I’m a believer in cooking more than one meal at a time.  Cooking multi meals at the same time, sets you up for more time in the evening for family activities or just plain sitting and enjoying each other.  If you don’t have time to do, two complete meals, do the prep work for both at one time. Below are three recipes where all the hard stuff can be done at once, setting you up for 20-30 minute meals.
Shopping list for three meals:
2 Pounds of Ground Beef
2 Large Onions
1 Red Sweet Bell Pepper
1 Jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce
Small head of lettuce
1 Package of soft tortilla shells
1 Package of Corn Tortilla Shells
3 Packages of Ramen Noodles [chicken or beef]
1 Can of Diced Tomatoes
Assorted Shredded Cheese
1 Package of Taco Spices
2 Roma Tomatoes
Prep by chopping the onions, tomatoes and pepper.
Shred ½ head of the lettuce
Place the vegetables into separate zip lock bags and refrigerate.
Brown the ground beef and ½ of the chopped onions, just until the meat is pink, then cool and divide into 3 equal parts.
Place the meat into air tight containers and refrigerate until needed.
Beef Tacos
1 part of the browned meat
1 package of taco spices
the chopped onions, tomatoes and lettuce
½ to ¾ cup of shredded cheese
Taco shells [flour and corn]
Finish cooking the ground meat, adding the spice package. Place all the ingredients on your table and allow everyone to make their own taco.
Serve with Corn on the cob and some Fresh fruit to complete your family meal.
Ramen Noodle Beef Casserole
1 part of the browned meat
3 packages of Ramen noodles, broken into pieces
¼ cup of chopped onions
1 can of diced tomatoes
3 cups of water
shredded cheese
Using a medium pot, add the ground meat, onions, diced tomatoes and cook until the onions are soft. Add in the water, noodles and flavor packages. Cook over medium heat until the water has disappeared, pour the mixture into a casserole dish. Sprinkle the top with ¾ cup of shredded cheese*.
Place in a 350 degree preheated oven and bake until the cheese has melted down over the noodles [about 12 minutes].
Serve with a garden salad, using the second half of the lettuce and some of the other chopped veggies.
*Velveeta Cheese can be used here, instead.
Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
Add the browned meat plus ½ cup of onions and ½ of the chopped red pepper, to a medium sauce pan. Cook while stirring, until the vegetables are soft, then add the jar of sauce. Simmer for about 10 minutes.
Using a large pot, heat 4-6 quarts of water. Salt the water until you can lightly taste the salty flavor to enhance the flavor of the pasta. You want it to taste like the ocean not the Dead Sea. When the water reaches its boiling point, place in the pasta of your choice and cook as directed on the package.
When the pasta has cooked, drain well, removing all the water you can, return it to the pot or a serving platter. Some people like to add the pasta into their sauce but I do not. It will soak up the sauce too quickly and in some cases will leave you with a dry pasta dish with no sauce to serve on the side. I prefer to place my pasta on my plate then add the sauce over the top, adding a little sprinkle of cheese.
Serve with warm garlic bread and steamed green beans to complete your meal.  Cooking multi meals at one time will allow you more family time when it comes to putting dinner on the table.

No matter the size of your garden, you will always have some excess.  You can give it away, just let it go to waste or you can learn to preserve it by canning.  Easy canning is one way to stock your pantry with foods that you love and had a hand in growing.  If you are new to the idea of canning and preserving, hopefully, this article will give you an overview of what the process is all about and help you understand how you can preserve delicious food items to eat later.

Canning Your Fresh Food

What is Canning?

Canning is what we call the process of preserving foods in glass jars for eating later. We all realize that our Summer fare won’t last forever, so learning how to preserve by canning is one way to keep enjoying the taste of summer berries and vegetables throughout the winter months. Canning was the main way people living in remote locations in the early days were able to survive the long harsh winters, when getting to a grocery store or trading post, wasn’t possible.

The Benefits of Canning

Canning does take a while to do until you get the hang of the process. So, why can at all? Canning offers many benefits for you and your family.

  • Canning is economical

It saves money on groceries. When you want strawberry preserves or green beans, you go to the pantry instead of heading to the grocery store.

  • Canning cuts out food waste

Fruits and vegetables that you have grown in your garden don’t have to be given away or thrown away because you can’t eat them all before they spoil.

  • Good for you

Canning uses the natural fresh ingredients without preservatives or additives. This is better for our bodies, and also, allows the natural flavor of good food comes through for a better tasting meal.