Living life in the carpool lane..

Posts Tagged ‘recipes

If you’ve followed my blog for a long time, you will know that after I got married, I struggled with finding effective ways of meal planning and grocery shopping.

Search grocery shopping and you’ll come across several blog posts about my struggles.

#thestruggleISreal

Here’s the new system I’ve implemented and it almost seems like something that should have been easy enough to implement from the beginning.

While planning the week out in my planner, I take a moment to write out five dishes that I think I can make for the week.  Why five?  Because I usually end up making more than we need and end up with leftovers that we can carry over into another night’s dinner.

I don’t assign a specific night.

Easy peasy.

Then, I take that list and shop accordingly.

It’s like a light bulb moment.  It’s a low pressure system.  I still get the freedom of cooking whatever I want, when I want, just based on the list of foods I set for the week.  Why did I make it so hard on myself before?

The only difficulty I have is picking the five meals.

To fix that, I am going to list ALL the meals that I have cooked, I can cook, or would like to try and cook.  As recipes get tried and approved, I will add them to this list.  Then, I will have a master list of foods to choose from so I don’t have to wreck my brain trying to think of five different dinners.

We’re on week three of this system and it’s been working.  Grocery shopping has been fast and easy.  Food wasting has been the lowest it has been in a long time.  This system also pushes me to really try those recipes that I have been dreaming of testing.

Looks like it’s time for me to resurrect the Joe, Party of 4 food blog!

What’s your meal planning/grocery shopping system?

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In the quest to find more foods that my daughter will eat, I found this great recipe for Baked Chicken Fingers.  Clicking on the link will take you to the website where I found the actual recipe.

I used it as a guide for my own chicken fingers and modified based on what we had on hand.

Here is the recipe, based on the link above:

  • 4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon crumbled dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Based on this recipe above, this is what I did:

  • 3 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon of dry Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

My measurements were only rough estimates.  I actually did things more “to taste.”   Always take a taste of the breadcrumb mix BEFORE adding the raw chicken. 

To start, I set the oven to 400 degrees to pre-heat.  I took the chicken breasts and sliced them into about 4-5 pieces, depending on the size.  I put them into a bowl and tossed them in the vegetable oil.  I made sure that the chicken pieces were fully coated.  Then, I transfered the chicken pieces into the larger bowl where I made the breadcrumb mix.  I tossed that around until all the pieces were coated.  I placed the coated chicken pieces onto a foil-lined, cooking sprayed cookie sheet.  I baked the chicken for 10 minutes, then turned them and baked them for another 10 minutes.

The wasn’t too crispy, but it did have a nice light coating full of flavor.  M, who doesn’t usually eat meat, ate one and a half pieces.  I served the chicken fingers with some pasta shells and M LOVED it. 

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Don’t they look so yummy???

Share some toddler friendly recipes in the comments!  I’d love to try them!

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M is currently all about the pasta.  She loves noodles.  LOVES noodles.

Every dinner time is like an episode of Chopped on the Food Network.  Will I get put on the chopping block?  Will my food be good enough for M?

A few nights ago, I passed the test!  She LOVED my dinner, she had three servings!

I made beef with brocolli and udon noodles.   I don’t use measurements when I cook, but I will try to describe the meal as best as I could.

I started off by slicing up some beef into strips.  I browned the beef with some olive oil and garlic.  After it cooked, I poured a can of chicken broth over it.  I seasoned the broth and beef with some soy sauce and fish sauce.  I’m sure you can substitute fish sauce for oyster sauce depending on your flavor preferences.  After I seasoned, I added the broccoli to start to cook. 

While that was simmering, I started to cook the udon.  I buy dry, organic udon noodles at an Asian grocery store.  I boiled it according to the directions on the packaging.  After the noodles cook, I rinsed the noodles with some cold water. 

After the noodles are cooked, I go back to the beef and broccoli.  I added cornstarch to the broth in order to thicken it up so that it becomes a sauce instead of a broth.  Once the sauce thickens, I tossed the noodles into the mix.

The sauce coats the noodles and it’s just so yummy!

M LOVED it.  Every time she’d take a bite, she’d say “delicious!” 

It’s those moments that make me so happy to cook for her.  I just wish that she’d do that with EVERY meal that I make for her…

Are there any recipes you’d like to share that are toddler friendly?  I’d love to hear them!


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