Saturday, March 10, 2012

A Tale & A Recipe

Before I continue to share recipes with you, let me tell you something. 

I used to burn water. I kid you not. I would wander off to do something else and forget I was supposed to be cooking. Yeah, i was that girl. 

Bob, on the other hand, was a chef for 10 years. Now that he doesn't work in a kitchen, he's kinda a pain to cook for. He has to have meat in every meal. And he needs WAY more calories than the average guy. Bob is super tall and super thin. He doesn't gain weight.....ever....every woman's dream. He doesn't like fast food, and we don't eat out a whole lot.

When I got pregnant with Payton, I got super sick. I would lay on the sofa watching Food Network and wish I could cook the stuff they were making. So I started... after I was able to start eating again.

In today's economy, having a hobby is considered a luxury. Well, everyone has to eat and chances are you are the one cooking for your family. Make it Fun! Make cooking and trying new recipes your hobby. It won't cost you anything extra - maybe a new spice here or there. There are so many great websites out there to help. 

We were in a serious eating rut - the same few dishes on repeat. My friend Joanne got me a subscription to Food Network Magazine. So I made it my goal to cook at least 2 new things out of each issue. Some issues are chuck full of dishes Bob will eat - other issues, like the recent Chocolate issue, not so much. 

Subscribe Today

My "system" is to pull out recipes I'd like to try. They go in our recipe binder (a three ring binder with page protectors - nothing fancy) and then as I plan dinner for the week I go through and decide what we are having. If I haven't made the recipe within a month, I toss it. If we like it, it goes in a page protector. 

Now, I know some of you are rolling your eyes at the menu planning. We hear about it everywhere. We hear about it everywhere because it works. I used to go to the store and toss the makings for all kinds of dishes in the cart. And every day I would ask Bob what he wanted for dinner. We would go in circles. Or I would end out going to the store to spend more money on the makings for another meal. 

When I plan out the week, I ask Bob once what he would like for the week. He gives me a couple of suggestions and I fill in the rest. I don't set in stone what we are going to eat each day. I just know what I have the ingredients for and pull out the meat for that meal. 

So that's what works for us. We are saving money this way. We aren't stressing about what to have for dinner each night. And I get to share my new "hobby" with you guys. Win Win Win I'd say. So on to the recipe from last nights dinner.

I found this recipe back in 2008 and have been making it regularly ever since. Now you can feel free to follow that recipe - which I do when we have company. But for every night eating, I've changed it up and cheated a bit.

2 tbs oil
2 12 oz cans Albacore Tuna in water, undrained (or 4 5 oz cans if that's what you have)
3 cans Rotel, undrained - I use mild for the kids and Bob
1 can Hunt's tomato paste
4 celery stalks, chopped
1/2 large red onion, chopped
1 package Real Bacon Pieces
seasoning, we like Tony Chachere's Creole seasoning but Zatarains cajun is good too
rice, prepared per the package directions - we like Jasmine rice with this dish

1. Heat oil in a large skillet, add celery and onion, saute until translucent.
2. Add all of your canned goods. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes until thickened.
3. Serve with the rice, bacon and seasoning of your choice. No seasoning for the kiddos though.

1 comment:

JennyKozar said...

Looks yummy!!! Thanks for the background Nd the great ideas!!