Tag Archives: cooking


Frugal Cooking Basics: Chicken Dinner Plus Stock

Cooking is an essential life skill.  But to someone new to the kitchen, a basic recipe can seem overwhelming.  Everyone should have one meal that they can pull together without a lot of fuss, and with confidence that after all of their hard work in the kitchen, the food they put on the table will taste delicious.


A friend of mine is learning to cook.  She sent me an email about her first week in the kitchen.

Day 1: Tossed out all expired food and spices… which left me with…salt.

Day 2: Spent 3 HOURS at the grocery store.

Day 3: Started getting out ingredients for tomato soup, but then realized it was 10:30PM!?!

Day 4: Cooked brown rice EXACTLY as instructed on package, but it was still WAY too mushy to eat.

Day 5: Severely BURNED oatmeal – stunk the place up for days and created a thick blackened layer on our stainless steel pot.

Day 6: Made chili.  It was good, but the recipe made 10 servings!  What am I supposed to do with 10 servings of chili?!

Day 7: Panda Express

Does this sound familiar to anyone?  It sounds very much like my first months in the kitchen.

So here are three recipes – enough to make a complete meal – that are pretty much foolproof.  And they’re not hard.  I promise.  I’m going to tell you how to make a whole chicken in the slow cooker, rice that’s never mushy, and steamed green beans that everyone loves (and I mean everyone, like toddlers and teenagers and people who don’t like vegetables).  Plus, I’ll even throw in made-from-scratch chicken stock. Continue reading