It's so easy to get into a cooking rut, especially if you're only cooking for yourself. Our best advice, and what has proven to work for us, is making a meal plan at the beginning of each week that's manageable for your schedule. From there, pick a couple of meals that you know are easy and delicious (try this roasted fennel and sausage), but throw in something unique that piques your interest (like fresh egg pasta!). You won't know if you like it until you give it a try, and working something different into your weeknight routine could open all sorts of culinary interests you didn't know you had.
Our absolute favorite thing to do is what you see in our Spring Brunch post—collaboratively devising a menu, working on wine pairings, and sorting out all the small details of a get-together. We wanted to focus on seasonal produce that celebrated spring. Robert talked about "bright" flavors a lot, which I think he executed perfectly. Menu-planning can certainly seem overwhelming, so we like to take it one step at a time. Starting with the main and working backwards gives you the ability to knock what can be the hardest thing first. Once we decided to serve Cumin Lamb Shanks with Pomegranate Molasses Au Jus, pairing sides that would complement that dish was the fun part.
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If you're not sure what wine will pair well, seek out lighter to medium-body whites, reds, and rosés. They're incredibly versatile and often high enough in acidity to handle richer dishes, yet most can also pair well with fish, poultry, and vegetable-heavy dishes. Wine that may not be a showstopper on its own often tends to come alive with food—even something as simple as a piece of cheese can really open up the flavor and bring out some of the underlying qualities of a wine.