Eight Reasons You Should Let Your Kids Play With Knives

8 Reasons You Should Let Your Kids Play With Knives FacebookGuess what? I let my kids play with knives.

Really. We have loads of fun together, just me, my kids, and the knives… oh, and the food.

Not everyone would call what we do playing. I set clear and specific rules before we pull the knives out, they can only be used in my presence, and they can only be used to cut up whatever food I’ve provided.

Not everyone calls it that, and while I won’t call it playing in front of my kids, that’s exactly what I consider it to be. We are after all having fun.

But there are rules! Playtime isn’t supposed to have rules!

No. play always has rules, even free play. You aren’t allowed to hit other children. You aren’t allowed to deface property. You aren’t allowed to jump off the dresser and pretend to be a bird (true story).

Think of knives the same way you think of board game play. Lots of rules and still part of a happy healthy childhood.

8 Reasons You Should Let Your Kids Play With Knives Pinterest

Here are eight reasons to let your kids play with knives.

  • To improve coordination: Cutting utilizes fine motor skills. These are the same skills used to cut with scissors and hold a pencil. So, you’re little Einstein can work on her pencil grip without even touching a pencil!
  • To teach your kid to help: Running a household is a big job, and our kids are a lot better off when they are part of that job. In fact, according to this article in the Wall Street Journal doing household chores is linked with academic success and financial independence.
  • To allow a little risk: Risk is GOOD for children. Allowing our children to take risks now gives them a better sense of their own capabilities and fosters a sense of confidence.
  • To give your child confidence: That’s right, more confidence. It’s amazing what they are capable of if we only give them the chance to show us, and they end up showing not just us, but themselves as well!
  • So your child learns how to cook: Smell that? It’s the delicious smell of dinner, and it’s cooked by someone other than you! The possibility is right around the corner, but you have to build the foundation now, by you guessed it, letting your kids play with knives.
  • To help your child be more involved with family meals: If my kids help cook the meal they are a hundred gazillion times more likely to actually eat it! Getting kids involved with cooking is so incredibly important to teaching them healthy skills that will set them up for a lifetime of good health vs. the lifetime of diabetes that looms over so many of our kids these days.
  • So you can have some productive time with your kid: We all want to spend time with our kids, but sometimes we also want clean clothing or a floor that doesn’t crunch under our feet. When we cook with our kids we are able to both spend time with them and be productive at the same time. Although, I make no promises as to how long it will take to cook your meal. They’re kids, not gourmet chefs.
  • So your kid doesn’t cut himself: Wait, you’re telling me that my kid won’t cut himself if I give him a knife? Say What!/? Seriously, if you are teaching your kid how to use a knife, with good ground rules about how to hold the knife, how to keep fingers away from the knife, etc. Your kid is way less likely to get cut. To be honest, it’s only been a couple of years that I’ve been able to prepare a meal without cutting myself, and I’ve been preparing meals for my family since I was sixteen. That’s probably because no one ever taught me how to use a knife. I had to youtube it when my husband threatened to hide all the knives in the house. Need more convincing? How about this, Kids in Sweden are regularly given knives, not just in the kitchen, but actual pocket knives to play with. They also have the lowest percentage of child injury in the world.

I let my kids play with knives

So give your kid a knife for darn’s sake and start cooking :)

But, if you’re feeling a bit nervous about handing your tot a five-pound butcher knife, you can always try one of these kid-safe knives. My kids got these for Christmas and they love them! No injuries  yet :)

Disclosure: I’m a member of amazon affiliate so if you click this link or buy one of these knives I get a “cut” of the deal. Get it? Get it?

So, do you let your kids use knives in the kitchen? Or are you not so sure about handing sharp pointy objects to your little ones?

Kids Cook: How to shape no knead bread dough

kids cook

In 2012, more than one-third of children were overweight or obese in America. Our generation and our children’s generation are not expected to outlive our parents. We need to fight childhood obesity. Our health and our children’s health are in danger. Our kids are less active and in more pain than we were.

And I’m scared.

I don’t want to outlive my kids.

My uncle died when he was in his fifties, nearly fifteen years before my grandma passed away. She was never the same. She said it wasn’t right, outliving your child.

So, I fight. I fight for my kid’s health.

And I do it by cooking.

