I love to cook. I love to love people with food. And I love to be relaxed when I sit at my table to share life with the people who have gathered there.
Some times it is impossible to experience all of those loves, simultaneously, with from-scratch cooking.
This is why I am a HUGE fan of semi-homemade.
When I am pressed for time or energy, adding a few fresh ingredients to pre-made products can create an inviting meal in a fraction of the time.
A garnish of fresh herbs, freshly grated Parmesan or nutmeg, or a sprinkling of finishing salt – transforms an ordinary, reheated meal into something lovely and satisfying.
My go-to semi homemade dinners are are:
- ORANGE CHICKEN – purchased in the freezer section and baked in my oven – finished with thinly sliced green onions and a light sprinkling of toasted sesame seeds. Served over steamed rice combined with fresh cilantro and a squeeze of fresh lime juice. And a side of fresh pineapple or mango.
- SPAGHETTI & MEATBALLS – frozen Italian meatballs simmered in a jar of quality pasta sauce, served over al dente spaghetti, finished with freshly grated Parmesan and thinly sliced basil leaves. A simple salad of mixed greens tossed with a homemade vinaigrette (1/4 Cup quality olive oil, 1/4 cup quality balsamic vinegar, teaspoon of Dijon mustard, freshly ground salt & pepper – shaken in a small jar to combine and added according to taste). Served with a sliced store bought baguette and premade pesto.
You don’t have to cook from scratch to serve up a meal that says, “I care about you” to loved ones at your table. You just have to serve a meal with love.
If you have any ideas for semi-homemade goodness, please share with us in the comments section.