Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Cooking Ideas

It's no surprise that I'm not a cook. I truly wish that I was, but I have much to learn about cooking before I can ever achieve the title of "cook". I can definitely follow any recipe though.

Anyways, I'm discovering that I often cook recipes which take on more of a casserole style. Not really casseroles, but foods in which multiple ingredients are touching. For example: enchiladas, lasagna, chicken pot pie...

Does that make sense?

To get to my point. I think my kids would eat much better if I had separate items on their plates. I'm wanting to start offering a meat, a vegetable or two, a fruit, and a grain at each meal. Of course I know this is not something that I can do each and every day, but I want to start including more meals like this into our diet.

My problem comes with how to do this. Seriously, I realize it can't be hard. Take a chicken breast, add a little seasoning, and bake it. However, the idea overwhelms me. Not knowing what type of flavors go well together, making sure my meat is moist enough that I don't ruin it.

I'd really love any ideas on inexpensive ways to start cooking in this format. I have a pantry FULL of every seasoning imaginable and want to start putting them to use. Tell me a few basic ways that you cook chicken breasts, steak, pork chops, fish, etc. And the more detail, the better. Really. I'm not sure about this whole cooking thing, going on 8 years of marriage!

Basically, I'm so tired of cooking dinner to find my children won't eat. They prefer more simple food combination's is all I can assume at this point. Thanks everyone!


Becky said...

My favorite chicken...let it sit in low fat Italian dressing all day and bake with dressing and all. It works great alone or cut up on a salad. Super easy and flavorful!

Erica said...

I'm sure you'll be a pro at cooking in no time. It just takes some practice to get your confindence up. Calvin goes through seasons of pickiness, but we eat the same thing, no special meals, if he doesn't eat what's for dinner it means he's hungry. I generally serve two veggies a meal so he can choose what he wants. It's helped him feel like he's making a choice.

I haven't really changed much of what I cook to kid friendly foods. I have figured out that if I add less onions he'll be more likely to eat it and have generally stayed away from white potatoes, since he's only eaten them a few times.

Our meals generally don't revolve around a meat, but rather the meat is sort of side dish. Mainly to keep costs down, but Calvin isn't a fan of meat in general and if I put it in a dish he's more likely to eat it.

Occassionally I love on my husband and have a main meat dish for dinner. Here are some favorites from the states: OJ pork chops, squeeze some orange juice (or use store bought juice) around pork chops, shake a little ginger over the top (maybe 1/8 t.) Add a dash of salt and pepper and simmer with the lid on till the pork chops are finished. (Obviously if your chops are thick you'll need to cook them longer.) You can also slice up some sweet potatoes and add them with the pork chops and cook them together.

I also used those pre-made marinades quite a bit, some of our favorites were the Teriaki Chicken and Steak and Chops.

here are a few links to some recipes I've made that I thought you might be interested in:

Hope that gives you a few ideas.

Bek said...

I'll e-mail you all of my recipes. I've been meaning to catalog them that way for a while, because I want to be able to print them whenever I need to. Right now they're all written down on little slips of paper by my's a mess! I'll warn you, I have a lot of recipes. Most of them are ones given to me by friends and family, and most of them have been tweaked to our tastes. If I remember what I've changed, I'll let you know so you can adjust it to your tastes.

Kate @ The Gaines Gang said...

You already have some fabulous comments. But one thing that has worked for me to get them to try something new is using a cafateria serving plate. Placing a food group in each place. The kids love using the serving try. And only got to use it again when they eat off it.

Thanks for stopping by my blog.