Friday, March 13, 2009

Meal time

I'm not the greatest cook. I have to give Chris credit for eating some of the stuff I've made. But I've been trying lately to plan meals, so here are a few of the meals I've made lately. They are fairly easy, generally kid-friendly, and usually inexpensive. I won't claim they are necessarily the most nutritious.
Pizza - Pillsbury makes a pretty good refrigerated pizza dough - I recommend the thin crust. Pretty easy to make: I roll out the dough and bake it first so it's a little crispier, use store-bought pizza sauce (Kroger's store brand is actually pretty good), add 4 cheese Mexican blend shredded cheese and whatever toppings we might want. Usually we make cheese, pepperoni or spinach.
Hamburger Helper - I can cook when it comes out of a box, and HH has some really good Italian and Mexican meals. I've even taken to mixing 1/2 ground beef 1/2 ground turkey (all turkey is a little dry for Chris). 
Pasta - always a staple, I can boil water. Of course, we must have garlic bread with our pasta, so lots of carbs, but yummmmmm!
Beans & rice - This has become a staple and favorite. Our neighbor who doesn't cook introduced us to this when we used to do dinners on Wednesdays. Heat a can of seasoned black beans, make the rice of your choice. We've made it with Rice-a-Roni, plain white rice and will try brown rice next. To mix it up, we sometimes put the beans and rice in a tortilla with sour cream and cheese.
Meatball sandwiches - Is there anything better than a good meatball sandwich? I highly recommend getting a good crusty bread, although a hoagy roll will work in a pinch. 
Meatloaf - I can't believe I hadn't made meatloaf in ages, but it's one of the first things I learned to make, modifying (yes, I modified a recipe and made it my own) the Disney cookbook version.
Jambalaya - another good boxed meal, Zatarain's. Cut up some beef smokies, only 1/2 lb. is really necessary. Excellent with cornbread (last time I made it, it was not good, so we've been buying the fresh made from Kroger's deli.)
Gyoza - I got saucy and actually made (frozen, packaged) gyoza last night. Amazingly, it turned out. Served with ramen last night, but also good with rice.
Jenn's cheesy pasta bake - Ok, this one is a little pricy because of the cheese, but it's soooo good!
Grilled cheese - I'm a sandwich master. I have now mastered the grilled cheese. My secret is to frequently flip so as not to burn the bread.
Ham - Only as a treat, but the best way to cook a juicy ham is in the crock pot. I usually use the 8 hour setting, but only for 4-5 hours. Water works fine, but for extra flavor try apple juice or apple cider. Egg noodles as a side. 
Corned beef - Another treat, but 'tis the season. Once again, the crock pot is a really easy way to make corned beef.
Burgers - I don't grill, but the Forman is just my speed. I don't do burgers often, but I have to say I was pleased with the results when I made them.

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