What does Mom want? A Day Off!

So when you are planning Mother’s Day for your special lady remember she just wants to relax. I can not relax when my family is in my Kitchen. So, I usually make my Own Mother’s Day Meal.

While planning a large family meal is tough, you can make it easier. Let’s use easy store bought items that your husband and children can manage.

Roasted Chicken, Parsley and Butter Noodles and Steamed Broccoli   When you are shopping this is an easy list.  One 3 pound whole chicken will feed 4 people easy.  One package of egg noodles, and 2 pounds of Vegetables per 4. Bring home the bird, unwrap and rinse with cold water.  place chicken in roasting dish and let it sit for 5 minutes.  That will allow it to air dry a moment.  (BE SURE TO WASH YOUR HANDS, THE SINK , and any surface touched with RAW CHICKEN!)   Now lets prepare for roasting.  I always use my GO TO spices, salt, pepper, and Italian Seasoning.  If you like a crispy finish a drizzle of Olive Oil does the trick!  You will need to add some type of liquid for cooking  may I recommend White Wine!  This chicken will require at least 2 to 3 hours of Roasting , always start at 375 and lower heat after an hour to 350.  HINT### I always cover my bird with foil and place a lemon cut in half in the cavity.     When you are only 30 minutes away from serving your chicken, start your noodles.  Boil and Rinse as you would any pasta.  Place 1/2 stick of butter and 1/2 cup fresh cut parsley into the pan and mix with the HOT PASTA.  Cover and let rest.  Steam your desired Vegetable, for a short cut many stores offer Steam Ready Packages.   If you choose the fresh route, place Veggies into a stockpot with 1 cup water .  Cook until Tender , drain and add butter.

So we made Chicken, Noodle , and Vegetables.  Mom will rest and enjoy your amazing effort!  Lets make Dessert.  this is SUPER EASY!

Box Brownie Mix and Peanut Butter. I love the Hershey Mixes if you can find them!  Bake Brownies as directed.  When they come from hot oven, drizzle melted Peanut Butter over the top in a fancy swirl.  Of course being a Central Pennsylvania GAL I LOVE REESES!  Congratulations, serve with Ice Cream!

ANYONE CAN COOK, Give Mom this Day OFF!  She loves you an Effort will be applauded!

Weeknight Quality Meals

Cooking for a family is hard. With a little preperation we can have a fresh meal every night. Let’s walk through three meals you can do in 30 minutes or less after work.

Meal 1  Chicken breast and pasta are always a great go to! Before you leave in the morning put your crockpot to work. Place Chicken in the bottom of crockpot. Guide is one 1/2 Breast piece per adult. You will add,  1 can of diced tomato ,( Fire-roasted herb type) , 1 diced Sweet onion, and 8 whole garlic cloves. This will cook all day on low. When you arrive home cook up your favorite large pasta. Remove the chicken, and thicken the sauce with a bit of jar sauce. My family love Texas Toast Garlic Bread with this.

Meal 2  This one is a whole marinated pork loin into the crock pot , 1 cup Italian Dressing and Peppers and onions. When you arrive home cook up some minute rice on the stove. Steam up your fresh veggies and serve with sliced pork.

Meal 3  Beef Italiano   You will need a beautiful piece of Roast. place the roast first, one cup of Italian Dressing and fresh Peppers. I use Red Peppers for Sweet taste. Cook on Low all day. I like to remove the roast and pull it like BBQ. Serve it with a spicy red sauce on your favorite Hoagie Roll. French Fries or any side will do.

Anyone Can Cook, this one lets you be home-made in the middle of the week.

Overnight Marinara

Stuffed Shells  is my weekend plan. So tonight  my crockpot will be my Personal chef.

You will need 3 cans of tomatoes whole , ( I use San Marzano) , 3 tablespoons of Italian seasoning, 2 large sweet onions chopped, 5 Cloves of peeled garlic, 1 large red pepper chopped, and two stalks of celery chopped. When all the ingredients are in the crockpot, add 2 cups of white wine! Now here comes the magic…., set it to low and GO TO BED!

In the AM, Blitz them with a food processer or Blender.  You will have the most Amazing Flavorful NON meat sauce EVER!