Over the next few months, I’m launching a series of cooking tutorials. But, these aren’t your standard, do this then that, tutorials. These tutorials are focused on cooking WITH your kids. I’ll show you not only how to use simple cooking techniques, I’ll show you how to teach those techniques to your littles.

Why? Because if our children understand the process behind the food they eat, then they are equipped to make smart choices now and in the future.

Because when we cook we are in charge of the ingredients. We control the sugar, salt, and oil that goes into the food.

Because if our children understand the process behind the food they eat then they are equipped to make smart choices now and in the future.

Because childhood is precious, and every minute invested in our children is worth it.

Because sometimes everyday moments, like making bread with mom, become the fondest memories.

So, here’s my first Kids Cook Tutorial: How to Shape Bread.

This is a technique I learned from the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day book series. In the book, they call it a gluten cloak. The technique is a way to shape wet no knead dough. When I publish my recipe for 1-hour light wheat french bread this technique will be useful.

You will need one ball of no-knead bread dough. I’ll include the link here when my recipe is up on the site.

Step 1: Dust your hands with flour and pat the dough into a ball. Sticky hands are a must!

step 1

Step 2: Use your fingers to press up from underneath the center of the dough. I was so proud of how well my little champ did this step. It’s amazing what kids are capable of with the right combination of leeway and guidance.

Step 2

Step 3: Stretch the dough around itself, turning it until it forms a ball. See the shaggy texture in the photo? That’s because it was turned so many times! The kids had fun :)

step 3

Step 4: Turn the ball over and pinch the bottom together. She’s doing a great job isn’t she? I just showed her what to do, handed her a heavy hunk of dough, and let her get those little fingers moving.

step 4

Step 5: Give each kid bits of dough (as long as there’s no egg it’s harmless if they eat some) and play!

2play

play

You can take the dough, let it rise, and bake it now. Your kids will probably play until the house smells of… amazingness. My kids love making bread with me. They brag about their work when we’re eating the bread afterward.

So, I guess there’s only one more question left.

Are you ready to fight?

Quick Light Wheat French Bread – Ready in One Hour

light wheat french bread recipe 5

I’m always baking bread. We rarely purchase it from the store because I make it so often. So, when I tell you this is a good bread recipe, you can trust me. It’s fluffy with a wet crumb, just like french bread should be, and it’s ready in one hour.

Now, in some circles, this would be considered whole wheat french bread, after all, it’s nearly half whole wheat, but I think that’s cheating. So, I’m calling it light wheat. You still get the benefits of some whole grains, plus the benefits of a great rise.

“Enough talking Amber!”

Okay. Let’s get to the recipe.

First. Combine 2 1/2 cups of warm water with 2 Tablespoons of yeast, 2 Tablespoons of sugar and 2 Tablespoons of olive oil. Set it aside.

In a separate bowl combine 2 cups of whole wheat flour, 3 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour and 1 tsp of salt.

Now, heat up a cup of water in the microwave, this is relevant, I promise.

Make a well in the center of your dry ingredients and slowly add your wet, mixing it all together like an Italian grandma.

light wheat french bread recipe

…until, it has formed a very sticky, very wet ball. This should take about three minutes.

light wheat french bread recipe 2

Now, remember the water? Take it out and discard it. Place a warm damp towel over your dough, and put the dough in the hot steamy microwave. You now have the perfect environment for a quick rise. Leave the dough there for fifteen minutes.

Fifteen minutes later, and voila! A beautifully risen ball of dough.

light wheat french bread recipe 3

Take a handful of flour (equal to about a 1/4 cup of all purpose flour) and dust your hands and the top of your dough. Separate the dough into two balls, then elongate the balls into two beautiful loaves of bread. If you have never shaped no-knead dough before, check out my tutorial. Shaping it the right way makes all the difference. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and place your dough on it.

Now, to make your bread pretty, because bread is a work of art, dust the dough liberally with flour, dip your sharpest knife into more flour and slash the top. In case you can’t tell, flour and a sharp knife is the key to a good slash :)

light wheat french bread recipe 4

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. By the time the oven has preheated (about five minutes at my house), the dough will have risen, and it’s time for baking. Don’t put the bread in until it the oven is fully preheated or you won’t get as good of a rise.

