grilled cheese and tomato soupI’m not a big fan of cooking on the weekends. Sunday night dinners I can absolutely get behind; those slow-cooked all-day recipes just ain’t happening during the week. But Friday and Saturday I often need a break.

The problem with that is we get sort of burned out on takeout and eating out. It’s expensive, and it’s not always very good food. So I’m trying to remedy this problem with super easy homemade food that’s fun. I started this week with a creamy tomato soup recipe from Rachel Ray (less exciting than I usually go for, but quick and delicious nonetheless) and some easy grilled cheese sandwiches. I played with the plating.

ham and cheese plateI also made this nibbles board complete with apple slices, cheddar chunks, and prosciutto. And we cracked open a bottle of French apple cider and had a ball.

The grilled cheese is just potato bread with some nice havarti, grilled on low in our panini press for about 5 minutes.

The tomato soup is equally easy, so easy that I’m not even going to throw in tons of prep photos. Here’s the original recipe, and here’s the short version:

Mix 30 ounces of chicken broth with a 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes in a medium saucepan. Cook it over moderate heat until it bubbles, add 1 cup of heavy cream, and simmer on low for 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Rachel Ray’s recipe calls for pureeing with an immersion blender, I thought it was perfectly nice and smooth as it was. I didn’t have basil to garnish with, so I sprinkled parsley on top.

Super easy. The whole meal took 20 minutes to put together, and now we’re done eating early enough to enjoy the rest of the night without thinking about dinner. Bonus!