Tag Archive | "Kid Friendly Recipes"

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What’s on the Menu? A Week of Frugal Meals

Posted on 15 August 2011 by noelskitchen

  I mentioned that I was creating my family weekly menu with frugal and kid pleasing recipes. I know that this will be a busy week for us as the kids head back to school on Wednesday and I’d like to spend less time in the kitchen and more time on what’s happening during this first week. My hands will be tied filling out updated registration packets and I’ll be reading the teacher’s curriculum for the year.  So my strategy is to have some readymade meals I can just simply pull out of the freezer or store well in air tight containers.

So far, I’ve made:

Chicken Riddle Soup
Honey Granola Crunch
Homemade Sandwich Bread-1 test loaf

We finally after talking and thinking about it for the past few months moved our second fridge/freezer into the garage. It is clean, hooked up and ready to go. Needless to say, I see lots of freezer cooking in my future. I have a little more time on my hands this week to put my cooking plan into action. (Our office is closed again this week, boss is in Costa Rica.)

I started a kitchen list to work through today and tomorrow before school starts on Wednesday:

  • Clean the kitchen.
  • Start pinto bean in slow cooker.
  •  Make another loaf of sandwich bread.
  • Make another batch of brownies for the freezer.
  • Make Muffin Mix
  • Prep veggies for snacking.
  •  Make waffle mix.
  • Make Pizza dough.
  •  Marinate chicken breasts before freezing.
  • Make Kid-Pleasin’ Lasagna for the freezer.
  • Bake Oatmeal Raisin cookies.

I definitely have my work cut out for me in the next two days as you can see. If I do all of these ahead of time, I’ll have a much smoother first week of school. Plus, by making a lot of meals and snacks ahead of time from scratch I’ll be saving money in the long run. 

 Normally, these are tasks I would do on Sunday afternoons/evenings.  I may or may not get through everything on my list, but if I write it down, I’ll be more likely to accomplish it before the end of the week. And I’m sure I’ll be adding a few more things to the list that are on my cooking plan for school lunches. I’m working on the recipes too and will post them throughout the week.

Have any Frugal Meal ideas you’d like to share?




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Weekly Family Menu: August 14-20, 2011

Posted on 14 August 2011 by noelskitchen

Back To School Week

  I really can’t believe summer vacation is almost over. We’ve officially hit the Back to School shopping frenzy.  Luckily, I prepared myself for a less stressful back to school week by getting a head start on school shopping a bit during the summer.

Now, it’s time to think about a new menu for the week. I created a cooking plan of frugal and kid friendly recipes for school lunches and as always have a simple casual dinner plan that I put together based on items that were on sale at the grocery store. Here’s what’s on the menu for the week:

  Weekly Family Menu

Cinnamon Rolls, Berry Banana Fruit smoothies, Honey Granola Crunch, Tex-Mex Breakfast Burritos, Toasty Breakfast Pockets, Pancakes or Waffles

Refer to my Back to School Cooking Series; Create a Cooking Plan for lunch ideas.

Taco Grande, Kid-Pleasin’ Lasagna*, Chicken Riddle Soup* (leftovers can also be used for lunch), Sloppy Joe’s Pocket Sandwiches, Cashew Chicken and Broccoli Stir-Fry, Pepperoni Pizzadillas

*To save time during the week, I’ve pre-made the Chicken Riddle Soup and Kid-Pleasin’ Lasagna ahead of time. I’m preparing the recipes now and will post them later and throughout the week.

What’s on Your Family Menu?

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Kitchen Tip Friday’s:The Family Meals Summer Book Club Selections

Posted on 10 June 2011 by noelskitchen

Happy Friday Everyone!  This week has ended great! We drove to Silver Springs, NV. yeterday to see our niece graduate from high school. Such an overwhelming feeling of happiness and excitement for students and their friends and families. For those of you who have loved ones graduating, congratulations!

As I mention a couple days ago, I thought it might be fun to start a Summer Book Club. We’re choosing from a variety of books from every category. Since we are finishing our last week of June I wanted to get these posted for everyone. To make it easier to find, I’ve added the books to my Amazon Store and they can be purchased from: A Busy Mom’s Kitchen ( or if you find them elsewhere, that’s fine too) Enjoy!


When Did I Get Like This?: The Screamer, the Worrier, the Dinosaur-Chicken-Nugget-Buyer, and Other Mothers I Swore I’d Never Be
By Amy Wilson

Purchase Book


What kind of mother feeds her kids dinosaur chicken nuggets . . . three times a week? What kind of mother lets hand washing slide after using the toilet, as long as it was just Number One?

When Did I Get Like This?


The Four Corners of the Sky: A Novel
By Michael Malone

Purchase Book


Twenty years is a long time to be without a father, and for Navy pilot Annie Peregrine-Goode the sky has become a home the earth has never been. So when her father calls out of the blue to ask for a dying wish—one both absurd and mysterious—no is the easiest of answers. Until she hears that the reward is the one thing she always wanted…

Thus begins an enchanting novel that bursts with energy from the first pages, and sweeps you off on a journey of unforgettable characters, hilarious encounters, and haunting secrets. Malone brings characters to life as only he can, exploring the questions that defy easy answers: Is love a choice or a calling? Why do the ties of family bind so tightly? And is forgiveness a gift to others…or a gift we give ourselves?

Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia
By Elizabeth Gilbert

Purchase Book


This beautifully written, heartfelt memoir touched a nerve among both readers and reviewers. Elizabeth Gilbert tells how she made the difficult choice to leave behind all the trappings of modern American success (marriage, house in the country, career) and find, instead, what she truly wanted from life. Setting out for a year to study three different aspects of her nature amid three different cultures, Gilbert explored the art of pleasure in Italy and the art of devotion in India, and then a balance between the two on the Indonesian island of Bali. By turns rapturous and rueful, this wise and funny author (whom Booklist calls “Anne Lamott’s hip, yoga- practicing, footloose younger sister”) is poised to garner yet more adoring fans.

The Whole Family Cookbook: Celebrate the goodness of locally grown foods
By Michelle Stern

Purchase Book


Note From Noel: Michelle is a wonderful person who’ve I’ve known for the past two years in the online food and family community. She shares my passion for family dinners and cooking with kids. I finally had the chance to meet her in person this past month at the Doof-A-Palooza Family Festival. She is truly a great inspiration annd I’m sure you and your kids will enjoy her cookbook.

There’s no better way to teach your children to eat fresh, healthy, organic food than with recipes you can cook and eat together! Written by the founder of San Francisco’s premier children’s cooking school and award-winning, green-parenting blogger Michelle Stern, this cookbook gives your family the resources you need to cook delicious, local food in any season, including:

  • Practical advice like how to pick the best of local and natural food without spending too much time or money.
  • Color-coded instructions that guide kids of all ages through age-appropriate steps in every recipe.
  • More than 75 organic, family-friendly recipes and beautiful 4-color photos that will get everyone excited about what’s for dinner!

Whether you’re cooking Summertime Kabobs on a balmy June evening or Sweet and Savory Turnovers for a toasty winter breakfast, your family will learn to love the wholesome food–and priceless memories–you can make together.

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How Can I Cut The Fat Without Sacraficing Taste?:Try Fruit or Vegetable Puree

Posted on 07 June 2011 by noelskitchen

While you can cut most of the fat in baked goods by substituting fruit purees or nonfat dairy products for the butter, margarine or oil, taste is the ultimate test.

Baked goods made with natural fat substitutes instead of fat have a comparable flavor to their full-fat counterparts, with a lot less fat. For example, a traditional brownie may contain seven grams of fat per serving. By using a fruit puree like apple in place of the margarine or butter, the fat is reduced to less than two grams of fat per serving.

Much less fat, and lots of flavor!

Some of my favorite fruit purees:

Apples~Prep:Maybe peeled or not. Quarter and Core. Puree:In a food processor or blender for about 2 minutes. (This is great for those apples that are just starting to turn brown.)

Bananas~Prep:Use ripe bananas for the smoothest, sweetest puree. Peel. Puree:Mash with a fork on a cutting board then puree in a food processor or blender for about 2 minutes. (Try to puree the bananas instead of mashing them the next time you make banana muffins or banana bread.)

Blueberries, Raspberries, and Strawberries~Prep:Thaw if frozen. Cut or pull off stems for the strawberries. Puree: In a food processor or blender for about 2 minutes.

This is also a great way to sneak in those veggies your kids don’t usually eat. Just simply puree the vegetable and add to your main dish. We’ll talk about kids eating veggies in another post. In the meantime, what are some of your favorite fruits to puree and what recipes do you use them in?

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Understanding Meals Children Will Eat…Usually

Posted on 01 June 2011 by noelskitchen

When your a parent, reading about feeding your children is one thing. Actually feeding them is quite another story. Their hunger styles may be slightly different than ours, and their taste buds may differ a considerable amount. Still, sometimes as a mom, it’s hard to watch them reject the meals you’ve spent time preparing and cooking. We’ve all battled our chiildren at the dinner table one time or another.  Too often the dinner table turns into this cold war-and you worry that your children will never eat a nutritional meal.

One way to avoid meal problems is to serve nutritious foods that your children really like. Here are some simple meal ideas your children may like.

  1. Top Ramen noodles with peas, broccoli or corn (as a soup or casserole); try adding sliced chicken breasts.
  2. Macaroni and cheese (basically any noodle with cheese.)
  3. Oatmeal with raisins, cinnamon or even applesauce.
  4. Burger/patties with a whole grain roll, ketchup and salad.
  5. Rice and nuts/seeds with vegetable side dishes (a little dip for veggies is okay.)
  6. Pizza (every child’s favorite, right?) use a whole-grain crust, spread with tomato puree, oregano and cheese.
  7. Potato pancakes with wheat germ. (Grate potatoes and an onion. Mix in egg, a little pepper, and a 1/3 proportion of wheat germ. Fry like a patty. Serve with some ketchup or a dollap of sour cream on top.)

These are just a few ideas if you find yourself struggling to get your children to eat their meals. Only you, know exactly what your children like and don’t like. Experiement with different foods and engage your children in the meal planning and cooking process. They get excited when they’re given the opportunity to help. You may find that your children like those meals you make more often.

Do you ever find yourself in a battle with your children at meal times? What are your solutions?

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