Back to the drawing board

A couple weeks ago Lindsay and I were talking about our lack of cooking ambition. One of us mentioned craving a Thanksgiving dinner, and in popped in the crock pot chicken and stuffing recipe. It wasn’t until just a few days ago that I actually took the time (all five minutes of it…) to make it.

The nice thing is that it only took four ingredients, although I didn’t put in the sour cream. And I’m all about the crock pot recipes now since it means less time in the kitchen and more time walking Hurley and/or running errands.

I will say I didn’t eat this when it was freshly made (the middle invited me to Chinese and you can’t say no to that). Surprisingly, I think I’d prefer it as leftovers. The downside I found with this is that the stuffing isn’t as fluffy and light as it normally is for me, and I think it’s because of the addition of the cream of chicken. It made it seem heavy and almost soggy. At least as leftovers that dries up a bit to where the stuffing seems more normal. If I were to make the recipe again, I’d like just use chicken broth or water instead of the cream of chicken.

chicken & stuffing

As somewhat of an aside, two things came out of me making this recipe. One, the realization that I need to get off this comfort food wagon I’ve been on lately. It’s been carb-heavy, which starts to impact the way I feel (especially in gym classes…). It’s time to swap it out for more fruits and veggies. I’m getting them in daily, but not to the extent that I should be. I can’t say the two recipes I have for this week will be overly healthy, but they should pair well with more veggies.

Speaking of new recipes, the second revelation I had is that I’m too quick to try new recipes. It’s not necessarily a bad thing since I love the wide range of dishes I’ve been able to try. But the odds that the recipe will be a flop are getting higher it seems.

Often when I tell people that I enjoy cooking, I’ll get a question like, “What’s the best thing you’ve made?” or “What’s your favorite recipe?” My response is generally just a blank stare. What are some of my favorites? I’ve been blogging about recipes for almost three years now (more on that later) but have I really distinguished which recipes are worth making again and passing on to other people?

This week my goal is to find out. I’m going to back through (most of) my cooking blog posts to see if any stand out as being a favorite or something to repeat. Hopefully I’ll find new dishes to try again — ones that I know I’ll for sure like, even as leftovers.

One of my favorite quotes/pieces of advice I got for work about a year ago is to do what you to best and partner for the rest. It doesn’t have direct applicability to cooking, other than the fact that I should cook what I like and excel at cooking. If I know sauces made of milk and flour don’t work for me, then why keep repeating them? Or if spaghetti squash and baked sweet potatoes are really hit or miss, why invest in the time and ingredients to make a recipe based on those? Plus if the middle can make stellar smashed potatoes and seven-bean chili, I’m going to leave that to her.

It’s time to get smarter about what I’m cooking — both in terms of healthiness and effort. And so the search begins!

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About dakotalizzie

I'm a twentysomething young professional living in Nebraska. My blog centers on the things I love - my family, dogs, friends, crafting, cooking, life chats and health. All these things help me lead the good life, and isn't that really what it's all about?

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