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Easy Meals to Make Ahead

Easy Meals to Make Ahead

With the cold weather engulfing much of the country and hitting Kansas with some sizable snowfalls I decided to make some family favorites to keep us warm, like Clam Chowder in Homemade Bread Bowls. This also seemed like the perfect time to pull out some of my easy meals to make ahead. Let me share some of my family’s favorite freezer to slow cooker meals.

White Chicken Chili is a great winter dish, with just enough spiciness to warm a person up from the inside out! We love it with either cornbread or tortilla chips.

https://ortsofsorts.com/2013/10/06/freezer-to-slow-…te-chicken-chili/

Another family favorite are these slow cooker Chicken Philly Sandwiches. I like to serve them with fries or chips.

https://ortsofsorts.com/2015/10/24/slow-cooker-chicken-philly/

I also made meatballs and put in the freezer to pull out and reheat for spaghetti and meatballs, as well as marinating some beef roast for upcoming Ramen Bowls.

Knowing that I can come home to dinner already made or easy to heat and serve is wonderful. Prepping meals for the slow cooker doesn’t take much time, but saves a great deal of time and frustration. These two are easy meals to make ahead.

Are you a fan of meal prepping?

I hope these family favorites will become some of your family’s favorites, too.

 
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Posted by on January 21, 2019 in Slow Cooker

 

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Shrimp Pad Thai

Shrimp Pad Thai

The excitement I felt about this food of the day dish pales in comparison to recent foods.  How does one compare Coconut Cream Pie Day, Crêpes Suzette Day, and Chocolate Truffle Day with National Shrimp Day? There is no comparison. Knowing that this might come as a let down to the family I did try to make an exciting shrimp dish; Shrimp Pad Thai.

Knowing the palates of my family I knew that this would be mild Thai, not spicy. There would not be many veggies in this dish, either, including bean sprouts.

Shrimp Pad Thai, like Shrimp Scampi, comes together fairly quickly. Like Scampi there are noodles to be cooked and added, but Rice Noodles take less time to cook. The rest of the dish is the prep of the shrimp and onion and mixing together the sauce.

As I was making dinner the family was intrigued. I have made many Asian inspired dishes before and have made a couple of Thai style dishes. This was one of a handful of times I have made Pad Thai and the first Shrimp Pad Thai.

When it was done and I was getting ready to bring it to the table I apologized to my family. It looked so beige. This was not an appetizing looking dish. I worried that the way it looked might reflect its taste. The Hubs asked why I was apologizing. I explained that I thought it looked hideous. He laughed.

Everyone else had taken a bite by the time I tried the Shrimp Pad Thai. I was pleasantly surprised. It was delicious. The entire family liked it. D3 thought it was too spicy, but the rest of us had seconds.

This easy and delicious dish is definitely going in the make again soon category. It’s quick enough to make for lunch, too.

What is your favorite shrimp dish? Also, do you make or eat Pad Thai? How spicy do you like it?

Shrimp Pad Thai

  • 8 ounces Rice Noodles
  • 1 pound medium shrimp (peeled and deveined)
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Hoisin
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ketchup
  • 1 teaspoon Sriracha
  • 1 teaspoon creamy peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced shallot or green onion white
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 2 large eggs (beaten)
  • ½ cup green onion (green)
  • ½ cup roasted peanuts (chopped)
  • Cilantro (chopped)
  1. Cook noodles according to package directions. Shake cooked and drained noodles well to separate. Set aside.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together fish sauce, Hoisin, brown sugar, ketchup, Sriracha, and peanut butter.
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat add oil. When oil has heated add shallot or onion and garlic. Cook until garlic begins to brown, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the shrimp to the skillet and cook until beginning to turn pink. Remove with slotted spoon. Set aside.
  5. Add the two eggs to the skillet and swirl the pan, gently stirring the egg. Without stirring allow the egg to cook for 1-2 minutes, swirling the pan occasionally. Push the egg gently to the side of the pan.
  6. Pour the fish sauce mixture into the pan. Allow to heat and then add the noodles to the pan.
  7. Gently toss the noodles into the sauce and add eggs into the mixture. Do not overmix.
  8. Add the shrimp back into the skillet and heat through, tossing gently to combine with all other ingredients.
  9. Add the green onion into the skillet.
  10. Plate about ¼ of the mixture onto a plate. Top with cilantro and chopped peanuts.

