I love to cook. I love to make people happy with the food… but you already knew that. What you might not have known is that I have a passion for helping people learn to cook healthy, wholesome meals for their families using as few boxed, canned, and prepackaged ingredients as possible. I truly believe that it is possible to feed your family as economically (and as quickly) on “real” food as it is with boxed dinners. You just have to know the basics, do your homework when you shop, and be willing to try to do things you haven’t done before.
When I see a family at the grocery pushing around a cart of instant-this and premade-that, I want to stop and talk to them. Why do they buy what they buy? Is it the cost? Convenience? Fear of getting outside their comfort zone? Do they know that preservative and artificial ingredients, while in many cases not necessarily bad for you, aren’t good for you? Do they know that making homemade mashed potatoes is just as easy as making instant?
So when I say I have a passion for cooking, I mean it. So much so, in fact, that I’m considering staring a second blog to help everyday people learn the absolute basics of meal planning, shopping for “real” food, and, of course, cooking. I’ve also been in contact with our church and hope to start teaching a class with the same ideas.
Of course, if you’re going to start teaching a class or writing a blog about cooking, you need recipes– simple, basic, anyone-can-do-this recipes. I always strive to make our recipes here “user friendly,” but I do understand that someone with two or three hungry mouths to feed doesn’t have the time (or often, resources) available to make something like mushroom risotto (no matter how delicious). Cooking is therapeutic for Kevin and me; we cherish our time in the kitchen together each night and love trying out new recipes, but understand that not everyone has that love or luxury. Sometimes, you need to fix it and forget it so that you can focus on your life.
Right now, I don’t know that another blog will ever come to fruition. I do know that I really feel led to pursue this… and I hope you try out this recipe for Baked Lemon Herb Chicken.
Baked Lemon Herb Chicken
prep: 15 minutes
cook: 35 minutes
4 bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs (breasts would also work)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large lemons, zested and juiced + 1 lemon, cut into wedges
1/4 c. olive oil
1/3 c. dry white wine
2 t. dried thyme
1 t. dried oregano
1/2 t. salt and pepper
1. Set your oven to 400 F.
2. In a baking dish, combine the olive oil, lemon zest and juice, white wine, garlic, oregano, and 1 t. dried thyme. Whisk to combine.
3. Rinse the chicken thighs under cold water, feeling the skin for any feather stubs. Dry the chicken well with a paper towel, being sure to get the skin completely dry.
4. Place the thighs in the baking dish (skin side up) and arrange the lemon wedges around them. Sprinkle with the remaining thyme, salt, and pepper.
5. Bake at 400 F for 35 minutes. If the skin isn’t brown, bake under a low broiler for 2-3 additional minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes.
6. Serve with an easy veggie. We made steamed carrots, then poured the pan juices over them. They were delicious!
What is your passion?