Sunday, January 20, 2013

Busy bee with recipes

Ok I haven't been here for awhile and its because my life is busy and my main computer had Word deleted from it and I can't recover it....sooooo.....I'm back, for a little while at least! 

Quick recap of what's been up here in the Crandell house.....

Christmas was a blast! Kids had the most fun at Christmas yet.  With Sam being 5 and Mary only weeks away from her 3rd birthday they had the full concept of Santa, The Elf (which they named Bernard) and why we celebrate Baby Jesus' birth. I of course bit off more then I could chew with baking cookies for approx. 46 people which resulted to around 300 cookies! Clean up afterward was a weeks worth of work but we got all rooms cleaned, organized and rearranged so that's done!

But maybe I should back up....I am not sure how many know, maybe all but I actually started working this year.  Yep! I work at my sons preschool as the extended care teacher from 3-6, Mon-Fri and the best part; I get to take the kids! But the part I don't really like is the lack of time I get in each day for  normal everyday tasks.  Mon, Tues Wed I go to the YMCA and work out from 915-1100 and shower there as well.  Mon and Wed Sam is at school so I tend to kill time by catching up on news, email and Facebook or any research, shopping or misc things I need to do on the computer.  Thursday my parents come down and hang out with us like they've been doing every week since Sam was about 3 weeks old.  Friday I have bible study from 930-1100 then back to get Sam by 1130.  After our morning is complete we come back to the house, eat lunch, play for about 20 mins and then my daughter, Mary takes her much needed nap from 1245-215 before I take her into work with me with all the other playful kids.  Then at 6 we leave school, come home and eat dinner, play, bath time, play then bed.  It's an exhausting week, it flies by pretty quickly and because its so hurried and busy it's so hard to make dinner most nights.  So I finally wised up and decided to make the weeks meals on Sunday so they are ready to dish out and heat up when we get home! 

I've had lots of people ask me how I do this, or how do I plan the week?  Well I figure out what is happening each evening; such as Tuesday nights my husband works late. Wednesday nights we have church for my son.  Lately Thursdays my husband has been working late as well; so I look at whose going to be at the table and when and go from there.  I rummage through recipes, whether in my drawer, online, Pintrest and/or Weight Watchers then I plan, plan, plan!  (Yes I'm doing WW and I've lost 15lbs!!!!)  

I then write down each day of the week and what I plan to eat that night.  Read the recipes and make my grocery list based on what I need to make each recipe and what ever other staples I need in the house then head out to the store.  I come home and start prepping, cooking, baking and cleaning! It's an exhausting day but it's well worth the time and effort when all I have to do each night is heat up what's already here! 

I've also had many ask me what it is that I make and do I freeze it.  Answer is what ever is healthy, tastes good and if my whole family will like it. (which with two kids is NOT easy) I don't freeze much of anything because it's all cooked and then stored in air tight containers in my fridge and some things I do have to make when I get home but it will be something simple and minimal!

As far as what do I make, well that's why I decided to sit down and right this blog tonight because I made it a simple meal planning week and thought I would share some of the recipes I gathered and have come to love. Since this week is going to be bitter cold for us Central Ohioans I decided on soups, chili and wings.  Not sure what recipe I will serve which day but with it being soups and chili it's not an issue this week. 

So here's the recipes I made today.

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup (crockpot)

  • 1 small cooked rotisserie chicken from Giant Eagle (white meat only) Chopped
  • 2 cups of water
  • 2 cans of Campbell's creamy chicken and mushroom soup (10 oz each)
  • 1 1/2 cups of frozen mixed veggies (the bag with green beans, corn, peas and carrots)
  • 1 teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder (or again to taste)
  • 1 1/2 cups dried egg noodles

Add all ingredients except egg noodles to crockpot and cook low 6-8 hours
After after above ingredients are cooked through add noodles then cook on high for 20-30 mins or until noodles are tender. I added another 1/2-1 cup of water as the noodles cooked so that the noodles were covered.

The chili I made below is really to your taste and spice but it's a good base for you to do whatever you want so that's why I called it.....

"To your liking" turkey chili

  • Minced garlic (amount to your taste/liking)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno cut in rounds
  • 1 cerano pepper cut in rounds
  • 1 lb of ground turkey
  • 15 oz can of flavored chili beans (or a can of corn for those like me who don't like beans)
  • 15 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 6 oz can of tomato paste
  • Tomato juice
  • chili powder
  • black pepper
  • salt

Brown onions, garlic,  green peppers and 1 tablespoon of olive oil
Add ground turkey and brown. 
After above is browned and cooked and all other ingredients, bring to a boil
Reduce heat and simmer for 35-40 mins
I add the tomato juice as it simmers to the consistency I like but you may want to use more or less depending on how hardy you like your chili.

