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.
January weather is finally here – It’s cold, it’s snowy, and it’s the perfect time to make a batch of homemade chicken noodle soup. And the best chicken noodle soup starts with homemade chicken stock.
I’ve been using this recipe for years – and it always turns out great. Full of flavor, with a beautiful golden color. This recipe makes enough homemade chicken stock for two big batches of homemade chicken noodle soup – and since it freezes wonderfully, you can have soup today any day of the week.
The Goose was home sick most of last week. He came home from school after lunch on Wednesday and was home the rest of the week due to a persistent fever and an ear infection. Thankfully, he was feeling better come Saturday morning and he was antsy to do some baking. He was in the mood to make some cookies. And I had just the recipe – Homemade Gingerbread Man.
Homemade Gingerbread Man
1 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons ground ginger
A few years ago I tried making braised beef for the first time. I didn’t realize that braising beef took a couple hours, and starting dinner at 5:00, with the expectation of eating at 6:00, was not possible. Fortunately, I had plenty of back-up dinner ideas at hand, so we didn’t have to wait until 7:30 to eat. Even better, braised beef tastes incredible when it has been cooked and reheated. So dinner the next night was already cooked – and it was out of this world fantastic.
2 tablespoons oil, either olive oil or canola oil
1 medium carrot, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1 stalk of celery, diced
Beef chuck roast (I usually use a 2 pound roast for the three of us)
4 cups beef broth
3 tablespoons flour (optional)
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.
My very favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner has always been the pumpkin pie. When I was a kid I’d get a huge slice of pie and cover the entire piece with Cool Whip. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I discovered real whipped cream. Not the stuff out of the can – the real stuff. The kind you have to whip yourself. And I was hooked.
Homemade whipped cream is really easy to make, takes just a few seconds to whip up, and tastes SO MUCH better than anything you can buy at the store. Best of all, you don’t need any special equipment to make homemade whipped cream. You can use a stand mixer, hand mixer, or even the whisk attachment on your immersion blender. You can even use an old fashioned hand whisk!
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’m the only person in my house who really loves potatoes. My husband can take them or leave them, The Goose won’t eat them unless they are covered in sour cream and bacon and I spend a lot of time thinking of different recipes to help convince them that potatoes are delicious.
They’ve both grown to like twice baked mashed potatoes, fried potatoes, mashed potatoes, and loaded potato bites. And now they like scalloped potatoes, too. And I can add one more potato recipe to my rotation.
Last week The Goose celebrated his sixth birthday. Since he didn’t have school that day, his Dad took the day off work the three of us, along with my mom who has been visiting for the past few weeks, spent it doing all the things that he likes. We went to Denny’s for his free birthday breakfast, we went to the movie theater to see Hotel Transylvania 2, and we ate Jet’s Pizza for dinner.
Now, for weeks leading up to his birthday, The Goose would randomly tell me all of the things he wanted on his birthday. He told me he wanted to go to the movies. He told me he wanted strawberry ice cream, and black olives, pepperoni and ham on his pizza. He also told me that he wanted ice cream that was served in a cake dish, like he’d seen on the iPad. And that required some work.