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Friday, August 3, 2007

confession time...

cook books totally intimidate me. i know, it sounds crazy... on one hand i love cook books. the possibility of a new recipe, the promise of good food... but then, on the other hand, they totally scare me. i'm not very good at reading cook books & actually picking out recipes, it's just too much for me to handle!

in an effort to get a better grip on life, i thought it might helpful to come up with 6 weeks worth of menus. maybe i'm crazy? but this way i know what were eating, i don't have to put much thought into it & i know we are going to like it (because i'm purposely picking recipes i know). but, i'm only planning 4 meals a week, that way i can leave room to try new recipes... hence, my trolling through cook books. but let me tell you, i'm not having much success in that department. as i said before, cooks books intimidate me. they makes me nervous, trying out a recipe that i've never tasted previously, or had someone tell me to make? yikes! i really got to get over this fear. but in the mean time, anyone have a good recipe for me?


Chelsey Booth said...

My Mom did this and I loved it! We always knew what was for dinner! And it was one less thing she had to worry about during her day!

lifeasamama said...

what are some things you feel really comfortable making? when you establish your "normal" recipe list, then it might be easier to offer suggestions that wouldn't be so daring. if you're a "stick a roast in a crock pot" sort of gal, then creme brulee might be really daunting, but homemade rice pudding might not be so bad.

do you see what i mean? i'd love to make some suggestions, but i don't know what's "normal" for you

Zach said...

Just curious as to what kinds of foods you like... I'm big into trading recipes and looking for new stuff... probably have a few you could try. Just let me know your preferences.

Brit said...

I have to recommend any cookbook from America's Test Kitchen series. You can even try a few of their recipes online just google America's Test Kitchen. Every recipe and each part of the recipe have been tested at least 30 times to be sure it's right. I have "ATK Best of 2006" and I love it! Their directions are very straight forward, they even have pictures, and everything is super yummy. Try it! You can even watch them on PBS so check your listings.

Zach said...

Okay, try these:

Oven Fried Chicken Chimichangas

1 1/2 cups cooked chicken, cubed
2/3 cup Pace Picante Sauce
1 tsp Dried Oregano
1/2 tsp Cumin
8 8" flour tortillas
butter or cooking spray
1-2 cups Shredded Cheese (cheddar or colby jack)

Heat oven to 400. Mix picante sauce with spices, add chicken and about a cup of cheese. Mix until well blended. Place about 1/2 cup of chicken mixture in center of tortilla, fold in sides and roll up, placing seam-side down on a cookie sheet or shallow baking dish. Repeat for all tortillas. Brush the outside of the tortilla with melted butter or use a low-fat cooking spray and spray the chimi's. Bake at 400 for 20-30 minutes or until the tortillas begin to brown. Remove from oven. Garnish with additional cheese and green onions, if desired. Serve with mexican rice and beans. YUM!

dancin queen said...

That chimichanga recipe looks great! I need to start cooking more for my family. I'm getting lazy and we've had way too much takeout and fast food. Well, we're remodeling our kitchen right now so that's part of the reason. P.S. I love it when people post recipes on their blogs!

Jessica said...

Alright Kelly, I've got several recipes floating around in my head for you. I figure it'll be easier if I just list some ideas here, and I'll send you an e-mail with the recipes.

Bean, Corn, and Tortilla Salad
Quick Vegetable Soup
Southwestern Turkey Burgers
Salmon Burgers
Bolognese Sauce
Bean Burritos
Zucchini Quesadillas

Stie: My Favorite Things said...

I can't imagine anything intimidating you...the girl who sews, crafts, travels, and decorates up a storm!

Natasha said...

I would be intimidated trying to plan that many meals! But I do cook on weekends (like casseroles) and freeze them so have in reserve for days I work.

Stie: My Favorite Things said...

You are too cute - thanks for your comment. I read yours daily because I love it! You, my dear, are welcome at mine anytime.

cj said...

I think we should get together and do a recipe swap.....Glad you are back!

bethany said...

I have a totally easy one-well, if you have a crockpot...just put three chicken breasts-can still be frozen (I always do it frozen) into a crockpot and cover with a thick layer of salsa. Then cook it for 4-5 hours on high. Shred it with a spatula (just falls apart at this point), put some on a tortilla with some sour creama and cheese-Viola! A great meal and super easy.

