I’ve been spending a little time with one of my best friends in Santa Ynez for her belated birthday. This new Covid variant post-poned our celebration by a few weeks, but didn’t stop us in getting together at a later date over the weekend. The last couple of years, I really appreciate my friendships even more than I did before. There’s nothing like being with someone who just “gets you” without any judging – someone who you can talk and laugh until it hurts. That’s what I do with my friend. Sharing meals are also very important when you’re with your bestie, or buddy and making meals that are enjoyable, but don’t take all of your time together is what I aim for.
This week’s meals are going to be just that — recipes you can make to share with friends and family, and don’t require much active cooking time. On Monday I thought my Slow-Cooker Chicken Filling would be a great start to the week because you can enjoy it for a first meal, but then use it all week long for tacos, burritos, nachos, or enchiladas. We’re going with a tasty White Cheddar Stove Top Macaroni and Cheese on Tuesday and this one won’t disappoint. It’s creamy, zesty and full of tangy cheddar cheese — definitely a quick and easy favorite. On hump day we’re making a simple Slow-Cooker Beef Stew that’s super hardy and totally satisfies those winter blues. It’ll warm you up and make you feel super happy on the inside and outside. Thursday is Salmon with Avocado Cilantro Bucatini…what?? Oh yes, the sauce is divine and pairs so nicely with a seared piece of fish – it’s one of my favorites. Friday night is dumpling night and these Spicy Shrimp Dumplings should not be missed. They’re super easy, and full of delightful Asian flavors. Saturday’s are for baking and if you haven’t made my Mango Ricotta Cake, you absolutely don’t know what you’re missing. Have another delicious week and call a friend for dinner!
Monday – This simple chicken filling is so delicious wrapped in your favorite tortillas or topped over crunchy greens. It’s the meal that keeps on giving because you’ll have some leftovers.
Tuesday – It’s Mac & Cheese night and your family won’t feel much happier than this. The creamy cheesy pasta shells are some of the best I’ve ever tasted and super easy to prepare.
Wednesday – A big bowl of stew makes life pretty tasty today. The leftovers reheat great in the microwave for lunch or another meal.
Thursday – Pasta night is happening tonight and it’s topped with a crispy piece of salmon. The sauce is a creation using avocados and fresh cilantro, some of my favorite ingredients. It’s definitely worth every bite.
Friday – These dumplings will make any night a fun and delicious one. They are simple to prepare and make such a great appetizer or meal for friends an family.
Saturday – This mango ricotta cake is moist and tender with just the right amount of sweetness. You can serve it for dessert or brunch and trust me, you’ll make it again and again.