Tuesday, May 20, 2014

"The One Handed Cook"

The One Handed Cook on Taco Tuesday

I have been joking lately about writing a book called "The One-Handed Cook."  My mom is the one who coined this phrase as she lifted a cranky one year old off my hip while I attempted to brown the beef, shred the cheese, chop the tomatoes, and warm the tortillas all at the same time.  Since it is not likely that I will grow several appendages in the near future, I had to come up with a way to prep for dinner so that I can survive the dreaded "witching" hour.

So I prep during nap time.  Sometimes this is not possible because I have other things to do during Camden's nap, but on the days I can do some prep, I am less frazzled when trying to get dinner on the table.  And less frazzled makes for a much happier mommy at the dinner table.

When Justin and I were first married, we liked to make an Italian chicken dish from a great little book called Fix it and Forget It a crockpot cookbook.  It was given to me by my mother-in-law, and we have several favorites from that cookbook.  Instead of making Italian chicken (with a packet of dry Italian seasoning), I use my crockpot to make a Mexican dish (with a packet of dry taco seasoning).  It is yummy!

Start with one pound frozen chicken breasts.  Add a packet of taco seasoning, and pour a cup of warm water over the top.  Cook on low for 8-10 hours.  The chicken will shred easily with two forks, and you're all set!

So, I prepared the crock pot first thing in the morning and let the chicken cook all day.  Then, during naptime, I cut up the tomatoes, shredded two kinds of cheese, tore the lettuce into bit sized pieces (or used my handy dandy Pampered Chef shredder), chopped some red onion, and drained the black beans.

When it was time for dinner, I heated the black beans and rice, and set everything out so my kids could serve themselves, buffet style.   They love to make their own tacos, and it keeps the mess at the island where any stray cheese can be swept into the sink.  We made our tacos at the island, then gathered at the table to eat.

Taco salad.  Yummmmmmmm.

And cleanup was a snap!, pun intended.  I got these awesome Snapware glass containers at Costco once when they were on sale, and I love them!  I almost never use plastic anymore because I can't reheat in plastic.  These are awesome because they are pretty enough to serve food, easy enough to snap a lid on and stick in the fridge, and I can reheat in the same container.  What's not to love?!

How do you prep for dinner?

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