Coffee for Breakfast for the Busy Mom

Coffee for Breakfast for the

Busy Mom

Coffee for Breakfast

In my battle of juggling things I have stumbled upon a breakfast situation that works for all my food and time issues. Coffee for breakfast that is gluten free, dairy free and has protein.

Anytime you find a solution to a problem you share just in case there is one other person in the world that could benefit.

If this is not you just laugh at how I start my day.

Coffee for Breakfast

Ingredients:

I add the coffee to my Ninja Coffee Maker and set it on cup and specialty brew.

While the coffee is brewing I add one cup of Almond milk to a small sauce pan on the stove. I put the stove on medium heat.

I add one cube of pumpkin puree to the milk. I let the pumpkin defrost and stir.

Once the pumpkin is almost melted I add 1 tablespoon of vanilla, 2 tablespoons of the unflavored protein powder. At first I also added 1 tablespoon of sugar but I am trying to cut back on sugar so adjust the sweetness as needed.

I stir until almost to a boil and then I remove from the heat and sprinkle cinnamon on top.

My coffee is done by this point and I pour the milk mixture into my cup and stir.

Now my coffee for breakfast has a little more kick to get me through the morning.

Then I find an email in my in box telling me The Power of Pumpkin in Your Diet! Score!

*I take one small can of the pumpkin puree and freeze in a ice cube tray. One can fills one ice cube tray. After 24 hours I pop out the pumpkin cubes and store in a freezer bag.

Now that coffee is made you can take 5 minutes and watch my recent Facebook live video on Why Friends are Cheaper Than Therapy.

Saving Money on Groceries Starts in the Kitchen

The great thing about raising lifelong learners is the chance to role rodel lifelong learning! Here is a copy of a 5 minute speech I had to give for a class I took on becoming a better communicator. I also get to role model doing hard things, public speaking still makes my stomach go into knots.

Saving money on groceries starts in the kitchen!

With the average family of 4 spending $12,000 a year on groceries this becomes a popular area to try and cut spending. The interesting thing about that amount of money, around $1500 goes toward wasted food.

That’s right money spent on food that is never eaten or enjoyed. The food ends up in the trashcan.

We do not even have to leave our house to save money on groceries. No need to cut coupons or read about the psychology of shopping. Just take an honest look at the amount of food you throw away each week.

I believe every mom can save money on groceries by conquering food waste.

I have 3 concepts that can help conquer food waste:

  • Serving
  • Selecting
  • Supervising

The first concept that can help conquer food waste is serving sizes.

For adults having an understanding for portion sizes. Spend a week reading the labels and get an understanding for portion sizes.

For parents of small children serve them just 3 bites of dinner. Children under the age of 5 have this amazing ability to only eat 3 bites of a meal one day and then eat an entire adult serving the next day.

When my children were young I often only served half of a sandwich at lunchtime or 3 bites of a meal at dinnertime.

I wanted my children to learn to ask for more when they were still hungry rather then learn it was ok to throw food away.

The second concept that can help conquer food waste is selecting recipes that contain similar ingredients. Keep your recipes simple.

I love looking on Pinterest for new recipes. But it can break the budget trying a recipe with a lot of ingredients. For example I avoid recipes that use 1 tablespoon of tomato paste because unless you have a plan to use the rest of the can of paste you will find yourself 2 weeks later throwing the tomato paste in the trashcan.

The great thing about cooking is you can have a little less or a little extra of an ingredient and the recipe will still turn out fine.

Trying meal planning where you can use ingredients twice in the same week or you can double the recipe to help use up all of an ingredient. [Read more…]

Gluten Free Dairy Free Cake

 

Many of you have shown an interest in my gluten free dairy free muffins. My kids make these about every other week for breakfast. I had a reader ask about making a cake version.

Gluten Free Dairy Free Cake

For the sake of the readers, I went back into the kitchen to bake myself a cake. Although it was hard to convince my family that the cake was for the sake of research!

Gluten Free Dairy Free Cake

Just two ingredients:

  1. Betty Crocker Gluten Free Devil’s Food Cake Mix
  2. Libby’s 100% Pure Pumpkin 15 oz

I used an 8 inch round cake pan. I did grease the pan. You do need to spread the cake mix evenly on top…how it looks now will be how it bakes. The mix does not settle or rise. It make me happy that the cake holds it form and does not crumble. Overbaking can make it a bit dry.

