Yep… this non-cook is trying to cook again.
It’s a well known fact that my sister is the best baker and cook in the family. Flakey bread that melts in your mouth, chocolatey cupcakes with expert piping, hearty bowls of Alfredo laden pasta, gooey raisin oatmeal cookies, creamy vegetable soups and sugary cinnamon buns – she can make it all! I on the other hand, inherited none of that passion or skill for working with food. A particular spaghetti incident (think flaming noodles) cast me out of the kitchen at the young age of fourteen and left me with no desire to return.
Since my little one was born, the hubby and I have been surviving off quick, pre-made meals, usually thrown together at the last minute and easy to toss in the oven. I’m already a self-declared “horrible cook,” so add baby induced exhaustion to the mix and what little creativity and energy I can muster towards cooking quickly disappears.
However, about a month ago, a brief moment of homemaker goodness appeared and out of a cloud of flour arose a piping hot bowl of chilli and soft, buttery dinner rolls. It’s highly doubtful that a moment like this will happen more than once in a millennium but hey – it did happen, one must celebrate!
And so, while hordes of Vancouver foodies scoff at my simple delight, I will share with you my first, real attempt at an after baby, homemade dinner.
Crock Pot Chili Recipe
This is basically just your average chili recipe. Super easy for anyone on the go. I love vegetables in my chili – the more the better. I also can’t handle spice, so this is the mildest recipe you’ll ever come across.
Since I’m already buying canned tomato sauce and canned dice tomatoes, I like to pick up the ones that come pre-seasoned with garlic, basil, etc. This makes it less work on my end since I typically don’t buy fresh spices and am the worst at flavouring.
– 2 lb ground beef
– 1 Yellow Onion
– 1 Red Bell Pepper
– 1 Green Bell Pepper
– 1 large Carrot (shredded)
– 2 Tomatoes (diced)
– 1 large can of Kidney Beans
– 2 cans diced Tomatoes
– 1 large can (28 oz) tomato sauce
– 1/2 teaspoon of Garlic Powder
– Salt to taste
– Pepper to taste
– 1 teaspoon dried Oregano
– 1 teaspoon dried Basil
– Grated Cheese
- Place meat in a frying pan over medium heat to brown. Drain any grease.
- Dice onion and bell peppers, add to frying pan to soften. Add a pinch of salt, pepper, garlic powder and basil to flavour.
- Place beef and cooked vegetables in slow cooker. Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, beans, shredded carrots and chopped mushrooms. Add remaining seasoning, oregano, basil and garlic as preferred.
- Cover and cook for 5 hours on high or 8 hours on low. Serve with grated cheese on top.
30 Minute Rolls Recipe:
Being that I am not a regular baker, I don’t have a proper mixer and thus made it the old fashioned way – by hand. The dough was a little sticky when rolling into balls but I resisted the urge to add extra flour and they turned out fine. It took them 15 minutes in my oven to get to a nice golden brown top. By the time they finished baking, this recipe did take longer than 30 minutes (but not by much) and I was impressed none-the-less.
– 1 cup + 2 tablespoons warm water
– 1/3 cup oil
– 2 tablespoons active dry yeast
– 1/4 cup sugar
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1 egg
– 3 1/2 cups flour (either bread flour or all-purpose will work.)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine water, oil, yeast and sugar. Allow to rest for 15 minutes.
- Mix in 2 cups of flour, salt, and the egg. Knead the remaining flour 1/2 cup at a time.
- Roll dough into 12 balls and place on a greased baking sheet. Let dough rest for 10 minutes.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes, until tops are golden.
30 Minute Rolls Recipe from Real Mom Kitchen
My cooking history may have more misses than hits – but this meal was definitely a repeat!