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  • Easy Dinner (Meat) Prep

    I have mentioned before that I use a service called 5 dinners 1 hour. Through that service I’ve not only prepped the dinners with their recipes but other dinners as well. Before covid-19 the prep would also involve sauces stored in the refrigerator and chopping veggies to have ready for cook day. Since I have more time, meat prep is primarily what we do now. We typically buy our meat in bulk partly because we have a big family and use a lot of meat in one meal, and the other is because it typically is more cost effective. I figure out what recipes we will be using for the week or two week period then Ian will prep, in this case, chicken. I get the bags ready and add in the other ingredients.

    Materials used:

    • Sandwich baggy holder (Available on Amazon)
    • Ziploc Gallon Freezer Bags
    • Sharpie
    • Chicken (Meat)
    • recipes
  • Easy Labels and Organizing

    I have gotten around to doing some organizing. It started with my desk area last week and although I tidied it enough to use the desk… I still have a long way to go on the organizing piece. These are some basic labels that are super easy to make, and if you use chalk you can change them over and over.

    Supplies Used:

    • Scotch Brand chalkboard tape
    • Scissors
    • White Chalk pens

    I measured how big I wanted the labels on he containers and cut out the number of rectangles. Next write whatever you want on the label, my example was “Markers”. Then I cut off the corners and lined the outside. That is literally it.

  • Chili Recipe

    I have been asked for years for my chili recipe. Until now I have not measured anything and gave approximates for everything… That has changed. And now I actually have a blog post about it.

    Ingredients

    • 1 can black beans
    • 1 can garbanzo beans
    • 1 can kidney beans
    • 1 lb ground turkey
    • 2 cans diced tomatoes
    • 2 cans tomatoes sauce
    • 1 green bell pepper
    • 1 onion
    • 2 TBSP garlic
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
    • 1 TBSP garlic powder
    • 1 TBSP onion Powder
    • 2 TBSP chili powder
    • 2 TBSP cumin
    • Garlic salt and pepper to taste
    • Top with Cheese, sour cream, avocado
    • Serve with Corn chips, tortilla chips, or corn bread

    Brown the ground turkey with a little salt and pepper. While the turkey is cooking, rise all the cans of beans, and chop the green bell pepper and onion. Once the turkey is ready add to the crock-pot along with the rest of the ingredients and seasonings. Cook on low for 8-6 hour or you can cook on high for 4-6 hours. Top with cheese, and sour cream. Serve with tortilla chips, corn chips, or corn bread.

    *I use low sodium beans, I do not have fresh onion, and I have 4 cans of diced tomatoes. Hypertension runs in my family, so I try to get low to no sodium when I can. We buy bulk diced tomatoes from Costco. Kirkland brand diced tomatoes have less sodium than the tomato sauce, so I use an immersion blender to make my own tomato sauce. This house rarely eats raw onion… so I put it in the recipe but I rarely use it when I make it.

  • Update.

    One major update has been the monthly calendar. I updated that to reflect a weekly calendar.

    It has been two and a half weeks since I put our new schedule into place. In this time, we have learned that this is more than just a few more weeks of lock down. The kids will not be returning to traditional school for the remainder of the school year. Originally set to get out of school June 9th, which turned into sometime in June, which turned into the duration of the year.

    On our walk we took a pic in front of the Elementary school they will not be going back to this year.

    The schedule has been working great! The kids have clear and concise times that they can look forward to. We have not stuck to it super strictly… dinner and bed time for instance seem to be 30 minutes to an hour off.

    Another update has been “my space” cleaned and ready to use. We were quarantine schooling in the dining room but I moved everyone into the play room so that I could utilize my work space and keep the kid mess to one room. Take a look at this before and after!

    Yikes! It’s probably been this way for a few years and like this more times then it’s not…
    It’s just progress… it’s not finished but it’s significantly better.
  • Food Week 4/6-4/10

    Our family has made the decision to only eat at home and to utilize the schools free breakfast and lunch options, until the virus starts to die down. Our one exception is Papa Murphy’s on Friday’ for pizza night per our tradition of pizza and movie night. I use the service 5 Dinners in one hour https://5dinners1hour.com/ as well as, some of my own recipes that I have collected over the years. This week I will using a combination of the two.

    Monday 4/6

    Monday we had chicken Teriyaki and homemade fried rice with Zucchini. I forgot to take pictures throughout the process, I made sure to get a picture at the beginning and at the end. I did a modified version of the 5 dinners 1 hour recipes for the chicken and the fried rice. Since I did not get pictures of the process here is how I cooked everything.

