HELP! I Need Your Recipes!

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If you know me, you know I’m NOT a cook. But as my appetite grows bigger and bigger the more I’m realizing I need to find more things to cook and fast, or I’m going to turn Spawnie into a double cheeseburger meal! I’m not a big chef… Not in the least. Usually the thought of cooking a new recipe sends me into a mild panic attack to be followed by a migraine as I try to decipher the steps to make it.

Last year I took a stab at making more foods. I joined a frozen meal making group with my church, and made 3 frozen meals to store… Two of them are still in my freezer. At least when I’m ready to make them the directions are on the bag as there’s no way I’d remember how to cook what’s in them.

My friend gave me a recipe for stomboli, and it’s become one of my favorites to make. The first couple of times I made it, it took me several hours to translate the ingredient: “A clove of garlic”? what the heck is that? “Genova Salami,” as opposed to regular?.. I had no idea there were so many kinds of a simple meat. I bought my first bottle of olive oil to make that recipe, and it came out really good!

About my third time making it for us I got a little cocky and rushed it. I accidentally turned the oven up an extra 100 degrees and sadly, this was the result:Luckily I have such a sweet husband cause although it was burnt black, he ate it anyway and told me the inside was good.

I’ve gotten a little more confidence since then and started making things that I was craving from scratch. Like beignets and peach cobbler for example. And I was beginning to stock up on what are basic cooking and baking essentials for many.While I haven’t personally felt like I’ve succeeded in accomplishing my goal of “learning how to cook” I have crossed off the Baby Bucket List the desire to “feel more comfortable in the kitchen.” Now that I’m more comfortable, I need to know what else to make.

Cookbooks intimidate me. I usually judge a recipe by:
1. How pretty the picture looks
2. How many ingredients I understand.
3. How many ingredients there are (more than 5-8 breaks me into a nervous sweat reading it).
4. How long it takes to make.

Usually flipping through books I only spot a select few that fit my immediate qualifications. I was getting good at eating healthy when I had the goal of getting pregnant, now I’ve been slacking a little. As a part of my “Future Mama” journey on Modern Mom, they hooked me up with nutritionist, Julie Hammerstein, and she was able to give me A LOT of good tips on what types of meals are good, and what to make sure I’m eating, so now I’m more inspired to MAKE stuff.

So I’ve decided to turn to you… My fellow blog friends! Please please please leave your recipe ideas! I’ve started using which is great, but it’s sometimes hard to use if I’m not sure what I’m looking to cook, and daunting when people leave all of those extra comments about what to add/take out.

So if you know something that would be easy for a culinary talent-deprived mom-to-be please share! I’m hoping to get quite a few recipes down pat before Spawnie gets here! If you have some already written on your blog I’ve put up a linky for you to add it. just put the name of the recipe in the title and link to that post!

Also please let me know book ideas and anything else you think would be helpful!

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  1. I LOVE this recipe! And I think it’s pretty easy

    Ravioli “Lasagna”

    Makes 8 servings

    * 1/4 tsp salt
    * 1/2 tsp black pepper
    * 1 jar (26 oz) pasta sauce
    * 1 tbsp olive oil
    * 2 small zucchini (3/4 lb total), trimmed and cut into half moons
    * 2 cups mushrooms, trimmed and quartered (from 10 oz package)
    * 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
    * 1 pkg (12 oz) fully cooked turkey meatballs, quartered
    * 2 pkg (9 oz each) four cheese ravioli
    * 1 bag (8 oz) shredded mozzarella

    1. Heat oven to 375°F. In bowl, stir salt, pepper and sauce. Coat a 13×9×2″ baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Ladle 1/2 cup sauce over bottom.
    2. In a large nonstick sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add zucchini, mushrooms and Italian seasoning. Cook, stirring, 5 minutes.
    3. Scatter a third of the meatball pieces over sauce on bottom of pan. Top with one package ravioli, 1 cup vegetable mixture, 1 cup of the cheese and second third of the meatball pieces. Top with remaining ravioli, vegetables, meatballs, sauce and cheese. Cover with foil.
    4. Bake at 375°F for 30 minutes. Uncover dish and bake 10 more minutes or until cheese is melted and lightly browned.

  2. I don’t know if you read it already, but The Pioneer Woman Cooks ( the biggest help when I was learning to cook – she has lots of pictures and step-by-step instructions, and makes great comfort and tex-mex inspired food…the bf loves when I make one of her recipes, haha.

    Alli – kid friend answers on how the world works!

  3. I linked to Puree of Carrot Soup. It’s delicious, hearty, and really tastes mostly like potato soup with a hint of carrot, although it does look awful orange!

