About EZ-DinnerIdeas.com

Mission Statement

My mission statement is to show you how to plan and prepare creative, quick, healthy, easy dinner on the table in no time with a very low budget.

If you are a beginner, I hope these recipes and my journey starting this website will inspire you to give cooking a try.

Cooking in the kitchen with my favorite music playing in the background is in my sanctuary. I love to cook. I truly believe that cooking for a family meal is one of the ways to show your love to the people around you.

Otherwise, why would you bother, right?

Hi! I am Janny Chen-Read.  I am a big fan of promoting to spend more quality time with the family on the dining table.

And I love to spend time with my son in the kitchen. I believe that it is not only good for bonding, but also boosting little ones' creativity.

Creator and Owner of EZ-DinnerIdeas.comWonder what is on that plate? It's my mom's 1,2,3,4,5 Spare Ribs

My Story

I always thought that what I learned from my mom is common knowledge. Everybody in my family knows it. So, I assumed everybody in the world knows it, too.  That's why I never had any desire to write any recipes.  Why write something that people know already, right?

But then moving to the States in 2002 and got married, the number of the family gatherings we went to had never been like this in my life.

It is very usual that everybody would bring a dish. When I bring mine, family and friends always ask me questions of how I do this and that. At first, I thought that it was the way for people to have casual conversation with me and being nice and polite 'cos I am a very quiet person.

The inspiration of EZ-DinnerIdeas.comMy mom, my inspiration and my teacher, with my son in Hong Kong Disneyland

Throughout these conversations, I realized that everybody knows something. They always show genuine interests of how a dish was put together.

Not until in 2004, had my husband asked me to write down all these dishes that I whipped up, I would have never got it started.

About 3 years later, I started a cooking blog. The response was not as good as I expected. Part of it because of my writing skills and photography were still very raw. I just knew that I kept posting new recipes on the blog. But I never considered about the structure and keywords to attract more visitors.

Since 2009, I started a traveling website, Facts-About-Hong-Kong.com, through SiteSell (a.k.a. SBI).  This is the best web hosting company that I had ever come across since my love of building websites starting in the late 1990s.  But then, having a child, a full-time job and a website, it is not easy work.  Hosting a 2nd website, that means more work.  So, I have been holding on not to take another step.

By 2013, SBI was doing a promotion.  I think infinite intelligence tried to tell me, "Janny, no more waiting.  Take this opportunity and move forward."

Throughout all these years, I wrote over 1,500 recipes and still counting. I believe that I should have enough content.  Besides, my full-time job requires me to write a lot of procedures with many, many screen-shots.  Many co-workers came to tell me how much they appreciate the step-by-step guidelines to get jobs done.

I guess I was prepared.  I was ready.  Then, EZ-DinnerIdeas.com was born.

My Culinary Background

Making Easter Bunny Cake with my sonMaking Easter Bunny Cake with my son

I always love to whip up a new dish with some crazy ideas since I was a kid. So, doing it is really like breathing. (To me, it's effortless.)

I have never had any formal training when it comes to cooking. Although I learned almost everything about cooking from my mom, it is really running in the family blood. Everyone in my family affected me in many different ways.

My grandparents from both sides of my family cooked a lot. I will tell you a little bit more later.

Making Popsicle with my little oneMaking Popsicle with my little one

I started cooking since I was 11. My mom never asked me going into the kitchen to learn how to cook.

But for whatever reason when I was at that age, I always loved to hang out with her when she was in the kitchen. We talked pretty much about everything while we were in that little room. I still miss that time and hope that my son will do the same thing with me when he gets older.

During the process, she told me this and that of how to cook, how to pick the best ingredients, what to do and many more. She even told me the mistakes she made.

My mom is definitely my role model and inspiration. She is every reason why I am here sharing the recipes, tips, techniques and my passion with you.

When she was expecting my baby sister 2 years later, I took on the role of taking care of the family dinner. My mom had been teaching me cooking. During the last few months before the baby came, she took me to the market and show me where to go and how to pick the ingredients. They were all hands-on experience that I will never get it anywhere or at any time during my life.

The tips and techniques my mom showed me had never been heard of, but unbelievably amazing. (The funny thing was I always thought that those are common knowledge not until after I got married.)  This is what my husband commented about the skills my mom taught me, "Your mom taught you good."

I cannot emphasize enough how much she affected and still affects me. She is always there for us no matter if we are up or down, happy or sad.

I did say that families from both sides of my parents cooked. My late paternal grandfather (from my father side) owned a Chiu Chow restaurant for a long period of time. We dined a lot in his restaurant.