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2018 in Dinner Recipes

 

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Creamy Mexican Chicken

Creamy Mexican Chicken

Last night’s dinner was not something I will make again probably. I had gotten this recipe from an acquaintance who said it was the easiest meal in the world. She also touted it as delicious. When I brought it to the table everyone just stared at it and then glanced at me. “It’s Creamy Mexican Chicken Taco Filling”, I said.

It did not taste as bad as it looked, to be sure. Still, it was not great. Daughter Number Three asked me to never make it again. Apparently she does not want to try Creamy Mexican Chicken as a taco filling again.

Daughter Number Four ate her soft tacos and finished her sisters. The Hubs ended up eating three hard shell tacos that he garnished heavily with cilantro, shredded cheese, and avocado. I’m not sure I have ever seen him eat as much corn as last night. His tacos must have been very light on the meat.

Now let me tell you what happened. This super easy recipe with only three ingredients curdled. Yes, I said curdled. It looked like sour milk taco filling. There was nothing creamy about Creamy Mexican Chicken. It really didn’t taste bad but no one wants to eat curdled looking food.

Have you ever been given a recipe by someone and it did not turn out? Have you made anything in a slow cooker with cream cheese? I know there are dozens of recipes that call for cream cheese, so I’m wondering what went wrong. Maybe I’ll give this another try in the future, but not too soon.

Creamy Mexican Chicken

  • 2 pounds boneless (skinless chicken breasts)
  • 2 cups picante sauce / salsa
  • 1 8- ounce package cream cheese
  1. Put all ingredients in a slow cooker on low for 6-8 hours. Shred chicken and serve as filling for tacos or taco bowls.

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2018 in Dinner Recipes, Slow Cooker

 

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Sausage and Peppers

After work last night, I was in the mood for something just a little different for dinner. I picked up some red pepper chicken sausage, some dry orecchiette pasta and some fresh veggies. Sausage and Peppers would be a great easy dinner.

I sliced the chicken sausage and julienned some pepper strips, and sautéed them in a pan, while I cooked my pasta.

Meanwhile, I had the hubs clean some fresh asparagus, which I steamed in the microwave with a small amount of water. Truly the easiest way to steam asparagus is in the microwave.

When the pasta was done, I drained it and added it to my skillet of sausage and peppers. When it was heated through I slid it into a serving bowl, shredded some parmagiano over the top and it was ready to serve. In addition to the asparagus I served some fresh green grapes with my sausage and peppers supper. The main course was well received by the hubs, not so much by the kids. They thought the sausage was a little too spicy.

I still thought it was a really quick and easy dinner, and a little bit of a variety from our norm. I used a store brand of chicken sausage and orecchiette pasta. You may like another type of sausage or pasta.

I will most likely make it again, with fewer peppers and a less spicy chicken sausage.

I’ll be sure to let you know how it turns out!

Sausage and Peppers

  • 12 oz package of Italian-style chicken sausage (sliced)
  • 1 red bell pepper (sliced)
  • 1 yellow bell pepper (sliced)
  • 1 yellow onion (sliced)
  • 1 16 oz package orecchiette pasta (cooked)
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  1. In a skillet over medium heat brown the sausage on all sides. Add the sliced pepper and onion to the skillet and sauté until peppers are soft and onion is translucent.
  2. Reduce heat and cover with lid. Cook for 15 minutes or until sausage is cooked through.
  3. Remove lid and add pasta to skillet. Toss lightly to combine ingredients. Cook just until pasta is heated.
  4. Transfer from skillet into a serving bowl and top with Parmesan cheese.
  5. Toss to combine and serve.

 
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Posted by on January 31, 2012 in Dinner Recipes

 

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