    It’s from the book: The Vegetarian 5-Ingredient Gourmet by Nava Atlas, which has a lot of fantastic, EASY recipes with only 5 ingredients, so it shouldn’t scare you away!

  4. Sorry, I don’t have a blog so I can’t link. Here’s a quick and easy “one pot” recipe.

    Creamy One-Pot Pasta

    Recipe By :The Pampered Chef Test Kitchens
    Serving Size : 6 Preparation Time :0:00
    Categories : Main Dishes

    Amount Measure Ingredient — Preparation Method
    ——– ———— ——————————–
    4 large garlic cloves — peeled
    1 (7 ounce) jar sun-dried tomatoes in oil — undrained
    3 (14.5 ounce) cans chicken broth (5-1/4 cups)
    1 pound uncooked penne pasta
    1 head broccoli (2 cups small florets)
    2 medium carrots — peeled
    4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel)
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
    Grated fresh Parmesan cheese and snipped fresh basil — optional

    Thinly slice garlic using Paring Knife.

    Place garlic and 1 tablespoon oil from sun-dried tomatoes into (8-qt.) Stockpot.

    Cook garlic over medium heat 2-3 minutes or until garlic is golden brown, stirring occasionally.

    Remove from heat; add broth.

    Return to burner; increase heat to high.

    Cover and bring to a boil.

    Stir in pasta; cover and simmer vigorously 8-10 minutes or until pasta is almost cooked but still firm, stirring occasionally using a rubbler spatula.

    Meanwhile, cut broccoli into small florets; place into Bowl.

    Cut carrots in half lengthwise; thinly slice crosswise on a bias using Santoku Knife.

    Drain sun-dried tomatoes; pat dry with a paper towel.

    Slice tomatoes into thin strips.

    Add carrots and tomatoes to bowl.

    Cut cream cheese into cubes.

    Add vegetables, cream cheese, salt and black pepper to Stockpot.

    Stir until cream cheese is melted and fully incorporated.

    Reduce heat to medium; cover and cook an additional 2-4 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

    Serve immediately Large Round Bowl.

    If desired, top with grated fresh Parmesan cheese and snipped fresh basil.

    Source: “The Pampered Chef”

    NOTES : For a heartier version of this recipe, add grilled turkey Italian sausage or sliced grilled chicken breasts to pasta. If desired, 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes can be substituted for the sun-dried tomatoes.

  5. I’m not going to post any recipes, but I will suggest you get yourself a George Foreman grill. It is a lifesaver for cooking food fast and healthy. I use mine all the time to grill burgers, chicken, salmon, smoked sausage, sausage links, etc.

    And I hollered at the thought of you turning your oven up 100 degrees! 🙂

  6. My husbands favorite meal is Shepards Pie and it’s a shinch to make:
    1/2 package of ground beef
    1 package of chicken gravy mix (I use Mccormick’s and follow directions on package)
    A box of mashed potato flakes (make the 6-8 serving direction on the box)
    A bag of your favorite frozen veggies.

    Turn oven to 350F. Brown the ground beef and place in the bottom of a square casserole dish. Make the potatoes and gravy. Layer frozen veggies on top of ground beef (you might not use the whole package). Pour gravy over top of veggies and ground beef. Then top it off with the mashed potatoes. Place in oven for 30 mins and serve.

    If you want to mix it up a little change the veggies or make homemade mashed potatoes. I love this with mashed sweet potatoes too. If you want to make it even easier you could buy the frozen bags of potato/sweet potatoes to make the mashed potatoes. I also like to add salt and pepper to the potatoes beforehand but if you are afraid of adding too little or too much just let everyone add their own.

  7. This recipe is so yummy. It might seem complicated but it isn’t too bad. I used feta cheese instead of goat cheese.

    And this recipe is a family favorite:

    To make it easier I use chicken breasts and bake them with the basil leaves on and chop it all up together. I also cube the potatoes and boil them until they are tender.

  8. Try…. She posts pictures of how she’s making it. And it’s almost always cheap and easy. Not always the healthiest, but very good. And she does have some healthy ones on there. I go there and for most of my recipes. I also love the allrecipes, woman’s day, and mccormick’s recipe finder apps on my iphone. I get so many from those 3. Good luck!

