Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Crockpot Freezer Meals

I'm liking the idea of crockpot dinners more and more lately, as dinnertime seems to get crazier and crazier around here. And what better than crockpot freezer meals, prepared in advance?!

I stumbled across this website with a long list of crockpot freezer meal recipes. So far my family has taste-tested two of the recipes (Mongolian beef - mixed reviews, and Applesauce BBQ Chicken - big hit). Looking forward to trying lots more in the coming weeks!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Crispy Orange Beef with Broccoli

This recipe looked so delicious I had to try it :)

Here is the link to the original recipe:


I decided to tackle this meal while my boys were napping, so unfortunately I didn't get to serve it immediately (I stored the beef and broccoli in the fridge and left the rice cooker on warm until dinnertime) so the beef lost some of its crispiness. However it was still SO DELICIOUS and extremely flavorful!

The recipe called for some basic ingredients that we already had on hand - soy sauce, garlic, rice wine vinegar, sugar, rice, cornstarch, and frying oil. I bought broccoli florets, an orange (for the "zest"), frozen OJ concentrate, fresh ginger, and sirloin.

The sauce called for garlic, orange zest and freshly grated ginger, among other ingredients. I had never bought fresh ginger before, nor had I grated it but let me tell you the smell was DELICIOUS, especially combined with the orange peel.

I am always intimidated by frying anything... however, I am learning to use a splatter screen in the process so I don't get burnt by hot oil and so my stove top doesn't become a complete greasy disaster in the process.

 I used peanut oil for frying the beef, and it actually went pretty smoothly. The cornstarch coating made the beef crispy and delicious.

 Overall I'd say the prep and cook time for me took about 90 mins (about double what the recipe says... pretty typical for me the first time I make anything new). However the flavor was amazing! Honestly I liked this better than the same dish at most take-out restaurants. I'd definitely recommend trying this if you have an hour or two of time to invest!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Turkey Week

 This Thanksgiving is special for me because it will be the first Thanksgiving that I've ever hosted Thanksgiving dinner at my house and also done the legwork - meal planning, cooking, etc.

Last year I had just had my second baby and so my parents came to our house and my wonderful mother cooked everything. The year before that my in-laws were here and my wonderful mother-in-law cooked everything (I'm a lucky girl, aren't I?!)

Over the past year, though, I have really worked on my cooking and meal planning skills and so this Thanksgiving I told my parents that I would be cooking. Granted I bought jar gravy, bag stuffing, and canned pumpkin... but I will still be mixing ingredients and producing an edible (hopefully) dinner.

Give thanks to the Lord for He is good; His love endures forever.

Turkey Handprints

It was rainy this morning and the perfect weather for another Thanksgiving craft with my 2 year old. Turkey handprints are as basic as crafts get, but my son has a current obsession with tracing things so it worked out nicely.

We simply traced his hands, added beaks and feet, and colored in the "feathers." I cut our turkeys out while he painted a background paper in fall colors.

 And voila!