Monday, June 28, 2010


The sun was really dragging it's feet this morning... I was irritated, I waited, and waited and waited. I looked out the window and stared into the gloomy juney sky and I thought maybe I could see a hint of blue peering through... but it was just wishful thinking...
just my imagination.

No blue.. no yellow... just gray. boo.

"This is not okay sun!" I said, out loud "not okay". I looked down at my list of my Monday to-do's and let out a sigh... I just couldn't muster up the motivation, nope... not without my sunshine. Like Spinach to Popeye or Pixie Dust to Tinkerbell, I need the sun to be on my A-game. I just do.

It finally showed up at noon. woo-twirl...

Totally changing Subjects... I love food, eggs benedict, mashed potatoes... cupcakes. It's no mystery. However... I confess... I possess no culinary skillz :( Well none that I have discovered yet really. My mom on the other hand is an incredible cook. She even butters toast to perfection... it's like magic, I don't know how she does it. Maybe it's the special butter knife that she found at a garage sale years ago... I wish I could find one.

Honestly, cooking intimidates me... mainly cause it includes me having to go to the grocery store, which means I have to make decisions "Prego vs. Ragu" "Digiorno vs. Red Baron"... hard decisions. And then there are recipes with those ingredients from a foreign land that I've never heard of?! Oh and then the timing situation... making sure that everything is done at the same time and hasn't burned or gone cold. Oh and portions, did I make enough or what do I do with all this extra food?! Yeah no... Left-overs always end up in the back of the fridge while they evolve into a scary monster, which then I spend the next three to six months procrastinating a very uncomfortable confrontation. Ya see, this is why my comfort zone includes about 3 dishes: spagetti, stoffers lasagna & frozen pizza... oh and cheese crisps. Sometimes I will even throw a salad in there to mix things up. Woo... I know... don't you feel bad for Dave? I do.

We go out to eat WAY to much, mainly because of how busy we are, and how often I am out of town. And I won't lie, going out to eat is kinda my favorite, but it is starting to loose it's sparkle, and really it isn't the healthiest choice. Not to mention it's expensive. So this week I am challenging myself to cook four meals at home. I even got out the Crock Pot... I am serious here.

So heres where you come in, if you've got a great recipe, or can suggest a helpful website or blog that will give me some good ideas then please do share!!! Do you believe in me?!

Yes! I can do it! I can make un-frozen foods!!

PS- Actually... my Chocolate chip cookies are pretty tasty. I have always said that if the music thing doesn't work out I would have a back-up... "Brookies Cookies"


  1. Ina Garten/Barefoot Contessa--get one of her cookbooks or check out Food Network for her recipes and get cooking! EVERYTHING from her books is's amazing!
    Good for you for going for it--eating out IS expensive and it's such a good thing to know what's in your food and that YOU made it!
    And don't be overwhelmed...just look at a few of her recipes and see what sounds good; follow the directions; and voila--deliciousness that you created. You go, girl!

  2. My wife went from non-cook to culinary master with the help of She really likes how people can comment on recipes and often they will say, "this is good, but it is even better with this substitution."

    All I know is that we went from eating my top ramen creations to feasting on her wondrous culinary creations after just a few weeks of experimentation. I'll ask her tomorrow for her recipe for carne guisada (I'm guessing on the spelling - I call it Carnagie Hall), which is my favorite dish she has discovered. If you like Mexicanish (It is actually Cuban or Dominican, if I'm not mistaken) food, you'll love that one.

    And if you are ever visiting the Sacramento area, we'll take you out to our favorite restaurant. Maybe then my wife will forgive me for going to your concert with Michael Johns without her...


    This woman even has step-by-step descriptions WITH PICTURES. Try her - my newly wed sister thinks this woman is GOD

  4. Brooke, going out to dinner is not only expensive but overall is not healthy (portions, food mixture etc). Everything you said about cooking is true. There are a few simple receipts but good cooking takes time and patience. Like anything else the more you do something the better you get at it (like your Mom's cooking Father's fixing up etc). We are living in a fast pace world that requires fast pace food.

  5. My family and I've been eating out a lot lately... and I'm beginning to feel dizzy. I know what you mean about eating out losing its sparkle! :D I love your posts! :D

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  7. You could start with something simple like turkey burgers, but mix in chopped onions, celery and garlic for flavor. Of course feel free to add your own spices.

  8. My female cousins and family members have a blog together that is a collection of our favorite recipes:

    We only started it in February, so there's not a ton of stuff on there, but maybe a good place to start. I like the blog because it's only people's FAVORITE recipes, not just any old stuff!

    Good luck--I know you can do this! :)

  9. haha, cooking intimidates me too, so we too have made a habit of eating out way more than we should. a few friends and i started a [easy] fav recipe blog to help us combat this problem...hope it helps!

  10. Try
    Like you I am not the best at this cooking thing, but I just discovered this website and I have made 4 home cooked meals last week that my husband and 8 year old son both ate! And the best part is that they have pictures of all the ingredients so you know exactly what to buy and pictures of the steps and finished product. Perfect for people like us!

  11. I've been suffering from June Gloom as well. The weather in Vancouver has been so miserable lately. Always cloudy and dark. I hope there's sunshine in store for the remainder of the summer.
    I wish I had some good recipes to share, but I'm a cooking newbie like you. Frozen meals and Mac & Cheese are my specialty, haha. I wish you the best of luck as you begin to embrace your inner cuisine talents!

  12. an idea! a lightbulb moment.
    why not have "your people" contact "their people" (food network?) to have a show called:
    "Teaching Brooke to Cook" or "Brooke wants to Cook" or "Let's Cook Brooke"(but that might sound like we're having roasted leg of Brooke for dinner...)
    you would be adorable!


    we are picky eaters. so we all came together (2 sisters live out of state) & put our recipes there. LOTS are simple.

    for example- put a few skinless boneless chicken breasts in your crockpot- with a pack of taco seasoning & water. :) get home- shred it... have tacos or burritoes.... or a chicken quesadilla :)

    oh & its Ragu & digiorno :) haha.
    oh the alfredo sauce made by the ragu peeps... its delish on feticcini!!!

  14. Here's a great website for menus and recipes: I'll send you my family cookbook when I finish writing it. Working on it......

  15. Spicy Avocado Salsa

    • Avocados, peeled and seeded -- 2
    • Tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped -- 1 large
    • Onion, minced -- 1/2
    • Hot chile peppers, minced -- 2-6
    • Garlic, minced -- 2-3 cloves
    • Salt and pepper -- to taste
    • Olive oil -- 1/2 cup
    • Vinegar -- 1/4 cup
    1. Chop the avocados roughly and place them in a large bowl. Mash them well with the back of a spoon or with a potato masher, leaving them slightly chunky.
    2. Mix in the rest of the ingredients, adjust seasoning and serve.

  16. Let's start with your spagetti.....Ragu? seriously? It is so easy to make your own sauce and so much better. Brown some whatever, ground beef, sausage or turkey with a diced onion and some cut up garlic. Drain the grease and add a couple of cans of "crushed tomoatos with added puree (progresso)" and spice with a couple of teaspoons of dried oregano and basil. Bring the temp up and then add some chopped italian parsley and let simmer for a hour or so (then salt and pepper to taste). It is very easy and good and everyone will think you are an expert chef. Lastlt, crookpots are very rarely a good method for good food....think texture (mostly that means some real heat). Great reciepe site = (weird name but great ideas).

  17. brookie's cookies....HA HA HA HA!!!!!!!!!