Three Bean Salad with Garden Fresh Herbs

May 31, 2010 · Posted in Recipes · View Comments 

My garden is overwhelmed with the smell of fresh herbs growing and I wanted to incorporate some of those flavors to create an all time American favorite salad for our Memorial Day celebration. Three Bean Salad is a simple dish that can easily be transported to any family picnic and one that is very flavorful. I hope you enjoy this recipe.

Three Bean Salad with Garden Fresh Herbs

Ingredients:

1 15 ounce can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 15 ounce can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

2 cups frozen green beans, slightly cooked, chill in cold water and drained (frozen green beans are more colorful than the can)

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped cucumber

1/4 cup Italian parsley

1 sprig of lemon thyme

1 sprig of dill

1 sprig of oregano

 Dressing:

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, add kidney, garbanzo and green beans. Add onion, cucumber and fresh herbs. Set aside.

In a smaller bowl, whisk together vinegar, olive oil, sugar, salt and pepper. Add dressing to the bean mixture.

Chill for several hours to allow the flavor of fresh herbs and dressing to incorporate into the beans. Serve with your favorite family picnic or BBQ dishes. 

 

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

Visit my new Kitchen Store  for some of my recommened  appliances, storage and kitchen needs along with some of my favorite cookbooks and aprons to help you with your family meal planning.

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How To Create A Great Family Holiday Picnic

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

Chicken thighs   As we quickly move into a 3-day weekend, most people are finalizing with friends or family what they will be doing, who’s going where and what food will they be barbecuing. Memorial Day weekend is the start of many more family picnics or barbecues to come this year.  When someone mentions picnic, it carries a special memory for everyone, whether it be as as a child remembering their happy adventures riding in a car to a special destination and the the end of that ride sitting at a long table with a checkered tablecloth staring at all the different foods that were so appetizing on a hot day or the feel of soft grass  touching their feet as they run around the park. It can often be the celebration of family members from all over meeting at a lake for a family reunion picnic.

Every year we see more and more family and friends gathering at the public parks and lakes celebrating. What used to be the typical sandwich, chips and drink picnic we used to have in the past has become a great elaborate meal with ribs, steaks, chicken, hot dogs, potato salad and so much more.

Wherever you and your family decide to have your barbecue picnic, it is the advance preparation that will make it a success. (My post on Eccentric WAHM, Backyard Barbecue Basics , shares with you what basic BBQ tools are helpful in making your BBQ sizzle.)

Here are a few proven family barbecue picnic rules to remember:

Make your potato salad or pasta salad and chill thoroughly; take in a  container like a chilzanne bowl to keep it chilled. Your pasta salad could also be packed in ziploc bags! Take your collapsible bowl, and assemble it there.

If you don’t want to buy your ice, collect ice cubes in advance. Store them in the freezer. Take them in plastic bags to prevent the foods you place in the cooler getting soggy.

 Keep your hot things hot and cold things cold!

Lake Geneva  Lots of families decide to spend their 3-day holiday camping. Remember to take plenty of heavy duty aluminum foil on your camping trips. You can make so many things from aluminum foil, including sauce pans, lids, bowls, and even water bowls for your pets!

 Use powdered milk for cooking on camping trips, as it is easier to store, lighter to carry and cheaper than regular. Make sure to take lots of water with you, especially if there is not a store within miles from your camp site.

 Getting your on-the-road oatmeal is fast if you turn regular oatmeal in a blender before leaving home. Blending makes the oatmeal the same as “instant.”

 When getting ready for a camping trip, fill large coffee cans with chili, stew or soup, and freeze. It adds to the coldness of the food in the cooler, plus you can set it at the edge of the campfire to heat, right in the can! Serve up in bowls and then dispose of the can. No big pots to wash and worry about!

For a quick meal while camping, brown ground beef, add sloppy Joe sauce, and freeze it in a freezer bag. Throw it in the cooler (it will help keep other food cool too) and then warm it up in a pan over a fire or on a grill. Can also be done with taco meat; just bring along your shells or tortillas and other desired toppings!

