Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Streamlining


Sorry for the light blogging lately. Time and energy are at a premium these days.

I mentioned awhile back that one of my words for this year is "streamline". I've been analyzing just what takes most of my time and what I can do to streamline those things.

I spend many hours each day in the kitchen. Sometimes the food is not even that great, yet I find that I've been there for a really long time, cooking and washing dishes.

These little cups are a small step toward streamlining my kitchen time. Each child gets a cup with their name on it for the whole day. That means no extra washing cups, no kids getting multiple cups out of the cabinet, no mixing up drinks. (If you wonder where my child named Alycia has been you're to be commended for your astuteness. I don't have one. But the little neighbor is here so much she deserved a cup of her own too.)

Another thing I must do is find some great crockpot recipes. I've tried quite a few through the years, but most of them have not passed the husband test. Nevertheless, I think for awhile it's going to be a toss-up between real meat in the crock pot, or hot dogs...So the goal is to make the crock pot food taste great. Anybody have a recipe to share?

I also scratched out a very basic routine that encompasses the things that absolutely must be done every single day. We have to eat, we have to dress, we have to wash clothes, and in the process the house will hopefully stay in some kind of order. I also hope to take only the bare minimum of time off from school.

Finally, I'm moving the kids toward doing more on their own...Teaching them how to do small jobs, having the older ones help the younger.

5 comments:

Jen said...

Here's an easy crockpot recipe: 1 pkg boneless skinless chicken breasts, 1 bottle of your favorite BBQ sauce. Place chicken in crockpot (I've even put them in frozen!) pour sauce over top and cook: 4 hours on high, 6 hours on low. Shred with 2 forks and serve on buns. Delicious! I usually serve these tasty sandwiches with a tossed salad and maybe some baked potatoes or store bought potato salad. Very yummy! It makes a lot so you can have the leftovers later in the week or even freeze the leftovers for another week. I'll look through my recipes to see what else I can come up with that I know is a winner. I also have some great easy casserole recipes...I'll hunt around.

I was glad to see your posts. I know you're due soon, but not that soon...

Susie said...

Here's another crockpot recipe for roast lovers.

Add to the crockpot, 1 roast (or steaks or even stew meat) with 1 package of Hidden Valley dip mix. Add about a 1/2 cup of water and let it go on low for 6-8 hours. You could fix veggies on the stove and add them to the stew meat, use the drippings for gravy and that would be yummy, too.

Meatloaf works well, too. My recipe:
To one pound of ground beef, add 1 onion chopped, 1 sleeve of Saltine crackers crushed, and 2 eggs. Mix it all with your hands and shape into a round meatloaf. Squirt ketchup on the top or even dab on some horseradish if you like it spicy. Let it go on low for about 6 hours. About an hour before dinner, put some potatoes in the oven to bake. Easy peasy!

My Boaz's Ruth said...

I loved crockpot meals as a child. As an adult, I have not had great success -- to the point where I am about ready to get rid of my crockpot. Partly I think it is a matter of crockpots not working the way they used to. But for someone at home, that may not be such a big deal.

Dump Safeway Southwest Salsa, boneless chicken, corn into a crockpot. Let cook all day. Serve over taco-chips with cheese and sour cream. Yum.

Rebecca said...

I use Jen's concept with venison and it works well also (although I haven't tried to put a venison roast in frozen).

Right now in my crockpot: 1 large (started out frozen) chicken breast, 1 quart jar of homemade turkey stock, 3 diced potatoes, one diced onion, celery salt and ground pepper. I know that sounds like alot, but I did it in stages (put the meat and stock and seasonings in at 9, and the veggies in the next time I had time). Later I will add some frozen veggies and melted butter combined with flour. The leftovers will be put into a pie shell for chicken pot pie.

I use my crockpot alot. It's been more a matter of learning the cooking technique than of collecting recipes. I love hands off cooking!

Marcia Wilwerding said...

Boy, did this bring back memories. Though I didn't write their names on them, I also had different colored cups for the children. This color assignment ended up being the way the children discerned many of their items: towels, plastic plates, bins, school organizers, etc. Our daughter always had pink, Sam had orange, Jonathan had blue, and Andrew had green or yellow. A great idea!