Economical Family Cooking and Baking Mixes

July 29, 2009 · Posted in Kitchen Tips · View Comments 

PhotobucketI have always enjoyed researching various cookbooks, newspapers, magazines or watching television’s variety of cooking shows to find ways to improve my cooking, learn to make different meals, foods and of course make my time in the kitchen a breeze. I found that if you set aside one day to prepare for your weeks meals, you’ll have more time for family, fun and your own leisure time. The most time-consuming part of being in the kitchen cooking is gathering ingredients, kitchen tools and measuring ingredients.  Everyone’s lifestyle is different, but we can all agree on having a busy lifestyle has taken alot of you away from spending quality time at the dinner table. There is an easier way. Why not save those extra dollars by doing all the labor and packaging yourself? Even better, have your kids help out in the kitchen. Kids in the kitchen is an exciting and interactive quality time as a family.

968579Making your own cooking mixes are easy, economical, nutritious, fun and they can be very versatile.  By making your own cooking mixes, you can save almost half to three-fourths the time you spend your time on preparing one meal. You can actually do this because you are preparing not just for one meal, but several meals at one time. Believe me, being a mother of four and working full time, this can help tremendously as a kitchen time saving technique.

Most commercial mixes provide us all with a quick convenience, but to me they are considered generally advertised as time-savers rather than as a money-saver. Prices can regularly increase with rising labor and packaging costs.  As I mentioned before, why not do all the labor and packaging yourself.  If you compare the cost per cup of those commercial mixes with your homemade mixes, you will discover that your mixes cost extremely less than about half the price of store mixes. Wow! What a savings for your family. If you plan your grocery shopping right, you can save even more money by watching and browsing the grocery store ads for specials on the staple items such as flour, sugar and shortening.

It’s a great satisfaction in choosing your own ingredients to cook with and knowing exactly what is in your foods. Some may want to reduce the amount of certain preservatives and additives that they consume.  By making your own mixes, this is a great way to start. Making meals from your own mixes, you will notice a fresher flavor in your foods.

907689 Making my own mixes make cooking more enjoyable and more convenient, and they save money! Now you can make the same discovery.


Here’s a Hamburger Mix that you can try. You can substitute the Ground Beef for Turkey Meat. It’s the beginning of many meals, made in minutes.

4 pounds lean ground beef or turkey meat

1 large onion, chopped

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper

1/2 teaspoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

1/2 teaspoon Southwest Seasoning mix (available at Noel’s Kitchen)

Brown ground beef in a skillet. Drain. Add onion and continue cooking over medium heat until onions are golden. Add remaining ingredients. Cool. Spoon mixture into four 1-pint freezer containers, leaving 1/2 inch space at top. Seal and label containers. Freeze. Use within 3 months. Makes about 4 pints of Hamburger Mix.

This recipe makes Taco Salad, Tacos, Stroganoff, Enchilada Casserole, Spaghetti or just an everyday busy casserole.

Almond White Chocolate Chip Cookies

July 19, 2009 · Posted in Recipes · View Comments 



White Chocolate Chips


I really enjoy reviewing and trying recipes different ways. Today, I decided to add a bit of a twist to the regular White Chocolate Chip Cookie.  I added Almond extract in place of the Vanilla and it was a huge hit with the family. They practically devoured the whole plate of cookies.


 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

¾ cup granulated sugar

2/3 cup packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon Almond extract

2 large eggs

2 cups (12-ounce package) White Chocolate Morsels


 Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. In a small mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In another mixing bowl, beat butter, sugars and almond extract until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Sir in white chocolate morsels. Drop by well-rounded teaspoons onto cookie sheets.  Bake 9 to 11 minutes or until centers are set. Cool on cooling rack for 2 minutes. Makes about 5 dozen. Enjoy!

Making Strides to Save the Tattas: Join In The Fight For A Cause!

