I love feeding people. I get to feed some of my people this weekend! This is also the first of two weekends when I start making things to freeze for quick meals so that I don’t fall back into my fast food habit when NaNoWriMo (write a novel in a month – do it!) starts November 1.
Last night, while I was enjoying okra/broccoli fried rice (weird texture, but tasty) I made a list of ten simple things that will feed a group and/or provide leftovers. Let step one of meal planning commence!
1. Asparagus soup – Michelle, Steve, and Savvy are going Whole 30, so on Saturday, I am going to make them asparagus soup with the remnants of the asparagus that Mom froze for me from her garden last spring. I couldn’t find a recipe online that fit their plan, so I’m going to wing it. I get some of my most favorite soups that way. There might be roasting involved. I’m pretty excited about it.
2. Pizza Puffs. This is one of my favorite appetizers to serve because 1) the recipe is easy to adjust for dietary differences, 2) the puffs are easy to freeze and are just as tasty re-toasted, and 3) they are easy to take to school or work when I know I won’t be coming home for a while. Key word – easy.
3. Kale and chicken egg rolls. I haven’t made these yet. When I do, I think that I will bake them, because I find having a large pot of oil in the kitchen disconcerting. Also, I tend to like the egg roll wrappers better when they’re baked. I will probably also replace the chicken with something like butternut squash. But I will make a test batch. If that goes well (and believe me, if it goes as well as I think it will, you will definitely hear about it), I will make eleventy dozen and freeze them, and this might be the only thing that I eat this winter.
4. Lasagna. I love some lasagna. I love all kinds. I love butternut squash lasagna (although I don’t use as much dairy in mine as the recipe calls for. That’s terrifying). Spinach lasagna is the casserole-y item that most frequently graces my kitchen. And sometimes, I just need good, comforting, traditional lasagna. A big pan of lasagna will feed more people than I can even fit into my apartment, and it also freezes beautifully.
5. Confession – I hoard Crock-pot recipes. I love coming home to the smell of something that has been cooking for hours and hours. Bourbon Street chicken. Chicken and dumplings. Caponata. Just spend a little quality time with that Pinterest board. And you’re welcome.
6. I have to take a moment to fangirl about Joy the Baker. I inherently trust anyone who loves brown butter, particularly one who uses it when she makes her coffee Irish. She has a cookbook out. You should buy it. She also has a tiny kitchen, which makes me feel less angry about my tiny kitchen. Her tomato cobbler with blue cheese biscuits is one of the best things that she – or anyone, for that matter – has ever done. I have no idea if this dish is good for leftovers. This is one of those things that you cook for guests but don’t expect to have leftovers because they will eat all of it and possibly lick the pan if you don’t stop them.
7. Another easy-to-modify staple is a pan of enchiladas. Whether you stack them (I’m a stacker) or roll them (the traditional method), there’s almost nothing you can do to ruin them.
8. Lazy Sunday Casserole. This can be produced quickly and in bulk and will feed me for days.
9. Burgers. I forget that I can do this at home. I also forget how insanely easy it is to freeze ground chuck into patties, ready to go, or to make black bean burgers and freeze those for a quick reheat. Also…homemade hamburger buns. YES.
10. And last, for days when I am feeling super lazy but still want to have people over, I will opt for the baked potato bar, because I usually have all those things in my house already. And potatoes can totally be baked (and kept warm) in the Crock-pot.
Now I’m hungry. Come on, five o’clock!