I’ve grown lazier in my later years, due to a combination of waaaaaay too much work to do, hormone levels dropping with age, capability levels of children rising with (their) age, and a penchant for staying up late to have me time.
No worries; this is my food tip for today:
Buy stuff the kids can make and eat themselves.
Last week I recommended you purchase ingredients that can be used in many meals. While you’re picking those up, make sure you buy some pieces of simple lunches and breakfasts for the kids.
All my boys can make most of the meals I listed in my “Cheapest, Bestest” series of recipes; plus cereal, toast, sandwiches, Ramen, macaroni and cheese, and …chips when they’re snacking like squirrels and I have to remind them to make an actual meal.
Heck; I’ll even pick up Costco muffins, Gogurt, applesauce, bagels, Lunchables, and re-heatable frozen meals like burritos.
They feel proud for ‘making’ something and you feel relieved they’re eating ‘healthy.’ Besides that, you’re teaching them important life skills. Good job, parents.
Image by EdMontez from Pixabay
My children love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. It’s their standard fare for school lunches and snacks.
They are also in charge of making said lunches each morning. In order to help the process run smoothly, I keep all the materials they need within easy reach. In order to help me not have a lot of mess to clean up afterwards, I opt for plastics.
I’m not referring to BPA-free, recycled, overpriced sandwich and snack containers, either -though we do happen to have those. I refer to the jars of jam and peanut butter.
I recall a time in my childhood when my mother was bringing the groceries in from the car. I wanted to help. I grabbed a brown paper sack and began the long walk across our cement garage… only to have the edge of the bag rip in my hands. *CRASH!* It turned out that my bag had our newly-purchased jar of peanut butter in the bottom. Yes, it was good that the mess was contained. Yes, it was a waste of money and groceries because glass permeated the contents of the bag.
So stick with plastics! Save the world and your sanity and enjoy delicious sandwiches in the process.
Takeout is expensive, especially if you go multiple times and/or have multiple eaters.
Make a list of cheap, fast, go-to meals. You’ll thank yourself later.
My list includes:
- Pizza (frozen pizza counts!)
- Chicken on the bird (Costco whole, cooked chicken)
- Costco clam chowder
- Chili (sometimes with biscuits or cornbread)
- Taco salad
- Grilled cheese sandwiches
- Frozen burritos
- Ramen with vegetables (not necessarily made according to the package)
I live in a house of boys. My mini men do not have large appetites (yet), but we do run through a lot of bread.
As such, my first tip is to buy ahead and freeze your loaves.
Buy extra loaves of bread and freeze them.
My second tip is to keep bread loaves in the refrigerator.
Keep a loaf of bread in the fridge.
If you purchase the loaves and freeze them, they are often past the expiration date once you need to use them and will require refrigeration. Even if they are not, keeping them in the fridge extends their life and delays molding.
Bonus tip: I also keep all the bread ends and use them for French Toast.
Keep the bread loaf ends, or heels, for use in French Toast.
If you’re a better homemaker baker than I; heels may also be used for breadcrumbs, croutons, bread pudding, trails out of the woods, and stuffings.
Cooking Baking with Chelsea, our hostess will teach the class a trick to help with cakes that stick to the pan.
Our hostess, and anyone who has baked a cake, know that nothing ruins a birthday cake quite like the whole thing sticking to the pan and crumbling apart upon removal. If that happens, make cake bites or a parfait (we’ll have a lesson on how to make the most of baking goofs later).
If you’re planning on caking and don’t want your masterpiece to stay in its pan, I recommend waxed paper.
- Measure the shape of the bottom of the cake pan on a piece of waxed paper. Use anything that can make a mark on the waxy surface (like a pencil).
- Cut out the shape, aiming to make it somewhat smaller than the shape you traced.
Cut it out!
- Grease the bottom of the pan, on the inside.
- Lay the waxed piece over the greased inside of the pan and grease the new ‘bottom’ and sides of the pan.
Shortening it up.
- Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and bake as directed.
- After baking and cooling is complete, remove the waxed paper from the cake bottom.
Author’s note: I had quite a bit of edge-sticking when I peeled the paper off this cake. Next time, I will remember to put the waxed paper on the pop-out circle and then put the circle into the spring-form pan. That will keep the paper edge under the pan edge and prevent it from adhering to the cake.