Eat at Home Habit #3 – Stock Your Freezer

We’re in the midst of a series on 7 Habits of Eating at Home. The first week we talked about working your meal plan around your calendar instead of the other way around. And last week we shared some quick and simple grocery shopping tips.

Today is all about how to stock your freezer, with links to our recent series and all kinds of recipes and ideas to simplify life. And when the dinner hour is simplified so that there’s less stress involved in getting dinner ready, then family time can really be enjoyed around the table!

Habit #3 – Stock Your Freezer

We talk a lot about stocking the freezer here on the blog because it’s such a great way to ensure you’ve got dinner covered, even if your day doesn’t go as planned.  It really puts my mind at ease to know I have options, and I can’t tell you how many times having a freezer meal or protein I can grab and go.


If you are brand new to the idea of freezer cooking, don’t let that stop you! It’s a great way to maximize your time and effort and it is so rewarding–and simple, too! This post covers all the basics and will get you started on the right track.  Last month we talked about

Last month we talked about cooking meats for your freezer using the Instant Pot. If you have a pressure cooker, using it to cook up batches of meat to freeze is a GREAT way to get a head start on dinnertime.  You can also prep and bulk cook meats in your slow cooker!

Here’s one of my favorite things, though. Every month as part of the Slow Cooker plan, Eat at Home Meal Plan members get recipes for 6 meals that can be assembled in an hour, then frozen to use in the slow cooker later. I absolutely love having these recipes and a plan made out for me. My freezer is almost always stocked with something now, and I love having options! The freezer meals have saved dinner more times than I can count.

If you are curious about what the freezer plans are like, I cooked through the May Slow Cooker Freezer plan on Facebook Live.  You can watch the video here and see what I made and what a freezer cooking day looks like.

This post about making 7 Slow Cooker meals in 1 hour  and this older one of 6 slow cooker recipes in an hour are always favorite resource of mine and of many of you on the blog. These recipes are delicious, and some of our family favorites so it’s no wonder these posts are so popular!

Ready to get started on your own freezer cooking adventure? Enjoy it and the peace of mind it brings when it comes to making dinner time easy!

Here are some other posts on freezer cooking that you may find helpful.

Email3
Print Friendly

Make Dinner with 5 Ingredients or Less!

Ever feel overwhelmed by complicated recipes and long grocery lists? I think a lot of us do at one point or another. Several years ago, I wrote a couple of blog posts featuring some of my favorite recipes that call for 5 ingredients or less. It was a big hit! I often turn to recipes with just a few ingredients when I’m busy or haven’t been able to shop for a while…or sometimes just because I don’t feel like doing anything more complicated than I have to! I enjoy creating things in the kitchen, but I’m of the mind that cooking on weeknights shouldn’t be overwhelming. Cooking is fun, but it doesn’t have to include mile-long ingredient lists, either.

Since I wrote that Main Dishes that use five ingredients or less post, I’ve come up with quite a few more recipes that need just a few ingredients to make. In fact, when I updated the post I found at least 60 of them on here! I have to say, I still use these recipes regularly and my family always loves them.

So if you are looking for a fast, easy dinner option that doesn’t take many ingredients, check out the post and see what you think! I’d love to hear which ones are your favorites and if you have any go-to recipes that are simple like these that I could try out myself in the future!

Click here to see the 5 ingredient or less main dishes post!

5-ingredients-or-less

Email3
Print Friendly

12 Tex-Mex Slow Cooker Recipes for Summer

If you have been around my blog for long, you know how much I love Tex-Mex. I love the flavors, the spice and how many easy options there are for Mexican style food in the slow cooker. Needless to say, Tex-Mex makes a frequent appearance on our dinner table.

Tex-Mexfb

One of the most popular recipes on the site is the slow cooker fajitas. The fajitas have minimal prep time, so you can get them into the slow cooker quickly. Slow cooking them makes the flavors blend. Plus, making them in the slow cooker means it’s an easy choice to make to feed a crowd! I love that both beef and chicken are freezer friendly. That means you can prep them in batches and easily grab one for the slow cooker in the morning! Speaking of freezer friendly food, shredded taco beef is a huge saver for me. I make up a big batch, and freeze the leftovers for later. Super easy, and there’s so many meals you can make with it as a base.

And tacos! My kids love tacos because they can build their own. While there are hundreds of recipes out there for delicious tex mex food in the slow cooker, these 12 are some of our go-tos and family favorites. Enjoy!

Summer Tex-Mex Slow Cooker Recipes

  1. Salsa Verde Steak
  2. Smoky Chipotle Chicken Tacos
  3. Black Bean and Salsa Chicken and Cornbread
  4. Shredded Taco Beef
  5. Creamy Jalapeno Chicken Tacos
  6. Sloppy Chicken Tacos
  7. Beef Fajitas
  8. Chicken Fajitas
  9. Pork Carnitas
  10. Beans

From other Bloggers

  1. Slow Cooker Enchiladas
  2. Tamale Casserole

Ever wonder what you can serve with Tex-Mex?

