Category Archives: Uncategorized

How A Griddle Changed My Life

Every time I type or write the word griddle I think I have typed girdle and have to double check!

Anyway, we bought a griddle and it has changed our life! Here are three things we have made and why a griddle is awesome.

1. Fried eggs and ham…We have both been working this month and it isn’t the norm. Also, school started so our lazy morning have come to an end. Mike and I have SERIOUSLY cut down our breakfast making time by using the griddle. We can cook 2 eggs and 2 pieces of ham AT THE SAME TIME. Clean up is a breeze too!

2. French toast for The Three…I love the Sweet Italian Bread at Kroger. I loathe the price. When it is marked down to $1.29 for 2 sticks (one package) I buy whatever is on the shelf. Last weekend I was able to make 48 pieces of french toast in 15 minutes. That is start to finish my friends! We can home from church, I pulled out my ingredients, sliced the bread and went to town. I was done before lunch was ready. This week I have “made” french toast for the kids a few days by popping 4 pieces at a time in the toaster to reheat! Breakfast doesn’t get much easier than that. I have enjoyed a piece or two myself with my egg and ham. To store 48 pieces I kept out enough for the week and froze the rest. I slid my cooling racks into the freezer to freeze the slices individually and then popped them in freezer bags. Piece. Of. Cake.

3. Pancakes…same as the french toast. I mixed a triple batch of batter and Mike had pancakes made in 30ish minutes. Same technique for freezing and storing.

It doesn’t get much easier than this people! Maybe this weekend I will try the muffin cup eggs/omelets. What do you freeze to eat daily or to save time in the kitchen?

The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot. ~Michael Altshuler

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Dual Purpose Meals Part 2

This is one of my favorite ways to cook but it does take some planning. I don’t usually plan out my meals but I really need to!

I am going to quickly list some meals that we like. Feel free to check out Food.com or another site that has hundreds of recipes. You will find you like for sure!

Pot Roast tonight…taquitos, burritos or tacos tomorrow! Just shred the leftover meat, add some Mexican seasonings like chili powder, cumin and coriander, add some water and let it simmer till the juices are absorbed and then start assembling your meal!

Leftover grilled chicken, shredded pork, taco meat…make a pizza! BBQ Pork pizza topped with cheese, cilantro and pico de gallo…BBQ Chicken Pizza…Greek/Mediterranean Pizza…White Pizza or Chicken Alfredo pizza…Taco Pizza

Another leftover grilled chicken use is pasta salad or a hot pasta dish with a simple cream sauce. If you are really good you can make chicken salad from grilled or a rotisserie chicken. PLEASE bring me some if you do!

What are your favorite dual purpose meals? I am always looking for more ideas!

 

Dual Purpose Meals

Wouldn’t be nice to cook once (kinda) and eat twice? I am not talking leftovers…just meat!

This week I am working, have 3 kids in school and my husband also works. We are quite a team so when I work too, we really have to work together to get everything done. On Monday I accidentally cooked way too much ground beef. It filled my skillet! This is what I did with it…

First, we ate tacos. We love tacos and beans and rice. Our favorite! I used half of the ground beef, seasoned with taco seasoning and we had a feast. While the taco meat was cooking I pulled out a pot and threw in some canned tomatoes, tomato paste, red wine, olive oil, fresh basil and Italian seasoning to make spaghetti. I added the other half of the ground beef (which had peppers and onions and garlic in it).

The next night I came home to a pot of sauce already made. All I had to do was boil noodles!

Are you ready for this…THIRD, I had leftover taco meat and didn’t want tacos again since we are out of my favorite tortillas so I made sheppard’s pie! I wanted to make a gravy for the meat but just couldn’t find anything I liked. The Middle Man and I were grocery shopping and we came across a can of black bean and jalapeno soup. BINGO! Sheppard’s pie with a Mexican flair soup as the gravy and mashed potatoes on top. It is in the oven now…I cannot wait!

Now here’s the best part…my sweet husband who goes along with all of my hair brained ideas and supports me unconditionally said, “Let’s make two since the pan is small and freeze the other one”. My how I love him!! Maybe this whole cooking ahead thing isn’t so hair brained after all!

Fix It, Freeze it!

