Cooking has far outgrown its role as a basic means of survival and, over the centuries, has transformed itself into an art, a way to express imagination and creativity as well as to satisfy an appetite. Nevertheless, food preparation does not require extensive knowledge on the subject or a vast amount of resources. Make a simple trip to the local supermarket for a few key ingredients, and your very own work of art can be on the table in no time.
The next visit you take to the grocery store, spend just a few more minutes browsing. Take in all that the store has to offer. As a painter uses his colors to create his works of art, this is your palette to create yours. So have fun with it! Explore the many flavors, play with different ingredients, create your own mixtures and combinations. You are the artist in your kitchen; you decide everything that goes into the dishes you prepare. Don’t always limit yourself to just what the recipe calls for. Little changes add originality. Never be of the mindset that cooking is just another chore and doesn’t require any imagination. It does. Just as someone created the Mona Lisa, someone created the Lasagna dish. Who knows? In your kitchen endeavors you might stumble upon the next culinary masterpiece!
Now, I know the hustle and bustle of daily life does not always support an ideal creative atmosphere. People have busy lives that require a lot of their time and do not leave much room for anything else. So, I have a recipe that is quick and easy, but still allows for a unique touch.
This recipe is a great base for me, subject to change with whatever I have on hand. You can use a bag of any frozen vegetable you desire. Stir-ins work great with this dish as well. To add more flavor, you can omit the salt and stir in 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules with the water, or you can try your favorite stir fry sauce, (which you would stir in after the water has absorbed). This is also a great dish because everything is done in the same pan, and takes only about 20 minutes from start to finish. Have fun and remember, no limits!
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 1/4 pounds skinless boneless chicken, cut up into 1 inch pieces
2 cups water
1 tablespoon butter or margarine
1 bag (1 lb.) frozen broccoli, peppers, and mushrooms, thawed
2 cups uncooked instant rice
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (4 oz.)
In a 12 inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook chicken in oil 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until no longer pink in the center.
Add water and butter; heat to boiling. Stir in vegetables, rice, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle with cheese and remove from heat. Cover and let stand for about 5 minutes or until water is absorbed.
Christine loves to cook for her friends and family, and she is always experimenting in the kitchen. She has always loved to write and she hopes you will enjoy reading her articles as much as she enjoyed writing them.