Tag Archives: crock pot

Organizing Your Meals {Blog Hop}

meals

I used to dread dinnertime. For me, around 4pm is the hour that I want to throw in the towel and just quit being a mom.  Unfortunately, it’s also the time my kids start asking for dinner.  Why do they want dinner every.single.night? So, like all good moms, I check Facebook and see all the great dinners that all those “other” moms are making for their families.  And then, I feel inadequate.  Can you relate?

dinner

Lucky for my family, I’ve become a huge fan of slow cooking.  I use it all summer, too, for things like pulled pork and slow cooked mac-n-cheese.   I’m not much for menu planning but I will say this: when I do it, I’m so glad!  It makes my life so much easier!  Menus really only take about half and hour to put together, and VOILA! Your brain is free to do other things, like remember to take the toddler to the bathroom on the hour.

So, here are my three top tips for organizing your meals:

  1. Have a plan.
  2. Use your slow cooker.
  3. Enlist your children to help.  (See my chores post from yesterday.)

A few of my favorite recipes for slow cooked meals are:

Chalupa
Chicken Curry (Made Simple!)
15 Bean Soup (pressure cooker version)
Split Pea Soup

LUNCH:

If your kids are home for lunch like mine are, keep simple things around to make simple, healthy lunches.  We almost always have leftover dinner for lunch, so I like to make sure we have extra at dinnertime. Here are some ideas for easy lunches:

  • Quesadillas
  • Sandwiches
  • Grilled cheese and canned tomato soup
  • Leftovers!
  • Mini-pizzas on english muffins (a favorite at our house)
  • Anything pre-made from Costco (our kids like corn-dogs, which are not very healthy but great in a hurry)

Try making a menu and see if it makes a difference in your stress level.  Need a menu planner?  Download mine if you’d like and remember, keep it simple!  Find a few meals that you enjoy making and use them frequently if you’d like.  If you can make it and the family enjoys it, who cares if every Tuesday is TACO TUESDAY?

MenuPlanner

Download your free printable menu below—be patient, it might take a minute to load 🙂

tbm-mug-button-download

 

You’ve Got This,
signature-heidi

 

Read all of the posts “Organizing Your Spiritual Life Posts” on these blogs! And read all about the Blog Hop going on HERE!

deliveringgrace   lisa_blog hop piccie  raisingarrows    raisingmightyarrows   OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Heidi St John Guide to Daylight

Healthy, Yummy, Split-Pea Soup

Mmmmm.  Split-pea soup. It’s one of my favorite ways to make our Christmas ham last through the new year.

Normally, I use my crock pot. But this year, I used my pressure cooker—just to see how it would turn out.  I warned my family in advance that it might not be amazing but I decided to give it a try anyway. Hey, what are they gonna do?  They’re stuck with my kitchen adventuring ways!

Wouldn’t you know it?  It turns out that using my pressure cooker turned out the creamiest, yummiest split-pea soup I’ve ever made.  I was able to serve it straight out of the pot, without adding anything to thicken it.

If you like this yummy soup, give this recipe a try.  And let me know how it turns out!  I’ll also post the slow cooker version at the bottom for those of you who like slow cookers.

Split Pea Soup {pressure cooker version}

Serves 6-9

6 cups of water or broth (I used ham broth, but you can use chicken broth, too.)
Ham bone if you have it
2 1/4 cups split peas, rinsed
2 cups chopped celery

1 whole onion, chopped

Delicious and nutritious!

4 cloves of garlic, diced
3 carrots, diced
2 tablespoons organic, no-salt seasoning (from Costco if you have it)
pepper
2 bay leaves

—ham—  as much as you like.  But do not add until the soup is finished in the pressure cooker.

Instructions:

Put all in ingredients except ham into pressure cooker.  Set timer for 15 minutes. Allow pressure to come down on it’s own. This will take another 15 minutes or so.

When pressure is released, remove bay leaves and stir.  Add ham if you are so inclined. (I am always inclined this way if I have ham in the house!)
Salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with corn bread or salad.  Enjoy!

 

{slow cooker version}

as above, except: cook on low for 6-8 hours
Remove bay leaves
Add ham

Stir.  To thicken, I usually add a mixture of milk and flour that I’ve prepared in my salad dressing shaker).  I don’t honestly know how much I use.  I would guess it’s about 1/2 cup of milk and 2 tablespoons of flour mixed very well. You can also thicken with instant potato flakes, or cornstarch and water.  Be sure to mix the cornstarch well, one part starch to two parts COLD water.

Enjoy!

heidi