As we’re preparing to move, Will and I are pairing down on some food items that we typically keep in bulk, just so we aren’t moving a ton of stuff. In doing so, I realized that if you follow this blog pretty consistently and actually do make some of these recipes, you’ll notice there are certain food items that I always mention we “have on hand.” I realized it might be nice to provide you all with a general listing of what those items are, just so you can see how we keep our kitchen. It helps make it easy to decide what we eat each week, based on what we have in stock. We like to buy lots of our grains in the bulk section of EarthFare and just store them in Mason Jars, so that way we can easily see what we have on hand. There are also lots of items on these lists that I presume a lot of people have on hand already, but it doesn’t hurt to provide a reminder of things that are good to have!

Whew, what a week it’s been! We snuck away to Disney World last weekend with Courtney and are still recovering from our Epcot food comas. Between our Disney trip and Courtney offloading all of her food onto us before her move later this week, we have ended up with a lot of eating out/easy cook meals on our hands. Thus, we haven’t been doing much cooking ourselves! However, lucky for you all, I hadn’t finished this post up before leaving town and can share it with you now.

Master chef Willis is usually pretty creative when determining what we will be eating on a weekly basis. He oftentimes enjoys combining two different recipes to achieve the recipe he would actually like to make, which is the case here. He used one for the polenta and pesto, and the other for the asparagus and eggs. It’s amazing how he can determine what recipes will work perfectly together, because this dish turned out awesome! Not only was it gorgeous to look at, but it tasted pretty fantastic too. The fresh herbs that were in a leafier pesto gave such a bright flavor to the meal. Plus, asparagus at this time of year is always a delight. And the polenta turned out to be a nice substitute for grits and didn’t quite have that “heavy” grits flavor.

If nobody’s noticed, we have yet to make any frozen yogurt in our ice cream maker! We finally got around to making a blackberry frozen yogurt recipe that we had each pinned on Pinterest awhile ago, dying to make it, but we didn’t have an ice cream maker. Well ever since, we haven’t picked up any blackberries to make it because they haven’t been in season enough. Finally last week, Will decided we would try frozen yogurt and that this was the best looking one to try first! The only downside was we ultimately did not end up with enough blackberries to puree-otherwise, it turned out pretty good. We added a little honey, mostly for our own amusement more than anything (we’re trying to build up our swirling skills). The froyo didn’t necessarily need it because the yogurt already produced enough flavor, but as the honey has settled in, it’s true flavors have really become fragrant and apparent. Overall, the perfect first attempt at homemade froyo!

I really like gnocchi. Like, really really like gnocchi. I enjoy making our Easy Ricotta Gnocchi as well as gnocchi out of a bag from World Market. I like gnocchi at restaurants. I like gnocchi everywhere, quite honestly. But as much as I like gnocchi, I have to admit that it’s kind of a pain to make. Making the dough is fine, but the rolling of the dough–that’s where all my headaches ensue. I am really bad at rolling doughs whether or not it involves a rolling pin (although I truly treat the rolling pin as my arch-nemesis in the kitchen). So gnocchi takes some…patience, shall we say? However, the end result is usually worth the frustration I ensue in the process of making it. I also have a tendency to pick gnocchi for SND’s, which is usually a mistake and requires Will to swoop in to rescue me last minute. This time he had to swoop in for the sauce, which was better than last time where all the gnocchi slid off the baking sheets on their way to the freezer. Le sigh.

I decided to give this cake a “new” name, since I kind of made it wrong. Really, it’s just a spice cake made with some Spring Woodchuck cider, but I decided to make it in a Bundt cake instead of a normal cakepan. However, when I did that, instead of flipping the cake properly out of the pan at the end (because I don’t have a cake stand or an appropriate size pan), I left it in the pan and drizzled the glaze overtop, thus having it look more like a flower than anything. Thus, the bundt pan upside-down flower cake is what this turned into!

As I type this, Will is preparing our second week’s worth of this salad! This turned out really well and is something super simple to make, with ingredients we always have on hand. So if you follow this blog and tend to stock up on some of the same bulk items as we do, this would definitely be one to add to your repertoire. Using lentils, bulgur (or couscous), tomatoes, garlic, parsley, and a dressing, you can recreate this salad in no time! We prefer it cold, but you can definitely eat it while it’s still warm or you can heat it up during your lunch hour. Either way, between the lentils and the bulgur (or couscous), you are easily filled up. The dressing can be a bit overpowering, depending on what you use, so if it’s a new dressing and you’re not 100% sure you love it, maybe use a little less than the recipe calls for. Also, the dressing we used is strong for the first few bites, but then always seems to mellow out.

Like many Indian meals we make, this is one of those that tastes better with time! We ate this for dinner three nights in a row, and we both swear it got better each day. The chickpeas make it super filling and the rest of the flavors mix together nicely. The only regret I have about this dish is that we didn’t have a spicier curry powder, to really make us tear up. I would have loved to make this super-spicy to give it more personality. However, ours had a light spice to it that intensified each day and it was still good. This is pretty similar to some other recipes we’ve made, which made it easy to decide to cook it because we had almost all the ingredients on hand with the exception of the spinach. I recommend it if you want a simple, quick, satisfying dinner!

I’m not going to even lie about it-this recipe was a bit involved! However, it turned out way better than any tuna casserole I bet you’ve ever tried in you life. Let’s just say we were both happy we decided to tackle this dinner as a team, because even just keeping track of the ingredients and reading through the instructions was enough of a job for one person to manage, much less keeping track of all the things on the stovetop at once! Besides being a good recipe to build up our kitchen teamwork, this also turned out to be a satisfying dinner for the next few nights. The creaminess remained despite being refrigerated for a few days, and with a little reheating in the oven, the crispness of the top could be rediscovered. Everything about this tuna recipe was perfect-no one flavor outdid any others and it was extremely filling. Topped off with some mint chocolate chip ice cream, this meal was perfect!

I came up with this! Yay for me! Will’s mom had left clementines in the fridge and I recalled seeing recipes for orange and rosemary chicken, so I did some research and decided to give this a shot! Well, technically I didn’t make the recipe, but I left instructions for Will and he threw it together for me. And the best part is, this actually turned out well! The flavors of the clementine and rosemary together are quite enticing and the slow-cooked chicken breasts make it easy to shred the meat. The chicken absorbed the competing flavors  really well, particularly the clementine juice, which gave it a really nice tangy flavor without being overwhelming. If you’re lucky enough to have afternoons free like Will, but still want to slow cook your dinner, I recommend a recipe like this!