Bake it for 30-35 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and your home permeates with the beautiful smell of bread. If you like a crispier crust, then put a cup of water in your boiler tray at the same time you put the bread in the oven; otherwise, this makes a soft crust similar to what you find at the grocery store.

light wheat french bread recipe 5

If you have the patience, let it cool before slicing, and you have two gorgeous loaves of light wheat french bread in just 60 minutes time.

light wheat french bread recipe 6

 

Quick Light Wheat French Bread
Print Recipe
Quick Light Wheat French Bread
Print Recipe
Ingredients
Servings: 2 loaves
Instructions
  1. Combine water, sugar, olive oil and yeast, set aside
  2. In a separate bowl combine flours and salt
  3. Heat a cup of water in the microwave.
  4. Make a well in the dry ingredients, add the wet ingredients and slowly combine until a sticky dough ball forms
  5. Cover dough ball with a warm damp towel and let it rise for fifteen minutes in the microwave
  6. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper Dust the dough with flour, form it into two loaves, and place it on a baking sheet
  7. Dust the loaves with flour, slash with a sharp knife Preheat oven to 375 Bake in preheated oven 30-35 minutes Let cool, enjoy
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Tiana’s “man catching” beignets recipe

man catching chocolate filled beignets recipe

It’s movie night! Going out is so overrated, especially when you can stay in with these delicious chocolate filled doughnuts. Can you guess which movie we’re watching? That’s right.  It’s Disney’s The Princess and The Frog.  Tiana’s “man-catching beignets” can catch more than just a man. Serve these for movie night with friends, kids, significant others, pretty much everyone can be caught with chocolate, right?

This recipe makes enough to feed a large crowd. If you don’t have a crowd on hand you can either freeze half of the dough, or eat twice as much as the recommended serving size, or three times as much. We’re won’t judge.

Here’s the recipe:

Time investment: 30 min prep time, 1 hour rest time, 30 minutes cook time, 2 hours total

Ingredients:

1/2 cup water – luke warm

1 T yeast

1/4 cup shortening

1/2 cup sugar

1 tsp. salt

1 cup boiling water

1 cup whole milk

1/4 cup powdered milk

2 eggs, beaten

7 1/2 cups flour

6 oz chocolate chips

1 quart vegetable oil

1/2 cup powdered sugar

Directions: 

1. Combine yeast, lukewarm water and salt, let it sit for 5 minutes

2. In a large bowl combine shortening, boiling water and sugar, stir well, then add yeast mixture, milk, powdered milk and eggs, slowly stir in flour. Work the dough until the flour is well incorporated . Refrigerate dough, covered, for at least 1 hour.

3. Heat oil in saucepan or electric fryer.

4. Roll out dough to 1/4 inch thickness. This will need to be done in batches, take out about a baseball sized lump of dough at a time.

5. Cut dough into rectangles of desired size – how big do you want your doughnuts? We did ours about 2″ by 1″. Place 3 or 4 chocolate chips in the center of each rectangle.

beignet recipe

6. Fold the dough over on itself and seal shut. Some techniques to help you get it sealed tight: use water on the edge, roll the edge over on itself, and seal with a fork like you would decorate a pie crust.

beignet recipe

7. Test the oil, if a small ball of dough sizzles and rises to the top of the oil quickly it is hot enough. Use a slotted spoon to gently drop beignets in the oil. They should flip themselves over as they cook. Cook for 2-4 minutes or until golden brown and pull them out.

8. Dust with powdered sugar, we used a slotted spoon for this step, and serve warm

powdered beignets

Yum!

stuffed beignet recipe

They were just so pretty too! I have way too many pictures like this one on my hard drive. It’s making me hungry :)

pretty flowers and beignets

Equipment List and Links for Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day

Equipment list and links for Artisan Bread in 5 minutes a dayI just got the New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day Book. I’ve had it for about a month and let me tell you, the buzz is worth it. However, there is a caveat, if you’re going to turn into a serious bread baker you’ll need some supplies. It hasn’t been easy finding said equipment for reasonable prices, so I made a list of links to make it easier for other newbie bread makers to gather supplies. I didn’t link up ALL of the equipment they suggest, just the things I thought wouldn’t already be in your kitchen and of course what I thought most people would use :) So here it is: where to get what you’ll need to have fresh artisan bread in five minutes a day… without breaking the bank.

