July 21, 2021

Recipes lately...in a rut?

If you're not in a cooking rut in July, please tell me your secrets. I've been in a cooking rut for years. I quite literally have no idea where my inspiration used to come from. It's a mystery, along with the other things of the mid-20s age range (your back doesn't hurt, you feel rested after sleeping, etc). If you've been around this blog for years, you know I used to do things like make homemade ice cream on school nights. Where that particular drive has gone, I do not know. 

I used to share Pinterest recipes I made and liked...here are a few recipes lately that I would recommend, even during the summer:

I made this Mexican Street Corn Salad, minus the hot sauce. I also subbed smoked paprika for the ancho chili powder. This is definitely my favorite way to prepare summer corn and I've made a few versions over the years. A lot of recipes say frozen corn is fine too. 

I did s'mores in the air fryer. They were fine. It's a good method and a fun party trick if you have guests or kids. I think that I just don't appreciate a s'more like I used to (another mystery of the mid-20s).

This was the idea for Wells' birthday cake two weeks ago. I made this vegan chocolate cake because it is the #1 go-to chocolate cake recipe for me. Not that I bake a lot of chocolate cakes, but it is completely foolproof. You can't even tell that it's vegan. I did my own non-vegan chocolate peanut butter icing. I prefer vanilla cake but I asked Wells what he wanted and he said chocolate. 

This honey-butter garlic chicken was good for a quick dinner. I needed more sauce though, so I'd double that part of the recipe. I added roasted broccoli and rice. 

This sheet pan cashew chicken was good...I'd 100% make it again, as soon as it's cool enough to comfortably use the oven. 

Then, I made two recipes out of a Gooseberry Patch cookbook that Scott's sister gave me a few years ago. We had picked a bunch of blackberries, so I made this cobbler recipe, but used blackberries:

And then I made this yellow cake as cupcakes with sprinkles, a la funfetti. Wells helped. Frosting is just a basic buttercream. 

If you're not making your cupcakes/cakes and frosting from scratch, you're doing it wrong. Not because it makes you less of a person, but because you're missing out. The payoff is worth the extra 20 minutes, I promise! Wells and I made boxed red velvet mini-cupcakes a few weeks ago and I thought they were awful. Everyone had a couple and then I threw them out after they sat in the fridge for a week. 

What's your go-to summer meal right now? (I know what you're going to say, but our tomatoes aren't ripe yet, though we do have 84759 zucchini to do something with.)


  1. Big on homemade frosting but use box mixes. Now that I see how easy and how few ingredients the yellow cake recipe has I will try it. I just never have shortening!
    I’ve been craving cake lately. Not good!
    I’m in a bit of a rut.
    Recently did tilapia with Cajun seasoning, your Mexican quinoa but changed the enchilada sauce to jarred salsa and I loved it, egg roll in a bowl, fried rice with cauliflower rice for me, brats, turkey dogs, southwest burrito bowls.

    1. You could sub butter I'm sure. I do have a really good yellow cake recipe on my Pinterest. I just remember it being pretty involved. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/71072500359055732/

  2. I am down to about three or four meals that all three kids will eat without complaining. However, two will be leaving soon for college (all the feels EXCEPT that I am giddy about the thought of only have one fussy eater in the house when the two older are gone:)). I am always looking for new ideas so I will check out the chicken recipes you referenced. Agree completely about homemade icing for cakes- making it is super easy and tastes so much better. I sometimes make cakes from scratch; when cake mixes go on a super sale at the grocery I buy them to have on hand.

    1. Cake mixes are good for a lot of things, so I do usually have one on hand.
      I don't really worry about what our kiddo will eat or not eat. He's *usually* pretty good about it, but if he doesn't want to eat, it doesn't matter what you put in front of him.
      Enjoy your meal-planning freedom! :)

  3. I just joined PlateJoy because I'm in SUCh a rut - & being back in the office, I dont want to think about it. They send the menu for each week, you can pick how many of each meal you want & I am so far loving it. lunch ideas & breakfast & even a BATCh cooking receipt. My daughter used it & turned me onto it.


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