...because we all have our motley moments!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Your Kitchen Tips for the Holidays

This weekend I made a huge batch of chili, and when it wasn't eaten completely I was faced with a dilemma--eat chili every day this week or freeze it for later and hope that I remember it's there. Bryssy told me to freeze the chili in sandwich bags so I could just heat it up one bowl at a time, and I'm convinced she is a genius. It's easier to defrost that way, we can eat it whenever we want, and it easily replaces the canned stuff. So, holiday kitchen tip #1, thanks to Bryssy, is:

1. Freeze individual portions of leftovers so that they can be used as single meals later when you're too busy to cook.

Now, back to the chili. Liz graciously gave me her White Chicken Chili recipe, and that is what I made. It is amazing! What's even better is that when I defrosted my baggie today for lunch, I realized that it would make a great burrito filling, too. Really, any chili is great for eating as is, filling burritos and tacos, and making yummy Mexican lasagnas. Holiday kitchen tip #2 is:

2. Chili is your friend and is very versatile. If your family likes it, keep it on hand to make a variety of dishes.

Kitchen tip #3 is up to you, and so is #4, #5, etc. How do you make meals easier during the hectic rush of the holiday season? Do you have any favorite go-to meals or ingredients? Let's hear them!


Mark said...


I always have 2 dozen eggs in the frig because it is the easiest protein-rich meal that my kids will usually eat in a pinch. I usually just break them into the frying pan and scramble in the pan. Add some cheese and cut-up veggies (on the side) and there's a meal! If I get fancy, I'll make some rice to go with the meal and serve it up for a family dinner.

Some Saturdays, I'll make egg salad so that it is ready to use for sandwiches on Sunday after Church. Add a fresh green salad and nice bread and voila - lunch!

I love the chili idea! I've actually had chili on my mind these past few days. I think I'll make it this week. I've got sandwich bags ready!


Lindsay said...

When I make my grocery list I always make sure to do a few regular meals with a few make is minutes type meals. For example, I might keep a package of hotdogs and buns in the freezer to pull out quickly if need be. Not something we always have but it's nice to have on hand when running from one activity to the other.

I also keep pre-cook ground beef in my freezer. I cook it a and freeze it, that way I can pull it out for Chili, tacos, or one of the many 1 dish casseroles that my mom has passed down to me.

I'll have to get back to you on other ideas. I do freeze in small batches already.

Oh and I need this White Chicken Chili recipe I keep hearing so much about. Candy made it the other day and was telling me all about it.

Donna said...

I love my sausage and rice casserole recipe. It was handed to us from Paul's mom. I modified the recipe to eliminate msg (in the dry soup mix) and switched to brown rice and our family LOVES it!

I have to admit that I have a favorite pot for casseroles. It's the Le Creuset dutch oven. It can go from stovetop to oven, so meat and veggies can be browned in it, I add the rest of the ingredients, put the lid on and slide it into a preheated oven. I love one pot meals and one pot...pots. ;)

Liz said...

Okay, okay, here's the chili recipe:

1 bag frozen chicken
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 packets low-sodium taco seasoning
4 cans chopped green chiles
4 cans cannelinni beans (drain 2)
2 cans navy beans (drain and rinse)

Combine all ingredients in crock pot; cook on high 5-6 hours. Shred chicken before serving. Makes a ton. Great with cheese, onions, salsa, sour cream, tortilla chips, corn bread, French bread, etc. Freezes great.

Rachel said...

You're right, Mark, eggs ARE a super food to have around--inexpensive and so versatile! They are really healthy, too.

Lindsay, there is nothing that slows me down more than stopping to brown ground beef, so freezing it already browned is an excellent idea.

Donna, I've never baked in my dutch oven, but I'm going to try it--the casserole you mentioned sounds great! What's in it?

Liz, thanks for posting the recipe! It really is one of the best chilies I've had, and it was so easy to make.

Thanks for the great ideas! Keep them coming! :)

Maria said...

Hey!!!!! Sorry!!!!!!!It was NOT Mark who wrote the egg comment, it was ME, MARIA!!!

Our email addresses keep getting mixed up. I have to figure out how to clear it out of the comment box.

:) Hee Hee!!!

Liz said...

Thanks for the clarification, Maria. I was wondering who Mark was! :)

Rachel said...

Me, too! I thought we had a new fan! So, correction, thank you MARIA for the egg tips! ;)

Bryssy said...

Rachel, thanks for calling me a genius! Obviously, you don't live with me. Maybe you could mention to my hubby sometime! :-)

Bryssy said...

Rachel, thanks for calling me a genius! Obviously, you don't live with me. Maybe you could mention to my hubby sometime! :-)