Tuesday, January 31, 2012

This is what I did last night...

In preparing our Indian dishes last night, I tried to take nice and neat photos of the ingredients as I got them ready.  I got a few, but as things started heating up in the kitchen, it didn't work out exactly as planned.  So I had a deliciuos dinner but not as many nice photos as I had hoped... Here are a few that I think will capture the fun of last night's cooking adventure.

This is turmeric, coriander, garam masala, chili powder, salt, and paprika. This is half of the spices required for a sauce that is the base of most of the dishes in the book I used.

Here's the second half.  Cinnamon stick, bay leaves, cumin seeds, black cardamom.     

After this, the spice cabinet needs a makeover...

Plain yogurt, potatoes, oil, salt, chili powder and turmeric, garam masala and sugar for the Dum Aloo dish.
Red lentils, onion, cilantro, garlic, diced tomatoes, butter, mustard seeds and cumin seeds for the lentil dish!

Count the pots...

potatoes on the left, lentils on the right.
Oh yeah, and we made naan.  Whew! Finally ready to eat.  It was good.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Weekly Menu with recipes and a story!

I'm writing this week's menu while drinking the chai that Cara posted as her farewell before her trip to India.

This weekend, I took a trip to our local spice shop here in Des Moines, Allspice,  to invest in the star anise, whole nutmeg and green cardamom pods.  If you like chai try this homemade version, it's delicious.  The recipe allows you to add your own sweetener to taste, it's much less sweet than the kind you'd get from Starbucks (I think they use Oregon Chai-- which is good, it's just SUPER sweet) and you can really enjoy the spices in this mix.

In honor of Cara's trip to India, you'll see some exciting menu items this week.  When Ryan and I lived in NYC, we became very fond of Indian cuisine.  From the string of cheap prix fix Indian joints on 6th street in the East Village, to our beloved Roti Roll Bombay Frankie, we were never wanting for perfect naan, spicy curries and khormas, or  those little fennel seed candies. When people ask me if I miss New York, I usually say "What I really miss are my friends. And the FOOD."

This guy is making a roti roll. It's an Indian flatbread filled with spicy potato and pea mixture and some kind of magic green sauce. It's the best thing ever.  We will recreate it someday.

YUM! We need to get back to NYC again soon....

When we moved back to Iowa, I was legitimately worried about how we'd get our Indian food fix.  In the early days of our Des Moines residency, we tried all of the Indian restaurants in Des Moines and Ames (I think at the time was a total of 4 or 5).  Unfortunately, and I am still mourning this, Taste of India/India Grill was the clear favorite and it closed last year in spite of our regular patronage.  Sob!

Our resolve was to start experimenting with Indian recipes ourselves.  This is where it gets tricky.  The tricky part isn't going to the Indian grocery and searching for spices you'd not heard of until cracking open an Indian cookbook, that is the fun part!  The hard part for Ryan and I was that it's damn hard to replicate a restaurant dish. When you get used to something, it's disappointing when it can't be recreated. I don't know about you, but it can be really disappointing to prep, cook, use every pot in the house, and then take an unsatisfying first bite.  Because of that we don't make Indian food very often.  However, we are getting better at finding recipes that work for us. We got a new cookbook and this one has led us to some tasty dishes... you'll see some below. 

I can't wait to hear about Cara's adventures in India and the real deal Indian food.

Here's what we'll be making this week in Des Moines, Iowa...

Dum Alu (fried whole potatoes in tomato sauce) with Sabut Masoor Dal Amti (sweet and sour lentils) and naan.  All recipes from From Mom With Love by Pushpa Bhargava.

Fish Tacos from Food Network Magazine.

The Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burrito will make a reappearance. Man, that was good! Did anyone else try it?

Ravioli with Veggie Sausage and Tomato Sauce.
Iowans: Hy-Vee has a good frozen cheese ravioli.

Chicken, Pasta and Squash Bake.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

So long kitchen table, off to India!

Dear Kitchen Table Friends, I'm off to India this weekend! I won't be bringing my kitchen table with me but perhaps I will find other friends to join at kitchen tables while I am there. I'll be away for a month, studying yoga, drinking from coconuts, and eating Indian foods! I hope to blog for you at least once or twice while I am away. And Allison, I'm going to find us tiffins to bring back for our kitchens!

I thought I'd leave you with a recipe in the spirit of my travels, some homemade chai tea. I'm sipping some right now, and the apartment smells of cinnamon, ginger and cloves. You'll need a well stocked spice rack for this. Whole spices are best, powdered will do in a pinch.

left to right: cinnamon sticks, nutmeg seed, star anise, cardamom pods, whole cloves, ginger root

Homemade Chai Tea

2 cinnamon sticks
4 cloves
2 star anise pods
8 crushed cardamom pods
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
3 1/2 cups water
2 tsp black tea
1 cup milk
honey to taste

Add spices and water to a small pot and bring to a boil. Let simmer for 25 minutes, or longer for a spicier brew. Remove from heat, add black tea and let steep 5 minutes. Meanwhile, bring 1 cup milk just to a boil and remove from heat. Strain tea and spice mixture into a tea pot, add the warm milk, sweeten to taste with honey.

Makes 1 pot of chai tea.

If you would like a peppy chai tea without the caffeine, skip the black tea and instead add a 1/2 tsp of freshly crushed black pepper. That will wake you up!

Recipe inspired by the wonderful Ayurvedic cookbook, Eat, Taste, Heal.

Au revoir!


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

When Cravings Attack: Homemade Peanut Butter Cups

Have I mentioned that my sweet tooth is about the same size of my head?

If there's one thing I love equally as chocolate it's peanut butter.  One of my favorite comfort foods is toast with peanut butter and jelly. Or toast with peanut butter, banana and honey. Mmmm..... 

The other night, I was struck by a craving for Reese's peanut butter cups and a sudden urge to make them right away.  Having never made them before, I googled hoping it would be an easy fix (this is one great reason to keep a well-stocked pantry!!) and I was not let down.  It should be no surprise that there were a wide array of easy DIY peanut butter cup recipes out there and I was happy to learn that they were relatively easy with ingredients I had on hand. 

I based mine off some recipes I read on Allrecipes.com.  Here's what I think went into them.  It all happened so fast I am trying to remember... and they are long gone by now.

2/3 cup peanut butter
stick of salted butter, melted
1 cup finely ground graham crackers
approx. 2 Tbsp. honey

Mix the above together and spread in the bottom of a pan. (some recipes mentioned using a 9 x 13 pan or a brownie pan but I was going for about a half recipe so I used our bread pan.)  put in freezer.

meanwhile melt approx.
1/2-1 C chocolate chips
in the microwave in 20 second intervals until melted. 
Spread on peanut butter stuff.  Put back in fridge or freezer until solid. 

I had to stop myself from scarfing the whole pan down right away. I was good and shared with my husband and they lasted about three days.  There was not time to get a picture... so click here and pretend these are mine. :) 

It wasn't until the day after that I remembered my friend Aimee makes amazing homemade peanut butter cups that is pared down and way more health conscious than the stick of melted butter version I made.  She was kind enough to share her recipe with the Kitchen Table Friends...

Aimee's PB & Chocolate Squares

1 1/2 cups crushed Cheerios
1 1/2 cups natural peanut butter
1 12 oz bag chocolate chips

Combine Cheerios and peanut butter and mix well. Press mixture evenly into a 9”x13” pan. Melt chocolate chips in microwave. Spread over peanut butter mixture. Chill until just set and cut into bars.

Monday, January 23, 2012

I Made Your Dinner!

I made the sweet potato black bean burritos tonight.  I will admit that at first I was a bit leery of the sweet potato and black bean combo for what reason I cannot understand since I LOVE both ingredients.  The aversion was 100% foolish.  What a terrifically tasty combination.  This is a delicious and easy dinner.  Just be careful not to burn the cumin seeds or the potatoes (I almost did!) the outer edges of those potatoes will brown before the rest is tender.  Watch the heat carefully and you'll be all right. 

sweet potatoes with cumin seeds

sweet potatoes combined with corn, beans and diced tomatoes

A couple things I did differently...  I made about a half recipe (our fridge is full of leftovers!).  Ryan had 2 small burritos, I had one and there was a little left over.  Also, I had some leftover diced tomatoes with green chiles from the last time I made black bean soup so threw those in.  I also didn't have any cilantro or fresh limes wedges so I omitted them.

