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It ain't pretty, but it's homecooked

January 16th, 2015 at 05:15 am

Everyday I have managed to home cook meals with some new bought items (such as flour, baking powder, etc) and have combined it with what I had in the pantry...the problem...oh, I'd say that a good 70% of the meals don't look that pretty, even though they taste good. I have been researching pretty much every night on various meals I think my family will eat. I was super proud that I mad homemade biscuits tonight! I ignored the comment from one kid that said "mommy, the biscuits look normal, but this gravy and sausage stuff looks like barf, but it tastes good." The first batch of biscuits I tried the other night were really hard and turned out more like scones. I found one that was yummy and easy to make. I followed a sausage and gravy recipe that I found online and had no idea how easy it was! The hubs asked where the biscuits came from... and looked at me with shock when I told him that they were made from scratch! Not to mention how happy he was when I told him that the meal averaged $1 per person give or take a few cents I think. We both came to an "aha" moment and realized why people buy such large bags of flour! I have also made pound cake too. I'm attempting bread soon, which was delayed after I had to buy measuring spoons from the dollar store...that's how frequent I was cooking, I didn't even have a tea/tablespoon, which I thought was there! So, now I'm on a quest for pretty meals that are budget friendly. I even checked out 2 cooking dvd's from the library, but they were more entertaining than usable or budget friendly. I actually enjoyed making the biscuits today, it was kind of therapeutic and I am hoping to take this approach more as much needed therapy for my pockets. The thought of my children eating and hopefully remembering yummy home cooked meals is nice too, but farther away I think since I literally came from a family of "non cookers." However, it is nice to know my family has been eating my food and that the stomach can't see half of it either for now. lol. So, on top of becoming better financially, I'm also hoping to become a better cook too. Any yummy and visually appealing meals you know of that kids will eat, send them my way! Cheers to eating yummy meals and not all the moneySmile

8 Responses to “It ain't pretty, but it's homecooked ”

  1. LuckyRobin Says:

    Becoming a good cook comes with practice. You'll get there, the more you do. And the same with learning to make the dishes look more attractive. After a while it will come instinctively.

    On the bread front, it can often be discouraging learning to bake bread. It may take you several loaves before you get it right, so keep at it. But the first time that perfect loaf comes out of the oven you will be over the moon. There is nothing like it. And once you master bread, it is easy enough to make rolls, hamburger buns, and hot dog buns, too.

  2. snafu Says:

    I suggest checking Goodwill & Thrift shops for a bread machine if you seriously want to make homemade bread. They are practical as you combine ingredients but set it to bake about 2 hrs. before your feet hit the floor most mornings. Caution, the downside is what happens to everyone's waistline. We were eating a small loaf per day until I started having trouble with the waist button on my jeans.

    Kudos to you for following through on your plan. The reason foods look less robust is that convenience/manufactured foods use artificial colour and a long list of chemical preservatives which can be unhealthy along with all the salt and fat. If you don't like the colour experiment by adding a tablespoon of tomato paste or tsp. Worcestershire, a tiny bit of Turmeric adds yellow, paprika jazzes eggs, chives and parsley add green, pumpkin adds orange, saffron is so..oo expensive, coffee makes gravy look better and wine cooks out.

  3. CB in the City Says:

    I agree with Snafu -- homemade food with real ingredients doesn't look as pretty because it doesn't have artificial enhancements! Also, add fruits and vegetables to your meals. They are always colorful and pretty, while meat and carbs tend to look bland.

  4. crazyliblady Says:

    Congrats on paying off so much debt to create a better future for your family. Check stores like Big Lots for cooking stuff that you may not have. They have name brand stuff, but it is very inexpensive. Big Lots where I live also has canned good and other foods, just not produce or meat. Thrift stores are also good for stuff like measuring spoons and other kitchen stuff. We have a thrift store where I live that supports the humane society, so I shop there a lot.

    I will second the comment that cooking well takes practice. I did not become a good cook by cooking with my mother when I was a kid, because my mother did not allow it. I began first with cooking a lot of boxed meals, which are not healthy, but it was a start. In the last 10 years, I have begun to make nearly everything from scratch. I highly recommend allrecipes dot com as a great recipe website.

  5. scfr Says:

    Learning to appreciate the more natural colors of real food can take some time. Veggies (or fruits) definitely add color pop. How would those biscuits and gravy look with if served with a side of bright-colored veggies on the same plate?

    You are doing great!

  6. turning a new leaf Says:

    Thank you all for your support and wonderful suggestions! This year it's the cooking and finances I'm going to be working on a practicing with! I've also found new motivation on top of my day to day boring house/mom tasks. I forgot how fun learning new things and working toward fixing and creating could be!

  7. FrugalTexan75 Says:

    One thing I remember from my home ec class in highschool was to make a meal "pretty" you should have at least three different colors.

  8. chloe Says:

    I'm cheering you on!

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