Monday, July 12, 2010

Thoughts for Food...

With all the hustle and bustle of the past few months, between deciding to move, packing, actually moving, unpacking, job hunting, starting to get to know the area, working and it being quite hot and humid, meals around my house have become meals of convenience. As in, if I don't know what to make, don't have the time to cook or gods forbid I have to turn on the stove... we go out to eat.

Needless to say, not only is this totally not healthy for our persons, it's unhealthy for our bank account too. I'm trying to get back into the swing of home cooked meals but my food creativity bank has seemingly run dry and the internet has way too many recipes. Meal planning for a week will take me two weeks at the rate it takes me to find recipes that 1) sound tasty 2) are simple enough to make in an hour and 3) may have some ingredients I already have or at least share a common ingredient with another recipe.

I can make a mean stuffed pepper, there's baked ziti baking away in the oven right now for my lunch and the lovely's dinner (I work nights this week) and have on occasion been known to make a tasty salad, but most of the time I find myself cooking the same foods over and over again because they're familiar and ridiculously easy. To be quite honest, I'm getting tired of lemon chicken and rice, cayenne beef with rice and mixed veggies... I'm tired of making the same stuff twice a month.

That's where I need your help. I know a lot of you are domestic goddesses (and gods!) and can probably whip up some delicious dinners on the fly. Please share your favorite recipes here with me either in the comments or, if you want to keep your recipe a secret, email them to me at artful.danni(at)gmail(dot)com. I'm interested in anything you'd like to share, but if you have some awesome summertime receipes to spare making my sweltering apartment any hotter, share those first! Also, if you have any favorite websites you use to find recipes or have any meal planning tips, share those too!

My appetite and my poor, food bored husband, will thank you!

P.S... I should probably note here that I'm allergic to shellfish. So unfortunately, will not be able to try any recipes containing shrimp, clams, scallops, crab meat, etc.


  1. I will translate and send You some original Hungarian recipes, will that be OK? :) Some are very plain and easy, some may be known more widely out in the world, but I will send You tried and tested ones:)

  2. I know I supposed to be in the garage....but I took a coffee break and my favs are: I think the two of you would like each other lots. Heather has a kick ass sense of humor Mary is a real down to earth person with a way with food.
    pssst don't tell on me cuz I'm not visiting every body, just my mum is the word.

  3. When it's hot we have a lot of sandwiches, burgers and chicken on the grill and corn on the cob. Today I made a corn salad with fresh corn cooked only 2 minutes and chilled, tomatoes from the garden, olive oil, red wine vinegar and salt and pepper. This also tastes really good with fresh mozzarella, avacado, lime and cilantro. I'll whip uo a batch of potato salad that will last for days and is good with all those sandwiches and grilled meat. I use lots of eggs, mustard, mayo, dill and pickles in mine:)

  4. Being tired of cooking the same thing over and over again, I got myself a few new cookbooks. And started trying recipes.

    Among my favorites are corn soup, spinach soup with couscous and feta as well as salmon on a bed of spinach and tomatoes. All three are light and easily made, and the BF enjoyed them as well.

    #1 Corn Soup
    - Dice 1 onion and 3-4 cloves of garlic, fry in 1 tablespoon of olive oil for a few moments.
    - Add 2 tins of corn (approx. 500-600g) and enough chicken broth to cover everything solidly.
    - Let simmer for 10-15minutes.
    - Season with tabasco, salt, pepper, fresh basil.

    You see? This one takes less than 20 minutes to prepare and serves 4 people. Or 2 very hungry people.

    #2 Spinach Soup
    - Boil 500g spinach in enough chicken broth to cover everything (approx 700ml).
    - Add 1 small cup of couscous and some water.
    - Cook until couscous is ready. Add water if needed.
    - Dice 100g of feta cheese and add to soup.
    - Season with salt, pepper and chili.

    You may want to add diced onions, garlic or some meat, but this simple version is really tasty and a great place to start your experiments. Serves 3-4 people

    #3 Salmon on Spinach and Tomatoes
    - Dice and fry 2 red onions.
    - Add 500g spinach and approx. 200ml vegetable broth. Boil for a few minutes, season with salt, nutmeg and pepper.
    - Slice 4 tomatoes.
    - Put spinach in a casserole, put salmon on top, cover with tomatoe slices. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper.
    * Cover with foil and bake for 20-25min at 180°C.
    * Then remove foil, cover with 60g grated Parmesan cheese and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes.

    Slightly more work, but it tastes delicious. Well, I am not sure if shellfish allergies cover salmon as well (it's a rather rare condition among my family and friends), but I thought I'd share nevertheless.

    I have some more summer recipes, most of which only take 30 to 40 minutes to prepare, but these are the first that come to mind right now. Have fun!

  5. I look stuff up on You can look stuff up by ingredient or by time frame for cooking. I've found it pretty handy =).

  6. One of my favorite recipe sites is Check it out! You can check out my recipes too at

  7. Want something basic? Making your own spaghetti sauce is super easy and simple and takes about 20 minutes with minimal prep time. I make it on the regular. Best thing about the recipe is it's easy to customize; add a little more this, a little less that, or omit things entirely. You just need the basics: garlic, tomatoes, basil, parsley, and oregano. Also, you can add ground beef to the mix to make meat sauce too! It doesn't have mystery ingredients and tastes 10 times better than that stuff in a jar.

    This is my version and the man loves it. These ingredients should be good to cover about a pound of pasta, depending on how much sauce you like :)

    -One large can of crushed tomatoes (no additives or seasonings, just tomatoes. I use this because it's easy but you could dice several fresh tomatoes and simmer them down. The can also cuts down on prep time)
    -A fresh clove of garlic, minced
    -Red, green, and yellow bell peppers (optional, but adds such good flavor!) about 1-2 peppers should do it. Slice.
    -About half an onion (again, optional but adds good flavor.) I use a yellow onion usually but use whatever you have.
    -Season to taste: Basil, Parsley, Oregano, Parmesan Cheese, Pepper, and Crushed Red Pepper

    Start with the onions first (unless you're using ground beef. If making meat sauce then start cooking the meat first. Get about halfway through the meat and then drain it. Throw it back in the pan and start the onions) You want them nice and caramelized. Put a splish of Olive oil in a sauce pan and saute the onions on medium heat.

    When the onions are half done, toss in the bell peppers.

    Once both the onions and pepper (and possible meat) are cooked, toss in the garlic and let it mush about for a bit (exact, I know :P) and then toss in the can of crushed tomatoes.

    Now you just wanna let it simmer. Add your seasonings now and leave the sauce on low heat to do it's thing. Stir it every now and again so it doesn't burn. Let it simmer about 10 minutes.

    There it is! It really is that easy. Keeps a decent amount of time too so it can be made in advance. Hope this helps.

  8. Ask and ye shall receive! I just sent you a long boring email about what I eat! I hope it doesn't end up in the spam folder!

  9. Did you ever get my email about the recipes?


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.