Meals

Cook Big Meals

Category: Meals

As a busy career woman and single mother of 3, I have learned to plan ahead and cook big meals that leave leftovers for the week and freezing for meals later in the month or next month. For example, last night I cooked a double batch of chili and a double batch of cornbread muffins. Extras will go in the freezer.  I made healthy protein bars that make for a healthy breakfast or snack as well. I also made breakfast muffins and froze them so the kids can grab one or two for breakfast. So 4 hours of cooking last night and now I don't have to cook for a few days other than small sides.

Peaches in the Freezer

Category: Meals

Buy a box/crate of peaches, put in freezer. When you need peaches take out one two or three at a time. Run under hot water till the peel slips right off.  Microwave a few seconds, cut up and use just like any frozen fruit.
But you have no more boiling, cutting, packing fruit fresh.

Reheating Fries

Category: Meals

To reheat french fries without leaving them soggy lay fries on a small baking sheet, lightly spray with PAM (no, not her; the no-stick cooking spray!) Pop under the broiler for 2 minutes, turn the fries over on the sheet and pop back under the broiler for another minute. They will come out nice and crispy like they were originally! Another variation is using the garlic spray instead and you have garlic fries that you can add a little pepper after reheating and they're marvelous!!

Make Vanilla Sugar

Category: Meals

Want to build flavor in that recipe? Make vanilla sugar. The next time your recipe calls for vanilla bean, what will you do with the pod once you scrape out the seeds? That's right, add it to your sugar storage jar. Over time, the vanilla will infuse into the sugar giving your sugar a good building block for your next recipe.

Same 30 Recipes

Category: Meals

Keep menu plans simple by using the same 30 recipes each month. One day each month (or how ever often you choose) can be open to try out a new recipe. Works well if recipes are written out on notecards and kept in a file box or written down in a binder and in page protectors.
Saves time and money and you don't have to feel like you need to reinvent dinner. Most families have favorite recipes, anyway. This can create memories for kids, too. Kids will be able to pass along signature recipes from one generation to another.

Low Calorie Cookie

Category: Meals

For keeping your cookies from sticking use the Pam nonstick spray. Buy the one with 0 calories and fat or just use a nonstick cookie sheet. For a good 28 calorie cookie recipe you can use egg beaters and "I Can't Believe It's Not Butter" instead of the regular eggs and butter.

Crock Pot Sundays

Category: Meals

I spend a good part of my day on Sunday at church. I teach Sunday School and do the choir so between teaching and the worship services and Choir practice it makes for a busy Sunday. By the time I get home at night its after 7pm. To avoid having to come home and cook dinner and make my family wait for it, I get up around 7am and put dinner in the crock pot and let it cook all day. Then when I get home Sunday night its all ready for me and my family to eat. It saves time and the family doesn't have to wait for food that late at night. I love it, it's just a trick I do for making my Sunday a bit easier, and my kids less grumpy...

Pre-Cook Meat

Category: Meals

To help make quick and easy meals, I pre-cook the meat.  Hamburger, chicken, etc.  Then I freeze in small packages to make ready for recipes.  The biggest tip is to take cooked chicken breasts, put them in the KitchenAid mixer with the paddle attachment and it shreds the chicken.  This is perfect for quesadillas, tacos and other chicken recipes.  Freeze in individual bags for quick and easy dinners for busy nights.

Marinade

Category: Meals

An easy way to marinade a roast or steaks is to cover with fruit juice (other than citrus) and refrigerate overnight. Cook in a slow cooker until tender and make enough for 2 or 3 meals. Portion out and freeze the remaining meat for other meals. Reuse (store in the freezer) remaining marinade and add more juice as needed in the future.

Browning Hamburger

Category: Meals

One thing that I do to simplify cooking is to brown a lot of hamburger when ever I need some. Then I use what I need right then, and put the rest into baggies or containers and put in the freezer for next time I need browned hamburger. This makes spaghetti, or chili, or hamburger helper, or tacos, just a little faster! In some cases it also saves from having to use and wash a skillet.