Just MOM! · menu · Pampered Chef Awesomeness! · Uncategorized

10 WAYS TO SAVE TIME IN THE KITCHEN— AND YOUR SANITY!

Talking with people, I have learned that many people have the same request. “How do I cook a good meal while a kiddo is around!? And What do I make!!??”
I find there are several different ways to save time in the kitchen, and I’m here to share my ideas!
PLAN AHEAD. Oh, easier said than done, you say? I agree! LOL! But when it comes down to it, it saves me so much stress, that I love it! You can plan after the kids are in bed, or during the day (tip….tell the kiddos you all are going to write in your journals…they get to color and “write” and you get to plan your meals!)

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MAKE ALL COOKED MEAT ON ONE DAY. I find it is easier to cook all my meat on one day for the whole week. Then you’ll have it for many different meals. See my examples below.

  • Example: On Monday, cook all your chicken in my favorite Rockcrok Dutch Oven and Slow Cooker set! Put it on in the morning before you take off for your day with a bit of water or broth. When you get home, or later in the day, take out most of it and place it in the fridge. With the remaining chicken, add some Jamaican Jerk Rub, set it on your stovetop to meld all the flavors together a bit! While that is cooking, toss some rice in your Rice Cooker in the microwave, and before you know it, dinner will be done!
  • Example: On Tuesday, take out a little more of you chicken from the fridge and warm it up in the microwave or stove with about 1-2 Tablespoons of Chipotle Rub. If you saute up some peppers and onions on the stove, or make a quick pico in your Manual Food Processor, you’ll have a fantastic Taco Tuesday!
  • Example: On Wednesday, take out some chicken, warm it up on your stovetop or in the microwave, shred it with your Salad Choppers and add your favorite BBQ sauce. Bamm! Quick, Easy, BBQ chicken sliders!
  • Example: On Thursday, cut up your chicken and add it to a lettuce salad 🙂 Salad is always better with stuff on it!
  • Example: On Friday, add your remaining chicken to the Rockcrok Dutch Oven, along with celery, carrots, onion and chicken broth to make an amazing soup! When it is nearly done, add in your noodles to make it a chicken noodle soup! NUM!!!

PREP FOR MORE THAN ONE DAY. This works for more than just chicken! Are you chopping onion for Taco Tuesday? Chop a bit more for your soup you’ll be making Friday!

PINTEREST…. ENOUGH SAID. Sometimes this is fabulous, and sometimes it’s overwhelming. I get it. When I am on Pinterest, I love it for all the different and amazing recipes that people post. I get lost sometimes with it, though, when I don’t know if it will be good. But my thought is, try it. If the ingredients look like something you’ll eat, then go for it! And if you’re on Pinterest, pin your favorites, but also write them down on paper. If you have a journal, write them in that so you can jot down pros and cons of it, or any changes you made.

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Write down those Pinterest meal ideas!!

ASK YOUR FRIENDS. Your family and friends are your best bet for a great meal. Ask them for ideas. Post on your social media. Call one of them. Text someone. Ask them what’s for dinner this week. It will spark a thought, and get the ball rolling in that amazing brain of yours!

WHEN PLANNING A MEAL….SHOP YOUR PANTRY FIRST. Why spend more money than you have to! Take a look in your pantry and freezer. More often than not, you can play your own version of “Chopped” and make a fabulous meal! Even if you have to go to the store to get a few ingredients, that would be a whole lot better on the bank account than if you had to buy it all!

WRITE DOWN ALL YOUR FAMILY FAVES! You have the best ideas already in your head. Start writing. Make a chart, a list, a calendar, whatever you want, and list all your meals you love to eat. I like to start with either an ingredient (such as chicken) or a cuisine. It is easy to think of all the Mexican foods you love. Come on chips and salsa and of course guacamole!!! Am I right! Guess, what? You can make that at home too!

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Journaling ideas of things to make for dinner is key to staying budget friendly for me!

BABY FOOD? Is your baby ready to eat “real people food”? How about using what you’re making and puree it while you’re finishing your own meal? Or think about what her favorite food is, and make that for your dinner. Carrots? Sure, steam up some carrots in your Microcooker and at the dinner table, smoosh them up!