How do you get through breakfast during the fast paced days of school? Do you go to school yourself? How about working full time? We all have things that eat up our time and I think most of us want to feed our family healthy food that is also cost effective.

The best way to do this is to fix it and freeze it. Every recipe out there has a good stopping point where you can stick it in the freezer for another time. You could really shave off half of your food prep and cooking time by having meal starters in your freezer. I will try to post some ideas. You may have your favorite recipes for these ideas or if you need a little help, here are some of my favorite resources:

Pinterest

Food.com

GOOGLE!!!

Our Best Bites

For Breakfast…

When you make pancakes, double the recipe and freeze the leftovers. I usually let them cool and freeze them on a cookie sheet before putting them into a freezer bag. Just reheat them in the toaster! I do the same with waffles!!

Every cooking blog out there has a recipe for eggs prepared in muffin cups. How easy! Just scramble an egg, some milk and whatever else you want to add…cheese, sausage, bacon, veggies…the possibilities are endless! Bake, cool and freeze. Now you have a HEALTHY and HANDHELD breakfast option!

What about a breakfast casserole? Get your fave recipe, DON”T BAKE IT, wrap in foil and freeze it. Sunday morning breakfast is taken care of. How many can you put together in 20 minutes. I’d say at least 5!!!

Smoothies are a great option. If you like to add greens and ice cubes, just freeze your pureed greens in ice cube trays! They won’t go to waste and you won’t need to add ice cubes!

Dinner Shortcuts…

So many options! I know I am going to forget to list half of them but I will try to post more as they come to mind. Here are some non-casserole ideas.

Marinade and freeze meat! Chili-Lime Chicken is my favorite and very versatile. Marinade, freeze and then you can either grill your chicken for a nice dinner with sides or use the crock pot and shred the chicken. Shredded chili lime chicken can make taquitos, burritos, tacos, shredded chicken salad…seriously, the possibilities are endless. Add it to scrambled eggs for extra protein and great flavor!

Put a pork butt in a gallon Zip Loc, add your fave ingredients for pulled pork and freeze it. When you are ready, thaw and throw it in the crock pot. The leftovers can be put in a Zip Loc and laid flat to freeze for another dinner! When you lay it flat, it doesn’t fill the freezer! With that frozen pork, you can make bbq sandwiches or even tacos or again add to eggs in the morning!

Make chicken enchiladas, double the recipe, freeze half to make again another day.

Black bean soup is another of our favorites! Dump and freeze. It doesn’t get any easier! Make some for dinner and as you open the cans, dump one in the pot and one in the bag!!

Fruit pie…If you have a deep dish recipe, make it in 2 regular pie crusts. You can freeze 2 or more in less than 20 minutes!

Is this helpful??? Can start to see a light at the end of the tunnel? I’d love to hear your experience with fixing and freezing meals. What is your favorite recipe?

Just Do It

Are you all thinking about the Nike swoosh? I totally pictured MJ soaring through the air dunking the ball!

Do you ever feel like you don’t have the time for generosity? You can’t meet a need when it comes to using your time rather than resources? Or do you have all the time to give but not the resources? Sometimes it is easy to write a check and for some of us it is easy to go out and do while we hold our checkbook close.

My sweet friend at ReDo ReNew told me the other day…when she talked me into writing this blog…that I “just do it”. When a need arises, I don’t really give it much thought, I just do it. Deliver, shop, seek out a way to fill the need…I just do it. I don’t tell you this to brag, rather to encourage. God just needs your YES and He will work. He will work in us and those who are receiving the blessing.

He works it all out. Really, pray and ask Him to lead you. If I look back, I cannot find one single time when I have been put-out by generosity. Picking up extra groceries and delivering didn’t hurt our budget when really, it should have. Picking up and delivering furniture really never interrupted our own free time. At least not in a way that we were upset about it. God really does work out EVERYTHING for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

He will bless you in your generosity. He will bless you when you answer His call to help “the least of these” or even just your neighbor. He is always planting seeds of love to grow when He calls them too. Don’t miss an opportunity to be a blessing, even when you feel strapped for money, time or even not feeling good enough. You never know who you will meet, or who will meet you and hopefully, you will both meet Jesus right there!

