I {heart} cooking!… Actually, not really.

Somehow we just slipped into the past two weeks and not one sighting of a menu was to be found. Funny how those big ideas last for a while and then fade away. But I’m holding out for a comeback this week… The menu document is opened and I’ve been reading some really good ideas again on food…

And a testimony on life without menus was pure drudgery! I asked Jason to cook last Tuesday because I had a full day and he actually had off work that day- which turned out being a pleasant night off kitchen duty! I have found that when I don’t have meals planned it’s a hassle to try to come up with something.

Some foods on the list for next week are:

  • Bbq green beans –oohh w/ bacon!
  • Stir-fry
  • Veggies with Greek seasoning… (just read about that one and excited to try it! (After I find it…)!)
  • Rice (I have lots and hardly ever use it)
  • Homemade pizza
  • Tuna sandwiches

I’m trying to get away from these all too easy, quick fillers:

  • Tacos
  • Baked potatoes
  • Chicken casseroles galore
  • spaghetti

(I’m depressed just reading that L)

I hope I motivated some of you who find cooking to be more of a research project then a walk in the park.

Which is why I posted a pic of our V-day meal -(if you can follow this spaghetti noodle)  To inspire you (and myself) again.


[Disclaimer -Actually, Jason and I made that meal together.]


Moving on…

I can cook. It doesn’t take long to whip up a meal once I have a menu in mind. That is the hardest part for me usually – in fact, it’s getting the meat part decided that I moan-fully dread. As soon as that is decided, I’m off filling in the rest of the pieces – no prob-lem-o! I just never know what to make for the main course. . .


So this post is me asking for more yummy recipe ideas, especially for delish ways to make/use rice. I didn’t grow up with it and we have an entire bag that was given to us from our house/wedding shower way back when we first got married – almost 5 whole months ago! It seems like we’ve been married for a long time sometimes but then again, not really. Who says men are not complex???



12 thoughts on “I {heart} cooking!… Actually, not really.

  1. The menu’s died?!? I hope you can find the will-power to revive them. I personally am loving them. Jason cooks? Go him. Duane doesn’t do much besides eggs. Though, the other night he made chicken fajitas and last night he made a salad. I’ve been a bit under the weather so he requested (or should I say, demanded) that I don’t cook. I did sit on a chair in the kitchen and give him some guidance on the fajitas. He totally could do it, he just doesn’t enjoy it. Carla is providing dinner for us tonight. 🙂
    One of our favorites with rice is chicken and broccoli over rice. There is always rice pizza.
    Can you identify your valentines meal? It looks like croissant rolls, peas and potato wedges maybe? Sure can’t ID that meat. And you are so left-handed. Your table setting totally gives that away.


    1. Ha! You made me laugh!- for 2 reasons!
      1. I can so see you sitting on a chair telling D how to make fajitas and
      2. I guess, b/c of the pic, I should add another disclaimer:

      “The pic was not ‘posed’ per se. It was designed to capture the moment not the perfection – or lack there of!”

      Oh, and the meat… I’ll have to tell you about that when you get here (if you remember to ask)


  2. Hi Jolynn, I had to smile while reading this post! You totally sound like my twin, Sheryl. I love cooking [really,truly do] and so I can’t really relate to you on a personal level in this area. However, I use rice a lot so maybe I can offer you a few ideas. My favorite way to make rice is with cilantro and onions.
    Costa Rica Rice
    2 c. uncooked rice
    1/4 c chopped onion
    fresh cilantro chopped fine
    1/4 tsp garlic powder
    salt to taste
    In a small ammount of oil saute the onions & cilantro. Add remaining ingredients, and water according to the directions on the bag of rice. Cook according to those directions also. (I use a rice cooker so I can’t give you exact instructions.)
    We eat black beans with this rice, but it’s delicious with almost anything!
    I often make chicken with this. Chicken fajitas (you can often purchase seasoned fajita meat at HEB for $1 a lb) or just cook chicken breast meat with whatever seasonings I’m in the mood for.
    Spanish Rice
    1 1/2 c rice
    1/4 c chopped onion
    1 Roma tomato
    1 tsp salt
    1 tsp garlic powder
    3 1/2 c water
    1/2 cube tomato bouillon w/ chicken flavor
    Fry rice in a little oil until rice turns white. Add onion and tomato; stir for approx 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients. Cook over medium heat until rice is tender, approx 2o minutes.
    I also have a lot of good recipes for chicken, beef, enchiladas, etc that go great with rice if you are interested. Just let me know! 🙂 Hope this helps at least a little. Sherri


