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Nov '11

So, I am One Who Cooks

After attending the Food Nanny cooking workshop last weekend, I made a point to cook dinner for my family this week (not every night, mind you, but about four nights out of seven) and for our family to sit and eat together at the table each of those nights.

I’m using the Food Nanny’s cookbook as my helper.

It’s truly fantastic. Last Saturday I wrote out my menu plan for one week (nothing too ambitious) and went grocery shopping. The plan involves picking a theme for each night and using recipes to fit that theme. I took all my recipes this week from the cookbook.

Sunday (Family Traditions): Slow-Cooked Chicken Noodle Soup with homemade egg noodles, salad on the side
Monday (Comfort Food): Homestyle Mac and Cheese, green beans and bacon on the side, apple pie for dessert
Tuesday (Breakfast for Dinner): French Toast (made with homemade French baguettes), strawberries on the side
Wednesday (Mexican): Navajo Tacos with homemade Three-Bean Chili with Sausage

Success! It was intensely satisfying to cook food for my family and have us sit together to eat each night. The kids at least tried most things, and some things they really liked.

The chicken soup on Sunday turned out pretty good, although I think I made the egg noodles too floury, and they turned out a little tough.

On Monday the mac n’ cheese was good, but homestyle isn’t my favorite way to eat it. I’ll try a different style next time.

On Monday I also made an apple pie, maybe my first ever? The Food Nanny demonstrated making pie crust at her class, and it looked and tasted amazing. When I made my own I got interrupted about a zillion times and it took me about three hours with all the breaks. By the time I put the top crust on, the dough was too warm and fell apart. It’s not a lovely pie, but it tasted good. Next time I’ll use a less tart apple than Granny Smith.

On Tuesday I made homemade French baguettes. The Food Nanny demonstrated these as well at her class. The bread is quick, taking only about an hour from start to finish. And it turned out delicious. I used the bread at night to make french toast, and Wes LOVED this. He ate them with his fingers and dipped them in maple syrup. My next goal is to buy a baguette pan, which will shape the loaves so they don’t spread and flatten as they rise.

Wednesday was Navajo Tacos, which I’ve never made before. I fried thawed Rhodes white Texas rolls in hot oil to make scones (or Navajo fried bread). The Food Nanny suggests in her book using her Three Bean Chili with Sausage on the tacos (although you could use canned chili). Since I don’t love canned chili, I made her suggested recipe. And it was delicious! It really made the tacos extra tasty. Wes really liked this dish, but I think it was mostly the fried bread he liked, since he ate a couple extra.

We had leftover chili on Thursday for lunch, and later in the week I made the Food Nanny’s Buttermilk Corn Bread with honey butter. Delish. Her honey butter is the best I’ve had. It’s equal parts butter and honey, with a half-teaspoon of vanilla.

In addition, for breakfast yesterday I made her German Pancakes with Strawberries. It’s an oven pancake that you eat with sweetened sour cream and strawberries. I never would have thought of sweetening sour cream with brown sugar, but it was delicious with the pancake and strawberries.

All in all–a successful first week. I have my menu ready for this week. We’re having roast chicken tomorrow, chicken pot pie on Monday, Fettuccine Alfredo Tuesday, French toast Wednesday, and taco salad on Thursday if I make it that far. We’ll see how it goes.


2 Responses to “So, I am One Who Cooks”

  1. tara72 Says:

    I’m so glad you posted about your Food Nanny week, Shannon! I was wondering how it was going. it looks like your food turned out really good! great job!

    your apple pie actually looks pretty good, and I’m impressed that you made homemade noodles. I’ll try that one, too, eventually, because I’ve always wanted to make my own pasta (after Hannah’s example, and now yours!). I remember what she says about going easy on the flour in basically everything, so I’ll watch that.

    you are brave to do a roast chicken – I’m sure it will turn out great. I just don’t know what I’d do with all that meat, since we’d probably just eat the white meat. hmmmm…..

    well good luck with it this week again! I love your report and all the pictures. :)

  2. mom Says:

    You and Tara and Hannah inspired me to where I actually cooked dinner in a slow cooker while we were at Church today for the missionaries. A Cheeseburger Dinner (has scalloped potatoes in it) and Oreo Brownies for dessert. This is the first time I’ve cooked for missionaries for….years? Thanks for the example, girls! (I like Carissa and Wes in the middle of your food pics)

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