December 2, 2009

Do You Always Use a Recipe??

I have gotten asked this before from people, do I always use a recipe each night for dinner.

Truth is - no I don't.

I do like to follow recipes because I think it's just easier for me with my schedule - I know what I need, what to do, I don't have to fret over anything (Not that I ever fret over cooking to begin with!).

Sometimes, I make something that I've made so many times that I just know the recipe by heart and wing it. Sometimes it's things I grew up eating or my husband grew up eating that we just instinctively know how to make. Other times it's just easy, tossed together meals that you really don't need a recipe for at all.

Last night was a non-recipe night and it was Mmm Mmm Good!

A lot of inspiration for meals in our house comes from what's in the pantry, what's in the chest freezer, or what's in the fridge for leftovers. Last night I took inspiration from the leftovers and chest freezer.

I had two beautiful artichokes in the fridge that I wanted to use and a bunch of leftover stuffing from thanksgiving - so voila! Stuffed Artichokes. Steam the chokes up, stuff with the room temp. stuffing, drizzle with melted butter and bake in the oven on 350 for about 20 minutes until warmed. Then I figured some protein would be good with dinner - but I didn't defrost anything. So I found a half bag of peel and eat shrimp that needed to be cooked up in the chest freezer. Voila - Shrimp Boil! Boil a pot of water with 1 T salt, some peppercorns, garlic cloves, bay leaves, a lemon juiced and popped in the water and boil the shrimp for about 5-6 minutes until done.

So good - so easy - and cleaned out the fridge and freezer!

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