So, I'm not the worlds best cook but, as Kevin says, I've gotten a lot better! :) This would hurt my feelings except that it's totally true.
I remember when my mom tried to teach me to cook. She actually instated a you-cook-one-meal-a-week rule which I think only lasted 2-3 times. Not because I wasn't good at it but b/c I think it ended up being more work for her than for me. Or I just stopped doing it? You'd really have to ask her.
When I lived on my own I didn't practice much cooking either. Mostly microwave meals or noodles (with butter and garlic salt..yum yum!) or frozen pizzas (hello Totino's!). I can't imagine a scenario where I'd serve Totino's to my family now. Not that there's anything wrong with that...
I've just realized how very much I enjoy the process of creating a meal. From creating the grocery list to putting the last dirty dish on the rack. I do hate putting away clean dishes but that's another subject.
I am still no Master Chef. You wont find tearing the pages from Gourmet magazine - unless it's a simple one. And I won't spend $30 on mushrooms only to be used for a sauce. But I do enjoy a complicated recipe. I get a great sense of accomplishment when I can put something on the table that even remotely resembles the picture. And even greater when people say, "Wow. This is good."
How can you make meals every night? Well, as I've bragged before, I have the luxury of being married to the greatest man on earth. One who is usually done with work and ready to take on Bubba duties by 5pm every day. This hour of kitchen time is like therapy for me. And then he does the bath and usually the bed time routine so I have another 1/2 hour of alone time for clean up. This is when I might listen to a podcast or some fun music. I honestly look forward to this time.
This week, I made chicken fried steak (a la Rachael Ray) with gravy. I've never made either in my life. The gravy was soooo good. Does anyone remember that Momma Hulsey used to serve gravy with every single meal? How awesome is that?! The asparagus is a regular side dish 'round here. Made to taste like french fried yumminess thanks to lots of EVOO and salt. Brody loves them! I wont say that my CFS came anywhere close to that of Cracker Barrel but it was decent. I'll try again in three months when we've worked off the gravy. I also made pot roast for the first time a couple of weeks ago. I didn't care for it as a kid and found that I'm still not a big fan. But I made it and it actually tasted exactly as I expected it to so I consider it a success. Plus, Kevin liked it!
I get a fun FREE magazine by Kraft called Food & Family. It's full of easy simple recipes! And they send weekly emails. When you're in a pinch, Rachael Ray magazine online is a wonderful tool. Check out the No Joke Artichoke burgers (thanks, Lita for introducing us to these!). And don't forget that shelf of recipe books you have laying around. Just last week I made a recipe out of my Fruit of the Spirit cookbook (thank you, LABC Tuesday Night Bible Study Group 2001!) which was a heart attack in a casserole dish but quite tasty indeed.
I'm always interested in new family favs or good resources. Anyone have an easy recipe to share?!
P.S. I don't know Beverly Hepler is but I have to thank her from the bottom of my sweet tooth for sharing her Pineapple Cheese Bake recipe in aforementioned FOS Cookbook.
P.S.S The other night I became completely obsessed with these two blogs: Lunch in a Box and Wendolonia. They have both devoted the majority of their blog to detailing the lunches they pack for their preschoolers using Bento boxes. I probably spent an hour looking at their creations wishing that they were my kid's mom instead of me. My poor baby took hotdog lunchables to school every day this week! Anyway, it got me thinking...
How fun would it be to do a weeks worth of posts on what we make our families for dinner? Including photo, recipe (or link) and reviews? If you're in, respond in the comments. You'll have to have a Flckr acct or a blog to be able to share. It'll be like we're all gathering for dinner at each others house!