26 answers

Easy Things to Cook

i don't know how to cook and the other night i fixed dinner which turned out really good. i need some tips on easy things to fix because i loved cooking the other night because it made me feel like a real mom and wife although my hubby made me cry by bringing home food. any suggestions ladies and it has to be something for a two year old and something for a ten month old who will not eat mash potatos and before you ask, we eat t.v. dinners everyday and yes i do own a crock pot. please help!!!!

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We have started using www.e-mealz.com It is a website that you pay $1.25 a week for and it gives you seven meals planned out. It also gives you a weekly grocery list for those meals catergorized by sections in the store. This saves me so much time because i don't have to go digging through my books trying to find something to eat for the week and i don't have to sit down and make my grocery list i just print it off the site. This has also helped us to eat foods that we wouldn't normally eat. We have been using this for 3 months and i am a picky eater, so far i have only found 1 recipe that i took one bite of and wouldn't eat the rest. It was made by a couple moms who realize how busy life can be. Maost of the recipes are pretty simple and quick!!

bettycrocker.com
bisquick.com
kraftfoods.com

Try these three sites. kraftfoods.com is my fav. I'm at the state now that I'm learning to cook. I never knew how to cook until AFTER I got married (so embarassing). My mom-in-law is teaching me a few basics and also teaching me how to experiment with various seasonings.

A.,
Go to kraftfoods.com and sign up for "Food & Family" a FREE magazine that kraft sends out every other month. They have tons of eazy recipes and I have used a lot of them.
L.

More Answers

Hey there! I am also a stay at home mom (of a 11 month old) and i also sell pampered chef on the side. but when i started P.C i found that cooking does not have to be hard. one thing i like to do is, chicken, rice wraps. you will need boneless skinless chicken, easy chicken rice,shredded mot. cheese, and flour tortilla's. boil the chicken, and start the rice. when the chicken is done, put it on the stove with what ever seasoning you want. (salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, ect.) it only takes a min. get the tortilla's out fill them with the chiken, the rice, and the cheese, roll them up, put 2 tooth picks in the to keep them together. put them in a baking pan. put them in the oven on 350 for about 5 min. and your done. my baby eats the rice, so your might be able to also. also home made hamburgers and homemade fries are quick and easy. I have the easiest way to make chicken alfredo. get two of the instant alfredo, make it as directed. then fry up the tyson chicken strips. cut up the chicken and put it on the alfredo, it is so good. well i hope this helps you out. ~ H.

1 mom found this helpful

One of our favorites is, Hashbrown Casserole

1 pkg of Tater Tots
1 jar of Classico Sundried Tomato Pasta Sauce
1 stick margerine
1 small tub of sour cream
2 cups cheese
1/4 onion chopped fine
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Melt margerine in a large bowl, add all ingredients except tater tots, mix well, add tater tots mix together, put in a large rectangular baking dish put in the oven at 350 until bubbling and browning on top (approximately 30-45 minutes) & serve.

1 mom found this helpful

Nachos or tortillas...
The night before- or early in the morning, open cans of
a bean (black or red) of your choice, drain and rinse, put in tupperware or like container
lg can of diced tomatoes, drain with same colandar, I just shake it a bit to get the extra juice out...
dump some frozen corn (I use that, it would work with canned corn I suppose if you are having fun with the can opener)

add a few dashes of oregano and parsely,
a squirt of lemon juice and a little pre diced garlic

if you want to cut a little onion go ahead and add that, if not you can add the dried stuff from the spice aisle.

mix cover and shove into the fridge and wait (overnight or until dinner)

Get some shredded cheddar...
You can either heat up a cup or so of seperate servings of the bean mixture for lunch or dinner in the microwave and put it on a tortilla after it is heated or add the cheese on top- roll it up and eat....

add it all on top of tortilla chips and add cheese and you have nachos

bake the bean mixture until hot and then add to individual tortillas.

