I am not a good cook. Let me just get that out of the way for all of you - my mother is a great cook, but somehow it didn't rub off on me. Alex can look into the fridge, gaze reflectively at the container of olives, pomegranate seeds, 12 varieties of cheese and assorted leftovers, and whip up a meal that is delicious and totally unexpected. I don't have that gene. I'm lucky if I can NOT overcook chicken breasts (I compulsively overcook chicken, because I once became ill after eating undercooked chicken - so there.).
Anyway, now that we're married and shit, I sense this expectation from my other half about food being available to eat each night. If left to my own devices, dinner would be something like a big plate with grapes, almonds, cheese, some hummus and pita. Sounds good, right? Yeah, except you can't eat that every night. My other favorite dinner is a big salad, because I usually have my big meal at midday, and end up eating dinner on the late side, so I don't want a big heavy meal. My dinner the other night was spinach, red bell peppers, tomatoes, gouda cheese, pine nuts, cucumber, and leftover roast chicken and rice thrown in. It was great. However, the boy rebels when I try to feed him salad for dinner EVERY night. What to do, what to do....
My friend Kim turned me on to Everyday Italian. It's a cooking show that is on every weekday, hosted by the adorable Giada de Laurentiis (granddaughter of producer Dino). Italian is not necessarily my favorite variety of food, but I find that it's the easiest to prepare, which of course makes it terribly appealing to me. I've been TiVoing all of the episodes, and watch when I have time, and then make a list of the dishes I want to try. So far we've had great luck with some lasagna rolls with spinach and prosciutto, and a fettucine with chicken and broccoli rabe. I try to not do pasta more than a couple of nights a week, plus there is so much leftover that we end up eating it a lot for lunch as well. My only gripe is that a lot of ingredients are hard to come by in Boulder. For example, I can't find Japanese eggplant anywhere! I am making do with the regular variety, but apparently the Japanese eggplants are smaller, more tender and sweeter.
Tomorrow night, I'll be trying spaghetti with eggplant, butternut squash and shrimp. I'll let you know how it goes.