July 19, 2009 · Posted in Fundraiser Events · View Comments 




Dear Friends,

I’m so excited! This year I have signed up to walk in the Bay Area American Cancer Society Making Strides Against Breast Cancer and I’m hoping you’ll support me. The event will take place in San Jose, CA. on October 31, 2009.  Why Making Strides? Because the American Cancer Society invests the funds I raise in a responsible and effective way, fighting breast cancer on many fronts: groundbreaking research, public awareness and education campaigns, advocacy at the federal and state level to ensure all women have access to mammograms, and free programs and services that improve the quality of life for patients and their families.

I hope that you will support me in my efforts to fight breast cancer. I would greatly appreciate it if you joined my team or made a donation.

If you would like to join my team, please click on the link below to go to my personal page. Click the “Join my team” button.

If you would like to make a donation, please click the link below and click the “Donate” button. In these challenging economic times there is an increased need for the free services that the American Cancer Society provides to patients and their families. A donation of any size would provide critical support to the work being done to fight breast cancer.

Each of us has our own reasons for caring about the fight against breast cancer. Whatever your reasons, I hope you’ll choose to make a difference by signing up to walk with me or by making a donation online to support my efforts. I’m so grateful to have great people like you in my life who care about breast cancer! Together we will make a difference, make history, and make strides.

Click Here To Visit My Personal Page:

Click Here To Visit My Team Page:

Click Here To Visit Company Page:



2009 Making Strides Against Breast Cancer of the Bay Area


Meal Solutions For Your Travels

July 10, 2009 · Posted in Recipes · View Comments 

For the past few days I’ve been getting ready for my company’s National Conference in Chicago. Wondering what to wear, what to bring. But I never thought about what to eat while I’m traveling. Sure, once I get there, but since I’m leaving in the early morning and not arriving until the afternoon, I’ll still need some sort of nourshment along the way.  Now that airline carriers charge so many extra fees, lots of people have resorted to bringing their own snacks and meals.

It’s very easy to take a little bit of time to prepare your own food for a plane trip. Bringing along healthy ingredients like vegetables and grains are very portable and they can be prepared in so many savory ways. Rather than eating foods like chips, candy, try a recipe like this that’s satisfying and delicious.

Just pack ahead and keep everything refrigerated until you go. There are small enoughinsulated lunch bags with freezer packs that will keep your meal fresh.  Tip: If you freeze a small individual container of yogurt the night before, you can than use that for added coldness, as well as a healthy snack once it thaws. Happy travels…………..



Fresh mint gives this dish a pleasant aroma. Dried cranberries offer a hint of sweetness. Use any other dried fruit you like in their place: Try golden raisins, currants, dried cherries, or chopped dried apricots.


3 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups)


  • 3  tablespoons  fresh lime juice
  • 1  tablespoon  extravirgin olive oil
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground cumin
  • 1/4  teaspoon  ground coriander
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 2  cups  boiling water
  • 1 1/3  cups  uncooked bulgur
  • 1/2  cup  matchstick-cut carrots
  • 1/3  cup  dried cranberries
  • 3  tablespoons  slivered almonds, toasted
  • 2  teaspoons  chopped fresh mint
  • 1  (15 1/2-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained


Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk; set aside.

Combine boiling water and bulgur in a large bowl. Cover and let stand 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Add bulgur, carrots, and remaining ingredients to juice mixture, and toss well to coat. Cover and chill.

Nutritional Information

451 (22% from fat)
11.2g (sat 1.1g,mono 6.5g,poly 2.9g)

Noel’s Kitchen Summer Grilling Tip Giveaway Contest

July 4, 2009 · Posted in Noel's Kitchen Giveaway Contest · View Comments 

Summer is here and who couldn’t use some high quality kitchen tools to make their time in the kitchen a breeze. Get out of the kitchen and fire up the grill!  Noel’s Kitchen is giving away a Grill Basket  for the BBQ (wait until you grill some veggies) a Grilling Cookbook that offers 19 sizzling recipes that can be prepared quickly and a Smokin Barbecue Rub.  This contest is open to residents of the U.S. and ages 18 and older.

Contest begins on July 4, 2oo9 and ends on July 22, 2009 at midnight (PST). Void where prohibited. The winner will be selected on July 23, 2009 by Noel’s Kitchen.

