I like to cook, but working for a living robs me of the energy required to enjoy it. (What work does to the human spirit will be the subject of a future post) When I retire, I plan to cook more and increase my repertoire of dishes. Here are some of the meals I've learned to cook over the years and were hits with the family:
When Dorothy first went to work and I helped with the cooking, I found this recipe in one of her magazines. It's manicotti noodles stuffed with a mixture of ground beef and red sauce containing oregano, cinnamon, and nutmeg; topped with a white sauce and served with garlic bread.
Garlic Shrimp with White Wine
This is an easy one. Saute shrimp in butter, garlic, and white wine. Serve with fettucini Alfredo and garlic bread. If you buy shrimp already peeled and deveined you can make quick, simple dishes that will get you the reputation of a gourmet cook.
I like to make my own sauce. Just tomato sauce, oregano, salt, pepper, and I like to add rosemary, fennel, maybe a touch of cumin. Just keep adding things until it tastes like something you want. If you have a little red wine in the fridge add a dash of that. I also like a pinch of cayenne pepper to give it just a kick. Of course, my spaghetti sauce tastes different each time I make it, but I haven't received any complaints. (maybe they don't want to hurt my feelings)
I make my chili with black beans, pinto beans, and great northern beans. For liquid I use a bottle of Negro Modela, a great, dark Mexican beer. When the chili is just about done I chop up a tomato and onion and add them. Yummy.