Busy Moms Quick Breakfast Ideas:Easy Kids Recipes

January 31, 2010 · Posted in Recipes · View Comments 

Busy Moms Quick Breakfast Ideas:

As a mother, I know just how difficult it can be at times to get your kids ready for school, making sure they have breakfast,  make school lunches and even getting yourself ready for the day. With this kid-friendly breakfast recipe, there’s no need to refrigerate overnight or prepare in advance. With a little help from a few great kitchen tools, you’ll have a great tasting breakfast for your kids in less than 30 minutes.

Easy Kids Recipes

 Family Style French Toast (Baked)

Ingredients:

2/3 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

6 eggs, lightly beaten

1 3/4 cup milk

1 loaf of day old french bread, cut into 1-inch slices or thin sliced sandwich bread

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, butter and cinnamon.

Spread mixture evenly over your large bar pan; set aside. This is a great kitchen product to have in your kitchen for quick and easy meals. Distributes heat evenly so your foods stay hotter longer and it’s microwave-, freezer-, and conventional and convection oven-safe. What more could a busy mom ask for?

In another bowl, combine eggs and milk, mix until well blended. Dip bread slices in mixture; flip bread over and then place in bar pan over sugar mixture. Pour any remaining egg milk mixture over bread slices.

Bake, uncovered for 15-25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve brown sugar side up. Drizzle with a little syrup, dust with powdered sugar.

You can also serve with any extra sugar mixture you have.

You’ll never want to make any other kind of French toast.

As always, my quick and easy recipes for Busy Moms can be found on my website Noel’s Kitchen Tips.
 
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Family Pizza Night:Kids In The Kitchen

January 30, 2010 · Posted in Main Dishes · View Comments 

Family Pizza Night:

Thinking of planning a Family Fun Night? We always include at least one Family Fun Night where we all create a simply family meal, watch a movie, play games and listen to music. It’s a great way for our family to unwind after a busy week.

Our family had an extra special night as it was our son’s 9th birthday. We had a great family celebration and we created our own pizzas, with homemade dough and Easy Pizza Sauce. I simply made the dough at the beginning of the week as part of my meal plan, froze it and pulled it out to defrost when I needed it.

Pizza is something that’s real easy to make and most kids love pizza and we always like to build our own pizzas.

 

Here’s some of our Friday night creations.

Garlic Supreme Pizza

Pepperoni Pizza

Sausage Pepperoni

Cheese Pizza

 What does your family do for pizza night? I’m sure there are loss of great ideas for enjoying mealtime together, and I would love for you to share your tips and techniques.

As always, my quick and easy recipes for Busy Moms can be found on my website Noel’s Kitchen Tips.
 
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Kitchen Tools For A Busy Mom:Kitchen Tool Giveaway!

January 28, 2010 · Posted in Kitchen Tips · View Comments 

 Kitchen Tools For A Busy Mom

We all have the basic kitchen tools that make our kitchen functional such as pots and pans, mixing bowls, bakeware, etc. but the right kitchen tools will always make the job easier and quicker for a busy mom.

Part of my business is to share with others that High Quality Kitchen Tools are essential in cooking and food preparation. Here are some of the kitchen tools I use on a daily basis and are considered very basic and something each kitchen should have. It makes cooking for busy moms like us a lot easier.

I recently read in an article,”Home is a very special place for everyone and a kitchen makes a home perfect. No home is complete without a kitchen, and a kitchen is incomplete without the present day kitchen tools and gadgets.”

With the right kitchen tools, you can be well assured of a hassle free cooking.

Some basic kitchen tools include knives and a cutting board. The knife I have shown here is a 5″ Santoku, which has a shorter blade designed for precision tasks like mincing and paper-thin slicing. It fits perfectly in your hand and it’s not too heavy.  The other kitchen tool needed is a Large Grooved Cutting Board. It’s two boards in one! One side is flat, the other features a generous capacity groove to catch the excess juices from meat and fruit. It’s perfect for everyday use.  The best feature about this cutting board is it won’t dull your knife blades like wood or stainless steel. That’s a plus in my book for keeping your knives sharp. Along with the knife, a cutting board helps you chop the vegetables in precise shape and size.

You often need small bits of things like onions, vegetables, cheese, chocolates, nutmegs,and cooked meats. A  Food Chopper is the perfect tool to chop them into small bits without mashing them. You can choose to chop foods directly on a cutting board or in the cap for smaller portions. I like to tell my customers this kitchen tool is the “Transformer” of  all kitchen tools. It comes apart very easily for cleaning. It’s handier than a food processor and much easier to clean.

