Thursday, January 02, 2014

Freezer Cooking for January 2014

These are the recipes I'm planning to make. These are not unique to me, I've seen them in various places around the internet and am being lazy in finding the links and credit. If they are yours, please forgive me and let me know so I can give credit where credit is due! Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Pasta Bake Recipe 3 cooked, shredded chicken breasts 2 boxes of pasta (penne), cooked and drained 2 cans of Campbell’s cheddar soup 2 cups of chicken broth (I used the broth from cooking the chicken) 2 bags of frozen broccoli 1 Tablespoon Salt 3 cups of shredded cheddar Combine all ingredients except shredded cheddar into a bowl, divide out into three pans, the top with cheddar cheese. When ready to cook, bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, until warm and bubbly.  Basic Chicken Casserole Recipe (makes 3 casseroles) 4 shredded, cooked chicken breasts 5 cups of cooked rice 2 cans of cream of chicken condensed soup 1 cup of chicken broth 2 bags of frozen peas and carrots (I used mixed, but you could use one bag of each) 1 Tablespoon of salt 1/2 Tablespoon of black pepper 3 cup of French’s onions 3 cups of shredded cheddar cheese In a small bowl, combine the cheese and onions together – set aside (for the topping) In a large bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients together, then separate into pans. Top each one with 1/3 of the topping mixture and freeze. When ready to cook, bake at 350 until thoroughly warm and cheese is melted (everything is already cooked in the casserole.) Tex Mex Chicken Casserole (makes 4 freezer meals) 4 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded 8 cups of cooked rice 2 can of Rotel tomatoes 2 packs of taco seasoning 2 cans of whole kernel corn, drained 2 cans of black beans (undrained) 1 small can of black olives, drained 6 cups of cheddar cheese, grated Mix together all of the ingredients in a bowl, except the cheese. Divide out into four pans, then top each with the cheddar cheese and top with cardboard topper. To cook, remove cardboard piece and bake at 350 until thoroughly heated and cheese is melted (all ingredients are already cooked, so it’s just a matter of heating it well.) I serve with sour cream and salsa on top and tortilla chips on the side. Santa Fe Chicken Ingredients 4 -5 boneless chicken breasts 1 (15 1/2 ounce) cans black beans 1 (15 ounce) cans corn 1 (15 ounce) jars salsa, any kind 1 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese Directions 1. Take 4-5 frozen, yes, frozen, boneless chicken breasts put into crock pot. 2. Add 1 can of black beans, drained, 1 jar of salsa, 1 can of corn drained. 3. Keep in crock pot on high for about 4-5 hours or until chicken is cooked. 4. Add 1 package of cream cheese (just throw it on top!) and let sit for about 1/2 hour. 5. All done and enjoy! Crockpot Beef Tips 1 - 3 lbs stew meat 1 can 7up, Sprite or other lemon-lime soda (can be reg or diet) 1 pkg Onion Soup Mix 1 pkg Brown Gravy Mix 1 can Condensed Mushroom Soup 1 can Mushroom pieces (optional) Mix all together and cook on low for 6 - 8 hrs in slow cooker. Serve over buttered egg noodles French Dip Sandwiches Ingredients: 2-3 lb beef chuck roast 2 cans (14.5 oz each) beef consomme (it is right next to the soups and beef broth) 6-8 hoagie buns Directions: Place roast in a resealable gallon-sized freezer bag and pour beef consomme on top. When ready to eat, remove from freezer and thaw in fridge for 24 hours. Cook on LOW for 8-11 hours (or HIGH for 5-7 hours). Remove roast from slow cooker and save extra juice for dipping! With 2 forks, shred roast and serve meat on buns. We also love to melt Provolone or Swiss cheese on top. Chicken Broccoli Alfredo Ingredients: 1 ½ pounds chicken breasts 1 (16 oz) bag frozen broccoli florets 2 (16 oz) jars Alfredo sauce (I use light) 1 large green pepper, chopped 1 (4 oz) can sliced mushrooms, drained Directions: Place all ingredients in a resealable gallon-sized freezer bag and mix together. When ready to eat, remove from freezer and thaw in fridge for 24 hours. Cook on LOW for 4-6 hours.  