Also, he loved to cook. I still remember seeing him staying in his less-than-30-square-feet kitchen for days cooking the Chiu Chow geese to give them out to friends and family as gifts every Chinese New Year. (To some westerners, this sounds scary and/or gross.  But these geese my grandfather prepared were priceless to many Asian.)

My late maternal grandmother, from my mom side, catered and entertained 8-10 people in her less-than-400-square-feet apartment every day for the Chinese Mahjong. She and my mom are the kind of people always look into the fridge and/or pantry for easy dinner ideas. Whatever coming out from either one of these places, they would whip up a mean dinner. Impressive, huh?

I think I watched them so much that I actually created a lot of pantry recipes.

My uncle, my mom's oldest brother, lived about 4 hours away from us. He and my aunt are pretty much the only relatives I have here in the States. Every time when we visit them, my uncle will make his signature dish. I called it the World Best Prime Rib.

He is another one in my family loves to talk about food and eat. You may find that there are several recipes inspired by my Uncle Joe, for instance, Uncle Joe Citrus Spicy Baked Salmon.

Also, he teaches us a lot about wine although we are not a big wine or alcohol drinker.

My late maternal grandfather's (from my mom's side) only brother had been a chef in a Hong Kong restaurant serving Shanghai cuisine for years.

Yes, that's right.  It is literally everybody in the family from either side knows how to cook.  That's why I said that it is in my blood.  I am so lucky and grateful that I have this blessing.

My Recipe Style

EZ-DinnerIdeas did not start out to have so many low-carb or Keto recipes. In 2018, I decided to follow the Keto diet. My husband and I started on the same day and purchased an ebook for it. Being a big eater, the recipes didn’t work out for me. But I did learn about the definition and food categories of Keto and low-carbs.

Little did I know that at the time many of my recipes are low-carb already. And I had been eating low-carb lunches. Honestly, it was an eye-wide opener that I have been doing it for so many years but not knowing it.

So when I got into Keto diet, all I needed to do was to expand my low-carb eating to Keto. Instead of limited myself in low-carb or Keto lunches, I need to expand to my breakfast, snacks and dinner.

From then on, I have been adding more and more low-carb and Keto recipes.

Does that mean I only publish low-carb and Keto recipes? Absolutely, NOT!

The reason is that I still love my carbs. I have my “cheat” days and a lot of time to enjoy a dinner with families and friends without worrying about carb consumption. My life mantra is, “All about balance.” That’s also the same theory I have been teaching my only son. Nothing can go from one extreme to another. So, carbs or not, you will still find plenty of delicious recipes here.

EZ-DinnerIdeas.com Today

As of right now, I am working hard to get as many, and as quick, my recipes uploaded to the website.  I am also working towards my goal that I can bring enough money in to quit my full-time job

Then, I can 100% dedicate to both my websites.  Since there are over 300 hundred recipes published, I will start to switch gear to work on sharing tips and techniques which I believe that it will make it easier for you getting around in the kitchen.

EZ-DinnerIdeas.com Future

Well, I had never given a thought where I want this website is going to be until starting to write this particular page.  It may be fate or infinite intelligence talked to me again. 

I found a children book less than a week ago while I was writing this page.  It is called, "What do you do with an idea?" by Kobi Yamada.  I want to teach my son through this book that never be afraid if he has an idea.  Keep dreaming and make his dreams come true.

When I was younger, I always had some crazy ideas.  People laughed at them and I felt ashamed of these "ridiculous" ideas.  Then, I gave them up. 

Busy kids, busy moms and busy families...that's why you need easy dinner ideas.Playing baseball is one of my son's extracirricular to fit in our busy schedule.

Talking about being "ashamed", I faced my fear by participating in a crock pot cook off in Mar 2019.  I specifically created this new recipe for this competition.  As usual, I combined the Chinese ingredients, my culinary culture and the western ingredients and cooking method into one to make this slow cooking dish.  Little did I expect that I was the champion of that contest.   So, what did I learn from this contest?  NO idea is too crazy or "ridiculous".  Just go for it.

For a long period of time, I learned that many of my crazy ideas became reality a few years after I gave them up.  After seeing it so many times, I started to realize that there are other people having about the same ideas like mine and they executed them to make them reality.  The best of all, these wonderful ideas change the world and make it a better place.

So, what do I see the future is going to be?  I want EZ-DinnerIdeas.com to change the world, too.  If it is an inspiration for you to cook, to start a website or to face your fear in your life, I truly believe that it accomplished its mission.

I would love to hear from you how you like or dislike my recipes.  If these recipes inspire you do something that you have never done before, please drop me a few lines or contact me and share your story with me and our visitors.

If this website helps you one way or the other, please spread the words to your friends and family.  Thank you very much for stopping by and your continued support. 

Keep Cooking and Have Fun,

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