I tell everyone it’s easier to prep your food ahead of time when planning your menus for the week. Prep Bowls are perfect for storing your recipe ingredients and have a snug-fit lid. What I like about these Prep Bowls is they are made from tempered glass and measure 1-cup perfectly.  They are perfect for the dishwasher, freezer, microwave and oven safe to 350 degrees. Perfect for making custards, melting butter or chocolate.

 Kitchen tools can in fact help reduce the preparation time for any recipe. This particular kitchen tools let you handle your kitchen tasks much more conveniently and with a lesser effort. Here are some other handy kitchen tools I use on a daily basis.

A Stainless Whisk for mixing siffer mixures like batters, a Silicone Scrapper for scrapping clean the sides and bottoms of large stock pots and large sauce pans when making sauces. These scrappers have a great feature: they won’t crack, split or stain, have heat-resistant to 650 degrees F handles and to 450 degrees F dishwasher-safe.

 A Mix-n-Chop tool is perfect when chopping hamburger as it cooks or chopping tomatoes while cooking. And of course every busy mom needs a good Slotted Spoon  to get into tight corners of the pan and scrape pan bottoms. It’s also heat-resitant. I can’t stress enough how beneficial it is to have heat-resistant kitchen tools in your kitchen.

Every busy mom needs to mix, store, reheat and bake.  Batter Bowls are perfect for this. They like the Prep Bowls are made from tempured glass with standard and metric marks for easy measuring. They have a spout and handle for easy pouring, and plastic lids for easy storage. Bowls are dishwasher-, freezer-, microwave- and oven-safe to 350 degrees F.

One of my favorite kitchen tools is my Silicone Basting Brush. I can neatly brush sauces, butter or egg onto foods. It’s stain and odor resistant and has a hanging hook to keep from falling into the bowl and is one of the kid-friendly kitchen tools I share. When making homemade pizzas, it’s perfect for the kids to use.

Lastly, I will share with you what EVERY busy mom needs in her kitchen. A Deep Covered Baker. This is to me like the 20th-Century crockpot. It’s very versatile! You can bake a 5-pound chicken or turkey breast, 4-pound roast, casseroles and so much more!  the best part about this piece is you can use it in the  microwave or oven.

How about chicken fajitas for dinner? Throw some veggies on the bottom, a couple of chicken breasts on top with seasoning, toss in the microwave for 30 minutes and your dinner is ready! How’s that for making dinner for your family? This bakeware is similar to the cast iron skillet.  You oil it a few times and as you continue to cook with it, it seasons as you cook with it. It becomes a darker brown or black color. It retains heat longer so your food stays hot longer.

Having versatile and multifunctional kitchen tools in your home will help busy moms put together a delicious menu quickly and easily for their family. I’ve just shared with you some of my favorite ones. In future posts, I’ll share with you the benefits of having good cookware and other kitchen tools that might peek your interest.

Kitchen Tool Giveway!

Because I feel every busy mom deserves to have High Quality Kitchen Tools in their kitchen, my  Family Meals Matter Cooking Club on Facebook is having a Drawing! 

As a special Thank You for joining the Cooking Club, all fans will be entered into a drawing for some High Quality Kitchen Tools from www.NoelsKitchen.com, refer a friend and earn an extra chance to win! 5 Lucky Winners will be chosen on Feb 28, 2010. Good Luck! 

As always, my quick and easy recipes for Busy Moms can be found on my website Noel’s Kitchen Tips.
 
Would you like to join our Family Cooking Club? Share recipes and tips with others? Join the Family Meals Matter Cooking Club on Facebook.

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Easy Pizza Sauce

January 28, 2010 · Posted in Recipes · View Comments 

Our son loves my homemade pizza. By request for his birthday dinner on Friday, he asked me to make him homemade pizza. This is a basic pizza or spaghetti sauce that I make in the crock pot. I love when sauces simmer for long periods of time. The flavors incorporate together for a rich and savory sauce. I use this simple recipe when I make my homemade pizzas. The best thing about this sauce is you can adjust the flavor to your liking. Making your own pizza or spaghetti sauce is simple and definitely saves money your grocery bill.

Easy Pizza Sauce

Ingredients:

1 29 ounce can tomato sauce

2 14.5 ounce cans diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano seasoning

1 28 ounce can tomatoes in tomato juice

1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning

1 Tablespoon Oregano

1 Tablespoon Basil

1/8 teaspoon Marjoram leaves

3 garlic cloves, pressed

1/2 cup onion, diced

1/2 teaspoon sugar

Directions:

Add all ingredients to slow cooker and cook 4-6 hours. Use as pizza or spaghetti sauce. Store in air-tight containers in your freezer and pull out when ready to use.

