In Which I Extoll the Virtues of a Good Cook

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Extoll might be a little strong, but in a nutshell, “good cook” is a goal of mine. Not “great cook” not “iron chef” not “toe to toe with Ramsey”, just, good. I want to be able to put homecooked meals on the table for my sons more often than not. I want to be able to provide a wide range for good nutrition and picky tastes and still have time to play with them in between meals.

So, I’ve risen from a horrible to an indifferent cook, and now I’m in the “hit or miss” stage. I either nail it, or it’s nearly inedible. Recently, I’ve had some good luck. I’m cooking for a toddler, so quick and easy are imperatives-if it takes awhile, then it needs to provide leftovers that can be reheated. Here are a few new discoveries.

Cauliflower Rice: grate cauliflower with your cheese grater into a bowl. Microwave for 1-2 minutes. Serve. *I thought Cade would hate this-he ate half an entire head of cauliflower in one sitting.

Banana Egg pancakes: smush a banana, whisk in one or two eggs, add cinnamon, cook like pancakes. Cade ate almost the entire batch.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Coursely dice a sweet potato. Drizzle with olive oil, liberally douse with cinnamon, a little less of ginger, and a little less of nutmeg. Toss to coat, bake for an hour at 350, stir halfway if you want (but you can forget and they turn out fine 😉 ). Cade can eat 3/4 of them in one sitting.

I also made a chili pasta bake that was delicious! Basically, make chili, mix with cooked pasta in casserole dish, sprinkle with cheese and bake.

On my “cooking healthy” initiative, I made cream of chicken soup from scratch, and it was so easy it surprised me. Since you can season it how you wish I upped the garlic and it was SO GOOD in the cheesy chicken bacon casserole (ok, the bacon wasn’t so healthy…).

I also made a banana bread with honey and applesauce instead of oil and sugar, and it was actually decent. I didn’t add any other seasoning this time, so I think next time Ill add cinnamon and maybe some ginger (I’m really liking ginger at the moment).

OH and some honey glazed baby carrots which were also super easy. Throw 16 oz baby carrots in a skillet, drizzle with honey, add brown sugar, a pinch of thyme and dill, and stir, stir, stir for 15min on medium high heat.

I’ve been slack on making Cade pancakes for breakfast-if I make a batch and freeze them they can last for two weeks-but tonight I made up some mini bean and cheese burritos and tossed them in the freezer, so we’ll see how they work out.

I have a whole bunch of other recipes pinned on pinterest that I want to try. A lot of them are paleo or vegan-not because I’m either, mostly because they’re the ones with the fewest ingredients and the simplest to cook, haha. One of these days, though, I’m going to attempt bread. The yeast requiring-rising-kneading-take hours type bread.

One day, when Cade and Zane are off chasing dreams, I want my sons to miss “a homecooked meal” made by me. 🙂

….Brian just eats beans, rice, pretzels, and rollos, so I don’t have to worry about him. 😛

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