Sunday, January 20, 2008

Eating my way across the internet

I've gone into great, and at times sickening, length about my battles with food lately. But what I haven't mentioned to you, friends, is that my history with food and the problems that sometimes accompany does not stop at my morning sickness.

I love food, I really do. But that was not always the case. When I met Mr. C and we began dating a whole new world of interesting tastes and textures opened up to me. (Watch the dirty minds, people. I'm talking about food here.) We visited restaurants and cooked meals that I had never tried before. But before that I was always apathetic when it came to food. It just wasn't a big part of my life. I ate because I need to, not because I wanted to, and that's not exactly what anyone would consider healthy.

My mom was not a great cook and since she and my dad had little money when I was growing up the food that was prepared for us consisted of mainly overcooked lesser choices of meat and boiled vegetables from a can. The things my mom excelled at, lasagnas and casseroles mostly, were filling but never what you would call nutritious. Green was not a color we saw on our table very often, and if the vegetable started out green after my mom got to it it ended up a sick grayish color.

But you know what? When you're skinny and you come from a family of thin people, nobody makes much of a fuss.

When I was a teenager I lived like most teenage girls do - picking at food or grabbing things on the run. McDonald's was a way of life. Potato chips and a Coke from the cafeteria at school was also common. And that was when I remembered to eat. I remember several occasions when my mom would stop me as I was running out the door to ask when my last meal was (uh, Mom? I love you but if you have to ask...), commenting on my gaunt cheeks and hollow eyes. For the love of Pete, I worked at a donut shop surrounded by tasty fattening treats and I could still go two or three days in a row ingesting little more than soft drinks.

Damn those were good years. I miss my size zeros and my 20 inch waist. No, really. 20 inches. Wrap your head around that one.

Come to think of it, I don't really miss those days at all. I would have to wear two pairs of pants just to get the shape of a pre-pubescent boy. When all the other girls were getting boobs and hips I was concave. Let me tell you, that really gets the boys beating down a girl's door.

It would take me a whole other post to explain what that did to my identity and how I felt about myself but that's not what this post is about.

I was not raised to be a great cook but given the fact that my husband, who is a really good cook, is hardly ever home to prepare a meal that doesn't come out of a bag I've had to improvise. Believe it or not as a mom you're actually expected to make healthy meals for your kids. Who knew? I always thought I could throw some dry kibble at them and they'd be fine.

This is not a New Year's Resolution but a life's resolution - I WILL become a better cook. I am already a slave to the food blogs so I think it's about time I start putting them to good use. It's time to set aside the large cookbook collection I have for a moment. I want to eat my way across the internet.

But I need your help to accomplish this.

Help me become a better provider of healthy foods for my family. Tell me, what's your favorite food blog or cooking website? Tell me your favorite family friendly meal. Point me in the direction of a specific recipe that you've particularly enjoyed.

And in return every week I will post a new recipe that I've found through your suggestions (with a link back to your blog, naturally, and a link to the website/blog it was found on) with pictures of the finished product and a report on how my family liked it. I will try at least one recipe based on your suggestions per week.

I think the pictures of the process alone will be worth their weight in gold. Remember that I said I'm not a great cook. Imagine the comedy! Imagine the number of times I'll need to use the fire extinguisher! Imagine the number of times I'll write "And then we called for pizza delivery"!

I've found so far that the best recipes I've prepared have come directly from other bloggers. I've prepared enough dinners found on sites like Epicurious - as a matter of fact, I'm making this one tonight. I'll let you know how it goes - but I like reading about real life people making real food.

My only request, besides all that information about blogs and recipes and things you'll be leaving for me, is that the food be family friendly. Chicky will try a lot of foods but recipes like Spicy Prawns in an exotic curry sauce probably will not look nice thrown against my kitchen wall.

So what do you say? Can you help a mother out? Please don't leave my family doomed to a life of boiled potatoes, waxy string beans and tough pepper steaks like my mother forced upon us. Let's break the cycle of food abuse together.

My family thanks you in advance. The pizza place down the street, the local Chinese restaurant, and Taco Bell, however, do not.

53 comments:

flutter said...

simplyrecipes.com is an incredible resource.

