Welcome to Simply Delicious Home Cooking! The meals on this website are ones that I serve to my own picky family: one teenage young woman, one pret-teen girl, and one meat-loving, health-conscious husband.
A former businesswoman, I began staying home with my oldest daughter, Kathryn, in 2001. A little after my second daughter Sabrina was born in 2003, my husband decided to go on a low-carb diet (South Beach). To support his endeavor, and to help my children to learn to eat healthily, I decided that it was time to learn how to cook.
I began my cooking journey by turning on the Food Network. Rachael Ray’s show, “30-Minute Meals”, immediately captured my attention. I thought, “30-minute meals? Hey, I can do that.” So, I began to watch her show. I bought her cookbooks. I began to make her meals. Guess what? Her meals definitely did not take me 30 minutes to make. It was more like 90-120 Minute Meals for me. And, I was left with a mountain of dishes to do when I was done. But I didn’t give up. I planned my meals. I practiced. I learned how to cut vegetables. I learned how to taste food, how to figure out what tasted good, what tasted “off,” what needed an additional pinch of salt or sweet or heat. I learned how to cook from Rachael Ray. For that, I am eternally grateful to her. And I am getting closer and closer to that 30-minute timeframe!
Once I had a couple of years of practice under my belt, I began to branch out. I watched and tried other cooks’ recipes from TV. I poured over recipe books that I had been given over the years and scores of food magazines that began to arrive in the mail on a monthly basis. I searched through internet recipes, looking at reviews, and became bold enough to start changing up listed recipes a bit. As time progressed, I was able to do this more and more. My palate developed, and I began to develop my own recipes, often a combination of reading multiple recipes, reading reviews, envisioning what the flavors would taste like in my mouth.
As my family grew up, making meals to satisfy all of its picky eaters wasn’t easy. My husband, a physician, has maintained a low-carb diet for over 10 years. My girls, avid year-round, competitive swimmers, are self-proclaimed carbivores. So, how do you develop a meal plan to satisfy all of these dietary demands? We do what I like to call common sense eating in our household. We try to stay away from processed foods, gravitating toward “whole” foods, ones that come as naturally as possible. We buy meats with no hormones or antibiotics and try to know where our meat came from. We eat lots of fruits and vegetables. We make sweet, sugary treats just that – a treat. My nightly meals, and the recipes provided here, on this site, are constructed from these principles.
Developing and preparing healthy, tasty, easy-to-make meals to satisfy everyone can take a lot of time. I am a busy mom, and mealtimes around our house are insane. So, I have discovered GOOD shortcuts (There are many bad ones out there) and developed simple organization/planning tips to make mealtime prep a snap. The recipes on this site are specifically designed for quick weekday preparation. To help in this area, I highly recommend buying vegetables already prepped from your local market’s produce section or salad bar, especially during the week. This will save you LOTS of time. After years of making my own stocks and cutting and chopping veggies (which I actually love), I have found that this is the tip that saves me the MOST time and turns my weekday meal prep from stressful to quick and satisfying. Now I save the chopping for weekends, when I can enjoy the process. I hope the information on this site helps you to easily get healthy, tasty dinners on the table and put smiles on your loved ones’ faces.
Prepared veggies I bought at my local market
When I bring these home from the market, I put them in airtight containers, lined with a paper towel. These stay fresh and crisp for 4-5 days.