Sometimes I wish I could talk to my former, newly married self about cooking. Most of the things I bought from the supermarket were previously cooked and frozen. It's not that I didn't think I could cook better than that, it was just a total lack of energy and the thinking that it was so much easier to cook that way. I was definitely willing to sacrifice the fresher food for frozen because I was under the impression it always took a lot longer, and a lot more brain power to pull off.
Goodness knows in those first few years of teaching, and then of married life, I had limited brain power to work with. I don't even want to talk about what happens to brain cells after you have a baby. And then a second one. Can I get an Amen?!
But you know what, I was so SO wrong. Most things are incredibly easy to make at home, even from scratch! I say most things because I have yet to master (or even minor) the art of baking bread at home. Sure it's easy to stick a frozen steamer bag of veggies in the microwave, and I still do, but actually roasting (baking) fresh vegetables is as easy as it sounds - chop it up, season, and stick in the oven. Most times you've already got the oven going with the main part of the meal, how hard is it to stick in some carrots or broccoli as well? I promise, I won't steer you wrong. :)
Like a lot of things in my life, I'm very proud of how far I've come with cooking and preparing meals for my family. And if I could leave you with some advice with your own kitchen it's this: JUST TRY. It gets less stressful each time you try to do something new.
OH and one more thing - I'm TOTALLY not knocking frozen food. I definitely still use frozen food in my kitchen for those crazy nights. But if you're looking for something real to try on your own, put the frozen fries back in the deep freeze and try these Roasted Nacho Potatoes. I'm telling you, they are killer!
Place diced potatoes (these would work as wedges, too) in a large bowl. Drizzle olive over potatoes and toss to coat well. Sprinkle in taco seasoning and garlic powder, stir to coat. Spread potatoes in one layer on a cookie sheet lined with foil and sprayed with non-stick spray. Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork. Sprinkle cheddar cheese over potatoes and return to oven for an additional 3-5 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Remove from oven and allow to cool about 5 minutes. Top with salsa, sour cream, and desired toppings.
SO much better and more filling than traditional nachos, you have to give oven roasted potatoes a try - they're amazing!!