Monday, April 27, 2009

busy moms can use all the help we can get!

the garden is almost in full swing now, and already I'm finding myself very busy, and it's so easy to get overwhelmed. with gardening, children, school, cooking, cleaning and laundry... I'm finding (all over again) that i need to be very organized and disciplined in order to be a good manager of my home.

easier said than done, i know!

but, a few weeks ago at our MOPS meeting, an extension agent from Penn State came in and gave us a talk about preparing frugal, but quick meals. while almost everything that she mentioned i already do regularly, she did have a tableful of pamphlets to share with us. and buried among the shopping lists, food pyramids and sign ups for canning classes was a "template" for creating a casserole. there are 6 steps: the base (rice or noodles), meat, sauce, seasoning, veggies and topping.

i was intrigued, and have already created my own casserole, and have plans to try several more. i can see that in order for me to reliably feed my family healthy meals in this busy gardening/spring season it's going to take some preparation on my part. and this handy chart will certainly help!

rice (2 cups water, 1 cup rice) or
noodles (cooked)

9 - 12 oz. tuna or
1 ½ cups cooked chicken or
1 lb. cooked burger

¼ cup milk mixed with 1 can soup or
white sauce

½ cup chopped onion and/or
celery and/or
chopped green pepper

2 cups veggies or
16 oz. can veggies, drained

2 T. bread, cracker or cereal crumbs.

the basic instructions are to pick something from each step, and then just go for it. I've already made a casserole using rice, burger, cream of celery soup and peas. ( i would not recommend trying it yourself, however!) i have several possibilities that I'm thinking will turn out slightly more appealing...

noodles, burger, cream of tomato soup, salsa, corn
rice, chicken, cream of chicken soup, peas

with the simple addition of the 2 basic kitchen staples that they overlooked (tomatoes and potatoes) the possibilities can truly be endless.

and hopefully edible!


Annette said...

Nice and easy!

I now have in my computer a list of main dishes I make. In another document I have "tried and true recipes" that I have found online so I don't have to put them on a card unless I want to. Antoher document says recipes to try...which I don't want to do too often, but do like to once in a while.

HAHA! I just saw your poll!! Halirious!

Anonymous said...

If you come up with some winners, let us know. I have been known for a few disastrous casseroles due to just throwing stuff together. I am not good at it apparently. Some people have the ability to come up with great dishes on their own and I am envious of them :)

Great ideas!!!!

Anonymous said...

I just made your sweet potato pork skillet for supper. I used pork loin like you did. WOW! It was so delicious. Nick said, "You can make this ANY TIME!"


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