If you are looking for encouragement to restart cooking meals again, why not host a Cooking with Friends party? Real Simple featured one party where you make together a huge batch of basic tomato sauce. Chili would also be perfect. Since you need 2 or 3 pots to cook the chili, you can vary the spicy level to please everyone.
The idea is to do enough so every guest will bring home enough tomato sauce for a few meals. Plan for at least 2 pints per person to take home. By doing the simplest tomato sauce, your guests will be able to use it as the basis for many dishes. Reserve the pasta sauce you need for your party. If you want to, raise your pasta main dish by adding fresh herbs, meatballs or sausage for your dinner. Replace the meat by Portobello mushrooms for a vegetarian menu.
You could also prepare a huge batch of Mario Batali’s Basic Tomato Sauce. Make sure to tell your friends that a tomato sauce typically holds 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer. Before freezing the sauce, make sure to read the tips to preserve food longer on the freezer.
You will impress your friends by giving them the Tomato Sauce recipe booklet designed by Real Simple or use it as a template to publish your favorite recipes.
Do not forget that you need to supply more kitchen tools (cutting boards, knifes, aprons, etc…) if you have more helpers in the kitchen. If this party seems too much work for you, simply invite a group of friends to eat a big bowl of penne with tomato, basil, olives and pecorino by Jamie Oliver with you.
+ photography by Miki Duisterhof for Real Simple