Sheet pan dinners have earned their popular place in the kitchen over the last several years and love them I do. But for couples and singles, that’s a lot of food — even if you’re a leftovers type person. Back in December of 2022, I promised you a few more quarter-sheet pan meals and because I make good on my promises, here’s post #3. The quarter-sheet pan, at just 9″x 13″, is the baby bear of the sheet pan group and is perfect for smaller recipes–like today’s nearly effortless Salsa Chicken Dinner for Two with Cheesy Potatoes and Broccoli.Continue reading
One Pan Dinners
Quarter-Sheet Pan Pork Chop Dinner for Two (with Green Beans and Sweet Potatoes)
TOP TEN POSTS OF 2022: #1 Barely Lemon Shortbread. #2 Summer Vegetable Tart. #3 Greek Salmon Pasta Salad. #4 Apple-Cheddar Corn Muffins #5 Double (GF) or Triple Chocolate Cheesecake #6 Mushroom and Leek Lentil-Chickpea Soup #7 KIDS BAKE MOTHER’S DAY: Apple-Pecan Coffeecake #8 Pizza Egg Bake #9 Tuscan Chicken Stew (Revisited) #10 Ham and Broccoli Quiche (Cleaning Out the Christmas Kitchen) As we begin a new year of blogging, my most loving thanks goes to the sous chef of my life, my husband Dave, who shops for me; chops for me; grills for me; keeps me laughing, and shares my table nightly. He’s always been my best taste-tester and for that, I’m infinitely grateful.
The greatest number of people read the now 14-year blog on March 10, 2020, though the post was published two days before that: FRIDAY FISH: Oyster Po’ Boy with Horseradish Blue Cheese Sauce.
In December, I promised you I’d have a few more Quarter-Sheet Pan Dinners and, right on time a month later, here’s the next! If you’re like me, you’re ready to put the holidays in the rear view window and have something different to eat after those big meals and all of those leftovers. (Do you have cookies in the freezer?! I do. Ok; we’re good. And you’ll guess our tree is up until Epiphany.) This week’s quarter-sheet pan meal features a simply seasoned pair of thick, bone-in pork chops paired with some fresh beans, thyme, red onions and thinly sliced sweet potato. A fast searing of the chops on the stovetop and the whole shebang slides into the oven for all of 20 minutes while you pour the wine, chat with a friend, or watch a little bit of the new, fab PBS News Hour. (I’m going to miss Judy Woodruff so!) With hardly any work — isn’t that what the oven’s for?–you have a gorgeous, real-deal dinner quick like a bunny. And, wink-wink, this doesn’t feed 4, 6, or 8; it makes just a couple of servings. Exactly what you or someone you know needed.Continue reading
Quarter-Sheet Pan Salmon Dinner for 2
Sheet pan dinners have been having a moment– for a quite a while. Even established cooks are hooked on quickly oiling and seasoning meat and vegetables so they can have the thrill of sliding what is actually a half sheet pan (more on that in a minute) into the oven for an ultra easy dinner. Instead of watching and stirring pots on the stovetop, they can text a friend, read a novel, order from amazon, chat up the cat, read Alyce’s blog, sip a glass of wine, or even set the table. Today’s recipe, however, is made on a quarter sheet pan. Just perfect for cooking for one or two or for heating up a very few things. Especially at holiday time when, well, time is of the essence. (Roll eyes upward thinking of the to-do list. Is your tree up? What cookies are you baking? Gifts ordered? Clothes at cleaners? ) And I adore quarter sheet pans, which I first heard about from the fine food writer David Lebovitz. Once David said to get one, I got two. And do they fit in the dishwasher perfectly? Yes. Love that. If it doesn’t go in the dishwasher, I’m thinking twice about keeping it.Continue reading
One-Pot Drumsticks and Rice with Vegetables (Stove Top)
Last week, while working on my post “Cheep Eats” (sic), I got on a roll cooking chicken drumsticks, my very favorite part of chicken. I kept thinking about a big baked casserole of whole chicken pieces and rice I often made when feeding our family of six. Occasionally I’d swap in pork chops for the chicken. And while I still have that recipe in my now worn BETTY CROCKER COOKBOOK (I don’t see the exact one on the internet despite looking), I knew it needed a big update. I no longer cook with dry soup mixes very often and CURSES! my oven had died, so a new version had to work on top of the stove. I wanted bunches of vegetables included to make dinner a breeze. Is there anyone who doesn’t like a one-pot, whole meal dinner? What I had in mind was a chicken-rich, herby rice pilaf full of those veggies and with plenty of room for herb or cheese garnishes at the end. I know it’s not quite fall, but I’m in the mood for cozy food and this hit the spot!Continue reading
Sheet Pan Rosemary Pork Tenderloin with Lemon-Parmesan Brussels Sprouts and Potatoes
It might seem as if food bloggers cook all day long every day, but it’s not exactly so. While I cook more than most people (otherwise I’d have to clean house or organize my closet or something), there are days I need a good meal but am not much in the mood for standing around watching anything bubble on the stove. Like you, I lazily cast around for something requiring little to no work that gets tossed into the oven or slow cooker so I can read a sleazy novel or play the piano–my other favorite guilty pleasures. Someone like you might watch a football game or perhaps create a crossword puzzle, an engaging but oh-so-difficult task. Try it sometime. So glad my teaching junior high English days are long over.Continue reading
One-Pan Bacon-Chicken Legs with Cabbage, Potatoes, and Apples: Your Fall into Cooking Dinner!