Hearty Beef Stew Ingredients: 1 pound beef stew cubes 4 carrots, sliced 4 red potatoes, cut into large cubes 1 package dry onion soup mix 2 cans 98% fat-free cream of mushroom soup 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce 1 (10 oz) package frozen green peas Directions: Place all ingredients in a resealable gallon-sized freezer bag. Mix together and zip bag closed. When ready to eat, remove from freezer and thaw in fridge for 24 hours. Cook on LOW for 7-10 hours (or HIGH for 5-6 hours). Black Bean Taco Soup Ingredients: 1 lb lean ground beef (or ground turkey works too!) 1 medium onion, chopped 1 package mild taco seasoning mix 1 (16 oz) bag frozen corn 1 (16 oz) can black beans drained and rinsed (you could use kidney beans or pinto beans) 2 (14 oz) cans stewed tomatoes 1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce 1 (4 oz) can diced green chilis Directions: Brown meat and onion, drain. Let meat cool for a minute, then dump into a resealable gallon-sized freezer bag. Dump the remaining ingredients into the bag, mix together, and zip bag closed. When ready to eat, remove from freezer and thaw in fridge for 24 hours. Cook on HIGH for 1-2 hours or LOW for 2-3 1/2 hours. Serve with tortilla chips, cheese, sour cream, and guacamole. Maple Dijon Glazed Chicken Ingredients: 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts 1 cup Dijon mustard 1/2 cup maple syrup 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar salt and pepper to taste Directions:  Place all ingredients in a resealable gallon-sized freezer bag. Mix together and zip bag closed. When ready to eat, remove from freezer and thaw in fridge for 24 hours. Cook on LOW for 8 hours (or HIGH for 4 hours). Sprinkle with fresh or dried rosemary for serving. Cilantro Lime Chicken w/ Corn and Black Beans Ingredients: 1 1/2 pounds chicken breasts Juice from 2 limes 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped 1 (16 oz) bag frozen corn 2 minced garlic cloves 1/2 red onion, chopped 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed 1 tsp cumin  salt and pepper to taste Directions:  Place all ingredients in a resealable gallon-sized freezer bag. Mix together and zip bag closed. When ready to eat, remove from freezer and thaw in fridge for 24 hours. Cook on LOW for 8 hours (or HIGH for 4 hours).  Serve with tortillas and toppings such as with sour cream, guacamole, salsa, and cheese. PW Sour Cream Noodle Bake ( Ingredients 1-1/4 pound Ground Chuck 1 can 15-ounces Tomato Sauce 1/2 teaspoon Salt  Freshly Ground Black Pepper 8 ounces, weight Egg Noodles 1/2 cup Sour Cream 1-1/4 cup Small Curd Cottage Cheese 1/2 cup Sliced Green Onions (less To Taste) 1 cup Grated Sharp Cheddar Cheese Preparation Instructions Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown ground chuck in a large skillet. Drain fat, then add tomato sauce. 1/2 teaspoon salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Stir, then simmer while you prepare the other ingredients. Cook egg noodles until al dente. Drain and set aside. In a medium bowl, combine sour cream and cottage cheese. Add plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Add to noodles and stir. Add green onions and stir. To assemble, add half of the noodles to a baking dish. Top with half the meat mixture, then sprinkle on half the grated cheddar. Repeat with noodles, meat, then a final layer of cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, or until all cheese is melted. Beef Stroganoff  2 pounds of cubed beef stew meat or 4 cups of cooked ground beef 4 cans of cream of mushroom soup (recommend golden mushroom soup if your store carries it) 1 cup chopped onion 2 T worcestershire sauce 1/2 c water 1 c. sour cream 2T minced garlic packet of onion soup mix egg noodles (to serve over & cook that day) optional (chopped mushrooms) Mix all ingredients in freezer safe bag except egg noodles.  Freeze as flat as you can.  Remove and defrost night before if possible.  Put in crockpot on low for about 6-8 hours or if meat is precooked, 3-6 hours.  Serve over egg noodles. BBQ Meatloaf 1 lb ground beef 1 egg ¾ C. milk 1 C. shredded cheddar cheese ½ C. oatmeal ½ C. onion chopped 1 tsp. salt   BBQ Sauce Ingredients: 2/3 C. ketchup ½ C. brown sugar 1 ½ tsp mustard Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all the meatloaf ingredients in a bowl and mix together well.  Next mix the BBQ Sauce ingredients in a separate bowl.  Place the meatloaf mixture in a bread  pan or individual muffin cups, I spray these with some cooking spray so they don’t stick as much.  Top the meatloaf with the bbq sauce and bake for 45 minutes or until the middle is cooked through. Crock Pot Chicken Pot Pie 4-5 potatoes, peeled or scrubbed, then diced  3-4 cups baby carrots, halved  1 onion, diced  2 cloves garlic, minced  1/2- 1 tsp salt  Pepper to taste  4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed  2 cans cream of chicken soup  1-2 cups frozen peas  Biscuits, toast, or pie crust Place all of the veggies in a large crock pot (mine is 6 quarts). Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place chicken on top of veggies and cover with soup. Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours. Add frozen peas and cook 20 minutes longer or till heated through. Serve over toast, biscuits, or pie crust. 

