Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Country Platter: 30 Meals Guaranteed to Please


I L-O-V-E to cook. 

A lot. 

I find exquisite satisfaction in watching my husband eat a meal I've prepared. And if he goes back for seconds? 

Oh my word. 


Stick a fork in me - I'm done!!

My D is not a complicated man, nor a complicated eater. It's a beautiful thing. He loves simple, hearty, variably healthy, country meals. I say "variably healthy" because I believe in butter, I fry occasionally, and I don't generally sacrifice taste for low-fat recipes... cornbread is just undeniably more delicious when it's baked with a layer of bacon grease at the bottom of the pan. There. I said it.

However, we do eat a ton of fresh fruits and veggies, many of which are a result of our own sweat and toil in our family garden (during years when I'm not having twins) and when we don't have access to in-season fruits and veggies, we still eat frozen or canned, many of which - again - were frozen or canned by yours truly. 

Now a little background: 

During the first year of our marriage, I would regularly bust out a new recipe. An unknown


After several mediocre meals, I made a total flop of a dinner (pumpkin soup baked in the shell) that even I wouldn't eat, which is saying a lot. D - in only a way he could - let me know that it was okay if I didn't add new recipes to my repertoire. He expressed his appreciation for the old stand-by's and told me he didn't mind one bit if we ate the same meals every 30 days for the rest of our mortal lives. 

I bucked at the notion for awhile. No new recipes?!? The same old thing for my husband every month?!?! Hogwash!!! I wouldn't have it. However, after being married to him for nearly three years now, I'm finally realizing that D doesn't say anything he doesn't mean. 


And suddenly, I was struck with a few glorious realizations...

I didn't have to plan menus anymore. 

I didn't have to sit at the dining room table with 15 recipe books and come up with 30 NEW dishes for September. I didn't have to then write down a grocery list for said dishes. 

And the best part? Because I followed D's counsel, today I don't have to follow a recipe for any one of my 30 stand-by's. I know them like the back of my hand. 

Oh mama. 

I've decided these tried and true meals are too good not to share. As I mentioned before, they are anything but fancy. They are anything but complicated. And they are anything but vegan.

I will be sharing one recipe per post until we hit the end of my list. I will include a grocery list for each meal, as well as ideas for sides and such. 

I'm even throwing around the idea of adding bonus posts every once in awhile... perhaps "winter-only meals" or our favorite desserts!

So without further ado...

1. Pork Chops
2. Pizza
3. Pulled Pork Sandwiches/Burritos
4. Spinach & Artichoke French Bread Pizza
5. White Chicken Enchiladas
6. Chicken Fried Steak
7. Cornbread Chili Bake
8. Meat Loaf
9. Tater Tot Casserole
10. Stuffed Bell Peppers
11. Baked Ziti
12. Red Beans & Rice
13. Chicken Pot Pie
14. Spaghetti
15. Lasagna
16. Patty Melts
17. Fish Sticks
18. Pan-Fried Chicken Breast
19. .Zuppe Tuscana
20. Meatballs
21. Fajitas
22. Orange Chicken
23. Chicken & Rice
24. Avacado Chicken Parmesan
25. Sloppy Joes
26. Homemade Hamburger Helper
27. Chicken Tenders
28. BBQ Burgers
29. Grilled Cheese
30. Stuffed Jumbo Shells

MEAL #1: Pork Chops (BBQ'd or Crockpot -- just depends on the season!)


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