The Greatness of Canned Food

February 23, 2010 · Posted in Improving Family Life · View Comments 

  Canned Food

Canned Foods have been a convenience to many households over the years. Families are now looking to put foods on the table faster and are stretching their budgets due to the economy and using canned foods for their meals at home. There is such a variety in canned foods. Todays supermarkets carry at least 1500 different varieties of canned foods, offering families more variety, convenience and flavor, not to mention more nutrition than one may realize.

Want to know more? TwitterMoms has offered a chance to learn more by sharing from The Canned Food Alliance a great video on the history of canned foods.

I learned “Dry Beans” is the technical term for bean seeds that are allowed to dry in their pods until they are fully matured. The term “dry” does not refer to how the beans are packaged as most people would think. Both pinto beans sold in a can and in a bag are considered dry beans. Another great fact is that beans are high in antioxidants. The darker the bean, the morer  antioxidants they contain.

With limited growing seasons throughout most parts of the country, canned food provides an ideal way to add nutrition, flavor and variety to any recipe, anywhere and at any time of the year.

Hearty Oven Chili

Ingredients:

2 pounds boneless beef stew meat

4 garlic cloves, pressed

2 Tablespoons chili powder

1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

3/4 teaspoon ground cumin

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

2 cups onions, coarsely chopped

2 cups green bell pepper, coarsely chopped

1 can (14.5 ounces each) whole peeled tomatoes, undrained and chopped

3 cups tomato sauce

1 can (15.5 ounce) kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 can (15 ounce)pinquitos (with Pink Beans, Chili Peppers, Onion, Cumin and Garlic)

1 can (15 ounce) corn

 Toppings such as shredded cheddar cheese, sliced ripe olives, sliced green onions and sour cream (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350*F. Cut meat into 1/2-inch cubes. Place in Deep Covered Baker. Press garlic over meat using Garlic Press. Sprinkle with seasonings; stir to coat meat. Chop onions and bell pepper using Food Chopper. Add to Deep Covered Baker along with green bell pepper, tomatoes,  corn, tomato sauce and beans. Stir all ingredients.

Cover Baker with lid. Bake 2 1/2 hours or until meat is tender. Carefully remove Deep Covered Baker from oven.

Serve with desired toppings.

Watch the Field to Table Video Canned Food Alliance

About Canned Food Alliance

The Canned Food Alliance is a partnership of the American Iron and Steel Institute’s Steel Packaging Council, the Can Manufacturers Institute, select food processors and affiliate members.  The CFA serves as a resource for information on the nutrition, convenience, contemporary appeal and versatility of canned food.  The CFA is a proud supporter of the Produce for Better Health Foundation and the Fruits and Veggies More Matters program.  For hundreds of mealtime solutions, visit www.mealtime.org.

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

February 22, 2010 · Posted in Recipes · View Comments 

Easy Sunday Family Dinners

Sunday Dinner is always an easy one for me. After spending the day planning, prepping, cooking and catching up on posts, I like to end my day with an easy family meal. It allows me to spend time with the family and relax before the work and school week.

I chose a Hearty Oven Chili recipe made in my Deep Covered Baker. I simply tossed all the ingredients in and placed in the oven. Served with warm cornbread. An ultimate comfort food in our house. Recipe Note: For those of you who like a milder chili, this recipe is very mild but full of flavor.

 Hearty Oven Chili

I adapted this recipe from others that I’ve read and added a couple of ingredients and listed the amount of ingredients that would easily cook in my Deep Covered Baker.

Ingredients:

2 pounds boneless beef stew meat

4 garlic cloves, pressed

2 Tablespoons chili powder

1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

3/4 teaspoon ground cumin

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper

2 cups onions, coarsely chopped

2 cups green bell pepper, coarsely chopped

1 can (14.5 ounces each) whole peeled tomatoes, undrained and chopped

3 cups tomato sauce

1 can (15.5 ounce) kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 can (15 ounce)pinquitos (with Pink Beans, Chili Peppers, Onion, Cumin and Garlic)

1 can (15 ounce) corn

 Toppings such as shredded cheddar cheese, sliced ripe olives, sliced green onions and sour cream (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350*F. Cut meat into 1/2-inch cubes. Place in Deep Covered Baker. Press garlic over meat using Garlic Press. Sprinkle with seasonings; stir to coat meat.