To cook hamburgers more evenly and avoid the syndrome of well done edges and rare centers, make a tiny hole (about the size that your index finger could fit through) in the middle of your burgers. During grilling, the hole in the middle will disappear but the center will be cooked the same as the edges!

Add a few ice cubes to aluminum foil packet dinners or vegetables to prevent them from burning and keep them moist!

Using a few corn chips as fire-starters is economical and efficient. Simply light them with a match and toss a few on the campfire or barbecue! Works great!

Family Fun…..Great Memories………

The combination of family, friends and good food in a relaxed atmosphere will create a holiday occasion long remembered. What family memories will you create this holiday weekend?

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

Visit my new Kitchen Store  for some of my recommened  appliances, storage and kitchen needs along with some of my favorite cookbooks and aprons to help you with your family meal planning.

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

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Casseroles:Make-Ahead Meals

May 24, 2010 · Posted in Recipes · View Comments 

Chili is an all time favorite meal for most everyone and very easy to make. Beans are such a nutritious food and very versatile when it comes to meal planning. You can simple toss them in the slow cooker and be on your way with planning another meal for the week.

Vegetable Chili

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons garlic, chopped

2 cups red bell pepper, chopped

1 can (16 ounce) garbano beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (16 ounce) kidney beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (14-16 ounce) corn

2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1 cup beef broth

1 cup ready made fresh pico de gallo

Directions:

Add all ingredients to slow cooker. Cook on low setting for 6-8 hours. If freezing, spoon the chili into a large freezer container. When ready to eat, thaw and reheat it in a large saucepan over low heat.

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

Visit my new Kitchen Store  for some of my recommened  appliances, storage and kitchen needs along with some of my favorite cookbooks and aprons to help you with your family meal planning.

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

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Meal Planning Sunday:How To Freeze Casseroles

May 23, 2010 · Posted in Kitchen Tips · View Comments 

Meal Planning Sunday

The best thing about making a casserole for a busy mom, is that it’s just as easy to make10-12 servings as it is to make 2-4 servings. And, most casserole freeze well, which means when it comes to meal planning, you can be sure to stock your freezer with those ready-to-eat delicious meals for your family. If you wrap and store your casseroles well, they will last a month or longer.

Planning ahead for the week keeps my family healthy by having those home cooked meals.

Recipe Note: The faster a casserole is frozen, the more savory it will be and the better its texture is.

This is a casserole that is quickly put together and bakes for 25 minutes.

Creamy Asparagus Chicken Casserole

Ingredients:

2 cups water

1 teaspoon salt

1 cup long grain rice rice

1 medium onion, chopped

1 Tablespoon Poultry seasoning

2 Chicken breasts,cooked, cut into strips

2 cups fresh Asparagus tips

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1/4 cup white wine

1/4 cup chicken broth

2 Tablespoons herbed bread crumbs

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a saucepan, add water and salt. Bring to a boil and add rice. Reduce heat to low for 20 minutes. Remove from heat.  Place in a 9×12 baking dish.  Add the onion and poultry seasoning. Spread the mixture evenly in the baking dish.

Arrange the chicken over the rice mixture. Place asparagus tips over the chicken.

In a small batter bowl, combine soup, wine and broth. Spoon over chicken mixture. Sprinkle with the bread crumbs. Drizzle melted butter over the top. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes.

Recipe Note: To make cooking easier, I boiled the chicken breasts ahead of time. The casserole can be frozen after the ingredients are combined. Thaw overnight and bake in the oven  at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, or until heated through. Remember that your freezer is your biggest asset in the kitchen. Simplify your meal planning by using the right freezable containers.

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

Visit my new Kitchen Store  for some of my recommened  appliances, storage and kitchen needs along with some of my favorite cookbooks and aprons to help you with your family meal planning.

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

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Slow Cooker Beef Brisket

May 18, 2010 · Posted in Recipes · View Comments 

Here’s a easy weekday beef brisket recipe to try in your slow cooker. I’ve read and reviewed a ton of beef brisket recipes using a Texas Style Barbecue Sauce but I wanted to create my own version using some of my favorite ingredients on hand.

