on cooking.

The last few months I haven't made that many things...planning menus made me feel sick (no idea why), so when I wanted to make something, I had nothing planned and no supplies.  I'm not sure what we ate the last three months, but I am glad to be past that (mostly).  I actually planned out all our meals for the week and I am really excited.  And we've already had some great meals. 

First up was potato broccoli soup with bacon.  Yum!!  This was really good, easy and healthy (the bacon is just a garnish).  I even made my own chicken broth!  (it's super easy...just throw a bunch of stuff in a pot and let it boil for an hour.  AND you get to eat costco chicken.  uh...yum!)

Next up was banana bread muffins.  You may remember how I gave up making produce bread. Well, my lovely friend Jody gave me her mom's awesome recipe and though I didn't try making bread, it made perfect muffins.  And it was soo easy: 

Preheat the oven to 350.  Grease an 8x4 pan (it makes 12 muffins).  In a large bowl mix 11/2 + 1 TBSP flour, 3/4 tsp soda, 1 tsp baking power, 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/3 c. margarine (I used butter), 2/3 c. sugar, 2 eggs and 3 ripe bananas.  Mix 2 minutes.  (I love that you can throw everything together!) Bake 50 minutes (muffins baked for 30-35).

Thank you Jody and her mom...I have hope again for bread.  

Yesterday I made these lasagna rollups.  SO GOOD. It's basically like manicotti, but you just roll it in soft no-boil noodles.  And Mel's "best" recipes are really the best.  I also liked that it was just a cheesy filling.  I have always loved cheese, but man, these days, I LOVE CHEESE.  

There are some more new recipes up for this week that I'll keep you posted on.  I really enjoy making things from scratch and each month I try to remember to try a few new things.  Not in a super nerdy way (I don't like make goal sheets or anything :)). This month, I wanted to try making chicken broth and it was really easy!  And I try to make my new skills a habit.  I like the idea of eating whole, fresh, homemade foods.  Eating healthy is doable and isn't as expensive as you might think! Planning meals is what really helped, but we also don't eat a lot of meat and rarely buy snack food.  Cooking from scratch is almost always cheaper (though, of course, time is money and you have to factor that in too).  And of course I don't make everything from scratch.  

Another thing that I've gotten better at not shying away from long recipe lists.  I've learned that when a recipe list is long, that usually means most of it is from scratch (as opposed to a few items including canned soup or whatever (not that that is bad, I just prefer not to use it/save money)).  And, most of the ingredients are spices or things like oil, garlic and onions.  If you can break it up, it's totally doable.  So I realize I may say some recipes I try are easy when they have a 20 ingredient list.  But, if you can group them together or even just prep the ingredients ahead of time, it is really easy. 

Anyway, that's a little peak into my cooking philosophy (not that I have one, really) and why I cook what and how I do.  If you're wanting some good recipe blogs, check out the ones on my sidebar.  I really like our best bites, mel's kitchen cafe and (of course) the pioneer woman because most of their recipes are from scratch (or close to it). and delicious. 

p.s. we're totally eating papa john's tonight (found a good coupon + I've been craving* it for weeks)...Moderation! 

*my cravings are more like I see a commercial for something and think I NEED THIS RIGHT NOW.  aka, it just looks dang good.  other items include ARBY's roast beef and cheddar.  so probably not even a real pregnancy craving...I'm just more susceptible to marketing? 


Emily said...

mmm those rollups look so so good! and i'm loving that you're loving cheese. welcome to the club, even if it's only temporarily, haha.

alyssa sorenson. said...

I thoroughly enjoyed this. I aspire to become more like you. And I hope you will continue to share your success stories (and otherwise).

Christensens said...

I was going to tell you, but I don't remember ever doing it, that when I make banana bread, I bake it in disposable tin pans. They come out real well. Spray with cooking spray. I can usually get three or four uses out of each one before the bread starts sticking. Try that. Maybe you will be back in the produce bread business again.

Jody Lynn said...

i'm so glad the banana bread recipe worked for you!