3 Things That Work in the Kitchen This Week – March 16

3 Things that work in the kitchen

 

1.  Italian Style Sheet Pan Supper

At Christmas I made a version of Simple Bites Sheet Pan Supper idea using turkey breast.  It was amazing.

Last week I decided to do a sheet pan with a bit of Italian flare.  I used thick, boneless pork chops, brussels sprouts, asparagus, red bell peppers, onions and bread cubes.  I sprinkled everything with thyme and oregano.

Oh my gosh!  It was so amazing.  I should have taken photos, but I promise to make it again.  And this time I’ll photograph the results and share the recipe.  In the meantime, I encourage you to use the Simple Bites version as a great jumping off place for your own spin on it.

2.  Grocery Shopping with Whole Foods List

On Thursday I realized I needed to go to the grocery store very soon, but the forecast was for heavy rain all weekend.  So I woke up early and hit the store Friday morning before the rain started.

I printed the color-coded list for the Whole Foods plan.  My cart was full of lots of veggies when I finished!  The whole experience – printing, shopping, putting away – only took about 1 1/2 hours.  And that included stopping at Starbucks for a coffee to sip through the store.

I love using the Weekly Meal Plans to make my life easier!

3.  Update on the Dining Room Project

We spent the weekend building cabinets and furniture from Ikea.  Next weekend we’re hoping to get the cabinets installed in the dining room.  They’ll be set up kind of like a buffet.  I’ll be sure to show pictures of the finished project.  Here’s how it’s looking right now.  Basically, we’re at the organized mess phase.

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My dad has built and stained a wood counter top for us.  I think it’s all going to look great when it’s finished!  And maybe we’ll have a place to store the ironing board now.  And the sewing machine.  And tripod.  And….

I’ve got some great recipes to share with you this week, including BBQ Beef and Bean Pot Pie, Double Chocolate Pretzel Brownies and Chicken Alfredo Pizza.  All of this has been happening recently in my kitchen and I can’t wait to share with you!

What’s working in your kitchen this week?

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3 Things That Work in the Kitchen This Week – March 9

3 Things that work in the kitchen

 

We were on spring break last week.  Which makes complete sense because we had one of the largest snow storms Kentucky has ever seen.

Snowed in for the second time in one winter is a bit crazy for us.  Thankfully I hit the grocery a couple of days before the storm hit.  Otherwise it gets really hard to find things on the shelves.

1.  Soup!

Snow calls for soup.  I made a big pot of Rustic Irish Potato and Cabbage Soup.  Recipe coming next week.

McCormick Irish Potato and Cabbage Soup in pot

 

2.  Chicken Enchiladas

I made two pans of quick Chicken Enchiladas one night.  I love this old recipe, even though the photos aren’t great.  I wish I would have remembered to take new ones.

I used rotisserie chicken from the freezer.  And I added a little cumin and chili powder to the sauce.  Oh, and because I was out of canned green chilies, I used a can of tomatoes and green chilies instead.  It worked great!

Use what you’ve got and adapt as needed.

3.  Dining room floor installed and Chicken Alfredo Pizza

Despite the snow, the installers were able to come put down the new flooring in the dining room.  What I didn’t prepare for was the sanding of the concrete floor.  Who knew that needed done???

And I wasn’t prepared for the fine dust filtering all over the house.  I had pizza dough started on the counter that I had to cover with a bowl and leave there until the dust settled.

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I love a big empty room.  Or in this case, rooms.  Now we can work on filling them.

The pizza turned out great, despite the dusty kitchen.  I’ll share the recipe in the coming weeks.

Chicken Alfredo Pizza

 

What’s working for you in the kitchen this week?

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3 Things That Work in the Kitchen This Week – March 2

3 Things that work in the kitchen

 

Last week I completely forgot about writing this post.  We got 14 inches of snow that kept us snowed in the entire week.  My mind went to mush.  It was all about wrapping in a warm blanket, looking outside and saying “wow, that’s a lot of snow”.  We haven’t had this much snow in 17 years and it shut the whole state down.