I have a ton of recipes that run the gamut of styles, if you want me to gather up a collection of stuff for you to try, let me know.

Nicole said...

I hear you on the cooking. I've gotten better with my favourite cookbook "The Girl Can't Cook" by Cinda Chavich. Seriously, excellent cookbook - it tells you in plain english what you need to do and when. It also tells you what you need in your kitchen.

Also, the Pioneer Woman Cooks is good - pictures and recipes, and she explains it in a way that makes it look easy.

Lori at Spinning Yellow said...

So glad you are asking this, b/c I will totally benefit!! My husband is an excellent cook and me, not so much. But he works and I am home, so what's a girl to do? Plus, he is kind of a food snob AND an athlete, so I can't make anything that isn't healthy or calls for a can of cream of something soup.

I do have a few things I've managed over the years, so I will post and then share at some point (I am usually slow about this stuff).

Anonymous said...

This recipe is fast, easy, Crock-Pot-friendly, and infinitely adaptable. You CANNOT mess this up.

You NEED:
2 cans of beans (black, red, white....just any beans in a can)

1 large can (16 oz I think) diced tomatoes

1 medium onion + 4 cloves garlic

couple pounds of meat
(can use ground beef, ground turkey, cubed meat, ground pork, meat substitute, no meat at all...customize it)

The above is the base. You can add any spices you want. To make it chili like, I add chili powder (3 tablespoons), one tablespoon of cumin and some salt and pepper.

Directions:

Brown the meat until almost cooked through (medium high heat). Add chopped onions and garlic to the meat and stir once in a while for 10 minutes, or until onion is translucent.

(You can add some green pepper, red pepper or any other veggies at this time if you want to beef up the evggie factor in this chili/stew.)

Add the canned tomatoes and beans, spices, and stir. If it looks too liquidy for your tastes, let is simmer for a while on medium heat until the liquid boils off. If it looks too dry or you want it a bit soupier, you can add some beef or chicken or veggie broth. A splash of red wine is good too but not needed.

Cover and let simmer on medium low heat for as long as you want (I recommend at least 30 minutes. If the meat you used was in chunks you will need longer to make sure it is cooked through).

Serve in a bowl, with or without rice or noodles (I like mine over macaroni noodles). Serve with cheese, or sour cream, or some nice toasted bread. I like mine with a crispy cold salad.

This meal will serve 5 hungry adults and probably more. It is easily frozen and thawed and you can customize it a million different ways. I started making it for myself in college; I would add canned corn and bell peppers and eat it with salsa. Most of my meals were from cans or bags of frozen crap so this meal was a good way for me to eat a homemade dish that still uses canned and frozen ingredients. The only fresh one is the meat.

Good luck!

mamatulip said...

Allrecipes.com is a great site for easy recipes.

I'm not really a cookbook kind of person; I just kind of wing it. My all time favourite family-friendly recipe is Sheppard's Pie:

Brown a pound of ground beef, rinse and put back in a skillet. Add a can or packet of gravy and let simmer.

In a separate pot, boil peeled, cut potatoes and mash.

Add vegetables to the ground beef mixture -- I usually add corn and peas, but shredded/diced carrot has also worked well.

Dump ground beef/veggie mixture into an oven-friendly casserole dish, cover with mashed potatoes and cook until the top of the potatoes are golden brown and gravy is peeking through.

Everyone at my table loves this dish, which is saying a lot, since Julia and Dave are two of the pickiest eaters I've ever seen in my life.

Ladybug's Picnic said...

I'll email you a bunch of recipes - I can't promise that Chicky will love all of them but I can promise that they're all EASY and yummy.

Grace said...

I'm a huge fan of kraftfoods.com. None of the recipes are fancy, and they're almost all kid-friendly, but tasty at the same time. They push their brand-name products, but you can always buy generic.

kittenpie said...

I don't cook, either, though I love food. I just can't be bothered, really. I'll live on tinned soup, chick peas from a can with some balsamic and paprika thrown on, a hunk of cheese, an apple, and some popcorn, that sort of thing, and call it a meal. It's a good thing I have Misterpie. He loves the Food Network's website for recipes.

cooler*doula said...

