Monday, May 19, 2008

Tatertot Casserole and thoughts about cooking

Something about me: I don't really enjoying cooking. Nor am I very good at it. I can read a recipe, but sometimes I get stuck on simple-ish things. Like, how long am I supposed to stir this? Is this supposed to boil rappidly or lightly?

Nor am I very gifted at putting things together of my own concoction. I will open my fridge and my pantry and declare nothing to eat.

But there are people like my mom, or my brother-in-law, who could step up behind me, give me a thwump on the head, push me aside and AbFab gourmet meal.

How do they do that? I didn't even know I had half the things they found to work with.

I know it's my own fault. Ratatouille says it well "Anyone can cook!"I guess I should have tried to look past the potato peeling and chicken deboning when I was younger and gleaned more from my mother. A wonderful cook.

And I'm sure people are sick of hearing me say that I don't like to cook. I actually WANT to cook for my family. I wish I loved it! So just do it already, right!?

So I have been trying. I've been sucking it up, bucking up, praying, taking notes from my friends and my mother and just trying to get myself to be a better cook. I think it's working. I think God is doing something in me. I sometimes go backwards though and find I serve not enough protein or a boxed meal too often or complainy heart. But I bounce back up after a while. Usually the thought of my poor family wilting and turning a funky color from too many chemicals snaps me back in to shape!

I get better with every year I've been married. It's becoming more and more natural. And in my attempt to eat healthfully and provide good nutritious food for my growing family, I've been doing more research and coming across delicious things to eat. Plus, I would like all of my daughters to grow up with a love for cooking.

So I'm trying.

If you're looking for yummy recipes, you won't find too many here. But I'll throw in some tasty treats that we find ourselves enjoying now and then. I recommend SV and TB who have recently posted oh so good sounding dishes. It was TB who reminded m of this recipe when she recently posted about 2 tiny kittens she's fostering named Tater and Tot.

Here is a recipe for Tater-tot Casserole. I love casseroles. They're so warm and filling.

1 lb. ground chicken (or turkey or beef)

1 bag of tater tots

1 can cream of mushroom

1 can cream of chicken

1 can of evaporated milk

Preheat oven to 350
Brown meat, drain and cover bottom of 9x13 inch pan.

Lay tater tots evenly over top of the turkey.

Combine cream of chicken, cream of mushroom and evaporated milk, mix, then pour over top of the tater tots.

Bake for one hour.

It's easy to make and good tasting. If you like Tater-tots. Which I really do. But that's a secret not everyone knows. Until now.


Blessed Mama of 4 said...

ooh, I got to do that one... Noah should make it... that's a good idea.

cooking - you'll get there, you are getting there...just dive in, don't be afraid to screw it up, that's the best way to have an unexpected masterpiece (and just make sure there's some cheese and crackers as a back up... just in case - you probably won't need em, just in case!)

You are ab fab in so many ways already, it just wouldn't be fair if you were born a good cook... it'll just be unfair to the rest of us when you are!


your special friend

Tiffany said...

Even those of us who have confidence in cooking, who know what to do with what, can make something out of most anything and throw around cooking terms like Annie does her guns,don't always feel confident or want to make dinner every night!

I think you are doing wonderfully. You don't just give up and "toss in the towel".

Oh, and believe you me, we have Tater Tot Casserole days! This is a great one to play around with too. Sub ground chicken or beef (drain first!), use different soups, sour cream, toss in a veggie or taco seasoning.Oh, and remember -- cheese covers a multitude of sins!

The Everett Family said...

This is the first meal I made for my husband! It was his all time favorite meal growing up. We use regular milk instead of evaporated but will have to try your version! He would approve of the fact that you didn't add green beans.... yuck! Their better on the side :)

Kismet said...

But you are trying and that's what really counts. And you are aware that you need to teach your daughters to be keepers at home also.

Too bad they'll never know how to de-bone a chicken though :)


Brenna said...

Cooking wasn't always fun for me either! But the more I learned, the more I loved it. When Gracie and I do it together, it's even more fun! Hang in there. :) Love, Brenna

Alicia said...

How funny! I use to never know what a tatertot casserole was till I had my MIL's. We love it. It's a little different though but yours sounds great too. Here is hers:
1 lb ground beef or turkey (she does not cook the beef, I would cook turkey ahead because of moisture level) in bottom of 2.5 qt casserole dish,
1 Can of Cream of Mushroom poured over meant and distributed evenly,
1 bag frozen green beans or two cans of drained green beans,
1 bag tatertots

Cover and bake hmmmmmm I don't remember how long for raw meat I think its like 250* for 2 hours....(she would leave it during church so it's that sort of idea) but for cooked you would only need 350* for 45 min.
This is also doable in a crockpot but I don't know what level and time. I've only done it that way once. Tots are not as crispy on top that way.
Thanks for sharing!

mer said...

I love this post! About a year and a half ago, I asked God to help change my attitude about cooking. (I wasn't a fan). Slowly things did change and I began to see it as an opportunity to minister to my family. And just like my sweet guy who gets up and goes to work every day without complaining, I wanted cooking to be something that I did with love and cheerfulness. God has been faithful, and honestly, cooking dinner has become one of the least stressful parts of my day!

Seriously, that Arbonne cream has worked wonders for me! Thanks for stopping by my blog!