CTPhotoMemories New Family Recipes

I tend to get in a rut when it comes to cooking. 

My husband is a fabulous cook. He isn't afraid to try new recipes and honestly, my secret dream in future retirement is to take cooking classes with him and visit different places so we can try unique foods...

I tend to like baking more so than cooking...but, knowing that my husband's love language is "acts of service" I also know that finding new meals to try around the dinner table means more to him than any card I could write...

However, I do run into a handful of roadblocks along the way...

Let's just put it out there, off the bat, that I struggle with confidence when it comes to cooking anyway, so I'm always at battle with my mind to veer from the comfortable, safe and known...that aside, there is also the "picky eater" syndrome that my youngest seems to have inherited...and the fact that we really do attempt to eat healthy at our house...we're not "crunchy" or all organic by any means, but if I can slip in random vegetables without too many cries of distress, I count that a victory...

And so...

in my state of "rut" this winter, I put on my big girl pants and made myself search and try a few new recipes...and low and behold a handful of them were big winners at my house! 

As we are heading into Spring and the thought of being outdoors and family time at soccer games and making memories flood my mind, I want to continue to cherish the times we get around the dinner table...my "business" in photography is much more than just pictures...it's based in storytelling and memories...and that requires a focus on not just photography equipment, but on the HEART of matters...

-books to read and/or discuss together
-shows to watch as a family
-outings and adventures to take
-and for today's blog post, meals to eat around the dinner table

***First on the list is One Pot Parmesan chicken, spinach and Orzo.  You can find the entire blog post and recipe at THIS site. My girls gobble this up and the leftovers are fantastic for a thermos lunch at school too!  We sometimes exchange the Orzo pasta for Cavatappi pasta instead...it tends to look a little like a goolash, but with chicken and spinach. We serve it with salad and toasted baguettes.

Recipe Runner has quite a few really interesting recipes...I'm looking forward to exploring more of her site and trying more meals very soon!

***Next up is Slow Cooker Glazed Ribs I'll be honest that I was hesitant to try this one. It's not because I don't adore Pioneer Woman recipes...far from it...she's marvelous...(and if you haven't tried her Peach Whiskey Chicken, put that on your list too!) But, pork ribs make me nervous...Pork in general is nerve racking for me...I don't want it to be too dry and my youngest is REALLY particular about "sauces"...so when I read plum preserves, ketchup and BBQ sauce, I was a little leery...

I should not have been though...the meat was glorious and the finishing sauce was heavenly...even my littlest liked it (and she hates ketchup!!!) The other plus point is that it is cooked in the crock pot all day long...the only last minute steps took me about 20 minutes...and that was making baked potatoes and green beans to go with the main dish!

***Last for today, is another pasta dish called Sensational Chicken Carbonara  Being married to an Italian, I get anxious when I dive into the realms of "pasta" as well...and I know a good many Nonnas out there that probably have magnificent Italian dishes that put me to shame...(but this is one of those moments that I have to just tie my apron a little tighter, put my chin up and do the best I can) So, no I don't handmake my own noodles and I'm sure there are a great many more spices & herbs that could add to this dish...but seeing as our daughters tend to have a bit more of a subtle palette, this recipe was divine! ((I will caution, be slight on your addition of peas...I may have overdone it the first time around which caused some belly aching from the girls..."EAT YOUR PEAS"!!!))

However, the addition of bacon gives it that little kick!  Also, it's easy to shift the carbonara sauce into more of an alfredo by adding in cream cheese and extra butter, IF you want a thicker more savory sauce...either way, it's a winner!

((images used from linked sites))

I'd love to hear if you've found any fun recipes for your family as well...feel free to leave a comment...and if you missed our favorite weekend (and snow day) treat, Soft Pretzels, be sure to check out that link HERE

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