I grew up in a home with parents who loved to cook together. These meals were elaborate and time-consuming, yummy, yes, definitely, but the time often became too long to hold my attention as a helper and I would retreat to the playroom. I learned to love food and flavors, but I did not learn to love cooking. Since growing up with wonderful foods my expectations are high, but my confidence in cooking is low.
I love food, I love eating, I love reading cookbooks and watching cooking shows…it’s time I learn to love cooking. This is the first step of building my confidence. Enter Miss Freddy (www.missfreddy.com). I met her on a Facebook group for bloggers in the Seattle area. She offered a trial of her 6 week food plan for fellow bloggers. To review, check for errors and hopefully find some sanity in the kitchen. I thought it sounded intriguing, but I was too afraid to leave my info. But the more I thought about it the more I realized I could be a good tester. A real, non-foodie mom struggling in the kitchen. A few days later I decided that it would be a good step for me. Maybe if I joined food with writing, something I do love, I may finally be successful in building my culinary confidence. So I left my info and was emailed the link to Miss Freddy’s menu plan.
The first thing that made me smile about this menu plan is that all the ingredients can be bought at Trader Joes!! Those of you who know me know that TJ’s is where I go to cheat on my husband! (not literally) but I LOVE Trader Joes. I get overwhelmed with lots of choices when shopping and get caught up in reading labels. Trader Joes does most of the work for me. The second thing was that Miss Freddy notes that each week the ingredients for the menu costs about $85. Organic and real food! This was on the money. My first weeks menu bill $80.26! AWESOME!! The third thing was the dishes all sound super yummy! There are 4 per week leaving a day for leftovers and eating out.
Here is Miss Freddy’s post about the creation of her 6 week menu plan! The Dinner Dilemma solved…. lots of wonderful information!!! Plus beautiful pictures!
Then it was on to the cooking. The first menu item was Spinach Stuffed Chicken breasts! What?! That didn’t sound easy to me. I almost skipped it. It was a huge confidence booster when I decided I would just go for it and they turned out great! I actually made spinach stuffed chicken! Me!! I sautéed, butterflied, pounded (although I didn’t have a mallet so I put my worcheshire sauce bottle into a plastic Ziploc and started pounding with the end) It worked. I then stuffed, rolled, egg washed and breaded. All in about 45 min. (The time says 30 min prep…and I’m sure I could get to that eventually). It was super yummy, my family loved it (although my daughters wouldn’t eat the spinach, it was ok, more for me). I was pretty proud of myself.
The second nights dish was Sloppy Joe’s. I had visions of the school lunches of my youth along with Adam Sandler and Chris Farley in the Saturday night skit lunch lady. You know, singing “Sloppy Joe, slop sloppy joe…” (well, those of you who know what I’m talking about, know…) Anyway, these were good! The flavors were nice and it felt like an upscale version of a classic. It wasn’t greasy at all (like I remembered) and my kids even ate it! Amazing!! Truth be told I ate the leftovers the next day as a dip for some corn chips which was also amazing! This dish has the potential to be the base for some kick ass nachos for game day or some warm your soul chili, just add beans! Yummmmm!!! I ate mine on toasted gluten free bread, my husbands was on a wheat roll and my daught were on mini slider buns.
The next dish was Tuna Noodle Casserole. Again a classic turned better. I was pleasantly surprised. I NEVER really liked tuna noodle casserole, but my husband is a fan so I even let him make it. I know, I am that awesome. It was wonderful. The flavors were great, it was light and felt healthy ( we used gluten-free brown rice noodles). My girls LOVED this one! They even both ate the leftovers for lunch the next day. I have a feeling this will become an easy weekly staple meal.
Today I made the Crockpot Salsa Chicken. I know I sound like a broken record, but this was good! Easy just a few ingredients good! Healthy, warm comfort food at it’s finest. Plus it cooked itself. I barely did a thing! Perfect for the days where there is no time to prep or prepare a dinner. Seriously this was in the crockpot in less than 5 minutes. I think it took me longer to get my crockpot out and dust it off! I have a feeling my crockpot will be moving to a place of honor in the front of the cupboard where I can get to it to make this again, soon! This was so good I forgot to take a picture of the finished meal. We ate this on mini corn tortillas, with fresh avocado and a little sour cream.
Miss Freddy’s 6 week dinner solution is available in her store for purchase for only $9.99. This is a great deal. It takes so much time to find healthy family friendly recipes and here is a ready made plan with 24 meals and shopping lists all set up and ready to print out, download on to your computer, smart phone or tablet. Here is the link The Dinner Solution by Miss Freddy.
I am excited for Week Two: Chicken Cordon Bleu, Creamy Chicken Fettucine, Simple Pot Roast, Secret Ingredient Burgers (shh…it’s hidden veggies…) I am up for the challenge. My confidence is rising! ❤
I plan to blog weekly about my cooking escapades so if you aren’t intrigued yet…just wait. I’m sure something will tickle your taste buds in the next 6 weeks 😉