I usually dig through and pull out the jalapeno peppers and cerrano peppers I rounded because it gets too hot for me but again spice it to your liking.  This goes for the chili powder as well.  I am a spice wimp so I go for just a pinch where my husband would sprinkle heavily!  I also decided long ago that beans and I don't get along, I hate their texture and they don't appreciate me not liking their texture so we parted ways.  I added in the corn for color and for the chili to be hardy.  I like a hardy chili vs. a soupy chili.

Fresh Tomato Basil Soup  (WeightWatcher's recipe that I tweaked a bit)

  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • chopped onions, not many just enough for flavor
  • 4 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon (minus a small pinch) oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups D milk (WW used fat-free milk but we never have that here. With having 2 kids that drink D I just used it, but I think substituting the fat free w/the D makes it thicker)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste (I just use the whole small can)
  • 1 cup fat free half-and-half
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil

Heat oil in large sauce pan and add onions, about 5 mins
Add tomatoes, broth, oregano, salt and pepper and boil. 
While its coming to a boil I take a potato masher and mash the tomatoes until they are soupy.
Once boiling, reduce heat, simmer, covered for about 6 mins....I mash away again at the tomatoes
Let cool for about 5-8 mins

While cooling:
Whisk together 1 cup of the vitamin D milk with the small can of tomato paste until smooth
Stir in the cooling soup along with the other 1 cup of vitamin D milk, fat free half-and-half and basil.  Cook over medium-low heat until soups is heated through....DO NOT BOIL

On the go banana oatmeal muffins (From Pintrest so I just copied pasted but added my own little tweak to it at he bottom)

2.5 cups old fashioned oats
1 cup plain low fat Greek yogurt
2 eggs
3/4 cup sugar {or sweetener of choice}
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 ripe bananas

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray tin with non-stick cooking spray or line 12 muffin tins with silicone or foil liners.
2. Place all of the ingredients, including bananas in a blender or food processor, and blend until oats are smooth. {I added the oats a cup at a time and blended in between}
3. Divide batter among cupcake liners, and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. 
I had tasted these right out of the oven and they were good but lacking a little flavor so I decided that while still in the muffin pan, hot I would sprinkle some sugar on the tops and it really helped.  Still a bit on the bland side so maybe use a flavored oat? I will be next time! But they are good and healthy for you and super easy to grab as you run your kid to school!!!  I grabbed a few strawberries in a zip lock baggie and ate them together and it was quite delish!

Egg muffins (this is a tweaked WW recipe)

  • 4 large eggs
  • milk
  • pepper
  • low fat shredded sharp cheddar
  • green and red peppers, chopped
  • onions, finely chopped
  • cooking spray
Add eggs, milk (a splash) and pepper. Whisk together in medium bowl.
Add cheese  (again it's to your liking but I usually use about 1/2 cup or little more), chopped peppers and onions and whisk again until cheese is well blended.

Add mixture to muffin pans and bake at 350 for about 15 mins but you might check on them @ 12.  I bake them until they look like muffins on top and are slightly browned.

Again, these are super easy to pop in the microwave and eat on the go! Trust me there isn't a morning where I'm not running out the house yelling at the kids "Lets' Go! Get in the van!"

I like to sleep until the LAST POSSIBLE MINUTE! and sometimes that minute gets me about 5-10 mins behind. 

I don't claim to be a super mom or a great cook but I feel like one after a full day of baking and cooking on Sundays.  And the best part is my kids love to help where they can and we will sit and put all the ingredients together while dancing to music and singing and even my husband gets in on the cooking.  I got him to cooks some chicken wings today in our3 pot crockpot.  Here's the recipe for that.......

3 pot crockpot wings (Or one crockpot)  Here's another recipe from Pintrest but again we tweaked it, not only for something different but we had 3 crockpots to fill

  • Chicken wings (frozen or fresh but we used fresh)
  • Chicken Broth
  • Wing sauce (whatever you like!)
  • Packet of dry buffelo mix, mild

Place chicken wings in large bowl and cover with olive oil.  Place chicken wings on cookie sheet and add buffalo mix to your liking.  Bake at 375 for about 45 mins turning them over once.  After they have baked then turn on the broiler and broil both sides until crispy/brown.

Once baked and broiled transfer chicken wings to crockpot.  Use approx 1 cup (or little more) of the chicken broth, add your choice sauce to your taste and cook until chicken is cooked through.  Approx 6-8 hours.  (Or as I say "normal crockpot time") While they are cooking in the crock pot keep rotating them and covering them with the broth/sauce mix. 

After they are thoroughly cooked and spiced to your liking return them to the broiler to crisp them up again.  Serve with blue cheese and celery and it's a perfect for a Super Bowl or OSU party.  (Or whatever college you route for.)

So there's our weeks worth of food.  Now if you'll excuse me I must go get myself a glass of wine and sit down and relax.  Not only did I cook all this food (except the wings) I also took care of the kids lunches, ran to the store TWICE for ingredients, bathed them and put them to bed....super mom? Ok! I will accept that title.  (At least for today anyway)

May God bless your week