A few months ago, I wrote about the Cooking Planit app and how I was actually able to cook the family a delicious meal with its help. Which is a huge accomplishment for me because I can’t even make toast that’s edible.
Cooking Planit gives you step-by-step, timed instructions that are voice activated so you don’t have to touch your iPhone or iPad with “meatball hands.” For my first meal, I picked Zesty Chicken, which was comprised of Sautéed Chicken Tenders with Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce, Grilled Crostini and Sautéed Garlic Spinach. And, despite doing a few dumb things like dropping a knife on my foot and starting a small fire, the food was all done at the same time and tasted amazing. My husband said it was the best thing I’ve ever cooked, which is saying a lot after being married for 20 years.
And now Cooking Planit is giving you all a chance to win a wonderful Spice set! Here are the spices that are included in the set, along with my moronic-can’t-cook-for-crap ideas about each one:
Ground Cumin – Perfect for um, cumin beef!
Basil – I worked with a guy named Basil once; he stole people’s lunches
Saigon – Wait, didn’t that fall? #Vietnamhumor
Cinnamon – Not just a stripper name!
Bay Leaves – I don’t think pandas eat these, but I’m not sure
Smoked Paprika – That sounds like a good spray tan shade!
Thyme – Something I don’t have enough of, am I right, ladies?
Garlic Powder – Teenage vampires, beware!
Mediterranean Oregano – Better than Midwestern Oregano
Onion Powder – Don’t use on your nose
Rosemary – Not just George Clooney’s deceased aunt!
Red Pepper Flakes – These are the guys who got kicked out of Red Hot Chili Peppers
Coriander Powder – Perfect for um, coriander beef!
Cayenne Pepper – Excellent secret yogurt topping for the mean PTO President
Ground Cloves – Probably not the kind you smoked when you listened to Depeche Mode
Chinese Five Spice – Not FOUR spice, FIVE spice!
Turmeric – I don’t know what this is, but it sounds badass
Curry Powder – Tiny, little bits of Ann Curry donated by NBC
Yellow Mustard – Personally, I like Fuchsia Mustard, but this is probably good
Plus there’s Nutmeg Powder, Pennsylvania Pepper, Cardamon Powder, Cajun Seasoning, Allspice Powder, Hill Country Chili Powder, Ginger Root Powder and Manzanillo Mexico Seasoning. I know! SO MANY SPICES!
Of course Cooking Planit has tons and tons of recipes and an excellent resident chef named Emily Wilson who has brilliant menu ideas for all of these spices.
TO WIN THIS SET, LEAVE A COMMENT TELLING US YOUR FAVORITE SPICE! (Note: Posh, Sporty, Baby, Ginger and Scary will not be accepted.) Contest ends on 3/27. Good luck!
And guess what? You can increase your chances with winning the Cooking Planit Spice Giveaway by entering one of the 50 other contests!
*Note: The dates below are start dates, some bloggers may not get their contests started until the evening on that date, so please be patient. We promise, all links are real, all parties are enthusiastic and willing participants. And it’s a proven fact, that your chances of winning go up exponentially each time you enter an additional contest. Thank you.
(This prize has been gifted to us as a promotion by Cooking Planit)
I’m a terrible cook. It’s true. And not “terrible” in the “this needs more salt” kind of way; “terrible” in the “mommy’s going to the Emergency Room again” kind of way. Cooking’s just not for me.
But because I have a husband and two kids who like to eat food upon occasion, it would be kind of nice if cooking was for me. In fact, I’ve long wondered if I’d cook more often if I felt more confident putting meals together. Meals that actually turn out and don’t prompt the response of, “Can we just have vitamins and water for dinner instead of this grody black stuff, mommy?”
Which is why I said “yes, please” when CookingPlanit asked me to try their new app. CookingPlanit works as a meal planner and recipe organizer, but it also gives fabulous step-by-step instructions on prepping and cooking your meals so everything is done at the same time. I know, what a concept.
I downloaded the CookingPlanit app on my iPhone, then looked through all of their meal recipes. (Unlike most cooking websites, they don’t have an overwhelming amount, which I appreciated.) You can either choose a complete meal or combine various entrees and side dishes, then Cooking Planit will generate a grocery list that can be printed or kept on your iPhone or iPad.
Then, once you’re ready to start cooking, Cooking Planit gives you step-by-step, timed instructions that are voice activated so you don’t have to touch your iPhone or iPad with “meatball hands.” For my first meal, I picked Zesty Chicken, which was comprised of Sautéed Chicken Tenders with Creamy Sun-Dried Tomato Sauce, Grilled Crostini and Sautéed Garlic Spinach. And, despite doing a few dumb things like dropping a knife on my foot and starting a small fire, the food was all done at the same time and tasted amazing. My husband said it was the best thing I’ve ever cooked, which is saying a lot after being married for 20 years.
Here’s what the step-by-step looks like with the start and finish times:
A couple of nights later, I made blue cheese steak, roasted green beans and a Bibb lettuce salad and even made my own dressing. That’s HUGE for me. Here’s a picture as proof:
It was really, really good and I’m still amazed I was able to do it. Cooking Planit has many more features and benefits that I can’t possibly detail here, so please take a look at their website and/or this video.
Cooking Planit is free on your desktop, but it works best with the app that you can purchase for your iPhone or iPad at the Apple store. (Droid coming soon.) And guess what? The first five commenters on this post, get the app for free! So comment! Then get yourself in the kitchen and start cooking!
I was not compensated for this post.
Believe it or not, it’s our birthday today! Yes, just three years ago The Mouthy Housewives were nothing but a twinkle in Bradley Cooper’s Swiffer and now just look at us! We’re walking, we’re talking, we’re learning to use the potty by ourselves—OMG, it’s so fun to be 3! Wheeee!