Couple of british telly cooks have some good books out

Nigella Lawson
Ainsley Herriot

Both have healthy, unpretentious, easy meals. OK- sometimes Nigella gets a litle fancy, but she has kids, so much is totally doable.

In fact - I'm going to go and consult one of them right now!

I'M HUNGRY!

Mrs. Chicken said...

www.smittenkitchen.com

Tonight's recipe is mac and cheese and cole slaw. I make a cake from her site, Guiness Chocolate Cake, that takes 40 mins start to finish and it tastes like heaven.

Some of her recipes are fussy, but others are simple and easy.

Another great resource is Cooks Illustrated magazine. Great, simple recipes and illustrated techniques. Love it.

Good luck!

Phoenix said...

I love The Pioneer Woman Cooks. Since I can't for the life of me remember how to link to it, I'll just paste the website. Sorry, it's the Nyquil brain.

http://www.thepioneerwomancooks.com/

Ree has some things on there that I'd never make, but I've tried a bunch of them and I am hooked. Plus she walks you though it, which I need as I suck at cooking anything more complex than cheese quesadillas.

Her orange muffins are too die for. But I've tried some of the pastas and other things too.

Rachel said...

Family Staple:
Wamsutta:
(easily doubled)
1 lb ground beef
1 sm package wide egg noodles
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 sm can water chestnuts (drained and chopped)
1 sm can mushrooms (drained and chopped)
1 lg can whole peeled tomatoes (drained and cut up)
1 lg can corn, drained
1/2 lb cheddar cheese, grated
salt, pepper, tabasco (to taste)
Brown meat and onions, drain grease.
Mix other ingredients (not cheese) in a bowl, add to meat and onions.
Put mixture into a 9X13 baking dish. Top with cheese and bake 1t 375 until cheese is bubbly and melted.
Absolutely delish!

Rachel said...

No Peek Chicken (super easy)
2 (6 oz) boxes Uncle Ben's Long Grain Wild Rice Mix
1 sm can cream of mushroom with roasted garlic
1 sm can cream of celery soup
1 can cold water
1 package onion soup mix
6 boneless skinless breasts

Mix rice, soups and water in a well greased (sprayed) 9X13 baking dish... top with uncooked breasts... top with onion soup mix. Cover with foil. Cook at 350 for 1 hour 45 minutes. DO NOT PEEK!

Rachel said...

Family Gathering Potatoes (side dish)
1 (30 oz) pkg frozen shredded hash browns
1 sm can cream of chicken soup
1 med onion, chopped
2 C sour cream
2 C grated cheddar
1/2 C baked potato chips, crushed
2 to 4 Tbsp melted butter

Mix hash browns, soup, onion and sour cream until well blended. Spread in a 9X13 baking dish. Top with cheese, top with chips. Drizzle with butter. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes to an hour.

Rachel said...

e-mail me if you want more.

Mac and Cheese said...

I'll be checking your blog for my culinary education now. You and I are so similar, except I haven't been a size zero since I was 8.

metro mama said...

This is great--I can't wait for the recipes!

I too have only become a foodie in my thirties. And hubbie does 80% if the cooking. I would like to give back a little.

All Things BD said...

I also use allrecipes.com, mostly because the searches are easy, and I love the comments which tell you different ways to tweak recipes.

Here's my family's favorite chicken, which I've even done as nuggets for my picky eater:

Caesar Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 t. dijon mustard
2 T olive oil
3/4 t. garlic salt
2 1/2 t. lemon juice
Pinch black pepper
1 t. Worcestershire sauce
2/3 C finely ground seasoned croutons
1/2 C grated parmesan

-In a ziploc bag, combine oil, lemon juice, worcestershire sauce, mustard, garlic salt and pepper.
-Add chicken, turn to coat, and refrigerate for 15 min.
-Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
-Mix croutons & cheese in a pie plate.
-Dredge chicken in crumbs and place on a greased, shallow pan.
-Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, or until chicken is done.

I serve this with Rice A Roni and asparagus. Enjoy!

