Wednesday, July 29, 2009

July 2009: "Girl's Got No Skills" Contest and Giveaway

Today has been a day of great reflection enabled by a dear friend offering to take my boys for the day. I have been able to sit down and try to figure out how I'm going to get a hold on our new way of family life. One thing that has been greatly affected by Mike's condition is family meals. Mike LOVES to cook but since not being able to eat he has barely been able to be in the kitchen. I can't imagine the torture. That has left me to feed my children. I'm sure some of you are saying, "Boo hoo she has to cook, I do that everyday." Well that's a very good point. I haven't had to. I don't know how to cook and was not blessed with the cooking gene or even the desire to cook. Trying to make a meal takes me 4x the amount of time it takes a normal person. It absolutely stresses me out to cook but I refuse to let my children eat out all the time or eat unhealthily.

So here I am turning to all you fabulous people who do this everyday. I need your help and I thought to make this more fun, and to give a little motivation to both you and I, I will make it a contest with a fun giveaway prize.

"Girl's Got No Skills" Contest and Giveaway

Who can enter: ANYONE that cooks
How: Submit ONE MAIN DISH recipe based on the following judged criteria:
  • HEALTHY - doesn't have to be over the top healthy, just a cut above the usual
  • EASE OF PRODUCTION- remember it is I that will recreating your recipe, and yes it is a production
  • MY KIDS APPROVAL- I've been told by many that my kids are great eaters, I guess I wasn't aware that a lot of kids weren't
If you can add a photo of what it is SUPPOSED to turn out looking like, that would be helpful.
Put your one best recipe, photo (if any), advice (if any), name, and way to contact you in a comment or email it to me by AUGUST 12th.
WINNER will be selected by our family and will receive a fun GIVEAWAY of a product from my Polka Dot Square inventory - aprons, bibs, placemats, tutus, Savvy Snack bags, Bumvelope, etc.
This will take a chore and make it into a game. I do so much better at games! Can't wait to see all of your submissions!


  1. can you post some of the runners-up as well as the winning entry? i think we'd all like help in this area or at least something new. :) good luck with the new meals.

  2. absolutely. depending on how many entries I get, maybe I'll post the top 3 or 5.

  3. Let me pull out my books! I am all about EASY, fast and semi-healthy ;)

  4. Do you own a crockpot? I have some wonderful easy,kid friendly, somewhat heathly recipes for the crockpot.

  5. Here's a link to my submission (picture included):

    I can't take credit for the recipe, but it's one of our favorites. It freezes fabulously, so you can double it (which is only a tiny bit of extra work) and feed your family twice -- plus leftovers.

    Best of luck to you! I feel your pain in the kitchen...

    My email address is

  6. Oh Briana, I'm very much in the same boat. Sergio loves cooking and does most of it...I'll try to find something I've made successfully! :)

  7. Can-Can Dinner

    1 can tuna or chicken or salmon
    1 can corn
    1 mandarin oranges
    1 can black olives
    crackers or whole-grain chips

    Open, drain, prepare as desired.
    May substitute other fruits and vegetables.
    Best served on those cute divided dishes/trays for the kiddies.
    Enjoy!! (and perfect for these hot summer nights!)

  8. Jennifer, Thanks for the entry. I need your contact information so that I can let you know if you are the winner!

  9. Ok ladies, I have received 3 entries so far. I know more of you out there have some great ideas! Can't wait to see them.

  10. Pulled Pork Burritos, SUPER easy and deelish!
    - 1 pork roast or pork chops
    -Sweet baby rays BBQ sauce
    -Instant white rice ( minute rice is easiest)
    -Cheddar Cheese
    -Sour Cream

    -Put the pork in the crock pot, cover both sides with BBQ sauce. Cook for 8 hours or until tender enough to pull.
    - make instant rice on stove top
    -get tortillas ready with sour cream and cheese.
    - take pork out and shred, place pork & rice on top of the ready tortilla.

    Your taste buds will enjoy! Call me if you have any questions. Love you!

  11. This is one of my favorites. It is SO easy and my husband who always says soup isn't dinner its an appitizer will eat it for dinner.
    1-can black beans (drained)
    1-can red kidney beans (drained)
    1-can corn (not drained)
    1-can creamed corn
    1-can diced tomatoes
    1-can diced tomatoes with green chilies
    1-can chicken broth
    3-frozen chicken breasts (yes frozen)
    1 tsp salt
    2 tbsp cumin
    2 tbsp oregano

    Open cans, place all items in the crock-pot. Set it and forget it! I usually put in in the morning, go have fun all day and come home to my house smelling amazing.(cook 4-6 hours). I use a fork and knife to quickly shred the chicken while in the crock-pot, dish it all into bowls, top with some cheese and crushed tortilla chips and viola! Yummy, Healthy, Fast and cheap and everyones happy!

