Monday, February 7, 2011

Becoming a Kitchen Goddess...

Do you ever fall into a rut cooking dinner at night? You know what I’m talking about…you can’t decide what to cook…you finally make a decision and start cooking it all up…then you’ve made something and it’s tasty and edible, but nothing to really write home about? Yeah, that’s my life for the past few months. I cook when I have to, or feel that I should because we’re eating out too much…but most of the time, I’m ok with just grabbing something quick because it’s easier.

I’ve cut myself some slack on that for the most part. I do work full time and have a “newborn” at the house…but since he passed the 6 month mark this past month, I sort of feel like a charlatan when I say that I have a newborn at home…he’s technically closer to being a toddler now than a newborn, even though the toddler stage is still far away. But still, you get what I’m talking about, right?

So I cook when I have to. It’s good, yummy and edible and I get lots of compliments to the chef from the family…but at the same time it’s the same stuff that I’ve always cooked. Basically, I was bored with my dinner selections. That’s when I turned to food blogs. By following some links from blogs that I already read, I’ve managed to find some new sites to peruse (which is always a score!) and most of them post weekly or daily recipes. Some of them have been catching my eye and I’ve been branching out a little bit in my cooking. It’s been noticed at home and appreciated…and as I’ve tried some new recipes that were hits with the family, I’ve gotten a little braver with my selections to tryout next.

Well, let me tell you…the other night? I hit one out of the ballpark. I became a kitchen Goddess. Literally. A Goddess. Not kidding. I was a hero in my husband’s eyes.

I found a recipe for Chicken Tortilla Soup that looked super easy to make, and with the cold weather we’ve been having here, it seemed perfect. It was just Brent and I (and Jax, of course) at our house that night, but we BOTH went back for seconds…and he even had thirds! And the best part? All canned ingredients, which means little to no prep time and very little work on my part, which makes it a great weeknight meal! Double points for that, right? As with most recipes, there are a few things that I would/will change the next time that I make it, so I’ll wait until I perfect it a bit before sharing my version of the recipe with you. But here’s the original recipe, if you’re interested.

We’ve also been on a cornbread kick lately, so I’ve been trying different ways to make that and I thought that I found a winning recipe for it but it seemed a bit too crumbly to me, even though Brent really loved it. I saw a recipe one day that was similar but looked a little less crumbly, so I whipped up a batch of that to go along with our soup. (It was REALLY yummy, but I would cook it a bit longer next time…it was maybe not firm enough.) Not only did we both stuff ourselves at dinner, but then instead of just dropping the leftovers (what little was left!) into the fridge to sit there uneaten, I went ahead and packed it into lunch portions for both of us. I didn’t really expect that we would both want it again the next day for lunch after eating so much the night before…but we both brought our lunch “bags” to work that next day! It was yummy with a capital “Y!”

It was so good that I totally forgot to snap a picture of it…I suppose that I could have taken a shot of my empty bowl – that’s got to mean that it was good, right? LOL! But seeing what a big hit it was, I’m sure that it will be requested again pretty soon, so you won’t have to wait long to see my modifications. And maybe that time I’ll remember to take a picture!

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