38 Comments

I love these posts! I could read about people's meal planning and cooking all day. Julia Turshen's green beans and tomatoes from Simply Julia are my most recent repeat, today I actually said out loud at work, "I can't wait to go home so I can cook green beans!"

I also often make a (much simplified version) of Molly Baz's lentil smothered greens from Bon Appetit, served with toast. It is my comfort meal and I always have the ingredients on hand.

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May 31, 2023Liked by Molly Wizenberg

Me too! In my dreams I’d start a podcast that is about meal planning, grocery shopping & recipes we want to try.

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May 31, 2023Liked by Molly Wizenberg

Just googled the lentil smothered greens - sounds good! 😍

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Haha! I posted my own comment about Julia's green beans & tomatoes before scrolling and seeing yours! I walked to the grocery store after work yesterday specifically because I wanted to eat this.

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Jul 13, 2023Liked by Molly Wizenberg

I LOVE seeing Thai beef with basil on the list because it's in my rotation so often because of you. I made it when you posted it with my then-husband and baby, and we immediately made it again that same night so we could have seconds. Now that baby is 11 and his sister is 8, and they both love it, and it's easy for me to make an enjoy as a single mom.

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Molly, at least once a month I make the Pomodori al Forno recipe you wrote for Bon Appetit many years ago, using fresh tomatoes in summer and canned in winter. With bread and cheese and a salad it is a perfect meal. They are great in sandwiches or spooned over pasta and other roasted veggies. Or get fancy and put a bowl of them on a charcuterie board. Thank you for a family favorite! https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/pomodori-al-forno

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Jun 4, 2023Liked by Molly Wizenberg

Very rarely (if ever) does an email come into my inbox that changes my life. However, Molly (if I may), this email truly did. All my previous attempts at meal planning were too rigid for my taste and I never lasted more than a couple of weeks. This loose list form with bare categories really makes a lot of sense to me and I already did it for this past week and will do it again when I find out what's going to be in my CSA. Thank you. This post has truly changed my life and is going to make cranky need to eat now weeknights much easier.

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May 31, 2023Liked by Molly Wizenberg

I will never get bored of this tomato-less bolognese from Stanley Tucci’s “searching for Italy”. It is beyond delicious! Just really “push” it -- cook it longer than you’d think. Get it nice and brown. https://chewingthefat.us.com/2021/04/10-minute-bolognese-from-stanley-tuccis-searching-for-italy.html

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Would absolutely love these kinds of posts, it’s just such a wonderful window into the world of others. And plus, yours are realistic and honestly just a nice, freeing reminder that being precious does not have to go hand in hand with home cooking. It’s very comforting to me!

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This is what I make when I have a leftover jar of salsa that I won’t be using anytime soon. This is what we call picadillo. I sauté ground beef until it’s almost done and then I throw in half an onion and 1/2 to 1 full bell pepper seasoned with salt. I like to cut both into strips. While the bellpepper/onion mixture is cooking I cut up a couple medium potatoes, into 1/4 slices. Thirty seconds before I think the bell pepper onion mixture is done, I throw in some minced garlic and the potatoes. I then add the leftover salsa, if it’s not hot enough I add a minced chili pepper, give it a good stir and add water to barely cover. I add a tablespoon of Knorr chicken granules, no respectable Mexican household would be without it. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and let it cook for 20 minutes. I like to serve it with refried canned beans that I enhance with a whole small can of hatch green chilies and Jack cheese. So simple and I usually have all the ingredients on hand.

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So excited to hear there may be a way to keep Orangette up! Happy to chip in for that. I hate the thought of losing all of your writing - like having to say goodbye to a dear old friend.

Also would happily read this kind of thing whenever you want to share.

Japanese curry, sloppy Joe’s (from dinner they playbook), smitten kitchen’s spinach garlic butter pasta, and all of simply Julia (green pasta and Khao mun gai this week alone) have been in heavy rotation. Also good luck bread pizza subscription has been a godsend.

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I am 100% interested and here for these cooking posts. They could be as often as you’d like, and I’ll take ‘em.