Romans 8:28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,[a] for those who are called according to his purpose.

2 Corinthians 9:7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

One more thought…Generosity provides us a way to share Jesus with people we don’t even know! How exciting is that!!!

Favorite Sites

I am so glad there are tech savvy people out there so much smarter than I am!

Before moving to the South, I had never heard of bringing meals to people in need. Never once had I heard of a need meeting system basically open to the public. Here, people are much “warmer” and the communities are much closer. I like it. I like it a lot! (insert your best Dumb and Dumber impression) You’re welcome for that!

Are you wondering what in the world is she talking about? Bringing meals to people, schedules?

This is so lovely and so God. Here are links to two of my favorite sites and why I love them so.

Meal Train

Meal Train allows you to pick days of the week The Smith Family needs food because Mrs. Smith just had a baby and she doesn’t know which end is up. You can invite mutual friends or just let Mrs. Smith do the inviting. Everyone picks a date, lists the meal they are taking and there you have it. Woo Woo, all aboard the Meal Train! I love the catchy name. This site is simple and it has an option to subscribe for more options.

Take Them A Meal

Now, this one, is awesome. No catchy name but it is great for something a bit more intense. My precious friend at ReDo ReNew is going through a 16 week chemo cycle. She lives an hour away from her friends and the hospital. She is in town 2x a week and here is how we have set up her meals…Every Monday 3 meals are dropped at a central location, every Tuesday after appointments she picks them up and takes them home. Take Them A Meal offers great flexibility in the days you choose, number of meals per day and also services like lawn mowing or laundry duty! Meal Train is not that flexible unless you pay. Let’s say Mr. Smith broke his arm, Mrs. Smith had a baby and they have 3 other kids. TTAM will allow multiple people to sign up on Wednesday to bring 2 meals, mow the grass, let Mrs. Smith take a shower and someone else to take the kids to the park while Mr Smith goes to the doctor. TTAM can’t solve all the problems in the world but is sure does make it easy for us to bless the socks off of someone and bring in a bunch of people, at the same time, to witness God at work, providing for and loving on His children.

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’ Matthew 25:40

Go do it! Do it for the glory and honor of the King!

Eating, Giving and Proverbs 11:25

One of my favorite meals that we have made and gave is pulled pork and slaw. Goodness! It is so easy and so yummy. It also offers you the flexibility to give a hot meal, a “cook when you are ready to eat” meal or a meal to freeze for another time.

My favorite…for the moment recipe is from Our Best Bites and of course their Memphis Style Coleslaw is do die for. Really. It is. My husband hates slaw. He thought it was a decoration, like parsley, and the kitchen just moved the same bowl from plate to plate. Yep. He hates slaw…except this one! Everyone has loved it and we are no exception. I even used it on fish tacos the other night.

So here is how to do it. (I am human and I make mistakes all the time. If I am not clear here or I have left something out, be sure to let me know! I will get better with time!)

BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwiches

Follow the recipe! If you are making this in a group setting, add all the ingredients to a gallon size bag, and when you are ready to use it, dump it in the crock pot.

Once the meat is cooked, remove it from the crock pot, drain the liquid, put the meat back in or simply shred it in a bowl. This is where you add the bbq sauce. Split the shredded pork into two equal portions. Feed your family with one portion and package up the rest to give.

To make the amazing slaw listed above, simple double the recipe. This time you want to keep it separate though. Mix your slaw to eat and mix their dressing in a container.

Now you can give the pulled pork, buns, slaw mix and dressing away! Was that easy? You made dinner for your family, you made dinner for another family, you didn’t have to come up with a special meal or buy extra food!

Here are some random notes on freezing any part of the meal…

Freeze the meat and spices in you gallon size bag. Defrost when you are ready to cook it.

Put the extra portion in a gallon size bag, smash it flat (faster defrosting) and freeze. Defrost and reheat. Eat!

Slaw isn’t freezer friendly so make sure you have it on hand when you are ready to serve!

Proverbs 11:25 “The generous will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed” We can all use a little refreshing can’t we? Everything we have, our money, our possessions…they all belong to God. Ask Him to show you who you can refresh. It is in the loving that we find love…it is in the giving that we receive…