Meals

Cooking Big Portions

Category: Meals

We have six children and cooking can be very time consuming. When I am going to brown hamburger, I might brown 15 pounds of hamburger at one time. I will portion it off and use some for chilli right away, put some in a tupperware container for tacos tomorrow and bundle the rest in one pound bowls to use for quick hamburger helper. Same goes for potatoes. When I make potato soup, I will peal 20 pounds of potatos. Half of that is for soup which will be made that night. The rest will be mashed and then put into tupperware containers and into the freezer for quick homemade mashed potatos later in the week sometime. Same with chicken. I cook up a ton of boneless, skinless chicken breasts at one time. We may have chicken that night and I will shred the rest of it to be used in chicken tetrazinni or white chicken chilli later in the week. It may seem simple, but these are HUGE time savers!! I spend less time over the stove and in the kitchen and more time with my husband and my family.

Chewy Cookies

Category: Meals

If your cookies got slightly overcooked - or they got dried out for one reason or another - don't throw them out! You can return them from crisp and crunchy to soft and chewy just by storing them in an airtight container with 1-2 fresh pieces of bread. By the next morning (or sooner) you will have soft and chewy cookies to enjoy! I have done this for so long that my own kids think that's how everyone keeps their cookies.

Eating Early

Category: Meals

I'm a single mom and my son is 11. Hes always so hungry when he gets home from school, and usually I am too. I work and Im a full time student, so our dinner is at 4 everyday. Every Tuesday we have spaghetti and we call it "Raguesday" because my son only likes Ragu traditional sauce so we have indeed made it a "tradition" eating early gives us the entire evening free, also saves on groceries when you skip that after school snack.

PB & J

Category: Meals

When my children were young and they would take their lunch to school, I would make their favorite peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I learned a little trick to make sure the bread wouldn't get soggy from the p.b. and the jelly. I would lightly spread a thin layer of butter or margarine on the bread before putting either p.b. or jelly on it.The sandwich would stay fresh for them until time to eat at lunch. Now I have a new grandson and will do the same for him someday.

Shredding Chicken

Category: Meals

We eat a lot of chicken at our house, and a lot of recipes call for shredded chicken- from casseroles to Mexican dishes to chicken salad. I buy a bag of frozen chicken breasts, stick them in the crockpot with a little bit of water and 8 hours later you have chicken falling part and easy to shred. You can stick it in the fridge and use it for your recipes that week. I assumed everyone did this, but I have found that many people bake the chicken breasts or bake an entire chicken and debone it, etc. The crockpot way is the easy way!

Cutting Onions

Category: Meals

I HATE cutting onions and found a little trick to sometimes help keep the burning and watering of my eyes to a minimum. :-) I grip a match stick in my teeth when cutting the onion, now this method is not 100% but it works for me about 95% of the time.

Dinner Menu Board

Category: Meals

I was tired of always having to answer the question, "Mom! What's for dinner?" I made a dinner menu board that hangs in my kitchen. I simply pick out what we're going to eat that week and attach the right dinner card to the day of the week. You can check out an example of it at my website, www.kristinakreations.etsy.com. It has helped keep me more organized as well as let all of the members of my family know what's for dinner for the week.

Once a Month Cooking

Category: Meals

I do once a month freezer cooking. I joined a website for once a month moms and I get the recipes, cards, labels and instructions. I was so tired of running to fast food places because we are too busy and this website has a gluten free menu. I just pull out the meals at the beginning of each week and whoever gets home first puts the food in the oven. My 9 yr old gets paid to help and he's learning a lot of cooking skills. They have meal plans for a variety of special diets, including gluten free.

Wooden Spoon

Category: Meals

One of my biggest problems is things boiling over when I'm cooking! If you take a wooden spoon and lay it across the top of the pot it won't boil over! (This isn't a 100% guarantee, but 95% or better!)

Snack Healthier

Category: Meals

Want to snack healthier, but find when you are hungry it's easier to just grab for a bag of chips? I have found that when I buy fruits or veggies, when putting them away, I take a minute to wash them and cut or divide into snack sized portions before refrigerating. This way when I want a snack, I can grab the bag of pre-washed grapes (no stems, no fuss) or carrots or whatever and eat that instead of potato chips or candy. Simple, easy, and you don't feel guilty for snacking! :)