  3. Oh Jolynn, I love rice! & it lasts forever 🙂 Probably my favorite recipe to use rice with is Chicken & broccoli stir fry If you have the Simply Wonderful cookbook it is on page 170. If not, let me know & I’ll email you the recipe if you’d like. Also page 124 the Sante Fe Chicken Chili we eat that with rice too. 😛
    You inspire me to rescue my “menu plan” from the far recesses of my junk drawer…


  4. I love cooking with rice! I grew to love it over in Thailand, and my favorite is making toppings to go over rice. Cashew chicken is a good one, or just a simple veggie stir fry and then eat it over rice. Use your imagination for stir fries and toppings that go good over rice. Chicken fried rice is amazing…and i have a recipe for mexican rice casserole that is a mixture of rice (surprise, surprise), salsa, sour cream, corn, black beans, tomatoes with green chilies, topped with cheese and black olives. yummy, yummy! Have fun! =)


  5. Your dilemma sounds so like me!

    rice….we enjoy some chili-like sauce over it, i.e. cook kidney or pinto beans then add fried burger with all your seasonings like chili, Rotel, onions etc. Another idea is fried burger with onions and adding Ricado seasoning from Belize. Mom could tell you better how to use it.

    Have fun exploring all your new ideas…..


  6. I use rice all the time, so let me think if I can come up with some of our most common ways–

    rice with homemade chicken/veggie stirfry (one of our favorite meals)
    enchiladas, Spanish rice, refried beans
    sweet and sour chicken over rice
    oven barbecued chicken or BBQ meatballs over rice (sometimes I cook the rice, then fry diced onions and green peppers in butter, then stir the rice into that mixture)
    roast beef and gravy over rice
    rice and hamburger gravy
    chicken and rice casserole
    rice and stew beans
    grilled chicken and rice pilaf

    For me it’s so much faster to make rice than potatoes, so I use it when most people would make mashed potatoes probably. Since I have been using white rice, it’s probably less healthy, but I am trying to switch to using brown rice.

    Okay, here’s my recipe for the chicken concoction–
    Sorry, no amounts. I just dump, taste, and season some more. 🙂

    Chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces. Fry in a couple T. oil with some diced onion. Season generously with garlic powder and cumin, a little salt, black pepper, season all, Lawry’s, and a couple dashes of lime juice.

    Once chicken is cooked, add a can of black beans. Add a tiny pinch of thyme–fresh or dried. Add a few teaspoons of tequila lime salsa (I left it out the last time ’cause I didn’t have it, and it lost a distinct flavor, but it was still good. :)) Add generous portions of .fresh. chopped cilantro. More seasonings–esp. garlic, cumin, or maybe black pepper or lime or salt if needed.

    Serve over cooked rice (brown is especially good, I think). Top with a sprinkling of shredded monterey jack (or another white) cheese. You could also add a slice of lime or homemade tortilla strips if you want to fancy it up. 🙂


  7. Sorry so late in getting you your recipies… I present…. Chicken Broccoli Stir-Fry & Santa Fe Chicken Chili

    Chicken Broccoli Stir-Fry
    3 Tbsp oil
    1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast
    1 onion
    1 c celery
    1/2 c. chopped green pepper
    1/2 c chopped broccoli
    1 c chopped carrots
    1 cube boullion

    2 Tbspp cornstarch
    1/4 c water
    3 Tbsp soy sauce
    1/4 tsp red pepper

    Heat oil. Saute chicken until lightly browned: add onion & cook till clear
    add remaining vegetables & stir constantly for 2-3 min. Disolve boullion in 1 c water. add to mix & cook 2 minutes

    Combine sauce & add to mix cook until thick & clear. serve over rice.

    *note* I normally just chop & dump my veggies & probably end up with more that it actually says. Gives more for leftovers for lunches that way 🙂

    Santa Fe Chicken Chili
    1lb bonless skinless chicken breast cut in pcs
    2 sweet red peppers, sliced *i use 1 red & 1 yellow for coulor
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    1 large onion, chopped
    1/8 c oil
    1/2 pt salsa
    1/2 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp pepper
    1 Tbsp chili powder
    1/8 tsp red pepper
    1/2 qt undrained diced tomatoes
    2 c chicken broth
    1 can kidney beans,rinced & drained
    5 oz frozen corn, optional

    Saute chicken,peppers,garlic,& onion in oil till chicken is no longer pink. Mix in rest of ing. & simmer till hot


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