We were looking to make something simple and cheap that would last a couple nights and we decided to look in our recipe binder of things collected from our moms and library books over the years. I came across this recipe that we had everything except the cheese for, and we decided to make it. It’s been years since I’ve had this casserole, so I had no memory of what it would turn out like, but we figured, hey it’s only going to cost us less than $2 for dinner for a couple nights. Usually we’re not casserole people and prefer to cook on the stovetop, but something about throwing everything in a pan and sticking in the oven for a little over an hour, was just too tempting this week. While this may not be the heartiest meal (it is only 222 calories per serving according to the recipe, and there are supposedly six servings), some bread and salad would probably fill out the meal a little more. I’m actually going to have some of the leftovers in a burrito wrap tonight for my dinner to help make it a little more filling.

Originally, I had started this blog to share what the kitchen skills Will was teaching me over the course of a year. At the beginning, I was pretty much unable to cut anything “properly” or make a pot of pasta without freaking out that I was doing it wrong. However, in the last nine months, I have “mastered” some of these skills and not necessarily shared that on here. Instead, I have discovered this is a great way for Will and I to document the recipes we try and enjoy, and to share with our friends and family along the way. Our kitchen has turned from a place where Will cooks and I bake, exclusively, to a shared space where we enjoy creating food together. Thus, why it was time to change the name of the blog, with the hope that we will continue to experiment in our kitchen, together, and to share that with everyone else “out there” in cyberspace beyond the year 2012.

I wasn’t really sure how much I would enjoy this recipe because for some reason, I’ve always just held something against sweet potatoes. Don’t know why so don’t bother asking. Just never have been a huge fan. However, the Sweet Potato Chorizo Enchiladas recipe we make from Budget Bytes began to change my attitude towards sweet potatoes. So when Will said he wanted to make sweet potato corn cakes, I hedged my bets and hoped that the corn flavor would balance the sweet potato.Well needless to say, these guys are tasty little nuggets! Filling, because of the potato, and flavorful from all the spices and the onions.

This past week for my ethnomusicology class, we read a book called Music of the First Nations. Well, in reading and studying about American Indians all week and then pow-wow drumming in class Friday, I really started to crave one of my favorite American Indian foods: fry bread. The first time I ever had fry bread was at the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI) when I was down there to do some sort of research for a summer class between freshmen and sophomore years of college.  I had only been a couple times since it had opened, so I spent the day checking out the museum and doing my research and enjoying the cafe. Because I was feeling cheap, I got the fry bread and it was one of the most amazing things I had ever eaten. I mean, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but if you’ve ever had fry bread, you know how good it is. So then when I interned at the National Museum of American History, I would occasionally escape to the other end of the Mall to eat some fry bread. However, I haven’t had it more than a couple times since that summer, so when I was reading/studying/learning American Indian music, I got a crazy bad craving for it. So I consulted one of my recent cookbook purchases, The Ethnomusicologists’ Cookbook knowing I would find a recipe in there! The recipe on the other side was for salmon, which is never a bad idea, and voila! We had our First Nations dinner to cap off a week of studying about American Indians.

These cookies are like crack (I assume-I’ve never tried drugs). Not much more explanation for these cookies than that. Rich and brownie-like texture, filled with gooey toffee bits in the size of a small cookie. Doesn’t get much better than that!

After gorging ourselves on Mexican carnitas all week last week, we decided to lighten up the food a  bit and eat some Mediterranean fare. Mediterranean food always tastes good and is typically on the healthier side, at least moreso than large quantities of Mexican food! So this week, we whipped up another batch of Mediterranean White Bean Salad to go along with some falafel and a fresh Greek salad. We managed to eat this for dinner three nights, with some left over for lunch on Friday. We broke up the week with a Coconut Shrimp coupon from EarthFare, though we really didn’t need to because this would have fed us for four full nights if we had wanted it too. I’m proud of myself because I was even brave enough to cook some falafel on Thursday night while Will was still at work and it turned out pretty well!

In keeping with the rest of our Mediterranean-based foods this week, Will tried a new pasta salad from our Simply in Season cookbook. We already had everything on hand for other meals, so making this salad couldn’t have been easier! After Will made it, he put the servings in Mason Jars which made it easy to just grab one to throw in our lunchbags. We managed to make this last all week and it was very tasty. However, I would caution eating it out of the Mason Jar-I spilled a lot of pasta noodles everywhere this week! It may look cool on Pinterest, but that doesn’t mean it’s the most practical thing to do.

Have spaghetti sitting in your cupboard? How about dried spices like basil, oregano, rosemary, thyme, and red pepper? Have honey on hand? A little S&P, olive oil, and garlic? Do you even have tomato paste? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should shell out the less than $5 to get whatever you’re missing and some feta cheese (I’m guessing most people don’t usually have that on hand) and make this dinner. I like to keep things simple on Sunday nights, especially when I have a lot of reading to do and I don’t have as much time as I’d like to dedicate to cooking (that’s what Saturday’s are for). Like many of the other SND’s I’ve made, this is a quick and good meal to make. For my friends still in college (which is many of you), this is the kind of cheap food that you can make quickly and make in a larger quantity to have leftover if you don’t have time to grab a bite to eat between rehearsals. Or if you’re off the mealplan and still want to have something appetizing to eat while at the Marketplace, instead of buying one of their frozen dinners with Flex points.

Slow Cooker Carnitas. There are no words. You know that distinctive smell of delicious whenever you walk into Chipotle? Yeah, that’s what our house smelled like the day Will slow cooked the pork. That beautiful smell of spicy meat, cilantro, black beans, and fresh pico de gallo all about to end up in your tummy. And in our tummy it has gone all week because this recipe is HUGE. I’m drafting this on Thursday night and there is still plenty of pork and beans leftover despite Will and I eating a pretty decent amount for the last four nights. Yes, four nights and we still have leftovers. We think we’re going to make burritos with the rest and freeze them for a later date. It has almost been too much food. Almost.

Ate this for dinner last night, cold for breakfast this morning, and will eat it again for dinner tonight. It is that good. This pizza makes up for the okay soup that we had been eating all week. What I particularly liked about this pizza was the dough. We’ve made pizza dough from Budget Bytes before with pretty good success, but making this dough felt like working in a pizza place. It actually looked like it had been made in a pizza place, too. It had the right smooth and elastic texture that you need for a really doughy taste. When we baked the pizza, the dough didn’t quite crisp up as much as we’re used too, so we think for tonight we’ll pre-bake the dough for a little bit (which the recipe actually suggests and I noticed while typing up the recipe just now)! I don’t mind the fluffier dough taste (in fact, I prefer it), but Will really likes his pizza dough crispy, especially on the bottom.