 

Chop onions and bell pepper using Food Chopper.

Add to Deep Covered Baker along with green bell pepper, tomatoes,  corn, tomato sauce and beans. Stir all ingredients.

Cover Baker with lid. Bake 2 1/2 hours or until meat is tender. Carefully remove Deep Covered Baker from oven.

Serve with desired toppings.

 

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

February 21, 2010 · Posted in Recipes · View Comments 

 Today’s recipe post is a simple one. On Saturday, my  meal plan is to try something different and new. I have this great Creole rub I wanted to try and I had some Southwestern Sausage on hand that I picked up sale at the grocery store. Tossed in the slow cooker with some vegetables and had a perfect meal for the family. Recipe Note: In future making of this recipe, I’ll try adding chicken, shrimp, potatoes, scallops or crab meat. Introducing each ingredient to the kids one at a time. Leftovers may be frozen for a  future meal. 

Southwestern Sausage Gumbo

Ingredients:

8 Southwestern sausage links (filled with corn, black beans and peppers), chopped

1 package Zucchini and Squash mixture (tender zucchini and yellow squash, diced tomatoes and sliced red onions)

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 15 ounce can diced tomatoes, undrained

1/4 cup flour

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 cup beef broth

1 Tablespoon cumin

1 Tablespoon Creole rub

1 Tablespoon Taco seasoning

 Directions:

In a saucepan on low heat add flour, saute until lightly brown. Add oilve oil and stir until well combined. Add beef broth, stirring until mixture starts to thicken. Add cumin and taco seasoning. Stir until well combined. Remove from heat.

In a slow cooker on low heat setting, add sausage, tomatoes, red pepper and vegetable mixture. Add broth mixture over the top. Stir until all ingredients are combined. Cover and cook 6 hours. Serve with cornbread, french bread, rolls and/or rice.

As always, my quick and easy recipes for Busy Moms can be found on my website Noel’s Kitchen Tips.
 
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Friday Family Favorites:Chicken Salad Sandwich

February 19, 2010 · Posted in Recipes · View Comments 

 Noel’s Kitchen Tips Introduces……Friday Family Favorites!

Happy Friday! Starting in March, I’m going to start a new feature on Noel’s Kitchen Tips called Friday Family Favorites; mainly because Friday’s are our Family Fun Nights and I want everyone to share in the fun and combine some family favorite dinners along with a few fun activities? A great opportunity to start building lasting memories.

Tonight we’ll be enjoying Wor WonTon Soup and potstickers which are our son’s favorite. ”WOR” in Chinese means everything.  So this Chinese soup has everything in it. I’ll be featuring this recipe in a future post. Meanwhile, I’ll leave you with a Chicken Salad Sandwich recipe inspired by my early employment days at the Cafe. Very simple and easy to make, not to mention very afforable on the food budget.

Chicken Salad Sandwich

ingredients:

6-8 fresh croissants, sliced

3 chicken breasts, shredded

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 granny smith apple, peeled and chopped

1 green onion, chopped

2 teaspoons poultry seasoning

1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted

1/4 cup golden raisins (optional)

1/3 cup mayonaise

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teasppon pepper

Romaine lettuce

Directions:

In a bowl mix ingredients together. Place lettuce on one side of croissant. With a medium size scoop, scoop chicken mixture onto lettuce. Serve with a bowl of soup or simply by itself.

Do you hve a Friday Family Favorite? Tell me, I’d love to hear!

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 Fun For Valentine’s Day:Chocolate Caramel Cakes

February 17, 2010 · Posted in Recipes · View Comments 

Family Fun For Valentine’s Day

We celebrated the sweetest holiday this past weekend with our kids this year enjoying some quality family time and laughter. Valentine’s Day is a wonderful celebration of love to be shared with your family. Our day started off with some warm Poppyseed Muffins for breakfast and we decided to take the kids to Nevada City for the Mardi Gras Festival and the Parade. The day started off a little cloudy and cool but as the day moved on, it was perfect weather for a Mardi Gras parade.

