3 Things That Work in the Kitchen This Week – October 20

3 Things that work in the kitchen

1. I’m still using the pressure cooker.

Pressure Cooker Macaroni and Cheese

But mostly just for Macaroni and Cheese. This is the best mac and cheese! The leftovers are really good too (which isn’t something you can often say about mac and cheese). But I really do need to learn some other pressure cooker recipes and use it more often.

2. Quick Tortilla Soup.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

I made this Chicken Tortilla Soup real quick before running out the door to pick up Isaac from soccer practice. I love this soup. It’s so easy and so good. I even made the crunchy tortillas. Sometimes I skip those, but they are worth the effort.

Broken Ice Maker.

water pitcher

Okay, actually that’s something that’s not working. What is working is keeping a pitcher of cold water in the fridge. Simple solution. The fridge guy is coming on Wednesday to see if it can be fixed.

What’s working in your kitchen this week?

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3 Things that Work in the Kitchen This Week – October 13

3 Things that work in the kitchen


After writing this post, I realized that all three things this week have to do with making do and adapting (or borrowing!).

1.  Great neighbors!

We live in a fairly new subdivision and we’ve got the best neighbors.  They’re great for a lot of reasons, but one is that we often borrow ingredients from each other.  If I find I’m missing a can of broth or clove of garlic, I’ve got three neighbors I can call and ask to borrow.  And they do the same with me.

Friend text1


Friend text2


That’s a screen shot of recent texts between one of my neighbors and me.  I wonder how many trips to the grocery store we’ve saved each other!

2.  Recipe altering – Corn Chowder

corn chowder bowl


Never be afraid to alter a recipe.  I made Corn Chowder the other day.  I decided to add chicken, because the boys prefer meat in everything.

I also didn’t have enough half and half, so I used milk instead.  The soup wasn’t as rich as it normally is, but it was still good.  And the added chicken helped make up the difference.

3.  Adapting for the picky eater.

We had breakfast for dinner one night.  I served ham and pancakes.  I really wanted Whole Wheat Apple Pancakes, but I’ve got that one kid who refuses to eat fruit.

whole wheat apple pancakes done

No problem.  I made the batter in one bowl and diced up an apple in another bowl.  Half of the batter got poured over the apple and stirred together.  Ta-da!  Apple pancakes and plain pancakes.  (Shhh…don’t tell him there was applesauce in his plain pancakes!)

What has worked for you in the kitchen this week?  How do you make do when you need to?

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3 Things that Worked in the Kitchen This Week – October 6

3 Things that work in the kitchen


1.  Bombed a meal, but redeemed part of it

I tried a recipe from my mom this week.  And I bombed it.  I’m not exactly sure what happened, but I think it may have had to do with the wine I used.  I’ll need to try it again, when I get brave.

It’s a chicken slow cooker recipe that gets served with wild rice blend.  Somehow, I looked at the clock and thought it said 5pm.  But after I put the rice on to cook, I realized it was already about 6:15.  We were hungry and didn’t want to wait for the rice to finish, so we had a different side dish.

But that meant I had a bunch of wild rice to use.  I decided to turn it into a salad.  I’ll share the recipe tomorrow.

Wild Rice Salad - redeeming leftover rice


2.  I found a new (to me) grocery.

I pass by a small Kroger store several times a day and I’ve found that it’s perfect for stopping in to pick up a few items or for doing a quick weekly shopping trip.  I love that it’s small.  It has everything I need (or at least so far), and the compact size keeps it from feeling overwhelming.  Fast grocery trips are the best!

3.  My kitchen super power.

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I relate more to this Lego Super Woman than the curvy, human version.

Yes.  I do have a kitchen super power.  And when you find out about it, you’re going to be jealous.  Unless you have it too.

The great thing about this super power is that I put it to use several times every day, so it’s useful.  And practical.

I can judge the size of container needed for leftovers by looking at what’s left in the pan.  I’m almost never wrong.  I’m able to choose which container the leftovers will fit in, filling it nearly to the top, while not overflowing.

I know.  It’s impressive.

What’s working for you this week?  And what’s your kitchen super power?  I know you’ve got one!

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3 Things that Work in the Kitchen This Week – September 29

3 Things that work in the kitchen


1.  Cooked, frozen chicken

I feel a little like a broken record, but truly – having cooked meats in your freezer ready to be added to recipes is a HUGE time saver.   This week I made fried rice and instead of cooking the chicken in the pan, I used cooked chicken from our last chicken party.  Doing so makes Fried Rice a super quick meal.    It’s pretty quick anyway, but this shaves the time down to the 15-20 minute range.

fried rice new pic


Side note – when I write “chicken” on paper by hand, I always write “chix”.   My hand-written editorial calendar is full of “chix”.

