Sunday, September 30, 2007

Fall in Florida

Okay, my Floridian's your chance to educate me. Fall is the only season I have yet to experience here in Florida. So what's it like here in the Fall, or am I lookin' at it? I'm LONGING for some good Fall weather, cool crisp breeze, maybe a little overcast, highs in the 70's, lows in the 60's kind of weather. Not too cold, not too hot, but just right. Will I get my Fall fantasy weather here in Florida? If you're a Floridian, please post a comment. Anyone can comment, without a password, just click on the "anonymous" circle and put your name at the bottom of your comment.

Because I'm so "fallsick" I've been cooking some of my favorite "fallish" recipes this weekend. These are SUPER easy, quick, little clean up involved, you know, the perfect kind for busy moms. And my kids ate EVERY bite of both of these dishes.

EASY CHICKEN N DUMPLINS (for people who don't like dumplins):
boneless, skinless chicken breast (I used 6 breast tenderloins for the 4 of us)
1 can chicken broth
2-3 pieces of celery
6 tortillas, cut into 1/4ths
a little onion, salt, and whatever seasonings you like

optional: I added some peas and carrots to Lexi and Ashton's bowl to give them that extra veggie serving. Cary and I ate it the good ol' southern way!

1. Defrost your chicken and boil it in about 6-8 cups of water. Add some onion (I use the minced onions in the seasoning jar b/c I hate cutting onions), cut up celery, a little salt, pepper, and whatever seasonings you like. I used about half a package of ranch dressing mix b/c it seasons just about ANYTHING!
2. Let chicken boil for about 20 minutes until cooked and cut into small to medium sized pieces then put back into the pot and add a can of chicken broth.
3. Add the tortillas and let it all simmer for about 20 minutes.
4. Eat and enjoy! This was enough for 3 adults and 2 small children. I like the texture of the tortillas rather than real dumplins. Dumplins kind of gross me out!

Serve with a side salad and a good bakery baked bread, cause you know, the dumplins aren't enough carbs by themselves. I put a small dish of balsamic vinegrette with herb seasonings on the table to dip our bread in...YUMMMMMMMY!

Muy Bien Taco Soup: One of my FAVORITES I make year round
1 lb of ground beef, cooked and drained
1 can of corn
1 can of kidney beans
1 can of diced tomatoes
1 package of ranch dressing mix
1 package of taco seasoning mix
About a cup of rice (uncooked)
A little water

top with:
sour cream, grated cheese, avacodos

1. Pour all ingredients into a pot and add about 2-4 cups of water, depending on how soupy you like you like your soup.
2. Simmer for about 30 minutes.
3. Serve with suggested toppings or alone. My family likes to dip our tortilla chips in the soup. It's kind of like REAL MEXICAN chili. They put corn, beans, and beef in their chili. This will make a big pot that feeds my family of 4 for 2-3 meals. So it's very economical. And it's muy bien!

Grocery Shopping Trick: Because we only have about $100/week to spend on groceries for our family of 4, and that includes diapers, it's a TOTAL MUST that I plan out the meals ahead of time so that I can buy ingredients that can be used for more than one meal. Here's an example. The bag of frozen chicken tenderloins and package of tortillas from the chicken N dumplins recipe was also used to make homemade fajitas earlier in the week. As was the sour cream, avacados, and grated cheese used in the taco soup toppings. By planning ahead, I'm able to use up those types of ingredients rather than the extras going to waste. And most of the time, the menu depends on what types of coupons I have. And here's another trick...we buy about 80% of our groceries at SAV A LOT! I do get my produce from a produce stand, and occassionally we have to do the dreaded Walmart run. I know they have Sav a lots in TX too b/c we used to shop at one there. That's how we make our $$$ last!


Kids and K9s said...

LOVE the new look... TOO cute... and can't wait to try some of these recipes. You must be a good cook to keep grosries at $100 a week... this is my goal but I NEVER make it... need to be more disciplined. ~ Lo,

Ashley said...

I don't know what Fall is like in Florida, but I wish you luck! I'm not too sure they even have all four seasons down your way.

What part of Texas are you from...Houston didn't always have the nicest Fall weather. Hell, I remember wearing shorts one Christmas. Oklahoma has pretty Fall weather and I can't wait for it to get a little cooler here!

Oh, and I have been busy since getting out of school. It helps when you marry someone who already has two kids. Speeds the process up a bit. Then, I decided to have the youngest two very close together. (I still wonder why I thought that was a good idea. The Jury is still out on that one.)

Aggieland Mommy said...

If it makes you feel better, it doesn't feel like Fall here either. We were up in Plano for the weekend and we swam every day starting as early as 9:30 and ending as late as almost 11:00 pm. I'm with ya though, I'm ready to do some Fall cooking myself. I'll be trying your recipes soon.
Miss you!

mom2iande said...

we do $70 most weeks on the groceries per week. hubby does the grocery i guess he doesn't throw in the extras, huh? he keeps our groccery bill down which means more money! when there have been extras, it has run a little more....but that is when i asked for all of us to go because i needed to get some things.

i will have to show him the recipe since he doe shte cooking.

Anonymous said...

Well, here in Florida we really only have two seasons hot and hotter :) We have a few "fall" days and even less cold days. The leaves usually stay green year round or they just look dead, no in between. The only way we have fall in Florida is decorations.