It’s Taco Tuesday!

Taco Tuesday is my favorite dinner night of the week! (Not that I won’t eat tacos on other days; I’m not crazy!) Here’s what’s on the menu for tonight: oven-baked tacos, Mexican rice, and refried beans. I’m hungry already! Here are the recipes:

Oven-Baked Tacos (couldn’t get much easier…I use those shells with the flat bottoms)

Source: www.keyingredient.com

Ingredients

  • Ground beef (I use one pound)
  • Refried Beans
  • Taco Seasoning (see recipe for homemade seasoning below)
  • 12 Can Tomato Sauce
  • Cheese

Directions

Brown your ground beef and drain completely, then add refried beans, taco seasoning and about half a can of tomato sauce. Mix together and scoop into taco shells, (stand them up in a casserole dish). Sprinkle the cheese on top and bake at 375 for 10 minutes.

Mexican Rice

Source: allrecipes.com

Prep 5 min Cook25 min Total30 min

Serving: 4

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 12 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 14 cup chopped onion
  • 12 cup tomato sauce
  • 2 cups chicken broth

Directions

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and add rice. Cook, stirring constantly, until puffed and golden. While rice is cooking, sprinkle with salt and cumin.

Stir in onions and cook until tender. Stir in tomato sauce and chicken broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Refried Beans

Source: www.favfamilyrecipes.com

Ingredients

  • 1 can refried beans 
  • 13 c. sour cream
  • 1 Tbsp. Valentina hot sauce (I omit)
  • 34 c. grated monterey jack cheese (or a cheddar/jack blend)

Directions

In a small sauce pan combine the refried beans, sour cream, and hot sauce over medium-low heat. Stir constantly and when the beans are heated through (don’t bring it to boiling) remove from heat and pour into a glass pie pan or 9×9 dish.

Top with grated cheese and heat in the oven or microwave until cheese is melted.

Taco Seasoning (I use 1 1/2 tablespoons per pound of meat)

Source: allrecipes.com

Prep 1 min Total 1 min

Yield: 1 ounce

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 14 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 14 teaspoon onion powder
  • 14 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 14 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 12 teaspoon paprika
  • 12 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

Directions

In a small bowl, mix together chili powder, garlic powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes, oregano, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Store in an airtight container.

(Mostly) Meatless Monday: Recipes/Batch Cooking

(Mostly) Meatless Monday/Batch Cooking/Recipes Included 🙂

Today I’m making two big batches of soup. We’ll have some for supper, then the rest will be frozen in individual servings for later. I love soup any time of year. Tonight I’m making White Bean, Kale, & Carrot and Veggie Corn Chowder. I’ll also make a pan of cornbread because…well…cornbread!

Here’s the recipe for the White Bean, Kale, & Carrot soup.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons garlic minced
1 small onion diced
4 cups kale chopped
2 large carrots peeled and sliced
4 cups broth chicken or vegetable (I use veggie broth)
2 15 oz. cans white beans undrained
2 teaspooons Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

In a stock/soup pot, heat olive oil over medium heat.
Add garlic and onion; saute until soft.
Stir in broth, carrots, beans, seasonings, garlic and onion.
Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook until carrots are almost tender, stirring occasionally.
Add kale; cover and simmer for about 15 minutes or until kale is done, stirring occasionally.

Here’s the recipe for Veggie Corn Chowder (from 100 Days of Read Food)

100 Days Veggie Corn Chowder
Source: www.100daysofrealfood.com
Prep 15 min
Cook 15 min
Total 30 min
Serving: 6

Ingredients

3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons Whole-wheat flour
1 medium onion, diced
3 large carrots, peeled and diced
3 large celery stalks, diced
3 cups corn kernels fresh or frozen (no need to defrost)
1 teaspoon salt
cayenne pepper to taste
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups milk

Directions

1. In a large soup pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and keep whisking until the mixture darkens but does not burn, 4-5 minutes.
2. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and stir occasionally until the veggies begin to soften, 5-6 minutes.
3. Add the corn, salt, and pepper to the pot and cook, stirring, for another 2 or 3 minutes. (If using frozen corn, add a minute to the cooking time.)
4. Pour in the chicken stock and milk and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, until thickened.
5. Partially puree the soup by transferring only half to a countertop blender, then returning the puree to the pot, or by sticking a hand immersion blender in the pot and briefly pureeing for less than a minute. Ladle into soup bowls and serve warm or freeze in individual portions for another day.

