Monday, January 30, 2012

A Week of Dinners

Good Monday morning everyone! I hope everyone had a pleasant weekend and are having a good day as well. As I've mentioned before, one of the many benefits of having an Italian boyfriend is that he is a phenomenal cook. Not only is he good at cooking, but he actually enjoys cooking and trying new things. Being a bit of a picky eater, I may stiffle his creativity just a tad, but I've been making some changes recently and find I'm actually learning to love trying new things. Though we eat out quite a bit with family and friends, E and I almost never go out because we actually prefer to stay in and cook a nice meal just the two of us. I was never much of a cook myself, but I am actually proud of myself and how good my cooking skills are getting. This past week I actually tried, for the first time, to make lasagna completely from scratch. Though it didn't turn out perfect, E ate his whole piece and promised that it was delicious. Coming from him, this is a true complement because, from what I hear, his sister makes the best lasagna he has ever tasted. Talk about setting the bar high :) One of my New Year's Resolutions was to try new foods as well as eat healthier and fresher dinners... so here's a week in our apartment seen through dinners.

Cabbage rolls stuffed with ground beef and sauteed vegetables. You could replace the beef with any meat of your choice or, for a vegetarian option, just fill it with the grilled vegetables. I have to say, I was a little hesitant to try them at first... but they were actually amazing. After they are made, you then let them simmer in a tomato and vegetable sauce. E made the entire thing from scratch and since the recipe yielded enough for 5 people, we froze some of them for future lunches or dinners.

The prep work for my lasagna. I found there were too many steps in the preparation for a dinner on a work night, but would love to try it again on a weekend when I am not as rushed. I made everything, including the white sauce (beshamel) from scratch. Even the tomato sauce. It was worth it.

The nights when I go to Yoga, or the gym after work tend to be more hectic. By the time I get home, I'm starving and hardly have time to heat something up (we don't own a microwave, so everything gets heated up in the oven or on the stove), so I was happy last week to come home to E cooking away. He made an amazing chicken dinner, complete with sauteed mushrooms, steamed Edamame, and roasted potatoes. It was delicious, and exactly what I wanted after a long day.

We always go out for family dinner on Friday nights, so on Thursday, we opted for a lighter meal consisting mainly of different salads. To make things more colorful, I made a few different salads instead of one large one. It was a nice change, and a good option since I don't like to eat meat every night.

Preparing the 'Caprese Salad' with nice, big, ripe tomatoes and a delicious fresh Buffalo Mozarella.

To complement the other salad, I made a Green Salad with iceburg lettuce, cucumbers and Edamame. It was nice, light, fresh and delicious.

The colors of Italy :)

All this talk of food is making me hungry, so I'm off to heat up my homemade chicken soup left over from yesterday.

Buon Appetito!
With Love,