One of the more challenging aspects of living in un pays cher (expensive country) is that we rarely go out to dinner. Granted we save as much as we can to travel to less-expensive countries and go out to dinner there, but 95% of our meals in Geneva are at home…which can become monotonous! So, I do two things to make us miss restaurants less:
- We have candlelight and music every night. Sometimes I only have time to switch on the local radio and light a votive, but I try to set the mood that dinner is an event. When I’m cooking a dish from another country I do a youtube search to see if there is a complimentary music mix. Trust me, spaghetti bolognese tastes better with this.
- I attempt recipes I miss from restaurants. Before moving to Switzerland I would never try to make chicken tikka masala, because I could pick up affordable take-out from the restaurant around the corner. The first time we went out for Thai in Geneva we spent $100 without wine or beer. Oof! So, I attempted curry at home and guess what? Not as difficult as I thought.
Chicken lettuce wraps is one of those restaurant dishes I had been craving but had never attempted. The first time I made this recipe it was a home run. Easy, inexpensive, filling and healthy. Since then, I’ve played around with the recipe a bit–switching out water chestnuts for diced bell pepper and upping the sauce’s spiciness. This is one of those recipes that is ripe for experimentation. It is now a part of our permanent rotation of meals!
What recipes do you come back to again and again? I easily get into ruts where I make the same thing for breakfast every day for two weeks. I’m not sure what that says about me! I hope you are attempting a recipe this week that challenges you…meanwhile, a few links: