About Johanna

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Chicago/Aurora, IL, United States
I am just like so many busy moms out there. I want to create great meals for me and my family where the food brings us together at the end of a long and hectic day. I want to empower moms to feel like they are able to make Great Everyday Meals by using simple, accessible, and inexpensive ingredients and basic cooking techniques. It’s more about family and less about slaving away in the kitchen cooking. I have been a restaurant industry professional for about 10 years and have a great passion for cooking. I will share tips, recipes and techniques that I have learned to arm everyday cooks with the foundation to simple yet great tasting cooking! Johanna M. Cook

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Broccoli & Chicken Pasta

If your house is any like mine during the week, it is completely hectic and busy! Between work projects, school projects, laundry, and attempting to make the house look semi-clutter free, preparing the dreaded week night meal can become such a daunting task for many parents (mostly moms). A trick I often use specifically to help me make delicious and quick meals during the busy week is always keep frozen vegetables stocked in the freezer. Frozen veggies are great, especially in the winter months when some fresh veggies aren't as great as they would be in the abundant spring and summer months. Frozen veggies are frozen at the peak and height of their best so they keep their vitamins and bright and vibrant colors. Some of the frozen vegetables in my freezer at the moment are Stir-Fry Mixed Vegetables, Broccoli, Choppped Spinach, and Vegetable Medley (cauliflower, broccoli, onions, yellow squash and zucchini), and Peas.

This meal is a simple pasta dish using any short-cut pasta like penne, fusilli, or macaroni, frozen broccoli, fresh Roma tomatoes and chicken breast diced into cubes. Add a litle olive oil, lemon juice, oregano and thyme, red pepper flakes and salt and there you go...dinner!


Monday, December 6, 2010

Recipe: Spanish Chicken Bake

Sundays are always a great day to cook. But some people, like myself work on Sundays and it's not always an ideal day to spend hours in the kitchen (although I often do!). This recipe is truly EASY and a complete no brainer. It only has 4 simple ingredients, not including the salt and pepper!! All you have to do is to pop it in the oven for about 1 hour and 20 minutes and you come out with a delicious Spanish-style casserole for the family for dinner.

Spanish Chicken Bake

4 bone-in chicken breasts
1 1/2 cups of long grain white rice
1 15 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes
1 15 oz jar of green olives with pimento
salt & pepper

Heat a large pan with olive oil. Season the chicken breasts with salt, pepper and paprika. Brown skin side down first. Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Do not cook the chicken all the way, the purpose is just to give it a nice brown color.

In a large casserole dish, place the uncooked white rice in the bottom and place the browned chicken on top. Simply pour the can of roasted tomatoes on top of the chicken and rice. Then, pour the jar of olives, including the olive juice in with the chicken, rice and tomatoes. DO NOT ADD SALT because the olives are already salty there is no need to add more.

Bake in the oven for about 1 hour and 20 minutes or until the rice is fully cooked and serve!!