Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Family Taco Night With Old El' Paso and a Contest - #LMDConnector -

I love Mexican food be it the authentic food in Mexico or Old El Paso.  I grew up eating tacos and want to continue that with my children.  Old El Paso has come out with some new products sure to please the whole family on taco night.  The hot and spicy fajita kit, extra mild super tasty hard taco kit and the mild taco seasoning.  I receive the goodies pictured to try them for myself.

For our family taco night we made the extra mild super tasty tacos.  My kids are still young and not too keen on spicy foods so the new mild kit and seasoning is perfect for us and the whole family enjoyed it.  My kids can't eat the shells yet so their dinner more resembles a taco salad but they sure loved the flavor of the ground beef.  My tacos include cheese, lettuce and tomatoes.  I liked that the flavor packet for the meat is a sauce which makes it easier to blend in and  I also really enjoyed the sour cream seasoning. It really adds a nice tangy taste to the tacos.

Visit the Life Made Delicious facebook page and grab yourself a $1 off coupon while they last and try some of the new flavors for yourself.

One of my lucky readers will win the same package of goodies shown above worth $50.  Just leave me a comment whether or not your family prefers hot or mild when it comes to tacos.  Contest is open to Canadians only and closes on Sept 20th, 2012.

Disclosure - I am participating in the Life Made Delicious Ambassador Program by Mom Central  Canada on behalf of General Mills.  I received compensation as a thank you for participating and for sharing my honest opinion.  The opinions on the blog are my own.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Toddler Lunches - Muffins with Cheerios!

My kids are one and almost three so I have a couple years before worrying about making school lunches though I still find lunchtime the hardest meal to make.  I don't want to make something that's time consuming as I already spend enough time in the kitchen making dinner and I don't want them having leftovers everyday.

I work so I came up with a list of lunch ideas for my husband and/or mother in law to feed the kids that's quick and easy though it still gets a little boring so I like to make things once is a while like banana bread or muffins for a change of pace.

My kids love Cheerios and would eat them everyday for breakfast and snacks if we let them so I decided to check out the Life Made Delicious website for recipes with Cheerios and came across the Choco Chip-Applesauce Muffins.  The recipe uses crushed cheerios and has little sugar and oil with plenty of healthy applesauce so they're perfect for moms too.

They were quick and easy to put together which is very important when you're a busy mom so  I made them after the kids were in bed so they'd be ready for lunch the next day.  With a glass of milk, cut up fruits and veggies and cottage cheese these muffins made a delicious lunch and both kids enjoyed them.  I really liked the crunch the cheerios added to the muffins and the added sweetness of the mini chocolate chips.  It was nice to have something other than boring peanut butter and jam sandwiches which my two year old would eat everyday!

Disclosure - I am part of the Life Made Delicious blogger program and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group.  The opinions on this blog are my own.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan

1.  Garden Bounty Beef - easy good slow cooker meal
2.  Tuna cakes
3.  Mexical Special - can't find online
5.  Veggie Lasagna - can't find the exact recipe but it's a basic lasagna minus the meat

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Why Meal Plan??

I have been meal planning for years and I don't really know any other way anymore.  I don't understand how people don't meal plan for the week.  I do it to save time and money, take all the guesswork out of "what's for dinner?", make good use of the food I have in the kitchen and to ensure my family has homemade healthy meals to eat.  

I don't really like cooking and never really did but I find that if I know what's to be made and have all the ingrediants on hand then it's not such a daunting task.  Opening cupboards and waiting for food ingredients to jump out at me doesn't work very well.  Quite often one or two items will be missing or stuff that's not used will go bad if a meal plan isn't done.

On Sunday nights I'll quickly scan the cupboards and freezer and try and base some meals on what kinds of meats or canned/dry goods I have already available.  Vegetables can be added to almost any meal to prevent spoilage and Ill often "tweak' recipes based on what veggies I have on hand.  I only plan for dinners as breakfast is usually one of three things (waffles, toast or cereal) and lunch is usually leftovers or from a set "lunches for the kids" list I have on the fridge.  That and I work so I"m not home for most breakfasts and lunches.  I find the recipes I"ll be using and move them to the front of my recipe binder than write the shopping list with quantities needed and whether or not I have a coupon for the item.  While doing this I also scan the weekly flyers looking for great deals.  Monday morning or afternoon my two year old and I head to the store and do the shopping.

This week we're going camping so that's reflected in the meal plan:

1.  Shepard's Pie - so many variations of this and I don't follow a recipe.  I do the basic protein (usually ground chicken or beef), veggies on top of that (usually frozen corn, peas or green beans) then a mashed potatoe/cauliflower blend and topped with cheese and baked in the oven 
2.  Mustard Chicken and Summer Squash - from a recipe book and can't find either one
3.  Tuna Casserole - another one with wide variation using veggies, cream soup and pasta or egg noodles and topped with cheese then baked
4.  Potato Salad - for camping
5.  Hot dogs - camping
6.  Frozen spaghetti sauce and pasta - a quick camping dinner

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Weekly Meal Plan

A few days late due to a busy week but here's what we're cooking up in the kitchen:

1.  Hamburgers - trying out the new barbecue
2.  Chicken nuggets and scalloped potatoes - from a box, quick and easy on a busy night
3.  Slow cooker Chicken Pot Pie - can't find the exact recipe but it involves chicken, carrots, potatoes, onions, peas, 2 cans of cream soup, chicken bouillion and some spices.  There are many variations but it's so easy to throw together in the morning and be done.
4.  Tuna Cakes - I've had these before but I want to try them for the kids as an easy lunch or quick dinner.

I did not have to spend too much on groceries this week as I had a lot of stuff in the freezer and pantry and as working on using stuff up.