I was talking with a friend today about sanity, as I tend to do with many friends in similar life stages. Today our conversation ventured into the thing that keeps us just clinging to the right side of sanity (allegedly). For her, it’s keeping her house free of clutter. With two young boys afoot, it’s a challenge, but she asserted that in the midst of the utmost chaos, if she knows her house is clutter free, she refrains from committing homicide.
Anyone who’s darkened our doors knows that clutter isn’t my thing. While cluttered surfaces, corners and spaces certainly don’t make me feel GREAT about my state of mind, I can also forcibly ignore them and press forward. But my control switch, probably unsurprisingly, is food. Not even the food I personally consume but the food I serve my family. In fact, from time to time I wish I didn’t care about making another pass through the drive thru (my girls are big, YUGE Happy Meal fans, and we make a Chick-fil-A or McDonald’s run every other week or so), but I can’t outsource my meals without outsourcing a part of mental load. Instead, the act of love that preparing a meal allows me to make for my family is the thing that keeps me white knuckling the proper side of crazy for another day. How fascinating it is to learn each of our “things.” Maybe I should give the clutter one a try, though.Here’s a megadose of recipes we’ve been making around our house (posted mainly so I can close some browser tabs):
Chocolate Banana Muffins – I’ll stick to Erin’s plain banana muffins, but these were a nice change of scenery.
Healthy Zucchini Muffins – I’ve made this recipe now about 4 times and love it.
Healthy Banana Muffins – this is my preferred banana muffin recipe that I mentioned above. I make these regularly and include them in lunchboxes.
Healthy Cinnamon Sugar Apple Muffins – are we catching a muffin trend, here? I’ve been making a ton of mini muffin options for lunches, snacks and breakfasts, and after a trip to pick apples, this was a winning recipe.
Applesauce Muffins – I told you. These were also great.
Spiced Pumpkin Cinnamon Roll Pancakes – refinding this recipe in my tabs is inspiring me to make them again for the girls. They’re a fun, fall twist on pancakes. They’re not like regular pancakes… they’re cool pancakes.
Peanut Butter Banana Pudding – I’m addicted to banana pudding, and this update was delicious.
Fluffiest Blueberry Pancakes – as advertised!
Ham & Cheese Quiche – advertised as crustless, but 100% poured this sucker in a crust. As you do.
Herbed Crab Cakes – I nixed the sauce to keep things simple, but David and I both remarked on just how delicious these were.
20 Minute Ramen Carbonara – the girls slurped this right up.
A Warm Pan of Chickpeas, Chorizo and Goat Cheese – it is exactly as billed and incredibly delicious. It’s on this week’s meal plan, as it happens.
Egg Roll in a Bowl – there are precisely 42 million nearly-identical recipes floating around out there, and I’ve tried several, but this is my favorite to date.
Peruvian Style Roasted Chicken – a little more hands on work than a typical roasted chicken, but it’s still my favorite way to prepare one.
Rice Ball Casserole – this will forever be one of my most endearing meals to cook. I mean, it’s pretty good, but for whatever reason, Nora Beth and Annablair made up a weird, goofy knock knock joke about a Rice Ball Skillet man named after this recipe.
Sunday Night Gnocchi Bolognese Bake – this is a go to when I’m not sure what to make but want something cheesy, easy and comforting (the new thirty, flirty and thriving).
Tuscan Tortellini Soup – I made this for the girls but barely remember it. I like the addition of white beans for protein. And I’m pretty sure they liked it. I just don’t recall. Whoops.
Pizza Spaghetti Pie – I really, really love this recipe.
Falafel Meatballs – next time I’ll cut down on the garlic. Annablair liked these a lot. Nora B didn’t so much, but I think that garlic decrease will help.
Slow Cooker Honey Mustard Chicken Sandwiches – the first time I made this recipe, I LOVED it. So much so that I’ve made it at least three times since then. But each of those times? It’s been just okay.
Irish Shepherd’s Pie – this is so simple and cozy. I buy premade mashed potatoes and use ground turkey. The girls are fans too. Most days, anyway.
Weeknight Turkey & Bean Burritos – We love these, and they made for a great lunchbox inclusion. NB’s class can’t have poultry this year, due to an allergy, so I’ve been using a lot of ground pork instead.
Turkey Pumpkin Meatloaf – I really didn’t know how this was going to turn out, but it was a HIT. Interesting and unexpected but really tasty. I used ground pork.
Basil Chicken Saltimbocca + Buratta – this deceptively easy little dish has skyrocketed to a spot in my top 10ish. It feels fancy like a date night in but is easy to make.
Butternut Squash Carbonara – everybody loves this.
Nashville Unfried Hot Chicken – also securing a top 10ish spot is this DELICIOUS chicken. I never use coconut aminos, though, because I never remember to buy them. Instead I go with soy sauce. Same with ghee. I use butter.
Spiced Chickpea Stew – after reading about #TheStew forever, I finally made it, prepared to go “meh,” after all the online hype. BUT the hype is real. I can’t quite pinpoint just what makes it so good, but it just is. And that’s good enough for me.
Shredded Beef Enchiladas – I grew up not being a fan of enchiladas. Thank goodness my tastebuds have changed. And these are very, very good.
Super Easy One Pot Lasagna – this has a permanent spot in our top 5. Easily.
Creamy Spinach Artichoke Chicken – I probably won’t make this again any time soon, but it really was good.
Salmon Patties – if you’re into salmon patties… these are the ones you want.
Sweet Potato Cheddar BBQ Chicken Burgers – the girls really really liked these.
Easy Italian Pasta Salad – I can’t remember why I made this… maybe I was going out of town and left it for David? Anyway, he liked it a lot.
Broiled Grouper Parmesan – so so good. And so so easy.
Chicken Souvlaki Bowls + Fries – I didn’t want to mess with kabob’ing these suckers, so I tossed the chicken in the crockpot with all the seasoning and served it that way.
Spicy Chicken Tikka Tacos – these are ready so quickly and are very tasty.
Garlic Butter Creamed Spinach Salmon – this is rich and really good.
Charred Broccoli Salad – excellent! I’ve made this more than once.