In spite of all the family meals I prepared and served over the years, I like to cook. In spite of the four-loaves-of-bread-a-week batch I baked when I was a full-time mom, I like to bake. And yet, finding the time to do either has become more difficult. I am so tired of restaurant food that I'm willing to try to fix at least one major meal a week, for my SO and me.
The weekend before last, it was ham loaf. At the meat market (I knew they would have ground ham), I could not remember if I needed 1.5 or 2 pounds of ham, so I bought the larger amount. Not only did I have leftover ham loaf, I had ham salad as well, which is really good on Triscuits. But man, too much salt for one week.
Last weekend it was beef stew, my own sorta made-up recipe (based on Betty Crocker's):
Dredge 1.5 pounds of stew beef in flour, then brown it in oil in a Dutch oven.
Add 1 c. water, bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, cover and cook for 2 hours.
Add two pounds of Russian banana potatoes (scrubbed and unpeeled), a couple of carrots (peeled and sliced), coarsely chopped peppers (green, yellow, red, orange), coarsely chopped onion, coarsely chopped celery (with leaves), a bay leaf, and one can of condensed tomato soup. (Other vegetables may be added, at your discretion. Mushrooms, garlic, peas, or green beans come to mind.) Cover and cook for another hour.
Adjust seasoning and serve with toast or biscuits to mop up the soup.
Needless to say, this meal was a success.