And finally, here’s the cornbread recipe. I could just eat the whole pan right out of the oven. I heat one greased iron skillet in the oven while it’s preheating and use another iron skillet to prepare the cornbread in. Cornbread batter poured into an already hot iron skillet has the perfectly crunchy crust.

Grandmother’s Buttermilk Cornbread
Source: allrecipes.com
Prep 15 min
Cook 40 min
Total 55 min
Serving: 9

Ingredients

1⁄2 cup butter
2⁄3 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1⁄2 teaspoon salt

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 8 inch square pan.
Melt butter in large skillet. Remove from heat and stir in sugar. Quickly add eggs and beat until well blended. Combine buttermilk with baking soda and stir into mixture in pan. Stir in cornmeal, flour, and salt until well blended and few lumps remain. Pour batter into the prepared pan.
Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Organizing the Pantry (again!)

Organizing My Pantry (yes, again)…

EditHello. My name is Lynne and I am a food hoarder. 

Yikes. I was aggravated yesterday looking for something in my pantry and decided that organizing it yet again would be today’s project. I’m not sure why I have so much food, but man…I have a LOT. Maybe subconsciously I am preparing some unforeseen disaster. Seriously, though, I have ten (ten!!) bags and jars of rice! Rice! 

Plus approxi-mately eight boxes of pasta. And a basket of potatoes. And sweet potatoes. It’s a carb lover’s dream. 

I have an entire pantry shelf dedicated to canned veggies. They’re organic and all, but it looks like I’m expecting to never, ever find them at the store again. Ever. 



Please note that the stash of coffee does not qualify as a hoard. That just everyday sanity protection, so move your eyes along from that area. (Avert your eyes.)



Clearly – CLEARLY – someone needs to keep me out of the grocery store for an extended period of time. Someone could go for milk and eggs for me. 

Because in addition to the pantry, my freezer is full. As in, full. Why did I tell my husband that 72 waffles was not too many? I have frozen fruits and veggies to last…well, awhile. I also discovered three roasts, two pork loins, a ham bone, two packs of bacon, a pack of stew beef, and eight packs of chicken breasts. And here I was planning to hit the Fresh Market’s $2.99 Tuesday near sale in the morning. Oh. My. Goodness. 

I really had no idea that I had so much stuff. I’ve been going merrily along spending the money in my grocery fund envelope when I could have probably eaten from what I have and taken myself on a trip to the beach!

All that being said, I’m counting my blessings that I have food to eat. I’m also praying for some self-control. We need to eat from our pantry and freezer until they are depleted. I need to avoid sales flyers and the Publix app on my phone. 

Please…if you see me in a grocery store in the next month, take me by the hand – which may be tightly gripping the grocery cart handle – and escort me to my car. Remind me that I’m saving for a beach trip. If I tell you that I’m only buying milk, them you might just need to keep an eye on me.

I did get it organized, though. Here are some pics. 





Wonder what we are having for dinner. I might need to go…just kidding! We’re having leftovers!

Lynne

The Pantry Project 2.0

The Pantry Project. It’s really a weekly challenge but the word “project” sounds better with “pantry” so there you go. 🙂 I worked on this on Saturday. Probably spent about an hour total because it wasn’t too far gone so I didn’t have to take everything out this time. ~ Lynne

My pantry. I love it. I hate it. Sometimes at the same time. It’s pretty big and roomy. But one of these days I’m going to add the shelving I really want. There’s too much wasted space in there. Also, it is not close to my stove so I also (at my daughter’s urging) have a cabinet that IS next to the stove where I store things that are used more frequently. Once I figured out what I wanted next to the stove, I went to work on the rest.

