Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Sunday Marinades

So, as I begin to think about spending my days at work rather than at home, I realize that I need to get into the habit of having meals "ready to go". No, I'm not returning to work immediately, but when I do, I need to be prepared! Besides, it's nice to be able to pull meat out of the freezer and not put any thought into what to do with it! Just warm up the grill, sautee some veggies or make a salad, and you're on your way to a healthy, delicioius dinner! It makes it easy and quick and then your attention can go towards other things, like keeping the boy from playing with knives, corraling little girls back to the table with their chairs, and answering the "What if" questions being darted at you from the 6 year old. See, it's good for everyone :-)

This is what I do to ease the Kraziness from time to time:

Bring home the large package of skinless, boneless chicken breasts from Costco, get out my gallon size Ziploc freezer bags, all my ingredients, and get to work. Sometimes I use premade marinades, but lately I've been creating my own. (I'll get back to you when I know how these taste!) I put all of the ingredients for each marinade into a Ziploc, add the chicken which I've either flattened, or sliced into strips, or whatever, zip it up, and throw it in the freezer! It's truly that simple! The nice thing about this method is that the meat has a chance to really soak up all those yummy flavors that go into the marinade!

I have here a soy ginger, orange balsamic, Thai peanut chicken, and a premade Jamaican Jerk that I simply thinned with olive oil. It's so easy and fast and delicious. Good food doesn't have to complicated and a good meal doesn't have to overdone! I like to keep most of my cooking simple and this surely fits the bill :-) Besides, my sidekick does a better job with the grill than I do with the stove! When you live in the Pacific Northwest, you learn to grill in rain, snow, sleet, or hail! It's just the way it is!!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

No Worries!

It's okay, don't worry, my family has been eating! I just haven't been inspired to try anything new and exciting! Too busy tending to sick family members! But all is well now and my aunt is coming to town, so we will most likely cook up something tasty to share :-) In fact, let me introduce you to a few people in my life that I like to call my "Go To" people! They are the ones I call when I need advice, encouragement, or just plain ideas for cooking!
Mama Roper: My dear mother, who has fed me from day one! I go to her when I have questions about regular, homecooked meals! We grew up eating well, even though money was tight and there were lots of us to feed. So, when I need to stretch a buck but make it tasty...she's the one! Pot roast, mac and cheese, spaghetti...she's my comfort food Go To!

Gampa (AKA my dad)-Mexican...ya, that's what he does best! So when I'm making something mexican I usually run it by him! Also, he finally shared his secret to homemade taquitos...YUM! It's our Christmas tradition with him and one of these days, I will have to take it over. But for now, I'll stick with his cause they are sooooo tasty!

Aunt Liisa-When I have some crazy idea about mixing ingredients...she's my Go To!! She's been a caterer, an event planner, and an at-home mother to 3. She's taken lots of cooking courses and isn't afraid to "throw something together". Since I'm rather timid in this area, I usually check with her first to see if it will work! She inspires me to branch out...
Robin (AKA second mom)-My mom's bestest friend and like a mom to us, she also does catering and has the ability to create some very yummy dishes. When I can't reach my mom or my aunt, or if I have a question about Italian food, I call her up and she's always happy to share. Robin has provided the food for my wedding, 2 of my sisters' weddings, and now a fourth wedding coming soon. I love eating her creations!
Auntie Biz (one of my younger sisters)-Like me, she simply enjoys cooking and playing with food. We love to work together in the kitchen and talk about Food Network stars like Giada and Bobby Flay. We have a crazy idea about owning our own restaurant someday!! It's fun to dream!!!

I feel very blessed to be sourrounded by such great cooks and if I can become half of what they are, I'll feel lucky!!