One of those weeks where everyone's home for dinner every night-- and you're scratching your head about what to cook. It's a new year, so why not try something new. It's cold, so you want something cozy and homey.
I already made minestrone this week--Now what?
So out come the cookbooks.
But the more I looked at the books the more I became convinced that not everything needs a dollop of cream or a coating that is dipped in egg.
That's usually the food allergic family dilemma. Too any substitutions. And last night it got to me-- my mind went blank and I couldn't think what to cook for any future dinner much less tonight's dinner.
But then I remembered an exercise I used to do with my freshman psych students: brainstorm how many ways to use a brick. ( of course in NY the first answer was always "break a window")
But apply it to dinner: how many ways to use the foods my kid CAN EAT and is NOT allergic to???
Many ways-- and none required breaking a window.
So we had chicken thigh stew with red beans, celery and ham ( or spicy sausage if you want). And the next night, meat soup-- diced carrots, celery, shin beef and peas. And the next night, a roasted oven-stuffer with garlic and parsley and olive oil under the skin and lemons and carrots in the cavity-- and since the oven was on: cauliflower with sliced Granny Smith apples and yellow raisens.
Of course the list could go on and on: the point is to think about what we CAN COOK, CAN EAT and have creative fun with those foods-- and forget about the rest!