I like to joke in conversation that the only things I know how to make are messes & cocktails. It’s a clever line that always seems to get a laugh or two, and, it’s an original that I’m really rather proud of. The sad bit is that it’s me using humor to deflect the fact that I am, in fact, intensely insecure about my domestic abilities & lack there of. Often I like to play the diva stripper who doesn’t & wouldn’t ever keep house, who eats out a lot & throws money at needs & wants. But, really, most of the time, I wish I had more aptitude to do it myself. I look in awe at my friends who run a house like a goddamn witch. Decor, clothes, food, and healthy children appear from their hands & the ether like magic. It’s all Greek & voodoo to me.
I’m not crafty. I can’t sew. I don’t draw. I never really learned to cook.
Today as I finished a pan of enchiladas with a layer of cheese, I could feel the involuntary smile on my face. It was just a pan of enchiladas, with simple sauce made from scratch & chicken breasts I’d baked in the oven & shredded by hand. But, to me it’s a huge deal. I never thought I’d be making something like this in my own kitchen. Something that actually tasted *good*, that sent my boyfriend back for seconds, and then again. Standing over the stove I caught myself daydreaming that someday my kids will be asking me to make these. Someday, my kids will be texting me to ask how to make my enchiladas. It was an intensely sweet moment in my head with myself.
Finally getting to the point where I have enough recipes that I can make with confidence & east that I could handily feed a family for a week has brought me *immense* pride. Thank goodness I figured it out just under the wire before turning 30.. I thought I’d share some of the recipes I’ve had success with, since surely I’m not the only one who lacks some confidence & skill in the kitchen. I’ve fucked up rice on numerous occasions, so trust me. If I can make these, you can make these.
Lighter Chicken Enchiladas from Simply Scratch - This past week has been the first time I *ever* even attempted to make enchiladas, and it went awesome the very first time. This recipe is wonderful! The sauce is incredible, nothing like the lame bottled red sauce from the store. I loved it so much that the second time I made these, I doubled the sauce. It’s that good. ^_^ I used a reduced fat Mexican cheese blend & the super healthy high-fiber whole grain tortillas (and like I said, I decided to double the sauce the second time around but I just love sauce & I love onions & red peppers- MOAR) but otherwise I followed this recipe exactly.
Fresh Balsamic Crock Pot Chicken from Paleo Fresh – This is a recipe that turned out awesome the first time I made it, following the recipe exactly. But, there was a lot of liquid left over. Delicious smelling balsamic liquid. Now it’s taken on a life of it’s own! I do this with organic chicken thighs from Costco. I’ll add extra balsamic vinegar, as well as two cans of organic diced tomatoes & a large chopped onion. Once that’s done cooking I boil up some whole grain pasta & reduce the liquid in the crock pot, throw the sauce & the pasta back in the crock pot. Stir to mix & shred the chicken & voila! It makes for *amazing* pasta… It disappears really quickly around here & Beau & I aren’t exactly pasta people.
Crock Pot Pesto Ranch Chicken Thighs from Picky Palate - This is another recipe that turned out awesome the very first time but had a lot of extra liquid I wanted to put to use. Now when I make it, I don’t add the chicken broth (the organic chicken thighs from Costco give off a lot of water) & I throw in cooked organic quinoa & thawed frozen broccoli florets when this is nearly done cooking. Mix it all up, and it’s incredible.
Slow Cooker Vegetable Curry with Chickpeas from The Lemon Bowl – This one I modified right off the bat, and just as the author suggested this worked just fine. I ditched the brussels sprouts, and doubled the sweet potato, onion, and red pepper. I also ditched the coconut milk because my dumb ass forgot to buy any. It turned out *so* good that Beau barely noticed I didn’t put any meat in it. ^_^ The sweet potatoes really shine in this, SO GOOD. We didn’t even bother with rice, this was thick & hearty all on it’s own.