Archive | May, 2011

It’s Ladybug Season

wow, this would have been a great shot if I got the whole bug in it

Yes, Spring is here, and so are the ladybugs.

 

For my bug-loving five-year old daughter, this is her most favorite time of year.  Let the ladybug round-up begin as my Brooke catches and keeps- as pets- hundreds of ladybugs like last year…. and the year before.

Brooke finds a passion for catching bugs at the age of three

 

She has every type of ladybug habitat out there, not to mention the ones she makes on her own.  Hey, where’s my tea steeper?  I actually found my tea steeper hanging on a branch in our yard with bits of grass in it.  Clever girl.

Ladybug

Brooke's First Ladybug of the Season

the ladybug was moving too fast for me to focus the camera!

Brooke's ladybug

No worries, after a few days I release the poor creatures back into the wild while she’s sleeping and explain to her the next morning that they had to go home to mom and dad for dinner.  So please, no letters from PETA, thank you.

 

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My Story – Toni Spilsbury

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Who Doesn’t Love Fried Chicken?

Well- besides my vegan friend- who doesn’t love fried chicken?

For subscribers to The Organized Cook, Ranch Fried Chicken is what’s on the menu this week and it’s a family favorite for me.

Ranch Fried Chicken by The Organized Cook

Ranch Fried Chicken by The Organized Cook

Doing something as simple as adding ranch dressing mix to the flour coating can make a classic meal like fried chicken something to talk about.  This week’s menu is all about the classics:

The Organized Cook Weekly Meal Plan

Kid Favorites

This week’s menu is both healthy and kid friendly with items like fried chicken, quesadillas and pot pie.  Making dinnertime fun for kids is the trick I find to help get them out of ruts.  Dress up chili with bowls of fun things for them to garnish:

Kid Friendly Chili by The Organized Cook

Kid Friendly Chili

Shredded Cheese The Organized Cook

Garnish Chili with Shredded Cheese

Goldfish Crackers The Organized Cook

Whole Grain Goldfish Crackers

 

And, for all you vegetarians out there…. stuffed pasta shells.

Helping Hands In The Kitchen

Stuffed Pasta Shells is another perfect meal that’s easy for kids to help.  My girls love to help me in the kitchen, and sometimes it feels like more work finding something for them to do.  At 7 and 5-years old, stuffing pasta shells with cheese mixture is easy and fun.  I enjoy sharing my passion for cooking with them.

Stuffed Pasta Shell by The Organized Cook

Stuffed Pasta Shell by The Organized Cook

Stuffed Pasta Shell by The Organized Cook

Stuffed Pasta Shell by The Organized Cook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reincarnating The Leftover

What to do…. what to do… with that leftover fried chicken.  Using a simple technique I like to call “reincarnating the leftover“, that leftover Ranch Fried Chicken- with a little help from my good friend, frozen puff pastry- is now reincarnated into Chicken Pot Pie.  Every time I say or hear “chicken pot pie”, I either hear that chicken from the movie Chicken Run say (in Brittish accent), “I don’t want to be a pie.”  Or, I (depending on who is around) immediately say, “chicken pot pie and I don’t care”…. I’m not sure why, but I can’t help it.

Chicken Pot Pie by The Organized Cook

Chicken Pot Pie by The Organized Cook

Saving Money on Family Dinners

This week’s Weekly Meal Plan will only cost you about $90 in groceries- that’s without sales or coupons.  I would love to hear back from my readers who cooked this week’s menu about how much they spent on groceries with this week’s shopping list.  Just leave a comment below, or email me at [email protected], or on Facebook.

 

Subscribe to The Organized Cook

It’s not too late to get this week’s Weekly Meal Plan.  Subscribe now to The Organized Cook.  Remember, you can cancel at any time, but you won’t want to- it’s that good.

The Organized Cook Weekly Meal Plan

 

 

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Family Dinners for Less Than $100 a Week

Herb Marinated Flank Steak

Herb Marinated Flank Steak by The Organized Cook

When I began writing The Organized Cook, my goal was to save as much time as possible in the kitchen.  As a busy mom of four,

Saving Time with The Organized Cook

Saving Time with The Organized Cook

one child with special needs, I needed to prepare dinner as efficiently as possible while creating healthy, delicious balanced meals for my family.

By creating a balanced menu each week using my special algorithm that reuses my time, ingredients and leftovers, what I found was that I was spending very little on my grocery bill.

Balsamic Chicken by The Organized Cook

Balsamic Chicken by The Organized Cook

After finishing The Organized Cook, I found that each of my Weekly Meal Plan menus will feed a family of four or five dinner for a week for about $100 a week- and most often less than $100 a week.  That’s less than what it costs to eat out just one night!

The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicate that families who eat dinner at home save 50% in dinner costs than families who mostly eat out.  Combine that savings with other techniques like menu planning through The Organized Cook and families can slash their food budget even more.

The Organized Cook is a monthly subscription that provides a Weekly Meal Plan including menu, grocery shopping list, easy-to-follow instructions and lots of time and money-saving tips.

The Organized Cook Weekly Meal Plan System

The Organized Cook Weekly Meal Plan System

 

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