If your pantry is a disorganized mess, you can do something about it. Now, I usually issue weekly challenges that require about 15 minutes a day to complete. When I work on my pantry, I usually just set aside an hour (it has taken longer – depends on how long I let it go) and get it all done at one time. If yours is just a little disorderly, you might only need 15 minutes to straighten it out. In my experience. how messy your pantry gets is directly related to how many people have access to it. If no one besides me ever went in there, it would remain nice and neat. That’s not going to happen so it’s gets messy. (Insert heavy sigh here.)

Unfortunately, step #1 in the pantry project is to clear it out. Yep, clear it all out. So you need a table top or counter top available to hold everything. When you’re taking things out of the pantry, go ahead and group like things together on the table. It will make organization easier when it all goes back in.

If in the clearing out of your pantry, you come across any of the following, please do not return them to the pantry. Discard or donate as appropriate, but don’t give them valuable space in your pantry.

  • Foods whose expiration dates have passed (Beans from 2010 – out!)
  • Kitchen appliances that haven’t seen the light of day since you put them in the pantry – especially if they’re still in the box or were a wedding gift that you didn’t register for.
  • Serving dishes that you never, ever use. Ever.

When you start to return things to the pantry, group like things together. Baskets or bins can be good for this. I have baskets for baking products (chocolate chips, brown sugar, etc.), chips, bottled items (cooking wine, oil). Dollar store canisters hold oats, rice and the like.

IMG_7253

 

Cabinet beside microwave/oven area

IMG_7268

  • Top shelf: aluminum pans, paper products, sodas, cake pans
  • Shelf 2: oats, rice, flour, griddle/panini press
  • Shelf #3: bins with snacks, basket with baking products, bread, cereal
  • Shelf #4: paper products, snacks, chips, bottled items

IMG_7269

Door shelf: large spice containers, broths, tea, coffee

So here is my sage advice for your pantry project. If you don’t have time to take everything out and devote an hour or so to this project or if you can work on your pantry shelf-by-shelf, then 15 minutes a day will be a good time frame and you should be able to knock it out in a few days. If you do like I did and just make a big mess of it, getting all done at one time may be the best idea. Just be sure you have that time to dedicate to it. You don’t want to take everything out of there and then leave it for days on end on the kitchen table. Well, I hope you don’t want to do that.

Either way, once it’s done and arranged to your liking, take the 15 minutes each week when you are putting away groceries to do a little “maintenance.” Put things where they go. Label the shelves/baskets/bins if you need to – or just want to. If I had taken the time when I got home from the grocery store even though I was tired, I wouldn’t have had a mess to clean up. Sigh. Lesson learned.

Happy cleaning!

Lynne

Monday, Monday…Challenge Day :)

Good Monday morning, y’all!

I hope you all had wonderful weekends! Mine was pretty restful so that was nice. Had a good morning with the kiddos in preschool at church yesterday morning. Didn’t get a nap yesterday but I did go to bed early. 🙂

My teriyaki chicken is in the crock pot. I’ll let you know how it turns out. It’s a new recipe for me but it sure smells promising.

I must confess that we did not get the porch painted last week. It’s been pressure washed and is ready…we’re just waiting for cooler temps. Supposedly, we’ll see some this week. If so, maybe dear hubby will get it painted. In the meantime, we’ll move on to what you see when you open the front door – your entry hall/foyer/entry way…whatever you call it. I’ll write that post later today. I’m off to work this morning.

A lot of the new folks (finally hit 350 likes – woohoo!) are from another page I follow and I’ve seen much about the pantry. The pantry challenge there is to inventory what’s in your pantry and make meals from that as long as you can. I post the link to that page in the comments section below.

