Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Food Pictures!!

Apparently, today is NOT my day!! Some pics from my camera got deleted from my card and I'm not really sure how...But, I still have three pics from my cooking day on Friday!! I seriously cooked from 9 am til 330 pm! I got everything done except my bread, chili and empanadas!! I was pretty proud of myself!! Plus with all the chicken I boiled I made a TON of stock!! My plan tomorrow is to get all of the hamburger meat cooked up so I can make my chili and empanadas! Today I am making bread. I found some hazelnut flour at the store so I am SUPER excited to make some hazelnut bread! YUM!!

Here is all the food right before I began! I forgot to mention while I was doing all of this I was also cooking yummy food in my Crock Pot for my Friend's Bday party which I had that night!!

Potatoes for the breakfast burritos!!

Most of my finished product!! 1 jar plus 24 little muffin cups of chicken stock!!

We actually had one of the bags of the healthy BBQ chicken last night! It was delicious! The only complaint were the sweet potatoes. Neither of my boys really liked them!! Next time I will use regular ol' russetts!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Shopping List WITH Recipes

Hey Everyone! Sorry it's so late. I had a shopping list all typed up for ya and then blogger closed out on me without saving! UGH! BY then I had to start dinner for the Fam!! Anyway, I decided instead to inlude links to where you can find each recipe so you can pick and choose what you want to make and then go from there!! These are the meals/items I will be preparing tomorrow:

Healthy Mama BBQ Chicken
This page includes a couple other recipes as well!!

Corn, Black Beans and Beef Empanadas

Breakfast Burritos

Pizza Crust

Honey Wheat Bread


Chicken Pot Pie Filling

I will also be making prepared hamburger and taco meat as well as shredded chicken! Also, Chili!!
Here is the recipe for that!!

1 1/2 pounds ground beef (80% lean)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups tomato sauce
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
1 15oz can red kidney beans (rinsed, drained, warmed)
1 pound spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
2 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
1 medium sweet vidalia onion, minced

In a large dutch oven, add the oil along with the onions and cook until they soften. Add the ground beef to the pot. Saute the beef and break up the meat with a potato masher.
Once the beef has browned and is broken up, add the garlic, followed by the spices - chili powder, cayenne, dried oregano, cocoa powder, ground allspice, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, ground black pepper and one teaspoon of salt. Stir to combine and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Stir in the tomato sauce, broth, water, vinegar, sugar, and drained beans scraping the pan bottom to remove any browned bits. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer. Stir occasionally until the chili is deep red in color and has thickened slightly, roughly an hour. Season with salt and hot sauce to taste.
To serve, plate up spaghetti and top with chili. Garnish with cheese and onions if desired.
* To make ahead/freezer meal - Prepare the chili as directed above and allow to cool completely. Place in a freezer safe container and freeze. When ready to enjoy, defrost completely and bring to a simmer over medium low heat before serving.

I know this seems like a lot but I promise you (as well as your Family!!) will be satisfied with the end result!! I will post pictures as well as talk about how my cooking went on Monday!! Happy Weekend everyone!!


Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Preparing for Freezer Meals!

This week I have decided to spend an entire day preparing MRC's (meals ready to cook) for my Family. I have spent the last few days preparing and making sure I have everything I need for these freezer meals!! I am very excited and will be sharing all of the recipes as well as pictures from the BIG DAY!! I thought, in case some of you would like to join me, whether at my house or from your own homes, I would blog today about the things you need to know before hand! I thought about typing it all up on my own but Troop isn't feeling good today so HERE is a link where you can download, save and print all of the info!! I hope you are as excited as I am!


Monday, October 3, 2011

Wash My Washing Machine?!?!

The other day a dear friend of mine called me in distress because her washing machine was leaving strange spots on her shirts! She asked if I had any idea why or what it could be. My first thought was, "Your washing machine must need washed." Sounds crazy right?! We all already dread the "L" word and the thought of having to wash out the washing machine after doing all the laundry sounds less than appealing! Luckily, you only need to do it every few months! If you use liquid fabric softener I would recommend doing it once every six weeks or so. Here are some easy tips to cleaning out your TOP LOAD washing machine.

First, run a cycle of hot water along with two cups of vinegar or lemon juice to loosen up the soap and grime. Remove the fabric softener receptacle and soak it in hot water and detergent. Clean the bleach dispenser with a spray cleaner, paper towels, and Q-tips. Don't forget to clean the top rim of the wash bucket which is up and under where it can't usually be seen easily. Run the washer empty on a hot cycle one more time.

While this is going on, check all your hoses for leaks. Over time, the water hoses that came with your washing machine may start to leak or even burst. It is good preventive maintenance to check these hoses from time to time for any sign of wear or weakness. Most manufacturers recommend replacing hoses every 5 years. Make sure your hoses are not a disaster waiting to happen!

Once you've soaked the fabric softener receptacle, replace it and polish up the outside of your washing machine with vinegar and a cloth towel. Your washing machine now looks better and will run better as well!

My dear friend, however owns a front load washer. I do not. So I did some research and found some ways to prevent the mildew smell and water build up in your FRONT LOAD washing machine.

•Always leave the door and dispenser unit slightly ajar after the laundry is done. Front-load washers and the detergent/softener dispenser drawer must dry out.
•Never leave a wet washload in the washer overnight; remove it when the washing cycle is complete and leave the door open.
•After a load is done, always rotate the drum with your hand to see and remove all items. Some could be sticking to top or sides of the washer drum.
•Use softener sheets in the dryer instead of liquid softeners in the washer.
•Liquid detergents may leave less residue than powdered formulas which may not dissolve properly.
•Use less than the recommended detergent level for your load. Too much detergent can cause a residue build up. Experiment until you find a minimum measurement that delivers a clean wash. This is also a money saver.
•Occasionally wash some loads such as whites, linen and towels in warm or hot water to help flush out wash residue.
•Always clean your washer as per your product manual. High efficiency front-load models have a cleaning cycle and it's imperative that you periodically run this cycle as directed.
•Check the gasket just inside the door opening and remove any visible debris. You can also wipe it to speed the drying process.

I hope this helps some of you out! Feel free to share your own tips to cleaning out your washing machine!! Happy Monday Ya'll!