1) The Big Bucket – I didn’t want to pay 18 bucks for a bucket! That’s insane! Here are some cost-effective alternatives:

If it MUST be round try this one  from King Arthur Flour for $14.95 with shippingwhere to get supplies for artisan bread in 5 minutes

But seriously why spend 15 bucks when there’s this one at Wal-Mart for $4.97. Available in store. The biggest tupper is slightly smaller than the suggested 6 quart tub but after using it myself I can attest that it is in fact large enough, and although it is not a perfect circle the edges are rounded enough to easily scrape dough out of. tupper

2. Pizza Stone: Don’t spend $20 plus bucks on it! It’s at Wal-Mart with free site to store shipping for $13.97. Before you decide you can’t buy this one because it’s cheap let me tell you that this is the same one I’ve had for 5 years, and it’s still doing great. I haven’t ever dropped it mind you, but it’s still doing great!

pizza stone

3. Pizza Peel: This one is $12.88 from Amazon with free prime shipping. I didn’t buy one though, instead I slide the bread off of my edge-less cookie sheet.

pizza peel

4. Dough Whisk: Personally, I’ll just use the boring wood spoon I already have, but if you want the cool fancy looking one like in the book, this is the cheapest I could find. It’s $9.37 with free prime shipping on Amazon.

whisk

5. Lipless cookie sheet: The cheapest one I could find online is at Bed Bath and Beyond for $12.99, but I found one for $6 at my local Wal-Mart. Be warned your trading in quality when you get the cheapy one at the big box store. Just so we’re clear on that  :).

cookie sheet

6. Baguette Pan: Just because it’s cool. This would be a fun thing to bring as a white elephant or to suggest to someone as a gift for yourself! This baguette pan is $10.75 with free prime shipping at Amazon.

baggete pan

7. Oven Thermometer: There’s a cheaper one at Wal-Mart but the reviews are terrible. This one at Amazon is $6.98 with prime shipping, plus it has 4 stars and over 200 reviews.

oven thermometer

I hope this list is helpful to you! I wasn’t paid anything to recommend any of these products, but I totally should have looked into that before publishing this post ;). Happy bread-making!

P.S. if you are morally opposed to Wal-mart, most of the Wal-Mart stuff can be found for similar prices or a little more at other big stores like Target and K-Mart.

Baby {food} making!

baby food DIYI just finished my first baby food making extravaganza. The kiddos were in bed, the house was reasonably clean, and I had a fridge full of goodies that would make great first foods for Little Jaguar. I like the idea of making my own baby food because it’s cheap and I know exactly what kind of processing went into making it, plus I get a sense of accomplishment from knowing that I don’t need Gerber to feed my baby. I can do it all on my own. :)

If you want to shed the shackles of store-bought baby food too feel free to follow along:

Today I made Mango, Pear, Sweet Potato, and Carrots for my little gourmet.

I started with the carrots, I peeled 4 large carrots and chopped them up into large chunks. Then I steamed them until they were soft (about 15 minutes) and put them in the blender along with 1 cup of the liquid I used to steam the carrots (I used this liquid because after steaming it’s really nutrient dense). I blended it all up ( by pressing the “batters” button on my fancy blender) and then poured it into an ice-cube tray which I covered and put in the freezer. Later I popped the carrots out and put them in a labeled freezer bag complete with the date. These amounts filled one ice-cube tray.

carrot baby food recipe

Next came the Mango. This was the easiest one. I just peeled and pitted the mango, blended it, poured it into an ice-cube tray, covered it, and froze it. Once again, popping it into a labeled freezer bag after it was frozen. Three large mango’s filled half of an ice-cube tray.

mango baby food recipe

Mmmm, I love me some pear sauce. I used my fancy apple corer to peel and core 4 pears which I then steamed until they were soft, (about 5 minutes) and blended with 1/2 cup of the steam water.

coring pears

This mixture was then poured into an ice-cube tray, covered, frozen, and then popped into a labeled freezer bag. These amounts filled 1/2 an ice-cube tray.

pear baby food recipe

Finally, the sweet potatoes. I peeled one large sweet potato and diced it into about 1 inch cubes. I then steamed it using the leftover pear steaming liquid. It took about 20 minutes to soften. The potato was then blended with 1 cup of steam water, covered, frozen, and finally popped out into a labeled bag. One potato filled 1 and 1/2 ice-cube trays.

sweet potatoes baby food recipe

When you want to use the food, just reheat it in the microwave. Frozen baby food should be used within one month of making it, which shouldn’t be a problem here. I taste tested all of these, and I was almost wishing I was a baby again, it was pretty yummy.

