Running out of Brady Street Cheese Sprinkle is kind of a kitchen emergency for me; I hastily placed my reorder with Penzey's yesterday. I cannot recommend a company more highly -- very fresh, very reasonably priced spices and seasonings, and great inventions like Brady Street Cheese Sprinkle. It goes on top of the pizza dough and underneath the other toppings on our homemade pizza every week. It gets shaken into any pasta, chicken, or fish dish that needs a little something. We love it on sauteed summer squash and onions, or any other grilled or sauteed vegetable dish. If you're a flavored popcorn person, here you go.
It made me think of other "always" items around here, those things that are like having money in the bank:
Frozen cheese tortellini. Boiled up they are a meal in themselves, yet add a sliced up avocado or some cubed, sauteed ham and it seems as though you really did cook dinner. Also great as the base for a nice pasta salad if you add almost any kind of salad dressing after draining them and then let them cool in the fridge.
Frozen spaghetti sauce. I used to be more on top of this -- periodically making up big batches of a tomato-based sauce and storing the extra in the freezer. More of a fall/winter thing, but still a wise move.
Orzo. When you're tired of pasta and don't have time to cook rice, go for orzo (rice-shaped pasta). Oh, and feel free to toss with a little butter and, yes, some Brady Street Cheese Sprinkle.
Tortillas. Do you always have tortillas in your fridge? Into the oven with some cheese on top, or in a pan with cheese and corn and maybe some sauteed peppers and onions? Or even heated then folded up with just a little butter inside?
Having gone from temperatures in the mid-70s to those in the mid-90s overnight, I'm also trying to remember how to put on dinners without cooking (or without cooking much). Any stand-bys at your house?
We finish up school this week, and head up to Maine next week. Friends are coming over from Ireland to join us and I have been cleaning the craft room/guest room in their honor; I'll try to take some pictures to share. This is a particular window of time that I've been thinking about and planning for a long, long time, and yet it now seems impossible that it is suddenly here. Laundry and packing to do, work to wrap up, details to take care of, moments to relax and enjoy.