The meal on repeat in our house recently is a Mediterranean-ish bowl of rice, grilled chicken thighs rubbed with shawarma seasoning, a simple cucumber-tomato-shallot salad, some herbs, hummus, and tzatziki. So tasty and fresh and satisfying!

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I have loved reading your writing about for for a long, long time. Thank you for the endless inspiration.

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I too love these posts and appreciate that you can love food (cooking it, reading about it, shopping, etc) and yet not want to make most meals a huge production. I am married to a chef, I own a zillion cookbooks and read a lot of food blogs, yet nearly every night I wonder that so many of us so regularly manage to get something on the table most nights. It feels like such a production (especially when you work full time, have kids, etc).

My kids' favorite right now is either black bean tacos (with crumbled feta because we always have that in the fridge, red onions marinated in lime juice, cilantro, guacamole, store bought corn tortillas or on occasion homemade. When I have more time I roast diced up sweet potatoes and those go in too) or kale pasta-linguine or fettucini with two heads of Tuscan kale thinly sliced (chiffonaded?) with a lot of lemon, parm and garlic. So good and relatively easy.

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Yes, more please. Oddly fascinating to see how others meal plan and your method is quite freeing. Thank you.

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Oh Molly, I'm so delighted to hear there might be a way to keep Orangette alive. You were the first food blog I ever followed when there were almost none of you, and it got me through my first undergrad! My meal prep is a slightly different looking list (though less elegant, given that no one's handwriting can possibly measure up to the delight that is yours), as I write out all the things I picked up at the fresh food and veg market. (Writing from Melbourne, Australia, that's different to a supermarket). I then leave it up to my brain to figure out how to use all those ingredients. I was recently gifted 36 eggs, which, on the list, reads as "36 FREAKIN EGGS" and in return my brain goes, "ICE CREAM". hahaha. Something on high rotation at the mo is Alison Roman's pantry pasta - recipe online - and Jim Lahey's no knead bread (when can you go wrong?).

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I love learning what people cook and meal plans. I'm always looking for more new dishes to try. Please keep the cooking posts coming!

I've cooked for one for many years. My method has always been to cook 2-3 dishes (usually on the weekends or something quick on a weekday) that will last me for 4-6 days. Leftovers forever! Even when I started working at home and for myself, I still cook like this. I always wondered if I'd change it up to make an intensive dish during the week but somehow I still reserve this for weekends. Then it truly feels like a weekend. I imagine things would be much different if my household had more people. There would be more dishes to cook and less leftovers but also there would be more variety? There are a lot of things that I don't make because the leftovers would simply be not that great or I'd get tired of them quickly. I also freeze portions too for later down the road. But there are a lot of soups, pasta dishes, quick Chinese dishes I learned from my grandma and in the summer a lot of salads and tomato toast. In the winter I love to make a Chinese tomato and egg soup and serve it with crunchy rice.

My general method of inspiration is trying to use up something in my freezer, fridge or pantry. What dish can I make with xyz which often leads to another dish in the coming weeks as I have extra ingredients. I still very much meal plan with a veg, starch or protein in mind. I don't enjoy making stuff that is too "healthy" but will always try to shop seasonally when I can.

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I LOVE Julia's Turshen's Simply Julia - it's the first cookbook I've ever cooked from consistently. I am in fact making her Tex Mex meatballs tonight, and just finished off some leftover garlicky green beans & tomatoes for lunch (highly recommend saving any leftovers, even if it's like 6 beans, to eat over pasta the next day).

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I share the dejection at Orangette potentially going away, but I understand. I'm hoping there's a good suggestion for someplace to archive it that isn't as spendy! I read it from the beginning and have a serious love for it, though I generally only reference it for Oatmeal pancakes and yeasted waffles these days, which I've now saved.

I do love these glimpses into your kitchen/everyday cooking life. I think you and I have similar goals in the kitchen, and I've always been inspired by your approach.

I always have eggs around, for a back pocket meal. I made and made again and made yet again this cheese toast with chiles thing that Bon Appetit posted on insta in March, that is so simple and yet so stupidly delicious.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CpvDPcGpbBT/

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