Mique said...

I've had this fear in the past too...but I think you just get to a point where you have to try new things. I like your idea- 4 tried and trues, a couple new....I LOVE menu has made me so much more organized and sane. No more looking at the clock @ 5pm wondering what to make.
I have some recipes on my blog if you want to check them out....

kristen & brandon said...

This is my new favorite, and very easy-even my husband and daughter will eat it even with, oh no!-vegetables!
Easy Chicken pot pie

4 Tablespoons butter or margerine
4 tablespoons flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
dash pepper
1 cup hot water
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 cup milk
2 cups cooked chicken cut in cubes
1 cup cooked carrots
1 can green beans, drained
1 potato cooked, peeled, and cubed
1 can refrigerator biscuits

Melt butter; stir in flour, salt and pepper. Dissolve bouillon cube in hot water; stir into flour mixture, add milk and stir over medium heat until thickened. Combine sauce with chicken and vegetables; pour into a lightly greased casserole dish. Arrange biscuits on top. Bake at 450 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until bubbly and biscuits are slightly golden.
---ok so that was the official recipe, but I make a few modifications.... instead of the cup of water with bouillon cube you can just use a cup of chicken broth, if you don't have refrigerator biscuits you can make a batch of bisquick biscuits instead... and you can pretty much use any veggies you want.. we have bottles of beans and frozen corn from my in-laws garden that i use all the time, and also either a bag of frozen mixed veggies or a can of mixed veggies works can use frozen peas or just whatever! this is really good, and way easy!---

Shaka said...

i just posted one of my favorite dishes on my blog for you. it's really good and quick! it's from family fun and i have the link so you can go and print it out! also, an idea i read about once was about making 30 days of meals and then just rotating them. i've tried it-with more than 30 meals-and it is nice to just be able to go to a box and pull out a meal idea. they left days like you did for trying new recipes too. i also leave days for leftovers- if i know a dish makes enough for that. boring i know but i love leftovers-it's my day off!!! i have a friend who recreates the leftovers but that is more work and i want my day off-just reheat and eat!!!

dancin queen said...

Thought I'd tell you about what a neighbor friend and I do.

We do a dinner swap once a week where I take dinner to her once and she brings dinner to me once. It's easy because if you're making dinner for your family it's easy to just make twice as much and give half away. Plus, on the day that you get dinner brought to you it's heavenly.

Tomorrow I'm cooking for the swap. I'm not sure what I'm making yet but probably chicken enchiladas (the kind with the white sour cream/cream of chicken sauce). Last week I did a breakfast themed dinner (ham and cheese quiche, muffins, etc.).

I hope you post what you come up with for your 6 week plan. That's awesome.

Oh another website you might like:

Tip Junkie said...

I did this once and loved it! I planned out 4 months of menus with a grocery list. It made things fast. I don't use it anymore only because I got tired of those meals. I'm not a very good cook and am intimidated by cookbooks as well. Good luck with your new yummy meals.

marta said...

whatever you do, please post your plan! i would love to see what's cookin'! you think you aren't organized, girl you are the most streamlined chick i know. you rock that kitchen.

Lindsey said...

I second the recommendation on America's Test Kitchen. They even have a 30 minute meal cookbook out--I think....

I love this idea. Believe it or not, I am HORRIBLE at making dinner. I can cook just fine--not great, but planning meals is really hard for me.

Why can't we all just be okay with eating dessert for dinner every night? Because that--I could do.

dancin queen said...

My friend Crystal (who is an amazing cook) posted a recipe on her blog that looks good. I think I'm going to try making it. Instead of trying to figure out how to copy it for your I just thought you could link over to her from me and check it out.

Em said...

This is a yummy recipe from Nicole Erickson ~ it's from Southern Living Magazine. Great in the summertime - it's cold!!

Chicken-and-Grape Salad

6 cups chopped cooked chicken
3 cups slliced green grapes
1 cup toasted slivered almonds
2 celery ribs, diced
3 green onions, minced
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon seasoned pepper

Stir together all ingredients.
Note: Serve chicken salad in small grapefruit halves with pulp removed (line grapefruit halves with leaf lettuce). Create a handle for the grapefruit with florist wire, florist tape, and small silk flowers. Bend wire to form handle, insert into citrus shell, and decorate.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings.