100 Ways to Cook Delicious,
Balanced Meals and
Still Find Time to Quilt (or whatever)

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I'd Rather Be Quilting

or

How to Multi Task in the Kitchen

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I love to cook. I also love to do many other things. Trying to make sure that there is wholesome, home made food on the table for my family can be a challenge most days. I have developed what I call "Multi Tasking" in the kitchen in order to free up some of my time. Below I will share my tips and tricks so you can have more time for other activities.

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1.

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Fresh Roasted Tomatoes - Take 7 or 8 plum tomatoes, wash and cut in half. Place on oiled baking sheet (flesh side up) - sprinkle with garlic powder. Turn tomatoes over and sprinkle with more garlic powder. Bake in 325 degree oven for 1-1/2 hours. Bake these while you are cooking other things. Keeps in refrigerator for up to 5 days. Use alone as a garnish for meat. Use in sandwiches - I like mine in tuna fish. Use over pasta. Use for appetizers - see recipe.

2.

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Boil a Chicken - we eat a lot of chicken and over the years I have cooked chicken in a thousand ways. Once a week I boil a whole chicken - put in pot with water, celery, onions, carrots, fresh garlic and salt & pepper. Cook for about one hour until meat is tender-cut off all the meat and use it in the following ways (freeze chicken if you are not using within two days): chicken salad for sandwiches, chicken pot pie - use canned fat free gravy, ready made pie crust and a can of vegetables. Chicken and vegetable stir fry. Chicken appetizers - see recipe. I also freeze the chicken broth to use for home made soups.

3.

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Quick Health Drink - Here's an easy way to get 3 out of your seven fruit/vegetable servings of the day and get off to a good start. In blender place 1 cup orange juice, 1/2 cup non-fat yogurt, 1 banana and 1/2 cup strawberries. Blend. I keep bags of frozen strawberries in the freezer for this drink. You can make it with any fruit you want but I like the convenience of this mix. Use orange juice with calcium added to fortify your calcium intake. I make this drink at least four times a week and have with my toast in the morning.

4.

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Cream Soup without the Calories- In water, boil 1 potato(peeled), 1 carrot, 2 garlic cloves and 2 cups any fresh vegetable - I use broccoli but you can use just about anything. Cook until vegetables are tender. Drain. Put vegetables in blender, add  1 small can of chicken broth (fat free). Blend. Return to pan and season with salt and pepper.

5.

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Baked Potatoes - When you bake potatoes, always bake twice the amount you need for that meal. For the second meal I slice the potatoes from the refrigerator into rounds and brown them crisp in a little margarine - these are delicious. Other times I make twice baked potatoes and put in the freezer - see recipe! Sometimes I make potato skins - scoop out most of potato and add cheese and bacon bits to skins and broil. Use the inside of the potato for a mashed potato casserole.

6.

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Elegant, Easy Dessert - Raspberry & Chocolate Parfait. All ingredients can be kept on hand and this dessert assembled quickly whenever you need it. See recipe.

7.

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Dual Pasta  - Pasta is a healthy and easy meal to prepare. I always cook extra to have for another meal. Here I use bowtie pasta and turn it into Tomato/Basil Salad - see recipe - for lunch and Saucy Bowtie  - see recipe - to have with our dinner.

8.

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Easy, Delicious Carrots - Whenever I have the oven going for a roast, etc. I make these delicious and oh so easy carrots. Peel 5-6 carrots. Place carrots whole on heavy duty aluminum foil. Cover with a couple of pats of butter, salt & pepper, 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon and 1/4 cup of honey. Close foil and bake for 1 hour until tender.

9.

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Delicious, Easy Chicken Marinade - Marinate chicken in a mixture of 1 cup soy sauce, 1/2 cup orange juice and 5 cloves fresh garlic, crushed. I usually use boneless chicken breasts, cut into strips. I put chicken in marinade in morning (keep refrigerated) and then broil for dinner (strips only take about 5 minutes on each side). You can use whole boneless breasts - cook longer until no longer pink inside.

10.

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Leftover Chicken or Roast Beef - here's a delicious and easy way to use up those small amounts of leftover meat. Chop meat into small pieces. Put small amount on a flour tortilla. Season with salt and pepper. Add a handful of shredded cheese (any kind). Roll tortilla up. Oil a baking sheet. Place tortilla on sheet and turn to coat with oil. Bake in a 400 degree oven until crisp and golden. Serve with salsa and sour cream.

11

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Wonton Wrappers - These Asian dough circles or squares are handy to keep, especially frozen. Fill them with any ground meat or vegetable mixture and boil like ravioli, shred them and add as a garnish to soup, brush with oil and bake for a light, crispy cracker or use them as a base for an appetizer - see my recipes Cheesy Wontons or Chicken Appetizers!

12

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Parmesan Roasted Potatoes - I am always looking for different, easy ways to serve potatoes. The other night I cooked these along side my roast. Peel potatoes. Melt butter or margarine in oven dish. Place potatoes in dish and stir to coat. Sprinkle with a generous amount of grated parmesan cheese and salt & pepper to taste. Cook for 1-1/2 hours.

13

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Quick Home Made Barbeque Sauce - It's easy to make your own with ingredients on hand. Start with a tomato base - 1/2 cup ketchup, tomato sauce or a small can of tomato paste. Add a sweetener - 1/4 cup honey or brown sugar, add 1 tbls prepared mustard or vinegar or salad dressing. Mix and add salt & pepper to taste.
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