Easy Weekday Meal Ideas

January 26, 2010 · Posted in Main Dishes · View Comments 

Busy days come and  go for everyone. As a parent you may start your day off with a cup of coffee, the morning paper or watching your local news for insight on the weather forecast. Next thing you know your house is stirring with footsteps of little ones getting up trying to focus their attention on breakfast and getting dressed for the day. Then they’re out the door and off to school. These daily parenting routines are all part of our  lives in one way or another.

If you headed to the office or cleaned house and did laundry all day, there is still one daily task that you have to look forward to, Dinner. Knowing that you have a meal plan in place by menu planning, will save you time and money.

I’m this year’s Food Bank Coordinator for my business. Yesterday I had a meeting with the Placer Food Bank to discuss some ideas on fundraising, events and what goals they had for the year. They are recently in the process of transitioning to a bigger and better wherehouse and planning an open house in late March, early April. I knew I had to plan my day out in time to pick the kids up from school so after the meeting I did my grocery shopping already knowing what meals I had planned and what I needed to buy.

Monday night’s menu theme is Mexican. This meal is a toss between Sloppy Joes and Taco Salad. It’s quite tasty and something your kids can help make and even enjoy.

Quick Sloppy Joe Salad

Ingredients:

2 pounds lean ground beef

1 1/4 cups water

1 can (6 ounce) tomato paste

1 packet (1.5 ounce) Sloppy Joe Spices and Seasonings

1 bag tortilla or corn chips

1 bag mixed salad greens

2 cups shredded cheese

1 cup salsa of your choice

1/4 cup sliced black olives

1/4 cup sour cream

Avacado, sliced

Directions:

In a large skillet, brown ground beef. Drain excess fat. Add water, tomato paste and seasoning. Bring to a boil, stirring occassionally. Reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally; 10 minutes.

Serve mixture over tortilla or corn chips and salad mixture. Top with shredded cheese, salsa, sliced olives, avacado and sour cream.

*The kids can help with the toppings and layering each ingredient with a little help from you.

As always, my quick and easy recipes for Busy Moms can be found on my website Noel’s Kitchen Tips.
 
Would you like to join our Family Cooking Club? Share recipes and tips with others? Join the Family Meals Matter Cooking Club on Facebook.

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A Busy Mom’s Breakfast Tips For Kids

January 21, 2010 · Posted in Recipes · View Comments 

As a busy mom, we all know the importance of meal planning for our family. One of the daily routines we have is providing a nutritional breakfast for our children. The past week I’ve been discussing the topic of menu planning for busy moms and creating dinner menus that fit our busy schedules. This morning I thought I would take a quick break from the dinner plan and discuss breakfast.

When your a busy mom on the go, you need to provide your children with a quick but nutritional breakfast. As our children’s bodies continue to grow, it is a great time to establish good eating habits, both at home and while at school. While much emphasis is focused on childhood obesity, there are many more reasons to eat healthy than just watching the scale. Quality nutrition is directly linked to our children’s success in school.

 I was reading our children’s school newsletter and it stated recent research from Tufts University confirms the link between nutrition and cognitive development in children. According to the university’s study on severely undernourished children, “Even nutritional deficiencies of a relatively short-term nature will influence children’s behavior, ability to concentrate, and to perform complex tasks.”

Good nutrition helps children with performance by stabilizing blood sugar levels. This is accomplished by including whole grains, fruits and vegetables with smaller amounts of protein and fat in the diet. When children eat this way, their blood sugar, which influences mood, concentration and performance, will stay steady and they won’t feel as hungry as they might if they are eating lots of sugary foods.

If your child skips breakfast, or does not have a nutritional lunch, that days test scores may suffer. I am sure that once you understand how eating affects your children’s school work, you will carefully plan lunch, supply breakfast in the morning, and have healthy snacks throughout the day.

Here’s an idea of a quick breakfast idea for your kids that’s very easy to make. I baked it on my large stoneware bar pan. The bar pan evenly conducts heat and makes dishes not only cook evenly but faster. So it saves me alot of time in the morning.

Kids Breakfast Pizza

Ingredients:

1 pound turkey sausage

1  package pizza dough or you can simply make your own ahead of time

1 cup  shredded potatoes (hash brown style)

1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

5 eggs

1/4 cup lowfat milk 2%

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

Directions:

Slice sauce and cook sausage until browned; drain. Spread pizza dough on ungreased 12 inch pizza pan or bar pan. Press over bottom and sides, pulling up sides to create an edge. Spoon on sausage, sprinkle over this the  potatoes. Top with cheddar cheese. Beat egg, milk, salt, and pepper. Pour over all.  Bake at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

As always, my quick and easy recipes for Busy Moms can be found on my website Noel’s Kitchen Tips.
 