Kiddos can eat shredded cheese and or pick out the corn and eat plain tortillas... my ds has had yet to try a bean but we put it in front of him just the same... we will eventually have to share. ;P

This stuff lasts for a few days in the fridge if you can parcel it out...
mmmmmmm

leftover cooked chicken- diced - saute it up just to reheat it with some oil
cook some tortelinis that have cheese or whatnot in them... boil 14 min (to taste or texture to suit)- drain
put chicken and tortelinis in a bowl, add olive oil and parmesean generously- mix and serve. :P

Edited to add:
It dawned on me I should tell you how to cook a chicken for the leftovers... :P

ANyway, here is what I do... find a roaster at the store..
Big is good-6lbs or so.
Once home- in the afternoon about 2pm (you could even do the prep earlier and just set it in the fridge before you are ready to put it in the oven)
Deep baking pan-13x9- pour in a few tablespoons of olive oil, some oregano and parsely, onion (dried or cut- a weensy bit), basil, garlic- not too much. salt and pepper dashes... so the stuff is in the pan waiting.
Open the bag that the chicken is in in your sink... have the pan of stuff right next to the sink. Take the insides out and set aside (if you have a kitty- will thank you for it) Make sure the plastic pad is off, rinse out quickly, shake off a bit and set onto pan... massage the olive oil and spice goo all over the chicken... if you are feeling ambitious, poke your fingers under the skin of the breast layer and get some of the goo and onion in there next to the breast meat.
Wash hands... (PREHEAT oven to 350)

grab some foil- cover chicken in pan, can be loose, you will be yanking it off after the chicken has been cooking for 30 min to an hour.
Put it in and set the timer for 2 hours or so... making sure you take the foil off in about a half hour or so after it has been first put in.
General rule:
20-30min for every pound of chicken (if it is stuffed go for longer)- these are not stuffing directions

You can put in potatoes to bake when there is just over an hour left... just wash them stab them with a fork a few times and put them on the rack.
( it is helpful if you use the juices and baste using one of those turkey basters every 20 minutes after it has been in an hour) It is as simple as sucking up the liquid and dribbling over the breast and legs.
Nuke some frozen veggies as the chicken is coming out and you have dinner! (and leftovers for the next day)

1 mom found this helpful

Hey I jus twanted to give you and easy recipe that is good for all ages and takes about ten mins to prep and not much longer to cook.
Chicken Crossants
1 can chinken
1 can cressant rolls(any brand)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can milk(fill empty soup can up with milk)
1 pk mozerella cheese

take can chicken drain and season to tast in bowl and a litle of the cheese.
roll out crossants and put chicken and cheese mix inside and roll up.
place on bakeing sheet untill done(about ten mins at 375)
meanwhile take a bakeing dish and mix cream of chicken soup and milk together until blened. (can be slightly lumpy)
when cresants are done take them out and place inside the cream of cheicken soup. take the bag of mozerall cheese and puor on top and place in oven untill cheese is melted! this is so good and does not take long to make...I am a working firsttime mom and love this.

Also try Kraftfoods.com they have alot of easy recipes and they are really good. they have a sections you can search from recipes by aptizer main dish casorolls and desers!!
they also have a really good chicken and rice recipe that i really like.

1 mom found this helpful

We did the pot roast thing a few days ago and everybody loved it. We took a smaller one, put in some potatoes (cut into fourths), baby carrots, and some onion and about a 1/2 cup of Moore's marinade (kind of like Dale's. Then we took McCormicks Savory Beef Stew Mix (not the pot roast one) and mixed it with a can of chicken broth. Pour it over the top and turn the veggies a little so it coats it. I know it sounds like a lot, but it only took maybe 10-15 minutes, includging the cutting. It says to cook it for 8 hours on low, but I did mine for 10 hours and it was perfect. I gave some to two friends, and they both went home and tried to make their own the next night. Another great idea, Pampered Chef sells these microwavable plastic pots that work great for veggies in the microwave.

http://www.pamperedchef.com/our_products/catalog/product....

They're vented, so you put just a little water, or whatever you want, and any veggie is cooked in like 4 minutes. Just put whatever seasoning you think smells good, I buy some of the salt mixes, or Ms Dash has this no salt, celery type of mix that's good. Anyway, the websites everyone listed are good too. I get stuff off the Foodnetwork.com site too. Let me know if you need a number for a Pampered Chef lady. I've got a good one. You can always watch the food network channel, they have cooking shows all day.

