• chefcarlin

Much busier September and I think I'm liking that. Planning is still key to eat well, save money and reduce waste.


I am always glad that husband eats pretty much anything, goes along with any cravings and when I do ask what he'd like says "something good". That's my goal.


I made a skillet spinach lasagna and while the flavor was good, the recipe needs work. I weighed, measured, still had a lot of liquid and the pasta didn't cook well. Not linking to it, may try to change a few things.


Made pizza again and remembered to start the dough before I went to sleep. First night I made two pizzas, both the same, with pepperoni, banana peppers, roasted red peppers, red sauce, mozzarella. Leftovers, yay!

This dough says it can't be frozen, so two nights later I made two smaller pizzas with pesto from the freezer, shrimp and goat cheese with lemon zest. So good! I roasted the shrimp for two minutes before adding and baking on the pizza but I think I could have put them on raw.


My new Butcher Box came and included a 2 pound bag of pre-made burgers. Didn't order them, they didn't look perfect, I decided to thaw them immediately and try to just make a batch of taco seasoned beef.The burgers looked great once thawed, I crumbled, added some onion, spices, cooled, packaged into freezer bags and had some ready to eat food.


I made more bread since it takes a minimum of two days to make. It freezes perfectly and I had time so may not have time later. Also sometimes an egg and cheese sandwich is dinner.

Not photogenic, but Skillet Philly Cheesesteak is good. I am not avoiding carbs, obviously, but didn't want bread or noodles. Decided to bake some potatoes and serve the beef over the potatoes. Perfect! Added nothing to the potatoes, they were like a bun. And of course baked extra potatoes for a later breakfast.


Tomatoes were on sale at the store so I bought some knowing I'd use them for something. I used them with tuna. Sauteed onion, tomatoes, the roasted red pepper that was left in the jar from pizza night, garlic, capers, olive oil. Once everything was saucy, I poured onto my cooked pasta and seared the tuna in the same pan.


Yes I do like pepper! But another easy dinner because I did some KitchenAid work and needed quick and delicious after.


I had some cubanelle peppers I needed to use, so thawed a pound of Italian sausage, chopped up some mozzarella, added some red pepper flakes and stuffed that mixture into pepper halves. Baked at 400 until the sausage was done and peppers tender.


Made some pasta, heated some Rao's marinara and served the peppers on a bed of pasta. Very good with little effort.

After school cooking started with the 1st thru 3rd graders so I knew I would not cook once home. Thursday morning I made a slaw of cabbage, yellow bell pepper (needed to use), cilantro, and grape tomatoes. Once home I heated a package of the seasoned beef, put it on tostado shells with salsa, cheese and sour cream. Tossed the slaw with Bolthouse Cilantro Avocado Dressing and it was dinner.


I plan my menu knowing I won't want to cook every night and knowing there will be leftovers of some kind.


I had my new knitting class and everyone was very nice. The store has gorgeous yarn, I didn't buy any, but started my mittens. I didn't want to cook after class because we had lots of food already made.


Husband chose tostados and slaw, I thawed the leftover pepperoni pizza and made a little salad, and the peppers went into the freezer. No wasted food, no hungry people. No cooking


Often I think I won't make breakfast but then I get a vision and decide to cook. Husband is okay with visions.


There are many tostada shells in a package. I made sunny side up eggs, used a little quesadilla cheese, green salsa, and sour cream. Visions can be messy. But good.

Sunday night Thai Green Curry with Chicken. I never remember which curry paste is the hottest, red, green or yellow, so may have used heaping spoons and this was very zingy. But good.

This week I need to read for my women's group. Our book is The Time is Now by Joan Chittister. I need to prep for after school cooking. No grocery shopping for us this week. I've planned until September 26th.





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  • chefcarlin

September is a bit busier. Still having days when I don't feel like cooking and feel like eating most days. Still loving the freezer and leftovers.


Trying to use freezer things before my September Butcher Box order arrives.


I'd been putting off spicy grilled chicken sandwiches for several days and finally made them. My vision for the meal was to also make one minute mayonnaise and onion rings, so had to be in a cooking mood. Visions can be annoying.


I've never made onion rings ever! I don't like beer so never have it, used club soda. Worked well. Sandwiches also good, not photogenic.


Italian prune plums are one of my favorite summer foods but they are tough to find in Georgia, easier in Pennsylvania. But Buford Highway Farmer's Market came through and I was able to make this cake. Delicious summer tradition.

I used the bacon potato pizza from the freezer and it was perfect. And easy for dinner.


Made my favorite buttermilk brined chicken one night with sheet pan scalloped potatoes. The potatoes were delicious for dinner and for breakfast the next day. So delicious!


One easy dinner of seasoned, roasted shrimp and a caprese salad. Some nights need lighter food than others. I have been in salad moods lately. One great salad that was scheduled for dinner but moved to brunch was salad with poached eggs and bacon vinaigrette.