To enter:

  1. Each subscriber to the Family Meals Matter newsletter receives one automatic entry. If you’re not already a subscriber, sign up at  Noel’s Kitchen Tips.
  2. Receive an additional 1 entry if you blog or tweet about this contest. (Be sure to e-mail me at to let me know how you spread the word.)
  3. Receive an additional 3 entries for completing the brief (5 item) Noel’s Kitchen Family Meals Matter: Cooking With Kids 2009 at the following link: Cooking Survey.
  4. Receive an additional 5 entries for each new confirmed subscriber you refer to the Family Meals Matter newsletter (Again, be sure to e-mail me and let me know who you’ve referred so I can give you credit.)
  5. Receive an additional 5 entries for each by providing a  grilling tip submission that others may not know (limit of 3 submissions) to the grilling contest.*
  6. Receive an additional 2 entries for submitting a recipe on grilling.
  7. Receive an additional 15 entries for winning the grilling contest.*
 It’s summer time and it’s hot. I know personally  I don’t like adding extra heat to the house by turning on the oven or the stove. I’m looking for your favorite grilling recipes to share in my August kitchen newsletter issue. The winning grilling tip will be chosen by a panel of judges, including myself, and  MeLissa Rocco of DOVE® Chocolate Discoveries(


Grilling tips will be judged on kid appeal, parent appeal, and ease of making. No ovens or stoves allowed.  E-mail your recipe grilling tip submissions to, subject “grilling contest.”


















Hawaiian Chicken Wings

July 3, 2009 · Posted in Recipes · View Comments 

Looking for a great appetizer your guests will enjoy this 4th of July Holiday. Here’s a quick and simple recipe your guests are sure to enjoy!

Hawaiian Chicken Wings


2 pounds wingettes or drumettes

1 cup soy sauce

1  1/2 cups brown sugar

2-3 garlic cloves, pressed

1 Tablespoon seasame oil

2 Tablespoons seasame seeds

4 green onions, chopped


Flour chicken the night before and store in zip-lock bag in refrigerator. Fry wings in 1-inch oil to lightly brown. Cool. Mix soy sauce, sugar, garlic, oil, seasame seeds and onions. Dip wings in sauce and place on cookie sheet. Warm in oven to set sauce and reheat wings. Serve on a bed of lettuce. Sprinkle with seasame seeds and garnish with green onion. Enjoy your 4th of July!

Noel’s Kitchen Smarts: Make The Most Of Your Fruit!

July 1, 2009 · Posted in Noel's Kitchen Smarts · View Comments 



Fruit Facts:

Have you ever gotten excited when you start seeing that succulent fresh summer fruit arrive at your local grocery store,  fruit stand or farmer’s market? This often translates into purchasing before we know exactly how and when we are going to enjoy the recent arrived bounty. To help you know the best way to keep and enjoy our finest finest summer fruit, please note the following tips.

How to test for Ripeness:

Place a piece of fruit in the palm of your hand and squuze gently. If the fruit has some “give” and it smells sweet, it is ready for you to enjoy… on its own or as part of your favorite recipe or smoothie. If you must wait, store ripe fruit in the refrigerator until you are ready to use.

Ripening your Fruit;

Place unripened fruit into a paper bag and close it loosely. Keep the bag at room temperature, away from direct sunlight. The paper bag will encourage the fruit’s natural maturing process. A plastic bag, however, will trap moisture and air which will cause premature spoilage, so always use paper bags.

Storing Fruit

Most fruit, upon achieving proper ripeness, requires refrigeration to maintain its freshness. You should store different varieties of fruit seperately, as storing them together will encourage spoilage. In fact, a fruit bowl filled with all the lovely colors of fruit will spoil  fart more quickly than almost any otrher storage method!

Washing Fruit

You should not wash fruit prior to storing it. By washing it, you are striping away some of the natural protections in the skins which allow the fruit to store longer. Once you are ready to eat the fruit, wash it under clean, running tap water–even if you won’t be eating the fruit’s skin.

Now, go out and enjoy all those lucious summer fruits–knowing exactly how to get the most for your fruit-buying dollars!




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