1.  New Slow Cooker Recipe coming

I made Korean Tacos in the slow cooker and they are good!  The meat is so tender and full of flavor.  And the recipe is really easy.  Look for it on the blog tomorrow.

2.  Frozen meatballs are so convenient – and homemade is even better.

I stocked the freezer with homemade meatballs when we had the Virtual Freezer Cooking Party on Facebook.  I used some of them to make Sweet and Sour Meatballs this week.  We love that 15 minute meal!

Feel free to vary the vegetables in the recipe.  I used red bell pepper and carrots this time.

3.  Dining room re-do

I know this isn’t exactly a kitchen thing, but this project is taking over our house!

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That’s what our dining room normally looks like.  Yes, there’s an ironing board in there.  And a tripod.  And a sewing machine.  And various photography backgrounds and lights.

We use this room all the time.  But we don’t usually use it for dining.  So we decided to add some storage that makes sense for the sewing and photography things, but still fits with the dining room table.  We will still want to be able to eat in there sometimes.

And of course, if we’re doing this room we should also re-do the living room that connects.  And that decision led to taking up the carpet and getting new flooring.  And of course, we need to paint before that.

This is turned into a much bigger project than the original “let’s just buy some more shelves” idea we started with.  Currently we’re in what I hope will be the biggest mess of the entire project.  Both rooms are torn apart in process of being painted.  I think it will all be worth it, but right now it’s a mess!

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3 Things That Work in the Kitchen This Week – February 16

3 Things that work in the kitchen

 

1.  Using things I tend to save for a special occasion.

Our Sunday lunch was a big skillet of Migas.  The first time I ever tried Migas, I had an apple cider with it.  A bit of an odd combo, but it was really good.

Thinking of that reminded me that I had some mulled cider spices I’d bought before Christmas.  We served it once during the holidays and it was so good!  I decided that instead of saving them for some unknown, special occasion, I would add the spices to some apple juice and serve it with Sunday lunch.

We all enjoyed it and it made me glad to use something nice instead of saving it.  That one treat made our ordinary lunch a little more special.

Is there anything you’re saving for a special time that you could be using now?

2.  New slow cooker recipe coming – Korean Tacos

I tried out an idea for Korean Taco meat in the slow cooker and it turned out great!  It’s very similar to this Sweet Korean BBQ, but it’s a homemade sauce instead of the package.  I’ll be sharing it in the next few weeks.

3. Homemade pizza.

I ran across a free pizza making class on Craftsy a few weeks ago and finally took the time to watch it.  It’s full of tips for making great pizza at home.

As I write this, I’ve got a batch of pizza dough resting on the counter.  I can’t wait to try it tonight!  I did forget to add the oil to the dough, so my dough is going to be a cross between the American-Style “Neapolitan” recipe and the Naples-Style “Napoletana” recipe.  We’ll see how it turns out.

What’s working in your kitchen this week?

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3 Things That Work in the Kitchen This Week – February 9

3 Things that work in the kitchen

 

1.  Quick version of White Chicken Chili

We love this Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili.  But the other night when it was already 5pm, I didn’t have time for slow.

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

Instead, I altered the recipe and had it ready to go in about 30 minutes.  And that included photographing for the upcoming blog post.  I’ll be sharing it with you soon!

2. 5 People. 5 Different dinner times.

This was our Tuesday.  All five of us who would be eating at home, would need to do it at different times.  And I needed to be able to cook early, leave the house and come back to eat later.  But everyone else needed to easily be able to fix their own meal while I was gone.

Tacos are perfect for this.  I made the taco meat and put it in the slow cooker to keep warm.  I also chopped the lettuce and tomatoes and even made some homemade salsa.

3.  Homemade Frothy Coffee

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One of my favorite things to make in the Vitamix is frothy coffee.  It tastes like fancy coffee from the coffee shop.  I brew strong coffee and add an equal amount of hot milk.  Caramel syrup sweetens the cup.  Pour it in the Vitamix and blend for a few minutes.

