Friday, September 12, 2008

Time Saving Tips for Dinner

Time savings tips for dinner timeBy: Debbie Madson
Many families are in a hurry to get dinner on the table and the quickest resort seems to be eating out or ordering in. When it comes to meals, preparation is important and can really save you money.One of the key factors to successful meals is to have an organized kitchen. This will help you to get meals done quicker when everything is in its place and kitchen items are easily accessible. Organize your kitchen in stations to ease in baking and preparing meals. Place all baking items in a cupboard next to the mixing bowl. Place serving spoons, spatulas and serving dishes close to the stove in a cupboard. For serving utensils a crock or jar on the counter makes for easy access.After grocery shopping do any prep work that you will need through the week. Cut carrots and celery in sticks and store in a bowl of water in the fridge. Even onions can be diced and stored for later use. Cheese can be grated and sauces made ahead of time.When planning your meals for the week, plan for making extra. If you make a little more when cooking it can be frozen for later meals or lunches to go. Find recipes that are freezer friendly and double them to use for another busy night.The crock pot can be a great help when in a hurry. Prepare your dinner in the morning and cook on low throughout the day. There is little work that needs done so these meals are great for nights when you have very little time. You can also buy crock pot liners or line your crock pot with tin foil for easier clean up.Your family dinners don't have to be lacking in flavor, excitement or fun. Plan ahead and you will save money and time in the long run.
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Double Duty Pork Roast

2 lb pork roast (boneless) on sale for 1.99 lb alot!
Season with salt and pepper
Whatever other seasoning fit the taste of your family
I like to cook it in salsa!! I just pour about half a normal size jar in with it.
Slice up some potatoes and put them in.
The salsa adds alot of flavor to the potatoes.

I cook this in a crockpot. It is best to start it early in the morning and cook on low all day. You can speed it up by cooking on high.

Serve with corn or green beans.

Night #2

Now this is the night my family really likes it. Sometimes I skip serving it from the crockpot. I simply take it out of the crockpot and devide it into 2 nights servings put one in the freezer.

1/2 of the pork from the crock pot. crumbled
1/2 large onion chopped

I take the pork roast and shred it. This is easy when you cook it in the crock pot.
Spray large frying pan with non stick spray. Ad pork to pan dab with some of the smart balance butter. Ad onion. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. I fry it all together until the meat starts to get a little brown and crispy.

Serve on hamburger rolls.
Serve with bagged salad, and baked beans!!

Hot Wings!!

4lbs chicken wings (you can either cut your own or buy the frozen sections, thaw first!)
1 12oz bottle Texas Petes Hot Sauce (or whatever brand you like)
3tbl spoons Smart Butter
about 4 shakes of Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce (depending on your preference)
2 tbl sp Honey
chilli powder
Crushed Red Pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Stean wings for about a 1/2 hour. (this helps remove some of the fat) While wings are steaming sprinkle them with the chilli powder and crushed red pepper. If you like them hot go to town! for milder just gently dust them.

While they are steaming in a saucepan mix all ingredients. Bring just to a boil lower heat and simmer for about 5 minutes (make sure butter is melted and mixed).

Put wings in sauce and mix around. Completely coat them. You will have to do this a few at a time.

Arrange wings single layer (this is important for crisping) in baking pan. If you have a rack for your baking pan use that. bake at 350 degrees for half hour. Remove from pan and put them back in the sauce, again completely coat. put the wings back in the baking pan and roast for another half hour. At this point they are cooked. Now if you want them crispier remove them, sauce them up again and return to the oven for another half hour. Do not pour the remaining sauce in the baking pan. This would make crisping very difficult.

This is a time consuming recipe however the results are well worth it!! My husband loves hot wings and he says these are the best he has ever had!! When he doesn't like something he simply does not comment, if it's just so so he says this is good. When he raves he really does love it!!