Thursday, April 15, 2010

What's for Dinner Contest!!!

So recently I have been in a bit of a rut in the cooking department. Before I had London, I cooked all the time. I loved it! I would start at about 4pm and take my sweet time preparing every ingredient, garnish, and spice. I would pour a nice glass of white wine, put on some back ground music, and dance around the kitchen as if I was Cameron Diaz in every role she has ever played. By the time the hubs got home from a long day of work, I would be putting the finishing touches on a beautiful meal. It's not nearly as fun anymore.

Now, I spend my entire day chasing an extremely active toddler around the house. Half of the day is spent pulling him off of every piece of furniture while he tries to practice for his part time job as a stunt man. The other half is spent trying to keep stuff out of his mouth. I have pulled everything that you can possibly imagine out of his mouth, everything from the classic phone charger all the way to the dead bug he found in the corner (yeah, not one of the highlights of my life, and a definite Mommy FAIL). By 4pm, I am exhausted and staring at a messy house. All I want to do is sit down on the couch and relax. I am in no mood to cook. I will admit I still enjoy that glass of wine though. :)

London goes to bed each night at 6:30 or 7:00 and most nights Mike doesn't get home until about that same time. London is a CRAZY man in the kitchen, so it is really hard for me to cook while he is awake. So when ever Mike gets home he helps me with London's night time routine while I try to get some cooking prep done. Then we put the lil man down and I go right back to the kitchen to cook for another 20-45 mins. I HATE it. So here is what I am looking for. I need some quick HEALTHY flavorful meals. Mike doesn't exactly like to eat healthy, but I am really trying to lose weight. It also doesn't help that I am a picky eater.

Things I hate:
All fish except Tilapia (but I LOVE crab and shrimp)
Red Sauce (like pizza or spaghetti)
I'm not a HUGE pasta fan but occasionally it's ok.
Chicken or Steak on the bone (however boneless is yummy)

So here is your mission, should you choose to accept it. GIVE ME YOUR RECIPES!!! I will try all of them and the one that Mike and I BOTH like will win.What will you when you ask? Good Question! You will win one of my favorite kitchen gadgets. These SleekStor collapsible silicone measuring cups and spoons. I love them, and hopefully you will too!!
 You can leave a comment with the recipe or email it to me at 
AlyIFOABlog (at) gmail (dot) com
Deadline to send me your recipe is next Thursday (4/22/10). 
I am going to start cooking these as they come in so hopefully I will have a winner in a few weeks.
Crockpot recipes are also welcome.


Kate said...

I love to cook! I can't wait to do it next year with all our new kitchen gear from our registry. Anyway, I made this last night with some friends:

We drank it with white wine and it was great! The ingredients and method are simple but it's light and flavorful.

I'll have to ask for recipes on my blog at some point as well!

Lacey Bean said...

I have a great crockpot recipe - - so good and so easy!

And this chicken dish was really good too -

R.A.B. said...

I stole this recipe, but I love it b/c it's easy.
You need 3-4 pieces cooked chicken, chopped

2 cans cream of potato

16 oz frozen veggies (thaw)

1/2 c. milk

1 tsp thyme

little bit of pepper

two frozen pie crusts (come in one box)

Put pie crust in pie pan, combine rest of ingredients in a bowl, then dump in crust. Cut slits in the top crust, then bake for about 30 minutes on 325ish.
YUMMY and easy.

Lora said...

Ok this is easy and delicious AND healthy!! And even my kids will eat it :) Plus, cooking with shallots just makes me feel fancy, lol

Erin said...

I totally hear ya! This is how I feel. I used to LOVE to cook! I just made a super easy recipe tonight. Over bbq chicken and sweet potatoes.
Heat the oven to 425. Put in Sweet pot. After 30 minutes put some chicken breasts in a 13X9 glass baking dish. Brush it with bbq sauce on both sides. And put it in the oven with the potatoes for another 30 minutes. And you're DONE!

Heather said...

I know how you feel!!!!! It is hard to cook with a little one running around. I always try to have dinner around 5:30-6 and have it all ready when Dustin gets home from work so it MUST be easy! We eat a lot of baked chicken, spaghetti, tacos, roast (crock pot), and occasionally I will even fall back on hamburger helper. Yikes! I am VERY picky (don't eat pork, fish, and most veggies) and then I want to make sure what I make is at least semi-healthy since Grace is eating it to.

