1. White Chicken Chili 2. Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls with Caramel Frosting 3. Chicken and Black Bean Rice Bake 4. BBQ Chicken Soup
I'm not very good at cooking.
At least, this is what I used to tell myself. Really, I think it's just that I don't like doing it because I don't like food that much.
Now baking. I'm really good at baking. I could bake all day long. Because I could eat brownies/cupcakes/cookies/ pie/etc constantly and not get tired of the sugar.
Even though I don't really like eating "real" food, I've always had major insecurities about my lack of kitchen experience because I thought it would make me a bad wife and mom.
These insecurities were magnified when some of my then future in-laws made comments about how making a casserole wasn't really cooking (That's all I know how to make!) and expressed shock when I confessed I didn't know how to eat a fresh peach (So we only had canned produce growing up...My parents were super busy and stressed) around the time Jeff and I had announced our engagement.
The thing is, Jeff's mom is like an uber cook. For dinner they have all these sides, and even have a separate bowl for the salad (salad=Jello-O...It took my sister-in-law and I a little while to figure that out). She makes stuffing from scratch. She even makes homemade cinnamon rolls.
How was I supposed to live up to that with my Kraft mac-and-cheese and casseroles and canned green beans?
I was so worried about the idea that bad cook=bad wife that I got busy in the kitchen for the first time ever. And I did pretty well actually making meals.
For a while.
And then I got bored of it again.
But now that Lil TadPoole is on the way, I'm recommitting myself to refining my culinary skills.
Because I do think that family meals are more important than they ever were. And it's not like I really do anything all day anyway. (Srsly.)
I've started researching this whole "meal planning" concept, and decided that it's really for me. I am so indecisive that a lot of the time I just don't know what I want to eat and therefore don't know what to cook.
So I'm going to start making "weekly menus" and doing actual grocery shopping with "shopping lists" and maybe even start "couponing" and things like that.
And that's why I decided to blog about this little defect of mine and my attempt to remedy it. Because once you put it on the Internet, it's REAL.
Pics or it never happened.
If you're culinary illiterate like me, I like these sites for recipes:
Mrs. Harding Cooks
For meal planning inspiration:
I Heart Organizing's method for meal planning
Little Birdie Secrets's meal planning story
Real Simple's A Month of Dinners
Henry Happened's printable menu
The Scrap Shoppe's meal planning organization
Pink Pistachio's tips for meal planning
And seriously. You can find anything on Pinterest. I found all of those by searching "meal planning".
Note 1: Jeff has always been super supportive of my attempts to cook. Even if it is just Kraft mac-and-cheese. My in-laws have also been nice about it overall.
Note 2: I've done my grocery shopping and I'm making all four of those dishes up there this week. I've made 1 and 4 before and they are GOOD.