No More Nanny: Teach Me How to Cook!

Posted by Madison on August 27, 2008

Tomorrow is the last day that our nanny will be working at our house full time. She watches our boys. She does our laundry. She cooks our dinner. And starting next week, we are on our own!

She’s still going to watch our 11-month-old for 10 hours a week, but it won’t be at our house anymore. Not only will we have to make dinner each night, but we’ll also have to pack lunches for our two-year-old who will start preschool next Tuesday.

Cooking at home is much cheaper than eating out!

Last week when I detailed how to get an Additional $15 Bonus From Revolution Money Exchange, Todd A. suggested “How about the alternative of preparing your own “fun” meal as opposed to buying delivery/carry out? Surely, a couple of large homemade pizzas could save about the same $15 when compared to having them delivered.”

Great idea Todd! Except that I don’t really know how to make homemade pizza, or much else for that matter. I try. But nothing ever tastes as good as when other people cook it. I do have a few dishes at Allrecipes that I like, but if I’m going to make dinner each night, I’m going to need some help!

I’d love to hear about your favorite recipes! We like almost everything and we’re willing to try new things. It’s a personal finance and cooking challenge: teach me how to cook!

Personal Finance Highlights

My favorite article this week was reading about all the fun employee benefits at Google in Best Company To Work For: Money and Perks Like No Other.

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Comments to No More Nanny: Teach Me How to Cook!

  1. Thank you for linking to my article. Regarding the nanny, that’s going to be a big change. Right now my mom is taking care of our baby and live with us. She babysit, cook, clean…the whole nine yards. I’ll definitely miss that when she stops.

    Pinyo’s last post: Financial Risks And Personal Finance Risk Management, Part 2


  2. Thanks for the linkage!

    Kevin’s last post: Money Down the Drain: Inefficient Laundry


  3. Thanks for the link, and for pointing me to the extra $15 bonus with RME!

    pete’s last post: Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University: Week 13 – The Great Misunderstanding


  4. Hi. I would check out

    I love that instead of assuming you know what you’re doing…. she instead assumes that you don’t! lol So her directions are very easy to follow.

    We personally haven’t done the whole $45 emergency menu, but we have tried a few of her recipes.

    And our favorites are the lentil chili! (my DH likes this one better than mine!) and her lentil veggie soup, with dumplings! I hadn’t ever been able to get dumplings right until this recipe! Anyway, hope that helps!

    Alexia’s last post: testing! lol


  5. The easiest dish EVER!
    1 Box of rice a roni-type rice, any flavor
    2 Chicken Breasts (halved or diced)
    Shredded Cheese

    Open the rice and sauce mix, pour it into cake pan or glass baking dish. Flip the box over and get the amount of water required on the box. Pour the water into the rice. Stir. Take the chicken and lay it on top of the rice. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven. Cover with shredded cheese, put it back in the oven for another 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from oven, serve, bask in the adoration.

    I double the recipe, because we’ve got 5 people in our house full time, but the recipe is the same. You can change the rice flavors to suit your mood. You can use whatever cheese you have on hand. I serve it to company or just to the family. Everyone loves it.

    Momma’s last post: One Hour With Teri Gault – Part Eight


  6. My family used to order pizza once a week and now we make our own. You can actually buy fresh dough at the store and it makes a huge difference. It will taste like a pizza and not frozen. Get your kids involved and they will have a blast. My kids like olives, cheese, and sauce. Then I make one for my wife and I that has everything else. Lot’s of fun! We also love to bbq and do it all year long. Kids love the hot dogs and burgers and I’ll even throw some on for lunch time too.

    Scott @ The Passive Dad

  7. cooking is “hard” at first, and gets significantly easier over time. it’s also fun and creative. two sites i love include 101cookbooks and simply elise. also the food network.

    the other thing that helps is understanding what ingredients are for. ie, eggs help make things fluffy but are also binding. salt brings out other flavors (as does lemon juice). etc. yeast makes things rise. that helps you understand what you can and cannot substitute.

    good luck!

    deepali’s last post: a week long look at my budget: regular expenses


  8. Here’s a couple of my family’s favorite quick and easy recipes.

    Italian Chicken and Green Beans
    Pre-heat oven to 350.
    Open 2-3 cans of green beans and drain. Pour the contents into a casserole dish, top with 2-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts. Top with a can of italian seasoned tomato sauce, sprinkle with mozzerella cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until chicken is done.
    You can adjust the beens and chicken to your need. My kids wouldn’t even eat green beans until I made them this way.

    Tritip Sandwich
    1 tri-tip
    1 jar salsa (I use Herdez, but any will do)
    1 pack lipton onion soup mix

    Put all ingedients into a crockpot, cook on low for 8 hours. Stir meat to shred. Serve on hoagies with your choice of cheese.


  9. I have a great book for you…. Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

    The basic recipe is perfect for simple crusty bread, as well as pizza dough. You make a good sized batch of dough, which takes just a few minutes to mix together, then you can save the dough for up to two weeks, and use it as needed. For myself and my husband, I make 2-3 pizzas, and 3-4 loaves of bread from one batch. Saves a boatload of money, and you can put whatever you want on your pizza.

    The only real requirement for making bread in the oven is a pizza stone, which absorbs the moisture from the bottom to create a crisp crust. There are cheaper alternatives, like unglazed tile, but a pizza stone is much thicker and less likely to break.


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