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Howdy everyone!   One of our wonderful sorority sisters here on fab40 and I have been trading PMs about how to rejuvenate her love of cooking.

LeeAnn has been very busy with her teaching career and her family and hasn’t been doing much of it and wants to get back into “the mode“.

I suggested trying new grains, new veggies, new herbs and spices-thinking out of the box.  I also suggested getting her family involved-ask them if there is a food they’d like to try or a cuisine that interests them and come up with a menu!

An example:  For a long time I served these following carb side dishes-baked/mashed potatoes, brown rice, pasta (in some form).  They were easy, everyone would eat them and the leftovers were easy to put into soups or stews.  


I started making different grains-barley, kashi (buckwheat), millet (okay that was a bomb), polenta in various modes, tabouli and quinoa (rinse it thoroughly!).  Guess what-even the ones my family gave a thumbs down to, it still opened our minds and stomachs to new textures and tastes-which is a very good thing!

I tried different vegetables or used a different cooking method for the ones we used.  Guess what (again)?  We learned we loved roasted broccoli with steak seasoning and cumin as much as we did steamed broccoli with lemon, garlic and olive!

Try making your pasta in chicken or vegetable broth and add some broccoli during the last 3 minutes.  Drain all but about 1/2 C of the broth and stir in some fat-free sour cream and grate on some romano.

Tired of the same old entrees?  Try going vegan for a night.  Try using a totally new marinade or a fish you’ve never eaten before.

I hope not only does this help shake up the cobwebs about cooking, but encourages all of you to leave a comment on something you did to spice up the dinner table with your family and friends!  

Until Sunday-Mangia!


Member Comments

    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Cynthia Schmidt wrote Sep 3, 2008
    • Carine, I love the idea of cooking the pasta in broth, adding broccoli toward the end then draining most of the liquid. Dinner in one pot! I usually have more than one pot of something going at the same time.

      This past weekend we had friends over for dinner and I did something that would have been a traditional sunday dinner in my house growing up. My husband put a couple of chickens on the rotisserie, I made the Fazio family sauce with meatballs and sausage, tossed a big green salad with my homemade balsamic vinegar dressing and we topped it all off with home made vanilla ice cream loaded with chunks of Valrhona dark chocolate. I posted the ice cream recipe in the “Let’s talk food and exchange recipes” section of the site. When my grandparents came over on sundays, my mom always had some sort of pasta with our meal, no matter what we had from roast beef to grilled chicken. My grandpa couldn’t go a day without pasta!

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    • 0 votes vote up vote up

      Carine Nadel wrote Sep 5, 2008
    • sounds as if you had some wonderful dinners Cindy!  yum on the valrhona chocolate!
      Our favorites (even before Rachel Ray’s catchy term)our “stoups“.  It really is a meal in one pot.  If it ever starts cooling down, my big pot is coming out and on the stove.

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