A few secret weapons…
Enamel Cast Iron Dutch Oven
I picked this up at yard sale for $10 (yeah), and it is a cooking GAME CHANGER. If you have Kohl's cash/coupons/see it on sale, get one (or dream big and plan well for Le Creuset). Everything I make in this thing comes out ridiculously good.
Kitchen aid stand mixer
Aside from the obvious baking I use it for, it shreds chicken like no other. Put chicken in warm with the paddle attachment and yay! Perfectly shredded chicken.
Better than Boullion
Confession--I use this in almost every soup that I make when getting the base going. It is SO good, and not a nutritional train wreck. I keep a chicken and a beef jar in my fridge at all times. But don't buy it from Amazon. It's about $4-$5 at Publix/Kroger.
Okay, the successes:
*And these are all iPhone pics, sorry about the quality.
|Look at all the color on that plate!|
Cranberry stuffed french toast
|I need more of this right now.|
Cast ironmaking an appearance! My roux wasn't perfect (I didn't want to use a lot of butter so it suffered), but man this stuff was good.
Chicken Pot Pie (CPP)
CPP has always intimidated me, but no more. This was SO easy. I boiled and shredded a chicken breast with salt, pepper, and oregano, then mixed the chicken with corn, peas, lima beans, and a can of reduced sodium/no fat cream of chicken soup, made up my own bisquick (if I was using the soup I had to do what I could to salvage the rest), bake at 400 and BAM. Happy parties all around.
Lunch Menu: Jingle juice, spinach artichoke dip (easiest to make, tastiest to eat), shrimps, and sugar cookies.
Dinner Menu: Honey baked ham, crescent rolls, homemade mac-n-cheese, homemade mashed potatoes, green beans, and peas. Mint brownies for dessert.
I'm not the biggest mashed potato fan, but I am the biggest mac-n-cheese fan (see portion on my plate in comparison to portion of mashed potatoes). Since I made, you know, family sized portions for two people (go figure!), I am going to freeze and use the excess potatoes in the future on a turkey shepherds pie, and the mac-n-cheese I'm going to mix with tuna and peas into a casserole. The mint brownies will be gifted at work.
...and these menus are why I ran 8 miles on Christmas Day.