Saturday, June 6, 2009

Feeding Frenzy

I love to cook. Trying out new recipes is one of life's simple pleasures for me. Unfortunately, I don't have a lot of time to cook on the weeknights, so I try to keep those meals to things that take 30 minutes or less to prepare. I also do most of the prep work the night or morning before (i.e. chopping, marinating, etc.).

I also determined pretty early on (when Carter refused to eat anything other than chicken nuggets and cheese...) that I am not a short order cook! If Carter or Ace don't like what I'm making - tough :) I make sure every meal has elements they like, so they don't starve. But I also want them to expand their palates and try new foods! They are surprised sometimes what they end up liking! As a result, I have raised kids that are not overly picky. I promise to follow up this post with my ideas for overcoming a picky eater (especially for you Jenn!!).

To make meal-planning easier, I have created an excel sheet that breaks down entrees by the main ingredient (chicken, turkey, pork, beef, seafood, vegetarian), and I also list sides by veggies and starches. That makes it super easy to create a varied menu without much thought. But sometimes I get rather bored with the usual go-to's, so every week I aim to try out a new recipe! I subscribe to Cooking Light's "Dinner Tonight" email and I often pick up Martha Stewart Living and Rachel Ray's Everyday magazines for meal ideas too! If the meal is a success, I add it to my database and put the recipe into my recipe box. Oftentimes, I can take a recipe that is elaborate or too fancy-pants for my family's tastes and make it more simple by changing the cooking method or eliminating or replacing ingredients.

If you haven't noticed, I list my weekday menu over to the right each week ---> Of course, there are some nights when I have to work late or I'm just too burnt-out to cook, so we do say "screw it" sometimes and eat pizza :)

If you ever want my "recipe" or found a meal that your family really enjoys - email me!!! Also, if you want me to email you my meal database, pop me a quick email!

Last night, several of Ace's siblings dropped by for dinner, so I decided to try out a fun new summer recipe I found from Cooking Light - Chipotle Sloppy Joes! Oh my goodness, they were SO GOOD! Everyone was raving about them and devouring them! The recipe made about 10 sandwiches too, so it was great for feeding a mob. The contrast between the sweet vidalia onions and the spicy warm chipotle pepper was awesome - you must try this perfect summer recipe! I paired it with corn on the cob, steamed broccoli and oven fries. For dessert, we had root beer floats!!!

Happy eating!

1 comment:

  1. Good Grief Elle! You are a very creative person! I love to cook as well but I even don't have the time! That is why your brother gets the duties! He can be very experimental in his creations but at least he will know what to do after he flies the coup! I applaud you in your efforts to broaden the horizons of your family's palate and the time and effort you put in to the care and feeding of your Animals! Snaps to Elle!