Carrie said...

http://www.kraftfoods.com/kf/recipes/recipedetail.htm?recipe_id=105000&ctx=

Creamy Bow-Tie Pasta with Chicken and Broccoli
(this is good cold the next day too)

Prep Time:
10 minTotal Time:
25 minMakes:
6 servings,
farfalle (bow-tie pasta),
uncooked 4 cups broccoli florets (I use the frozen chopped broccoli)
3 Tbsp. KRAFT Roasted Red Pepper Italian with Parmesan Dressing
6 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1-1/2 lb.)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups tomato-basil spaghetti sauce
4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) Cream Cheese, cubed
1/4 cup KRAFT 100% Grated Parmesan Cheese

COOK pasta as directed on package, adding broccoli to the cooking water for the last 3 min. of the pasta cooking time. Meanwhile, heat dressing in large nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add chicken and garlic; cook 5 min. Turn chicken over; continue cooking 4 to 5 min. or until chicken is cooked through (170ºF).

DRAIN pasta mixture in colander; return to pan and set aside. Add spaghetti sauce and Neufchatel cheese to chicken in skillet; cook on medium-low heat 2 to 3 min. or until Neufchatel cheese is completely melted, mixture is well blended and chicken is coated with sauce, stirring occasionally. Remove chicken from skillet; keep warm. Add sauce mixture to pasta mixture; mix well. Transfer to six serving bowls.

CUT chicken crosswise into thick slices; fan out chicken over pasta mixture. Sprinkle evenly with Parmesan chee

Carrie said...

so I had a big long comment but forgot to do the word verification!

I like kraftfoods.com...they have super easy recipes that my familiy likes. Here are some of our family staples:
spaghetti, chicken fajitas, chicken enchiladas, sloppy joes, green chicken (recipe below), hamburgers, pork chops--baked with recipes from kraft

Green Chicken
*chicken breasts
*can of green enchilada sauce
*shredded cheese
*rice or noodles

Boil (or cook however) chicken until done.
Saute chicken in butter until lightly brown.
Pour enchilada sauce over chicken and add cheese.
Stir all together.
Serve over white rice or noodles

You can add whatever you want to this...black beans and cilatro, corn, whatever!

This is such a good idea...we are in such a food rut I need some new ideas. :)

Mom on Coffee said...

I always head to Allrecipes for the meal plans and shopping list! Talk about EASY! Anyway, our favorite recipe: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Bow-Ties-with-Sausage-Tomatoes-and-Cream/Detail.aspx

I have to make a double batch, because the leftovers are better than the first time!

Mom on Coffee said...

OK, that link didn't work, here's the recipe:

INGREDIENTS

* 1 (12 ounce) package bow tie pasta
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed and crumbled
* 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
* 1/2 cup diced onion
* 3 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 (28 ounce) can Italian-style plum tomatoes, drained and coarsely chopped
* 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley





DIRECTIONS

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook pasta in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes, or until al dente; drain.
2. Heat oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. Cook sausage and pepper flakes until sausage is evenly brown. Stir in onion and garlic, and cook until onion is tender. Stir in tomatoes, cream, and salt. Simmer until mixture thickens, 8 to 10 minutes.
3. Stir cooked pasta into sauce, and heat through. Sprinkle with parsley.

Redneck Mommy said...

I've got nothing for you. It's a well documented fact I hate cooking and don't do it very well when tried.

But I do promise to avidly follow and try some of those recipes the Chicky approves.

Only because my children are starting to look a little gaunt. And I don't want social services to start sniffing around.

Good luck!

Redneck Mommy said...

I've got nothing for you. It's a well documented fact I hate cooking and don't do it very well when tried.

But I do promise to avidly follow and try some of those recipes the Chicky approves.

Only because my children are starting to look a little gaunt. And I don't want social services to start sniffing around.

Good luck!

margalit said...

You know, I love to cook and have a huge assortment of cookbooks you are welcome to borrow any time. And I mean a HUGE assortment. I read a lot of food blogs, some for the drool factor and others for decent recipes. www.smittenkitchen.com is a favorite of mine, but not all of her recipes work well with beginners. READ the comments to see what people say about the recipes.

