Just Heather
Out of the Box

I’m not much of a cook—wait, that’s not quite accurate. I cook all the time, but I’m not so big on “from scratch” cooking. My motto has always been “If you make it at home, it’s homemade.” My home-baked goodies are courtesy of Pillsbury and Betty Crocker. I do tend to use a lot of fresh meat and veggies in my meals, but I cook nothing elaborate. As a result, it is very easy to get stuck in a rut, cooking the same meals week after week. I’m not an adventurous eater, but I’ve been trying to branch out a bit.

Chelle posted an easy Egg Muffin Sandwich recipe the other day. She, of course, made her English muffins from scratch. When I decided to try it for Spencer—who stops at McD’s for an egg mcmuffin every single time we’re awake early enough—I bought a package instead. I had fully intended to use her recipe—really, I did—but the sale price on the packaged goods called out to me louder than the full price on the yeast I needed for the homemade variety. I think they turned out decent, though I don’t do eggs so I wouldn’t know personally. My big clue is he’s been taking them to work for breakfast every morning and not heading straight for the fridge when he gets home.

As for dinner, I’ve become rather addicted to All Recipes in the last few months. Did you know you could search solely in the “Quick and Easy” category? I picked up on that real fast. You can also search by ingredient if you have something you want to use up before it expires. Last night, I fixed Chicken and Dumplings. I’ve never made them before since dumplings require actual work so when I found this recipe that called for my favorite doughboy I just had to try it. Of course, I didn’t have any of the actual ingredients listed. I’m famous for substitutions (yet another great feature of AllRecipes.com).

Instead, I made a close facsimile with what I had on hand:

  • 4 boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 cans condensed cream of chicken soup
  • salt and pepper (I had this one!)
  • 1 11-oz package of refrigerated breadsticks

The breadsticks took longer to cook than the biscuits would have, but I liked the way it turned out. In fact, I’ll be having the last bowl for lunch. Poor Spencer is stuck with a turkey sandwich for about the gazillionth workday in a row. I’m working on a solution for that one, though with the fresh lettuce from our garden he doesn’t seem to mind too much.

2 Responses to “Out of the Box”

  1. We cook a few times a week, not counting grilling. I like trying new recipes if:
    A. I have the ingredients and
    B. it isn’t a bazillion steps in the recipe.

    Needless to say, usually the same stuff week after week..sigh..

  2. When I get on a cooking kick, All Recipes is a good one. I tend to like to make really easy dishes that are experimental though. I’m usually the only one who gets a kick out of them.:)