Check out this post filled with ideas for some of my favorite sides! 

 

Tex-Mex_pin

Email3
Print Friendly

May Weekly Meal Plans are here!

PinterestMay

It’s a new month and that means we’ve got a whole new set of Weekly Meal Plans ready!  Members can login here to download the meal plans and grocery lists.

If you’re not a member yet, why not give it a try?

Here are a couple of quotes from two of our members:

“Thanks for creating something like this!! I can already tell that the money we are going to save from NOT eating out all the time is going to be PRICELESS!!” – Darcee

“I absolutely love Eat at Home. I recommend it to everyone. For little more than $1 a week you have a pre-planned grocery list and meal for each night of the week. The meals are very good. The meals are quick and easy to prepare and I love the 15 minute meal and the slow cooker meal in the traditional plans. Love love love your service!!!” – Anonymous for Weekly Meal Plan Member feedback survey

And below is a word cloud of common words mentioned in that same Member feedback survey:

meal plan word cloud

You can find out more about becoming a member here.

mealplancombofinal

Print Friendly

Big News! Revealing our latest project

aprilpinterest

Eat at Home Weekly Meal Plans now has a new member site that is easier than ever to use.  We had outgrown the old site and it was stretched beyond its limits.  I am so happy that we now have a much easier place for members to download their plans.

Here’s what it looks like for members when you first login:

member area screen shot

See that are on the left that the orange arrow is pointing to?  Now members will be able to have access to past months plans.  If someone was a member in March, those plans will always be there.  We can’t go back further than March, but as new months are added while you’re a member, you will have access to those.  No more rushing to download everything before the month ends.

member screen shot 2

Above is another screen shot.  We’ve had things organized like this for a while, but it all looks cleaner in the new member area.  You can choose a type of plan (Slow Cooker is in there too, but it wouldn’t fit on my screen with the others.)  Choose to download everything for one plan type or download by the week.

Downloading the menus gives you color-coded grocery lists, like the one below and all the recipes for each week.  This is what it looks like on my phone screen.  I usually print them out if I’m going to the store, because I prefer paper to juggling the phone with the list while trying to shop.

phone grocery list

Now is a great time to become a member, if you aren’t already!

Things get so busy in the spring of the year, with sports and end-of-school-year activities.  It can be hard to fit in dinner, but using Weekly Meal Plans is a huge help!  We have 15 minutes meals and slow cooker meals each week, so you can fit dinner into your day.

Even if this helps you avoid eating out just once a month, the plans more than pay for themselves.

Pay-Options-graphic

 

 

 

easy food for busy people

Print Friendly

Chicken and Vegetable Foil Packets {Grill or Oven}

You’re going to love this recipe from Eat at Home writer, Kim!  She makes use of the grill, but this will work in the oven too.

I know many of us are caught up in back-to-school and starting to have a little Fall fever (is that a thing?) If the pumpkin posts that have started popping up everywhere are any indication, then yes, Fall fever definitely exists. However, in my neck of the woods, it’s still 90 degrees, and I’m still grilling every chance I get. With the craziness of 3 kids, school, sports, etc., I have been looking for easy recipes that do not require a lot of prep or cleanup. These chicken and foil packets fit the bill.

Foil Packet Collage EAH

I love that I can cook the meat and vegetables at the same time, and just add some fruit as a side to have a complete meal. Also, when everything is bundled up in a neat little foil packet, clean up is breeze!

chicken and veggies EAH

Start by prepping your meat and veggies (which can be done ahead of time). I used chicken, potatoes, peppers, onions, carrots, grape tomatoes, and zucchini. This recipe is versatile, and you can add just about anything you like. Just remember to slice potatoes thin and cut your meat into bite size pieces so that it cooks fast, and veggies that cook quickly can be left in bigger chunks (like zucchini…I do not like it to get too mushy, so I sliced it into thick rounds), this way, everything is done at the same time.

chicken and veggie foil pack EAH

Place your veggies on a sprayed piece of foil, add your chicken and any spices you like. I like to add a little bit of butter on top as well.

foil packets on grill EAH

Gather your foil up around the meat and vegetables, pinch to seal at the top, and throw them on the grill (or in the oven on a baking sheet!) for about 25 minutes….and boom! Dinner is basically done!

finished foil packet EAH

Be careful when opening the packets, since everything inside is hot and steamy. I say plates are entirely optional, since everything is neatly contained in the foil! (These would be good when camping.)