I paired the burritos with a side of quiona with golden raisins and chopped almonds.

Bring 1 Cup water + 1 tsp veggie bouillon to a boil.  Add 1/2 Cup quinoa.  Cover and reduce heat to medium-low.

Toast a teaspoon of ground cumin and a some red pepper flakes in a hot skillet.  Add about a handful each of chopped almonds and golden raisins to the skillet and heat until raisins begin to puff up (don't walk away it doesn't take long).  Add to quinoa.  The quinoa is done when most of the liquid is gone and the quinoa has grown larger and formed little rings around the outside.

This quinoa dish is a perfect example of my "well-stocked pantry" mentality. I hadn't really planned a side for this dinner and threw this together by taking a quick peek in the pantry while thinking about the spices included in the main dish.  I usually stock up on walnuts (I put them in so many dishes), almonds and other dried fruits for snacking, to toss in with my hot cereal, baking whims, etc.  I like to keep a variety of versatile grains on hand: several kinds of rice, lentils, quinoa, bulgur, barley, etc. to mix with veggies or other ingredients as I have done here. 

I highly recommend this dish to everyone!

Your Kitchen Table Friend,

Weekly Menu Jan. 22-28

Ryan's Chili with Martha Stewart's Buttermilk Cornbread.  Ryan's chili is made with turkey, a lot of beans, our homemade canned stewed tomatoes(!!!) and always while he drinks a beer. We ate this last night.  The leftovers just get better throughout the week.

Homemade pizza with olives and peppers

Cara's sweet potato and black bean burrito

Salmon with lentil salad a new recipe from a book I got for Christmas

Pasta with rosemary and sage sauce

Risotto with rosemary and white wine sauce

I hope I have time for these 2 new recipes From a book by Marcella Hazan that Ryan and I were given this summer but haven't cracked yet...

Have a great week everyone!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Burritos

Here's an easy meal we put together last weekend. In the winter I'm always looking for delicious ways to get more veggies in while I wait for those farmer's markets to open up again late spring! Sweet potato sauteed in spices make this burrito a very satisfying lunch or light dinner. Prep time is only about 15 minutes. That's pretty quick in my opinion!

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Burritos

1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp veg oil
2 tsp paprika
salt & pepper
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 can chopped tomatoes
1/3 cup corn
a handful of chopped fresh cilantro
some sour cream or whole fat yogurt
lime wedges, to garnish

Toss the sweet potato with the paprika, salt & pepper and the oil. Dry roast the cumin in a hot pan until fragrant. Add the sweet potato mixture and saute over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the edges are golden brown and the insides are tender (about 10 minutes.) Meanwhile, combine the black beans, chopped tomatoes and corn in a small saucepan and heat through. Add the cilantro.

Spoon bean and sweet potato mixtures into warm flour tortillas. Add a dollop of sour cream or yogurt and a squeeze of fresh lime, roll up and enjoy.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Dinner With Friends

I love hosting friends at our house for dinner.

My friend Emily and I collaborate regularly on what we like to call family dinners.  We'll make our favorites, or try out new recipes. Whatever the menu, it's always a tasty and lovely time.

This weekend she brought falafel from the best/easiest falafel recipe EVER.  I found this recipe by visually searching on foodgawker (Go there now, I'll wait. ) I love searching for recipes on foodgawker because it catalogs many many food blogs, and it's a visual smorgasboard.

However, the recipe I found on foodgawker was based on the one that is found here here, which I find to be superb! I promptly shared it and am excited to share it again. 

The falafel were eaten with pita pockets and a delicious cucumber dill sauce and gone before I even had time to take a picture!!

I made empanadas for my contribution to family dinner.