BABY CRYING? TAKE OUT THE FREEZER MEALS! Oh you don’t have them? Let’s make them now! I know it’ll take a few hours of your time, but it is oh sooooo worth it! When there is a time your baby can be taken care of by another adult or will be sleeping, get some freezer meals in the oven. I literally just did this for my own family, and I’m so happy I did. I did go on Pinterest, found some fabulous ideas, and cooked them up! There are freezer meals that are already partially made in a freezer pan (think disposible from the Dollar Tree!), covered in foil with the directions right on top. Then there are meals that are the dump in the crockpot or baking pan types! Sometimes those are easiest, because you don’t have to precook anything before going in the bag, and you don’t have to do anything except for dumping into a crockpot on the day you need it! Don’t forget to put those recipes somewhere you won’t lose them! I put mine in my bullet journal, and may get to transferring them to actual recipe cards….maybe.

BE OK WITH CEREAL. Hehehe! Sometimes as a mom, dad, grandparent, aunty or babysitter, it’s hard to get a good meal on the table at all times. I get that. I am that mom. Sometimes, cereal is the best choice for the family at that time. Sometimes, it’s cheapest to cook up a bunch of eggs, add a side of toast, and a piece of fruit.

Enjoy your day! I hope I helped save some time and sanity!

Becky

Family Fun · July 2017

Lake Time

 

 

Being by a lake is an experience that is one of a kind. A feeling of calm. The smell of fresh water. The sound of kids splashing and giggling. The realization that we will never, ever, ever get to leave the water, as long as it’s not storming! How can I as a mom take away this fun when nothing else is going on? This is the time to enjoy!

Lakes are a place my kids love to go! My oldest is a fish. I hear stories of years ago, when I was just like her. Always wanting to have a part of me in the water. Feeling the water rush over me as a wave from a fishing boat comes crashing by. The sights of bonfires still smoking to remind us of the fun that was had the night before.

This lake, this weekend, has a slide and a dock. Both allowing creativity, daring behaviors, and fun! The kids, and the kids at heart, challenge themselves to jumping and diving contests, who can slide with most finesse, and who can rock the raft the best. The laughter, the screams of joy and the fun is something we crave every year and are blessed with the ability to come year after year.

When we were packing to come, we reminisce of all the years before. Thinking of what we needed, what we didn’t. How many towels are necessary this year? What kind of clothes should we have on hand? Food… Food always goes with camping! My family is kind of a “foodie” family, in a casual, creative and delicious way! Example A: my family is in charge of day one’s meals. What should we have? Breakfast: 2 different egg bakes, fruit, caramel rolls, muffins, juice and coffee. Dinner: lasagna in a Crock-Pot, sides of bread, Cole slaw, fruit and cake.  Oh did I forget snacks in between? Chips, crackers, cheese, meat, nuts, candy, beer, pop, juice boxes, and more! What else could we need?!

Company. Great company. That is what it comes down to. Who is around? Who do we chat with, eat with, play with? Who do we remember a week later when talking about the weekend?  Yes, location is wonderful, but company is most important. Who will love you for you? Find it. Embrace it. Enjoy it!

— Becky

Family · Family Fun

Supper Club with the Family

Something I cherish is time with my family.  I love seeing my siblings, my nieces and nephews, my cousins and their children, my aunts and uncles, and my grandparents and parents!  With a section of my family, we started years ago a supper club.

How does it work?

With 5 families in our supper club, we all take turns hosting.  The host of the month chooses the theme for the meal.  This is the fun part!  We can pick anything we love to eat…. and everyone rolls with it!  Here are some suggestions:

  • Mexican
  • Italian
  • Grilling– Burgers and hotdogs
  • Chinese
  • Greek
  • Picnic
  • BBQ ribs and sides
  • Turkey

After the theme has been picked, the rest of the crew starts throwing out what they will bring.  The host provides most of the plates and silverware needed, and also provides the main part.  Sometimes the meal requires the main part to be spread out among everyone, that works too.

Things to bring– have your families sign up!

