Truth? I've not yet met a cookbook that can compel me to reach for it often. It's not that I don't like the recipes I find in the books I own. It's that I don't like them enough to overcome the laziness. Yes, laziness. I just can't be bothered digging out the books, locating the right recipe and following along step by step.
Don't get me wrong. I will cook from a recipe. I love my subscription to Cooking Light. In fact, I've sitting here ear-marking recipes I want to attempt for Christmas breakfast and dinner. I just don't like to use recipes on a regular basis. Too much work in it for me. Instead I fall back on dishes I've gotten memorized - memorized to the point I also end up skipping formal measuring cups and spoons. Its all eyeball.
I don't bake like this. No, breads, cookies, cakes, pies - all of that stuff is a science. Meals however are an art.
Sometimes I get bored of my old standbys and so I experiment. I stare at what's in the cabinet and start to pull things I think might go nicely together. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn't. I've at least yet to make anything inedible.
Tonight, I'll have you know, it not only worked, it worked very, very well.
Logan is a picky eater. Our only rule at dinner is he has to sit at the table when we do and he must at least try what we offer him. If he's not willing to eat it after that he gets a choice or two from a list of things that don't require me to cook a second meal. More often than not, that's what he ends up with.
Seafood - never touches his lips. Veggies - he'll eat peas and carrots, not much else. Pasta - we're good with but only if it's not heavy with sauce.
Yet tonight, he pushed back from the nevers and devoured dinner. Yeah, tonight my experimental cooking worked well.
I had planned on making spaghetti with shrimp and pesto sauce. Yet I was out of everything I needed to make pesto - something I didn't realize until I had water boiling and shrimp pinking up in the skillet.
I didn't panic. This is par for the course.
I poured some OJ over my shrimp. It started to bubble. I wondered what else might work with this combination. I located the box of Lipton Vegetable soup/dip mix that I forget to use to make spinach dip the last time we entertained. Maybe. Well the box does say "Pasta Primavera." Ok, what the hell. In went the dip.
I removed the shrimp to keep it from getting too tough. I let the juice and soup mix combo simmer. Pasta in to cook. I poured the sauce back over the shrimp and let Logan stir it up. We added in the pasta.
It was fantastic.
I've been asked to make it again - not just by my husband who is now used to my methods and madness - but by my picky eater.
Yup, it worked out nicely.