Tuesday night marked a big occasion in our household. Not only was it the first time since our marriage that I successfully made both a side dish AND a main dish for dinner—from scratch, no less—but it was also the first time Frank went back for second helpings. I felt like the world champion of wifely cooking after that.
^^The winning meal was chicken alfredo pasta with steamed broccoli on the side. If you look closely at our drinks, you'll see it's gin and tonic on the left, scotch and soda on the right (and Frank's stray loaf of French bread is roaming wild and free beside his plate).
I have a question for you—I know a lot of you have way more cooking experience than I do, including cooking for an entire family with multiple children every night (which sounds like a Herculean feat from my perspective).
I have the basic concepts of cooking down. I can make pasta and rice, I know how to simmer, boil, and stir-fry, I can cook most kinds of meat, and I feel pretty comfortable in the kitchen.
Here's my problem: I don't know how to make many actual meals. I spend a lot of time looking at recipe books, but they just confuse me because they involve too many complicated ingredients and specifics.
So I'm hoping to develop an arsenal of no-recipe meals—dinners that don't require a cookbook or fancy ingredients, but can be easily made from memory with pantry staples I already have on hand. I'm just not quite sure where to start.
So here's my question: what are your family's favorite easy dinners? When you are pulling together a quick but delicious meal, what recipes do you have memorized and can whip up without much advance notice? Even something as simple as "ground beef with tomato sauce over noodles" would be perfect—really, I'm open to all suggestions, and would be happy to hear anything you've got!