Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tips Tuesdays: Cooking Tips

My biggest cooking tip for any working mother out there is to host a meal swap with friends!!

Every month since October, I have participated in a meal swap with some of my friends. We usually have about 5-7 people every month and we always have so much fun swapping meals and talking. Here are some of the guidelines for our swap:

1. Every person is responsible for cooking 1 meal for every single member of the meal swap. (For example: If there are 6 participates, you make 1 meal, six different times.) Once the meal is prepared, the meal is frozen until the meal swap.

2. The meal needs to feed 3-4 people. (We use the small square freezing pans and these work great!) If you have larger families, you may want to use a larger pan.

3. We try to spend $25 or less on the meal that we cook. (If there are 7 participates, then each meal should cost: $3.57 each).

** We all enjoy doing this because it cuts down on the time that we have to cook once we get home from work. Plus, with a small toddler at home, I can now enjoy more time with him instead of spending my time in the kitchen. And we also get to try new meals instead of having the same old meals over and over again. It's a win win situation!!

Here are a few of the meals that we have enjoyed over the past few months:
Poppyseed Chicken, Baked Ziti, Chicken Spaghetti, Chicken Lasagna, Mexican Lasagna, Mexican Cornbread Casserole, BBQ Pork Meat, King Ranch Chicken, Taco Soup, Ham and Hashbrown Casserole, French Toast, Tortilla Soup, and Many more!!

Other Cooking Tips:

1. Turn 1 Meal into 2 Meals:
My husband is not a fan of leftovers, therefore, when cooking a casserole I try to make an extra casserole to put in the freezer. That way we get 2 meals out of 1 and we don't end up throwing away leftovers the next day.

2. Keep Chopped Onions in the Freezer.
I have found that this saves money and time!! So many times before, I would throw away onions that were hardly used. Now, I just keep them in the freezer chopped up and they are great for pizzas and casseroles.

3. Use your Crock-Pot!!
I use my crock-pot at least once a week. I love just throwing ingredients in there during the morning and then coming home to a cooked meal.
Some of our favorite meals in the crockpot are:

Cream Cheese Chicken
Chicken and Noodles
Roast, Potatoes and Carrots
Mexican Burritos
Chicken Tacos

Head over to Lambert's Lately to see more Cooking Tips!!!

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