After spending all day on the computer at work or because you just don’t like staring at a computer when you’re exhausted at the end of the day, where can you look for recipes? I like to look through cookbooks, magazines and get ideas from other moms. We are a great resource for each other.
Dust off some of those cookbooks on your shelves at home and look through them. Take pictures of the recipes you want to make with your phone or put a post it note on the page with the name of the recipe written so you can see it when the book is closed. Then add those recipes into your menu plan. Don’t have any cookbooks that excite you? Go to the library! Libraries are a great resource. You can take the books out and then use your camera to take a picture of the recipe so you’ll always have it. My local library is great. Each time I take the kids, I swing by the cook book area and pick out a couple of books for myself. Here are some suggestions of books I have recently checked out:
Double Delicious!: Good, Simple Food for Busy, Complicated Lives, Jessica Seinfeld
Feeding the Whole Family, Cynthia Lair. Great insight into making whole foods for your family
Great Easy Meals: 250 Fast & Fun Recipes, Food Network Magazine. A wide variety of recipes and a section on 10 minute desserts!
Kitchen Express, Mark Bittman. Seasonal recipes that are designed to be made in 20 minutes or less.
The new Mayo Clinic Cookbook. Great healthy recipes, sauces and ideas for making healthy taste good!
Wilmington 275th Anniversary Family Cookbook, 2004. Simple recipes with (mostly) less than 10 ingredients that are easy to find.
From my own library (which you could check if they are at the library and even if not at your local one, the librarians can order it for you if it is at another one):
Busy Moms Weeknight Favorites, Southern Living. I LOVE this cookbook, but I replace the cream for fat free half and half or skim milk and don’t add all the butter J BBQ muffins, broccoli, ham and cheese soup, cheeseburger meatloaf = comfort food at its finest! (See recipe for soup below)
Mom-a-licious, Domenica Catelli. Great info on feeding your kids healthy foods that taste good. I swear by her hummus recipe!
Cooking with Trader Joe’s Cookbook. If you are like me and love Trader Joe’s, this is a great cookbook with easy recipes that contain ingredients all found at Trader Joes.
Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook, 1996. This is a great cookbook to learn new techniques and cooking basics. It has really taught me a lot, like how to use fresh herbs v. dried herbs, how to select fresh fruit and veggies and what it means to beat an egg white until stiff peaks form. I love their Spinach Dip recipe, sauce recipes and basic meal plans that I can tweak for my family’s likes and dislikes.
Magazines are also a great resource. Parents magazine now has a section on recipes in every edition, Family Circle, Cooking Light, Vegetarian Times, etc. No matter what subject matter the magazine is, most of them now contain at least one recipe. Or try out that recipe you saw in the newspaper last weekend.
Talk to other moms about cooking or not wanting to cook because your 2 year old is throwing all the food you just spent your last bit of energy cooking. We are here to support each other and making food is one thing we all have to do. I got a great tip from a fellow mom, Becca, at a recent Cooking Crew night (mom’s who get together once a month and have a potluck and exchange recipes) where the theme was Italian. She made an amazing Chicken Parmesan. The breading stayed on the chicken. She said the key was the bread the chicken the night before and put it in the fridge. Then cook it the next day. It was delicious! I never would have thought of that on my own!
Here is a recipe from one of my favorite cookbooks if you have some leftover ham to use up!
Broccoli, Ham and Cheese Soup
from Southern Living’s Busy Moms Weeknight Favorites. Great way to use up your leftover ham, potatoes, and vegetables from Easter Dinner!
5 large baking potatoes, peeled and cubed (or 2-3 cups of mashed potatoes or boiled potatoes)
1 medium onion chopped
28 oz of chicken broth
12 oz of diced ham (or beef, lamb or pork)
1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
2tsp bottle minced garlic (or 1 small clove fresh garlic, minced)
1/2 tsp of salt
3/4 tsp pepper (I often use lemon pepper)
2 cups of cream (I use fat free half and half or skim milk)
2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese (or you can use your leftover cheese from a cheese plate).
Add everything except the cream and the cheese to the slow cooker and cook on high for 1 hour and then reduce to low and cook for 6 hours. (I also cook it on the stove in about an hour or when the potatoes are tender). Process half of the soup mixture in a food processor (or use a hand held immersion blender) and then pour it back into the pot. Add cream and cheese, stir and serve!