Easily intimidated by pastry, I haven't made empanadas (or many foods that require a crust or a dough... Ryan's the baker around this house)  but I wanted to try it anyway.  Even though it's not my forte I am not opposed to the occasional culinary risk.  Sometimes I just have to get out of my comfort zone of chopping and roasting. Often it yields fantastic results (recall the ham) or a disaster... either way I have fun doing it. 

I could have googled endlessly and found many opinions and methods on empanada dough, but I just needed one easy recipe from a trusted source.  So I turned to my friend How To Cook Everything for a reliable dough recipe, and Mark Bittman didn't let me down.  It was probably one of the easiest things I have ever made. It required flour, vegetable oil and water and my beloved food processor.  I wish I would have taken a video of the dough coming together because it was awesome!  And oh so easy.

Ryan helped roll out the dough and turn it into tiny 6 inch rounds... 


The great thing about these little pastries, found in many cultures and by many names, is that you can fill it with anything you desire.  I chose spicy sausage, peppers and a little cheese.  I also made an apple filling for desert! 

Yum.  I look forward to more experiments with empanadas...  and many more dinners with friends. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Weekly Menu: Back to School Again

This week is the start of Spring 2011 semester for me, so I'll again be in transition.  I'm taking 12 credits this semester and working part time so if I'm away from the kitchen table, please forgive... and stop by to say hi on facebook or otherwise if you miss me. 

This week's menu is full of easy standbys with one new recipe for the slow cooker planned for the evening I have a night class.

ravioli with salad (repeat from last week, we are still working on that big jar of sauce)
salmon with mashed potatoes, salad
frittata: mushrooms, peppers, cheese (maybe sausage...?)
pork chops (perhaps seasoned with that apple butter I have remaining from the christmas ham and rosemary...) with brussel sprouts
NEW recipe! curried chicken breasts from Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Recipes for Two with rice and salad

I hope I have enough time this semester to keep cooking!!

In my natural habitat. I love chopping.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Black Bean Soup Revisited

I discovered this  delicious black bean soup last winter and have now made it countless times. I've had it on the menu for two weeks in a row, and both weeks I made it on Saturday afternoon. It's a perfect Saturday afternoon soup, because I have found that it is best when stewed for about 45 minutes to an hour (there's usually no patience for that on a weeknight) and it makes nice leftovers for the rest of the weekend.  However, to make it even better, I've been modifying the recipe in cooking method and ingredient ratio and lucky you, I kept track of my changes this time.  Here's what I've come up with so far.

5 slices bacon
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
32 oz. chicken broth
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1.5 cans diced tomatoes with green chiles
1.5 tsp chili powder
1.5 tsp cumin
1/2 cup frozen corn*
2 Tbsp sour cream

cook the bacon in a dutch oven or large soup pot.  while bacon is cooking mince the onion and garlic in a food processor.  when bacon is brown, remove and set aside.  chop into small pieces later.

add onions and garlic to pot (which should be generously coated with bacon grease-- if you prefer to omit the bacon just add a splash of olive oil). when onions are soft add the broth, beans, diced tomatoes, chili powder and cumin. cover and bring to a boil.

once soup has come to a boil, reduce heat and remove lid.  allow soup to simmer on medium low until it reaches desired thickness. if you like your soup more soupy, just allow it to simmer for 10-15 minutes or so to let the flavors combine.  I like it to be thicker, so I let my soup simmer for about 45 minutes while some of that liquid evaporates and the flavors mingle.

add the corn and chopped bacon at the last fifteen minutes. 
add the sour cream at the last 5 minutes.

*My Secret Weapon!!  I recommend using Iowa sweet corn that was purchased at it's peak and frozen on a thoughtful afternoon, but fully admit I am totally biased on the corn opinion.  

AND another variation....
Cara made it  in a crockpot this week!

Black Bean soup in a crockpot.

I made this in my tiny 2 quart crockpot. I adapted the recipe, basically halving most ingredients, using 1 can black beans, but sticking with the one full can of diced tomatoes. I threw everything in the crockpot (except the lime and cream) then filled to top with chicken stock (maybe 1.5 or 2 cups?). Stewed it on high for 6 hours. Served with a squeeze of lime and a dollop of whole fat yogurt. This made about 4 generous bowls, and it was delicious!

