Saturday, August 8, 2009

My little tips and tricks...

In my 7 years of being married and 3 years of being mom (not to mention to being an aunt to 4 nieces and a nephew the oldest being 8 and youngest is 4 months!) I've learned a few little tricks and tips to save money, cook for picky eaters, raise my children, and make life just a little easier so here's some things you might want to try:

1. You can freeze bread. If bread is on sale at the store one week, buy a few extra loaves and stick them in the freezer. My family doesn't eat a lot of bread and it
usually molds before we get it all eaten. So I throw it in the freezer and when I want some, I grab a couple pieces lay em' out on the counter. It only takes a few minutes to thaw and it's just as soft as when you buy it. We also do that with hamburger and hot dog buns too!

2. Here in the south we make our cole slaw with mayo and sugar. Just chop up some cabbage add some mayo and put in some sugar. It has to sit awhile to get the best flavor. To make it really summery and fresh I add in some shredded carrots and chopped cucumber. It is so delicious!

3. It seems like alot of people are afraid to try to make pulled pork BBQ sandwiches but it's so easy. All you gotta do is buy a pork roast, you can find small cheaper ones in the grocery store that'll make a lot of sandwiches. Put it in a crock pot with some water. If it's a small one you can completely cover it with water, if it's a bigger one you'll have to just cover half of it and turn it every now and then. If there's too much water it'll leak out of the top. For a small roast cook it on high for 4-5 hours until it falls apart. For a bigger one about 6-8 hours. Pull out the roast and kind of break it up on a cookie sheet to cool. It will shrink alot and wont look like much but when you shred it, it'll feed quite a few people. When it's cool enough to handle with your fingers, pull out all the fat and shred the rest into a bowl and just add your favorite BBQ sauce. Stick it in the microwave to heat it back up and voila southern style pulled pork! Put it on a hamburger bun and top with the cole slaw in tip #2 and enjoy! It will keep in the fridge about a week or you can freeze it. It gets a little mushy when you freeze it but it still tastes ok.

4. Reuse bowls that you buy with stuff in them. Like I save all my butter, sour cream, whipped cream bowls and reuse them. (I make a lot of mexican food so I buy the big tub of sour cream at Sams Club. Not the tiny ones you get at the supermarket!) I put leftovers in them or when I send food to someone elses house I put it in that. That way you don't have to worry about them bringing it back! When it gets broke or stained just toss it.

5. Easy way to cook chicken! So you know it takes a lot of work to make fried chicken or chicken casseroles right? Well my mom showed me this trick and it makes cooking chicken a hundred times easier. I've never been able to fry chicken. NEVER! I'd always burn the outside and the middle wouldn't be done or I wouldn't get the oit hot enough and all the breading would come off. My mom told me to boil the chicken until it's done first. then all you got to do is dredge it in the breading and fry it until it turns brown. It takes like 2 minutes! When you want to do a chicken casserole just boil it then shred it. Then you just have to add whatever else you want in your casserole (I do cream of chicken and cream of celery with stovetop stuffing on top) and heat it up in the oven. Maybe 10-15 minutes. Easy quick way of cooking chicken and it looks like you've slaved over the stove all day! You can also boil it earlier in the day and keep it in the water until you need it. My mom even does it the day before and puts it in the fridge so when we all come over for dinner Sundays after church there's not as much work for her to do!

Well that's all I got for now. I just jot these things down when I think of them. I'll do another one soon. I hope these little nuggets of wisdom help you out a little. Moms have a hard job and anything to make it a little easier is a huge help. I would love to hear any of your tips about anything from cooking to cleaning, from diapering to feeding, anything that makes your life easier. Please leave a comment and share with us!