Ideas for salads in jars on simplebites.net

Crunch-crunch: A week of (make ahead) spring salads in jars

Rainy conditions and toe-tingling cool temperatures dissuaded any notions I had of going out this past weekend. Instead I donned Danny’s hoodie for an extra layer of warmth, and flew about the place, tackling my to-do list with vigor, a cup of tea never too far from my reach.

I managed to tuck a delicate chicken and coconut curry with lentils away in the freezer, accompanied by a dozen soft chocolate ginger cookies, and a few other goodies. Danny is plenty proficient in the kitchen, but he’ll have his hands full looking after our three kiddos when I’m away; the least I can do is prep a few meals.

I even assembled a batch of salads in jars, so they are certain to get a serving of vegetables at least once a day.

Layered salad-in-a-jar is another one of my favorite strategies for warm weather batch cooking. The salad dressing can be added right in the jar and when the ingredients are packed correctly everything stays very crisp and fresh.

All you need is a quick shake, a fork and you can crunch away to your hearts’ content.

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animal crackers-1

Stocking the kitchen for post-delivery days with baby

Now that I’m in the last few weeks of my pregnancy, I’m double-checking to make sure we have everything we need. This is our second baby, so we have a better idea of what to expect for those intense days and weeks after birth.

High on the list of priorities? Making sure there is a well-stocked kitchen to take care of our eating needs.

Whether you’re on your first baby or your fourth, chances are cooking is the last thing you’ll want to do in the days after delivery. Making sure you’re well-nourished, however (especially if you’re breastfeeding), is critical for getting through the tough first weeks.

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12 ways to help you eat well and spend less (recipe: Buttermilk Dressing)

12 Ways to Eat Well and Spend Less

Two long years ago a small group of keen food bloggers kicked off our Eat Well, Spend Less series, led by Jessica of Life as Mom. The series focuses on ways to feed our growing families nourishing and totally delicious foods while still staying within a reasonable budget.

Eat Well, Spend Less was created with you, the reader, in mind, but it has helped me immensely as the posts have been published over the months. The series has whipped my spending into shape and helped me to build better habits in the kitchen.

Since we’ve made it this far, we thought it was appropriate to take a look back at where we’ve come and the topics we’ve covered. Today I’m highlighting the best tips that I’ve shared since the series’ conception.

The points are brief, yet contain links to the full article should you wish to read more on the subject. And don’t miss my favorite new salad dressing recipe at the bottom of the post.

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How to make your own waffle mix

 easy homemade waffle mix on simplebites.net

Written by Danny.

Last month, during my winter vacation, Aimee and the kids came up with the sweetest idea: Daddy’s Day.  It was a day that I could use on my vacation to sleep in, read a book, get extra backrubs and the kids were careful to be extra polite and obedient – all with no strings attached.  Basically, the best day of the year.

It has become somewhat of a necessity in our house (due to the kids’ joy in doing so) to have breakfast in bed on any special occasion. On Daddy’s Day, I got to have waffles, eggs and bacon while still in my jammies.  I shared a bit with the boys (they didn’t ask, but those eyes just begged!) and then read a book in silence while lazily polishing off my delicious breakfast.

easy homemade waffle mix on simplebites.net

Last weekend, we served up waffles to Aimee. Thankfully, she is really smart and had prepared some of this Ready Waffle Mix for us to use. It’s pretty handy to keep around, so I thought I’d share the recipe for your next ‘Daddy (or Mommy) Day’.
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On batch cooking, plus a make-ahead & freeze cookbook giveaway

It’s a cozy Sunday afternoon and I’m sitting here watching the cold rain fall, thinking of all the times batch cooking has saved our family dinner time. Today, Danny is laid up with a nasty cold, and I’m juggling the busy household on my own, attempting to get ahead just a little bit for the upcoming week.

I’ve brought Danny a mug of hot ginger tea with honey, and am the afternoon has filled up with washing school uniforms, baking cookies for lunches, wrapping up homework, and making a M-F menu plan. Still, the boys want me to play a game of Sorry with them, the baby’s getting into everything, and oh!wouldyoulookatthetime? the Twitter chat I’m co-hosting is starting in 30 minutes.

I’m flying, and although I’m unsure if I’ll get half the things done I need to, I’m comforted with the fact that at least dinner is taken care of. Once again, batch cooking comes to the rescue.

We’re going to have a hot, balanced home cooked dinner, thanks to a hearty chicken & red lentil coconut curry I’m reheating. All that is required is for me to steam some broccoli and dinner is served. Maybe we’ll even taste-test the cookies for dessert.

No matter how busy the day gets, it’s really important to have us sit down as a family together for dinner; batch cooking is my time-saving tip to make that happen.

Today our Eat Well, Spend Less team of bloggers are talking about time-saving tricks in the kitchen – and highlighting Jessica Fisher’s new cookbook: Not Your Mother’s Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook, too! Read on for more batch cooking tips and a chance to win a copy of Jess’s book.

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