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What do you cook when you are too tired and just not in the mood?

As much as I love cooking, there are times when I have my moments and I'm simply too tired and not in the mood to chop, etc...what are your simple, go to recipes when you are facing one of those days??

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  1. Pan full of chicken parts, salted and peppered, sprinkled with vinegar and dusted with either some dried herb or another or a more pungent seasoning if the mood strikes - I've gotten really fond of Penzey's Northwoods Fire mix lately - stuck into a 350ยบ oven for about 45-60 minutes. That and a bag-o-salad...

    Well-seasoned lamb chops or pork chops cooked on the grill pan or the gas grill are great for such a night, too. Particularly nice with a wine glass in the unoccupied hand.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Will Owen

      Yes - we call that "Chicken Thrown in the Oven"
      :-D

      1. re: mirage

        I was wondering if it had a proper name ;-)

        This was SO on my mind yesterday that I got one of Fresh & Easy's cheap trays of 8 thighs, seasoned as above and tossed'em around in mixed olive and chile oil, then put into the small hinged wire basket and fired up the gas grill. 10 minutes per side, and insanely good.

        1. re: Will Owen

          spaghetti with a meat sauce. I reserve meatball making for days I have a little time. Spaghetti with meat sauce, I can throw together in 35-45 mins. A quick sauce. Also, I usually have some kind of bread roll in the freezer, that makes into quick garlic bread. Yum.

          The other one is pasta carbonara. We love that dish, its so easy, eggs, butter, and cheese. Pasta of your choice, just toss in the eggs, butter, parm salt and pepper. Add a little fresh parsley or torn basil. Great for a meal in 15 minutes or as long as it takes to cook the pasta.

      2. If there aren't leftovers in the frig, there's usually a previously made lasagna or casserole in the freezer - it gets heated up with a fast marinara and served with a salad. On my own, it would be entirely a refrigerator meal of anti-pasti - cheese, picked onions/carrots/peppers, roasted peppers, salami/sardines/tuna, the weekly sauce, garlic, basil and a tomato. Lots of olive oil.

        Fastest recipe - butterflied and herbed chicken roasted over sliced potatoes for 20 minutes at 500 with sliced potatoes served with nuked spinach. Start to table 35 minutes.

        Fastest meal - grilled protein, salad or spinach, and Spanish garlic bread.

        6 Replies
        1. re: alwayscooking

          Hey, re the 500 chicken, I suppose two large, bone-in breasts would do just the same, wouldn't they? This may be tonight's dinner. Feeling lazy.

          1. re: c oliver

            Haven't tried it with chicken breasts. I'd probably dry and put them on a bed of sliced potatoes (and a few slices of onion!). Under the breast skin, put some herbed butter (thyme, parsley, etc). Start checking them at @18 min. If you have time, brine them for at least 20-30 minutes.

            Good luck and let me know if it works.

            1. re: alwayscooking

              I'm thinking some sliced fennel also. Only 6pm on Left Coast so I have time to brine. Good idea. I'll let you know. Thanks as always.

              1. re: c oliver

                I crashed!

                If you have chicken breasts, it might be even faster to butterfly them if they're fat, and simply pan fry them for about 2-3 minutes each side. You could then quickly make a pan sauce (honey balsamic or lemon caper).

                Either way let me know and happy eating!

                1. re: alwayscooking

                  This was just delicious. I put the chicken on a bed of halved fingerling potatoes, sliced onions and fennel and grape tomatoes. Put some pork fat (!) under the skin and roasted at 500 for 20 minutes. Talk about a simple one dish meal. Needed nothing more. This is a definite keeper. Thanks a whole lot, alwayscooking.

        2. Spaghetti carbonara or spaghetti with oil, garlic and chilli.

          4 Replies
          1. re: greedygirl

            I'm right there with you! Spaghetti with garlic slices, julienne red peper, and some red pepper flakes sauted in olive oil. Toss and go: 20mins. including bringing water to boil.
            We also eat the Purdue "Fit & Trim" chicken breasts because they're so skinny they cook up in minutes. Throw some rice on and add frozen peas near the end of the rice cooking time (add slivered almonds and cranberries if you want to be fancy) and that's dinner.

            1. re: jboeke

              I do thin capellini with canned clams (i know!! I learned the recipe down south) in their juice in a sauce with olive oil, fresh basil, dried oregano, tons of garlic, and fresh cracked black pepper. It is my favorite fast meal in the world..... especially served with some garlic bread to soak up the delicious sauce.. mmm

              1. re: kubasd

                That is an excellent quick meal ... I love it too.

            2. re: greedygirl

              Exactly what greedygirl said, or pasta with butter and parmesan.

              Oh! And of course grilled cheese (with lots of freshly ground pepper).

            3. Tired? I'll cook
              Cheese & Poblano Quesadillas
              Omelets
              Chicken or Pork Cutlets
              ...usually with a splash of Lizano, or Salsa Verde. Or Hoisin Sauce on the cutlets.

              *Really* too tired to cook? Delivery Pizza Bianca from the good mom & pop joint a couple blocks away. Or cheap Chinese takeaway General Tzo Chicken.

              1 Reply
              1. re: KiltedCook

                you love lizano too? Where in CR did you go?

              2. Omelettes
                Waffles
                Pasta with butter, parm and lemon or butter, parm and black pepper
                Grilled Swiss on Rye
                PB&J(does that count as cooking?)