A Cooking Extravaganza {Review}

Doesn’t that title sound like what we are all going to be doing over the next month? At least that’s what it’s usually like for me! I like to cook and bake; but from Thanksgiving until the end of January; I’m doing a lot more! Why January? In my immediate family, we have three birthdays during the month; with a week between each. It’s a very busy ten weeks!

So, when I got this month’s Gabby Moms review package from Lorrie Flem at Eternal Encouragement, it was perfect timing. And now you can get the same package for yourself and your holiday needs; or as a Christmas gift for that special cook in your life.  This set includes seven ebooks and a signed, printed copy of What’s for Dinner, Mom? (If you recall, I got to review that one a few months ago & loved it!)

Here are the ebooks you will get with this package:

  • Bulk Cooking Tips and Tricks
  • Fill Em Up
  • Healthy Sanity Saving Breakfasts
  • Lorrie’s Favorite Recipes from 2011
  • Pizza Primer
  • Sensational Salads
  • The Secrets of Chocolate Chip Cookies

Don’t those sound inviting? They did to me. With a few simple recipes in basic categories anyone can be a successful cook! Then add in the print copy of What’s for Dinner, Mom? and you’re armed with an amazing arsenal of skills.

I love the Healthy Breakfasts ebook – only 10 pages, but jam-packed with a variety of morning ideas (though, truth-be-told I’d serve some of them for dinner too!). I had to chuckle at the last recipe though that’s called “Not So Healthy Granola Bars.”

The Fill Em Up ebook is full of great ideas to help keep those bellies feeling full, while stretching the budget.

I love the photographs in Lorrie’s Favorite recipes! They are very helpful when making a new recipe. I think my daughter would absolutely love the Pepperoni Spaghetti Bake!

These books are short, but sweet. They are approximately 7-13 pages each – the perfect size for someone who’s just starting out – or even for seasoned veterans!

Lorrie’s having a giveaway over at her blog – one lucky winner will receive this entire package! But if you can’t wait or don’t win this giveaway, you can purchase this set here.  If you are considering this recipe package as a Christmas gift, please place your order by December 12 to ensure timely delivery of the print book (the ebooks will be an instant download).

Disclaimer: I was provided with electronic copies of all of these ebooks in exchange for my honest review – all opinions are solely mine.

What’s For Dinner Mom?

Here on the East Coast, we are on the tail end of a two day heat wave, with temps hovering around 100 degrees. I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want to do when the thermometer reads 90+ is turn on the oven and/or cook on the stove. I live in an old house that does not have central air and we rely on window units to cool the house on these hot days. We have one large unit for the main living area; however, there’s a large corner wall separating the living area from the kitchen. Translation: no cooling in the kitchen. Sigh.

Tonight I was lucky to have some leftovers, vegetables, and a microwave. But what if I had had something else? What if I had something already prepared and just waiting in my freezer? And what if this something was already cooked so that all I had to do was defrost it and re-heat it in the microwave? Then the children and I could have had a regular meal without heating up the kitchen. Now don’t get misunderstand, there’s nothing wrong with leftovers; we all have to eat them once in a while. It just would have been nice to have the option.

This week I got to read a book called “What’s For Dinner, Mom? Practical and Easy Ideas to Encourage Moms to Minister From Their Kitchens” by Mrs. Lorrie Flem of Eternal Encouragement. I’ll be honest, when I first found out that this book was about bulk cooking, I didn’t think I was going to like it. I never thought I’d ever consider cooking more than one meal at once. It seemed like too much work.

But, like many things, I discounted the idea before getting all the facts. Yes. I. am. guilty. I wish I could say that this is the first time…

So, I read the book.

I was pleasantly surprised – I’m even considering giving it a try. Lorrie includes so much helpful information in her book – different methods of bulk cooking, suggested helpful items, and tons of recipes. After reading through Lorrie’s wisdom and experience, I can now see how I can make her system work for my family. It’s not your typical bulk cooking. In fact, take what you think bulk cooking is and throw it out the window. Then get a copy of “What’s For Dinner, Mom?” and learn a new way to do it.

In light of yesterday’s post, I really think this will provide me a way to both teach Diva about cooking as well as allowing our family to have more time each day to spend together outside of the kitchen. I’m looking forward to giving Lorrie’s method a try.

Now, guess what? There are a few of us Gabby Moms posting reviews of “What’s For Dinner, Mom?” and The Head Mama of us all is going to select one blogger to receive a hard copy of her own! But that’s not all… one commenter on the winning blog will also receive their own copy. So, please leave a comment, because if I win, so could you! Let me know if you have ever tried bulk cooking, what method you tried, and how it worked for you.

* I received a pdf copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion as part of the Gabby Moms program.

