You know how salad never tastes even remotely the same at home as it does in a restaurant? You can do all the Pinteresting and specialty shopping you want, and nothing will taste like a perfect steak house salad. And it is even worse for those of us who are limited in what we like in our salads! (Think croutons, meat, and cheese! ha ha) My favorite salad for many years as been the Chicken Caesar Salad from Applebees–without the dressing (I know….I eat like a ten year old!) and with CRISPY chicken rather than grilled. (I do love grilled chicken, and as soon as my new Intermittent Fasting course is up and live, I am going to share my amazing oven grilled chicken marinade recipe….want to get some new pics for it!) But no matter what I did, I couldn’t duplicate at home. They have amazing sour dough croutons that aren’t airy or break-your-teeth hard. They are juuuuust right. They have the crispest Romaine. Perfect salad cheese. Yes, I am craving it right now!
Back when I did freezer cooking every month and never let my freezer get lower than 100 entrees at any given time, Salmon patties were in my rotation. The recipe was so easy and quick that even my youngest assistant could mix them up and shape and flash freeze them (after an older sibling opened the cans for them). My kids loved crunching the bones between their fingers—much like the joy of popping packing bubbles, I guess. So to say that anyone can make salmon patties is definitely a true statement!
I have had a long-term love affair with meatballs! This is, in part, because they are THE perfect food to have in your freezer. And, in part, because I have such fond memories of making these with my kids—them all gathered around the table rolling the mixture into balls and placing them on cookie sheets to “flash freeze” as I read aloud from our favorite chapter book. Oh…the sweet memories….
But honestly, I love meatballs for way more reasons than their freeze-ability and the little faces around my table:
I have loved experimenting with my air fryer! While it “fries” up par-fried, store bought, frozen foods wonderfully, that is not what I’m really after (though it is incredibly convenient for when my sons drop in!). What I really want for everyday fare is to make something lower carb/more healthful AND low fat (if I choose—-with the option to slather something with healthy fats if I feel so inclined). The air fryer has not been disappointing!
I have been having so much fun cooking in my air fryer. I am sad that it isn’t super helpful for large families as it is amazingly convenient. (It doesn’t hold much at one time, which is why it is hard to cook for a family in it. It is a quick 12 to 15 minutes for homemade French fries for two or three, but if you need to make that for six or eight or ten, it is extremely time consuming.) However, I would have to say that the air fryer is THE perfect kitchen appliance for empty nesters. Super fast to just toss foods in it and go. Seriously, I LOVE it. I had four roast-an-ears to fix for dinner one night with some bbq beef and stir fried veggies, so I thought I would give it a try in my fryer. Twelve minutes later, after simply brushing them with butter and sprinkling with salt and pepper, I had four perfect ears of corn. They tasted and looked like they had been cooked on the grill. Yum!
If you have been following my Grocery Fast over on Character Ink blog, you might be aware that I am trying to empty my freezers, refrigerators, cupboards, and pantries! When you are trying to use up a little of this and a little of that or when you need to go to the store but want to make a meal first, eggs–in the form of omelettes, frittatas, quiches, and “skillets” (what we call loaded scrambled eggs)–are perfect! If you’ve got eggs, anything fresh at all in the fridge (even leftover meats!), canned mushrooms or hot peppers, quite literally any cheese in any form ANYWHERE, and maybe even some little zipper bags of leftover frozen sausage or bacon (or any meats!), then eggs are the perfect go to.