my everyday challenge

I’ve extolled the virtues of this handy and wonderful little magazine for years.  It’s one of the few magazines in publication that I own every single issue of.  And I cherish all 73, and counting. Each issue of Everyday Foodfrom the kitchens of Martha Stewart Living, is packed with simple, easy and elegant recipes that can help all of us get a nutritious and delicious meal on the table every day. So while I was perusing my latest issue, I decided that I have all these magazines, it’s time to showcase them. My new challenge is to cook at least one recipe a week from my archive of Everyday Food. Beginning with issue #1 and working my way forward. To kick off the challenge this upcoming week, I will be making the cover recipe from the first issue, originally published in January 2003, tomato and olive penne. It’s a simple 25 minute pasta recipe from start to finish. I’ll feature this recipe in a post later in the week.

As an extra added goodie to this new challenge, I’d like to throw in a little give-away. If you’ll take a few moments to tell me in the comments section of my blog about your favorite tip for getting a week night meal on the table, or the name of your favorite quick dinner recipe, you’ll be entered into a random drawing for a free one-year subscription to Everyday Food. Your comment must be posted on my blog, not facebook.  The contest will end at 5 pm, eastern time on Friday, June 11, 2010. Good luck!

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About mike @ made by mike

Blogger. Baker. Picture Taker. I live near Akron, Ohio with my partner Greg, Ted the wonder dog, and a pantry full of flour and sugar.

Posted on June 6, 2010, in Everyday Food Challenge, Food & Drink, Martha Stuff, Prizes!!! and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 39 Comments.

  1. My big tip for getting dinner on the table after work on a weekday is my radio. Listening to NPR keeps me from curling up in a ball on the couch. My other big recommendation is West Point pizza dough.

  2. Love this idea. I can’t wait to try the recipes you share. :) Somehow when you know someone making the meals it seems more doable.

    My tip? Get everything prepped the night before or in the morning. That way it’s all ready to go right when you walk in the door. If I sit down first, forget about it!

  3. My weeknight dinner tip is choose meals on the weekend and do the grocery shopping at that time. Then anticipation grows during the week. Also listen to good music while cooking and everything goes faster!

  4. Crockpot. ‘Nuff said.

  5. I try to do quick, simple things during the week like your Week #1 Challenge. It makes it more doable. The complex stuff waits til the weekend when there’s more time to prepare.

  6. Jean McFarren

    OK, Inspired by Mike (maybe that’s what I’ll call my blog)I tried Martha’s Honey-glazed chicken from the Everyday Food section of her website. It was good. You cook chicken pieces at 475 for 20-25 minutes. I was surprised that it would cook that fast. The pieces I had were big so cooking time was closer to 30-35 minutes. I should have put the breasts in first, then the thighs and then the drumsticks to even out the size difference. But, my family liked it and said that we should have it again. I’m ready to try more Everyday Food now.

  7. I love this challenge! Looking forward to reading as you go!

    My tip for making things easy? I plan my menu for the whole week on Sunday and do my grocery shopping all at once. Knowing it advance what we’ll be having for dinner makes planning my schedule so much easier! I go to a work out class some evenings, so I have to strategically plan really fast meals on the nights I go to class. I love the phrase “plan your work, and work your plan!”

  8. My tip is to have a well stocked pantry with items that can transform anything from a piece of protein to a variety of vegetables into a well rounded meal.

  9. My tip to get dinner on the table for weeknights: Do all my shopping and meal prep on weekends. There’s only 2 of us, so when I make meals that serve 4, it’s good enough to last us a couple of days for dinners and lunches. As well, the slow-cooker has become pretty much my best friend in the last year. While I have something cooking in that, I’m also able to prepare something else at the same time in the oven or on the stove. Multi-tasking!

  10. My tip is to sit down with my husband when I get new cookbooks/magazines and mark every recipe we want to try. This is especially good with the Martha cookbooks and Everyday Food since they all have pictures! Then, when meal planning, I pick a few per week and know it will be something we both will like.

  11. I just found your blog through The Everyday Food Blog! I love your idea and I”m looking forward to following along.

    My best tip is sort of multi-stepped. I plan my menu every Thursday night and make my grocery list around what I’m planning on cooking. I make sure I buy everything I need (with the exception of any produce that might go bad before I cook it) at the store. Then, before I go to bed each night I check to make sure I have everything, and thaw any meat out. It makes it really easy to throw a meal together when I walk in the door when I do the planning beforehand.

  12. My best tip for getting a week night meal on the table is to have a well stocked pantry so I don’t get hung up by not having this or that. I try to have our favorite staple ingredients on hand all the time so we can just add a protein and fresh produce and dinner!
    I’ve just recently become a fan of these wonderful Everyday Food magazines and wish I’d known about them sooner! Excited to see what this project produces! Thanks for sharing your adventure.