Try this soup. Tell us what you think and how YOU made it!  

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Better than Grilled Cheese!

This is my new favorite quick lunch. I love grilled cheese in the winter time but know that it doesn't offer much nutrition, which I especially need during these dark January days. So lately I've been swapping the cheddar for avocado, and its delicious! Also adding just a little goat cheese goes along way to giving this an extra comfort-food appeal. And its a good solo lunch when I'm cooking for one.

I made it just now for lunch, and want share it with you now before I get back to work (because I really enjoy this little blog we have.) I'm sure you know how to make a grilled cheese sandwich, but here it is anyways ;)

Grilled Avocado & Goat Cheese Sandwich

2 slices whole grain bread
1/2 an avocado
1 tbsp of goat cheese

Spread some butter (or ghee, that's what I use if I have it!) over two slices of bread. Mash the avocado with a fork and spread over the non-buttered side of one slice. Top with the goat cheese, crumbled (be moderate, a little bit goes a long way).

Cover with the second slice of bread so that the buttered sides are on the outside, then toast in a medium-hot skillet until just brown on one side, flip it over for a few minutes on the second side and voila!

I had this today with some leftover Carrot Ginger Soup with Coconut.

Happy mid-week friend. I like the photo you posted of your well stocked pantry. I'm trying out your black bean soup recipe in my crockpot as we speak. I'll let you know how it goes!


Monday, January 9, 2012

Weekly Menu 9-13

I just returned from the grocery store for this week.  My love of cooking makes grocery shopping a pretty good experience, especially when I have the luxury to do it in the middle of the day on a weekday (thank you half day at work today!).

I love a well stocked pantry. I like to be able to whip up something delicious when inspiration hits.  That's why we have 8 boxes of cereal right now.... we have room to stock up when it goes on sale.

In the event of a natural disaster, feel free to stop by, we'll probably have enough to eat.
Here's what we're going to eat this week with help of this plentiful pantry:

ravioli with tomato sauce (see picture of large jar of homemade sauce above we received over Christmas. we have one open in the fridge and need to use it up!) with salad.

black bean soup (the one I posted last week) it's so good it needs to be repeated already!!

minestrone (I have a basic recipe for this, but may search for something a little more fancy...)

quinoa with red peppers, chickpeas and feta with salad.

black bean burritos with salad (I'm going to to try to replicate the delicious burritos I raved about several weeks ago).

Have a great week!

Your Friend,

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Saturday Morning Scones with Apricot & Ginger

After returning from our Christmas travels I have been so busy with work and teaching that I've been on a bit of a kitchen hiatus, making the minimum to get by, or asking Chris to cook. But this morning I woke up late, rested, and ready for some recreational baking! I like to make breakfast treats on Saturday morning for Chris and I, its our time to come together again after our busy weeks. I make scones about once a month, gradually perfecting my dough recipe and experimenting with different add-ins.

This morning it was:

Apricot & Ginger Scones

2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 tbsp cold, unsalted butter
1/2 cup buttermilk*
1 egg
1/3 cup chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup chopped crystalized ginger

Preheat over to 400F. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Slice the butter (be sure its cold!) into pieces and drop it into the flour mixture.

Pastry blender and metal bowl inherited from my grandmother's kitchen.

Cut the butter into the flour with a pastry blender or a fork, tossing butter in the flour as you work, until mixture is crumbly and butter pieces are no larger than the size of a pea. Toss the chopped ginger and apricots with the mixture, separating any pieces that stick together.

Crystallized ginger and dried apricots on the chopping block.

In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk and egg, then add all at once to the flour mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon just until dry ingredients are moistened. Using your hands, knead the dough on the sides of the bowl until it forms a somewhat sticky ball. On a floured surface, pat the ball into a circle about 8-inches around, and slice into 8 wedges with a pizza cutter. Place the wedges on a baking sheet, at least 1-inch apart and brush tops with milk. Bake for 12-15  minutes, or until tops are golden. Serve warm with butter and/or jam.

