Game Changer Appliances For Busy Moms

As a busy mom, I'm always down for saving time in the kitchen! With everything I have going on, standing over a hot stove cooking dinner is the last thing I want to do. Luckily, I have a cabinet full of essential appliances for busy or just plain ol' tired moms! If you don't have at least one of these in your cabinet, you are missing out!

  • Pressure Cooker

I don't even know how I survived all those years before I started using a pressure cooker! I was a Crockpot girl for years and still love the idea of slow cooking. Most pressure cookers give you a slow cooking setting, so it's like having two appliances in one! NO MORE thawing meat! This is great for those busy days that the perfect meal plan didn't happen or you just forgot to take the meat out of the freezer. It also cuts your cooking time down by about two-thirds! I have made a frozen roast in 45 minutes, fully cooked and super juicy! 

  • Air Fryer

An air fryer gives you all the crispy, crunchy yumminess of your favorite fried food without smelling up your house and splashing grease all over your stove and your hands (ouch!). It's not actually "frying" the food, so little to no oil is required making your options a lot healthier and less fatty. My favorite thing about my air fryer is the "set it and forget it" feeling it gives me. I don't have to stand over the stove making sure I'm not burning anything. I can toss my food in, set the timer, and go multitask without worrying about burning my house down.

  • Tabletop Convection Oven
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The tabletop convection oven is the mother of all game changing appliances! I have used my Nu Wave Oven for 6 years now and I cannot imagine living without it. Like the pressure cooker, I can get my meats from freezer to table in less than an hour and they stay juicy! It has a timer so it's another set it and forget it appliance that gives me more, time to focus on other things. I am able to put dinner on, leave, pick the kids up from school and it's finished when I get home. Not only does it cook food 25% faster than a traditional oven, but when cooking meat, all of the excess fat drains to the bottom so you aren't eating it. This time saver is also a space saver that's super easy to clean. 

What's For Dinner?

I have a lot of appointments and running around to do this week. I didn't want to spend too much time in the kitchen so we are having two easy sandwich meals, some crockpot action and a meatless day! Take a peak if you need some ideas.

Meal Planning For Busy (or Lazy) Moms!

Back to school is such a hectic time for most moms. My family is currently up to 10 people and figuring out what to cook for dinner can be a pain. What's even worse is going to the store to get it! Smiths has launched an awesome new curbside grocery pickup program called Click List. It truly makes grocery shopping and meal planning so simple because it saves time and money. I love the idea of being able to sit my computer on my kitchen island and shop as I take inventory of my pantry and fridge without having to leave the house! You literally just order your groceries a day before you need them and pull up the curb as someone brings them out and loads your car. Mom life just got a whole lot easier! Check out this weeks menu plan I made utilizing Click List and our pick up experience below!

Broiled Mushroom Chicken w/Roasted Potatoes & Veggies

I love chicken thighs! They are inexpensive and so juicy! There is nothing like a well-seasoned chicken thigh with a little bit of crunch to it. This isn’t a dump meal, but it doesn’t require a ton of time or effort.

 

·         Broiled Mushroom Chicken w/roasted potatoes and veggies

2-3 lbs. of chicken thighs

4-6 medium potatoes

1 16 oz. bag of frozen veggies (We like California Blend)

1 cup of Italian Dressing

1 10 oz. can of mushrooms

1 10.5 oz. can of Cream of Mushroom Soup

McCormick’s Montreal Chicken Seasoning

Black Pepper

                Pre heat your oven on 350 degrees.  Rinse your chicken thighs and pat dry. Season your chicken thighs with McCormick’s Montreal Chicken and Black Pepper on both sides.  Place the chicken skin side down on a baking sheet and set aside.

                Cut your potatoes in to quarters and place in a bowl with your frozen veggies. Add your Italian dressing and toss to coat. Pour your potatoes and veggies into a casserole or baking dish.

Place your chicken on your bottom rack and the veggies on the top rack and cook both at 425 degrees. After 15 minutes has passed, remove your chicken from the oven and turn it skin side up. Pour your cream of mushroom soup and mushrooms over the chicken and return it to the oven. Remove your veggies and give them a quick toss before returning them to the oven. Crank the oven up to broil for 15 additional minutes before serving.

 

Peach Dump Cake (Treat Yo' Self!)

Sometimes we all get the urge for an “After Sunday Dinner” dessert, even if it’s not Sunday. Peach Dump Cake is my go-to dessert when I want something decadent, but inexpensive and fast! You don’t have to use peaches. Any canned fruit will suffice, but I love a nice sweet peach!

 

Peach Dump Cake

1 box of Lemon, Butter, or Yellow Cake mix (I use lemon)

1 large can of sliced peaches in light syrup

1 melted stick of butter


Pre heat your oven at 350 degrees. Coat your medium sized baking dish in oil or butter. Pour in peaches and juice from the can. Sprinkle your cake mix over the peaches, and drizzle the melted butter on top of the cake mix. No need to mix anything! Just pop it in the oven and bake for 60 minutes.


*Serve with vanilla ice cream optional.

Easy Slow Cooker Pepper Steak

Slow Cooker Pepper Steak

Pepper steak meat can go a few ways; it really just depends on how much time and money you want to spend. I typically get 2 lbs. of sirloin and cut it into strips. If you are not about that prep life and you want a true ”dump meal”, 2 lbs. of stir fry steak strips, or beef stew cubes works just as well, but it will cost you a little bit more.  In addition to the steak, you will need:


1 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes w/Italian Herbs

1 14oz can of diced pineapples

1 16 oz. bag of frozen stir-fry peppers

1 10.5 oz. can of mushrooms

1 half cup of Soy Sauce


 If you went the frugal route and decided to cut your own beef, all you need to do is slice your sirloin into 1 inch strips. If you got the pre-cut strips or stew cubes; you are all set on your meat! Drain your tomatoes, pineapples, and mushrooms. Toss all of your ingredients into your slow cooker. Cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6 hours. Serve over rice.

Fast, Easy, Yummy! Work Week Dinner Menu #1

 Thinking about what to cook for dinner is the last thing anyone wants to do after a day of working, chasing kids, cleaning the house, and running errands.  I’ve gotten my work week menu planning down to a science. I know what my family likes and I’ve learned to buy it on a budget and cook it without spending all night in the kitchen.  I am a huge fan of kitchen tools that do the work for me. The Slow Cooker, Infrared Cooker, and Pressure Cooker have definitely made me a “set it and forget it” type of mom!  Keep an eye out for future posts on my favorite time/money saving kitchen gadgets.

90% of my shopping is done at discount grocery stores like WinCo, Save-A-Lot, and 99 Cents Only. I typically reach for the store brand when it comes to pantry goods, condiments, and frozen veggies.  This is just one of the many ways, I can afford to feed a family of 7 (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) for about $100 a week.  Check out this week’s dinner menu and grocery lists. I will post the recipe for each meal this week, so stay tuned!