  • Side dish 1
  • Side dish 2
  • Side dish 3
  • Dessert
  • Main dish
  • Drinks
  • Appetizers
  • Add to fill your groups!

Once all this has been designated, all there is left is to show up and have fun!  But how do you get all the food planned?  Oh there are many ways….  My fam uses a group we created on Facebook to chat all about what we’re bringing.  But you can make a sign up genius sign up!  If you haven’t tried that, go to signupgenius.com and check it out!  I’m not hired by them to say that…don’t worry!  I just use them a lot in my classroom for fun events coming up and it works great!  Other ways could include using a google doc or spreadsheet, and have your peeps fill in all the goodies they are bringing!  You can also just assign a thing to bring to each family.  We did do that at one point, switching it up each month….made it fun to see what everyone did for different parts of the meals!

Don’t forget the pictures!

This is important! Get a group shot!  Get a group shot of all the kiddos alone and then one with the adults.  It is amazing how much they grow and the pictures help show that off!  Do it, figure it out, prop those cameras, laugh.  Trust me, there will be laughter!  And there will be lots of great food!

Your job now?

Get your family groups together and create your own Family Supper Club!!

Comment below with your own pictures of your family supper clubs!  What themes do you use?  I love being creative and making new dishes to show off!  I hope you do too!

—Becky

Affiliate link to Amazon 🙂

June 2017 · Pampered Chef Awesomeness!

 We’re Pampered, Not Perfect!

If you’ve been reading my posts, you know I do not consider myself a cook.  But I do like cooking for others!  I especially like to cook now that I’ve learned the phrase “I’m Pampered, Not Perfect!!” I learned that with the right tools in the kitchen, my life is easier when it comes to cooking for the fam!  Last June, I bit the bullet and became a Pampered Chef Consultant. I did it at first because my hubby lost his job, and I felt like I needed a way to help out financially more than I already was.  That’s when my friend (and director) asked me to coffee.  I heard all the reasons of “Why not?”  Why not bring in extra cash?  Why not get great products free for your own kitchen?  Why not help  others fill their kitchens with great products for free?  Why not?   And here I am!  I love this “job” of mine….if you can call it that!  I go places, meet new people, cook great food, eat great food, and get cool products for FREE!  What could be better than that!?

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I have a degree in Elementary Education.  I teach Preschool full time during the school year.  I have 2 little kiddos and a wonderful hubby.  I continued to sell PC even after my hubby got a job again.  I continue to sell, because I love it!  I love getting out of the house, chatting with others.  I love to see others happy, getting together with their friends, learning new and fun recipes I share with them, and purchasing a tool I know will make their cooking experience better!  My education background helps me so much when I get in front of the crowd…I have the words….I like the words!  I know someone who prefers not to talk as much, and does so well….she does more station style shows, allowing the guests to try and play and learn together.  I love this way as well!

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Pampered Chef to me is finding the right tool for you.  I have kids.  So, I try to make those with kiddos see what tools work well with my kids and why.  Moms and Dads, isn’t it nice not to have think about what will be best for your kids? Many times, we have no idea what will be best.  But really, we do.  We’re the mom and dad.  We know what our kids need. We know what they can do.  ***Now…let me help you find the right tools to go with what you know already!  My little Miss A is dairy free.  So I am always looking at the back of boxes to check to see if it has milk in the ingredients.  Guess what?  You can use PC tools and make your own crust free pocket sandwiches to fit your kiddos needs.  You can fill the Leak proof containers with peanut free snacks/ Dairy free snacks/ gluten free snacks…etc.  You can pack it with the foods you know your child will and can eat without the worry you missed something on the box!

I’m now always on a mission to search the Pampered chef recipe box online, and try something new to me.  I love the tried and true recipes.  I love to get recipes from others.  Here is one that I made (before Miss A was found to be dairy free) that my family loved!!  It was so easy in the Rockcrok Dutch Oven….One dish meals are amazing aren’t they!?

Tortellini SoupRockcrok Slow Cooker (1)

So remember the saying for today:  “We’re Pampered, Not Perfect”.  Enjoy your day!

Becky

www.pamperedchef.biz/beckyvanriper