Click on the graphic to enjoy more of the bloggers on the tour!
It’s a Give Away Day! At the bottom of the post, I’ll share a way to make your meals both healthy and easier with a great give away today!
Ok…so I just pulled this picture off Instagram. My daughter, Mariah, posted this with the caption:
“Wouldn’t be my last dinner at home with a grease fire.”
Yes, I was trying to make her homemade onion rings and got a bit wrapped up in the roasted zucchini and corn and forgot about the grease! This is my man coming to my rescue. I’d like to say I have come a long way. Maybe it would be better to just say I’ve come a bit.
As a very young bride who just turned 20), I absolutely believed the lady on tv who said I could bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan and never, ever let him forget he was a man!
So my first day back to work after my honeymoon, I set out to prove it! Early in the morning, I put that goulash I had eaten a bizillion times as a child in a crockpot and headed off to work a happy bride. Pretty proud of myself too! But as the time ticked by, so did my confidence. By the lunch hour I was headed home to check on my pretty project. Only it wasn’t so pretty! It fact, it had taken on a grayish hue and a blob of a form. “It will get better” this eternal optimist said to herself.
Dinner time rolled around and I rolled out my first meal. I still could not figure out what was wrong. It looked nothing like Mom’s. Putting a large portion on my new dishes, I set the table for my man. What a gracious man he was! He ate that blob with a smile. But when it came time to put away the left overs, he gently said, “It’s ok, we don’t have to save them.” I knew I had to call my mom. Where had I gone wrong?
“Did you brown the meat first?” she asked.
“Did you wait to mix the noodles in right before you served it?”
The more questions she asked, the more my mistakes were apparent.
The days of gooey goulash and trout cheese casserole are behind me, but life in the kitchen is just around the corner for my daughters and for many of you too! I don’t want them to be the complete novice I was when it comes to cooking.
This week I am partnering with my friend, Karen Ehman, and many other bloggers to bring a bit of what we have learned through our mistakes to those coming behind us. I’m hoping you will join us!
The average American eats out 4 1/2 times a week (I guess that half is a trip for a fancy coffee). From the first day we were married, Greg and I thought those averages we weren’t good for us. I’d like to say it’s a health thing, but to be honest, I’m just too frugal to hand over our hard earned money for a very poor return.
How is today’s 2013 mom suppose to avoid being part of that eating out statistic?
Here are my 4 simple steps for cooking healthy and saving money too:
1) Make a menu
While I’m watching TV with my hubby, I write down one meal for the next seven days. They say the average American family rotates the same six meals. Unlike some of you, I don’t really like to cook; it gets boring to me. To shake it up a bit, every few months I get a new cook book and cook my way through it. My latest is:
I found Jillian’s meals super tasty and good for my family too! Since they take a little more time, you’ll see I pick three or four of these meals and then fill in on our busy nights with really easy choices like grilling out or tacos.
If I own the cookbook, beside each recipe I write a little note, “Loved it!”, “Fantastic”, “Don’t do again”. This way I’ll remember the good ones. Also, one day, my girls will have a record of the ones we all liked too!
2) Make a grocery list
While I am making my menu, I make my grocery list at the same time.
Listing the items I need to purchase to make those meals (minus anything I already have on hand), I the items into two categories (remember I like to save money?) – Aldi and Bi-Lo. As I put them on the list, I also write them down in order according to what comes up first in the store as I enter it.
(The question mark tells me to check my frig before I head to the store!)
Even though I actually make a full week schedule, each night I choose what meal to cook based on how busy I am and whether or not I made my second grocery store stop. On ball game days or small group nights, I make good use of my crock pot. I plop some meat, often frozen still, along with a seasoning packet and relax.
One of my favorites is to put in 2 – 3 boneless chicken breasts along with a packet of taco seasonings. Right about dinner time, I have the most tantalizing Mexican meal! I just have to pull out the shredded cheese, taco shells, lettuce and tomato and we’re set!
I also do the same with chicken and a jar of spaghetti sauce.
If all of this sounds overwhelming to you, let me share with you a secret I discovered during the busiest time of my life.
E Meals does the first two steps of my system for you! You simply choose what type of food your family likes or where you shop. They provide the menu and the shopping list! The great thing is you save so much time and money too since you are only buying what you need rather than guessing.
This week, I am giving away a 3 month subscription to eMeals valued at $27!
To enter, simply share with us your family’s favorite meal in the comments below! If you’re in a hurry, just say “I’m in!” Winners will be announced here on my blog on Tuesday, September 3.
I’d love to have you join our community of women purposing to become wise and raise wiser daughters! If you choose to start receiving my posts today, I’ll send you my recipe for my family’s favorite birthday treat – The Cowell Cheesecake! Just send your email address to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll get you signed up and the recipe right out!