Local vendors displayed their creations and a vast array of beads. Kids of all ages were excited to be dressed with beads around their necks.

The kids along with many other local residents sat anxiously awaiting the parade to come marching down Broad Street in Nevada City.

After the parade we settled back home and had a great dinner that included Lasagna, Salad, Garlic Bread and for dessert, I made Chocolate Caramel Cakes. These were simple and delicious and were made in the microwave in 5 minutes. That’s what I call a real time saving dessert!

Chocolate Caramel Cakes

Ingredients:

Cakes:

3/4 cup candied walnuts, divided

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels

1/4 cup vegetable oil

3/4 cup sour cream

1 egg

1 package chocolate cake mix

Sauce:

1/3 cup caramel ice cream topping

1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate morsels

Directions:

 Spray six (1-cup) Prep Bowls with vegetable oil; blot out excess. Set aside. Place walnuts in a small bowl and microwave, uncovered, on HIGH 1-2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Set aside 6 walnut pieces for garnish (optional).

Combine chocolate morsels and oil in batter bowl. Microwave 30-60 seconds or until smooth, stirring every 30 seconds. Add sour cream and egg; whisk until smooth. Grate remaining walnuts into batter bowl using a grater. Add the cake mix and mix until combined.

Divide the batter among bowl. Place bowls in the microwave in a circle. Microwave on HIGH 4-5 minutes or until wooden tooth pick comes out clean. (Top of cakes will appear wet.) Carefully removes cakes from microwave. Invert cakes on a cutting board or cookie sheet; leave cakes to cool approximately 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine caramel ice cream topping and chocolate morsels in small microwavable bowl. Microwave on HIGH 30-45 seconds or until melted and smooth. (Microwave times vary, so keep an eye on it.) Place cakes onto plates; top with sauce and one reserved walnut.

These decadent cakes have a rich flavor. you may also serve with fresh raspberries or vanilla ice cream.

*Recipe Note: Pecans may be used in place of walnuts.

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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 Hope your Valentine’s Day was a fun and sweet memorable day.

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Mexican Salad Dressing

February 10, 2010 · Posted in Recipes · View Comments 

Menu Planning has always given me motivation to cook good meals for my family, even when I don’t feel like it or I may not have the energy by the time I get home from the office. Monday night I plan our meals to have a Mexican Theme. Knowing I have a meal plan in place, I always have momentum for my week once I have ingredients in the house to cook those meals. Making sure your pantry is stocked is a key ingredient to great menu planning. I made Honey BBQ Chicken Quesadillas and served them with a simple green salad and this tasty Mexican Salad Dressing. It was a great way to kick up the salad and very simple and quick to make.

Mexican Salad Dressing

Ingredients:

 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (2 lemons)

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup olive oil

1 small yellow onion

1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded

2 sprigs parsley, fresh

2 cloves garlic

1  teaspoon fresh cilantro

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon taco seasoning

Pepper to taste

Directions:

Put all ingredients into your blender and blend until onion and jalapeno are chopped fine.

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Menu Planning For Busy Families:Busy School Night Meals

February 9, 2010 · Posted in Main Dishes · View Comments 

Menu Planning For Busy Families

Sometimes after getting home from the office or taking care of the kids all day, you just want to be able to prepare a quick and easy meal for your family. With a little extra preparation on those less hectic days, you can create meals for your family that will get you through the week and beyond. Don’t think you have the time? Try roasting an extra chicken, it takes little effort. Serve one and dice or shred the other and freeze for future meals. In my previous posts on this site and on today’s Eccentric WAHM post where I am a Resident Guest Blogger I discuss Make Ahead Meals Part 2: Shopping and Cooking Tips to help guide you along.

Busy School Night Meals

As I’ve mentioned before, Chicken is the most popular dish in America. It’s very easy to cook and inexpensive. Today I’m sharing with you a Honey BBQ Chicken Quesadillas with a green salad topped with a zesty Mexican Salad Dressing. (Recipe for Mexican Salad Dressing to post soon.)