DIY baby food recipes

You can follow the above formulas for just about any fruits or vegetables, but don’t try to freeze mashed up bananas. It doesn’t work, however you CAN freeze sliced bananas and THEN blend them into a yummy banana custard type creation. Just a thought.

So, did anybody try this? What is your baby’s favorite food? Is the time worth the money saved? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments :) Thanks, and happy Baby {food} making ;).

low-fat broccoli soup

broccoli soup recipe

This low fat broccoli bisque is really flavorful and easy to make. It tastes like a cream soup,  but has no milk or cream in it, instead it has some awesome sauce on top that gives a yummy tang to every bite.  I made it using the blendtec blender my husband won when he competed in Zion’s bank’s Cheapster competition. No, no one paid me to say that – I just mention it out of gratitude for the amazing blender. This makes about 4 bowls of soup so it’s more of an appetizer or light lunch.

Ingredients:

topping:low fat broccoli soup

1/3 c olive oil

1/2 tsp sea salt

2 Tbsp lemon juice

thyme to taste

Soup:broccoli soup

1 clove garlic crushed and chopped

1/2 yellow onion chopped

2 cups broccoli florets

3 celery stalks chopped

2 cans low sodium chicken broth

cooking spray

Directions:

1. combine topping ingredients and set aside

2. spray your pot with coking oil and saute garlic and onion for 3 minutes or until soft and slightly browned

3. add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, turn heat down and simmer for three minutes or until broccoli is cooked

4. pour soup into your blender and blend until smooth (I just press the soup button on my blendtec)

blender soup

5. pour soup into bowls and drizzle about a Tbsp of topping on each bowl of soup, if you want a little extra color you can sprinkle some paprika on top of that, serve with bread-sticks.

Cheese Stuffed Shells – recipe

 Cheese stuffed shells

I am a big pasta lover. Hubby is a big cheese lover. This is how we put it all together. Cheese stuffed shells with fennel. It’s easy, delicious, and it takes less than an hour to cook. Love it :)

Prep time: 10 minutes | Cook time: 30 minutes | Total time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

3/4 of a 12 oz package of jumbo shells

1 cup mozzarella – shredded

1 cup cottage cheese (we use fat free)

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (the powdery kind)

1/4 cup fresh fennel – chopped

1/2 cup red onion

1/4 cup mushrooms – chopped

garlic powder – to taste

8 oz spaghetti sauce

Directions:

1. set oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit

2. Boil shells until they are al dente (cooked but not mushy)

3. while shells are boiling combine cheeses, onion, mushroom, garlic powder, and all but a pinch of the fennel in a bowl, mix it up

3. Rinse shells in cool water and coat the bottom of an 8 x 12 pan with spaghetti sauce, place shells in the pan

4. spoon cheese mixture into shells and bake for thirty minutes

5. heat spaghetti sauce in a pot and pour it over the shells when they come out of the oven

6. garnish with fennel and enjoy

Slow Cooker Hasselback Potatoes

how to make Slow cooked hasselback potatoes, DIY Slow cooked hasselback potatoes

Problem: My family loves hasselback potatoes, but we live in Arizona… and it’s summer. This means that turning the oven on is similar to torturing my family, seriously, I think it might even pass the cruel and unusual punishment test.

Solution: Slow cook it! Yep, my slow cooker doesn’t heat the house up and it uses less electricity than the oven and it makes delicious hassleback potatoes. Win-win-win!

Here’s how I did it.

Ingredients:

5 potatoes, 1/4 c. olive oil, 1 cup of grated cheese

Directions:

1. Almost slice your potatoes, I use a sharp knife and a spoon, you can also place chopsticks on either side of the potato so you don’t accidentally slice your potato in half.

Slow cooked hasselback potatoes

2. Line your slow cooker with tin foil, place your potatoes in the slow cooker, drizzle with the olive oil, and cook on high for the next 4 hours

how to make Slow cooked hasselback potatoes, DIY Slow cooked hasselback potatoes

3. Check for done-ness (potatoes should be easy to pierce with a fork) and add a cup of grated cheese, cook on high for an additional 30 minutes.

