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February 24, 2007



i love people's standbys. i've adopted a few for my own standbys. need a quick cake? got it! i like the feeling of comfort cooking as much as comfort eating. being good at something never hurts either.


Lindy, this is really a thought provoking post. At the moment I've had wine and am soon to go out to dinner.
You are so right about the standbys.
I must come back to this.


you just had a birthday? me too - yesterday, the 24th in fact, when was yours?


It's interesting because I've been thinking about this same topic and recently decided I would start re-posting what I've been calling "Recipe Favorites." I simply can't create something new every day, nor would I want to stop cooking my favorites either.


that´s a lovely post. I couldn´t agree more, and plus, you have a lovely repertoire. I´m a mushroom risotto, noodle soup, and best ever tuna sandwiches girl.


I haven't been cooking long enough to have any standards yet. In a way I'm really hoping that I never do. I just want to do different, innovative and creative things all the time.


china-well said. And your cake?
tanna- wine and dinner. sounds good.
arif-the 8th. Happy birthday to you, too.
kayln-I've been making it a point to read older posts on blogs I started reading after they'd been around awhile. There's all that good stuff there we don't see, unless searching for something specific.
lobstersquad-those are three lovely things indeed.
trig-of course...you're a chef, after all!


I completely agree, and we all must be on the same page. Just last week, on my Top 5 located on the sidebar, I posted the recipes that are made most often in my kitchen.
I'm always going back to the same old standards, but who wants to read "so I made that rice dish again, but this time I used diced tomatoes...?"


What a fabulous, fabulous post! I am fairly new to your blog and am always eager to come back.


Blogging has definitely encouraged me to make lots of new dishes that I never would have tried before, and I like that. A few of the things that I make and love are lemon chicken, spaghetti and tomato sauce and plain bread. They're nothing extraordinary, but they're comforting.


I, of course, never make the same dish twice. This practice is not always easy to maintain: when one has made the perfect dish of whatever, one naturally wants to have it again. To avoid doing so, I destroy my recipe and any notes I might have made. Then, to be thorough, I destroy all of the food in my pantry, throw away my pans and implements, burn down the house, and move to a different state and equip a new kitchen. It is, I will confess, a bit trying doing this three or four times a day, but one has a responsibility to one's art, no?


You haven't run out of new states yet, anapestic?

I'm new enough to blogging that I can still post recipes from my repertoire, but I never mind hearing about your tried-and-trues again. It's not called comfort food for nothing.

In my repertoire: corned beef hash (just blogged that, in fact), Southeast Asian steak salad (from Epicurious), marinated flank steak with onions and mushrooms, pig's casserole (family recipe), green chile ...


This is a great topic for a food blog. I know that once I started blogging-and still--I have this sense of wanting to try new things constantly (I blame my overly large cookbook collection for this too, since otherwise I feel guilty for the waste of money and space on all those pages). But while I've learned a lot in general cooking, I haven't developed much in my repertoire. What I do have is mostly side dishes, and of those, mostly potato dishes.

I'd also attribute this somewhat to the fact that I added a new and very different palate to the mix in the past 2 years, so there's a balancing and comingling of tastes that's still being developed. As a fairly young cook, it's really satisfying to return to a recipe for even the third time.

On the other hand, I worked in a kitchen for a year, so there's a slew of recipes I could make in my sleep (even still, I regularly return to that kitchen in my dreams). Maybe that's why I haven't gone back to them for a year.

Baking Soda

Thank you for this post! It is something that pops up regularly when reading blogs (silently thinking: oops, am I just a boring cook that I have favourites that I like to make, or rather my family/friends like me to make?) How do people do this? Thx anapestic for lifting the veil...


Anapestic, that spontaneous manifesto kills me.