  9. I love! I have found these gems on there and they are now a staple at my house….
    Chicken and Biscuts
    (16 ounce) package frozen mixed vegetables
    2 1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken
    1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
    3/4 cup milk
    1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

    1 1/2 cups biscuit/baking mix
    2/3 cup milk
    1 (2.8 ounce) can French-fried onions

    In a large bowl, combine the vegetables, chicken, soup, milk, 1 cup cheese and bacon if desired. Pour into an ungreased 13-in. x 9-in. x 2-in. baking dish.
    Cover and bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.
    Meanwhile, in another bowl, combine biscuit mix and milk. Drop the batter by tablespoonfuls onto the chicken mixture.
    Bake, uncovered, for 20-22 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown. Top with the onions and remaining cheese. Bake 3-4 minutes longer or until the cheese is melted.

    and if you are need a little spice in your day:
    Beef and cornbread bake
    1 pound ground beef
    1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed
    3/4 cup Pace® Picante Sauce
    1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
    1 (16 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
    1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
    1 (8 ounce) package corn muffin mix
    Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
    Cook beef and oregano in skillet until browned. Pour off fat. Add picante sauce, tomato sauce and corn. Heat through. Stir in cheese. Pour into 2-quart shallow baking dish. Mix corn muffin mix according to package directions. Spread over beef mixture.
    Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Let stand 10 minutes.


  10. Try Food Network’s “5 Ingredient Fix”, each meal is only 5 ingredients or less.

    I have quite of few go-to meals that are easy and quick (20 minutes or less for the entire meal). However, I tend to experiment and toss a bunch of flavors together so I don’t have a lot of “recipes”, but more so techniques that I cook with. Here are a few recipes I could think of.

    Pan Seared Rib-Eyed Steak (from Alton Brown)

    Lemon Baked Chicken

    2 Spanish chorizos, sliced (or smoked sausage)
    2 cups chicken broth
    2 cups long grain rice
    2 cups chick peas, cooked
    Sofrito mix to taste

    In a medium caldero add the chorizo and cook until golden brown. Add the other ingredients, season, cover and cook over medium heat for 20-25 minutes.

    Lettuce Wraps

    16 Boston Bibb or butter lettuce leaves
    1 pound lean ground beef (or italian sausage)
    1 tablespoon cooking oil
    1 large onion, chopped
    2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
    2 tablespoons soy sauce
    2 teaspoons powdered ginger
    1 tablespoon vinegar

    1.Rinse whole lettuce leaves and pat dry, being careful not tear them. Set aside.

    2.In a medium skillet over high heat, brown the ground beef in 1 tablespoon of oil, stirring often and reducing the heat to medium, if necessary. Drain, and set aside to cool. Cook the onion in the same pan, stirring frequently. Add the garlic, soy sauce, ginger and vinegarto the onions, and stir. Stir in the meat.

    3.Arrange lettuce leaves around the outer edge of a large serving platter, and pile meat mixture in the center. To serve, allow each person to spoon a portion of the meat into a lettuce leaf. Wrap the lettuce around the meat like a burrito.

    Baked Fish with Avocado Butter
    -pepper and salt

    1. Season fish with salt/pepper and bake the fish at 375 for about 10 minutes or until done to the degree you like it.
    2. Mix avocado pieces and butter (a 1:1 ratio)
    3. Remove fish from oven, put butter on top and allow it to melt.

    You can change the compound butter and make rosemary/garlic butter with a 1:2 ratio of rosemary/garlic to butter. The butters work well on top of steaks as well-yummy.

    Apple Walnut Chicken Salad
    -Blue Cheese crumbles
    -Apple sliced thin
    -Walnuts, toasted
    -Grapes, seedless
    -Grilled/baked chicken (great way to use a leftover)

    -mix ingredients together, top with favorite vingerette dressing and enjoy.

    VARATIONS: Use pear instead of apple, add sliced purple onions and balsamic vineger as a gressing. Add dried cranberries instead of grapes.

  11. Oh, every recipe I posted here for you falls into your criteria of not very many ingredients and not too long to make–unless you count the actual cook/chill time…but you don’t count that do you? If you can whip it together in 10 min then it’s ok if it cooks for an hour, right? 😉

  12. Unfortunately, my blog is not about cooking and I only have maybe 2 yummy natural-like recipes on there, so hence – no linky.

    BUT! I do have a great simple recipe that is tried and true and absolutely delicious on a night when you are pooped and hungry still.

    1 cup of ketchup (any kind)
    1 can or 20 oz. bottle of Coke (whatever you have)
    chicken breasts (frozen or thawed)


    Throw all of it into a crock pot or sautee pan, sprinkle some salt and pepper to your liking. Cover pot. Simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. Done. Delicious. Hubby and Spawnie will look at you admiringly… :o) I serve it with some brown rice and salad or squash.

