Linkfest: What’s For Dinner

Do you often find yourself wondering what’s for dinner? I don’t, because we make a meal plan for the week, but then on Sunday night we find ourself without ideas to place on said meal planner. Here’s what I’ve bookmarked lately to help combat boredom and foster creativity.

  • Twelve Steps to a Better Pasta Salad (The Kitchn) – arguably a bit summery, but we do like pasta salad here, and I don’t have an official recipe. There are some good suggestions here on how to improve this basic dish.
  • Creamy Garlic Vinaigrette (Cooking for Seven) – before I found the perfect ranch* dressing, vinaigrette was a staple for me. I haven’t tried this yet, but when I get bored with the ranch and need some change, I think I’ll give this recipe a whirl.
  • Sweet Butternut Squash and Coconut Jam (The Kitchn) – I’ll admit that I don’t think I’m brave enough to try this right now, but it looks so yummy that I might be able to get over myself and make it one of these days.
  • Korean-Style Pork Tenderloin (For the Love of Cooking) – we don’t eat a lot of pork, but it would be nice to have a few good recipes so that when we do eat it, it’s tasty.
  • Sausage-Stuffed Potatoes (Smitten Kitchen) – what a great idea! We should eat more baked potatoes (though this probably wouldn’t help me fit into my pants better, would it).
  • Beef Pot Roast in Beer (The Constable’s Larder) – haven’t really gotten good at making pot roast yet (it’s a family trait, making bad pot roast), but I’m determined to figure it out. This recipe should help in that quest.
  • Easy Beef Tips (Sing For Your Supper) – sounds yummy and easy, and calls for the use of a crock pot.
  • Beef Stroganoff (Simply Recipes) – everyone needs a good stroganoff recipe. My favorite is a vegetarian one, and I’ve had difficulties translating it to a really good meat-based version.
  • Steak Tenderloin in a Green Peppercorn Sauce (Closet Cooking) – I love peppercorns. Let’s use them more!
  • Alton Brown’s Swedish Meatballs (Once Upon a Plate) – oddly enough, there is no family recipe for Swedish meatballs. I love them, but rarely get to eat them.
  • Salisbury Steak with Mushroom Gravy (Cooking, Dunkin Style) – confession time: my favorite elementary school cafeteria meal was salisbury steak. Well, that and ravioli. The frozen dinner kind is exactly the same, and quite yummy, though I’m sure nowhere near what salisbury steak is supposed to be like. Perhaps it’s time I had a grown-up version?
  • Macaroni & Cheese (A Chow Life) – there are millions of mac & cheese recipes out there. This is just one. I have tried Martha Stewart’s and wasn’t as impressed as everyone else was, and it makes a metric ton of food. Perhaps this recipe is better.
  • Jalepeno Lime Corn Muffins (dlyn) – I have recently fallen in love all over again with cornbread. I could eat it all the time, and I’m talking about the Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix kind. But maybe a spiced-up version would be good to try.
  • Mustard-Roasted Potatoes (Smitten Kitchen) – I do love roasted potatoes, but haven’t tried them with mustard before. The pictures look really yummy.
  • Sweet Potato Gnocci (Planet Green) – I’ve eaten gnocci maybe once in my life. I don’t remember it. It sounds yummy though. This version, made with sweet potatoes, is just a little different than the traditional recipe.
  • Turkey Enchiladas with Mole Sauce (New York Times) – anyone remember that time I made a big dinner for friends that involved mole sauce? It was yummy, and I haven’t made it since, or had mole sauce for that matter. Maybe it’s time to try it again.
  • Chicken and Dumplings (Smitten Kitchen) – while camping this summer, we discovered that the freeze-dried foods (just add hot water!) are good, just not the dumpling kind. We attempted the last packet we had leftover from that trip in December and it was inedible, and has only made me crave real chicken and dumplings.
  • Cod Fish Cakes ( – I actually tried this recipe! I totally made it wrong and they still turned out good.
  • Cheddar-Ale Soup (Chicago Tribune) – I do like a good beer cheese soup, though I’ve never made it from scratch before. Winter seems like the right time to try it.
  • Emeril’s Steamed Vegetable Dumpings (Planet Green) – I haven’t really tried any of Emeril’s recipes, and I’m thinking I should. This seems like a good place to start.
  • Break Out The Slow Cooker (The Kitchn) – overview of the art of the crock pot, including reviews, techniques, and links to a few recipes. I actually think that summer is the perfect time for using the crock pot, since that way you don’t have to heat up your house using the oven to cook dinner, but so many of the recipes are winter-friendly and make me all warm and toasty.

*Perfect Ranch Dressing ala my childhood: One packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Buttermilk dressing powder, one cup buttermilk, one cup mayonnaise. Follow package directions to prepare. It took me ten years to figure out that my childhood staple was right there on the package. Duh.

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