By: Rachel Ventura
I’m not afraid to admit it, I can’t cook. I can follow a recipe when needed, but having that talent does not qualify me as a cook in any way, shape or form. It’s actually my downfall, that I follow the recipe too closely. I’m a Capricorn, I like to follow rules. If the recipe calls for ¼ tsp of salt, I add a ¼ tsp of salt. No more, no less. I believe that recipes were made for a reason and should be followed. This is why I’m decent at baking. But cooking? Not so much.
My children and I are extremely lucky that my husband not only likes to cook, but he is very good at it. He cooks us a delicious, healthy dinner every night of the week. That is, up until last week when he started a new job. His new schedule requires him to work 10 hour days, 4 days on and 5 days off. The 5 days off will be amazing and we cannot wait to have those days together! But the 4 long days means Mommy will now be required to cook dinner. Uh oh.
My first thought? We’ll order out! But that’s not really in our budget, or very healthy, or very responsible. So, I set out to find some simple recipes that my kids would eat and were relatively healthy. Luckily, my kids aren’t too picky so I started scouring the internet and my Cooking Light magazines and made my shopping list for the week. The menu was set and I was excited!
Monday night I made baked chicken with potatoes and broccoli. It came out pretty good but the chicken was a little over cooked. Raw chicken freaks me out (it’s actually one of my top three fears. Weird, I know) and I always over cook it. My daughter said it was yummy and asked for seconds, so that’s something!
Tuesday night I made chicken pot pie. I was really looking forward to trying this recipe and it did not disappoint. As I started cooking it though, I realized that there was no starch in the pie and I would need to make a side. Catastrophe! How had I not thought of that?! We had some left over rice in the fridge and I figured I would just heat that up but then I thought, “we have potatoes and mashed potatoes would be really yummy with chicken pot pie.” So it was decided. I quickly Googled the recipe (I had a basic idea how to make them but I needed to double check, how sad is that?) and got started. Both were a success and very yummy, though the kids didn’t really care for it too much. It was a hotdogs and chips night for them.
Wednesday night is always spaghetti night at our house so I wasn’t messing with that tradition. I made the meat sauce as close to how my husband makes it as I could, and he told me he thought it came out better than his does. Score! Boiling water and cooking spaghetti, as well as heating up frozen turkey meatballs in the oven is easy, even for me, so it was a good night. Everyone was happy!
Thursday was my final night of the week and I decided to use one of my all-time favorite recipes, Tortellini soup. It is so easy to make and so delicious. And the best part? You only use 1 pot so clean up is a breeze! The kids love it and so do I. Here’s the recipe:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ small onion, minced
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- 32 oz chicken broth
- 15 oz can petite diced tomatoes
- Salt & pepper
- 9 oz pagckage tortellini
- 3 cups fresh spinach, chopped & loosely packed
- In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat.
- Add garlic & onion and cook about 5 minutes.
- Add oregano, broth, tomatoes, and salt & pepper.
- Bring to a boil and add tortellini.
- Cook according to package directions.
- One minute before done, add spinach. Stir to combine, then remove immediately from heat.
- Serve topped with parmesan cheese.
One of the hardest things about cooking, in my opinion, is having everything done at or around the same time. But I did a good job of it this week. I must say I’m proud of myself. So far, so good! Have any easy, yummy recipes? Please comment and share! Lord knows I could use them 🙂