You know how you just love those meals where you toss everything into one pan and slide it into the oven? Here’s another to add to your list of easy favorites that also makes the house smell like someone special is coming to dinner. They are and it’s you! My very fall-ish one-pan chicken braise is simple to grasp, fun to make, and will fill you up happily this very week. (Sorry I’m a little late to the Oktoberfest party… but it couldn’t be helped.) Chicken and apples, much like pork and apples, are a lip-smacking and quintessential autumn pairing. If you like this dish, it can go into your regular dinner rotation and — hey — you’ve got something different to eat! Leftovers are luscious for small households and the recipe can be decreased or increased. Look through the photos, read the instructions, and put the inexpensive and healthy ingredients on your shopping list, though you might have some of them already. Check under TIPS to see about how to change it up to suit your tastes. Here you go…Continue reading
Ham and Blue Cheese Spread for Game Day
One day it’s brats and beers on the sweltering deck. The next you’re turning on the heat along with the tv and searching for game day snacks. (Which still could be brats and beers.) It doesn’t seem as if that would be possible, but in Colorado, it often is. We could see just such a weather change several times over the course of any September. But there’s always one metamorphic day when our whole world definitely changes from summer to fall and that’s when “the mountain” (better known to the rest of the world as Pike’s Peak) looks like Brigadoon from my front yard:Continue reading
One-Pan Thanksgiving Sides: Easy is as Easy Does
Thanksgiving is definitely my favorite holiday. There’s no gift buying or wrapping, little decorating except the table, and it’s all about the food and wine. I’ve cooked for two times twenty and I’ve cooked for two, loved both and everything in between.
Thanksgiving in the Time of Covid-19: Is It Safe to Celebrate….
This year, with distanced or small Thanksgivings on tap for many folks, it could be the time to pull out all of the stops for a dinner-party style meal complete with several small courses and wine pairings. What if you dig out grandma’s china and crystal, throw on a table cloth, light the candles, and go big? It’s not something easily possible when there are 15 of you including 2 toddlers who eat nothing, a newly-vegan teenager, and aging parents (low sodium, please), but it is doable and entertaining for four who might share the cooking. Yeah, so that’s one idea.Continue reading
FRIDAY FISH: Skillet Lentils and Tuna for Dinner
I don’t remember eating lentils as a kid. Even lentil soup — on many tables this week as it’s such a pantry-friendly meal — came to me in adulthood, albeit from a much-loved friend and oddly enough during a hot week at the beach on the Outer Banks. If I ate it earlier, I have no memory of the meal and more’s the pity. The “Lentil” I knew was the Lentil of Caldecott Award- winning author Robert McCloskey (MAKE WAY FOR DUCKLINGS) fame since I’m a lifelong avid reader and also trained and worked as a school librarian at one time in my life.Continue reading
Lemon and Garlic Chicken with Parmesan Vegetables–How and Why to Roast a Whole Chicken at Home this Week!
While chicken often tops the list of dinner ingredients in the U.S., (“Winner, winner, chicken dinner!” or “A chicken in every pot!”) it doesn’t take much to figure out those meals today are often based on ubiquitous, tasteless boneless chicken breasts instead of the flavorful cage-free chickens Herbert Hoover supposedly wanted for us. The American obsession with huge chicken breasts (hmph) is a sad one and continues for many reasons–one being it’s easy to not remember where meat comes from if you only have a slab of it and no fat, bones, joints, tendons, guts, or skin. I’ve had more than one adult student who, faced with putting a whole chicken (already cut up, by the way) in a skillet to brown for a tasty fricassée, admitted they had never before handled a chicken with bones. I, on the other hand, almost never buy boneless breasts, though I’ll admit I adore boneless thighs for everything from sandwiches to chili. There are several reasons–the main one being the taste factor–but here’s the critical other one. Because we demand outrageous and overwhelming numbers of inexpensive low-fat, protein rich boneless breasts (just try to buy bone-in breasts in today’s market) compared to other parts, chickens today are often–though not always– raised in incredibly poor and horrific conditions by inhumanely treated workers. How’d that come to be???Continue reading