Wednesday, October 22, 2014

31 Days of Dinner Day 22 -- Pantry Staples


I am barely treading water right now, and was going to skip today's 31 days post.  But then I ran across this list of 12 pantry essentials, and thought I'd share.  I think it's pretty complete.  What do you think?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

31 Days of Dinner Day 21 -- Easy Crockpot Freezer Meals

Have you noticed that plans for putting together those freezer meals that you simply need to dump in your crockpot and cook are every where?  I love them.  They really are really simple to put together and cook.  Of course they do sometimes end up as a soupy mish mash of soft food -- in short what everyone who hates their crockpot hates about slow cooked food.  Here are a few rules of thumb that have worked for me.

1) Soup in the crockpot is great, but don't add broth until you're ready to cook
2) Too many packaged ingredients or mixes = gross
3) Frozen vegetables should not be allowed to thaw

Monday, October 20, 2014

31 Days of Dinner Day 20 -- Freezer Meals = Easy Meals

Here's a freezer session I had last year:

I started with:  6 pounds of grass fed ground beef + some chicken and cream cheese.  The ground beef was bought at half price using a groupon.

Here's what I made:
  • Stuffed peppers x 2
  • BBQ meatballs
  • Alfredo sauce, mixed with grilled chicken & veggies (We'll had it with pasta)
  • A ton of pinto beans

Sunday, October 19, 2014

31 Days of Dinner Day 19 -- Cheese Sauce For The Freezer


Just because I like to cook from scratch doesn't mean I like to start from scratch.  I've been using the Tightwad Gazette cream soup mix as a base for a yummy cheese sauce -- just add the amount of water recommended and heat it up on the stove.  When it starts to get thick, add a cup or so of cheddar cheese and stir until melted.  I cool the sauce and freeze it in ice cube trays.

It's quick to toss a few of these with hot cooked pasta to make mac n cheese -- and even easier than making the boxed stuff.  These also make a good sauce for steamed veggies when you're feeding reluctant eaters.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

31 Days of Dinner Day 18 -- Cooking Out With Kids


We have a few more camp outs and camp fires scheduled before the long winter comes.  This is my kids' go-to book for campfire food. Cooking On A Stick is a ton of fun!

Friday, October 17, 2014

31 Days of Dinner Day 17 -- Easy Meals From What I Keep On Hand

Yesterday I told you what I like to keep on hand.  Here are a few meal ideas using those items.

Chicken a la king (leave out the mushrooms, use peas instead of pimento, serve over rice)
Chicken and rice soup
Crockpot pork roast (sub frozen peppers if you don't have an onion)
Crockpot chicken cacciatore
Slow Cooker Pulled Pork
Chicken or pork stir fry topped with almonds
Fruity Pork Roast
Chicken salad with almonds

What are your go-to dinners?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

31 Days of Dinner Day 16 -- 7 Things I Keep On Hand

As much as I try to prepare, sometimes life catches me off guard and there is "nothing" for dinner. That's why I like to keep these seven things on hand for a quick meal:

1) Individually quick frozen chicken breasts
2) Frozen pepper strips
3) Frozen peas
4) Pork Loin
5) Sliced almonds
6) Bullion cubes
7) Rice

Tomorrow I'll tell you what I make with these.