Maureen and I love to cook. We started our culinary adventures in 2009, with a plan to take cooking lessons at a local kitchen-supply store (Sur La Table). The cost was $80 per person for a group lesson–and that seemed a bit high to us. So instead, we bought ingredients and just started cooking! We figured, “What the heck? If it doesn’t taste good, we’ll throw it out and try something different next time.”
Our first attempt was seared scallops with orange sauce, and we cooked this on Valentines day. Scallops are pricey ($18/lbs.), but after reading a few articles and watching a video, we cooked a great meal! And we’ve been the dynamic duo of the kitchen ever since!
We have some of our favorite recipes listed below. Please download and enjoy, and let us know if you have any questions.
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Baked Squash Casserole
We have a vegetable garden and one of the things we grow is yellow squash. This year’s crop has been particularity bountiful, and that’s great because we both love squash casserole! It’s an excellent side dish for almost any kind of protein (grilled chicken, seared fish, ground beef, pork ribs). And, it freezes beautifully well.
Pozole is the Spanish word for hominy. Hominy is produced from maize corn (the type of corn used for Fritos). Straight from the can, hominy has a mild flavor. But when added to a soup, hominy will partially dissolve and creates a rich flavorful broth. This soup freezes beautifully well.
The best thing about a gumbo is the roux. A good roux smells and tastes like buttered toast. Of course, the meats are important too. We use both light and dark turkey meat, and Andouille sausage. I use to only make this gumbo after Thanksgiving. Now I make it 3-4 times a year. It freezes beautifully well.
We love fresh vegetables! This recipe has 10 of them, plus three others that are canned or frozen. It also has three fresh herbs. This recipe makes a bunch (I use my 12 quart stock pot), but it freezes beautifully well–and you’ll love having this in the freezer for an easy evening meal. We usually enjoy this soup with fresh biscuits.
This is one of our favorite recipes. The cinnamon in the dry-rub and the maple syrup & apple cider vinegar in the sauce create a lovely Caribbean favor. This is another meal that freezes beautifully; we normally freeze 11-12 ounces per container and that will feed us both (especially when served with Cuban black beans).
A friend of mine from Austria, whose husband is a diplomat from Brazil, shared this recipe with us–and it’s wonderful! Black beans can be hard to cook (until I had the Instant Pot, I could never get them tender). You won’t have that problem with this recipe. The beans freeze great; we normally freeze 15-16 ounces per container.
We’ve never been to France. If we ever retire, the two places we’re going first are France and Italy. But for now, we’ll enjoy homemade French and Italian cooking, and of course we’ll have great breads! This is another of our favorites!!
There is a restaurant in Dallas called Bistro 31. Every Tuesday they serve turkey pot pie–and it always sells-out. If you aren’t seated by 7:30 p.m., you won’t get to order it. People with later reservations will offer to prepay the bill–and they won’t do it.
If you love turkey pot pie, I think you’ll find this recipe is just as good–and it freezes great!
I love Chinese food. The problem with making Chinese food is you use a lot of ingredients that aren’t common to Southern or Cajun cooking. But most of these ingredients can be purchase affordably at Walmart, and if you enjoy Chinese cooking the cost of the ingredients will be spread over several meals–making the purchase a bargain. And, of course, the leftover freeze beautifully!