I am starting on a new adventure of trying to cook food I have never cooked before. This process is partly due out of necessity and also partly due to a desire to be a 'foodie'. While I only know the very basics regarding cooking, I have a few friends that have "perfected over the many years" their various recipes. I have never done that. I would like to "perfect" some food recipe I have, make it and everyone's mouths just water looking at it.
So, that is what I am going to do. I am challenging myself to start actually cooking. I won't go crazy trying to make some complicated dishes all the time. Simple, yet still desirable food. Mostly for dinner, breakfast and desserts.
I am on this heath recipe binge on desserts currently with a coworker of mine. In the end the dessert recipes are not that healthy still if you eat the whole thing. If you limit yourself to 2-3 then I think your good. We currently have not been able to succeed at this. We did find that if you make it for someone else or rather give away most of the desserts soon after you make then, much healthier!
To start off I read a few mom blogs that contained easy to prepare and make dinners. These mom's blogs were okay, but I am a married women with just one kid to feed....my husband! I don't have a larger brood which is what these blogs and meals were designed for. (I saved them though because I foresee needing them in my future!)
In addition to the food related blogs I also checked out a few recipe and crock pot books from the library (you know you can check those out for free!) The recipes I liked I copied with my scanner. My plan is once I find a book I like throughout its entirety I will buy it to keep at home.
My husband and I also are going to start printing them out and taping them into a blank notebook for our home recipe book. I might try hand writing them if we add them slow enough. I do have terrible handwriting though. Printing and taping might be easiest for now till they all start to fall out! I'll update on what worked best later.
Dinner 1 Monday night
Fancy adult mac n cheese with bacon
Peach spinach salad on the side
My husband prefers the mac n cheese to be 'extra cheesy' so I doubled that part and only slightly added more noodles. Turned out AMAZING! I felt so proud. There was enough for two lunches of leftovers too, even after we both had two helpings of it during dinner.
I used the recipe I linked to but I added the modifications below for making this cheaper and easier.
Fancy Adult Mac n Cheese - Aprx. cooking time 20min, prep time 15 min
4 slices of peppered bacon
2 cups elbow macaroni
1 1/2 cups milk
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 of a 1 lb block of shredded medium cheddar cheese (was still super good without sharp cheddar, it can be so expensive!)
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 slices whole wheat sandwich bread, crusts removed
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Cook the bacon layered between paper towels in the microwave and cook on high for 3-4 minutes until the bacon is crisp. Remove carefully! There will be hot grease on the plate/paper towels. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels and crumble when it is cool enough to handle.
Drizzle oil into a large pot of boiling salted water. Add the macaroni and cook according to the directions on the package, 6 to 8 minutes. Drain well.
Heat the milk in a small saucepan, but don't boil it. While the milk is getting warm, melt the butter in a small bowl in the microwave, 20 seconds on high or longer on a lower power setting. While the butter is still hot stir with a fork, adding the flour. While whisking, add the butter/flour mixture to the milk on the stove in the sauce pan and cook for a minute or 2 more, until thickened and smooth. On low heat, add the Cheddar cheese slowly in small handfuls, adding more as it melts into the milk mixture, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Add the cooked macaroni and crumbled bacon and stir well. Pour into a small glass baking pan about the 6 x 10 size. If you double up on the cheese and noodles this will fit well into the 9 x 13 sized baking dishes.
Place the bread slices in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until you have coarse crumbs. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over the top of the pasta. Bake for 20-35 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbly and the macaroni is browned on the top.
Peach Spinach Salad
4 slices of cooked peppered bacon, chopped
1 ripe large peach, chopped
Baby spinach in two bowls
1/2 a sweet pepper (whichever is your favorite color), chopped
2 radishes, chopped
Add the spinach and other ingredients divided into 2 bowls and serve.