Training my mind to think ahead rather than always struggling to catch up has been a hugely helpful shift. Now, don't get me wrong, I still have days that I feel the constant stress of feeling about 3 steps behind. However, compared to what I used to experience, the simple act of thinking ahead and putting some action in work has been a major help in my choosing simplicity! I am trying to teach my kids to look ahead and be organized. (getting everything ready the night before really cuts down on the morning rush out the door for school.)
Thinking ahead and putting some plans into action have really helped our evenings. The evenings in our home ( I consider evening to be from the time the kids get home at 3:30) are busy. There is snack time, homework and chores to be completed, supper to be had, and right now during basketball season our oldest has either practice or games 4 nights a week. BUSY! We are blessed to be in a carpool so I don't have to drive every night. However, evenings are still a hectic time. I know I am not alone in the business of evenings. I also really believe that my kids need down time to PLAY so I try to keep things as simple as possible.
The number one way I plan ahead for the evenings is with supper. I have a menu plan (that alone is a HUGE help) and I usually start supper in the morning (by either using the crock pot or having everything ready to cook). This morning I had our supper in the crock pot by 9 am.... now all I will have to do is warm up some veggies, and cook rice. EASY! Choosing Simplicity. Tonight our son has a basketball game and our daughter is caroling with her school choir. My husband is going to the game and I am going with our daughter. We will all have to be out the door with full tummies.
We are having So Simple Salsa Chicken for supper. It is YUMMY and it is an "Efficient Cooking" recipe that will give me extra cooked chicken meat to use later. (another HUGE way to "think and work ahead". One of our favorite recipes to use the "Fast Track" chicken meat that we will have is in Buffalo Chicken Soup. Below you will find both recipes. These recipes come from the "MONEY WISE" Simple Family Supper menu. Enjoy!!
So Simple Salsa Chicken
**Efficient Cooking: Freeze remaining chicken and sauce and label
Crock Pot or Stove Top
3-6 lbs boneless, skinless chicken *amount depends on number of servings you will need for this meal and for the “Fast Track” meal. (if frozen increase cooking time)
1 (16 ounce) jar your choice chunky salsa
1 can diced tomatoes with or without chilies
2 cups shredded cheese
Opt: reduced fat sour cream
Rice (prepare according to package directions)
Crock Pot Directions:
1) Place chicken in crock pot.
2) Pour salsa and diced tomatoes over chicken
3) Cover and cook on Low 5-8 hours
4) Serve on rice and top individual servings with shredded cheese and sour cream
Stove Top directions:
Same as above except simmer in skillet for 30 minutes till chicken is no longer pink in middle of thickest chicken breast.
Side Suggestions: Rice (brown is the best health choice), steamed vegetables, salad
Buffalo Chicken Soup
Fast Track: Use frozen cooked salsa chicken from wk 3
Crock Pot or Stove Top
4 cups low-fat milk
2 (10 ¾ oz) cans reduced sodium cream of chicken soup
1 can reduced sodium chicken broth
3 cups fast track shredded cooked chicken
1 cup reduced fat ranch dressing
1-8 Tbsp. hot sauce, according to your desire for heat!
Optional: 1 cup small pasta of your choice
Crock Pot directions:
1) Combine milk and soup and broth in slow cooker until smooth.
2) Stir in fast track meat
3) Cover and cook on low for 3 ½ - 5 hours.
4) 30 minutes before serving stir in optional pasta, ranch dressing and hot sauce. **start with a small amount of hot sauce and then add more till it is the heat you want.**
Same as above except mix and cook in large soup pot. Bring to boil on med/low heat and simmer for 15 minutes before adding pasta, ranch dressing hot sauce.
Side suggestions: dinner rolls, salad
Have a BLESSED day, BE a BLESSING!
What is for supper?? Eliminate this daily stress from your life! http://www.simplefamilysupper.com