1 mom found this helpful

Try KraftFoods.com. It lets you search by the ingredients you have on hand and comes up with a delicious, easy-to-make recipe! I use them several times a week and I always love the results. The other thing I recommend is investing in a crock pot. I LOVE mine! It's so easy to throw the ingredients in during my daughter's long morning nap, then the house smells wonderful all day and my husband comes home to a wonderful meal! The recipe book I use for that is the "Fix it and Forget it cookbook". Cooking is fun and it took me years to learn that as well! Also, don't be afraid to substitute ingredients when you don't have them, it's not safe to do with baking, but cooking can always be fixed! Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

A., start with some search's from the internet. I also suggest you read some cookbooks, the one's from the church's and those who create them for fundraisers usually have a lot of good...home cooking ideas. You may want to start out small, but cooking is not always easy, the easy part comes with practice, just like anything else. Find stuff that sounds good, get the ingredients and put it together, 1st time always do it as the recipe says, once you find something you like both the taste of and the making of...then you can start modifying it to your interests. Also, you said you eat a lot of TV dinners, those too are good sources of dinner ideas. Barbecued Chicken, corn, and green beans. Also you can now buy the bags of food that you just put in the crock pot... I have tried them and personally I dont think they're the best stuff in the world, but you can read the ingredients that's in there for say beef stew to get an idea of what you need to creat your own. good Luck! Also, one other point... introduce your children to new foods, even though you think they may not like it, you may be fooled. Children also pick up eating habits from parents as well. My son, by the age of 2 loved brocolli, salad with ranch, cheese, mac and cheese, peas, corn, etc. Again, Good Luck

Baked spaghetti? If you can fix spaghetti after everything is mixed together(cooked noodles and sauce) throw it all in a oven safe pan, I use a 9*13 pan. Top with shredded mozzorella cheese and bake for maybe 20 minutes on 350/400degrees. Just long enough for the chesse to melt. My kids love it. I use different types of noodles most of the time. Rotini noodles work well with small children. My 3 yr son just picks them up and eats them easier than trying to use a fork with regular spaghetti noodles. give me your email address and I will be happy to send you other easy meals that I cook for my family. Just put mamasource in the subject line so I know who you are and don't delete it,lol. Good luck!

bettycrocker.com
bisquick.com
kraftfoods.com

Try these three sites. kraftfoods.com is my fav. I'm at the state now that I'm learning to cook. I never knew how to cook until AFTER I got married (so embarassing). My mom-in-law is teaching me a few basics and also teaching me how to experiment with various seasonings.

I love allrecipes.com, too. It has an ingredient search, so if you have broccoli and cooked chicken, you can do a search for recipes with those ingredients.

I have been using the turkey sausage by Oscar Meyer for soups this winter. Just cut it down the middle and cut into crescent shapes (I have a 1 year old who could choke on it). Then I brown it in a little olive oil with some onion. There will be a sticky brown coating on the bottom of the pan when you're done. Pour in some chicken broth and water, then let it simmer for a couple of minutes to get the brown stuff off (great flavor). Then I just toss in any veggies I have on hand, or even canned beans or instant rice. Serve with a salad and bread and you're done.

Someone mentioned about browning a roast for cooking in a crock pot- I have never done that and my roasts turn out tender and delicious.

I also love to cook chicken in the crock pot- it's great for using in Mexican dishes because it just shreds apart.

I also love to do a pork roast with a bottle of BBQ sauce. Easy.

Good luck!
J.

A., I don't know if your kids are picky eaters but introduce as many healthy foods as you can right now. Fruit cups are good for kids and last longer than just plain fruit. A good and easy meal would be pigs in a blanket. Get the cresants in a tube, hotdogs or ham, and cheese. Fold one piece of cheese at a diagonal you should have 2 pieces and I get the bun length hot dogs and cut them into 2 pieces. It's cheap and easy you cant go wrong. Also you can do chuck roast or pork tenderloins in your crock pot. I like to do my veggies seperate from the meat they get really soggie, so I just boil them in seperate pot. You can find really good recipes on Allrecipes.com they have a daily recipe but most of the time you have to know what you have in mind and do searches. Also foodnetwork.com rachel ray always has 30 minute meals. Spag is always an easy thing to do but summer is approaching and you don't want to eat alot of pastas. But any kind of tuna or chicken salads and lunch meats(which if you get it from the deli you can get more for your money and you get better quality) you may know that already. Also grilled cheese is a hit with little kids, or grilled ham and cheese. But always try and serve them a veggie of some kind. Anyways I hope this helps you out. B.

We have started using www.e-mealz.com It is a website that you pay $1.25 a week for and it gives you seven meals planned out. It also gives you a weekly grocery list for those meals catergorized by sections in the store. This saves me so much time because i don't have to go digging through my books trying to find something to eat for the week and i don't have to sit down and make my grocery list i just print it off the site. This has also helped us to eat foods that we wouldn't normally eat. We have been using this for 3 months and i am a picky eater, so far i have only found 1 recipe that i took one bite of and wouldn't eat the rest. It was made by a couple moms who realize how busy life can be. Maost of the recipes are pretty simple and quick!!

