Friday, February 17, 2006

My Hot Date Tonight (Exciting times for a 40-year-old housewife)

I hate to cook. I never hated it before I got married. My dh is picky and doesn't like 3/4 of what I prepare. He's a hot and spicy, Mexican and meat and potatoes kind of guy and I'm a bland and mild Mexican and Italian kind of gal. That sounds funny. I actually am 1/8 Italian, but I digress.

Our family is having several issues with food at the moment.

1) DS is on a growth spurt. (I think this one will last through his teen years.)
2) Mom is on an unneeded growth spurt
3) Dad is on a growth spurt, but at 6'5 he only needs to lose 10 maybe 15 pounds.
4) Snacks in this household are un-nutritious and unhealthy (think Goldfish crackers, processed gunk, store-bought muffins, store-bought cookies, etc.)
5) DH and I are starting to have that NO YOU COOK DINNER battle.
6) There's never anything to eat.
7) They know our first names at the local Subway, Taco Bell, Taco Johns and Wendy's

We are in a rut with our dinners.

Here it is 7:00 at night and I won out...DH couldn't stand it any longer. He's cooking dinner. I won't be eating. He's making bacon and eggs. He fries the eggs in the bacon grease and the smell alone makes me sick. I'll have yet another meatloaf sandwich for dinner.

So...time to check my arsenal of cookbooks.

Make-a-Mix and More Make-a-Mix (or something like that), two books I bought off ebay a few year ago. I need to actually MAKE the mixes.
The Freezer Cooking Manual from 30 Day Gourmet: A Month of Meals Made Easy
My old white three-ring binder full of my favorite Weight Watchers recipes that the whole family will eat.

Yes, I need to become a freezer cooker again. You know the type, they spend two days cooking, preparing, throwing it altogether and into the freezer so they can prepare dinner at a moment's notice -- well, enough time to bake in the oven.

The 30-day Gourmet book is an excellent book on how to become a freezer cooker. However, their recipes suck. Our library has Frozen Assets which I need to check out.

Tonight, the kitchen table and I have a date. We're doing some major menu planning. Tomorrow I'm hitting the store and Sunday I'll, gasp, cook all day.

My favorite freezer-friendly recipe that my whole family loves is Bean Burrito Casserole. Recipe below.
Hopefully sitting down and doing this will make my life easier. Hopefully we'll have some decent snacks at our fingertips. Hopefully DH and I won't have that NO YOU COOK DINNER argument.

I said it before, but I'll say it again: I hate to cook.

Makes two 9X13" pans
2 pounds ground beef
1 package taco seasoning (I use about 4 tsp)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 large can of refried beans
1 can olives
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
20-24 flour tortillas, burrito size
1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1 can condensed nacho cheese soup
8 ounces sour cream
Brown hamburger. Add taco seasoning according to directions.Add cumin and chili powder. Add olives, breaking them up with your fingers (or chop them). Stir in refried beans. Mix soups and sour cream in bowl. Add enough milk to make it pourable but still very thick. Spread about 1/2 cup soup mixture into each of two sprayed 9x13 pans. Divide meat mixture evenly between tortillas. Roll enchilada style. Place seam side down in pans. If any meat mixture remains, spread it over the top of the burritos. Pour soup mixture over burritos dividing evenly between pans. Top with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees 20-30 minutes. If frozen, let thaw and bake about 40 minutes. If frozen bake about an hour and ahalf.


M__ said...

My dh came home the other night and I actually had a hot meal for him! He was amazed! I love to eat out, hate to cook. He has learned over the years not to expect much from me.

Freezer cooking is a good idea. I should do that. I have the book, just need to dust it off. I did the crockpot the past two nights. LOVE that thing!

You have Taco Johns.....lucky girl! We had one of those in my college town and I was there often.

Frankie said...

I love my crockpot too -- so much that I bought a second. Have you ever had baked potatoes made in a crockpot? Yum. I make meatloaf in mine as well.

As for Taco Johns -- I did grow up in Cheyenne, Wyoming -- headquarters for Taco Johns! That's where it all started 30 some years ago.

I actually prefer Taco Bell, but I like the big nacho platter thing at TJ's. That is the one restaurant that my husband never complains about visiting.

BridgetJ said...

You guys are making me hungry. Nachos Bellgrande...ummmmm...I can feel my a*s going grande just thinking about it.

I totally suck at cooking. Even my kids hate my cooking. We go out to Mexican on Wednesdays and Chinese on Thursdays. I've been trying new things, but I can't help it. I just hate cooking!

Good luck to you on your new cooking mission.

Peace, BridgetJ