I grew up in a family that rarely used boxed foods. My parents cooked almost everything from scratch. I was taught how to cook at a young age. I loved helping my mom cook from as early as I can remember. My mom taught me almost everything I know about baking and my dad taught me almost everything I know about grilling. I think the early introduction to cooking from scratch is what gave me the love I have for cooking now.
My husband grew up totally different, while his mom did a lot of cooking, she did a lot of cooking from boxes, like instant mashed potatoes, hamburger helper and frozen pizza. It did not help that my husband was a picky eater and was never really taught how to cook. After he graduated he lived on a steady diet of frozen pizza and Mcdonalds, this all changed when we got married. It was a struggle at first but over the last five years he has grown to love all the food I cook, has learned a little about cooking himself and his diet is so much healthier now.
If you are struggling when it comes to the art of cooking I have a few simple ideas to help you on your path to cooking from scratch.
1. Keep it simple. You do not have to cook fancy meals. One of the meal time staples in our house is boneless, skinless chicken breasts. They are very versatile and easy to cook. We eat them at least twice a week, sometimes more.
Here are two of my favorite simple ways to cook them. – put thawed chicken breast in a cake pan and cover with your choice of chunky salsa Bake at 350 until chicken is fully cooked. Top with sour cream and shredded cheese if desired. I usually serve these with Mexican rice and black beans. – season thawed chicken breasts with garlic and Italian seasoning. Bake at 350 until chicken is fully cooked. While chicken is cooking, cook angel hair pasta and broccoli, cut chicken into strips, add broccoli and angel hair pasta to chicken and cover with alfredo sauce.
2. Use your crock pot. There are a ton of websites and cook books out there that are full of fantastic recipes for the crock pot. Most are only a couple steps and very easy to do. I use http://www.a-crock-cook.com/ for many of my crock pot recipes. Two of the easiest things to cook in a crock pot are a whole chicken, with potatoes and carrots or a roast with potatoes and carrots. Very simple, easy and a complete meal with only a couple steps.
3. If you are strapped for time in the morning, make a meal the night before. My kids love French toast and this recipe for over night French toast is easy and quick. http://www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1818,150191-239202,00.html , I make it the night before, throw it in the oven when we wake up and serve it with fruit.
- here are a few more overnight recipes for you http://www.cooks.com/rec/search/0,1-0,breakfast_overnight,FF.html
Remember to get your kids involved with whatever you are cooking. Teaching them to cook from a young age will help them be able to make the right choices when it comes to cooking later in life.