punch in the kitchen
I don’t pretend to be a chef, but have not hurt myself or my daughters when required to produce regular meals. My wife displaced me out of my (our) kitchen when she moved in with me. I rarely make it back with our current division of labor, but she does appreciate my forays there when I do.
She doesn’t have to cook for one meal, which is rather minor compared to:
I bring fresh perspective, ideas and flavors to our meals.
Kitcheneers all do it. I haven’t met the person who can keep fresh and new coming day after day, week after week and year after year. It is that freshness that really makes it interesting to have a new chef on site.
The answer: For goodness sakes, do your normal. It is quick, easy and efficient.
But once in a while, look in your cookbooks or online for handling of whatever main course is popping up on your guitar.
A few other suggestions:
dried tomatoes: plain or marinated … add zip to plain mac’n’cheese and delicious surprises to pasta sauce or anytime you are using tomato sauce.
3-bean salad: I really like marinated jars of this in pasta salad, green salad and other cool or room-temperature salads.
marinated artichokes: another lovely that brings a fresh taste to potato salad, pizza and other places where the vinegar side is welcome.
pizza: a plain store-bought pizza can be easily customized with any or all of your favorite treats from the gourmet pizza restaurants.
breakfast stir-fry: I usually start with diced onions, potatoes, mushrooms, and bacon stir-fried in plenty of oil. I vary what else I do after they have cooked together, but can do no wrong in Missy’s eyes when I stir up breakfast… except the time I tried adding Maple syrup as an experiment. That got me uninvited for quite a while.
diced garlic: I tend to be lazy on this one. Rather than crush it for the freshness and impact, I just use a bit more and let Costco dice it for me. I can’t count the places this goes well, but feel free using generous portions.
basil and oregano: We tend to go for salt and pepper, but these two go very well if you use them generously and do not hide them under the mask of salt and pepper.
Himalayan salt: Whenever you use salt, go for Himalayan pink. Good trace minerals make this a health food instead of just a flavoring that we have grown accustomed to finding in our food.
Worcestershire sauce: adds a unique flavor. It doesn’t take a lot, but we rarely think of it. Look at recipes calling for this and get a feel for where it may add some punch to your regular fare.
Mandarin oranges: a nice treat in a green salad or other places, much like dried tomatoes, these guys are easy to appreciate as surprises in many dishes.
The above is no attempt at a comprehensive list, but I hope it serves as inspiration.
Shake it up a little.
Have some fun with it.
Risk a mistake.
Corner your roommate into cooking. Who knows what they will come up with?