Because of the holiday season, branching out and cooking new recipes was the last thing on my mind. But the things I did try in December were quite delicious.
1. Baked Chicken Parmesan [x]
Looks difficult and complicated, but all it really is is gourmet.
PROS: Really good flavor. I loved this dish. Served simply with noodles and jarred marinara sauce, it’s a go-to meal for busy nights.
CONS: Not too difficult, but it can be slightly time-consuming to bread each piece of chicken, bake it, prep noodles, and then prep sauce as well.
2. Microwave-Steamed Garlic Green Beans [x]
As far as side dishes go, it doesn’t get much easier than this.
PROS: So, so easy. Throw them in a microwave safe dish with water, garlic, butter, salt, and pepper.
CONS: Not as much flavor as I would have liked. I also didn’t cook mine long enough, so they were a little bit on the crisp side.
3. Perfect Pan-Seared Steak [x]
Around these parts, there is nothing we love to eat more than steak. In our tiny apartment, pan-seared steak is the only way to do it. It’s quick, delicious, and fairly inexpensive.
PROS: Delicious and quick! Who doesn’t love a well-seasoned steak for dinner?
CONS: Requires a rather thin piece of steak (if you want it cooked thoroughly throughout). If you don’t mind medium-rare or medium steak, you could certainly use a thicker cut of meat.
4. Baked Honey Mustard Chicken Tenders [x]
In an effort to use up my leftover bread crumbs, this chicken nugget dinner was created. This was my absolute favorite thing I made this month. They were extremely delicious and flavorful.
PROS: Delicious weeknight dinner! Great finger food and I would definitely eat these again. Can be easily modified to change the flavor or make healthier/gluten-free.
CONS: While the prep is not hard, it is sort of time consuming. Slicing, dipping, and coating each chicken strip did take some time. But it was worth the effort!
5. Jack’s Urban Fries [x]
Now, Jack’s Urban Eats is a restaurant from my hometown of Sacramento. It is honestly one of my favorite places to eat and I am missing it dearly from afar. Now, this recipe does not even begin to do their Urban Fries justice, but it’s the best I can do from 800+ miles away.
PROS: Similar taste (ah, nostalgia!). Very easy to customize based on how spicy or mild you like your flavors.
CONS: Not the same as the original (of course). Also, baking fries for 20 minutes is not my ideal version of a “quick snack,” but these are definitely worth the cooking time.