Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Making Family-Style Easier

I love to cook, I really do.  I’m just a busy mom who doesn’t have time to make homecooked meals on a daily basis.  The best for my family are meals that are either simple to put together or meals that I can make in advance and freeze for later use.  Most of my recipes are exactly that, either super easy with make ahead ingredients or family-style casseroles to be frozen.  Sunday is usually my cooking day at home.  If nothing is planned, I’m usually found in the kitchen making chicken nuggets or soup.  My family doesn’t have the luxury of being able to stop and pick something up quick to eat on busy nights.  Food allergies have greatly limited our restaurants, which is a blessing in disguise.  Our family is eating a lot healthier, and the money we are saving goes into the higher priced allergy friendly foods. 
        If anyone is looking to better prepare their family meals I would say to figure out a day that is good for you to plan to cook.  I would also invest in freezer containers of all sizes, they’re great because they are reusable as well.  Pick a bag of beans every week and prepare simply.  You can always add flavor and spices, you can’t take away.  Prepare and freeze in small batches that fit your family size.  You can add to soups, casseroles, or prepare alone.  I do also buy the aluminum pans with lids that can be used to freeze casseroles and reheat in oven.  They are typically not reusable, but they are inexpensive.  Keep corn tortillas in the fridge, they can be layered for casseroles and you can always make a quick quesadilla for snack time. 

Mexican Tortilla Casserole

Corn tortillas to cover bottom of 9x13 in. pan
4 chicken legs boiled
6 pack of chorizo sausage with casings removed.
1 ½ cups of frozen corn.
2 cups Mexican style shredded cheese
½ bag prepared black beans.
Enchilada sauce – canned or homemade.
Sour cream and/or guacamole for garnish.

Place chicken legs in stock pot and add water until just covered.  Heat on stove on medium heat for 30 – 40 minutes.  Remove chicken to cool.   Add chorizo sausage without casings to skillet on medium heat and cook until browned then drain off fat.  Add shredded chicken meat to cooked sausage.  Add frozen corn, prepared black beans, and enchilada sauce then pour over corn tortillas. Cover top with cheese and cook at 350 degrees until bubbly.  Enjoy!