New recipes…the fun of exploring, the joy of eating.

Ever get to the place where you’re tired of your own cooking? Or tired of the same old menus week after week? That’s been me for quite some time.

In my case, I never cooked a meal until I got married. Well, at this point we’ve been married 37-1/2 years and I have to say I’m burned out with my meal planning. Oh I still like to eat, and I don’t mind cooking, but I’m definitely bored.

A typical meal at our house takes less than 15 minutes to put on the table. It includes some kind of protein, a steam-in-the-bag veggie, and a quick-cooking side like a microwave potato or semi-homemade applesauce (cook down two apples into applesauce and combined with part of a store bought jar and voila! Semi-homemade applesauce).

I’m not at all proud of what our meals have become but even if they take very little time I think they are somewhat nutritious. At least that’s what I tell myself.

But all this is changing. I’m addicted to Pinterest and find all sorts of easy, enticing recipes just waiting for someone to give them a try. Add to that some shared recipes from co-workers and in the past two weeks I’ve tried four new recipes.

One was so easy and good I shared it with Kate who made it that night. Then today, I brought to her another new one to try (crockpot chicken parmesan). She spent less than 5 minutes assembling it, popped on the lid, and 7 hours later she hopefully gets to enjoy the fruits of all that labor!

We’ve discovered that oven baked spicy sweet potatoes are yummy to me and tolerable to Greg, that shrimp can be consumed quite joyfully in ways other than deep fried or as shrimp cocktail, and that there are lots of ways to prepare low-fat versions of your favorites.

On the menu tonight is Penne alla Not-ka (a play on Penne Vodka-no vodka and still yummy), low-fat/low cal version of Waldorf salad (thanks to a Weight Watchers cookbook), and thanks to Pinterest fresh corn on the cob cooked in the micro unshucked. (We did this the other night and the corn was delish. Four minutes an ear and be sure to use a towel to hold the corn when you shuck after cooking, cuz boy is it hot! As a bonus, the husk and silk come right off—easily and cleanly.)

Cooking is still not rocket science at our house but I don’t mind being in the kitchen now that I have some new recipes to try.

So if you find yourself in a similar place, out of ideas and bored, start exploring what’s out there and try something new. You can find inspiration everywhere.

Here’s the link to the Penne alla Not-ka – it’s from the show “Cook Yourself Thin” (http://www.mylifetime.com/shows/cook-yourself-thin/recipes/penne-alla-not-ka).

Enjoy.

Cindi

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