    • Defrosted the chicken (I took the chicken out of the freezer on Sunday and placed it in the fridge)
    • I cooked the chicken first in a skillet
    • While the chicken was cooking I chopped the zucchini and seasoned with garlic powder, onion powder, garlic salt, sesame seed oil and liquid aminos.
    • I also made the minute rice while the chicken was cooking
    • Once the chicken was done, I then cooked the zucchini in the same skillet that I cooked the chicken in.
    • Once that was cooked I then took the rice and added it to the same skillet I had been using along with some olive oil, sesame oil, and more liquid aminos. I also seasoned the rice with garlic and onion powder. When the rice was about done I parted the rice and made a spot in the center of the skillet and scrambled one egg in the middle. once the egg was cooked fully I mixed it in with the rice.

    Tuesday 4/7

    The plan was to make Honey Mustard chicken with small roasted potatoes. There was a mishap in thawing out the chicken and the small potatoes that I have been holding onto were well past the expiration date and growing things. So we all had loaded baked potatoes from the microwave. I was jonesing for a Chipotle salad and queso. I felt quite depressed since I wasn’t able to get one because of my paranoia right now. So no pictures were taken of these sad potatoes.

    Wednesday 4/8

    The honey mustard chicken was still a little frozen but was thawed enough to cook with. Like the teriyaki chicken, I prepped the chicken well before I thought I would post about it and don’t have exact measurements on the ingredients. I added the approximate recipe below. There was a mix up with our Walmart pick up order and we did not have produce to make a salad to go with this meal. So, yes we had only chicken and potatoes and no veggies.

    Final product! Not the best picture… but it was good and late.

    Honey Mustard Chicken

    • 5 thinly sliced chicken breasts
    • 2 TBSP yellow mustard
    • 2 TBSP stone ground mustard
    • 3 TBSP honey
    • 1/4 cup brown sugar
    • 3 TBSP olive oil
    • Garlic and onion powder, garlic salt, and pepper to taste

    Everything is added to a freezer bag squished around and placed in the freezer. I try to take the food out the day before we are going to eat.

    Oven Roasted Potatoes

    • 4/5 Russet potatoes peeled and diced into 1 inch chunks
    • 1 TBSP Roasted Garlic (The refrigerated kind)
    • 2 drops of Rosemary oil
    • A little olive oil mixed over the potatoes
    • Garlic and onion powder, Seasoning salt, and pepper to taste
    • Parmesan cheese to sprinkle over the top

    Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place potatoes on a baking sheet or baking stone. Add garlic, olive oil, rosemary oil and seasonings to the potatoes and mix. Then cover with foil and bake until the potatoes become softened. Remove foil and continue roasting until they become crispy on the outside. Once they are ready to take out sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

    Chopped and seasoned potatoes

    Thursday 4/9

    The plan this night was to make homemade barbacoa. The mishap on Wednesday made it so Ian was out shopping for groceries from late afternoon until 1:30 and by 7:30pm the crockpot barbacoa wasn’t ready to eat. So I made hot italian subs. Listen… they. were. so. good. Firehouse who?! They were better than any sub shop I have been to.

    Hot Italian Subs

    So. Stinking. Good.
    • 6 Hoagie Rolls
    • 1 1/2 lbs black forest ham
    • 18 pieces dry salami
    • 72 small pepperoni pieces/ 18 large pieces
    • 12 pieces of provolone cheese
    • 1 can sliced olives
    • 2 sliced tomatoes
    • 3 diced peppers
    • pepperoncinis
    • Mayo
    • Italian seasoning
    • Red Wine vinegar

    Open the hoagie rolls and layer the meat first ham, 3 pieces of salami, and pepperoni and top with two pieces of provolone cheese. Place in toaster oven for 3ish minutes until the hoagie is toasted and the cheese is melted. Add mayo to the top hoagie roll piece and add the rest of the ingredients. Top with a dash of red wine vinegar.

    Friday 4/10

    The barbacoa was finally ready. It was amazing. Again we ate late. And again not the best pictures… But trust it was amazing and the kids said it tasted better then Chipotle. A win! I used the recipe from https://www.foodiewithfamily.com/slow-cooker-copycat-chipotle-barbacoa-recipe/ She says you can use chicken, beef or lager beer. I went with a dark beer.

    We also made quesadillas in the toaster oven as leftovers the next day. Amazing.

    This week did not go as planned but that is pretty much the theme of 2020 so far.