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Posts tagged with: kids in the kitchen

Our Favorite Winter Meals

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I love that the cooler weather is here. We are enjoying our last week or so that we get to stay home two nights a week (before volleyball practice starts.) As a result of these two things, we are cooking a lot. I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon of posting a few of our favorite winter meals, some of which are pretty affordable

Hashbrown Potato Soup

This is the hands down family favorite. You can make it either the crockpot or on the stove. We prefer it on the stove, and I save time using frozen hashbrowns rather than whole potatoes. There are lots of recipes on the internet, some include meat, some cheese, we cook straight potato soup and then everyone doctors their bowl to their own taste.

Deviled Eggs

Princess has become famous around town for her deviled eggs. She’s even been paid by locals to make them for special events. Sea Cadet recently asked her to make them for a Christmas Party he was attending.  We are spoiled by her love to cook. (Tonight she made brownies.)

Meatloaf

Gymnast favorite meal to make these days is meatloaf. I think he just likes to get his hands dirty…literally. (We haven’t had to buy meat since we moved. We are still eating through the freezer of meat we brought from Virginia. We are down to our last week of that though.)

We also eat a lot of beans and noodles.. Sea Cadet makes Asian inspired dishes almost every time it’s his turn to cook. Noodles and pasta sauce are another thing we are still working through from our rations we brought from Virginia.  Who knew we had so much food!

I’m so blessed that all my kids enjoy cooking and better yet, are good at it. Cooking at home saves us money, even when we cook more elaborate meals. But the best part is the fun we have preparing and trying new things. Some of our meals are true hits and some of them force us to take a McDonalds run and eat fries and sweet tea for dinner (okay, that’s only happened once.)

I hope you are enjoying the beginning of this holiday season with your loved ones. Taking time to slow down and just enjoy the holiday decorations and festivities. Enjoying some quality time. And being grateful for all the many blessings. I know I am.

 


Summer Groceries – KISS Style

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It is HOT outside.  I mean we’ve approached 90 degrees on a couple of days already.  Needless to say, we are very grateful for our wonderful apartment pool which we are enjoying as often as we can.  And one other thing that comes with HOT is that we start eating differently, craving different foods then we do during the cooler months.  I’m sure there are studies on this, but my statements are only from years of observing my family.

So we are once again re-vamping our grocery lists.  For the last few months, the kids have each chosen a theme for their night and we ate accordingly.  But with summer two things are different, one we don’t want as heavy or filling of meals and two there are a lot of nights when there are just a couple of us eating (work, camps, friends all take us away and feed us.)

We are going to focus on fruits and veggies that can be grabbed quickly on the run, put our “bigger” meal earlier in the day and each person has a water bottle to keep full and cold to keep them hydrated.  I’m calling this our KISS style of groceries: Keep It Simple Stupid.  So here’s what our weekly grocery looks like:

  • Plums
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • 8 bananas
  • Blueberries
  • 2 Cantaloupe
  • 3 Tomatoes
  • 1 head of Broccoli
  • 1 mixed bag of Salad (twins have to be forced to eat salad)
  • 10 lb Potatoes
  • Apples
  • Corn chips
  • Salsa
  • 12 pack of Activia yogurt
  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 1 1/2 bacon (as needed)
  • 2 lbs of sandwich meat
  • 1 large pack of medium sized tortillas
  • 2 loaves of bread (used for sandwiches or toast)
  • Bisquick (as needed for pancakes or biscuits)
  • Peanut Butter (as needed – I buy the GIANT size at Sams so it tends to last a while)
  • Popcorn kernels (as needed)
  • 10lb bag of frozen chicken breasts
  • 3 lbs of ground turkey meat
  • 1 family size pack of boneless pork chops
  • 1 other meat (roast, shrimp, fish, etc.)
  • Large bag of rice (as needed)

Items below delivered weekly based on order preferences and what we have used the week before

  • 1 1/2 gallon of Skim Milk
  • 1 gallon of Chocolate Milk
  • Blocks of cheddar and colby jack cheese as needed
  • 6+ gallons of water

I freeze a bunch of the berries for smoothies and then the others disappear in handfuls.

So we will make a couple of BIG meals during the week when we are all home and have some time together, but mostly the kids will do grab and go based on what their bodies are telling them they need.  I cook one meal a day (big or little) and the kids will eat when they are home.  Their favorites for summer time are:

  • Red beans and rice (it just takes a little to fill them up and it’s very flavorful)
  • Fried rice (some add chicken which I always have some on hand, some add shrimp, some no meat)
  • Breakfast for dinner (eggs, bacon, rice or grits, homemade biscuits)
  • Taco meat for either salad toppings or in tortillas/sometimes cheese quesadillas
  • Crockpot “meat” meal – heavy on the meat and a couple of sides (as I’m writing this I have a roast in the crockpot with carrots and have cantaloupe and rice to go with it.)

The kids are all hoping to have some cookouts at the pool and invite friends this summer, and I think that will be a great idea.  I have a bunch of bison burgers in the freezer with buns that a client gave us, but I’m sure as it goes closer we will have to add some additional items.

I still maintain that Sundays are sandwiches and subs days to save me from spending the day in the kitchen, but otherwise during the summer it’s pretty much what is on hand and what whomever is cooking has a mind to cook.  Little Gymnast’s favorite meal to cook these days is chicken fried steak…he’s doing a pretty good job with it, a couple of burns…but oh, the mess afterwards!

We are still on track with spending $100-150 per week on groceries, just the nature of the food changes a bit.