9 Tips to Successful Menu-Planning

Would you be jealous if you knew that I have a magic half hour? It magically makes my food and gas bills shrink, my family healthier, and my life less stressful. Don’t you wish you had that magic half hour, too?

The good news is that you do. All you have to do is use it.

That magic half hour is for menu planning. By planning ahead for the week I reduce the number of trips to the grocery store, avoid last-minute fast food dinners, and totally skip over the hour of doom (you know, the hour before dinner is due on the table and you stand looking in the refrigerator hoping to be able to produce something edible in 40 minutes from slimy lettuce, cottage cheese, and spicy barbecue sauce).

Here’s how it’s done in my home: [Read more…]

Simplify Dinner with a One-Pot Meal

One-pot meals are like the footie pajamas of the family table; cozy, familiar, and easy to throw on. They offer the pleasure of home cooking assembled with little fuss and minimal clean-up, and nearly always contain a starch, protein and vegetable all rolled into one happy dish.

One-pot meal defined

Most cultures have their version of the one-pot meal. The Italians stir up creamy risotto, the Spanish steam fragrant paella and the French serve a perfect cassoulet, to name but just a few. Versions of this dish span the globe from nearly every ethnicity, the defining factor is in its name: it requires only one pot. That pot may be a wok, a Dutch Oven, a skillet or tagine, but everything is prepared in that one vessel and the melded flavors combine to produce something extraordinary. [Read more…]

Weekend Link Love (and Giveaway Winner!)

There were over 1600 entries for our blogwarming basket giveaway and over 6200 entries over our entire Simple Living Media’s  launch ‘Week of giveaways’. You really know how to sweep us off our feet!

A warm thank you to all who participated in the giveaway. You comments will be very helpful as I lead Simple Bites into this new year.

Let’s get to the big announcement shall we? I’m very happy to congratulate……. [Read more…]

How to Prevent Kitchen Injuries

Welcome to the very first post in our Cooking School series. Here you will find tips and tricks on a wide variety of subjects from cooking techniques to basic knife skills, tool selection and tips on how to identify quality ingredients.

You don’t have to attend culinary school to be a whiz in the kitchen; however, there is a lot to be learned from the professionals. Whether you are a beginner cook or have been tending the stoves for decades, this series will both boost your confidence in the kitchen and inspire you to try new things.

Welcome! Tie on your apron and sharpen those knives–no wait! Read this post first, then reach for your knife. [Read more…]

Menu Planning 101

The greatest thing about menu planning is that it takes the guesswork out of an already busy week. No one wants to be looking in the refrigerator at 5 o’clock at night, peering over every occupant, wondering what to make for dinner, again.

Planning your meals out allows you to know exactly what is coming. Having a big roast on Monday? Maybe take it out of the freezer on Sunday evening, allowing it to defrost in the refrigerator overnight. Not coming home until later in the evening on Tuesday? No-cook prawn salad will be waiting when you get there.

Get Started

You don’t need any fancy gizmos, gadgets, online tools or daily e-mails to get started with menu planning. The easiest first step is to locate a white board with attached corkboard and some erasable markers. [Read more…]