If you want a Meaty Sauce, we will change it up a bit.  Start with A Soup pot on the Stove top.  You will add Olive oil, and onions to Sautee.  When they have become tender , add the garlic.  Now comes the Meat, Choose a great thick cut steak.  I prefer a nice piece of Knuckle Beef.  Brown each side and place in the crock pot.  Add all the ingredients as listed in the vegetable sauce.  Set to low and let it go overnight.  When you awake remove the meat and blend up the sauce.  When finished add the shredded meat back to the sauce.

Anyone Can Cook, You can make marinara like An Italian Grandma.  Well at least it will be close!

Fresh Produce at Your Fingertips

Having your own fresh herbs and plants at your home can be simple. Any local greenhouse will have plants pre planted. You just need a LITTLE space and a few moments to start your own garden.

I always have the same arsenal of herbs. They are general purpose and simple to grow. Parsley, Sage, Oregano, Rosemary, Dill , and Basil. These will make Any Dish taste Amazing. Two Beautiful Tomato plants a cherry variety and a Big Girl. Available at any Local Greenhouse. If you have the room and the energy. A pepper, eggplant and squash plant are great to add to your garden as well.

Farmers Markets and online sites have all the easy to lookup tips you need. Start your own food, be a part of the solution. Anyone Can Cook, and Anyone Can have a Green Thumb.

Dandelion is on the Menu, Spring Has Sprung

When you walk outside a Sea of  Yellow meets you. It is time for the humble weed to make its appearance. Here In Central Pennsylvania we eat them.

Easy Dandelion cookies. You will need 1/2 of oil, 1/2of honey, 2 eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 1 cup flour, and one cup rolled oats. Finally the topping is to go into yard and pick one cup of dandelion flowers. You will begin by mixing the oil and honey. Blend in the eggs and vanilla. Incorporate the dry , finally adding the washed and cleaned flower petals. These bake in a 375 degree oven for 12 minutes. I do a tablespoon of batter for each. These are divine.

Simple Greens Salad. 4 cups of Dandelion greens, 1 red onion round sliced, 2 tomatoes sliced. Toss those ingredients together in a large bowl and then plate onto a platter. A simple Lemon vinaigrette compliments the bitterness of the greens . Salt and Pepper to taste!

Let’s not forget . You can make Dandelion Mead, Jelly, Wine, And Tea. You may even want to try My Hot Bacon Dressing with them Too!

Anyone Can Cook, now you can get your badge as a Forager.

Campfire Cooking, Easy Family Night

When I think campfire Hot dog is the GO TO MEAL! Nope, when I was young I learned campfire food could be amazing.

HOBO Wraps A campfire meal in one packet. You can get the kids involved and they just might eat what they cook. You will need a assembly line to make them, lets all get involved. Start with Good Quality Ground Beef, Carrots ( thick rounds), Sweet Onions ( Thicker Rounds), Baby Potatoes, and Cabbage leaves. Make a Baseball sized , well seasoned Burger. Place the Cabbage Leaf in the center of a larger sized thick aluminum foil. In with the Burger, add carrots, onion, taters , and season to taste. I love to hit them with salt, pepper , ground garlic, and Montreal Steak seasoning. Fold the cabbage to enclose them. The Cabbage acts a steaming Cocoon. I often use 2 to 3 leaves so the inside does not burn, camp fires ARE NOT AN OVEN! Use 2 to 3 layers of the foil to secure each HOBO Wrap. This is the time to enjoy your family and let the HOBO Cook. When you open them , have a bit of butter to add to those Taters. This is a Full Meal in one Wrapper.
Cookie Smores These are one of my favorites! You can bake your cookies. I have a great Blog Here! #1 With A Bulliet COOKIES, or you can buy some Store Cookies! Great Soft Marshmallows are the key to a great S’more! In our Chocolate Chip Cookie Smores I advise, you use a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup for your Chocolate source. Roast them and Smoosh Away. These are the BOMB!

ANYONE CAN COOK, Campfires take your show on the ROAD!

Weekend Eats

Here comes the weekend again and parents everywhere are thinking what can I Feed my Kids. This weekend gather your family and get everyone involved in cooking!

Spring is here and we need to get outside. Grab a couple packs of seeds and some empty containers , plant your starter pots. After an afternoon of work , maybe a campfire would occupy your kiddos. Today I will give you some Simple ways to eat outdoors with kids.

Stay Tuned Anyone Can Cook, today we are Outdoor Style!