When I was in high school, I had a boyfriend whose mother was a voracious shopper. She would spend hours scouring stores for the best bargains on designer clothes. Her closets were overflowing with gorgeous things, most of which still had the tags attached.
I know where you think this is headed. We need to whittle down our bloated closets, blah, blah, blah. That's probably true but what I really wanted to share with you was Judy's advice on how to make it seem like you've been slaving away in the kitchen all day when you, uh, haven't been.
"All you have to do," she said, sipping a glass of white wine, "is put a little olive oil in a skillet and fry up some garlic and onions. That's the way to start a quick meal but it makes the house smell like you've been cooking for hours."
I really hate cooking in summertime because it always seems to cramp your lifestyle. I always forget about meals until we're all hungry and cranky. Menu planning is not my forte. But my culinary laziness has made for a pretty decent arsenal of kitchen shortcuts and tricks.
Yesterday, Bob and I went to go see Prometheus in IMAX 3D. It was totally awesome. My parents took the kids to see Madagascar 3 and go hit some tennis balls. When we got home, I vegged out for a while until I finally realized I should probably deal with making something for the hungry grandparents and kids who would be returning imminently. So I tossed the garlic and onion into a pot and started a quick turkey chili, largely with canned pantry staples: beans, corn, mushrooms, diced tomatoes. I served it over some Texmati rice, also from the pantry.
The pièce de résistance, though, was using the over-ripe cherries that had been sitting in our fridge to make a pie. I pitted the cherries, which was arguably the most time-consuming thing about our meal (made easier with the help of the Cherry Chomper Cherry Pitter), mixed them with about a half cup each of agave syrup and dark chocolate chips and dumped it all into a refrigerated double crust.
Everything tasted great, although chili is never much to look at, so I'll leave you with just a picture of the pie.
Cooking from scratch doesn't have to be any more complicated than preparing frozen or boxed meals. Live a Little by mastering basic cooking skills and you'll get way more compliments!
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