Thursday, November 14, 2013

Weeknight Shopping + Creamy Chicken Noodle Slow Cooker Soup

As a working parent Friday through Sunday is precious family time when I rarely do errands.  Which is why I do my Target/Costco/BJ's and if I am being real - Lord and Taylor ;) - runs when the kids are in bed. 

We get homework and baths done quickly and then I run out around 7:45/8 usually once a month if we need something.

I am hosting a family dinner this Saturday with 11 adults and 4 kids so I pre-planned the menu, put the ingredients list in my notes section of my blackberry and triggered my  entertaining routine which is at this point a well-oiled machine.

Last night I went quickly to a local food store with a list of non-perishables in hand. I was out and back within an hour since I had my list organized.

Tonight I plan to go to BJ's (which is open until 10 pm - ideal!) for meat, vegetables, etc. 
Getting all the shopping out of the way before today is over will allow me to buckle down tomorrow night to enjoy baking and other prep.

We have a good menu planned:
Stuffed pork loin
Green bean bundles
Broccoli quinoa casserole
Sweet potato bread
A big fall salad
(2) NY Times Oreo-crusted pumpkin pies (fun!)
Nutella crunch ice cream cake
Caramel pecan brownies

Get It Done Tip: Lots to do, but if you break down what needs to get done into manageable chunks the days leading up it is all do-able without a lot of extra stress. In fact, the shopping and cooking are enjoyable "me time" and Saturday I'll have the bulk done and be ready with a glass of wine in hand to enjoy my family.

More on this topic tomorrow!

In other news, tonight's dinner was perfect for the freezing cold. 

Slow Cooker Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup 

I don't like to make things with condensed soups too often since there isn't anything healthy about it, but once in awhile I will pull a good comfort food recipe like this and make the condensed soup from scratch so I don't have to worry about BPA from a can.  But today I was stretched for time so had this on hand as a back-up...boxed is going to have to be good enough for tonight!
5  cups  water
2 10  ounce cans  condensed cream of chicken and mushroom soup (I used one)
2  cups  chopped cooked chicken (about 10 ounces) (I put mine in frozen and shredded when it was fully cooked)
1 10  ounce package  frozen mixed vegetables (I used two packages of Cascadian farms Gardener's Blend)
1  teaspoon  seasoned pepper or garlic-pepper seasoning
1 1/2  cups  dried egg noodles
                   In a 3 1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker, gradually stir the water into soup until smooth.
Stir in chicken, frozen vegetables, and seasoned pepper.
Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 6 to 8 hours or on high-heat setting for 3 to 4 hours.
If using low-heat setting, turn to high-heat setting. Stir in uncooked noodles.
Cover and cook for 20 to 30 minutes more or just until noodles are tender.

The kids loved it!!

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