A Weekend of Family Meal Ideas
When you're lucky enough to have a weekend with your family, you don't want to spend all your time cooking alone. Try one (or all) of these family-friendly recipes that people of all ages will enjoy eating and preparing.
-- Breakfasts: Real Oatmeal, Scrambled Eggs
-- Lunches: Sloppy Joes, Smashed Potato Chowder
-- Sweets: Triple Chocolate Cookies
-- Main Courses: Salsa Swiss Steak, Chicken with Skillet Gravy
-- Sides: Buttered Carrots, Farm-Style Green Beans, Italian Pork and Pepper Soup
Introduce your family to oatmeal made with steel-cut oats. They're chewier and have a nuttier flavor than the quick or instant variety and they cook into a creamy, cozy breakfast.
Master the basic recipe for scrambled eggs, then personalize it to your tastes with Cheese-and-Onion, Smoky Chicken, and Greek-Style (pictured) variations. The next two slides give a step-by-step for scrambling.
Step 1: Beginning to Scramble
To cook the eggs evenly, lift and fold the partially cooked eggs toward the center of the skillet to allow the uncooked eggs to run to the edges. The next slide tells how to recognize perfectly cooked scrambled eggs.
Step 2: Finishing Scrambling
The egg mixture is done when it is set but still looks glossy and moist. Overcooking makes the eggs dry and rubbery.
Enjoy this tangy classic as-is, or try a pizza, Tex-Mex, or veggie variation. Either way, top the sandwich with burger fixings for a hearty meal.
Smashed Potato Chowder
Smashed potatoes add thickness to the creamy broth of this comfort soup. Bacon, cheese, and green onions dress up the basic recipe, or add ham or beans for a soup with more bulk.
Triple Chocolate Cookies
Chocolate chips buried in chocolate cookies and drizzled with melted chocolate -- this is truly a dessert for the chocolate devotee. The next four slides show the step-by-step highlights for this recipe.
Step 1: Melt the Chocolate
Heat chocolates and butter over low heat, stirring with a heat-resistant spatula until melted and smooth. Step 2 shows the sugar and egg batter.
Step 2: Beat the Batter
Setting aside the melted chocolate, beat the sugars and eggs with an electric mixer until well blended and the color lightens a bit. Step 3 shows how to prepare the dough to stand.
Step 3: Letting the Dough Stand
Step 4: Dropping the Dough
Salsa Swiss Steak
Chicken with Skillet Gravy
There's no reason to deal with the mess of deep-fried chicken when you can make this pan-fried version with boneless chicken breasts. The next five slides show the step-by-step highlights for making this recipe.
Step 1: Dip Chicken in Egg
Step 2: Coat the Chicken Breasts
Dredge the egg-coated chicken pieces in the bread crumbs, coating both sides. Step 3 shows how to test the skillet.
Step 3: Check the Skillet
Once the chicken breasts are ready, check to see if the skillet is hot by sprinkling a few crumbs in the oil. When they sizzle and bubble, add the chicken. The next step shows how to start the pan sauce.
Step 4: Start the Pan Sauce
After removing the chicken, melt the butter in the skillet. Stir the flour into the butter to create a paste. Step 5 shows how to finish the sauce.
Step 5: Finish the Pan Sauce
Add the broth to the butter-flour paste. Cook and stir the mixture until it is smooth and thickened.
The sweetness of tarragon or basil is a natural complement to the sweetness of the carrots, but other more savory herbs, such as thyme, dill, or rosemary, can be a nice contrast to it.
Farm-Style Green Beans
Crunchy green beans loaded with bacon, onions, and mushrooms make this nutrition-packed side an easy sell to picky kids. The next two slides give tips for perfectly cooked green beans.
Step 1: Cut Stems Off
Place several beans at a time on a cutting board, lining up the stem ends. Cut off stems. Cut off pointed tips, if desired, or leave attached. Leave beans whole or cut or snap into pieces.
Step 2: Test Beans
To test for crisp-tender beans, bite into one a minute or two before the end of suggested timing. The bean should have a slight crunch to it. Or test by poking it with a fork.
Italian Pork and Pepper Soup
Packed with fresh veggies and tender chunks of pork, this simple soup is a perfect end to a busy day. Serve with an array of crackers and cheese.
Anyone Can Cook
Anyone Can Cook is an innovative cookbook that encourages those new to the kitchen to make simple yet tasty meals, while providing the tools to move on to more complex recipes.