Honey BBQ Chicken Quesadillas

Ingredients

2 packages crescent rolls

1 Tablespoon vegetable oil

3-4 bonesless, skinless chicken breasts, cooked and thinly sliced or shredded

1/2 cup barbecue sauce

2 Tablespoons honey

1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped

1/4 cup scallions, chopped

1 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly grease baking sheet or bar pan with oil. Place one package of crescent rolls on pan and close seams with your finger tips. Set aside. Mix barbecue sauce and honey together in a bowl. Add chicken and toss to coat evenly. Chop green bell pepper and scallions. Grate cheese. (These two steps can also be done on your meal prepping day and stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator until you are ready to use them.)

Spread barbecue chicken mixture over crescent roll dough. Top with green pepper, scallions and shredded cheese. Top with second crescent dough, pinching seams and bake in oven for 15 minutes or until lightly brown and cheese has melted. Serve with sour cream, salsa and a salad.

You may subsitute flour tortillas in place of crescent rolls.

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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Real Solutions For Busy Moms Menu Planning:Fun Theme Menu Plans

February 4, 2010 · Posted in Recipes · View Comments 

Real Solutions for Busy Moms Menu Planning

Hello, what happened to January?!!! It’s come and gone and here we are looking at the end of the first week in February. Have you started your monthly or weekly meal plan? Are you struggling on ideas?

Fun Theme Menu Plans

Think about planning your monthly menus on what’s happening during the month. It’s February, we have Super Bowl Sunday coming up, Valentine’s Day, President’s Day. Lots of different themes you can impliment into your weekly menu. How about a Game Day week leading up to the Super Bowl?(Special Game Day Post coming up on Super Bowl Sunday.)

Today’s recipe is a hearty, healthy, comforting and sure to give you a kick off . It’s a Savory Beef Stew served with Cornbread. A  great tasting meal that I make in my crock pot.

Savory Beef Stew

Ingredients:

1 pound beef stew meat, (meat dept. at grocery store already has pre-packaged)

1/4 cup flour

1 cup russet potatoes, chopped

1 cup carrots, chopped

1/2 cup onion, chopped

1 cup tomatoes, chopped

1 cup peas

4 cups beef stock

1 packet Lawry’s Beef Stew

1/2 cup red wine

Directions:

Pour flour into a shallow pan or mixing bowl. Toss stew meat until well coated. In a medium skillet, heat one Tablespoon oil. Add stew meat and cook until lightly brown.

Add vegetables, stew meat to crock pot. Mix seasoning packet with beef stock and add to crock pot. Add wine.

Simmer on low for 6-8 hours. Serve with cornbread or rolls.

You can choose different types of vegetables to add in like green beans, corn or use red potatoes instead of russet.

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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Mom’s Easy Deep Dish Shepherd’s Pie

February 1, 2010 · Posted in Main Dishes · View Comments 

Busy Moms (and Dads) are always looking for shorcuts for cooking during their busy week. They come home feeling tired and worn out after a long day at the office or cleaning house and running the kids to their sports events and the last thing you want to think about is fixing dinner. I know we get tired of thinking about what to cook for dinner and having to make it.

Creating a simple meal like Mom’s Easy Deep Dish Shepherd’s Pie is a delicious meal that takes 5 minutes of prep time and only 25 minutes to cook. You’ll save both time and money with this weekday dinner!

Mom’s Easy Deep Dish Shepherd’s Pie

Ingredients:

1 pound lean cooked ground beef, drained

1 15 ounce can corn

1 15 ounce can green beans

1 cup beef gravy

1 1/2 cups mashed potatoes

1/2 cup shredded Cheddar Jack Cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large skillet, brown ground beef, using a Mix ‘N Chop. Drain excess fat. 

Add gravy and vegetables. Bring to a boil and transfer into a Deep Dish Baker. Spread equal amounts of mashed potatoes over the surface. Sprinkle with cheese if you like and bake for 15 minutes.

You may choose different types of vegetables like carrots or peas, even cauliflower or broccoli. This dish is a great way for your kids to get your kids to eat their vegetables.

The kitchen tools mentioned in today’s post are used in my everyday cooking and also the same tools that I demonstrate to my home party customers teaching family mealtime solutions.

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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