I also like:
http://www.amateurgourmet.com/
http://chocolateandzucchini.com/ (I have the cookbook)
marthastewart.com (I know, but she has great recipes)
foodtv.com (jumbled web site but good recipes that are easy to find.

And if you want a cooking lesson or anything, just holla!

Lisa said...

Wait. You mean you can't throw kibble at a kid and assume that if he's still living, you're doing ok?

Whoops. :-)

I'm pretty sure we had the same mom! (They must have swapped recipies and tips!) It would have been nice to have boobs back then. Sigh...

motherbumper said...

If you have a slow cooker, I can hook you up baby. I am the queen of lazy hazy cooking, it's the only cooking advice of my mom's (probably her only advice outside of yummy seven-minute frosting) that works.

Shawn said...

I used to be a gourmet cook ... and then I had twins and now they are two toddlers that are breaking my back. Cooking is the last thing I have time for, it seems. And then, to make matters worse, we have a tight budget and picky toddlers! Then, I found this blog: http://www.momadvice.com/aldi/index.php/main-dishes/one-pan-chicken-potato-bake/

It's great because it is designed to use just Aldi products ... but those are available in any store in any brand. I think it's the most kid-friendly and family friendly I've come across that is also easy, cheap and fun.

SciFi Dad said...

Not mine, but my wife maintains a blog where she posts recipes, menu plans (as well as craft stuff) that might be of some use:
http://multi-taskingmommy.blogspot.com/

If you want something easy to start off with that is actually very healthy, I can pass along my minestrone recipe (email me; I'll forward the DOC file when I get home).

Don Mills Diva said...

Not a huge exciting recipe but this makes the tasiest Viertnamese chicken I swear -

Just marinate chicken thighs in half vinegar and half soy sauce for a day or two. Pat dry, sprinkle with gralic salt and grill. It comes out a deep brown colour and is SOOO delicious people will be begging you for the recipe!

jen said...

dare i say chicky is nesting?

however it came about, i agree with RNM - you must share.

Manic Mommy said...

Wow, it's gonna be like Home Ec! Do we get to grade you. I am not a big fan of cooking either and so here is a book you may want to consider. Six Ingredients or Less. The name says it all.

http://www.amazon.com/Ingredients-Less-Cookbooks-Restaurant-Guides/dp/0942878051/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1200939710&sr=1-1

nikki said...

Delurking because I love to cook.

Beefy saucy goodness (otherwise the recipe I have no name for)

1 1/2 pounds of stewing beef
3/4 c flour
salt/pepper
1 onion
3 cloves garlic
oil for cooking
3 cups beef broth
1 can cream of something soup (I use mushroom)
1/4-1/2 c red wine
1 tbs dried basil

1. Chop onion and garlic. Place in small frying pan with heated oil. Cook until soft.

2. In a large pan, heat some oil. Mix the salt/pepper/flour together in a ziploc bag. Dredge the beef in the flour mix. Brown half of the meat in the pan. Remove. Brown the other half.

3. Deglaze the pan with the red wine. Get all that browned meaty goodness off the bottom. Then place all meat and onion/garlic back in the pan. Add the broth, cream soup and dried basil. Simmer for about 30 minutes.

4. Place beefy saucy goodness into crock pot and cook on high for 4 hours (or you can simmer on stove top for about an hour and a half.

Serve over mashed potatoes, rice or noodles. The choice is up to you.

Enjoy!

Oh, The Joys said...

I subscribe to Cooking Light magazine and really like it. (Though the articles are CRAP, the recipes are good.) As a subscriber I have access to their on-line database too which I like.

K likes Cook's Illustrated, but that's too much reading for me.

Here's one that we like...

Cardamom Chicken with Apples and Figs (You can do pork instead if you want.)

3 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ground fennel
3 lbs boneless chicken
Cooking spray
2 cups dried figs, halved lengthwise
2 cups dried apples
1/4 cup minced crystallized ginger
3/4 cup pear nectar
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

Dump it all in the crock pot. Cook all day on low until the chicken falls apart and the whole thing is a stewy looking mess of goodness.

something blue said...

I have the same overboiled veggies and meat background. It left me bored with food and craving sugar.

I have a good friend and old roommate that has a food blog. My family loves when I make chicken fajitas.

Whirlwind said...

Hum I cook all the time and sometimes, it takes time for the kdis to like things. Take tacos - at least once a month but we usually just give them a little bit of everything on their plate. last night, I put it all in a wrap and they actually ate it all. And they finally decided they like guacamole.

Anyway, for online recipes, I like familyfun.com, just try not to get wrapped into their super holiday snack traps. You end up become Martha Stewart like real quick!

Oh and like someone said, the crock pot is your friend. It makes life so much easier!

I'll try to think of some easy ones that everyone likes and send them to you.

PunditMom said...

First, I already thought you were pretty tiny at BlogHer. Second, try anything from The Six O'Clock Scramble cookbook -- there are tons of easy and nutritious meals that grown-ups AND kids will eat!

stacye said...

I used to cook all the time, until my baby grew into a toddler. Fortunately, she's adventurous when it comes to food (sushi, Mexican, Chinese, etc.), so I can cook almost anything that sounds good right now (14 weeks and still dealing with all day sickness!). Tonight is Alton Brown's Good Eats meatloaf (http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes
/recipe/0,,FOOD_9936_10215,00.html), so my husband has leftovers for lunches.

Here is another family favorite:
Quesadillas

For each quesadilla, you'll need:
2 tortillas (I use burrito size)
shredded cheddar or colby jack cheese
cooked chicken
diced tomatoes
chopped onions
vegetables of your choice (I use corn and broccoli, or black beans)

Preheat a griddle to a low heat. Place a tortilla on the griddle, and spread a thin layer of cheese. Top the cheese with whatever toppings you choose, and finish with another thin layer of cheese. Top with another tortilla, and let this all cook until the bottom layer of cheese has melted. Now the tricky part - flip the quesadilla, and let the other tortilla warm until the cheese melts throughout. Slice into wedges and serve with salsa and sour cream.

I can't wait to see what other people submit!

kgirl said...

Funny, i've totally been cooking up a post on food (wakka wakka), due to the fact that i've been a cooking MACHINE lately. And it is, thanks in part, to two awesome machines, my slow cooker and my convection toaster oven. Haven't turned on my big oven in ages.
Slow cookers seem to be enjoying a renaissance; even saw a neato display of them at williams-sonoma, so you know they're hot stuff.
There's my advice - get a slow cooker and a convection oven. And I'll email you my fav recipe of the week for braised lentils, which ironically, doesn't use a slow cooker or the convection oven, but whatevs.

morethanmom said...

If you have a crock pot/slow cooker....

Put a whole chicken in the pot with one cut up onion, and a carrot. Sprinkle with poultry seasoning and add 1/2 cup water. Turn on low at about 9 am and it's done at 5pm.

Put the leftover chicken in a sauce pan with the juices, add frozen peas, carrots and corn. Next day, heat up, add corn starch and put in a pre made pice crust. (in boxes in the refridge section at the store) Do the double crust. Bake until golden.

My kids love both of these recipes and always ask for seconds.

FENICLE said...

This is a kid-friendly, easy recipe that I use a lot! My family loves it and it is so quick to make. In fact, you can make it up and freeze it for later if you like.

TATER TOT CASSEROLE

2 lb ground turkey cooked, seasoned, drained
3 2lb bags tater tots
2 cans cream of mushroom
2 cans evaporated milk
2 cans cream of chicken

Brown meat & place in large cass. dish.

Cover with tater tots. Mix soup & milk together.

Pour over top. Bake at 350 for 1 Hour.

Makes 2- 9”X13” pans (so I make on for now and freeze one for later)

**I use ground beef, but you can use whatever your family eats!!

Trenches of Mommyhood said...

Good to see ya today!

I use allrecipes.com religiously.

We do a ton of crockpot stuff.

My favorite is this one:

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Chicken-Marsala-Florentine/Detail.aspx

I serve it over rice. (The boyz eat just the chicken with plain rice.)

Enjoy!

Mayberry said...

Here's one that I like, from Julia's blog: http://julia.typepad.com/julia/files/baked_halibut_with_potatoes.htm. The only PITA is slicing the potatoes.