The milk creates a nice foam.  I haven’t tried it, but I think this also might work with a regular blender.  It’s a nice afternoon treat.  But I only indulge once or twice a week.  I’m trying not to pick up and everyday coffee habit in the afternoon.  I sure would like to though!

A peak at what’s coming:

Tomorrow I have some easy side dish ideas to share and a Pyrex giveaway from Libby’s!

What’s working in your kitchen this week?

 

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3 Things that work in the kitchen this week – February 2

3 Things that work in the kitchen

 

1.  Using a slow cooker freezer meal.

I have a tendency to hoard these.  Or run through them very quickly.  There’s no balance here for me!

I love having slow cooker freezer meals ready to go.  We made use of another one this week (Chicken Cacciatore).  There’s something about knowing your dinner is cooking away in the crockpot – smelling it all day long – that makes you feel like all is right with the world.  Dinner is done.  Even if nothing else is.

(The February Weekly Meal Plans are all loaded on the member page.  If you’re a member, don’t forget to download your plans!  And if you’re not a member, pop over to this page to find out how to become one.)

2.  I skipped a big shopping trip and we’ve eaten out of the pantry/freezer.

Instead of hitting the store like usual, I’ve been trying to use up some things.  The pantry was very well stocked.  And I also had plenty of meat in the freezer.  I did pop into the store for milk and some vegetables and a few things to pack lunches.

We’ve eaten down a lot of the stash now, but a big grocery trip will be in order soon.

3.  Trail mix is good in oatmeal.

I found this bag of trail mix in the pantry.  I don’t remember buying it.  Unless maybe I picked it up at ALDI one day.  Or maybe my mom brought it at Christmas time?

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It has dried apples, almonds and other good stuff.  And it makes a surprisingly good topping for oatmeal.

What’s working in your kitchen this week?

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3 Things That Work in the Kitchen This Week – January 26

3 Things that work in the kitchen

 

1. I used the ham bone from Christmas to make soup.

I’m ashamed to admit that sometimes I freeze a ham bone, but never get it back out to use it.  But this time, I didn’t let it languish in the freezer.

I made Black Bean Soup in the Slow Cooker and it turned out great!  The recipe is coming for you this week.  And no worries if you don’t have a ham bone.  I’ll have options for you!

2.  Made Blackberry Crisp (and ate it for breakfast)

Mia talked me into buying a container of fresh blackberries at Costco.  I swapped out the blueberries in this crisp recipe and made Blackberry Crisp.  I love this recipe because it doesn’t have much sugar. I feel pretty healthy when I eat it.  Despite the scoop of ice cream that tops it.

And it’s great for breakfast!  No ice cream though, although I was tempted.

3.  We had roasted brussels sprouts. And liked them.

I never thought I liked brussels sprouts.  And I really never thought the kids would like them.  But this week I roasted some for a side dish.

And we all loved them!

I’ll tell you more about this, along with the recipe/method.

Bonus #4 – Pineapple in smoothies – new verdict.

Finally, I gave pineapple in green smoothies a bad rap last week.  I tried it again, after many of you said you thought it was great.  You’re right!  I’m not sure where the strange texture was coming from the first few times I tried it, but this week it tasted wonderful.  And no funky texture.

What’s working in your kitchen this week?

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3 Things That Work in the Kitchen This Week – January 19

3 Things that work in the kitchen

 

1.  Virtual Freezer Cooking Party idea

Freezer cooking always works to make meal time simple.  Last weekend I made 6 more slow cooker freezer meals from the upcoming February meal plans.

This week, we ate two of those meals.   And it reminded me of a Facebook event we did a few years ago.

Virtual Freezer Cooking Party will take place on a Saturday in February. More details to follow, but for now here are a few facts:

  • The party will take place on the Eat at Home Facebook page.
  • We’ll each choose our own recipes to prep and freeze.  I’ll give lots of ideas for recipes in a post and in Facebook statuses as we get closer to party time.  But choose whatever recipes you like and work for you.
  • We’ll check in on Facebook, sharing how it’s going, asking questions, sharing recipes.

The date will be announced soon, but I’m thinking toward the end of the month.

