Dinner · dinner in 30 minutes

Five Tips To Help Prepare Supper In A Hurry

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No matter if you love to cook or if you dread it, there are times  when we all would rather not have to mess in the kitchen to prepare supper.  Busy schedules, sickness, or a change in plans can all make it hard to pull a meal together.  At those kinds of times, it’s always good to have a plan you can fall back on.  Here are 5 favorite tips for a meal in a hurry ~

  1. Have breakfast for supper. Make omelets, pancakes or waffles.  Add some bacon and some fruit and you have a filling and fast dinner!
  2. Keep Canned Salmon in your pantry.  Sam’s Club has a really delicious canned salmon that is perfect for these Salmon Croquettes.
  3. Make small corn cakes in a skillet.  Make up a cream gravy to pour on top.  If you have cooked chicken in the freezer, you can add that to the gravy. 
  4. Add meat (cooked chicken breast or browned beef or ground turkey) to a green salad for a healthy and fast supper!
  5. Don’t throw those one helping leftovers away! Put them in freezer safe containers and label them well.  When you have several options, thaw them and let your family “order supper: from the leftover menu!  Everyone will have something different and you didn’t have to cook a thing!

As you can see from my suggestions, I believe having an extra freezer is such a time and money saver!  If you don’t have one, I’d strongly encourage you to consider it, if you have space for one in a garage or basement.  My suggestions concerning a freezer:

  • Buy an upright, rather than a chest style.  They’re easier to get into and easier to keep organized.
  • Buy the more expensive frost free one!  You’ll be really glad you did!!

Aside from carry out, what’s your best tip for getting a meal on the table on busy days?

With love from my country kitchen,

denise a

baking · Christmas · Fast meal · freezer

Tips To Help with Meals & Baking In December

 

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Busy days and home-cooked meals are a mean combination, aren’t they?  And what month is busier than December?  I was thinking through ways to provide home-cooked meals this month, and have come up with a plan so we don’t have to buckle under the pressure and eat out a lot or call for carry-out!  Here’s what I’ve come up with: Continue reading “Tips To Help with Meals & Baking In December”

Chicken · Fast meal · freezer · main dish

Getting the Most Out of a Deli-Purchased Chicken

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When was the last time you went to the grocery store or Sam’s Club and picked up one of these rotisserie chickens from their deli? Recently a friend brought one to me at a busy time and it was such a blessing!

Image result for deli rotisserie chicken

They are usually about $5 and are a great easy, delicious meal straight from the container. You might slice the meat and serve:

Potato Salad
Green Beans
Salad

It’s a wonderful busy night dinner.

However, if there are only two or three, you’ll have leftovers, but probably not enough to serve slices of meat again.  What do you do with the remains without wasting it?  I have a couple of ideas to help you get the most out of that $5 bird! Last week when I had that chicken, here is all the ways that it provided for us –

Chicken Salad – If you have enough white meat left, you could mix up the ingredients for lunch tomorrow!  This made for a delicious lunch!
Add:

  • White meat Cubes
  • Grapes
  • Pecans
  • Celery
  • Dressing – I mix together
    • Mayo
    • A little sour cream
    • Cinnamon

Served on bread or crackers, it totally transforms a rotisserie chicken into a whole new meal.

Chicken Pot Pie – You can use white meat, dark meat or a combination of both. It only takes 1 1/2 Cups of chicken – or you could use 1 cup and add more veggies!

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I make a low-fat version of Chicken Pot pie that is equal to any high fat version!

Don’t be afraid to alter the vegetables to what your family likes.  Changing that will not change its deliciousness!

Crust:
1 1/4 Cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup shortening
4-5 Tbl cold water

Mix dry ingredients.  Use a pastry cutter or fork and cut in shortening until mixture resembles fine crumbs.  Add water, 1 tbl at a time, until all dough is moistened.  Form dough into ball.

On a lightly floured surface, flatten the ball of dough with hands.  Roll dough into a 13 x 8 1/2 inch rectangle.  Cover pastry and set aside.

Filling:

1 cup slices fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 12 oz. can evaporated skim milk
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (or more) chicken broth
1 tsp instant chicken bouillon granules
1/2 tsp dried sage, marjoram, or thyme (thyme is my favorite!)
1/8 tsp pepper
1 10-oz package frozen peas & carrots
1 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken

Spray a cold medium saucepan with nonstick coating.  Add mushroom and onion.  cook and stir over medium heat about 4 minutes or till the onion is tender but not brown.

Meanwhile reserve 1 tbl of the milk. Set aside.  In a small mixing bowl gradually stir the remaining milk into the flour till smooth.  Stir into vegetable mixture in the saucepan.  Stir in the water, bouillon granules, sage, marjoram or thyme: and pepper.  Cook and stir till thickened and bubbly.  Stir int he frozen peas and carrots and chicken.

Transfer mixture to a 12 x 7 1/2 x 2 inch baking dish.  Place pastry over chicken mixture.  Fold under edges.  Crimp edges of pastry with a fork.  Brush pastry with reserved milk.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 30 minutes or till the chicken mixture is heated through and the pastry is golden brown.  Makes 5 servings.

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This pie is so good, friends!  You could even assemble it and pop it into the freezer for another day!

Now, at this point I had stripped most all of the meat off the carcass.  Was it ready for the garbage?  No!  DON’T THROW THAT CARCASS IN THE TRASH CAN YET!!  There’s one more GREAT WAY to use that chicken!

Chicken Stock – No need to purchase cans or boxes of this in the store if you have a chicken carcass in your fridge!

Here’s the recipe and method I use to make chicken stock. Let me add one more thought – I have learned that it’s even easier to make it in the crock pot so I don’t have to babysit it.  I do the very same thing, only pop it into the crock pot and cook it all day long.  The house smells amazing and I have about 8-10 cups of chicken stock when it’s finished! Look how rich that broth is!

chicken broth

I pour it into small baggies, then put them in a large Ziplock bag and freeze them.

You could also just cube the meat off and freeze it in small freezer bags ready for soup, enchiladas or quesadillas, 

The possibilities are endless, and also so convenient because the chicken is already cooked.  You know, you might even consider buying TWO rotisserie chickens just so you can make so many great meals so easily!

When was the last time you enjoyed a rotisserie chicken?  What else do you do with yours?

With love from my country kitchen,

Denise Signature 150 px