I definitely think you should do a "standards" or "standbys" or "repetoire" round-up, Lindy. If you are up for it. My contribution would be suspiciously like my "Something for Nothing" contribution, only it would be ever so slightly more high-end. Anapestic and (ironic or not) followers of that creed could contribute the dish most likely to tempt them into repetition.


christiane-I'm sure we've all given it some thought, and a little expression, too. It's sort of in the air. I wonder if that might be what a "meme" used to be about?
thanks chris-welcome.
Brilynn-I loves me some lemon chicken-want to share your method?
'pestic- You may find, with age, that it becomes far less difficult to simply forget those culinary triumphs. Then you won't have to move so often .But I do love your trademark drastic solutions to common dilemmas. (dilemmae?)
Do you poach an egg on that CB hash, Kitt? Love that stuff.
little bouffe-I think that cooking professionally would have a similar effect on me. As soon as I have to do something, everything else seems more appealing. Although, if I wrote about food for a living, I don't think I'd be dying to do any lawyering in my spare time.
Even though I actually like my job just fine. Ack-I just had an awful thought. do you suppose I'd drive my co-workers crazy yakking about the law, the way I do now, talking about food? Too horrible to contemplate!
Baking Soda- yep, you can always count on anapestic for the easy solution!
zp-I was kind of hoping that people might just leave links in the comments-lazy woman that I am. But I'll think on it!


Well, if you click my name, you'll see the corned beef hash, anyway. There's no real recipe; just throw a bunch of stuff together in the proportions you like. I do put a fried egg with runny yolk on it. I can't poach an egg decently to save my life.

Here's a link to Southeast Asian steak salad: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/recipe_views/views/15520

I usually add other grilled vegetables to it, and I prefer Thai bird chiles to jalapenos, or I use a roasted poblano, which I buy by the bushel and freeze. You can use any nice grilling steak. Doesn't have to be ribeye. This is a great summer dish. I've even taken it to a ballgame for some elegant eating.

There's also always a flank steak in my freezer that I've marinated in light (i.e. low sodium) soy sauce and honey. Just throw it all in a ziplock in the fridge for a day, turning a couple of times, then freeze. When you want to cook it, let it defrost and pour the juices into a small saucepan. While your steak is grilling, bring the juices to a boil (important since there's blood involved), then cook sliced mushrooms and onion in them. Serve the steak sliced very thin against the grain at an angle. Makes fabulous sandwiches, too.

So there's three.

Lynn D.

We call these "signature dishes" in my family. They're not always fancy, oftentimes sweet. I think it's fun to cook a meal or dish to remember a family member or friend who's gone. Write a family cookbook. What recipe has been in your rotation for the longest time? My mom's meatloaf, amazingly delicous concoction of frozen spinach and lima bean and lemon angel pie. My grandmother's veal birds, green rice and gingerbread. Auntie Grace's sandwich loaf served at showers. My mother's cousin, Chuck's rutabagas. My other grandmother's fried cheese and fruit pies. My liver and onions and poppyseed cake (from Camilla). Food. Memories.

Lynn D.

Gosh, I should have put some more commas in my last post!


Lynn-I like the idea of those memory meals. My longest item in rotation is probably roast chicken with lemon and garlic. Or possible eggs florentine.
And...ah yes, the comma is our friend.. All the best meatloafs (loaves?) contain plenty of pie. My special favorite is that lima bean and lemon pie. Or is it spinach and lima pie?


Over and over again - probably if my husband really likes it, wants leftovers, I do it over and over. Roasted chicken and grilled chicken are always showing up. Meat loaf is always returning but probably not more than 3 times a year. One of his very favorites that he seems to never tire of is Baked Pasta with Spinach and goat cheese. Bocca Burgers are at least once a month but sometimes twice a week.
My biggest problem is having so many things I want to cook and only two of us to feed it too.


Oh, and I forgot angel food cake, lemon tea cake bread, german chocolate cake and carrot cake. I'll always make those over and over but then maybe you didn't mean desserts.


This has been on my mind lately too. While I like the hunt to find new meals for the repertoire, surprisingly few end up there. There are plenty of things I’ve blogged about that I’ve never made since, and I generally try to make an effort to only blog about things that I think are going to become part of my repertoire.

To become part of my repertoire a meal/recipe/dish has to be something that I want to eat on a regular basis, and since my husband and I eat meals (dinner, at least) together it bas to be something that appeals to him also. It has to be easy enough that I'll do it on a regular basis -- overly involved and complicated recipes are not going to make it into the rotation. It has to be something that is reasonably priced. It has to be reasonably "healthy" which rules out all sorts of things that taste good but use large amounts of cream or butter. Not that I rule out large amounts of cream or butter for occasions, but I’m not going to be making that sort of thing for dinner two or three times a month.

So finding something that you really think is good and that you find yourself eating on a regular basis --not as easy as you'd think.

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