Last week The Goose had his very first snow day of the school year. He spent the morning at his Aunt’s house while I went to an appointment, and when we got home that afternoon he decided that he wanted to make a pumpkin pie. I was sure we had everything we needed – a pie crust left over from the last time we made chicken pot pie, a can of pumpkin, and a dozen eggs. But there was one thing I didn’t have: evaporated milk.
It was late in the day, the roads were still covered in snow, and I really didn’t want to head out to the grocery store with a moody six-year-old. Then I remembered that you can make evaporated milk at home – and I saved the day. (And the pie).
If it was up to The Goose, he would buy lunch at school every day. It’s not that he doesn’t like homemade lunches. It’s just that he gets bored with the same sandwich, vegetable, chips combo everyday. Sure, I change it every once in a while, with a Lunchable from the grocery store or some chicken nuggets in his Thermos. But overall, lunches were pretty much always the same.
But then I saw the Yumbox and knew that it would be the answer to all of our problems.
When it comes to menu planning, I’m pretty diligent about setting aside 10-15 minutes each week to jot down a quick list of meals. Doing this every week saves so much time and money (and it saves my sanity!).
But there are times when, despite all of the planning, all of the preparation, dinner just doesn’t come together. Whether it happens because I lost track of time, had an unexpected task arise, or just forgot to take a roast out of the freezer. And when that happens, I have a fail proof back-up plan: a rotisserie chicken.
Yesterday was Thanksgiving and we had an enormous turkey dinner. We had a 14 pound turkey, even though there were only six of us. Needless to say, we have a lot of leftover turkey. And while I do love a good turkey sandwich, come Friday afternoon I am usually tired of turkey.
If you’re like me, and you’ve had your fill of turkey leftovers, you need to check out this list of recipes. You’ll never look at leftover turkey the same way again.
If you’ve always made Thanksgiving dinner from boxes, mixes and cans but are longing to make foods homemade – from scratch – you’ve come to the right place. Preparing a fresh, homemade Thanksgiving feast is much easier than it seems. With just a little effort, you can get rid of the cans and the mixes, and serve a 100% homemade Thanksgiving meal.
My Complete Thanksgiving Guide has everything you need – including a menu, shopping list, timeline and recipes – to have a successful homemade Thanksgiving dinner.
When planning your homemade Thanksgiving, the first thing you need to do is decide what you’ll be serving. I typically serve the same thing each year – this way I know the recipes I’m using are reliable, the food will be delicious, and I know what foods I can make ahead of time. If you’re looking for some help deciding what to serve, my Thanksgiving Menu and Shopping List can help give you some ideas.
We’re heading to Cheboygan for Thanksgiving again this year and just like last time, I’m bringing dinner with me. Since my husband has to work all day on Wednesday, we aren’t planning to leave until late Wednesday night. Needless to say, come Thursday morning I’ll be tired, crabby, and in no mood to wake up at the crack of dawn to peel potatoes and snip green beans for our Thanksgiving feast. Luckily, there are plenty of things I can prep the day before. Leaving less for me to do on the big day.
Mashed Potatoes – Mashed potatoes are a Thanksgiving staple. Making good tasting mashed potatoes can be time consuming – especially when it comes to peeling and chopping them. This is why I always get them ready in advance. The night before Thanksgiving I peel the potatoes, chop them and toss them in a bowl of cold, salted water. I keep them in the fridge until the next day, when I’m ready to cook them.
I love to cook, so when I’m home I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. And when The Goose is home with me, he likes to be right there with me. He loves helping out in the kitchen, whether it is making his own dinner (he makes a mean turkey and tomato sandwich), or choosing a recipe out of his favorite new cookbook (C is for Cooking). He always tries to be helpful… and sometimes he actually is.
If you’re new to cooking with kids, here are a few tips to make it a little easier on both of you…
Sit down with paper and a pencil and number the lines 1 through 30. On each line write the name of a meal that your family enjoys having for dinner. Then, look at your list and arrange it based on logic. (For instance, if two of your family’s favorite meals are barbecued chicken and barbecued ribs, don’t list them back to back. Or if your family likes oven roasted chicken and chicken noodle soup, list them within a few days of each other so that you can used the leftover chicken for the soup.)
Like a lot of kids, The Goose doesn’t necessarily do back flips when confronted with a bowl of vegetables. It’s not that he doesn’t like them. The boy has been known to eat an entire tomato (or two!) for his afternoon snack, and is always asking to take cucumbers in his lunch. But, if given the choice between baby carrots or a pudding cup, I can tell you for certain which one he’d choose.
When the weather starts getting warm, my family immediately starts planning trips to the beach, playdates at the zoo and picnics at the park. Since tomorrow is expected to be beautiful – and it’s Fun Day Friday – it is going to be a perfect day to have a cookout.
Cooking and eating dinner at the park is one of The Goose’s absolute favorite things to do. And I love it, too. It’s cheap, there is very little clean-up, and it is easy – especially since I keep a picnic basket stocked with all of the cookout items we’ll need (other than the food, of course)! I just grab the bag, throw it in the car and head to the park.