I've never had much of a desire to learn to cook. I wish that it was something that I loved but, I've tried too many recipes that I've put a lot of effort into only to end in disaster and frustration so I mostly gave up. Unfortunately, Larry doesn't love to cook either. He says that if a recipe has more than three ingredients, it too complicated for him. So as you can imagine we eat out or we eat simple meals A LOT! We were both busy with other things so we were both fine with that, but now that I'm staying at home and Creed is eager to nibble anything that goes on our plates I really need to step things up around here. Our doctor says this is the perfect time to evaluate our eating habits to make sure that we are having balanced meals for Creed's sake and I have really taken that to heart.
I have most of the basics of cooking down (or at least I can call Cat with all of my stupid questions and she's always happy to explain them), but I'm really in need of EASY delicious recipes. And since I hope that you will share some recipes with me, I'm going to share a few with you!
Meal planning has never been our strength, but I'm greatly improving and this week I bought my first cook book!!!!! We have a few that were wedding gifts (and are mostly way over my head so every time I attempt a recipe I have to buy a million ingredients) and a few ward cookbooks put together at church (but how many recipes do I really need for tuna casserole? Gross!). Friday I was browsing Michaels and I had a JoAnn's ad sticking out of my bag, and an employee told me that I can use the JoAnn's coupons at Michaels. I never knew that! And you can use them on the Martha Stewart line there, including her books and magazines! So the new Everyday Food cookbook, Great Food Fast, caught my eye, and I decided to buy it because it sounds like just what I need (granted, I could probably get most of the recipes for free from their website or check this book out from the library, but hello? It was 50% off with my coupon!)
I haven't tested any of the recipes yet, but I was feeling encouraged because I tried an Everyday Food recipe for Soy-Glazed Salmon on Thursday and it was simple and so good. You can get the full recipe here, but all you do is mix together 1 Tbsp of soy sauce, 1 Tbsp of honey, and 1/4 tsp of ground ginger (or 1 tsp fresh ginger). Brush it over your salmon (I used fillets instead of salmon steaks) and cook it under your broiler for 5 or 6 minutes. Even Creed liked it! Next time I may make a little extra sauce to brush on just before it's done cooking too. I made these Sesame Green Beans to go along with it and the whole meal was done in less than ten minutes.
Another really simple meal that we had this week was from an idea I got from my friend Amy Hall. She makes awesome black bean tacos. I don't usually have a lot of meat on hand, but we almost always have canned black beans. For these tacos you just rinse a can of black beans and heat them in a pot on the stove with about half a packet of taco seasoning (or whatever amount you prefer) and a teeny bit of water to help it dissolve and mix in. The we just heat flour tortillas in a skillet on the stove and add whatever taco toppings that we have on hand like cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, sour cream, avocado, corn, etc.
And as long as I'm sharing, I tried another new recipe this week, that actually turned out well. This one takes a little more effort, but it made enough for a few meals and I was able to freeze some so it was well worth the effort. As I mentioned, Cat gave me some of her recipes for Christmas, including this one for meatballs, which she said I could share with all of you. I'm not a big meatball recipe, but these are not made with red meat and they are so good!
Meatballs (You can also use this recipe to make meatloaf)
1 lb. spicy pork sausage
1 lb. ground turkey
1/2 large onion chopped
1 - 2 cloves of garlic minced (optional)
3/4 cup (more or less) oatmeal uncooked
2 eggs (they make everything stick together)
1 - 2 Tbsp basil
Generous teaspoon seasoned salt
Dump the ground turkey & sausage in a large bowl. Splash some olive oil in a small skillet and cook the onion over medium heat, stirring while it cooks (sweating the onions). They're done when they're clear. Add the garlic when they are about halfway done. This pre-cooking softens the onion taste in your meatballs.
Now you mix everything up. Form meatballs.
You can bake them @ 350 degrees for about 20 minutes until done. Cut one in half - they're done when they're no longer pink in the center.
Simmer them in spaghetti sauce for a nice long time to make them really tender. All day in the crockpot is excellent - and you come home to a wonderful warm smell.
So do you have any recipes that you would like to share? I don't have the best of luck with recipes I come across on my own. I'd rather have recommends from friends that are tried and true (and that way I can call you for help if I become lost!)