A.,
Try http://www.familytime.com/Signup.aspx
I signed up for the weekly recipie and so far they have all been easy.
Keeping in mind that these are not the healthiest meals - but once you build your confidence, you can move on to healthier choices or make substitutions....
L. G

Allrecipes.com, foodnetwork.com and familyfun.com are fantastic websites. Tyson has grilled chicken strips that are precooked and are great ! I use them in fajitas, grilled ckn salads, ckn nachos, ckn alfredo, and other ckn pasta dishes. I love to buy pasta, sauce, the grilled ckn strips and copy the frozen Bertolli meals in a bag. Grab the bag of salad and a loaf of french bread (heat it up in your oven to get the crust crunchy) and thats a great dinner. Also try meatball subs. My son LOVES meatballs. I also found the best way to get you kids to eat salads. I seperate every ingredient. Croutons on one side, ckn on the other, garbonzo beans , carrots, cheese, the crunchy part of the lettuce, bell pepper srrips, etc. It looks like a spiral of different food with the dressing in the middle. My four year old son LOVES salad. Good Luck, J.

I have few quick N simple things to cook:
Tater Tot casserole: Lean Ground beef, tater tots and cream of mushroom soup! thats it! layer uncooked beef on the bottom of a casserole dish, spread cream of mushroom soup on top of that, the layer with tater tots. put in oven on 375 degrees, and generally speaking, it usually takes 40 minutes to an hour to cook. You can sprinkle sharp cheddar on top if you like or bacon.
Also, taters, weinies N bacon, you can pan fry or deep fry some potatoes (rounded or cubed however you prefer) then cook your bacon, and weinies, i deep fry them all (yes I know its not good to fry so much but, its okay in moderation) we combine them and its awesome!
i make beanie weinies i dont buy them. pork N beans, weanies, ketchup, onions(optional) butter and sugar to taste. cook on stove top till hot, really good! kids love it!
spaghetti bake, a good spaghetti sauce, salsa, lean ground beef, noodles and cheese. I make my noodles normally, drain, be sure to run under cold water to keep noodles from being sticky, I heat my sauce and add salsa to it with some garlic and salt N pepper. cook beef, combine all and put in casserole dish, cook for about 30 minutes, top with good mozarella cheese and serve, MMMmmMMM good!
Easy homemade soup with pbj sandwiches. tomato juice, canned veggies, lean ground beef, cook for about an hour or hour and a half, serve with pbj sandwiches. NO PETER PAN PEANUT BUTTER!
hogs in the blankets: smoked sausages that are bun length ( i get them at super walmart, its a big package of smoked sausages, it has like 20+ bun length sausages in the pack) anyways, i get can biscuits and use my rolling pin to spread out the biscuit dough and roll up the sausage in the dough and slowly cook in the oven till done. serve with grape jelly! kids love it!
also, my kids love my flap jacks. its the easiest thing to ever cook, just use flour and water, mix till smooth, cook on hot griddle, put butter and syrup and serve!
EASY chicken casserole:
boneless white chicken in cans, drain, cream of chicken soup, sour cream. mix well. saute crumbled ritz crackers in butter, layer on top of casserole mixture put in oven and cook for about 45 minutes, thats it! its good also.
gurl I love to cook, as you can tell and love simple fast dishes, need anymore be glad to give them to ya!
kim

You might try just browsing recipes on www.allrecipes.com. I have gotten alot of good recipes off of there. It's free.

A.,

Anyone can cook roast in a crock pot. Buy a roast, the less expensive ones work just as well. Wash it, season it with salt, pepper, garlic powder or anything else you want. I use Greek Seasoning. Its an all around good seasoning. Brown it for a few minutes it in a skillet on all sides. But it in the crock pot on low. Pour a can of mushroom soup on top and a packet of Lipton Onion Soup Mix. Nothing else. Put the lid on and leave it cook for about 6 to 8 hours. You might want to turn it over about halfway through if it's a big roast. I usually put it on before I leave for work. When I get home, suppers ready. Pour this over rice (you can get the boil in the bag kind) Its so tender both your children could eat it.

Let me know how it works out. I have some others that are easy. What kind of food do you guys like?

B.