Yes, husband went outside the breakfast comfort zone for salad. But we both loved it. Poached eggs are my favorite and these came out pretty well, still need practice.


So many days, so many meals! We had porcini pot roast ( a repeat), salsa verde chicken pasta using the leftover chicken and a poblano pepper I found and roasted and added, made broth with the carcass, wedge salad with buttermilk dressing, spicy pork with noodles.

Forget to take pictures of everything but did remember the pork.

I've been buying blueberries and then needing to use them and baking. This cake was delicious!


My mixer is a 7 quart mixer so sometimes is too big for recipes. I remembered I had a 3 quart bowl and it makes such a difference!

For fun, I gathered leaves while we walked one morning and made a collection on the dining room table. I follow Emma Mitchell on Twitter and have her book The Wild Remedy and she made this suggestion. I love my picture!

I taught a cooking class at Newnan Carnegie Library. I'm so fortunate that I've been able to work with them for many years. the class was for adults (two child crashers with mom) and we made nice and easy food.


Creamy Lemon Herb Butter Ravioli, Italian Chopped Salad with Marinated Chickpeas, and Lasagna Grilled Cheese. Everyone did a great job and had fun. Also husband was there as my lovely assistant.




Need to work on my menu plan and grocery list now. Next week is busy with knitting class starting, after school cooking starting and KitchenAid work. For after school we added a session for the younger students so September I have two first graders and one third grader so far.


My women's group started this week and we're starting two new books. Very glad to be back with the group. And working on some bread now so I can stock the freezer.

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  • chefcarlin

Summer is over! Not officially but September is coming quickly. School has been in for over a month in Georgia so September doesn't seem much like the start of a new year.


I did buy new pens for journaling. I like to use every color depending on my mood of the day. No new notebooks, folders, calendars.


I keep thinking I'm not cooking much but then I look and see that we eat twice a day and sometimes I even cook twice a day. I am in kind of a slump lately.


I've been making easier recipes lately, recipes I've made before so I don't have to wonder if they'll work. I've found that leeks keep very well and we love them. Some leeks, shrimp from the freezer, pasta, dinner. I use a lot of recipes from David Leite's site because they're tested and have great tester comments.

We love a good, hearty salad so this chicken salad was on the menu and it was tasty. Publix has the beans in a nice size package.

I made more bread because I had time and my starter refreshed quickly. I used this recipe but with some changes. I know the recipe works so I've been modifying it some. Plan to Eat lets me copy the recipe and make changes so I now have four versions of it - regular, with some whole grain, with sunflower seeds and this last one with added seeds and grains.




Love this recipe and the bread pan. Perfect size, cooks nicely, easily sliced loaf.


Trying to use what we had and not waste food, not grocery shop before necessary. Pasta carbonara is perfect for that with a salad. Bacon in the freezer, eggs, cheese, pasta.

Pork and potato tacos, made them before, quick pickled onions, some roasted okra on the side.

I made a little too much starter when I made the bread, so I wanted to use the discard and not discard the extra. Husband loves pancakes, I'm a more savory breakfast person but added a side of bacon and all was well.

Electric skillets are the way to go! I didn't really use one much at home, I had them for library cooking programs since there are no kitchens when I do library programs, but this is so much faster and easier.


I also had some blueberries that needed to be used and I hadn't baked a cake or cobbler with them so pancake topping. Wash the berries, put them in a pan, add a little water, turn on and get them to a boil, add a little sugar if needed, I used a little honey, simmer until thick. Can also make a little cornstarch slurry to thicken. Serve over pancakes. Or ice cream, yogurt.

I needed pizza and my favorite dough takes some remembering. But I did it! And need to always remember. I start it around 11 pm.


It looks like it will not be dough, not possible to do what the recipe says, but follow the recipe and all will be well.

I made two for dinner and put two in the fridge. I found some cooked sausage in the freezer, had some sauce, and then foraged for what looked good including a box of spinach that needed to be used.

One pizza was sausage, banana pepper, spinach, cheese, the other was the cheeses pizza from New York Times. Find the recipe, there is a paywall, and make it. I did not have taleggio cheese so used a bit of truffle cheese I had. It is delicious.



I preheat the pizza stone for about an hour, 475 degrees, bake on parchment, no fires yet, these took about 11 minutes.


Also one new recipe Vietnamese Garlic Noodles. I was wary of the cheese and amount of garlic but so delicious. I halved the recipe for us and had miso salmon. Neither particularly photogenic but tasty.


Also pork chops with tomato sage gravy but used pork tenderloin medallions, chicken broth from the freezer (!).


Husband was away at a retreat so I foraged and had a sausage pizza, found arancini cheddar broccoli in the freezer, some bolognese, a salad with salmon.


Now it's grocery shopping day. And our air conditioner does not want to work, so no cooking today. For sure no bread baking!


My fun activities this week included pen shopping (don't judge), haircut, Sunday retreat that was wonderful.

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