4. Enjoy your delicious potatoes without heating up the house

how to make Slow cooked hasselback potatoes, DIY Slow cooked hasselback potatoes

7 Slow Cooker Freezer Meals in 2 hours

slow cooker freezer meals 3

Always be prepared. That’s the Scout motto right? Well, it’s the mom motto too. It’s why we keep cheerios in the glove box, diapers in the trunk, and a quiet book in the purse. It’s how we stay sane in the unpredictable world of parenting. We know things don’t always go as planned, and we work as hard as we can to keep our family’s together. Sure, chaos is always in the wings waiting to take over, but with preparation, we keep it at bay. Like I said, it’s how we stay sane.

Today, as a family, we prepared 7 Slow Cooker Freezer meals for when the baby is born. It only took us one hour, but I put 2 hours in the title because not everyone will have helping hands when they undertake freezer meals. My sweet hubby was right with me, chopping vegetables, and sorting chicken. That man is amazing!

Before I even get to my list of meals and ingredients I need to give some link love. I got LOTS of inspiration from Six Sisters’ freezer meal post as well as Melea’s awesome freezer meal post at Freebies2Deals. Several of my recipes are just variations of theirs, so please, check out these ladies posts as you choose meals that will work for your families. They have a lot of different recipes and they’re all awesome.

freezer meals 1

Some tips and tricks I learned:

How to do this Cheap –

1) Watch for sales before you start cooking – Most of my meals were based on chicken so I watched and then price matched to get a killer price on chicken breast.

2) Try a food co-op for your veggies – part of how I was able to do this so inexpensively was because I ordered a $15 basket plus an $8 veggie pack from bountiful baskets and then adjusted recipes to fit the veggies I got in my basket.

3) Price Match – I price matched the remaining ingredients using www.grocerysmarts.com. This site shows all the sales in your state, ordered by grocery store. This is especially good for me right now, because I don’t know what’s a good price in Arizona yet. The site also shows you what coupons you can use for various items. Just CTRL + F and search for your ingredients until you find the best price. Then buy it all at a grocery store that price matches in order to save time.

Seriously, when I did the math it came to about $55 total. That’s $7.80 per meal, which is $1.90 per person if each meal feeds 4 people. Isn’t that so much better than feeding your family greasy five dollar pizza’s? Not that that won’t happen at all after the baby is born, but it won’t be nearly as often!

How to do this efficiently –

4) Make sure to squeeze all the air out of your bags, do this by zipping it almost all the way closed, rolling the bag towards the seal so the air is forced out, and then zipping the rest of the way – this will ensure that the meals don’t get frost bite. After you’ve squeezed out the air is the best time to flatten the bag as much as possible.

5) Clear a space in your freezer, flatten out your meals, and stack them up – you’ll be able to fit a lot in a small space.

6) Use a permanent marker to write down the meal and the cooking directions on each bag before filling the bags up.

7) Put the raw meat in first, wash your hands and counters, then systematically go through and fill each bag one at a time.

How to do this deliciously –

8) I gave directions for cooking on high and low, but when you can, plan ahead and cook your meals on low. Everything tastes better that way!

9) When you can, let the meals thaw out the night before you plan to cook them. They will still taste good if you don’t, but I don’t think they taste quite as fresh, plus you’ll need to add an hour or two cook time if they start out frozen.

freezer meals

Here’s my recipe list. These should feed four adults. We only have two adults and a toddler, but we easily make two meals out of each. Some of the meals are better served with sides like rice or boiled potatoes.

Chicken Cacciatore

Ingredients:

2 – 3 chicken breasts

1 jar/can spaghetti sauce

1 mexican squash (the same as one zucchini), chopped

1 bell pepper, chopped

1 yellow onion, chopped

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a gallon-sized freezer bag and mix it up. Freeze it.

When you’re ready, take it out of the freezer and thaw it for a day. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4 hours.

Serve with spaghetti noodles and garnish with olives and parmesan cheese.

Maple Glazed Chicken

Ingredients:

2 – 3 chicken breasts

1 cup mustard

½ tsp. crushed black pepper

1 t. tabasco sauce

1/2 large leek (chopped) (or just half an onion)

1/2 cup maple syrup

2 Tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Directions: 
Place all ingredients in a gallon-sized freezer bag and mix it up. Freeze it.