We’re celebrating our big milestone by swilling champagne, gobbling chocolate and licking pictures of Channing Tatum in our Mouthy Mansion all week, and that’s why we need your help. As you know, all year long, we four gorgeous martyrs answer every single one of your questions. Happily, we may add. Even the dog poop and naked model with a stiffy ones. But our birthday is the one week a year when we ask YOU to help US with our issues. Yep, we have problems, too, friends. Even stunning geniuses have flaws. Just ask poor, troubled Giselle Budchen. Bikinis can chafe.
But because we love all of you, our readers, we know that you’re up to the task. So just do what we do: carefully read the question, sniff some glue and/or bath salts, then put on your thinking Spanx and give us your best answers to our problems. Isn’t that so much easier than buying us all a present? Thank you!
First up: Wendi
Dear Mouthy Housewives’ Readers,
I absolutely hate cooking dinner. HATE IT. I’m a terrible cook and just not interested in improving. I’d be perfectly happy having cottage cheese and fruit for dinner every night if I lived alone. Maybe popcorn if I was feeling festive.
The problem is, I don’t live alone. I live with two kids and a husband. And did you know that kids need to be fed THREE TIMES A DAY?
Anyway, I can usually figure out something they’ll eat, but then my husband doesn’t like it. (He’s very, very healthy and often goes on various regimines where he won’t eat carbs, etc.) Or I make something he likes and the kids hate it. I don’t want to cook something different for everyone, nor am I that interested in delving into cookbooks and trolling Whole Foods for the perfect recipe to please everyone. But I would like us all to eat together at least a couple of nights a week.
My husband is probably okay with just making his own food, but he also works all day and it’d be nice if I could at least make a couple of meals for the family. Any suggestions? Signed,
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
My fiancée makes great food, and she cooks for us almost every night. We both work the same number of hours, but she cooks because she gets home earlier. I feel bad about letting her take on all the responsibility of food management, especially since I feel exhausted at the end of the day and I figure she must too.
I asked my father about it, but he’s quite old-fashioned and, though he’s supportive of me generally, he said I shouldn’t interfere with “women’s work.”
I don’t even know how to bring up the topic with her, and I’m a terrible cook. What should I do?
No Chef Boyardee
Dear No Chef,
It’s a good thing you’ve put a ring on it because, frankly, I was considering divorcing my husband just to pursue your kitchen-handy fiancée! I think my spouse may have had the same thought. For some reason he’s tired of the toasted cheese sandwiches I know how to make. Like those somehow get old after 18 years together? He’s very high maintenance!
Also, while I’m sure your father has a lot of good advice in other areas, I’m not confident “it’s women’s work” is a good motto to follow. Does Gordon Ramsey know that cooking is “women’s work”? I’m not really sure you want to anger a guy who’s been quoted as saying: “I have a very assertive way. It’s wake up, move your ass, or piss off home.”
Now, as for your lack of culinary know-how, it’s possible to make up for this inadequacy in other ways, like cleaning the bathroom. Properly. You know, by using ACTUAL cleaning fluid and NOT your wife’s toothbrush. Take it from my husband, that’s the quickest way to find yourself sharing a 1-bedroom apartment with 8 other guys, one of whom goes by the name of Cooter and doesn’t believe in store bought liquor.
But without sitting down with your gal and talking it out, it’s hard to know what her wish list may contain. Perhaps, she’d prefer you to wash the dishes or mop the floor or give the cat a haircut? Having this discussion will give the two of you much needed practice for the many and varied conversations (both heated and not) that are a huge part of marriage and your next 20+ years together.
Dear Mouthy Housewives,
My parents are staying with us over the holidays and although I’m happy to have them with us and my children adore them, I’m not happy that my mother tries to get the kids to drink soda.
I’m not a health nut, but we do not drink soda and I see no reason to give any to my 3 and 5 year old children.
I’ve talked to my mother about this in past years (she brings the soda with her, and doles it out as a special treat) and she said that she doesn’t know what the big deal is.
She thinks I’m being the food police. What do you think?
How can you possibly be the food police if what you’re monitoring is your children’s beverage intake? Or is the beverage police a unit of the larger food police force? And is Sipowitz part of that particular task force? Because I’m still not over seeing his butt on NYPD Blue.
I do know that as a parent you have a right to determine what your children get to eat and drink. And your mother doesn’t get to overrule you.
I don’t blame you for nixing soda in your home. It has absolutely no health benefits and there’s a lot to show that it’s bad for children. (If it’s part of their daily diet. A once-a-year soda, even once a month soda is probably ok.)
Your mother may think that it is more than ok and that you are depriving your children of their constitutional right to sugar and carbonation. She can think that all she wants but she can’t substitute her values for yours and make decisions for your children.
It is also not ok for her to disregard your wishes. What if she decides one day that your children need to wear matching Christmas sweaters with reindeer appliques? Then what are you going to do?
You should talk to your mother again, perhaps in advance of her visit. Let her know that although you appreciate the time she spends with your children and you value their relationship, you are concerned about the studies that have been coming out regarding sweetened beverage consumption and childhood obesity and diabetes. If you need more ammunition, blame New York City (everyone else does) and their anti-soda posters.
I suspect that your mother may be trying to find a special treat that she can share with grandchildren-a forbidden fruit, so to speak, that will win them over. Suggest to her that spending time doing a favorite activity (singing Justin Bieber songs? Playing Trouble?) would be a lot better for the children’s health and the grandmother-grandchildren relationship in the long run. And if she still insists on the forbidden fruit, consider persimmon.