And a cheater staple that I swear by: Thai Kitchen boxes -- they have noodles + a seasoning packet, you add veg and/or tofu and/or meat (leftovers are great). Easy, healthyish, homemade-ish, and kid-friendly flavors available (peanut, sesame).

Elizabeth said...

I'm copying a bunch of these recipes for myself! This is my Cola Chicken recipe, which gets raves every time I make it, and is posted on MomCooks:

Cola Chicken

1/2 cup chopped onion
2 Tbsps. vegetable oil
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1 can (12 oz.) cola
1 cup ketchup
1/8 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
4 1/2 tsp. cornstarch
3 Tbsp. cold water

In a skillet, saute the onion in the oil over medium heat just until tender, don’t let it get too brown. Add chicken, brown on both sides. Carefully add cola, ketchup, garlic powder, salt and pepper. The skillet will be full, so stir carefully to combine! Cover and bring to a simmer, let simmer until chicken is cooked through, 25-30 minutes approximately. Remove the chicken to a plate and cover with foil to keep warm. Combine the cornstarch and cold water until smooth, add to skillet. Bring to a boil, cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Return chicken to the skillet to let it heat through.

**Note: If you use fresh boneless skinless chicken breasts, I recommend putting them on some wax paper, covering with another piece of wax paper, and then pounding them flat. They will cook more evenly that way. You can also buy the Individually Quick Frozen chicken breasts and let them thaw first, they are already flattened.

**Serving suggestion: Serve this with mashed potatoes, either made fresh or the Betty Crocker instant roasted garlic ones are good too. We like to spoon the sauce onto the potatoes-yum. I also serve frozen green peas that I steam until tender and toss with butter and salt. This meal is SO GOOD.

Good luck with the cooking! My New Year's resolution was to cook all our dinners at home and stop eating out so much so we can save money for a vacation. So far, I'm failing miserably at it.

Michele said...

I will definitely be using some of these recipes and suggestions!

Here is mine:

Quick Comfort Food -
My Easy Hamburger Stroganoff

1-1/5 lbs ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1-2 cups sliced mushrooms
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup sour cream (can use light)
1 teaspoon instant beef boullion, or 2 cubes beef boullion, crumbled
Egg noodles

In deep, large pan saute onion and mushrooms until onions are softened - 8 minutes or so.
While they are cooking, brown ground beef in another pan.
Add cooked beef into mushroom/onion mixture.
Sprinkle beef boullion in, and add cream of mushroom soup (right from the can) and sour cream. Mix it all up and let it simmer or low heat while you cook egg noodles.
Serve beef mixture over egg noodles.

ewe are here said...

Baked Pork Chops

Place pork chops* flat on bottom of pyrex dish or baking pan. (I prefer on the bone flavor-wise, but no bone pork chops work just as well.) I usually cook two big ones for me, my husband and our two year old, or three small ones, due to shrinkage when baking.

Pour can of chopped tomatoes completely over said pork chops.

Cut up a bunch of mushrooms and bell peppers and sprinkle on top of the chopped tomatoes.

Put lid on or use tinfoil to completely cover.

Wash, poke, and tinfoil wrap baking potatoes.

Put everything in oven at 350 degrees.

Quickly pre-cut up some vegetables to cook later....

Walk away for an hour and a half.

When you come back, turn on your vegetables. (We generally steam ours.) Assuming they take anywhere from 10-25 minutes, your porkchops and potatoes will be ready when your vegetables are. Scoop out and serve.

The beauty of cooking pork chops this way is the flexibility at the end: they'll usually be fully cooked in an hour and a half, but won't be overcooked if you leave them in for the two hours due to the tomato sauce.

(I particularly like carrots or butternut squash with pork chops. For butternut: cut off skin, cut into cubes, boil for 15-20 minutes, smoosh. Yum.)

ewe are here said...

If you would also like to know how to cook salmon filets (or haddock, etc.) along with a tray of baked vegetables at the same time, I'd be happy to share... I know not everyone likes fish.

:-)

Mandy said...