2.  Adding items to the Traditional List

I shopped with the Traditional List this week.  While I was printing the list, my son asked for a meal of bbq chicken legs and Corn Casserole.  It was really easy to add these ingredients to the list.

That meal tasted like a little bit of summer!  I put the chicken legs in the oven with bbq sauce.  The Corn Casserole also went in the oven.  It was too late to use the slow cooker after I got back with the groceries.  And we had sweet potato fries to round it all out.  Yum!

3.  Pineapple in our green smoothies – not sure that works for me.

I’ve been making green smoothies every morning, since I got a Vitamix for Christmas.   I had a pineapple that I sliced and froze in small bags.  But when I add those to the smoothies, it seems that it gives it a weird, thick texture.

I like the flavor of the pineapple, but the texture weirds me out.  I think it’s the pineapple that causes that.  Have you tried pineapple in your smoothies?  Do you notice a different texture to it?

What’s working in your kitchen this week?

 

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3 Things that Work in the Kitchen This Week – January 12

3 Things that work in the kitchen

 

1. Chipotle style burritos in 20ish minutes.

My son asked to have burritos the other night.  He wanted something like Chipotle makes.  I ended up doing a quicker version of the recipes I created for the Savings Lifestyle blog a few years ago.

I took no photos and didn’t write anything down, thinking that it was just a quick meal. But it was so good and so much easier than the recipes I wrote originally.  I’ll be making this again and sharing it this time.

The biggest time saver – using rotisserie chicken.  I’ll make them again soon and share the recipe here.

2.  Skillet Chicken Curry alteration.

We also had Skillet Chicken Curry this week.  But instead of the chutney the recipe calls for, I used a can of coconut milk, like the slow cooker version calls for.

Skillet Chicken Curry with Peach Chutney

 

3.  Grocery shopping with two lists.

I shopped at my favorite little Kroger store the other day, with two grocery lists.  One for a week of Traditional Meal Plans and one for the freezer week of February Slow Cooker Meal Plans.

I like to have the freezer stocked with the slow cooker freezer meals to use on extra busy days.  And I made another video to share (it’s been a while since I did that).  I’ll upload and share the video in a post in early February.

When I was shopping for meat, I asked the butcher if he had any more cube steaks.  There was only a small package in the case at the time.  He offered to make some for me and told me to come back to the meat counter in 10-15 minutes.

I went on with my shopping and he found me in the store and delivered the meat to me.  And he was able to pack enough for a family pack, getting me a $1 off per pound.  Such nice customer service!

What worked for you in the kitchen this week?

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3 Things that Work in the Kitchen This Week – January 5

3 Things that work in the kitchen

 

1.  Starting the day with green juice

I’ve seen photos of green juice all over the internet for years.  I’ve heard people rave about it.

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And I thought it looked and sounded nasty!

Then I tried it.

And I found out that it’s really good, Sam, I am.  You can’t taste the spinach at all.  I’ve been making ours with 2 oranges, 1 banana, a little orange juice or water, several handfuls of spinach and a few ice cubes.

The Vitamix blends it smooth and frothy.  It tastes like really good fruit juice.

2.  Toasted Marshmallow Milkshakes

In my quest to find anything that will blend, (I love my new blender!) I found a recipe for Toasted Marshmallow Milkshakes.

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I thought these were so good! And they’re really easy too. I made enough for us each to have a small glass.

3.  How I’m attempting to cut back on sugar this year.

I know.  I just shared a recipe for milkshakes.  But I am determined to find some way to stop the chronic headaches and migraines  I get.

One of the things I think contributes is eating a lot of sugary treats throughout the day.  I was very bad about this over Christmas, and paid for it with a week long headache battle.  I easily fall into eating too many sweets at other times of the year too.

So this year, instead of going cold turkey like I tried last year, I’m taking a “small is big” approach.  I’m refusing to eat any sweet treats until after dinner.  I don’t tend to graze on things after dinner like I do earlier in the day.

I’m hoping this little rule will make a difference.  I may up my game and reduce sugar even further at some point.  Or not.  For now, I’m focusing on this small goal.

 

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