When you’re ready, take it out of the freezer and thaw it for a day. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4 hours.

Serve – I would suggest serving this one with boiled parsley potatoes. Yum!

Lime Chicken w/ Corn and Black Beans

Ingredients:

2 – 3  chicken breasts

2 limes juiced

½  bunch fresh cilantro, chopped

1 (16 oz) bag frozen corn

2 minced garlic cloves

1/2 yellow onion, chopped

2 sliced tomatoes

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 tsp cumin

1 T chili powder

Directions: 

Place all ingredients in a gallon-sized freezer bag and mix it up. Freeze it.

When you’re ready, take it out of the freezer and thaw it for a day. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4 hours.

Serve with tortillas and top with sour cream, guacamole, salsa, and cheese

Girly Stew/ Chicken and dumplings

Ingredients:

2 – 3 chicken breasts

2 cans cream of mushroom soup

½ yellow onion chopped

½ c. celery chopped

1 large carrot – chopped

½ c. chicken broth

Refrigerator biscuits

Directions:

Place all ingredients (except biscuits) in a gallon-sized freezer bag and mix it up. Freeze it.

When you’re ready, take it out of the freezer and thaw it for a day. Cook on high for 4 hours, put biscuits on top and cook another thirty minutes or until dough is no longer raw in the center.

African Peanut Stew

Ingredients:

Part One

1 T. olive oil

½ c. chopped carrot

2 minced garlic cloves

2 T ginger

1 T curry powder

1 – 1/2 cans chicken broth

3 sweet potatoes

¼ c. peanut butter

1 yellow onion

Part Two

1 bag baby spinach

2 diced tomatoes

½ c chopped celery

1 bell pepper

1/2 bunch fresh cilantro

Directions:

Place Part one ingredients in a gallon-sized freezer bag and mix it up. Place Part two ingredients in a separate gallon-sized freezer bag and mix it up. Freeze both bags.

When you’re ready, take it out of the freezer and thaw it for a day. Cook Part one ingredients on high for two hours. Add Part two ingredients and cook on high for an additional hour. Serve over rice.

Teriyaki Chicken 

Ingredients:

2- 3 Chicken Breasts

1 large carrot (chopped)

1/2  Large Leek (or yellow onion) chopped

(1) 20 oz can pineapple (undrained)

1 minced garlic clove

1/2 cup Teriyaki Sauce

Directions:

Place all ingredients (except Teriyaki Sauce) in a gallon-sized freezer bag and mix it up. Freeze it.

Add 1/2 cup Teriyaki Sauce right before cooking. . Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4 hours.

Peanut Orange Chicken

Ingredients:

2 -3 chicken breasts

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

3 Tbl. ketchup

1/2  can of frozen orange juice concentrate

4 Tbl.  brown sugar

2 T soy sauce

½ cup chopped peanuts

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a gallon-sized freezer bag and mix it up. Freeze it.

When you’re ready, take it out of the freezer and thaw it for a day. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4 hours. Serve over rice and veggies

Now that you have the recipe’s, here’s a convenient list of ingredients for shopping purposes. * Ingredient came from Bountiful Baskets ** I already had the ingredient on hand and didn’t count it into my costs. Almost every item has an asterisk next to it and I still had enough fruits and veggies leftover to fill my fridge.

Ingredient List

10 – 15 Chicken breasts (10 if you plan on using two breasts per chicken meal, 15 if you plan on using 3. I only used two. With how big chicken breasts are these days I normally feed the three of us with one breast per meal and still have enough for leftovers. I like to follow the deck of cards serving size for meat thing… but that was a long rant for one ingredient so let’s keep going…)

1 jar/ can spaghetti sauce

1 mexican squash (or zucchini)*

2 bell peppers*

4 medium onions (or giant leaks) or a combination of both*

1 cup mustard**

Salt and pepper**

Tabasco sauce**

Apple cider vinegar**

2 limes*

1 bunch of fresh cilantro*

1 bag frozen corn**

5 cloves of garlic*

4 tomatoes*

1 can black beans

Cumin**

Celery*

3 large carrots*

3 cans chicken broth**

3 sweet potatoes

Teriyaki Sauce

Ketchup**

Brown Sugar**

Orange juice from concentrate

Soy Sauce**

Chopped peanuts