Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Fab Five #2

Another super easy dinner to freeze...Cook a bunch of ground beef and then add 1 can of sloppy joe mix per pound of meat.  Use some for dinner and then freeze the rest.  Use those freezer style ziplocks and Sloppy Joes can be ready in a jiffy.  You can partially defrost the meat in the microwave, but move it to another dish as soon as you can get it out of the zip-lock.  As soon as it is hot, you've got dinner.  I like to serve the meat on a bun along with carrots and chips.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Fab Five - Day 1

I have had a few requests for my bulk cooking tips.  So, this week each day I am going to share recipes that are great for bulk cooking with hamburger.

I only buy hamburger in family packs.  It is not worth my time to cook one pound at at time.  I don't enjoy washing dishes and that would mean that I have to clean 5 skillets.  That is not for me.  So, when family packs are on sale, I stock up!

I used to buy 5 pounds and make 5 different recipes to freeze.  But, now I buy 5 pounds and make the same recipe in bulk.  We eat one that day and then I freeze the others for the future.  Since we have 2 teenagers, 5 pounds makes about 3 meals.

I only freeze in freezer-quality ziplock bags.  I have an old milk carton that I cut the top off of and put the bag in there to fill it.  Then I squeeze extra air out and lay it flat to freeze.  That way it takes up minimal space in my freezer. 

So, I cook all 5 pounds of meat at one time, then I add 5 packages of taco seasoning and 1 cup of water.  Stir and heat a little till the liquid is gone.  Then I divide the meat into 4 sections.  We eat one that night and I freeze the other 4.  On a day that I need a quick meal, I defrost the meat and dinner is quick!

Meals you can make with taco meat:
Taco salad
Taco soup
Beef Enchiladas
Taco Ring (Pampered Chef Recipe)

If you need the recipes for any of these, just ask.  :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Hawaiian Chicken Sandwich (or not)

My fabulous sister-in-law gave me this recipe and my kids beg for it.

Marinate chicken breasts in some teriaki marinade.  (I like the one made by Jack Daniels because it is gluten free).  Then grill the chicken and some pineapple rings.  Serve on a bun with swiss cheese.  Tada!  It's that easy!

Another variation... you can bake the chicken and pineapple in the marinade.  I've even thrown in some onion. Place swiss cheese slices on the chicken at the end so that it melts..  You could serve this over rice.  The "juice" is great!


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Easiest Veggie Soup EVER!

To make this simple and easy soup, brown some ground beef or ground turkey.  Put it in a large pan and add mixed veggies, V-8 juice, and 1 packet of Lipton Onion Soup.  Heat until warm.

That is it!  Isn't that too easy?  I like to serve it with cornbread.

Yummm....can't wait until dinner.

The Cheater's Shepherd's Pie

I had some leftover meatloaf so I crumbled it up, mixed it with some canned tomato sauce, and added some frozen mixed veggies.  Then I added some pepper, gound mustard, and some ground garlic.  After I mixed it all, I put it in a casserole dish and spread hashbrowns on top (I used the refridgerated kind).  Then I sprinkled salt, pepper, and some butter on top and cooked it for about 30 minutes.  It was very easy, very good, and nobody complained about leftovers!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Couldn't be easier

Last night we had Chicken Tortilla Soup.  I'll share the recipe with you.

2 cans chicken broth (I used beef 'cause that's what I had)
1 can refried beans
1 can corn
2 cups cooked chicken (can used canned)
2 cans rotel tomoatoes

Heat and serve with tortilla chips.  My kids like to put sour cream and cheese on theirs.  Not me I am a purist.

Anybody else have a super easy soup recipe?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


I really wish that I could remember to take pictures of dinner before I eat it.  Then I could share with you!  Last night I baked a ham with pineapple.  Why do we reserve ham for holidays?  It is such a great dinner and you get leftovers.  There are so many ways to repackage ham.  Here are some of my favorites:

1.  Ham and cheese sandwhiches (heated up so that the cheese is gooey, melting, yummy).  I like them on a hamburger bun.
2.  I have a great recipe for a ham and rice soup with carrots and pecans.  It's sooo good.  It's the kind of soup you crave on a rainy, cold, fall day.  Recipe follows...
3.  Bean Soup cooked all day with the ham bone and served over cornbread.

Creamy Wild Rice Soup
1 cup cooked wild rice
3 T chopped green onion
1/4 cup shredded carrot
3T chopped pecans
6 T butter
1/3 cup all purpose flour
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup diced fully cooked ham
1/4 t pepper
1 cup half-and-half cream

Make rice and set aside.  In a large soup kettle, saute the onions, carrots and pecans in butter for 1-2 minutes.  Stir in flour until blended.  Gradually add broth.  Bring to a boil.  Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.  Reduce heat.  Add the ham, rice, and pepper.  Cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until carrots are tender.
Reduce heat.  Add cream and heat through (do not boil).  Top with green onion, if you like.  :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Chicken Creamy Soup

Yesterday, I put a chicken in the crock pot and then my darling 15 year old cooked dinner.  She made her FAVORITE.  Chicken Creamy Soup.  I found this recipe in a cookbook of old White House recipes.  I had to adjust it to modern measurements, but it has been a favorite of presidents and my daughter.  :) 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Italian Night

Tonight is Italian Night.  We are having spaghetti, salad, bread, and dessert!  I actually planned this one early this week since our chruch small group is coming here.  It is so nice to have things planned ahead.  ...contented sigh...

Anyway, the sauce is already cooked (someday I'll share my bulk cooking hints).  All I have to do today is clean the house, heat the sauce (hello, crockpot), and cook the pasta.  That is the hard part....cooking it so that it is ready early enough to wash the pans and have them out of the way, but not get mushy as it sits.  Any hints?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Why a blog?

Why a blog?  Well, deciding what is for dinner every single night is a chore for me.  I even seem to be a little preoccupied with it.  If I would just plan ahead, it wouldn't be an issue.  I know how to plan ahead....I just don't.  So, I decided that if I started a blog that required me to daily talk about dinner, then maybe, I'd be a little more organized and less stressed.

So, ya'll have to keep me accountable, ok?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Last night I actually had a clue!

Last week, I decided to be ambitious and clean my oven.  So, I turned on the "Self-Cleaning" option on my oven...and burned up my oven.  Planning dinner has become a challenge.  What can I cook without my oven?
That means that I have planned ahead (a little more than usual). I had a cooked meatloaf in the freezer that I defrosted and heated in the microwave.  Then I cooked sun-dried tomato waffle bread and we made sandwiches!  They were fabulous!
I found the recipe in my new favorite cookbook, Cooking for Isaiah by Silvana Nardone.  If you are gluten-free and dairy free, it is a must for your cookbook library.  If you aren't gf/df, it has great ideas.  You could make regular waffles and just add the sun-dried tomatoes and Italian seasonings.
I'm so excited.  There was just enough leftovers that I get one for lunch!  Woohoo!