  13. Great challenge! I can’t wait to see more!

    As far as food tips, that’s a hard one. Pasta is probably my tip–in a variety of ways! Our easy meal is usually grilled chicken over angel hair or thin spaghetti–I add 1 tsp of olive oil to mine with grated parmesan and steamed vegetables/broccoli/cauliflower. My husband takes his the full cholesterol route: buttered pasta with garlic. It hits all the right things: carbs, protein, vegetables and taste!

  14. Plan ahead!!! This way you have every ingredient already on hand.

  15. Have fun with this project!
    Any chance you will give the recipes some kind of rating?
    My tip is always have frozen stir fry vegetables in the freezer and just add sliced meat and whatever is leftover in the fridge including left over pasta.

  16. Menu, menu, menu. When the hubby and I first got married and I started talking about having a baby his response was “We can’t have a baby until we stop eating cereal for dinner”. Point taken. To avoid eating cereal for dinner I started making a weekly menu, and now (10 years later) I can’t live without it. The menu is made each Sunday, the shopping done shortly thereafter, and the result is no cereal for dinner. No questions about what to eat, no last minute runs to the store for supplies, and a much smoother evening (with a homecooked meal) ensue.

  17. Sometimes I make a quick “pseudo frittata”: Crack a couple eggs per person into a bowl, add a little water (makes it fluffy), salt and pepper if desired and beat with a fork. If making for three people, like I do, heat a large nonstick pan and add anything you have on hand – I keep some diced ham in the freezer in small packages and thaw it quickly in the microwave before adding to the pan. You can add leftover or fresh veggies like asparagus, broccoli, mushrooms, etc. as well as cheese. You don’t even have to add anything and it turns out like a thick omlette. Cook on low heat, covered, until just set then add some good melting cheese or even american slices if that is on hand. Remove from heat and allow cheese to melt while covered. Cut into wedges and serve with whatever toasted bread you have on hand. I don’t heat the oven just to finish it off like a regular frittata – why heat up the whole kitchen?

    I forgot the line that says to pour the eggs in the pan. Silly me!

  18. My tip for getting dinner on the table quickly weeknights: when you walk in the door put a pot of water on to boil. Then look through the cubbord or fridge. This way, if you come up with a pasta dish, you don’t have to wait 15 min for water to boil. You can throw a no-cook tena/lemon/caper sauce just from your cubbord. Bonus recipe link: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Tuna-Lemon-and-Caper-Sauce-15310

  19. The name of my favorite quick dinner recipe is affectionately known by my husband as “my favorite”. Its a chicken veggie pasta dish cooked in kraft asian toasted sesame dressing and topped with peanuts- yummo!

  20. I like to cook enough brown rice to get me through the week. Whatever I don’t use I freeze! (and actually I stole that tip from some nutritionist’s column…) ;-)

  21. Hi Mike!
    I came by your blog via a tweet (last week?) from every day food about your challenge and since I’m such a fan of the magazine, I had to check it out. Well, I did (great blog, btw) and think it’s such a great idea and am thinking of joining you, if you don’t mind the company? I have all the issues from issue #13 to the current one #74 and cook from them regularly. But going back to the older issues and picking a new recipe each week will help refresh my memory on what recipes I missed the first time around! What a great challenge idea.

    I’m looking forward to seeing which recipes you prepare.

    I understand your giveaway is over, but my favorite tip for getting dinner on the table midweek is to menu plan ahead of the time so there’s no “panic” mode–although it’s not always foolproof. Another tip is to make a roast or big steak on one night that’s not busy and then use the leftovers to create a whole new dish maybe two nights later.

  22. For a quick dinner: my rice cooker. It not only does perfect rice, but other grains too.

  23. I also do most of my cooking on the weekends. That way, I have time to do a few special things here and there. I’ve been learning how to bake, so I’ll make bread on Sunday (which means at the very least, I can have PB&Js and Tuna Sandwiches!). While that’s rising or baking, I’ll cook a handful of other things for the week. While other things are cooking or resting, I can toss a load of laundry in or sweep the kitchen or do some of the dishes. Going back and forth keeps it from feeling quite so daunting. I also usually have far less energy on weekday evenings than I do Sunday morning and afternoons, so I’m far more likely to cook rather than throw silly things together or get take-out on the way home.

  24. Love what you’re doing here! The most fun thing I’ve made for dinner (although initially time consuming, the pay off is great) is frozen mini-pizzas. I spent a weekend making 10 cups of tomato sauce, and then made a double batch of pizza dough, rolled them all out to 5 inch rounds, put them on a cookie sheet, spread sauce & cheese, froze in freezer (on sheet) and then packaged into freezer bags. Additional toppings can either be added before baking or during assembly. And I still have plenty of sauce left over to make pasta, etc!

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