Chicken and Vegetable Foil Packets {Grill or Oven}
Chicken and vegetables cooked together in a neat and tidy foil packet!
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into chunks
  • 3 medium Russet potatoes, sliced thin
  • 1 sweet onion, cut into chunks
  • 1 large pepper, cut into chunks
  • 1 zucchini, sliced into thick rounds
  • 1-2 cups baby carrots
  • 1 cup grape tomotoes
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • herbs de provence (optional), to taste
  • Worcestershire sauce (optional), to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ tablespoon butter for each packet (optional)
  • *aluminum foil
  • *non-stick cooking spray
Instructions
  1. (Light grill to medium-high heat or preheat oven to 400 degrees)
  2. Place all vegetables in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Stir gently to coat.
  3. Spray 12-18 inch pieces of aluminum foil with cooking spray (depends on desired portion size, I made 5 large packets)
  4. Evenly divide veggies among the foil pieces, placing them in center of packet. Add desired spices.
  5. Top with chicken chunks, additional spices and Worcestershire (if using). Place butter on top of chicken.
  6. Seal foil around the chicken and vegetables, pinching at seams to seal.
  7. Place on grill, or in oven on a baking sheet, for approximately 25 minutes or until chicken has reached 165 degrees on a meat thermometer.

 

Kim M. is a contributing writer for Eat at Home, as well as the mom behind the mayhem at Makin’ it Mo’Betta. There you will find kid-friendly recipes, quick and easy meals, and many, many more desserts!

Print Friendly

‘Sweet Heat’ Slow Cooker Chex Mix

This recipe from Kim looks amazing! This is the kind of thing my family would devour at the beach!

I love a Chex Mix for several reasons…I can make a huge batch at once, there are tons of different flavor variations, it’s great to have on hand for hungry kids that are constantly in and out of the kitchen, and it’s super easy to throw in a ziploc bag and carry with you on long car trips or to the beach. However, we’ve been experiencing quite the heat wave this week, so turning on my oven, and opening it every so often to stir up a batch of chex mix was not appealing to me.

Crock Pot Chex Mix EAH

Crock-Pot to the rescue!! Yes, the slow cooker comes in handy all year long! I couldn’t quite decide which direction I wanted to go with this mix…did I want sweet? Did I want spicy? I kind of wanted both, so that’s what I did. A sweet and salty combo with just a little bit of heat. You could easily increase the heat on this, but I knew my kids wouldn’t go for it, so I kept it mild. It actually sneaks up on you – the first few bites taste sweet and salty, and then you get a little kick from the cayenne.

Sweet Heat Chex Mix EAH

And yes, those are little Minion cheese crackers. According to my 7 year old, the Minions taste better than the traditional square crackers! As with almost all chex mixes, you can add whatever you like or have on hand.

'Sweet Heat' Slow Cooker Chex Mix
A sweet and salty combination with just a little heat, that comes together easily in your slow cooker.
Ingredients
  • 2 cups of each:
  • Corn Chex cereal
  • Rice Chex cereal
  • Wheat Chex cereal
  • Cheerios cereal
  • Pretzels
  • Cheese Crackers
  • ½ cup butter, melted
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 bag Pretzel M&M's (or candy of choice)
Instructions
  1. Place all of the cereals, pretzels and crackers into slow cooker.
  2. In a small microwave safe bowl, melt butter.
  3. Add brown sugar, Worcestershire, seasoning salt, cinnamon and cayenne to butter. Mix well.
  4. Pour butter mixture over cereal mixture and stir to coat.
  5. Cover with lid and set slow cooker on low for 2½-3 hours, stirring every 30 mins. (Make sure to stir down to the bottom to make sure it doesn't burn)
  6. NOTE: to prevent condensation from dripping onto cereal, you can place a clean dishcloth between the lid and slowcooker base.
  7. Once done, spread out on wax paper to cool.
  8. Add M&M's and store in air tight container.

Just beware…it’s hard to stay out of!

Kim M. is a contributing writer for Eat at Home, as well as the mom behind the mayhem at Makin’ it Mo’Betta. There you will find kid-friendly recipes, quick and easy meals, and many more desserts!

Print Friendly

Simple Meal Plans & Real Life – June 16 – Looking for your ideas and opinions

This past week has been a whirl wind of getting ready for vacation and tying up some lose ends on several projects.  The main goal with our meals this week has been clear out the fridge.

In other news, I’m thinking it’s time to revamp these weekly posts on the meal plans.  I have a few ideas in mind, but I’d love to know what you’d like to see.

Do you like seeing the sneak peek of the main dishes on the plans each week?

Do you like hearing a little about how my family gets dinner done?

Do you have other ideas for these posts or do you tend to just skip these altogether?

Leave a comment or drop me an email to let me know your thoughts!