Optional add ins: nuts, chocolate chips, raisins. I did add a bag of pecans to this cake. [Read more…]

Batch Freezer Cooking, 4 Tips to Get it Done

Freezer Batch Cooking

Does batch freezer cooking meal plans overwhelm you? The unknown of completing the process for the first time often overwhelms me on a large project. Then the hardest part for me, just getting the process started.

Gain Experience and Motivation with Batch Freezer Cooking:

  1. Schedule a dinner out at Chipotle and then tackle the grocery shopping. In other words create some rewards for getting the job done. I hate shopping. I often imagine the big conveyer belt in the sky just dropping down and my groceries rolling off the belt into my pantry. If I have motivated myself to get the food purchased for the batch freezer cooking…I will not let the food go to waste. Having the food purchased starts the timer on getting the job done.
  2. Hiring teenagers to help. I used to joke that I should have grown an extra set of arms when I gave birth to my second child. Which in hindsight I am glad I did not because my brain could not keep up with the multitasking of another set of hands. Thankfully I have a house full of teenagers. If you do not have teenagers, find some at your local church. My daughter helps me with prep work and my boys are on clean up duty.
  3. Cook one batch a day. Sometimes my schedule does not allow for a huge block of time to prepare. I have found breaking up the tasks to be helpful.
    1. For example with batch freezer cooking for breakfast I would give each day of the week a food to prepare. Monday I will cook and prepare all the Egg and Sausage English Muffins. Tuesday I will cook a triple batch of pancakes. Wednesday I will assemble the yogurt smoothie bags, especially since the yogurt needs to freeze in the ice cube trays first. Thursday I will assemble the oatmeal bags. Friday an extra batch of muffins can be done. Whatever I am preparing that morning my kids will have for breakfast.
    2. For dinner batch freezer cooking I break down the jobs  similar to breakfast. Mondays I will cook and assemble all the hamburger meals. Tuesday I will do the chicken meals. Wednesday I will do the soup meals. Thursday I like to do some smaller vegan meals for myself. Hopefully everything is done so I can take Friday night off!
  4. Gather friends to serve others.This one was my favorite idea. I had really wanted to purchase a prepared batch freezer cooking plan. A friend at church wanted to prepare some meals for 3 expecting mothers and I had a reason for buying a prepared plan. If the ladies get together we could cook 21 freezer meals and give each woman 7 meals for the freezer. A ladies event was created that day.
    1. I decided to purchase the crockpot meal plan from 5 Dollar Dinners. I divided up the shopping list among the women. I printed out the labels and recipes. I made sure the women brought their own cutting boards and knives. First we gathered on a Sunday afternoon and prepped all the ingredients. Then while things were cooling we gathered and ate dinner together. After the meal we assembled the freezer the bags. We did invite the expectant mothers to join us but they did not need to help. It took about 4 hours to get everything done, which included stopping to eat dinner. It was a great evening of fellowship and awesome to send home 7 crockpot freezer meals ready for when the new babies are born. (Yes the plan is for 20 meals but we were able to get an extra meal out of the ingredients to keep the numbers even) 

Living off a 50 pound Bag of Potatoes

4 Weeks of Potato Recipes to use a 50 pound bag of potatoes

This month’s goal…creatively feed my family by utilizing one 50 pound bag of potatoes. My kids were surprised that I could buy 50 pounds of potatoes for $10.00.

I asked my kids for their favorite potato dishes, their input always helps with getting them on board with my crazy ideas.

Since I am a homeschooling mom, I have assigned them the task of calculating the cost of each meal. I started a Pinterest board for potato recipes and invited my daughter to pin any recipes she finds.

I should note that food allergies require my meals to be gluten and dairy free. I either substituted various dairy free options or selected meals that were already gluten and diary free. I tend to keep things simple and do not spend a huge amount of time on finding substitutions, so you will not find a gluten dairy free chicken and dumplings recipe in my menu.

I selected 5 meals each week, my kids would mutiny if I gave up Taco Tuesday and Sundays are left over meals. Thus choosing 5 meals gives me a weeks worth of meal planning. I tried really hard to mix up the recipes to avoid the dreaded “I will not eat another potato again.”

We ate these meals for 4 weeks, this is just not a list of things you could do…we cut the food budget and ate potatoes for 4 straight weeks. 

I have another pet peeve with cooking, when recipes call for 2 tablespoons of something, or 2 cups of a 2 and ½ cup package. I tend to cook recipes where I use it all or skip it. It bugs me to waste food and I am too distracted to remember to use the open can of tomato puree from yesterday’s meal.

