Using Facebook’s “Save” Function – A Recipe Seeker’s “Must Have”

 I’ve been using the “Save” function on Facebook a lot – its easy to do and then you have a list of things that looked interesting but maybe you weren’t at home (ie – on a mobile in the bathroom) or didn’t have time to look at that moment.

We’ve all tried to go back and find that thing you saw 2 or 3 days ago – its impossible, and frustrating….but with the “Save” function it’s a click away.  Save it for later so you can read it in depth, save it so you can pull it up while you’re grocery shopping, save it to share with Mom later.  

Here’s how you use the save function:

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What’s For Dinner – Week of Jan 31, 2017

I have been terrible about posting my meal plans – but they’re so handy to look back on and if I inspire one person to start meal planning and budgeting then it’s totally worth the effort.  It also helps me remember what we had from week to week, and I can absolutely go back and mark out new things we tried that we either liked, felt “meh” about, or hated.  It’s good to have a reference point.

So this week is pretty standard – nothing too crazy – trying 2 new recipes – a Oricchette Pasta with Sausage, Kale & White Beans dish from my Cook’s Country (America’s Test Kitchen) One Pan Wonders Cookbook and a Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry recipe from Dinner At The Zoo.  Since we’re almost to the end of the week, and I’ve been horrid about getting this posted, I can report that both recipes were REALLY good, but I’d recommend low-sodium soy sauce AND chicken broth for the stir fry – mine ended up a tad salty.  Not inedible, and it was fine for my, but hubby said “Salty” and cleaned his plate….. so take that as you will.

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Menu Planning Made Easy

I love to plan my menus out a week ahead of time, and I’ve been asked for menu planning tips so I thought I’d share a few.  Planning makes grocery shopping and figuring out what’s for dinner so much easier!  I’ve employed a variety of tools over the years but have found a decent combination of products and services that keeps me on track.  I thought I’d share a few tips with you – you can use all of these, or just one or two – whatever fits your situation and motivation!

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Potato & Chicken Coconut Curry Recipe

I am, admittedly, a novice when it comes to Indian food.  Curry scared me as I’d had it years ago and it tasted terrible and was so stupidly hot it was inedible.  I sort of painted all curry with that same brush – and steered clear for years.  Then I tried a coconut lime chicken recipe that had a tad of curry powder in it, and I realized that not all curry is hot, and some curry tastes amazing!

So – I got braver today and tried a Coconut Chicken Curry recipe that I modified a bit and made more to our taste.  This turned out great!  I served with steamed rice, toasted naan bread, shredded lettuce, fresh tomato, and sliced red onion.  It was ah. mah. zing.

If you wanted to make this vegetarian, use water instead of broth/stock and double the potato.  It would taste great.  I had one chicken breast in the fridge already thawed so that’s what I put in here, but all potato would be pretty damn tasty as well!

If you feel the need – garnish with parsley or cilantro 🙂

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Odds & Ends: Chicken and Veggie Tortellini Soup

I think we throw away way too many leftovers as a whole.  Society has become such a “throw it away, buy new” entity – and it’s just laziness and lack of imagination that causes it.  When your fridge has a bunch of semi “meh” veggies – make soup.  When you have leftover meat, throw it in the freezer – when you make soup – pull out the odds and ends of chicken – add it in to your soup.  You can do the same with ends and pieces of vegetable as well.

I always have chicken stock in the freezer, so if we clean out the veggie drawer, the odds and ends of chicken, and add in our stock – we have Chicken and Veggie Tortellini Soup.  This one is a bit different than my other Vegetable Tortellini Soup recipe.  This one works really well in the winter, and as a week night dinner.  Just grab a package of refrigerated or frozen tortellini and you’re set.  Use spinach, kale or escarole – or don’t add greens at the end – anything works here!

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Garlic Honey Mustard Chicken & Veggie Tray Bake

I am a really REALLY big fan of one dish meals – in fact a recent Christmas present was a cookbook of one-pan dinners – from slow cookers to sheet trays and dutch ovens.  Really great for weeknight meals and easy clean up when you’re not really into doing a bunch of dishes.  This chicken veggie tray bake recipe if definitely one to put in your repertoire.

I generally get 2 chicken breasts and butterfly into thinner pieces – they cook faster and it’s more of a realistic portion size.  You can do fresh green beans, cauliflower or broccoli if you want in place of the Brussels sprouts – we like Brussels sprouts though.  I also use russet potatoes, but halved baby reds work too… really this chicken veggie tray bake recipe can be whatever you have in the fridge.  If you use broccoli or cauliflower, add it in the last 15-20 minutes of cooking because they cook faster than Brussels sprouts do.

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