Contagious Cooking

I think cooking is contagious. The more beautiful and tantalizing pictures of food I see on Pinterest or the text pics or FB statues my friends send me of the super awesome dishes they so effortlessly whip up (Yes, Amy, Kate and Hilary, I mean you 😉 ), the more my taste buds start to water and I get this overwhelming urge to become Suzy Homemaker, not that I already don’t love being a homemaker and stay at home mom. I do… but cooking? I don’t MIND cooking, but it isn’t my most favorite activity. We eat. I am not saying I serve up ramen or canned soup everyday, I just usually make fast and easy recipes. Boring. LOL. Like spaghetti, tacos, nachos, stir fry, baked chicken. Not that there is anything wrong with that, its good for you, good food, healthy options, I just have never had that JOY of cooking bug that so many of my friends and family seem to have. I think some people are born with restless cooking syndrome. I think restless cooking syndrome is where your legs automatically take you to the kitchen, especially when  house hunting, your hands have this uncontrollable urge to stir, beat, whisk, cut, chop, slice, etc, your taste buds are heightened so you have this innate ability to know exactly how much is a pinch, dash, or sprinkle.

I am beginning to realize that cooking can be…. FUN. Now, I am not saying I am going to whip up a 5 star 15 course meal everyday complete with sorbet between “courses” to clease your palet… BUT I am enjoying finding fun (still easy and simple) recipes. I made a super yummy salad this weekend. Next time, I think I will grill up steat strips, salmon, or another kind of fish, to put on top… It is a Paula Dean recipe that amazingly doesn’t call for a tub of butter! I KNOW! I almost died of shock myself. This is what I made, and I even took a picture of my masterpiece! It was so good, easy, fun. I am starting to enjoy this chopping thing… it is kinda theraputic! LOL.

here is the recipe. It is called Black Bean and Avacado salad, but as you can (hopefully) see from my picture (if it attached right, for some reason I can’t see it in my “add new post” page, but can in my blog preview…anyhoo) there is much more to it than just black beans and avacado. OH MY GOSH. I love avacado! MMMM. Both my girls DEVOURED this salad. Yes, you heard that right. THEY ATE SALAD! A toddler and preschooler 🙂 I was quite excited, then again, my kids love healthy food so hey! I hope they stay that way!

http://www.pauladeen.com/recipes/recipe_view/southwestern_avocado_and_black_bean_salad/ 

Later this week I am going to be making this! http://blogs.babble.com/family-kitchen/2010/10/11/dinner-from-the-real-housewives-of-new-jersey-teresas-tagliatelle/

I also invented, sorda, as I am sure there are SIMILAR things out there, a recipe. It is almost like a mexican version of Chicken Parmesean. I only came up with it because I had not been to the store in ohhhh forever!? So, I got out what I had that I thought would go together and came up with a dish that was OMG SOOOOO incredibly DELICIOUS. My husband and 3.5 year old kept going on and on about it, my 16 month old kept asking for more and saying mama yum yum yum! SO, it was a hit. It was easy. It was quick. It was cheap… Here it is:

Ingredients:
chicken breasts
dark red kidney beans, but next time I will use black beans. either would be fine,
salsa
saltine crackers (though next time I am trying it with tortilla chips)
Shredded cheese (I used 4 cheese mexican blend)
Pepper

thaw chicken and lay it in baking dish. COVER generously with salsa, then add beans on top, then crumble the cracker crumbs on top, top with shredded cheese, add a dash of pepper. Bake (I baked uncovered) at 350* for about 30 min, or until chicken is done.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did! SUPER simple. SUPER delicious! I am really starting to get this “joy of cooking” bug that some have… which is why I say cooking is contagious 😉 I can’t wait to be in our NEW HOME to cook!! YAY!

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