Y’all, do you ever just get SO tired of cooking?
This weekend I thought, how are we needing to eat lunch, we just ate breakfast? And then, I swear, as soon as lunch was cleaned up, it was time to cook dinner! I’m walking through the grocery meat aisle thinking, there is nothing else that can be done to a piece of chicken! (I don’t eat pork or red meat, but I will periodically cook it for my family and just hope it tastes okay…)
So I thought I’d share a few of my recent dishes that weren’t complicated and that tasted yummy enough for two adults and three five year olds to eat (for two days, because y’all, if I’m going to cook, there’d better be some leftovers).
Let me preface my recipes with this: I am a total foodie when I travel and get to eat out, however at home I’m pretty easy. I don’t use fancy ingredients and the only thing I buy organic is milk, chicken, and eggs. These were all cooked after work for dinner except for the roast chicken which is more of a Sunday dish.
1. Hamburger Stew.
If I could fill this whole page with soup and stew recipes I would. But my kids would kill me. At least with the cooling temperatures I can sneak one in every Monday. Most of my soups are crockpot based, but this one was easy enough to do on the fly and we ate it for dinner on Monday and Wednesday (I try to serve an intervening dish).
This recipe is based on Ree Drummond’s hamburger soup with alterations that make it fit our needs:
— Swap the ground beef with ground turkey (I’ll feed them beef, but not in soup because if I make soup I WANT TO EAT IT!). Swap the beef broth out for vegetable broth.
— I used a bigger can of tomatoes, I think it was about double the size of what she recommends. And I probably added a bit of water – I need this a little soupier.
— I dropped the yellow bell pepper. Two were plenty.
— I didn’t use the chili powder (my kids don’t love spicy), but I did use some fresh herbs that I already had handy. I honestly don’t remember what they were but I think it was thyme and sage.
— I added a can of corn and a couple zucchini and dropped one of the potatoes.
It was so yummy and only took about 30 minutes to make after the prep (cut the veggies in advance if you can).
2. Roast Chicken.
I generally have chicken breasts on hand, but sometimes a whole chicken is just what the doctor ordered. My very favorite cookbook, and I love cookbooks, is one I’ve had a ton of years (The Ultimate Southern Living) that has a simple crisped herb chicken with roasted garlic recipe. I make it on Sundays for dinner because of the cook time and serve it with veggies – I think I boiled carrots (a little butter and brown sugar for the kids) and roasted some broccoli. Easy peasy.
The recipe calls for 1/3 cup each of onion, diced carrot, and celery, but I probably use more b/c I stuff that chicken to the brim.
1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
3 tbsp. dry white wine
3+ lb broiler-fryer
1/4 cup butter, melted (um, I’m probably a little closer to 1/2 cup)
2 tsp chopped basil, oregano, thyme
1/2 tsp salt and pepper (but does anyone measure salt & pepper, not me, I just throw it on)
Combine the celery, carrots, onion, parsley and wine and toss (wine is optional, I don’t always include it). Clean and rise the chicken, pat dry. Stuff the body with the vegetable mixture. Can tie the legs together if you wish, and tuck the wingtips under the chicken. Place the chicken, breast side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Combine butter and the herbs/spices. Brush the chicken with the butter mixture (generously). Cut a couple of heads of garlic in half and drizzle with olive oil placing them around the chicken. Roast at 375 for 1 hour or until a meat thermometer registers 180 degrees (for me it always takes longer than an hour, allow for that). If you like bread, serve with good bread to spread that yummy garlic on. The house will smell SO GOOD!
3. Easy Cornbread.
So I am a complete proponent of starting from box mix and adding a dash and smidge to make it special. I do that with Jiffy cornbread.
For my family, I start with two boxes, but if we’re with Bray’s parents I add another box. Follow directions on box and add in one can of cream corn, shredded cheese to your taste (for me it’s a cup-ish), and diced jalapenos (again to taste, we don’t use a ton because of the kids). Bake in a prepared cast iron skillet and serve right from it. When cooking at 350, it takes at least 45 minutes because it’s goopier than most cornbread but everyone inhales it.
4. Twice Baked Potatoes.
I roughly use the basics from the recipe on Taste of Home with a few tweaks.
First, my potatoes never bake in an hour and I am anti-microwave baked potatoes, so allow an hour and 15 minutes. Also, when you cook the broccoli, only cook it for about five or six minutes. It should still be bright and firm. Immediately drain the hot water and fill pot with ice water to keep broccoli bright. Make sure you cut the florets small so they mix well with the potatoes. I also use a bit more sour cream and cheese because these are potatoes, and you should use the snot out of sour cream and cheese when it comes to potatoes. I also blend in garlic salt and pepper to the filling. The tops of the potatoes that I have cut off, I dice and use the next morning for a breakfast skillet.
Y’all these are more than enough as an entrée and my kids adore them even though they’re not huge potato eaters.
What are you cooking? Help – I need some fresh ideas.
Soup photo courtesy of The Pioneer Woman and Potato photo courtesy of Taste of Home.