Friday, February 01, 2013

Reviving the Blog for a Book Review!

Hello, Dear Neglected Blog! While another outlet has been slowly eating away at my blog (hello, my name is Tara and I'm a Facebook junkie!) I was given the opportunity to write a book review on my blog.

A couple of weeks ago I received a copy of Vicki Tiede's book "Parenting On Your Knees: Prayers and Practical Guidance for the Preschool Years". I wish I had received this book several years ago when my house was full of preschoolers!

Vicki weaves personal stories from parents of preschoolers together with wonderful and practical parenting tips. At the end of each chapter readers can join in with the author in prayer for their own children. There are also plenty of blank spaces for readers to write prayers and responses to prayers. As a bonus to each chapter, Vicki also includes read along book suggestions for children and for their parents!

Each chapter is only a few pages long. Long enough to sneak in during nap time, but engaging enough to feed your soul for the day. These short chapters are packed with fun stories, scriptural insights, parenting tips as well as a call to remember to bring our children before the Throne of God on a daily, if not moment by moment basis! I strongly suggest this book as a companion to any new mother. It would make a wonderful baby shower gift, a giveaway at your moms group or a great gift for yourself as you travel the road of bringing up your children in the fear and admonition of the Lord!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

WFMW: Break the Dawdling

I have an idea that has worked wonders for my dawdler and thought I'd share.

Toby (6, 1st grade) is a dawdler. He would literally take 8-12 minutes or more just to get his pajamas off in the mornings. DH asked me to come up with something to encourage him to get a move on! Truth be told, our first inclination was to punish for dawdling. I never really fleshed that out, but who wants to wake up to potential discipline every morning before school? So instead we're rewarding for being fast.

I created the "Toby's 10 and Under Time Sheet" and hung it on the wall. Toby has 10 minutes for each of three tasks (get dressed, eat breakfast, wash and brush) and then (because there were 4 slots on the premade sheet) he gets a bonus point if he does all three things under time. For the last two days Toby has been able to get his stuff done in far under the time allotted!! Added bonus? Aidan (8, 2nd grade) took it upon himself to run the timer and draw the stars on the chart. Aidan and Toby are my two who have the most friction. Aidan has been Toby's timekeeper AND chief cheerleader! Double bonus points for that! :) Most surprising thing? I didn't even specify an incentive. It's enough for Toby to get the points and stars on the chart.

So that's what works for me this week! See if you can find something that works for you at We Are That Family!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

WFMW: Laundry update

Back in the spring I started a laundry system to tame the monster that was my laundry room. I wrote about it *here*. I have since made a few tweaks to the system and have found that it works even better for us!

Here's what I do now. I still use the triple laundry sorter. I have made a few adjustments to the "laundry buddies".

Monday: Dad and Aidan
Tuesday: Mom and Toby
Wednesday: Evan and Avery

Basically I've split the uniform wearers up a little better and made a much more noticeable distinction between sizes. I have also given up on doing towels and such on Thursday and just throw them all in when needed; often I can do the entire towel stock on Tuesday or Wednesday thus being totally done with laundry from Thursday through Sunday! How many other families of six can say they don't do laundry four days out of seven?

And how many loads do I have to do Monday through Wednesday? Usually two or three. That's it. A couple loads a few days a week and then I'm free!!!

And THAT, my friend, works for me!

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Lengthening the Leash

I have a parenting theory; I never do for a child what that child can do for himself. For the past few months I've given my three-year-old daughter my library card and stood a few feet behind her while she checks out her books at the desk in the children's section of the library. This morning I decided to take it a step further. I was out of sight of the desk, yet my daughter was ready to check out her books. I gave her my card and told her to go check out her books (I did tell her to make sure she got her "ticket" receipt so I would know she completed her mission.) She took the card and confidently strode off in the direction of the check out desk.

My little daughter was positively beaming from ear to ear when she returned from her little errand! She then trotted off happily to an area of the library where older kids (elementary aged usually) sit and read. I guess she thought if she was old enough to check out her own library books without mommy right behind her she was old enough to sit where the big kids sit! :)

Saturday, October 02, 2010

My Free Range Mom Moment

Lately I've been enjoying the blog, Free Range Kids. The basic premise of her blog is that we hover (helicopter parent) over our children and they don't get to experience life as we did. Kids need to be free to experience a few bumps and scrapes. They need to get dirty and entertain themselves.

So, last night I had a "Free Range Kid Moment". Jim was planning on taking the boys to a family friend's house for a camp fire. Evan asked if he could ride his bike. The friend lives about a mile away. 90% of that mile is a medium busy street (though partway down it does have a sidewalk). For a brief second I was about to say no. Then my Free Range Parenting skills kicked in and I said he could do it. He is ten. When I was ten I rode all over town on my bike with no helmet and the only expectation was that I'd be home when the street lights came on! So, with his helmet on, I sent him on his way. I also told him that he had to call me when he got there, to which Jim asked, "should we send the cell with him?" I told Jim that Evan wouldn't need the cell. He could use the house phone at the friend's house just like we did! :)

I encourage you to read the blog Free Range Kids and think about how you can loosen the apron strings a little and let your kids have some freedom today!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Computer time for kids

All summer I've been chasing my kids off the TV and off the computer. It drives me nuts. I devised a simple way to keep track of how much time each child spends online and which kid has had his online time!

I gave each child a post-it note with his name on it. I also wrote how much time each child has on this post-it. Evan (9) gets 30 mins/day. Aidan (6) gets 25, Toby (5) has 20 and Avery (3) has 15. These post-its are stuck to one side of the monitor. I also have a timer sitting on the computer desk. When the child has his time he moves his tag to the other side of the monitor and sets the timer.

No, there are no roll-over minutes. This ain't AT&T!

Also, if the child forgets to start the timer he gets booted off as soon as Mom figures it out. And if they go over their time? They lose it all the next day.

Yup. I'm so mean.

So far it's worked great!