*Homemade buttermilk tip courtesy of Martha Stewart: I rarely have buttermilk on hand, so I make my own by mixing 1 1/2 tsp white vinegar or lemon juice with 1/2 cup of milk. Let sit for 30 minutes before using.

We enjoyed these at our kitchen table this morning with some strawberry jam and a pot of green tea.

Scones in a basket!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Let's Talk About Homemade Pizza

Who doesn't like pizza?
I really enjoy making my own.  It's easy, customizable, and fun to put together!

I swear by home made pizza dough. It's easy and the bonus of making it at home is that you know exactly what's in it.  I just keep ingredients for dough on hand (flour, yeast, water, salt.... that's usually all it takes) and ask my husband who works at home to mix the dough for us and let it rise while I'm at work.

Here is a mini-pizza from last night.

Mmmmm... delicious whole wheat dough, homemade sauce we got for Christmas, mushrooms, peppers, spinach and shredded mozzarella.  
Do you make pizza at home?  What is your favorite? 

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Weekly Menu: January 1-7 (with 2 recipes!)

Hi Friends! It's been a while.  Let's get reacquainted with a nice weekly menu, shall we?

This is our first week back to a somewhat normal schedule after family gatherings and holiday eating.

potato leek frittata
pizza with mushrooms and mozzarella and peppers
black bean soup (see recipe below!)
salmon cakes with broccoli (see recipe for salmon cakes below!)
spaghetti with brussel sprouts and parmesan

I cannot remember where this soup recipe came from but I have made it at several times.  It is sooooooo good. You should try it tomorrow!

Creamy Black Bean and Bacon Soup
     Based on this recipe

(I usually make HALF this recipe for 2 dinner sized servings and leftovers for 2 lunches)

5 slices bacon (The bacon adds a nice smoky flavor but the soup is also great without it)
1 cup onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
32oz  vegetable or chicken broth
4 (15-oz.) cans Black Beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14.5-oz.) can diced tomatoes with zesty mild green chiles, undrained  (when making half recipe I just use the whole can of diced tomatoes and chiles.  It is delicious and a little more spicy!)
1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 cups sweet corn
2 cups heavy whipping cream (I use Half and Half instead of cream to cut the fat and add small splashes until it’s my desired level of creaminess.  I sometimes omit the Half and Half altogether and serve with a dollop of light sour cream, equally delicious.)
   1. Cook bacon in a large Dutch oven until crisp. Remove bacon, cut into bite size pieces and set aside.
   2. Sauté onion and garlic in bacon grease (or olive oil if not using bacon) over medium-high heat 4 to 6 minutes or until tender. Stir in broth and next 4 ingredients, stirring to loosen particles from bottom of Dutch oven; cover and bring to a boil. Uncover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cilantro and lime juice. Let cool 5 minutes.
   3. Process 1/2 of the batch of soup in a large food processor until smooth. Return to the Dutch oven, and stir in corn and bacon pieces. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the 2 cups of heavy whipping cream and heat through, approximately 5 minutes (but do not boil). Remove from heat and serve.

Salmon Cake/Patties
This is a recipe that I just know.  It's not written down anywhere (until now I guess), and my grandmother and my mom have both served it at the dinner table many times. I will try to communicate it here...

1 can salmon, drain, remove bones and skin if found in can.
1 egg
salt and pepper

The rest is all variable... though my grandma might disagree!
cracker crumbs/bread crumbs some other kind of binding agent (tonight I used cornmeal in a pinch)
finely diced carrots, onions, garlic, celery, herbs, spinach...  (I used carrots, onions and spinach tonight).  

Place a few of these veggies in the food processor and chop until they are tiny. 
Combine in a large bowl with salmon, egg, salt and pepper in bowl.
Add cracker/bread crumbs until the liquid is soaked up but not too dry to form into patties.
Form salmon mixture into patties.
Heat oil in a skillet and cook patties until both sides are light brown. 

Top with lemon juice to taste and serve with peas or steamed broccoli.

What dishes do you just know how to make from seeing it made and eating it over and over again while growing up?