    My best, Lynn

  13. I have two ideas you should check out that really helped my cooking skills grow, first is a blog by the pioneer woman, its and she does step by step pictures of her cooking or baking it really does help so check her out. And he other is the magazine everyday food by martha stewart it is agood one to get you going simple recipes for everyday food. Hope those help! Good luck it just takes time so be patient with yourself

  14. I know someone has already said this but I wanted to second this suggestion: 5 Ingredient Fix with Claire Robinson on the Food Network. You will love it! Easy to prepare meals, easy to understand instructions, and you can look up her recipes/videos anytime on

  15. The website I linked to is one my girlfriends from my old ward and I do. It’s full of simple recipes. The rule is it has to be made for under $10 and include normal kitchen ingredients.

    Also, I think you’ll like this website: You just enter in the foods you have around your home, and they give you the recipes to match! It’s amazing!

  16. I agree with those who have suggested the pioneer woman. She has been a live saver with my cooking skills. (or lack thereof) I left a link with a recipe for baked ravioli. It is one of the easiest things to make. And only required 3 ingredients!! Wanna know another perk? My toddler even eats it! 🙂

    Good luck with your cooking journey!

  17. Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo:

    The alfredo sauce is the key thing here and the rest is up to you. I prefer more broccoli than chicken in mine.

    Alfredo sauce:
    16oz heavy whipping cream
    16-32oz Italian blend cheese depending on how thick and cheesy you want it to be (I generally use 24oz)
    1 1/2 TBS Garlic Powder to taste (use more or less depending on you)
    1 TBS Chives

    mix the sauce with chicken (grilled, broiled, or baked), cooked pasta, and steamed broccoli.

  18. BTW Taste of Home has some wonderful cook books. They even have a section for super cheap meals.

    If you dare to experiment I recommend casseroles. You pretty much cannot go wrong with vege all, pasta or rice, and creamed soups (cream of chicken, cream of potato, cream of mushroom…) or cheese.

  19. I have a healthy breakfast recipe that is super easy. I use a small crock pot and put a slow cooker liner in it. Add 2 cups of water 1/2 cup of steel cut oats (it has to be steel cut oats, quaker has some now!), sprinkle of cinnamon, and about a handful of your fav. dried fruit chopped into small bits. Set on lowest setting at night before you go to bed and wake up in the morning and scoop some into a bowl. Add milk and brown sugar to taste and voila a hot healthy breakfast waiting for you when you get up!

  20. I want to recommend a cookbook, “How to Cook without a Book” by Pam Anderson. It is a great cookbook for teaching cooking skills, and the recipes are designed to be fast, healthy and easy to prepare without a lot of fancy ingredients. Good luck.

  21. Here are a few good ones on my blog that are simple:

    Kettle Corn:

    Chocolate Dipped Shortbread Cookies:

    Sundried Tomato and Pesto Brie:

    Yummy Summer Salad w/ pecans, strawberries, blueberries, and mandarin oranges.

    I periodically put recipes on my blog and you can find them easily if you visit and click on Emma in the chef hat on the right sidebar.

  22. I like for new recipes as she goes step by step through each recipe and they are usually really good. She has pretty pictures and simple ingredients too, which helps.

    For how to do basic stuff that may not be so basic, like boiling potatoes or eggs, or roasting a chicken – I like the Joy of Cooking cookbook. I don’t use many of the recipes in it, but it’s great for explaining things that other cookbooks take for granted that you know.

  23. Please check out the recipe tab on my blog Gracious Rain. Seriously, I don’t really do recipes that are tough–and we always try to show a nice picture. Come see what you think.

    I teach HypnoBirthing Childbirth Education classes and have to teach about nutrition all the time. I linked you to a great, EASY egg dish for tons of yummy protein.

  24. BTW, the Sweet Potato pie recipe is for one pie. If you want 4 pies use 6 sweet potatoes and just double the other ingredients except for the butter.

  25. I posted to linky some of the crock pot recipes…as a new mom crock pots are great because you don’t have to make dinner around 4-5 you can start any time between 7 am-noon and dinner can be ready around 5-6…very doable for new mommies…
    just found your blog, great stuff!

  26. I have been a mother for the past 8 years and I have yet to conquer serious meal. I have two boys and at this point they will not be craving my food when they ae away at college. I’m glad you did this post so I can better prepare meals for my family.


    Sorry I don’t have a reciepe to add:(

  27. Hi! I know this is kinda off topic nevertheless I’d figured I’d
    ask. Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest authoring a blog post or vice-versa?
    My website discusses a lot of the same subjects as yours and I feel we could greatly benefit from each other.
    If you happen to be interested feel free to send me an email.
    I look forward to hearing from you! Wonderful blog by the way!

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