Saturday, April 2, 2016

Food for Thought

I never claimed to be a good cook. My time of singleness living on my own I lived on scrambled eggs and bowls of cereal. It just took so much time and it could add up quickly, just for me to eat it in a few minutes then have enough left overs to feed a small country. It simply didn't seem worth it. However, my dislike for cooking never outweighed my love of entertaining. People stop in or we throw a party and this girl can rise to the occasion! Maybe it's that I thrive as a hostess, or it's just all that bottled energy from weeks of not doing more than flipping an egg, but somehow I can manage to whip up something edible and maybe even a bit delicious.

Enter Brett. I'm happy to cook for him. I always have been. And we all know I love him like WHOA but the DUDE IS SO DANG PICKY. We had a conversation shortly after we were married that said it all. Me: Do you like any vegetables? Brett: I like green beans and potatoes... Me: Is that all? Brett: Baby, I'm not even sure I like potatoes! I mean, I like potato chips and french fries, but...

I nearly died. But he wasn't kidding. He picks around food like nobody's business and will flat out refuse something if he discovers even just one speck of an ingredient he doesn't like. I've been known to hide evidence of some ingredients, because if he knew what was in something he suddenly wouldn't like it. BUT HE DOESN'T NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THAT. The only thing he's not picky about is desiring a three course meal each night, and my struggle with finding something to make for us is never anything good old fashioned take out can't handle, so I still scratch his back and fold his laundry and stuff.

Then offspring entered the picture. And it seemed no matter how cute and fun and precious they were, there was just one nagging feature about them that I couldn't stand: they wanted something to eat. Every couple of hours. All day long. And the real kicker? They do it again the next day! And the day after that. It never stops. I have to feed them all the time. It starts within minutes of waking, too. It's INSANITY. And because I'm their mom and I actually love them and everything, I try hard to feed them healthy food because I want them to learn how to make healthy choices and I want them to grow and thrive.

So here we are. Almost five years of marriage and two kids later, and I've decided it's time to quit whining about cooking and face the music. God has blessed me with three beautiful people to care for and feed and nurture, and it's time I do it well. I've spent a good chunk of 2016 trying new recipes and challenging myself to prepare 4 good healthy meals a week, assuming we'll have leftovers or my signature "brinner" the remainder of the week. I went all old school and wrote the recipes down on index cards and organized them in an index sized file accordion file by meal type. I pick four cards a week and take them with me to the grocery store to make my grocery list easy peasy. Basically I have no excuses.

The most challenging part is finding the right recipes for our family. I need simple instructions, minimal ingredients, and quick and easy prep. Oh, and food that Brett will actually eat, which is just the cherry on top, right? Anyway, the more that I've shared with others how I'm trying to cook more/better/at all, the more I've realized I'm not alone in this. Which is the point of this post. I've found so many recipes from various resources online, so I'm going to post tried and loved recipes here for any of you who need a little help in this department as well! 

Soon I will start posting recipes that our family has enjoyed for you to get some ideas if you feel stuck. As if this hasn't already been made clear, I feel I must preface this by reiterating, I AM NO FOOD GURU. I am very much in the beginning stages of learning how to cook. Most of you know more than me. Also, as much as I am striving to make healthy meals for us, this girl is taking baby steps. I haven't been buying all organic, and I still incorporate cow's milk at times when an alternative is suggested because REAL LIFE. So give a little credit where it's due and let's leave the paleo/vegan/vegetable & herb garden growers to the experts. This is just a girl who wants to provide healthy, hearty food around a table with people so precious to her.