Category Archives: Recipes

It’s that taste of Minnesota that I still crave

My family and I moved back here to Arkansas just over seven years ago. Just as there were some things from the south we craved while living up there (Sonic didn’t exist in Minnesota until a couple of years ago, and I’m sure most of the residents up there have never heard of Whattaburger!) there are equal if not more places found in the great white north that we wish were down here. Read the rest of this entry

..and she cooks, too!

I grew up in a home where dinner was served at the table nightly. We rarely went out to eat and hamburger helper was abolished (it still is in my parents’ home). Occasionally, we’d have a heat and serve pizza, but nine times out of ten, meals were made from scratch.

I’ve continued that trend, starting when I was living alone in my apartment just after college. Most nights, I cooked my own meals, unless I was working late at the store. Then, the Burger King located just behind the mall was quite convenient.

When I married some nine years ago, my husband and I decided to switch off cooking duties. And yes, my husband can cook more than just hamburgers on the grill! His specialty is homemade enchiladas and chicken and dumplings. Mine is a long-handed-down gumbo recipe that I remember feasting upon nearly every summer and Christmas as a child.

Now, with one child in tow, cooking at home is even more important. At times, I do have to resort to opening a can of Chef Boy-R-Dee and applying instant-heat to it. This mainly happens on scout nights or on nights where I simply cannot muster the energy to fix a meal for her by her bedtime.

As a teenager, I frequently babysat a pair of children in Minnesota. I never could understand why their mother would cook a dinner for the tykes and then cook a second meal for herself and her husband. Now, twenty years later, I fully understand the reasoning for this.  As a wife of someone who comes home around 8:30 each evening, it’s perfectly clear. Why subject ourselves to Chicken nuggets and corn? Or, yet, why subject my daughter to her least favorite meal of beef stew? Sometimes, it’s simply not worth the battle.

Each Thursday, my husband and I come up with a menu plan for the following week, and we shop accordingly on Friday or Saturday. We try to keep our daughter in mind with each meal, but when your 7-year-old has had an aversion to most meat since she was two, this becomes somewhat challenging.

Vegetable slicer from Tupperware

With tonight’s dinner, we opted to have a little fun. I recently obtained a spiral vegetable slicer from Tupperware and peeled my potatoes into neat little curls before deep-frying them. Kathryn was eager to help, and once I showed her how to use the gadget, she helped slice the spirals with ease! Every 3 or four turns, I cut the sliver off to create multiple small fries.

Finished Fries

Once dipped into the hot oil, I used my slotted spoon to space the spirals out some. Otherwise, the grease became trapped between the curls, creating a rather soggy fry. Once browned, I removed the spiral and drained on a paper towel. I added salt and seasoned salt to taste. The fries were a hit for the entire family, especially the progeny.

With the high-caloric starch, we cooked a breaded chicken breast recipe I came up with a few years back in an effort to have something different to feed my family:

Breaded Chicken Breasts
Breaded Chicken Breasts
4 Chicken Breasts
4 tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup bread crumbs (we used Panko last night)
1/2 tsp onion powder
2 tbsp parsley
salt and pepper to taste
Oven 425*
Melt the butter in a microwave-safe bowl until fully liquid. Add minced garlic to the liquid mixture.
Mix crumbs, onion powder, parsley, salt and pepper in a separate bowl.
Dip breast into the buttery mixture and then smother in the dry ingredients.
Place breasts in a 9×13 non-stick pan and cook for approximately 45 minutes or until breasts are thoroughly cooked.
Nobody ever said that my cooking was endorsed by a healthy-eating non-profit agency, as I must admit, some of my recipes are NOT for the heart-healthy. But they are yummy! Might I recommend some organic green beans, then. That way, you have a smidge of healthy food in this meal.
Happy eating!