Well, this isn't from a food blog, but from the "Best of the Best of Bridge" cookbook. It's super easy and makes the house smell great. You may have too many chicken recipes, but this is a no-brainer.

1. Preheat oven to 325.

2. Rinse and pat dry a roasting chicken. (Organic or free-range taste slightly better, but cost 2x more.)

3. Peel three cloves of garlic and place whole in the chest cavity.

4. Stuff fresh rosemary into the cavity, about 3-4 bunches.

5. Cut an orange into 6 or 8 sections, leaving rind on. Put 3-4 (or as many fit) into the cavity.

6. Loosely tie the feet together.

7. Place breastside up on a roasting rack. Rub olive oil (or canola oil) over bird.

8. Place in oven for 100 minutes. Do not baste!

9. Pull out chicken and spread 2-3 tablespoons marmelade (with rosemary in it if you want to be fancy) over breast, drumsticks.

10. Roast another 10-15 minutes.

Pull out and it's done. Tastes phenomenal.

Good luck with your cooking ventures!

Scott said...

Sorry--I don't know ANYTHING about cooking. But I was astonished to hear you had a 20 inch waist! In my bodybuilding days, a good arm day would make my arms 20 inches around.

Major Bedhead said...

Well, my fallback is foodtv.com. But you should really check out The Pioneer Woman Cooks because she spells it all out and makes it easy. Her food is hearty and good and doesn't require 87 trips to Whole Foods to make. Her pot roast recipe is delicious.


Here's my patented Roast Chicken Recipe. It's incredibly easy and only has THREE ingredients.

One 2-3 lb chicken
Kosher Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 450. Rinse chicken and dry very well with paper towels, inside and out. The less it steams, the drier the heat, the better.

Salt and pepper the cavity and then truss the bird. (I've never done this and it still comes out fine.)

Salt the chicken. Rain the salt over the bird so that it has a nice, uniform coating - use about 1 Tablespoon. When it's cooked, you should still be able to see the salt on the bird.

Place chicken in a roasting pan and when oven is up to temperature, put the chicken in the oven. Leave it alone. Don't baste it, don't add butter. Roast until done - 50 - 60 minutes. Remove it from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes.

Carve.

I usually serve it with mashed potatoes and sugar snap peas or green beans and a nice salad. A loaf of crusty bread is also good, but I only do that if I'm not having potatoes. I have this thing about too many starches. It makes me itch.

This is, hands down, the moistest, best chicken I've ever had. Speaking as someone who is not a fan of chicken, that's saying a lot.

QSMama / Lea said...

I hear you on both the all-day sickness and the intention to cook more!

Lately I've been enjoying dishes from CityMama's web site. You probably know her from BlogHer:
http://citymama.typepad.com/
All of her stuff is good. Recently I've especially enjoyed her chicken tortilla soup recipe and the easy chicken enchiladas. There are instructions, pictures, everything.

My standby for a long time is Epicurious:
http://www.epicurious.com. I like to type a couple of ingredients I have on hand, or whatever I'm craving into the recipe finder. Look for the little green alarm clocks that show quicker recipes--though none are all-day projects, really.

In print, you can't beat the Joy of Cooking--the older versions are better, I think. It's helped me learn a lot of the basics over the years and apply them to other ingredients. For instance, I take the Quiche Lorraine recipe and make quiche with whatever veggies and cheese we have in the fridge.

Good luck! I think I need a snack now....

- Lea at Quick Serve Kids

Janet said...

A great recipe site is allrecipes.com. Recipes are submitted from across the nation.

KT said...

here is a simple recipe, but is rather big. can be used for a brunch, or kept in the fridge and eaten all week. i love it and my girls do as well (ages 3 and 6). And it sneaks spinach into them.

2 pkcgs frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
8 ounces feta
8 ounces shredded swiss
12 ounces cottage cheese
9 eggs
1 tsp nutmeg

mix together. bake for 1 hour in a pyrex glass dish at 325. If using a black or gray dish set temp to 350.

That's it. It's like a big quiche, but doesn't look as icky for the kids. Reheats REALLY well.

1 tip, for draining the spinach put it in a kitchen towel and wring out.

Good luck.