thing I make often: Buy the ovolini mozzerella cheese. I think now they are even made smaller. In a bowl add chopped tomatoes, chopped cucs and the cheese. Toss w/ T'J's pesto- the one in a plastic container found in the fridge w/other sauces. Salt and pepper to taste. Can use as a main meal w/ garlic bread or what I did last week was marinate for several hours chicken breast in the pesto then grilled (on the barby). The chicken was succulent and flavorful.

          Make extra and freeze the left overs. That way you'll have in the future when You don't feel like cooking or dont have time to cook.
          Enjoy!

          1 Reply
          1. re: Kitchen Queen

            We thought Trader joe's would be a good idea, ecspecially since there is one on my street. We hadn't thought of what to buy though. Thanks for the suggestions!

            Freezing things for the future is a great idea. The kind of pragmatic, common sense that I have trouble coming up with hehe.

          2. Eggs, bacon, baby spinach, sharp cheddar cheese, cherry or grape tomatoes and good canned tuna (in water) are weeknight staples. Canned chickpeas or white beans are also good add ins.

            With eggs, you can have hardboiled/fried/poached eggs for putting on spinach salad, or make a frittata or omelet w whatever cheese, vegetable (frozen spinach, frozen green beans, etc.), or protein you have lying around.

            Bacon makes for my current favorite, the BLT salad, dressed w mayo/olive oil/pepper/cider vinegar or a quick crustless quiche lorraine. (6 eggs, 1/2 c. cream, and a well greased pan) I sometimes make that bacon/broccoli/grape/scallion/mayo salad that seems totally 1955, but which I can't resist, and bring it to work with me to add cubed or sliced smoked turkey to for lunch.

            Cheddar and tuna for tuna melts-- or a tuna frittata w cheddar and whatever else you feel like tossing in.

            Spinach salads of every stripe...

            Quick wilted spinach with pine nuts, raisins, and garlic as a side dish to a supermarket roasted chicken. Quick wilted spinach w garlic, sesame oil, soy sauce and lime juice is also a favorite.

            I saute halved cherry tomatoes w garlic and serve as a side dish with italian or curry seasonings.

            Other non-staple ideas:

            Risotto, surprisingly, is a less than an hour dish once you've gotten a grip on the method (you don't have to stir as often as Marcella Hazan says), and like eggs, almost endlessly adaptable. Vary your veggies, protein, cheeses, seasonings, sauces-- Jamie Oliver's cookbooks are full of ideas.

            I like the wild salmon filets from Trader Joe's and will throw them, frozen, covered in Soy Vay teriyaki sauce and lemon juice into the oven to roast at 425F in about 30 minutes. In the meantime, I can make sticky rice by cheater's method (soak sushi rice 15 minutes in pan, then cook, boil another 10-15 minutes, turn off heat, stir in salt and rice vinegar to taste immediately before) and cook some baby spinach. The salmon is also good slathered in a whole grain mustard/lemon juice/olive oil/thyme bath, accompanied by steamed broccoli.

            If this seems like a lot, well, it's from my "what's for dinner" list on the side of the fridge-- to help my husband when I am running late and I ask him to get things going...

            2 Replies
            1. re: Notorious EMDB

              Thank you so much! Trader Joe's keeps coming up so now a visit is imminent.

              I'm actually eating Risotto my roommate made a day ago for lunch. It know it not known for keeping well but I really like it as a leftover. Great idea for somethine to make ahead of time and heat up later.

              I'm copying the BLT salad to my list of things to make too.

              1. re: fullerton

                you know, risotto is very good after a day or two when it is rolled in flour then egg then breadcrumbs and fried. arancini i think is what its called. its good to roll it into a ball and stuff a treat in the middle. i think fresh mozz is used most often, but capers, procuitto (sp.), olives, sharp provolone etc . . . would be great. oohh, maybe hot peppers. a nice drizzle of balsamic over it would be the perfect ending. you could make these and top a salad with them. somce nice baby greens or field greens with a simple balsamic vinaigrette.

            2. subscribe for a year's worth of Everyday Food magazine. It's one of Martha's publications, and it's great. Very simple, straightforward recipes that are both impressive and easy.

              A large number of them are posted online:

              http://www.marthastewart.com/page.jht...

              1 Reply
              1. re: amandine

                Awesome, great tip! The interwebs provide so much bulk information what I need is context and human reccomendations. Thanks a lot.