It's warm out!!
I work 40 hours a week and have 4 kids. The best thing to do from now till winter is Grill Grill Grill!
I buy all the meat on Sunday and buy marinade in bottles. You can put the meat in a bowl or pan and let it sit in the fridge overnight. Just buy frozen vegetables ... Yu just add a little water and butter and cook on the stove. This is the easiest way to get it done and you can't mess it up!
J. Marcy
Memphis

A.,
Go to kraftfoods.com and sign up for "Food & Family" a FREE magazine that kraft sends out every other month. They have tons of eazy recipes and I have used a lot of them.
L.

I'm not much of a cook either. Not sure if your kids will like these, but I like the crock pot meals, the ones that has everything in the bag ready to toss in the pot! There are different kinds, so maybe one will work for your family.

Also, my daughter likes spaghetti. My parents have always made it like this:

Start cooking your noodles (whatever kind you want to use) according to the package. Cook 1 lbs of hamburger meat in a pan on the stove. When the meat is brown, add in one jar of Ragu sauce, and one jar of Prego sauce. Keep the sauce warm and when the noodles are done, you've got spaghetti! It's so easy my dad can fix it! :)

Try going to the library and checking out a cookbook or two. (Like The Joy of Cooking, How to Cook Everything, The Good Housekeeping cookbook or Mr. Food) Pick some simple recipes to try. Read the recipes if it sounds simple and yummy then try it. Check out recipes on line, there are tons of sites. I like using Recipezaar and I've posted a few recipes there. And of course there's always the Food Network. Here's a recipe for Roast Chicken with Two Lemons (see link) http://www.recipezaar.com/187302 It calls for a whole chicken, salt, pepper and two lemons. It's easy but does take about 1 1/2 hrs to cook (total). Have you tried asking family or friends for ideas?

ok dear, let me tell you a little secret.....go to the store and go to the boxed food aisle and check out all the hamburger helper and tuna helper and chicken helper boxes. just look on the back of the box so see what you need ( chicken breat, pound of hambuger or whatever). this is the easiest way to learn to start cooking. Add mashed potatoes (use instant potatoes if you don't like to peel them and use more milk than water and they will taste great, and don't forget the butter) another good thing is, go to google and type in something like, 'chocolate pie recipe' or 'crockpot roast'. once you read the recipe, practice on something simple. don't tell anyone, just experiment.

here's something real easy to do: buy a bag of boneless chicken breasts, 3 cans of chicken broth and two can's of the small biscuits. fill a pan with the chicken broth and about 5 cups of water. turn on high and let it start to boil. take the thawed out strips and use a clean pair of scissors (yes i use scissors) and cut up the chicken and drop into the water. let it boil for about 30 minutes. stir it so it doesn't stick and add salt and pepper. once the chicken is white, take a piece out and let it cool and test it (eat it!!), once it's done, take the cans of biscuits and drop in the boiling water. this makes a very good chicken and dumplings. those can's of biscuits make really good donuts too (drop in a pan of hot oil, and let cook). well i hope this helps! i remember cooking when i was younger and i can't imagine not doing it now. you will feel like a million bucks when the first meal is complete!!

Hi, I am 26 yrs old and have 2 kids..3 yr old girl and a 1 yr old boy.
I am a regular user of Kraft.com
Here is the website for the interactive kitchen. http://www.kraftfoods.com/kf

I just about always get my recipes from this site and also from www.Cambells.com

Easy to follow and great tasting food & things to make for kids too!

TV dinners are NOT usually healthy lol.

~M.
Tupelo, MS

we usually cook up some of those chicken and hamburger helpers. we make mashed potatos, macroni, or some vegies.
recipezaar.com has lots of ideas and you don't have to sign up to use them.

Hey A. I have made a chicken casserole that is real simple to make. The recipe is actually on the back of the stove top savory herb box and it is real simple and tastes like it took you all day.. It is mixed veggies, stove top, sour cream and cream of chicken soup. I love it and my neice and nephens love it too. Hope this helped.

Get a good cookbook. Southern Living at Home has some great cookbooks in it. There are Busy Mom's weeknight Favorites, Ultimate Cook Book, Easy Weeknight Favorites, etc. The Ultimate cook book tells you how to buy meats, veggies, etc, how to prepare them, freeze them, store them, etc. Directions on how to do simple things like boil eggs, bake a cake, what you should have in your kitchen. If you need help let me know. These books can be found other places as well but they are published by Southern Living.

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