When I started this blog a year and a half ago I wasn’t really sure what it would become. I knew I enjoyed writing here and sharing my kitchen adventures with you. This blog has become so much more to me. It’s given me so much more purpose whether I’m cooking alone in the kitchen, sharing a meal, dreaming up recipes, having adventures, planning our wedding, and more. Sometimes I ask myself, “what would I want to share about this moment?” And that’s lead me to create even more ways to share even more of my life with you like what I’ve got in store for you today.
I’m excited to launch a new series on A Balanced Life Cooks called What’s Cookin’? With these posts I’ll share images and links to recipes I’ve recently made and include any tweaks or tidbits based on my experience. Sometimes I may not have time to invent a new recipe, but I’m still cookin’ around here every chance I get. So I want to be able to share those delicious outcomes with you.
My mom has often said that coming up with what to cook is the most difficult part about cooking. She’s so right. Once you know what to make the rest is pretty easy (unless you decide to make something really challenging, but that doesn’t happen much around here!) Fortunately I have LOTS of answers for you. And if this helps you plan your menu in some way, to answer that what are we having for dinner question, well, my work here is done.
To kick things off, here are some recent favorites (if you follow me on Instagram (@pngpics) some of these may look familiar, but now you don’t have to wait for a recipe from me to get cookin’!)
Slow Cooked Jerk Pork with Caribbean Salsa via Skinnytaste.com
I pretty much followed the recipe to the word and OH MY GOODNESS. First of all, pulled pork in general is just the best (and this was the first time I’ve made it….the next time will involve globs of BBQ sauce I’m sure.) The flavors in here are wonderful and so unusual. I actually ordered the jerk seasoning the blogger recommends, but it took a little trip around the world and only arrived yesterday from London (I made this recipe a week ago). I kind of winged the seasoning with a random mixture of spices I already had and it was still fab. Make this. Just do it.
Spicy Tomato Lentil Soup via Heather Christo Cooks
Let’s just call this doctored tomato soup becuase there’s very little cooking. And let’s face it, you don’t always have time or energy to cook, but you can still have something delicious for dinner. In all fairness my soup didn’t involve lentils because Trader Joe’s was out (even though I eye them every single week and finally had a reason to buy them–oh well!) The recipe I made involved these ingredients: Half an onion, two cloves of garlic, boxed creamy tomato soup from Trader Joe’s (you guys….it’s amazing…just buy it and you’ll see), 1 1/2 cups precooked brown rice, and a few heaping handfuls of pre-cut, pre-washed kale. In other words it took me about 7 minutes to make, which meant I barely had to step away during a House of Cards marathon with Robert last Sunday. See that cornbread? It’s from a mix from Trader Joe’s. Can you tell I’m totally becoming a convert? It’s awesome.
Foil-Baked Lemon-Garlic Fish and Asparagus via Pink Parsley
I used cod, added some sliced bell pepper, and served with whole wheat couscous mixed with freshly chopped parsley. Other than that, I followed the recipe as-is. Fantastic weeknight meal. If this is your first time making compound butter, allow me to say this: It will change your life.