Would you like to join our Family Cooking Club? Share recipes and tips with others? Join the Family Meals Matter Cooking Club on Facebook.

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Everyday Meal Planning For Busy Moms

January 19, 2010 · Posted in Main Dishes · View Comments 

Yesterday, I had the honor of becoming a Resident Guest Blogger for Eccentric WAHM, a blog specialized for the Work at Home Mom, their daily life, issues and provides valuable WAHM information. I shared insight on Healthy Kids, Happy Kids – Experiencing the Kitchen With Your Kids , a blog post I shared with you when I first began blogging on this site. What’s most important in cooking, is to remember to have FUN and ENJOY your time in the kitchen and learn to do things your way. Experiment and make changes that work for you.

Knowing that I still had to do a last minute proof on my regular blog post, I didn’t have to worry about “What’s for Dinner” coming at me.  I knew Monday’s dinner for me was going to be quick and easy because I already had a meal plan in place. I started creating my menu plan  for the week on Sunday and knew exactly what I needed for dinner and what preparation I needed to do ahead of time.  Monday’s dinner theme is Mexican, so the kids and I created Corned Beef Tacos and served them with Crock Pot Pinto Beans. The beans were prepped the night before by pre-soaking them. In the morning before heading to the office, I drained them, and put them in the crock pot with some seasoning, more water and cooked them all day. They were perfectly cooked by the time I got home.  I also prepped the ingredients needed for the Corn Beef tacos on Sunday. Chopped the tomatoes, onion, and chiles that I needed, put them in an air-tight container and popped them in the fridge. They were ready to use when I needed them.

Corned Beef Tacos

Ingredients:

4 cups shredded corned beef

1 large beef tomato

1 small red onion

1/4 cup miled green chiles, diced

2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Fresh cracked pepper

lettuce, shredded or chopped

1 cup Cheddar Jack cheese

Corn tortillas

Directions:

In a small bowl, mix tomato, onion, chiles, lemon juice and pepper. Place desired amount of corned beef on tortillas. Add lettuce. Spoon tomato mixture on top, sprinkle with cheese.  Serve with beans and Enjoy!

For a zestier taco, drizzle some Ranch dressing over tacos. :)

As always, my quick and easy recipes for Busy Moms can be found on my website Noel’s Kitchen Tips.
 
Would you like to join our Family Cooking Club? Share recipes and tips with others? Join the Family Meals Matter Cooking Club on Facebook.

Inspiring More Families Around The Dinner Table More Often. Eating out is Expensive….Eating With Family Is Priceless

 

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Sunday Soup and Sandwich

January 18, 2010 · Posted in Main Dishes · View Comments 

Sometimes a simple classic meal can be just the right way to end a weekend. On Sunday our family likes to kick back and relax before the start of a new week. I like to end our weekend with a meal theme that is Quick and Easy.  A menu as simple as the Classic Tuna Melt, Fries and Creamy Tomato Soup is a perfect quick and easy meal.

Classic Tuna Melt with Creamy Tomato Soup

Classic Tuna Melt

Ingredients:

2 cans albacore tuna in water, drained

1 Tablespoon green onion, chopped (yellow or white onion can be used as well, I add green onion for color)

2 Tablespoons mayonaise

4 slices of Cheddar cheese

8 slices bread of your choice

Directions:

In a bowl, mix tuna, onion, 1 Tablespoon of mayonaise. On one slice of bread, place a slice of cheese. Top with tuna mixture. Place another piece of bread on top of tuna to make a sandwich. Contine with the remainder of bread and cheese. Lightly spread the remainder of mayonaise on both sides of sandwich. Grill in a skillet until lightly brown on both sides. Serve with soup, salad or fries.

Creamy Tomato Soup

Ingredients:

2 cups chicken or vegetable stock/broth (I like to make my own stock ahead of time and freezer. When I need it, I pull it out of freezer.)

4 cups crushed tomato or Italian stewed tomatoes with seasoning

1 cup heavy cream or milk

Salt and freshly cracked pepper

Directions:

Combine broth and tomatoes in a medium saucepan over moderate heat. When soup starts to bubble, stir in heavy cream or milk and reduce heat to low. Season with a little salt and pepper and simmer gently 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. With an immersion blender, puree soup. Serve bowls of soup with sandwiches, salad or fries.

