Panama and Florida, where we traveled for over two weeks, were wonderful, but I'm glad to get back to home cooking. I've made several very simple meals since our return on Tuesday, not all of them photo-worthy. A packaged turkey and cheese sandwich? Hard-boiled eggs with mayo? Good but no picture!
But a simple salad of tuna, garbanzo beans, cucumber, little tomatoes, and sweet-hot peppers seemed pretty enough to include here (above, dressed with lemon juice, olive oil, and salt). It was a contrast to the trip -- though our mainly restaurant meals were enjoyable, I sometimes wanted something simpler.
Baked pasta with cheese and sauce (Trader Joe's Egg Pappardelle Pasta and TJ's sauce layered with goat cheese and mozzarella and baked) was quick and simple but welcome.
Raisin rice (steamed rice tossed with butter, onion, golden raisins, and a bit of candied ginger) made a base for some curried chicken with butternut squash. Served with home-made plum chutney from last fall. Chicken recipe here -- it's not difficult.
Not long after our return from the airport and my first trip to the supermarket, I had my trusty old Crock Pot going with beef shank, carrots, onions, prunes, a can of fire-roasted tomatoes, red wine, and some herbs de Provence. I cooked it overnight, chilled it to skim the fat, and reheated it with sliced mushrooms that were therefore cooked much less than the meat and other vegetables. In the photo you can see the marrow bone as well as the rich brown sauce and still-white mushrooms. I wouldn't have wanted this in the Florida heat, but there's been lots of snow in Michigan this week.
And I did buy some key lime juice and graham crackers just in case I get up the courage to try key lime pie, the best food invention from Florida that I know of. At the moment as in the picture, these ingredients are just waiting on my pantry shelf!