Wednesday, February 25, 2009

It's no secret...

I love food.
I think one of the coolest things I've been able to do since being home is actually learning to enjoy cooking. To enjoy the process of it. I remember when I was working...around 4 o'clock I'd look up from my desk at the clock on the wall and would almost start panicking about what to make for dinner. I'd pray that I actually remembered to take something out to defrost. I'd hope there was a jar of spaghetti sauce in the pantry. At 6 o'clock I'd run in, take my shoes off and immediately get a pan going on the stove. (meanwhile kids running around the kitchen island screaming at me...they hadn't seen me all day and I still couldn't give them 100% of my attention.) I hated it. I dreaded it. Not always, but most of the time anyway.
Anyway Pete and I were talking about it the other day...In the past year I've almost eliminated "boxed" food from our house. Except for the occasional box of Mac-n-Cheese, I almost always make home-made. No more Hamburger Helper, frozen lasagna, pasta in a bag. Don't get me wrong...I don't make everything (I still buy jarred spaghetti sauce--it's good!), but our consumption of pre-made, packaged food has dramatically decreased. And we all like it. I enjoy the process of making it, and my family enjoys the process of eating it. :)
I still have plenty of days of dreading making dinner, or not having a clue as to what to make but it is so much less stressful than it used to be.
Two things I've made lately that my family really liked:
Steak Fajitas-in the crock pot. Mmmmmmm! I really wasn't too sure about this one, but I decided to try it out anyway. The best thing is, it cooks in the crock pot, but not all day. I put this in at 2 on high, and it was done by 5. I turned it down to low until we were ready to eat.
Throw some steak cut into strips (the recipe called for flank steak but I used tri-tip b/c it's what I had) into the crock pot. Slice up some onion and bell peppers, put it on top of the meat. Salt. Pepper. Open a can of diced tomatoes and dump it in. Dump in about a tablespoon of chili powder and a teaspoon of cumin, a clove or two of garlic, and some cilantro if you have it. Put the lid on and turn it on.
The meat was SO tender and yummy. Inside a tortilla with cheese and sour cream--YUM.

The 2nd is a home-made alfredo sauce. Sure they make it in the jar, or even in the 'fresh' pasta at the store, but this is so easy. Plus my kids totally love it.
2Tbls butter
4oz cream cheese (I use the low fat stuff)
Melt the butter and then add the cream cheese. Melt it all together until it's creamy. Add a cup of milk, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, a little garlic powder and some black pepper. Use a whisk and stir it all together. It will thicken up if you let it sit for a bit. By the time your noodles are done cooking, the sauce is ready. It's so good!
Anyway, just thought I'd share.
I'm still patiently waiting for our vacation, but my mood is much much better this week. I'm still sewing like crazy. Who knew I would like it so much? Why did I wait all this time to get the machine out? My grandma taught me how to sew when I was a little girl and I really didn't enjoy it. It wasn't enough instant gratification for me. But that doesn't seem to be the case anymore.
Oh, and I'm still doing Pilate's just about every day. I think it's been almost a month now. I'm seriously loving it. It's so weird to say that... I don't think I've lost any weight, but Pete swears my tummy is flatter. I really don't know, but if he says so well I guess that's good enough!
Ok now I'm just starting ramble so I better sign off before this post loses all it's luster (ha ha)


Melissa said...

I am one of those people who watches the Food Network and so wants to do what they are doing, but just can't. I so wish I could....Want to come cook at my house?

And you go girl for doing your pilates! What video are you using??? I start my training my my half marathon tomorrow. I am so EXCITED!!!

Cheryl Wray said...

I LOVE to cook too, and I have been cooking a lot more from "scratch" in the last year or so. It makes me feel good to be putting that sort of food on the table for my family. And cooking is so esoteric and almost spiritual sometime...creating something from nothing. Really cool!

With my alfredo sauce, I always use heavy cream instead of milk. It makes it even richer. Yumm, yumm.

Kimberly White said...

Those sound delicious! I get you about the anxiety of what to make ... so every week I make a menu stick it on the calender and buy all the ingredients I need to make them. It works great ... just menu making day has the what the heck am I going to make thoughts! Hope you are having a wonderful day Corey! Kim

Kimberly White said...

Thanks for the recipes ... we made the beef ones last night and they were so YUMMY! Have a great day Corey!