Category Archives: Recipes

Can we talk school lunches?

My son starts kindergarten in 2 weeks! OMG, where has the time gone. It just recently dawned on me that I will have to prepare a lunch for him every day from now until at least 2020. Where do I start? What if he can’t take peanut butter? How do I keep foods safe to eat?

 

I ask you, the readers, for any and all advice you can give me about school lunches.

What are you feeding your kids? Are you packing a drink in a container or a juice box? What kind of containers are you using? Are you leaving them notes?

Inspire us with your fun ideas, include links to your favorite websites.

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How to save precious time in the kitchen

As a working mom, I know how hard it is to find time to cook a real meal for my family at dinner time. My most important strategy is to prep things ahead of time as much as possible.

Natalie at A Turle’s Life for Me has written a super helpful post about reducing her dinner time preparation. She puts together meal components for 46 meals in about 4 hours.

I also do similar things, including:

  • Preparing 5lbs of ground beef at a time. 2lbs gets turned into 2 lasagnas and 3 lbs are turned into spaghetti sauce.
  • Turning 5lbs of ground beef into about 8 dozen baked meatballs, perfect for sweet and sour meatballs, meatball subs, or Stroganoff.
  • Cooking and canning or freezing marinara sauce. This is such a versatile sauce for meats, pastas, or vegetables.
  • Baking a whole tray of seasoned chicken breasts and freeze individually. These can be sauced or shredded as needed for meals.
  • Roast 2 chickens instead of one. The second can be frozen whole or divided up as you prefer.
  • Left over pork and beef roasts are sliced and frozen with a container of left over gravy. Instant hot sandwiches.
  • Dice cooking vegetables and freeze on a baking tray, transfer to a bag once frozen. Toss into any meal when you are cooking to save chopping time in a rush.

The most important factor is planning ahead, whether it is planning your weekly shopping or planning what you take out of your freezer. You need to think about meal time BEFORE meal time.

 

What do you do to save time in the kitchen? Tell our readers in the comments.

How do you keep track of recipes?

I found the coolest little website for keeping track of and sharing internet recipes. It is called Cookmarked. It keeps all of your recipes you have discovered from websites all across the internet. Click the bookmark tool, copy and paste the recipe, and save. You can also connect to friends and share recipes with each other.

From the site:

What is Cookmarked?
Cookmarked: Is a new tool that helps you keep track of all your recipes in one place. These can be paper recipes from an old cookbook, or bookmarks to recipe sites on the web. Cookmarked also helps you share recipes with friends in all your favorite formats (email, facebook, twitter), find others who cook certain foods (Vegan guru, King of Mexican dishes), modify recipes on your mobile as you cook and more…
Who are we?
Cookmarked was created by two girls and a guy who enjoy cooking and like eating even more. We were frustrated by trying to keep up with recipes and tracking changes made while cooking. So, we decided to build a solution! We were pretty excited about just using it ourselves, but the more we talked about it with others we realized this tool should be shared.
 
The bookmark tool:
The bookmarker is simply a way to quickly and easily add all the bookmarks you have for recipes over the entire web, and keep them in one place. Drag the bookmarker link to your toolbar (or right-click the link and save as a bookmark). Then, when you see any recipe online, you can simply click this button and a new cookmarked window will appear and auto insert the exact web-link and title. Then make any changes to the title, add any notes and click the save button. That’s it! Once you have stored all your bookmarks, you can go back to them and use them as a building block for your own recipes. Edit the recipe and add your own personal changes. (ie. substitute 1/4oz chives for 1/2oz chives).
 

I have been using the site regularly for several months now and it is so much easier to find those recipes I wanted to try or try again. There is also a meal planning tool on the site. I haven’t had a chance to play with it yet, but I’d love to hear if any of you plan to use it.

The recipes I have saved can be found here, or at the bottom of this page. Enjoy!

The Twenty Healthiest Foods for Under $1

I could not have written this list better than the author of this post. You can stretch your grocery budget a long way with these basic foods.

The Twenty Healthiest Foods for Under $1 .

What do you do with a case of mangoes

and cheap navel oranges?

Take advantage of seasonal sale prices and make them last all year long.

This Mango and Orange Marmalade won me a First Place ribbon at the fall fair a few years ago. It’s a favorite that everyone asks for when I’m giving out jars of jam.

Don’t know how to can? Contact me and I can give you a lesson.

Do you have any other uses mangoes? Leave us some ideas in the comments.

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