Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Crock Pot Beef Stroganoff

1 pound Beef Tips
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can beef broth
1 8oz sour cream
1 package noodles

Place beef tips at the bottom of the crockpot and cover meat with soup & beef broth. (I also add a little water to cover the meat) Cover & cook on low for 6-8 hours. 30 minute before serving mix sour cream & noodles into stroganoff and turn to high. Cook for an addition 30-40 minutes or until noodles are soft.

Serve with bread or a vegetable. I also used Wacky Mac pasta so my toddler gets some veggies along with a serving of peas.


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Consignment Sale #1 In The Books

Our town has two sales that I LOVE.  There are several others, but these two are my personal favorites.  The presale for sale #1 was on Saturday and let me tell you, I racked up!  Michael had to work, so I dropped N off with my parents at 8:30, ran through Dunkin Donuts for a coffee, and got in the line around 9.  I was somewhere near #20 in line and that was great considering it had over 150 by the time the doors opened at 10!   I spent my wait with my friend Courtney who was buying for her little boy Jake.  When the doors did open I ran to the tricycles, but sadly, they had already sold the one I knew they had during the volunteer shop Friday night. :-(  From there I went to the clothes.  I couldn't be any happier with my deals!  
 I ended up with 17 outfits!  All of which were under $5 except for one and all are Gymboree, Gap, Carter's, or Polo.  I am also looking for vintage race car items for N's room during this consignment season. I stumbled upon this and matching bookends right before I left.  It looks AWESOME in his room!
This week is dropoff and the presale for my favorite sale.  I can only hope I do as well there!  I am working dropoff on Wednesday, so I can assure you that I will be checking out all of the 24m-2T stuff coming in! :-)

Friday, February 17, 2012

Consignment Sale Love

For those of you how read my personal blog and follow me on FB/Twitter, you know that I have a sick obsession with children's consignment sales.  I LOVE THEM!  When I was pregnant with Nicholas, I went to Just Between Friends for the first time and from that day on, I was hooked!  It can be very overwhelming, so I wanted to write a post to help Mommies that want to shop sales, but are overwhelmed or not sure how to get started.
This is the haul I brought home last Spring, about 20 different outfits for less than $100!  Now, how did I do that???
1. If you are an expecting/new Mommy, make sure you register for the First Time Mom Sale during the presale at all of the different consignment sales.  Go to your local sale websites (example, Just Between Friends, Jack and Jill, Duck Duck Goose, Rae Lana, etc) and register there.  It is well worth it to get to shop before the general public.  
2. Make a list of everything you want to purchase.  My priority has been things such as a Little Tikes slide, Mickey Mouse, cowboy boots, and a jumperoo.  Another advantage to shopping the presale is to have a better chance at finding your priority items.  Think about what clothes you want and what sizes you are looking for.  This season I am looking for plaid shorts, polos, appliqued t's, and anything for school in 18months to 2T.  If you are pregnant and needing good quality baby gear for a very affordable price (especially for a granparent or sitter), this is a wonderful way to get it!
3.  You will want to dress comfortably and be prepared to wait in line to get in and to check out.  You will also need a laundry basket or a large tote that you can carry what you find.  They do not have shopping bags or carts, so this is a good way to shop.  I personally use a Thirty-One large utility tote.
4.  Check to see what forms of payment they take.  There is a sale in Chattanooga that is cash or check only.
5.  Be prepared to spend 2-4 hours and for large crowd, even at the presales.
6.  Have fun!!!  

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Freezer Meal How To

I have had a lot of freezer meal questions in real life, FB, and on twitter in the past few weeks.  It was one big reason why I decided to make this blog, to help answer several questions in one place.  I got started after my friend Meredith convinced me it would make life much easier as a working mom...she was right.  It changed my life!!!  I'll try to breakdown a little bit about how I do it here.  I've learned most of this from trial, error, and google.  :-)

1. What Do I Need To Get Started Freezing Meals?
I did a lot of reading on the internet before I got started and asked a lot of questions on twitter.  I went through my favorite recipes and figured out what I thought would freeze well and what might not.  I learned a lot from this site http://www.myrecipes.com/freezer-recipes/.

2. Getting Started
I went to the Dollar Tree and Bi-Lo and stocked up on several foil pans, heavy duty foil (make sure it's heavy duty, the regular doesn't hold up as well in my opinion), and gallon sized freezer bags.  Make a meal plan for the week (start small with just a few meals then add more as you get comfortable) with a few easy things such as spaghetti sauce, meatloaf, and marinated chicken breasts.  Plan at least 2-3 hours the first time until you see exactly how long you will need.

3. How Do I Prepare My Meals?
I get this question every single time I tweet, FB, or discuss my Sunday afternoon meal prep with someone.  I do everything but the final step, but more on that in a minute.  Let's break it down a little more first.  I usually lay everything I need on my dining room table by recipe before I get started to make sure I have everything I need to prepare everything.
 I try to make enough for 2 weeks at a time.  That may mean making 2 of each thing or just making 6 or 7 meals and a few quick things to heat up like twice baked potatoes and hamburger steak patties.
After I made sure I have everything I start preparing starting with whatever will take the longest (ie: cooking chicken, baking potatoes, etc) while I do some of the quicker things like browning hamburger, preparing for a soup, or cutting veggies.  Yes, you can cut veggies ahead of time and freeze.

