Posted on 31 October 2011 by noelskitchen
A week ago, I unexpectedly hurt my back while doing laundry of all things. I must have bent down and pulled something while picking up clothes off my daughter’s bedroom floor. (Funny how kids miss the hamper.) Needless to say, I’ve haven’t been doing much in the kitchen. I’ve relied a lot on the meals that I’ve prepared ahead of time on my freezer cooking days.
Last night’s dinner was inspired by the Food Network show Ten Dollar Dinners. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy this meal came together and will be adding it to future meal plans. The meal didn’t take much prep work and the crock pot did most of the work. I used beef stew meat that was frozen in a zesty marinade but chicken or pork would be delicious too!
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 8 hours
Total time: 8 hours 10 mins
Have your own burrito bar with these burrito bowls! They were so simple to throw together!
- 2 cups cooked white rice
- 2 cups cooked blans beans (I used 2 15-ounce cans rinsed black beans)
- 2 cups marinated shredded beef ( I used beef stew meat marinated in salt, pepper, zest of an orange and chopped onion cooked in slow cooker for 8 hours then shredded with a fork.)
- 1 1/2 cups iceberg lettuce, shredded
- 1 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- Sour cream
- Cook stew meat in slow cooker on low setting for 8 hours.
- minutes before meat is done, boil water for rice. Once water comes to a boil, add rice and black beans and cook according to rice package insturctions.
- When ready to serve, remove stew meat from slow cooker and shred. (At this point, it should easily shred.)
- Divide the rice and bean mixture evenly among serving bowls. Add the shredded beef.
- Sprinkle on the cheese, and spoon a dollop of the sour cream on top. Finish with the chopped fresh cilantro and your favorite salsa.
Leftovers would make a tasty lunch too!
Posted on 27 October 2011 by noelskitchen
Double a recipe works great for Taco Bar Nights
Meal planning has made a tremendous impact on our weekly family schedules. Cooking and meal planning has become more than just a hobby, it’s become a way of everyday lifestyle for me. If I don’t meal plan, I’m doomed when it comes to dinner time. One of the shortcuts for timesaving tips for meal planning I frequently talk about is making and prepping foods ahead of time.
Cooking can be quick! Believe me, I’m always looking for the fastest way to make a recipe. Using these types of timeshaving tips in the kitchen, you are guaranteed to save time.
- Boiling Pasta: Always boil more pasta than you need. After draining, toss the extra pasta lightly with olive oil, and store it in a zip-loc bag in the refrigerator uo to three days. Reheat the pasta in boiling water just until thouroughly heated.
- A Quick Peel: If you have tomatoes or peaches to peel, dip the fruit into boiling water for 15 to 30 seconds; wait a few seconds after removing, and then the skin will just slip right off. (This helps when making homemade red sauce for pastas, or when you’re making pies from scratch.)
- Freeze It: Chop and freeze 1/2 cup to 1 cup portions of green pepper, onion, and parsley in zip-loc freezer bags, or purchase prepackaged frozen chopped onion and green pepper. When you have the extra time, prepare dry breadcrumbs, shredded cheese, and toasted nuts to freeze. This tip also works for freezing chicken, beef or pork ahead of time.
- Buy Convenience: Look for washed and ready-to-use bags of spinach, broccoli florets, baby or shredded carrots, celery hearts, and lettuce and slaw mixes in the produce section of your grocery store.
- Double a Recipe: Make twice as much of a recipe; then you’ll have a heat-and-eat dinner ready to serve on another day. (This works great for those taco bar nights we have.)
- Think Thin: Thinly slice or cut foods into small pieces, and they’ll cook faster.
How do you save time when meal planning?
Posted on 21 October 2011 by noelskitchen
Family life in today’s lifestyle is just crazy. We all seem to be running around, over-stressed, over-scheduled, over-worked, and under-paid! We all want and need to make our family and home life as sane and peaceful as possible. Learning how to organize your life will provide you with an immeasurable amount of sanity and peace. And of course more time for Family Fun Nights!
photo courtesy of imom
Recently, I discovered the fun of Pinterest. I just signed up at the beginning of the month-and it’s been fun to see all the fun and creative ideas. It can be quite addictive, as you can see from mine, it’s a slow work in process. I try and take a day or two a week to browse. I’ve found some fun ideas and have been able to start creating some fun boards for reference in the future.
If you’ve had the chance to sign up and explore Pinterest, you can follow me here. But if you haven’t, I thought I would share some of my Family Fun Night Discoveries.
:: 20 Ideas For A Family Fun Night for lots of different ideas for Family Fun Nights from IMOM.
:: Family Fun Cupcakes for lots of different fun ways to make cupcakes for all occassions from All Things Cupcakes.
These are just a couple Family Fun Night ideas I’ve come across.
Have you found some clever and quick ideas for Family Fun Nights?
Tell us in the comments!
Posted on 19 October 2011 by noelskitchen
Yum…I can’t even tell you what I was thinking when I saw this picture while I was searching for some new Fall Recipes to try. It’s definitely added to my weekend to bake list. I’ll be adding more new recipes to my favorites on my Pinterest as I find them.
I found this recipe by Julie on Willow Bird Baking while I was searching for Fall Recipes to add to my collection of Fall Recipes Roundup. Julie is a fellow Featured Publisher on Food Buzz. She has lots of wonderful looking recipes for Fall.
I haven’t started making any recipes with pumpkin yet and I can’t tell you how anxious I am right now about trying this recipe out. It’s the perfect Fall Recipe for this baking season which is starting for just about everyone and for me the recipe has the perfect combination of pumpkin and spices joined together. So thank you Julie for sharing this recipe.
To view and add this Fall Recipe to your collection of recipes and learn a little more about Julie and Willow Bird Baking please CLICK HERE.
Photo Credit: Willow Bird Baking
If you give this recipe a try, please come back and tell me how you and your family liked it.
What Fall Recipes are you rounding up?
Posted on 18 October 2011 by noelskitchen
I’ve been making my own Freezer Baking Mixes and Dinner Mixes (still working on those) for a while and have come to the conclusion that it is so much easier and frugal for my family to make my own. Yes, I know box mixes are more convienent for some, however you’ll be much happier making your own. You can make packets significantly cheaper and far tastier over the long run. I was able to purchase snack size zip-loc bags at the $1 store that hold the perfect individual serving size.
My family loves oatmeal. It’s on my weekly menu for breakfast quite often. It’s a very healthy way to get your body running for the day, plus it’s very good for you.
Homemade Oatmeal Packets~The Simple Recipe
Each snack bag includes:
1/4 cup instant oatmeal
1 Tablespoon dry milk powder(can also use non-dairy creamer)
1/8 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 Tablespoon raisins or dried cranberries
1 teaspoon nuts (optional)
When ready to make: Add 1/4 cup water or a little less depending on how creamy or think you like your oatmeal.
It’s the perfect way to start a busy school morning or when you’re in a hurry and need a quick handy breakfast.
Optional Ingredients: Dried fruit like apples, bananas, pears, peaches, strawberries or blueberries. Dry soy or rice milk can be used in place of regular dried milk or creamer.
Storage Tip: I’ve been storing my extra packets in the freezer with no problems. Each box of snack bags includes 25 baggies.
Money Saving Tip: Don’t throw away snack baggies. You can reuse them to make more.
These are some of our favorite ways to eat oatmeal. What are some of yours?