One of my favorites:
Cook up some white rice.

While that is cooking take a cube steak and cut it into bite-sized pieces. Add a little olive oil to a large skillet and saute a bell pepper (I use green) and onion (I leave this out because I don't like it but it makes more flavorful). Add the steak pieces. As it cooks mix 2 packages of brown gravy with 2 cups of water (Or you could make your own gravy -this is just easier). When the steak is cooked, turn down the heat and pour the gravy over it all. Let it simmer until the gravy just starts to boil. Serve over the rice. Sometimes I will even throw in some other seasons - onion powder, garlic powder, red pepper is also good.

I am hoping to get some ideas from here!

Kristin said...

Oooh, here's one I love...

Pork chops with Apple and Onion
2 Onion, quartered and sliced
2 apples, quartered and sliced. You want something like a Jonathon here that will keep some of it's shape.
4 pork chops
Dijon Mustard for marinating the chops
Caraway, Fennel, Thyme, Ground Ginger (To taste. Roughly 1/2 tsp each.) Salt and Pepper.

Start off by marninating the chops for 15 mins - 2 hours in enough mustard to thinly coat.

Preheat oven to 350.

In an oven proof saute pan, brown the chops on top and bottom. Take them out and let them rest on a plate. Add in the onions and apples and maybe 2T of butter if you need it. You shouldn't though b/c the pork chops will have lost some of their fat. (If you are like me and keep a little stash of bacon drippings, this a good time to use that instead of butter.) Saute just until the onions start to wilt down. Add in the seasonings now and mix until well distributed. Depending on how sweet the apples were or how strong the onions were, you might want to add 1 Tablespoon of honey here.

Add the chops back to the pan. If they were thin chops, you might be able to finish them off on the stove. If they were thick chops, pop it into the oven for about 20 minutes or until done.

Kristin said...

This is a family favorite...

Taco Soup

1 lb of ground beef
1 chopped onion
Add in:

1 can pinto, kidney, black beans each. WITH juices
1 can Rotel (Or 14 oz can diced tomatoes if you live in a godforsaken place that doesn't have Rotel.)
1 can Diced Tomato
1 small can Niblets
2 cups water
2 pkgs taco mix (this is where you decide how hot the soup will be. I usually use on reg taco and one hot taco.)
2 pkgs Ranch Dressing mix
Simmer for at least half an hour. This is better the second day.

Serve with cheese, sour cream, diced scallions and crushed tortilla chips.

Kristin said...

This is so, so good. And, since you have an aversion to bones in the meat, make is with BONELESS CHICKEN...

Asian Chicken Wing

* 2 Tbsp oil
* 2 to 3 green onions, sliced
* 2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
* 1/2 cup soy sauce
* 1/4 cup sherry
* 1 Tbsp corn starch
* 1 tsp ground ginger
* 2 lbs chicken wings

1) In 1 qt saucepan, heat oil over medium heat.
2) Saute green onions until tender and lightly browned (about 5 minutes.
3) Stir in brown sugar, soy sauce, sherry, cornstarch, and ginger. Cook over medium heat until mixture starts to boil and thicken. Cook for one additional minute at boil stirring constantly.
4) Place chicken wings flat in baking dish and pour sauce over chicken.
5) Cook uncovered for 45 min - 1 hr at 375 degrees

Chef's notes: I doubled the sauce recipe just because I knew how good it was and I knew I could use the left over sauce on rice. Also, I substituted regular onions diced small for the green onions and red wine for the sherry because that is what I had. It is WONDERFUL. A shout-out of thanks to the Apex 911 employee who supplied me with this recipe.

Kristin said...

This chutney can be made with fresh fruit too. I used the canned stuff because it was winter and that was all that was available.

Serve it with about 2 lbs of the meat of your choice. I've done it with both thin sliced beef and with ground beef. Then I serve it all over rice.

Papaya/Guava/Peach Chutney

2 cans papaya (sliced small)
2 cans guava (sliced small)
1 can peaches (sliced small)
1 cup cider vinegar
2 cups white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 tbsp minced garlic
3 tbsp ground ginger
2 tbsp salt
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tbsp crushed red peppers

Bring all ingredients to boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low
and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent
sticking. Remove from heat and cool completely before serving.

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