Let's talk soups and stews for a minute.  They are one of my favorite quick freezer meals.  For taco soup for example, I brown my meat, drain and combine all of the ingredients in a big bowl, then divide in to gallon bags for storage  (remove as much of the air as you can and lay flat to freeze).  Thaw enough to put in a crockpot and heat for 8 hours!  EASY!

As an example of how I prepare a full dish I'll use the example of my one of my favorite freezer meals to prepare and cook is chicken spaghetti.  I use a recipe I found on pinterest (I can't remember the link, sorry) and then revised a little to make it a little faster to prep.  I cook the noodles, chicken, and sauce.  Then I mix it all together in a big pot before pouring into a foil pan.  Thaw the day before then cook as directed.  

I also like to prepare meats ahead of time.  Right now I have a pot roast that has been sitting in my freezer for a couple of weeks.  It is in a freezer bag along with a packet of onion soup mix and beef broth.  I will just  thaw a little in the fridge the day before, pour into the crockpot and call it a day!

I hope this explains how I meal prep.  It is kind of hard for me to explain, but this is my method and it works great for me.  I hope it made sense.  If not, send me an email or leave me a comment!

New and Improved Site

Welcome to the new and improved Recipe Blog!  I'm changing the format of this blog to include the things that I get asked about a lot...meal planning, recipes, crafting, consignment shopping, and being a working mommy.  I want to continue to keep my personal blog private, so this is my attempt at sharing some other things that are important to me.  I've changed the title and address to reflect this change.  Hope you enjoy the new format.  I'll be posting some old posts from the other blog soon with my routine as a working mom and some of my earlier freezer meal posts.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Meal Plan With Lasagna and Hamburger Steak Recipes

This week I got back to meal planning and freezer meals.  It is amazing how much better I feel about my week and my stress level goes WAY down when I do this. No pictures because I left my camera was at my parents, but here are some recipes...
Sunday - Lasagna
Monday - Taco Soup for our little Halloween party/Trick or Treating with the Millers
Wednesday - leftovers to my hair appointment
Thursday - Hamburger Steak, Crockpot Pinto Beans, and Macaroni and Cheese
Friday - Pizza
Saturday - Dips and Finger Food for football! (not sure what kind yet)

Lasagna (I can get this to make 2 small lasagnas or 1 large and 1 very small)
1 pound hamburger
1 family size jar of spaghetti sauce
1-8oz ricotta cheese
1 egg
12 oz mozzarella cheese
1 pkg of lasagna noodles

Brown hamburger and drain then mix into sauce.  Prepare lasagna noodles by boiling per the package and drain.  Mix ricotta and egg.  Layer noodles, meat sauce, ricotta and mozzarella three times or until your pan is full.  You will have a few noodles left over.

Cook covered for 1 hour on 350.  Uncover and top with the mozzarella cheese and cook for another 15 mins or until cheese is melted.
*this is based off the lasagna being thawed, not frozen.

Hamburger Steak
1 lb ground beef
4 Tsp on worchestire sauce
2 tsp garlic powder
1 onion, diced

kneed all of the above ingredients and pat into 3-4 patties.  Broil in the oven on hi for 8 mins each side.
*based on the meat thawed, not frozen.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Meal Planning Monday, Chicken Spaghetti and Crockpot Beef Stew

Sunday - Chicken Spaghetti
Monday - Chili Mac
Tuesday - Beef Stew
Wednesday - Chicken Enchiladas
Thursday - Pizza (Nicholas has a Little Gym make up class)
Friday - Nicholas will have a grilled cheese and veggies while Mommy and Daddy attend a wedding rehearsal/dinner.
Saturday - Wedding for the parents and a birthday party for Nicholas

Chicken Spaghetti (1st time trying this, but can we say FABULOUS?!)
3 - cooked chicken breasts, diced
1 - 10 oz can rotel
1 - 10.5 oz can cream of chicken
8oz sharp cheddar cheese
8oz spaghetti
While cooking spaghetti in boiling water, combine rotel, cream of chicken, and cheese in medium saucepan.  Stir until melted and combined well.  Add in chicken.  Drain spaghetti once cooked, rinse, and add to cheese mixture.  Pour into a greased casserole dish and bake for 30 minutes on 350.

Crockpot Beef Stew
1 package of beef stew meat
1 can beef broth
1 can tomato soup
3 potatoes chunked
3 regular carrots sliced
1 large onion
1 package of brown gravy mix
Place uncooked meat on the bottom of the crockpot, then add veggies, gravy mix, and soup.  Cover with broth and 1 or 2 cans of water (I use the beef broth can) depending on the size of your crockpot.  Cook on low for 8 hours.