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What's Cooking?: Papers, and Pencils, and Books! Oh, My!

It’s school time again!  Summer is still reluctant to let go of its lingering heat.  Nevertheless, it signals the advent of autumn with its brisk air driving the warmth away.  I love the fall season as parents get their kids ready for school and summer fun is winding down.  With the pressure of getting it altogether, there is no better time than now to find ways to put those meals on the table amidst the back-to-school pandemonium.

Here are a few suggestions to encourage you to try to cook in simpler ways so it will be less stressful.  When in a hurry, I like to make one dish meals like casseroles, pastas, chilis, and even salads as a meal.   It may take some preparation but make enough to provide multiple meals or to freeze for another day.  A purchase of some artisan breads will make it extra special.  Don’t forget to take out that handy slow cooker to have one-pot meals ready when you come home.  There is nothing wrong with having a hearty soup and sandwich for dinner as an alternative.  There are so many kinds of cold and hot sandwiches like quesadillas, wraps, and paninis.  The latest WOW in our family is the Vietnamese Bánh Mì sandwich with that delicious pickled daikon and carrot dressing on top of various meat or vegetable fillings in a baguette. The cilantro, pickled daikon and carrot sure give a refreshing kick to this sandwich.  And how about a quick stir-fry in a wok or skillet with fresh vegetables and slivers of meat on top of noodles or rice?  Take a peek at the following books for further ideas for quick and healthy meals.

Esposito, Mary Ann.  Ciao Italia Slow and Easy: Casseroles, Braises, Lasagne, and Stews from an Italian Kitchen.

Colicchio, Tom.  ‘Wichcraft: Craft a Sandwich into a Meal – and a Meal into a Sandwich.

Cook’s Illustrated. The Best Skillet Recipes: A Best Recipe Classic.

Hom, Ken.  Ken Hom’s Top 100 Stir-Fry Recipes.

Leader, Daniel.  Panini Express: 70 Delicious Recipes Hot Off the Press.

Martinez, Susie.  Don’t Panic –Dinner’s in the Freezer.

Reader’s Digest.  Just One Pot: Over 320 Simple and Delicious Recipes, from Hearty Stews to Tasty Tangines.

Revsin, Leslie.  The Simpler the Better: Sensational One-dish Meals.

Robertson, Robin.  One-Dish Vegetarian Meals: 150 Easy, Wholesome, and Delicious Soups, Stews, Casseroles, Stir-Fries, Pastas, Rice Dishes, Chilis, and More.

Taste of Home.  Taste of Home Casseroles, Slow Cooker & Soups.

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