As always, my quick and easy recipes for Busy Moms can be found on my website Noel’s Kitchen Tips.

 
Would you like to join our Family Cooking Club? Share recipes and tips with others? Join the Family Meals Matter Cooking Club on Facebook.

Inspiring More Families Around The Dinner Table More Often. Eating out is Expensive….Eating With Family Is Priceless

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Menu Planning Sunday

January 17, 2010 · Posted in Main Dishes · View Comments 

Last week was a successful first week of Busy Mom Monthly Menu Planning. It definitely saved time in the kitchen knowing exactly what I was going to make and what needed to be started a few days early for preparation. Today I’ll be planning the second week continuing with the weekday themes but changing the recipes.  You always have the option of using the same recipes from the previous week if you choose. This is an easy option if you have frozen the leftovers from the previous week.

It’s Sunday, the start of a new week, new ideas. When I wake up to a relatively straightened-up quiet household with my pencil, notepad and coffee in hand, I’m ready to start my weekly menu.
 
If you haven’t made yours yet, there’s still plenty of time to do it. You don’t have to wait and start at thye begining of the month or week. Create a simple and I do mean simple menu and start making this a regular habit in your household. It gets easier and easier to menu plan once you make it a regular habit of doing it weekly or monthly. I find that if you choose a weekday theme and stick with that theme every week, your meal planning is much easier.
 
First always make sure your pantry is stocked. Whether your cooking for yourself or a family, having a well-stocked kitchen is the key ingredient to having quality quickly and with minimum fuss. Even if you live in an apartment and pantry space is tight, you can easily have everything you need to put dinner on the table in a hurry with a meal plan. Look at the ingredients you have in your pantry and in your freezer. See how they would fit into your weekday theme.
 
Once you have your themes picked and recipes, see what can be made ahead of time. For example, I know Monday is our Mexican theme night so I’m pre-soaking my pinto beans on Sunday so they will be ready for the crockpot on Monday morning. Friday is our Family Fun Pizza Night, so my bread machine is ready and I’ve made two batches of pizza dough that’s ready for the freezer. On Friday morning, I pull the dough out of the freezer and it will be ready to work with when I’m ready to use it.
 
Menu Planning doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, it can be a lot of fun. Cooking ahead always seems like such a hassle at first because it does take time, and time is one thing some of us don’t always have. But by investing 1/2 hour or an hour on the weekend, you could save several hours during the week.
Today, I am planning simple meal that is kid-friendly and doesn’t take a lot of preparation. Sunday’s Meal Theme is Quick and Easy. On the menu is Tuna Melts, French Fries and Easy Tomato Soup.
 
As always, my quick and easy recipes for Busy Moms can be found on my website Noel’s Kitchen Tips.
 
Would you like to join our Family Cooking Club? Share recipes and tips with others? Join the Family Meals Matter Cooking Club on Facebook.

Inspiring More Families Around The Dinner Table More Often. Eating out is Expensive….Eating With Family Is Priceless

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Make Ahead Meals:Crock Pot Vegetable Soup

January 16, 2010 · Posted in Recipes · View Comments 

I love the idea that dinner is cooking even when I’m away at the office, and I absolutely enjoy the aroma when I walk in the door. Whether it’s a pot roast, chicken and dumplings, beef stew or simply a soup-what could be easier! Slow cooking is the easiest cooking technique ever developed.

I always have at least one slow cooker meal a week using leftovers or ingredients on hand in the pantry. Slow cookers are great for convenience.  This recipe was created for my Slow Cooker Thursday. I used the vegetables I hand on hand and some of the whole wheat pasta noodles from my Smoked Brats Spinach & Cheese Pasta Bake recipe I made for Tuesday night’s meal. By using similar ingredients throughout your week’s menu plan you are saving a lot of time and making your cooking much easier.

 

Crockpot Vegetable Soup

Crockpot Vegetable Soup

Ingredients:

4 cups broth (Turkey, Chicken Vegetable or Beef)

1 28 ounce can peeled tomatoes

1 cup carrots, peeled and chopped

1 cup spinach

1 cup baby Bella sliced mushrooms

1 15 ounce can red kidney beans drained

1 1/2 cups whole wheat spiral pasta noodles

Salt and Pepper

Directions:

Add ingredients to your slow cooker and cook on low heat 6-8 hours.

Slow Cooking Tip: Save time with patience. Each time you open the lid, built up steam escapes. This can delay your cooking time by 2o minutes. There’s no need to peek under the lid anyway. The great thing about slow cooking is that it takes care of itself.

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