  12. Mojito Chicken

    Rotisserie,Baked, or grilled Chicken

    1 (2 1/2 to 3-pound) chicken
    2 tablespoons garlic powder
    1 tablespoon onion powder
    1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
    1 tablespoon dried oregano
    2 tablespoons kosher salt
    1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
    1 teaspoon paprika
    Marinade, recipe follows
    4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    2 Limes and juiced and poured on chicken
    2 tablespoon vinegar

    Combine all the dry spices and rub chicken with spice mixture, especially under the skin. Put into a resealable plastic bag and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

    I broil all my chicken for 1 hour and then uncover it. I set the oven to 400F and let it get golden and turn on both sides.

    Great with rice or potatoes & a fresh salad.

  13. Dry Rub for Steak or Chicken


    * 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
    * 1 tablespoon dried parsley flakes
    * 1 tablespoon kosher salt
    * 1 tablespoon paprika
    * 1 tablespoon garlic powder
    * 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
    * 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    * 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
    * olive oil


    1. Combine all ingredients except canola oil and mix well.
    2. When ready to grill steaks, baste steak with enough canola oil to cover all surfaces of steak.
    3. Rub in dry rub liberally then grill steaks on both sides until desired color.
    4. Enjoy

    It's the best home made dry rub I have made and tried on meat!

  14. Steak , Veggie, & French Fry Stir Fry Peruvain dish and yummy!


    1 lb. beef tenderloin
    1 hot pepper
    1 tsp. cumin
    1 clove garlic, chopped
    1 tbsp. vinegar
    2 lbs. potatoes
    2 lg. red onions
    6 Italian tomatoes or 2 lg. firm reg. tomatoes, cut into fourths

    Cut meat into small strips and marinate in cumin, garlic and vinegar for 30 minutes or more. Also add salt and pepper to taste. Cut potatoes as for French-fries. French fry the potatoes and keep warm. Stir-fry the beef in 3 tablespoons oil until tender (may add hot pepper to taste). Add onion and cook to crisp, NOT soft and mushy! Add tomatoes and cook just until tender, NOT mushy! Add the French-fried potatoes and toss. Serve with cooked rice.

    Serves 4-6.

  15. Jennifer SimpsonAugust 08, 2009 12:40 AM

    Okay.. I'm going to share one of my most favorite recipies from my family. I don't know how healthy it is but it was always a blast to make and eat. What was great about this dish is that my mother always involved us kids in making it and you can customize it for your own tastes. We named it Egg Pizza.

    You'll need a casarole dish (or two depending on how many you want to make )
    Bread ( white or wheat.. which ever you prefer)
    Chedder Cheese ( we usually use colby jack ourselves)
    Cream Cheese ( you can use light if you want to make it healthier)
    Any toppings you'd put in a pizza or omlette ( get creative )

    Grease the dish. Spread cream cheese onto the slices of bread and line bottom of dish with cream cheese face up. Sprinkle in toppings over bread. Mix eggs and pour over bread making sure to cover the bread. Sprinkle just a little cheese. Bake at 350 for about 25mins. Sprinkle more cheese over dish and let melt. Cut and serve.

    This dish is even great cold and could be made ahead of time and reheated. It's a bit high in calorie count but a lot of fun as an activity for the family.

  16. Janae RindlisbacherAugust 09, 2009 5:54 PM

    Hey sister-friend,
    My kids love this and most of it comes from a can!

    Janae's Spaghetti Opus
    *Cook enough spaghetti noodles for your family.
    *Defrost and cook a pound of ground beef.
    *Once you have cooked the beef, put a paper towel on a plate and drain your beef by flipping the stuff from the pan to the plate without dumping it on your foot (don't ask) :)Put the beef back in the pan and onto the top of the stove.
    * Turn the heat down so the sauce doesn't bubble all over the place.
    * Put in an 8 oz. can of tomoato sauce.
    * Put in a can of tomato soup (trust me).
    *Put in a (14 oz.) can of diced tomatoes (Plain. Sometimes this comes with little diced chilis and/or onions-don't get that kind)
    * If your kids like olives, and if you can manage to pry them off their cute little fingers and into the sauce, dice olives and stick them in too.
    *Stir the stuff.
    *Drain the noodles (I know you know this, but I'm saying it anyway just 'cause.)
    * Use one of those forky spoon things to dish out the noodles and put sauce on. Use bibs cause it's messy but yummy. Everything that's good tends to be messy, don't you think? :)

  17. Janae RindlisbacherAugust 09, 2009 6:02 PM

    Make that tomato sauce. My mom has been telling me you might have a hard time finding the ever-elusive tomoato. :)



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