Many Hands Review and Giveaway

I’ve heard it said that the more hands you have the lighter the work. Sometimes with children, it’s easy to doubt that statement. I know that there are times when my children ‘help’ me and I end up with more work to do; or everything seems to take longer. I’m sure moms of young children know exactly what I mean!

As a member of the Gabby Moms team, I received a bundle this month called “Many Hands Make Light the Work” from Eternal Encouragement, and it was helpful in giving me a new perspective.  This bundle of six ebooks and four audios is a treasure trove of helpful information! I especially appreciated the specific tips and the reasons behind cleaning and organization. In fact, those ‘whys’ are powerful motivators in facilitating change. If we don’t own why we do what we do, then we are not as likely to do it for the glory of God.

Chores: Many Hands Make Light the Work

As I went through this whole bundle, I found so much that I could use! Mrs. Lorrie Flem included practical tips for getting organized, getting the children involved, having a cheerful attitude, and even getting hubby’s input! I really appreciated the lists of age-appropriate chores for the children and the all-natural cleaning product recipes. Then there’s the audios! All four audios are full-length ~ around 60 minutes each.

This is a set I will come back to multiple times!  Would you like to have your own set? Well, you can buy it here OR you can enter to win a copy of your own by filling out this form. It will ask the name of this blog – please enter Behind the Scenes.

Good luck!

* As a member of the Gabby Moms team, I received this bundle in exchange for my review.

Pinning It Down {5} – Breakfast Casserole

I missed last week’s Pinning It Down *sigh* – chaotic week! But this week I get to combine Pinning it Down with a quick breakfast solution. This recipe arrived in my inbox one morning and it looked simple and delicious, so I pinned it. It was for a one-minute egg casserole. While I am learning to be a better homemaker, I am still NOT a morning person. So this sounded like a great solution – it was quick and contained three food groups! So we tried it one morning; and it made a return appearance the next morning! Diva really liked it a lot; LegoFan was a little on the fence, but even he opted for it over his usual favorite the next morning. So I think we have a winner.

I apologize that this is not a really pretty photo – it’s not a really pretty meal. I mean it IS a casserole. But it’s not important how pretty it is, as long as the kids will eat it!

It is SO simple to make. All you do is break up some bread, add some milk and shredded cheese, then one egg. Mix it all up and microwave it for one minute. Done! Please click through to the original website for the exact recipe. Try it, you’ll like it…

I also tried another item I pinned to my Helpful Tidbits board. Amy Bayliss had done a post on Cajun cooking and this tip was found there. She said that if you put your onions in the freezer for about 20 minutes before you need to cut them, you don’t cry!!! This was something I had to try. So last night, I was making burritos and was adding sliced onions and peppers. I remembered that tip and decided to try it. Ya know what?! IT WORKS!!! Not one. single. tear. Ya’ll (said in my best southern accent as a tribute to Amy) are just going to simply have to give it a try.

Looking forward to seeing what other pinned down this week (and last week ’cause I’m just a wee bit late…). Feel free to follow me on Pinterest.

This post is linked to Pinning It Down, Titus 2sday, and Raising Homemakers.

Chocolate Waffles – Pinning It Down {3}

This week I was looking forward to pinning a few things down. This link-up party has really made me think about doing these things on pinterest NOW instead of some arbitrary day in the future. The only problem? We can’t seem to kick this cold – it’s been passed around from Diva to LegoFan to me, and back to LegoFan. And the only person who can’t seem to get rid of it completely is me. So glad my family shares with me!

So, instead of pinning down a couple of things during the week, I found myself looking for a recipe for Sunday night’s dinner. I had promised Diva that we could have waffles a few days earlier, as we enjoy breakfast for dinner! But the problem was that I had lost my favorite waffle recipe when I lost everything on my hard drive this summer. It was from Crystal Paine’s (Money Saving Mom) Make Ahead Batters {Crystal, if you read this, how do I get another copy of your wonderful book?} Boy, do I miss that recipe… It was quick, simple, and delicious. Can anyone help a Mama out?

Anyway, I found this recipe for Chocolate Waffles and decided to give them a try. After all, I also needed some serious comfort food after the Ravens lost that game. What heartbreak! I mean really, that WAS a catch in the end zone. They should have gone for the tie field goal the first time. Then, they should have made that last field goal. I mean, who misses a 32-yard field goal, especially when the Super Bowl is on the line?! But I digress…

So, as I was saying I made Chocolate Waffles from here. They were relatively easy to make, but did require three separate bowls to make the batter. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but when you’re physically not feeling up to par and your team’s no longer going to the Super Bowl, well, three to clean is just too much. But, they were delicious.

Here they are right after they came out of the waffle iron:

And here they are after we added the necessary topping:

I was told by both children that this was a “keeper!” So I guess we will be making them again. I’m looking forward to seeing what everybody else Pinned Down this week!

This post is linked to Pinning It Down.