Ingredients:

1 beef brisket

2 Tablespoons Jamaican Jerk Rub (This is a sweet and spicy blend of sugar, thyme, bell peppers, nutmeg and cinnamon)

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup beer of your choice

1 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce(I like to make my own :) )

Directions:

Rub both sides of brisket with rub and place in a storage container. Cover with foil and marinate in fridge for 2 hours. This can be done on your meal prepping day. Remove from fridge and place brisket in slow cooker on low setting. Cover with water, beef and sauce. Cook brisket for 8 to 12 hours. Slice and serve.

As always, my quick and easy recipes for Busy Moms can be found on my website Noel’s Kitchen Tips.
 
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Slow Cooker Black Beans And Ham

May 16, 2010 · Posted in Main Dishes · View Comments 

Today was an exciting day here in the Sierra Foothills. Nevada City celebrated the visit of the 2010 Amgen Tour of California for the very first time. This is the largest cycling event in America. The 2010 Amgen Tour of California is a Tour de France-style cycling road race, presented by AEG, that challenges the world’s top professional cycling teams to compete along a demanding course from May 16-23. (Feel free to watch the start of this amazing event on my Noel’s Family Meals channel on YouTube by clicking the link below.

Amgen Tour of California May 16, 2010

We of course are voting for Lance Armstrong and Levi Leipheimer, two of the most amazing cyclists for Team Radio Shack.

After a morning of celebrating such an exciting event, meeting some of the cyclists and getting autographs, (below is Mark Batty from Team Spider Tech signing autographs for us.)

 I wanted to be able to have a simple dinner. This morning I took out the slow cooker because there is nothing easier than slow cooker cooking. No standing over the stove. I just spent a few minutes cutting up a few ingredients like some leftover ham from last night’s dinner, tossed in a few cans of black beans and tomatoes with chilies and spices, put the lid on and walked away. About six hours later, dinner will be ready.

Slow Cooker Black Beans and Ham

Ingredients:

3 15 ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained

1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes with chiles and spices

2 cups cooked ham, diced

2 garlic cloves, pressed

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon Southwestern Seasoning

2 cups water

Directions:

Place all ingredients in slow cooker. Stir well. Place lid on and turn slow cooker to low setting. Cook 4-6 hours. Serve with tortillas and sour cream. *Recipe Note: I added some juice of a fresh lime and some raspberry habanero sauce as a  topping.

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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Whole Wheat Strawberry Crepes With Vanilla Yogurt Sauce

May 15, 2010 · Posted in Recipes · View Comments 

Did somebody say Crepes?

Crepes are an easy and economical way to change up a meal or impress your family or while entertaining guests.  There are many types of crepes, ranging from appetizers to main courses to desserts.  I have included a  great basic whole wheat batter, to include a wonderful strawberry and vanilla yogurt sauce filling.  But don’t stop here – get experimental!  Try different flours or liquids in your crepes (even things like juices or lemon-soda) and the types of fillings are endless!  Basically, if something is good on its own, its probably good in a crepe!  This is a very elegant way to serve casseroles, too.

Whole Wheat Strawberry Crepes With Vanilla Yogurt Sauce

Ingredients:

Batter:

2 cups skim milk

4 eggs

1 ¾ cups whole wheat flour

1 Tablespoon vanilla

2 Tablespoons confectioners sugar

3 Tablespoons melted butter

½ teaspoon salt

Filling:

2 1/2 cups sliced strawberries

1/2 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice

1 cup plain nonfat vanilla yogurt

1 Tablespoon maple syrup

Directions:

In a mixing bowl combine, combine eggs, vanilla, sugar and butter. Slowly whisk in flour and whisk until all ingredients are combined.

In another mixing bowl, add strawberries and lemon juice. Lightly stir. Add Tablespoon of maple syrup to yougurt and stir until combined. Set aside.

Preheat your skillet or frying pan to medium heat. Rub with oil or a non-sticking spray can be used. Pour 1/4 cup batter into skillet, immediately tilt and tip skillet so that the bottom is completely covered and even. Cook for 2-3 minutes or until lightly browned.