Simple Weekly Meal Plans

If you’ve been looking for a way to save time on menu planning, you’ll want to look into getting our Weekly Meal Plans.  All the organizing and thinking is done for you.  No grocery list making or side dish planning needed.  I love using these and when I don’t have to do any recipe creation, this is my preferred way to shop and cook.

Here’s a sneak peek at this week’s meal plans.  When you join the Weekly Meal Plan list, you get the grocery list and printable recipes with side dishes included.  You can find out more about how to get the meal plans for yourself by clicking here.

Whole Foods Menu

  1. Italian Sausage Sloppy Joes
  2. Chicken Tetrazini
  3. Pineapple Chicken
  4. Enchiladas
  5. Honey Mustard Grilled Pork Chops
  6. Tony’s Fish
  7. Cherry Cobbler

Traditional Menu

Slow Cooker Menu

  1. Apple BBQ Pork Chops
  2. Smoky Chipotle Chicken Tacos
  3. Easy Meatball Subs
  4. Crockpot Honey Mustard Chicken
  5. Tamale Sandwiches 
  6.  Beef Teriyaki
  7. Banana Split Dessert
Print Friendly

Simple Meal Plans & Real Life – June 9

This past week was all about recovering from the wedding (which was awesome!).  We ate leftover chicken salad, veggies and donuts.  After three or four meals of that, we were craving some comfort food.  After all of our company had gone, Sunday night we splurged on creamy pasta from Carinos.  Yum!

On Monday I hit the grocery with the Whole Foods meal plan. (I used the plan for June 23. They can be used in any order and that one sounded especially good to me.)  I love having that list and knowing what I’m going to be fixing for dinner!

Our strawberry patch has been doing really well this year.  We’ve been picking about a quart of berries every night.  Of course, that meant strawberry shortcake for dessert!

Simple Weekly Meal Plans

If you’ve been looking for a way to save time on menu planning, you’ll want to look into getting our Weekly Meal Plans.  All the organizing and thinking is done for you.  No grocery list making or side dish planning needed.  I love using these and when I don’t have to do any recipe creation, this is my preferred way to shop and cook.

Here’s a sneak peek at this week’s meal plans.  When you join the Weekly Meal Plan list, you get the grocery list and printable recipes with side dishes included.  You can find out more about how to get the meal plans for yourself by clicking here.

Whole Foods Menu

Traditional Menu

  1. East Meets West Burgers
  2. Stromboli 
  3. Teriyaki BBQ Chicken Legs
  4. Grilled Fish Sandwich
  5. Tamale Beef over Cornbread
  6. Vietname Fried Rice
  7. Chocolate Cobbler

Slow Cooker Menu

  1. Honey Hoisin Pork 
  2. Pierogies 
  3. Chicken Cacciatore
  4. Chicken Broccoli Divan
  5. Cube Steaks and Gravy
  6. BBQ Chicken Sandwiches 
  7. Chocolate Cheesecake 
Print Friendly

Simple Meal Plans & Real Life – June 2

Yesterday my oldest daughter got married.  Last week was a blur of activity getting ready for the wedding.  We did eat, but I’m not sure I can remember much of it!

For one meal, we ate Costco dinner – rotisserie chicken, watermelon, pretzel rolls and potato salad.  I took the same thing to the family next door that night, because their dad fell and broke his leg a few days earlier.

The other highlight was P.F. Chang Lettuce Wraps.  Oh my!  That is a fantastic recipe!  And it’s on the Traditional Meal Plan this week.

I’ll have more on the wedding and maybe a few pictures next week I hope!

Simple Weekly Meal Plans

If you’ve been looking for a way to save time on menu planning, you’ll want to look into getting our Weekly Meal Plans.  All the organizing and thinking is done for you.  No grocery list making or side dish planning needed.  I love using these and when I don’t have to do any recipe creation, this is my preferred way to shop and cook.

Here’s a sneak peek at this week’s meal plans.  When you join the Weekly Meal Plan list, you get the grocery list and printable recipes with side dishes included.  You can find out more about how to get the meal plans for yourself by clicking here.

Whole Foods Menu

  1. Lemon Pepper Bow-tie Pasta
  2. Chicken Fiesta 
  3. Asian Salmon
  4. NY Strip Steak
  5. Southwestern Veggie Skillet
  6. Grilled Cheese & Tomato Sandwiches
  7. Coconut No-Bake Cookies

Traditional Menu

  1. Sweet and Sour Chicken Skillet 
  2. Italian Sausage Sloppy Joe’s
  3. Oven Baked Tacos
  4. Spaghetti
  5. PF Chang Lettuce Wrap
  6. Steak Kabobs
  7. Boardwalk Brownies

Slow Cooker Menu

Print Friendly