Adventures in Cooking // Because We Gotta Eat

I'm going to get judged for saying this - but I'm a thug, so YOLO:

Cooking is a nuisance. There. I said it. 

I do it, because you gotta eat to live, but if I could pay somebody else to do it for me and take that off my list of things to do, this would be me all day.

Not to mention, since I got married, the old ladies at my church are on me like hawks. They didn't care when I was a single woman eating take-out or cereal for dinner 75% of the time. But now?  Every Sunday (and I mean every Sunday) at least one of comes up to me and says "what did you cook this week."

No, I didn't use a question mark, because it's not a question. It's never a question. It's an expectation. WHAT DID YOU COOK THIS WEEK.

I had better have an answer ready. And usually I do... but it's not always the right one.

If I respond with something like "I made baked salmon" or "we had taco night" or "tossed salad with chicken and avocado," it's as if I told them I was considering atheism. Oh, the side-eyes. The judgement. The church lady shade. 

 
Exactly how they look at me.

Exactly how they look at me.

 

I know what they're getting at. I KNOW HOW TO MAKE SOUL FOOD, OKAY? My mama taught me. But if you think I'm going to shuck corn and wash greens and peel potatoes when I just got home at 6:30, YOU WOULD BE INCORRECT. And, as much as I love dressing and mac & cheese, I can't eat it every day.

See, I actually know how to cook (...some stuff). It's not that I can't. I respect the culinary arts. I actually LOVE The Chew. And Pinterest is my jam for recipes. I do like experimenting in the kitchen. 

And sometimes, those experiments are a FAIL. (Y'all pray for the mister.) But I do try.

Because we gotta eat.

That said, here are some quick dishes that I've made time and again and have worked out. I like to keep these in the back pocket when I'm low on time/inspiration: 

Grilled Salmon with Avocado Salsa
This is always a crowd-favorite. It's good with or without the avocado salsa (if you don't have any avocados around). It's also good baked (but covered so the salmon doesn't dry out). I made this when my mother-in-law came over for dinner one night and she loved it. And and asked for the recipe. Hello, validation! 

Stuffed Green Peppers
These are always good - compact but still hearty. I made mine with ground turkey instead of the Italian turkey sausage. But you can use ground beef or shredded chicken or add beans or quinoa instead of rice or whatever tickles your fancy. Super versatile dish. 

Garlic Parmesan Roasted Broccoli
This recipe came from the website Damn Delicious, and that's exactly what it is. If you're looking for an alternative to steamed or boiled broccoli, Linda, honey, try this.

Shrimp & Grits
My sister friend J.C. gave me her recipe for shrimp & grits and I'm supposed to keep it under wraps so... SORRY. It's a win every time, though. #G14Classified 

Sauteed Green Beans
I tried this for the first time last night because I love sauteed green beans. It was pretty good for a first try! I didn't have any soy sauce, so I substituted worcestershire sauce instead. Some of the beans were a liiiiiiiittle (okay very) over-cooked because I have an electric stove that DGAF when you turn heat down. Other than that struggle, they were good. I will be trying this one again!

Chicken & Rice
This one I got from my mom. I'll have to lay out the step-by-step in a separate post, but it's quick and easy and always a crowd-pleaser. I made some for church on Easter and I didn't even get any because everybody ate it up before I could get a plate. I earned some church lady respect, if only for one day. 

 
I'll take it

I'll take it

 

Where to y'all go for recipes when you're bored in the kitchen or short on time? Holler at me.