Dash of Salt

I can honestly say that I am pretty comfortable with my cooking and all aspects of the kitchen. There are things that I have yet to master, and some things that I'm still unsure about trying. I could make dinner for a weeks without having to look up recipes and instructions, the meals would be pretty routine, but I could do it. However as much as I feel that I am a creature of habit, I cannot stand when I get stuck in a food rut. I have been trying to make a new recipe at least once a week. Well last week was a MESS.

Wednesday's menu was Pan Seared Tilapia with Avocado Salsa and Zucchini Cakes. I also tossed some leftover whole wheat penne pasta in some butter and parmesan. The best thing about the meal was the leftover pasta. My fish came out too salty, the red onions over-powered the salsa and the zucchini cakes tasted like flour [even though there isn't any in the recipe]. Blech!

Okay so we went forward in to Thursday. I was planning to make Salt & Pepper Chicken, Asian-Style Stir Fried Green Beans, Pork & Ginger Pot Stickers, and white rice. The recipe for the Salt & Pepper chicken called for 3 tablespoons of salt. Now I don't usually measure my spices, unless I'm baking or making a rub or sauce. If I'm seasoning, I use what I feel is the right amount. When I added the 3rd tablespoon of salt I felt it in my bones that I had made a mistake, and I was right. However next time I will just cut down the salt, because it came out pretty tasty otherwise. The Green Beans were horrible, they just did not come out right. My absolute favorite thing at a Chinese buffet is the green beans. Slightly salty and a little greasy...mmmmmm! These however were not what I was hoping for. And then the potstickers. When we were getting groceries Mr. Saitek didn't hear me when I said I needed cabbage and we ended up not having any. So I froze the ground pork and wonton wrappers for use at a later time :(

Friday we were out shopping most of the day for Bee's school clothes. I knew it wasn't going to be a day I felt like cooking. So I asked Mr. Saitek to grill up some burgers. Easy dinner, and I didn't have to cook. Those are my favorite dinners :)

Finally, Saturday was a success!So I made Homemade Pita for the Chicken Gyros with Roasted Red Peppers and a Cucumber Raita. I was going to make the Cumin Lime Chickpeas, but it calls for cilantro and Mr. Saitek despises cilantro. So I just boiled the chickpeas until they were soft, then I drained them. While they sat in the colander I put the pot back on the burner with a couple tablespoons of butter. I sauteed some minced garlic and onions until tender, added the chickpeas and seasoned with Dhal [similar to curry] seasoning and salt. I didn't really care for the flavor of the chicken, too much oregano, but with a little tweaking I'm sure this will be added to the recipe book.

Sunday was frozen pizza and salad since we spent most of the day on the road picking up Ladybug from her Nana's in Tampa. Monday the kids ate the leftover pizza along with the leftover chickpeas. I made Pan Seared Tilapia, Shrimp, Mashed Potatoes, and Asparagus for the adults. That dinner is one of my go-to dinners. I haven't been cooking enough food to fill Mr. Saitek, mainly because I had gotten used to the girls being gone for the summer, and now I have to up the servings. So I made a really hearty meal to get him through the next few days.

Last night, Tuesday, he made dinner again. Chicken Breasts and some rice. I added some french cut green beans and Hawaiian rolls. Pretty good.

I'm pretty sure this week is going to be a routine dinner week, I don't have it in me to eat a bunch of salt again, and with school starting on Monday I want to make sure everything is in order. Cooking new recipes can be frustrating simply because you have to learn what ways to make it unique to your family. Sometimes you need to up the servings to feed 2 adults, 2 kids, and a toddler. Sometimes you cut back on sauce, because your husband doesn't like saucy foods. Or sometimes you just have to trust your gut and not add that last tablespoon of salt.

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