Joslyn at Raising Foodies came up with the idea of starting an online cooking club. (Great idea and thanks for starting it!) Basically, it's just a good excuse to try some new recipes and blog about it. And we'll have a list of other blogs doing the same thing so we have lots of new recipes to read about and potentially try.
As she mentions, this article serves as a great reminder that while it's great to try new things, it's also nice to have a solid list of recipes that go in your recipe file as standards. When you think about the meals you ate as a kid, what are the ones that stand out to you? Of course it's the ones your mom made all the time. And she probably made them all the time because they were easy, inexpensive, and tasty.
I think I'm doing a decent job so far of accumulating those standards. Some of the recipes I go back to again and again are posted here, and they include: Spaghetti and Meatballs, Panko-Encrusted Fish Sticks, and Chunky Vegetarian Chili. But I love trying new things, and I love it when I find a recipe that becomes a keeper.
My Week 1 entry for the online cooking club was Tex-Mex Pasta Salad. My son is not yet 3, so he's not really into lettuce just yet. Once he is, I know he'll enjoy Stephmodo's Southwestern Salad - which has also become one of our family's favorites. In the meantime, this pasta salad contains all the wonderful flavors of a Mexican meal but in a kid-friendly way.
In an effort to increase our consumption of whole grains, I've started cooking with half wheat and half white pasta. (Although we don't really like a full meal with whole wheat pasta, half and half is barely noticeable at all!) Same with rice, by the way.
I made the recipe as noted, although I didn't have any green onions. One of the great things about this recipe is that you can substitute items depending on what you have in your fridge and what your picky eaters will eat. Aaron gobbled up this dish! Even the veggies. He doesn't like cooked peppers, but since they are raw in this dish, he said they were yummy. Same with tomatoes. He always likes pasta and beans, and he even likes olives.
So overall....this recipe was a hit and will definitely get a repeat performance in our house!
(Now I'm going to see what everyone else made.)