4 Weeks of Eating A 50 Pound Bag of Potatoes Meals

Week 1 of Eating a 50 Pound Bag of Potatoes Meals:

Week 2 of Eating a 50 Pound Bag of Potatoes Meals:

Week 3 of Eating a 50 Pound Bag of Potatoes Meals:

Week 4 of Eating a 50 Pound Bag of Potatoes Meals: Disclaimer my son went into the hospital during week 4, so this actually became week 5 of meal planning. Since he came home Christmas Eve, we were given 2 spiral hams. Thus we ate 5 days of ham and potato combinations resulting in putting my family over the edge of the potato eating frenzy.

Potato Meals

Here is a printable of the 4 Weeks of Potato Meals

Follow Stacey Lane’s board Cooking with Potatoes on Pinterest. [Read more…]

Chocolate Chip Cookies with Missing Ingredients

Chocolate chip cookies

My daughter and her friend love watching various cooking shows as much as they love cooking. Usually I teach their weekly cooking class based on one of the various cook-off shows.

I find two similar recipes that reflect the topic of their Culture Culinary History lessons they watch each week.

In keeping with the Christmas celebrations I decided to focus on baking chocolate chip cookies.

Two things I wanted them to learn in baking Chocolate Chip Cookies:

  1. The basic cookie recipe can be altered to reflect the way you like your cookies to taste.
  2. If you are ever in the kitchen halfway through a recipe and discover you are out of brown sugar, there is still hope to finish the recipe by improvising.

Now I did not have $25,000 for the girls to use in their version of Cutthroat Kitchen, but I went with the idea of limiting the ingredients to affect the outcome of the cookies.  [Read more…]

Inspired Thanksgiving Giveaway

It’s that time of year where we take a moment to pause and count our blessings.

I have been so blessed by the blogging community that I jumped at the opportunity to bless you the readers of Layered Soul.

Of course your chances to win would be greater if this was just for the readers of Layered Soul, Sorry!

Please follow the directions at the bottom of the post for a chance to win, and maybe the winner will be a reader of Layered Soul.

thanksgiving

During this season of Thanksgiving, the Inspired Bloggers Network is full of gratitude for our readers. Without the faithful support of those who follow us on our blogs and social media, we would be unable to do what we love. So, thank you!

red pot

 Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 5-1/2-Quart Round French (Dutch) Oven, Cherry

 

Inspired Thanksgiving Giveaway Bundle #1

1 – Le Creuset Signature Enameled Cast-Iron 5-1/2-Quart Round French (Dutch) Oven, Cherry

1 – $100 Walmart Gift Card

To enter both giveaways, please complete the Rafflecopter information below and then click on over to enter for a chance to win Bundle #2: KitchenAid Stand Mixer and $100 Walmart Gift Card. [Read more…]

Mystery of History CookBook, Volume 2

Mystery of History Cookbook

One afternoon I was walking around the office and found a draft copy of the Mystery of History Cookbook. I quickly asked permission to take some of the recipes for a test drive. My daughter wants to attend our local college to become a pastry chef. This would be a perfect mother and daughter fun activity. My boss gave me permission; yes, there are perks to the job!

*Food Allergies. I have had good luck replacing white flour with gluten free flour. I have been able to tweak the recipes to keep them dairy free. Not ever recipe works but if your children have food allergies some of these recipes are easily adaptable.

The first thing we did was “oh” and “ah” over the photos. Then we began picking recipes that sounded good. [Read more…]

Crockpot Recipes with Five Ingredients or Less

Crockpot blog post! There is something about crockpots that gets ladies chatting. Which one do you have? Do you have more then one? What is your favorite crockpot recipe?

“Crockpot Recipes with Five Ingredients or Less”

Some weeks I have our meals planned and dinner happens regularly. Some weeks I forget that my family wants to eat every day.

So when it’s 8:30 am and I am walking out the door in 30 minutes to run errands, go to the doctors and co-op…I am going to walk in the door at 4:30 with nothing planned for dinner. Sometimes I only have 1 hour before the evening activities begin. What can I do? [Read more…]

Moon Phase Cookie Project, Gluten and Dairy Free

Moon Phase Cookie Project

Boys + food + school = happy learning. I am always looking for ways to work this formula.

Most people are familiar with the moon phase cookie project where Oreo cookies are used to demonstrate the phases of the moon. In order to serve this snack, I needed to come up with a gluten and dairy free option.

Thankfully one of the fondant recipes my daughter uses in her cupcake business is gluten and dairy free.

I really love the simplicity of the marshmallow fondant recipe. It takes about 15 minutes to make. [Read more…]