Thursday, February 03, 2011

Cooking School...

Our 18 year old son is planning to attend college in Arizona this fall and will not have access to a campus cafeteria or meal ticket, so I have been trying to teach him a few simple meals so as to feed himself while he's away.  I did this with all the kids before they left home and most of them can fend for themselves pretty well.  By the end of "Cooking School" each of our kids left home with a small recipe book of his/her favorite meals to cook.   Last night we had Cooking School after I had been gone all day to town. The guys wanted "Chinese" so J. and I whipped up a simple Broccoli - Beef Stir Fry in approximately 30 minutes. We used about a pound of beef steak (cheap cut) sliced thin, frozen broccoli, sliced onions, and some chopped garlic, salt & pepper. We stir-fried the veggies first (except garlic which tends to burn), removed from the skillet, then stir fried the beef in a little more oil. Added it all back to the pan with the garlic and heated through. We poured on our favorite teriyaki sauce, Veri Veri Teriyaki,  and heated through. We  served it over instant brown rice but you could use white rice or angel hair pasta. 

Other recipes we have made in Cooking School:

Creamy Sausage Stew

1 lb. kielbasa (or other sausage), chopped
2-3 lbs potatoes (approx)chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2-3 carrots, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
Salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, thyme, dried parsley (according to taste, may delete but better with these herbs)
1 pint cream

In oven proof skillet, add oil and toss all ingredients together except cream. Put into a 400 degree oven to roast for about 30-40 minutes or until tender. Lastly, add cream and stir. Return to oven until sauce is thickened and bubbles. Serve from the skillet. (This is one of my family's favorites and it's easy to make)

Mandarin Chicken

1-2 lbs chicken (may use breast, thighs, wings, etc)
Salt & pepper
2-3 T. oil
Sliced onions
Fry chicken & onions in skillet until nicely browned. Pour sauce over chicken to complete cooking.

6 T. honey
2 T Hoisen sauce (or fish sauce)
4 t. soy sauce
1/3 c. lemon juice
3 T vinegar
4 t. oil.
Mix in small bowl and pour over chicken. Simmer until sauce is thick and sticky and chicken is cooked through. Serve over rice or eat as-is along with a salad or veggie.

J. knows how to make a grilled cheese sandwich, grill burgers and make spaghetti so those count too, don't they? I only wish he liked eggs. He could cook omlets with Julia Child (or Meryl Streep) below!

"Man cannot live on bread alone, nor beer bread, nor beer and bread!"


  1. Oh, that sounds so fun Jody! My youngest wasn't interested in cooking lessons when he was home -- now he is, but he's so far away. He got a wok for Christmas, so I'm hoping that next time I visit him, I'll be able to show him what he hasn't learned already. Your recipes look divine!

  2. Those recipes sound so good Miss Lily! I also 'encouraged' my son to learn to cook when he was young b/c (I told him) he needed to know how to cook so he didn't end up living on frozen pizza when he went to college. He's now grown (very grown) and a good cook -- and he likes it. Does this mean I did one thing right as a mom ;)?!

  3. You're a wise mama to teach him such practical skills. Looks like a yummy collection of recipes.

  4. You are such a rich resource to your children and to all of us. I like your style.
    Good cooks are possessors of loving hearts.

  5. Your such a good mama and down the road your son will thank you for it xoxo Clarice

  6. I love these recipes! I could see getting my son Jack, age 11, to cook them. That's one thing I plan to do--and have started to do a little with Jack--teach my boys to cook! Their wives will thank me later, right? Right?

    I remember cooking when I was first on my own, and those memories are sad, sad, sad. Wish I'd known then what I know now ...


  7. Does that make me a bad mom because my college boys eat a lot Ramen? I think not. The motivation to cook has to be there and I think they actually enjoy having some "roughing it" stories to tell...weird.

    I have given them ideas (and groceries!), but it's like that old "you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make them drink" saying. I'll keep trying! These recipes sound easy and good for anybody.


  8. Monica,
    My other sons who left home had the same "cooking school" and sometimes they cooked, sometimes they didn't. I've sent beef to school with them and groceries too. No you're not a bad mom because your guys cook Ramen noodles. My kids love it, and always have. What I want is to know that at least they *can* feed themselves if they choose to. I really hope J. chooses to. We shall see.


  9. I knew you would know what I mean, Jody!


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