I’ll repost my original pantry challenge this afternoon as well. It’s all about organizing your pantry/cabinets to make life in the kitchen a little easier.

Anyway…have a GREAT day! I’ll “talk” to you all later!

Lynne

I’m back!

Hi, everyone!

Happy Saturday! I am back after my “hiatus” that I took to rest and regroup. I feel like I’m getting back on track. (I hope!)

Looks like we have a beautiful weekend ahead of us. Do you have big plans? Hubby is at work, so I plan to spend the day reorganizing my kitchen. Hopefully, dear daughter will help since she’s the one who keeps on me about doing it. And, heaven help me, she’s been on Pinterest gathering ideas. I strongly suspect I’ll be guided to Pinterest and then left to my own devices. 🙂

Anyway, just wanted y’all to know that I’m here and (somewhat) rested and ready to get back to business.

I’m going to sit on the deck, drink my coffee, read my Bible and enjoy a few moments of quiet before the kitchen “makeover” begins.

Have a blessed day!

Lynne

P.S. You’re going to need a camera (the one on your phone will do) for June’s big challenge. (It doesn’t involve cleaning so don’t be scared!)

The Pantry Project

The Pantry Project. It’s really the pantry challenge but the word “project” just went well with “pantry” so there you go. 🙂

My pantry. I love it. I hate it. Sometimes at the same time. It’s pretty big and roomy. But one of these days I’m going to add the shelving I really want. There’s too much wasted space in there. Also, it is not close to my stove so I also (at my daughter’s urging) have a cabinet that IS next to the stove where I store things that are used frequently.

Not too long ago I had my pantry and cabinet clean. Things were nicely lined up. It made me happy. Since the beginning of the year, I have been stocking up on stuff as it comes on sale. Olive oil. Pasta. Lots of pasta. I had made one of those stocking up trips on the day before Valentine’s Day. I hate to shop and I was tired. So I just stacked everything on the table. I babysat my sweet nephew on Valentine’s Day. Are you aware that 7-month-olds do not care about whether or not your pantry is straight? They do not care one bit if there are boxes of pasta stacked on the table. They just want you to play with them. And it’s really hard to be motivated to clean out the pantry when you can get a little baby snuggling time in. Anyway, the time for Valentine’s dinner rolled around and well, we needed to EAT at the the table. So I madly and irrationally shoved all the stuff on the table into the pantry and cabinet. Order did not reign. No semblance of order reigned. I had to warn my family members to remove things from the pantry with care lest a box of spaghetti or ziti fall on their head. And I left it there. In that condition. Until this week.

I would love to tell you that I spent 15 minutes every day this week working on my pantry project. But I didn’t. I spent a couple of hours instead – all at one time. I realized that everything had to come out in order for me to arrange things the way I wanted them. So that’s what I did. If it had just been a little disorderly, I could have done the 15 minutes a day. But I had so much stuff crammed in there that I couldn’t put things where they belonged. So out it all came. Onto the table, of course. Then I decided what needed to be in the pantry and what needed to be closer to the stove. And I went from there.

So here is my sage advice for you pantry project. If you can work on your pantry shelf-by-shelf, then 15 minutes a day will be a good time frame and you should be able to knock it out in a few days. If you do like I did and just make a big mess of it, getting all done at one time may be the best idea. Just be sure you have that time to dedicate to it. You don’t want to take everything out of there and then leave it for days on end on the kitchen table. I hope you don’t want to do that.

Either way, once it’s done and arranged to your liking, take the 15 minutes each week when you are putting away groceries to do a little “maintenance.” Put things where they go. Label the shelves/baskets/bins if you need to – or just want to. If I had taken the time when I got home from the grocery store even though I was tired, I wouldn’t have had a mess to clean up. Sigh. Lesson learned.

Happy cleaning!

Lynne

IMG_2239 IMG_2243 IMG_2226IMG_2227