Monthly Archives: January 2010

Happy Homemaking 101-2

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Super Spaghetti and Chicken Stew

      I said I would be back, and here I am!  Have you come up with some Staple Dinners? We had Super Spaghetti tonight! Sound interesting? Would you like the recipe? Only if you promise not to wrinkle your nose up when you see what makes it so super! Promise?  Alright…

Super Spaghetti

1 Jar Spaghetti sauce, whatever brand or flavor you like

1 Box Spaghetti

2 Cups Spinich, fresh (you could probably sub. canned or frozed, thawed…)

1 Can of Beans, whatever your preference, I normally use white navy peas

Prepare water and cook spaghetti as directed on package…Meanwhile, chop the spinich in a food processor, or blender. Add to a med saucepan with the spaghetti sauce. Now, puree the can of beans in the food processor or blender! Add beans to sauce. Heat. Cook spagetti, drain.  Top with sauce, sprinkle with parmesan, you have Super Spaghetti!  You cannot tell there are beans in there, really!  It is so good and good for you!  My kids love it! Serve with Texas Toast, or garlic bread, if you like.

Once you have come up with a plan for using your Staple Dinners, you need to figure out how many other nights there are that you need to plan meals for.  Consider what types of small appliances you have that can really save time and make your life easier if you put them to work for you.  Crockpot, quesadilla maker, electric skillet, waffle maker, microwave…

I LOVE cooking things in the crockpot! Cook things that you can make more than one meal out of.  I recently made a chicken roast.  I put 2 large packages of chicken in the crockpot, added carrots, potatoes and onions like I would a beef roast. Then I tossed in some yellow squash that I had in the freezer from the summer.  Poured a little water in, sprinkled with some salt, pepper and parsley and YUM! The next evening was a Staple Dinner evening so I stayed with that. The day after, I used the leftovers. I deboned and diced up the chicken first, then tossed it in a large pot along with all the veggies and broth leftover.  I added some rice and chicken broth and it was AMAZING! And there was so much stew, we couldn’t beging to eat it all, so I FROZE 2 large containers of it for an easy dinner to fix on a busy day!

     I think I will stop there for now…I will continue tomorrow night 🙂

Happy Homemaking 101-1

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What’s For Dinner???

Do you sometimes (or ALL the time) feel completely overwhelmed by maintaining your home? All the cleaning and cooking never ends! This is true whether you are a stay at home mom or you work outside the home, isn’t it? It is also true whether you homeschool or send your children to public or private school, am I right? No matter what scenario describes your family, life is always so busy!

That is why I decided to start this blog. As a very busy homeschooling mom of 4, I would like to share some of my ideas for making the hilly, bumpy road of homemaking a little bit smoother! I will try to add a new thought or idea each night, unless a major disaster or bout of fatigue interrupts!

Let’s start with feeding that ravenous family of yours…Do you often find yourself near dinnertime, or even past dinnertime, having no idea what is for dinner? Come on, admit it, you know you do! That is about to end! First thing your’re going to do is come up with a plan!

Grab a pen and paper….Got one yet?….Still waiting….Ok, good!

Now, think of at least 2-4 easy to fix dinners that your family would be happy to eat once a week or every other week. These are going to be your “staple dinners”. Want to know what ours are? Grilled cheese and soup, spaghetti, breakfast and pizza. Now, set a specific day for these “staple dinners”. Consider which days you always have activities to attend in the evening and plan on something simple for that day.

For example at our house, Monday is grilled cheese & soup day. I make large batches of soup and freeze, I’ll talk about that another day! Canned soup is fine, though.

Wednesday we have church and need something simple, so it is spaghetti day.

Thursday is always breakfast night, usually Special Scrambled Eggs and toast. I will add the egg recipe at the end. Sometimes we have pancake or waffle night, with toppings such as chocolate chips, peanut butter, strawberries and whipped cream, which is really a hit with the kids!

Friday is always pizza night. I use Jiffy Pizza Crust Mix and jarred pizza sauce, you can add whatever toppings you like! My kids love helping make the pizza!

Plan to use your Staple Dinners on a night that fits that meal. Use your simplest Staple Dinners on your busiest evenings! You will soon be on the path to Happy Homemaking! Get started working on your Staple Dinner Menu!

In the coming blogs, I will be have more tips on meal planning, as well as simplifying other areas of homemaking!

To Be Continued…

Special Scrambled Eggs

 1 Dozen Large Eggs

1/2 Cup Sour Cream

1/4 Cup Chives

Salt and Pepper, optional (tastes fine without it)

Preheat a large non-stick skillet over med-low heat for approximately 5 minutes.  Drop a bit of water in the skillet, when it sizzles and disappears, the skillet is hot enough! While skillet is preheating, whisk all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl for about 2 minutes, until well mixed and ‘frothy’.  Add to skillet.  For fluffier eggs, do NOT stir the eggs until they begin to set!  Once they begin to set, gently use a spatula to carefully lift sections and turn.  This will make for larger, fluffier scrambled egg.  Just trust me!  (When you over stir, you could get tiny little pieces of rubbery eggs, not good.) Continue to cook and gently move/flip the eggs until they look done. Remove from heat.  Enjoy!