2.  Made a meal from a previous Weekly Meal Plan.

I print one of the Weekly Meal Plans each week, but I don’t always get to cook all of the meals.  We change things up sometimes, and I create new recipes too.  This week I finally got around to making the Baked Spaghetti.  The ground beef was in the freezer and the rest of the ingredients are pantry ingredients.  Minus the cheese, of course, but that holds for a while in the fridge.

I love the flexibility of the meal plans.

This is one of our favorite meals.  It was a recipe my mom used to make when I was young.  The leftovers hold up well too, which is a bonus.



3.  Used cooked ground beef from spaghetti to make pizza

One of the meals on the menu this week was Pesto Tomato Pizza.  I love this!  But my boys beg for meat.  So I made one pizza using the extra ground beef I had browned out a few days before when I made the spaghetti.

Instead of only cooking 1 pound of meat that was needed for the spaghetti, I cooked a large package and froze the extra.  Once again, pre-cooked meat stashed in the freezer comes to the rescue.

I’m not usually a fan of ground beef on pizza, but this one turned out really good.  And it made the guys happy too.  Win win.

What’s working in your kitchen this week?

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3 Things that Worked in the Kitchen This Week – September 22

3 Things that work in the kitchen


1.  Speeding up a slow cooker recipe

spicy chicken soup done


I originally wrote this recipe as a slow cooker soup.  But last week, I wasn’t on my game and it didn’t go in the slow cooker.  I did have all the ingredients though, plus cooked chicken in the freezer.

The onion and bell pepper cooked in oil on the stove top, then I added the other ingredients.  The whole process took about 30 minutes, start to finish.

This Spicy Chicken Soup recipe post has ideas for varying the ingredients for what you have on hand.  But it also works to vary the cooking method so it fits better with your day.

2.  Breakfast for dinner

Jim was out of town one night last week.  That often inspires me to make pancakes for dinner.  But this time we were in more of a French toast mood.  I did make Apple Cider Syrup to go with it.  Yum!  And bacon on the side too.

3.  Easiest grocery shopping ever



Two steps to making your grocery shopping super fast:

1.  Print off your color-coded meal plan and grocery list from Weekly Meal Plans.

2.  Send it with your son to do the shopping.  Peter was off on Friday, so I sent him to do our groceries.  I crossed out the things we didn’t need and added a few extras.  Extra scribbles courtesy of younger sibling.

Peter came back with all the groceries for the week.  Boom!

A huge bonus of Weekly Meal Plans is being able to have someone else do the shopping.  I don’t hand off this job often, but at times it’s really nice to let someone else handle it.  And it’s no problem since it’s all listed there in pretty colors.

What worked for you in the kitchen this week?  

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3 Things that Work in the Kitchen this Week – September 1

3 Things that work in the kitchen


Happy Labor Day!  How is it September already?  September is my favorite month, probably because it’s my birthday month.  But I also love fall, weather that’s perfect for sweater wearing and the return of pumpkin treats.

Now for the 3 things that worked in the kitchen this week:

1.  Filling the freezer with pork

We took a trip to Ohio to visit family and pick up half a hog.  Jim’s sister and her husband have started a little farm with chickens, turkeys, ducks and pigs.  And three cats and a dog.

We bought half a hog from them, so know my freezer is full of bacon, sausage, pork chops, ham and more.  That definitely works for me!


While we were there, my son who just turned 16 had his first driving experience.  Thankfully, there was no traffic to contend with!

2.  Breakfast for dinner 2x

We not only brought home pork, but also a dozen eggs, a watermelon and some fresh produce.  Inspired by all of that, we had breakfast for dinner twice this week.

First I made some of the sausage into biscuits and gravy.  Oh my!  That was so good and perfect with sliced tomatoes.  A few days later I used the eggs to make a frittata.

Our other dinners this week followed the Meal Plan and grocery list I printed.  I love using the Weekly Meal Plans because I don’t have to wonder what dinner is going to be.  I just go look at the plan and choose one of the meals.  So easy!  I think the Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Sandwiches were the favorite for the week.

3.  Putting that skillet to use

Remember the skillet I told you I bought last week?

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I have used that things so many times already!  I should have bought one a long time ago.

Do you have an item on your need-to-buy list that would make things easier in the kitchen?  I’m going to encourage you to go for it!  I have a habit of putting off things like this.  I did the same thing when I waited on buying a sharp knife and a garlic press.  Some tools are just necessities.

What item are in need of purchasing that would make things go smoother and quicker in the kitchen?

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