So, I was going to write a kind of house buying/selling update today, but the long and short of it is that we haven't sold our house yet and once we do we don't know where we are going. We have tons of interest on our house, usually showings every day and sometimes multiple times per day, and I swear I'm setting a new world record for how much restaurant food someone who loves to cook can eat in one month.
So. We tried hard to start cooking more after the first few weeks of showings. The deal is that it's hard to start cooking anything because if we get a call for a showing we have to immediately leave + make the place look amazing. So, it was/is easier to buy food and never have any dishes.
When I do cook, I'm careful to only do one-pot kinds of things or something I can make in advance, then hide in the microwave, fridge, or oven (off) until we get back from hiding out for dinner or whatever meal I've cooked for. Quick + not many meals are the name of our game, plus a few ingredient-types of things like extra chopped veggies or cooked quinoa or pasta in the fridge that can be added to other stuff.
Here are some highlights!
- Skillet Chicken Alfredo. This is a double cheat because the recipe calls for jarred sauce, which is a million percent acceptable at any time. You do use a separate pot to boil the pasta, but I do that way in advance then make the entire dish start-to-finish. I wash the pasta pot and strainer right away, then after dinner there's only one more pot to wash. If I make this in the morning I leave it out in the open (I'm incredibly lax about refrigeration and never get sick so leave it alone), then reheat it on the stovetop over low heat with a little extra water/milk/stock when it's time to eat.
- North African skillet pork chops. Again with the cast iron skillet! You can do all of the steps until the very last oven roasting time in this recipe, then just finish the sauce/chops in the oven right before dinner. Done!
- Spanish Tuna Salad + Avocado. Anything in this kind of cold salad category is great for HAVING DINNER READY, but I especially like how different this tuna salad is. The whole thing can be made in advance, then throw it over greens with a hunk of bread or half a baked potato for dinner.
- Salsa Verde Skillet Pasta. Same deal! Make the whole recipe, wash up everything but the skillet that holds the food. Bake before eating, boom.
- Crockpot Taco Chili. Anything in the slow cooker OBVIOUSLY. I have a hard and fast rule that slow cooker meals can't include searing in advance because it fully defeats the purpose.
I would very sincerely love some new quick meal ideas that don't have a lot of components or dishes - it just isn't feasible for us atm and when I get stuck on ideas it gets too late or we agree to a showing and it's just too easy to be like THE NEW TACO PLACE IS HALF A MILE AWAY. Because it is.