Flip crepe and cook for another minute. Slide crepe onto plate. Pile crepes on top of each other and keep warm in the oven until ready to serve.

Spoon strawberries onto each crepe and add the vanilla yogurt sauce. Serve.

What are some of your favorite crepe fillings?

Recipe Note: Crepes can be made ahead of time on your meal planning day and frozen. To Freeze Crepes: Pile crepes one on top of the other with a sheet of waxed paper in between. Thaw for 15 minutes before filling.

As always, my quick and easy recipes for Busy Moms can be found on my website Noel’s Kitchen Tips.
 
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Baked Mashed Potato Omelet with Tomato and Feta

May 11, 2010 · Posted in Main Dishes · View Comments 

Do you ever find yourself with leftover mashed potatoes and gravy? My family loves mashed potatoes but I used to find that there were times we had leftovers in the fridge that no one ate. Here’s a simple, yet delicious meal that be made for any meal time. Choose your own vegetables by using whatever you have on hand.

Baked Mashed Potato Omelet with Tomato and Feta

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

12 eggs(we use farm fresh eggs from our chickens)

3 1/2 cups mashed potatoes

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1/2 cup Garlic Feta cheese

2 grape-vine tomatoes, sliced

1 Tablespoon Dill seasoning

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium skillet over low heat, add 1 tablespoon oil. Add peppers and onion, stirring for 8-10 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

In a mixing bowl, whisk eggs, mashed potato, Parmesan cheese, dill seasoning, salt and pepper until well combined. Stir in vegetables.

Pour mixture in a lightly coated 9×12 baking dish. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Remove from oven. Add slices of tomato and sprinkle feta cheese over the top.

Slice into wedge-like squares. Drizzle with gravy.

*Recipe Note: As egg mixture is baking, you can re-heat your leftover gravy. Vegetables vary in this dish as I said. Some suggestions are: Artichoke Hearts, Mushrooms, Asparagus, Squash or Zucchini.

Do you have a favorite Mashed Potato and Gravy recipe?

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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Noel’s Kitchen Tips:What’s For Dinner Week Of May 10-14, 2010

May 10, 2010 · Posted in Menus · View Comments 

Noel’s Kitchen Tips May Menu is the perfect prelude to family summer picnics, BBQ’s, graduations and family get togethers. We have some wonderful events going on this month~ Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, National Bike To Work Day and Memorial Day.

On Mother’s Day, I was showered with hugs, kisses and homemade gifts from the kids. There is nothing a mother appreciates more than a gift made from love. On our Sunday Family Dinner Menu: Mother’s Day Roast with a simple and quick Gravy, Mashed Potatoes and a Spinach, Feta , Blueberry and Cranberry Salad with a Raspberry Vinegrette. For dessert a Strawberry Trifle Delight. (*Recipe for Salad below.)

This week’s Menu features Easy Weeknight Meals you can create for your family in a matter of minutes if you prepare on your Meal Planning Day.

Monday: Baked Mashed Potato Omelet with Tomato and Feta(using leftover mashed potatoes and a little gravy from Sunday’s Roast.)

Tuesday: Whole Wheat Strawberry Crepes with Vanilla Yogurt Sauce (Crêpes can be made in advance and refrigerated. Just reheat in the microwave for 20 seconds.)

Wednesday:Deep Dish Chicken Pot Pie (This dish is can be made ahead and frozen on one of your Meal Planning Days.)

Thursday: Black Bean and Rice Burritos

Friday: Family Pizza Night~Make Your Own Mini Pizzas with your favorite toppings.

Spinach, Feta, Blueberry and Cranberry Salad

Ingredients:

1 9-ounce bag Spinach (found in produce dept.)

3/4 cup Feta cheese(I used garlic flavored in this recipe)

1/2 cup fresh bluberries, washed and drained

1/2 cup dried cranberries

3/4 cup walnuts (pecans, sunflower seeds or soy nuts can be substituted)

1/2 cup Raspberry Vinegrette

Directions:

In a salad bowl of your choice, add ingredients above. Drizzle the Raspberry Vinegrette to lighly coat salad mixture. Toss and serve.

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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