Real Recipes for Real People: Save Money & Time In Your Kitchen!
by Kaylin Cherry
Today, many folks are saving both money and time in their homes, by using a system called Once A Month Cooking or Investment Cooking. This means that they use one or more cooking sessions to make meals ahead for their families, and then freeze the meals for use later in the month. Many folks make meals in advance for the entire month, so they do not need to take the time out from their busy schedules to cook every day. This frees up time for them to spend with their families, or to do other things that they would like to, and have a tough time finding the time to do in their busy days. This sort of cooking is not just for working families- it is for everyone! Large families, small families, single folks, retired folks, small income, larger income, small freezer space, large freezer space, etc.. There are benefits to this system for everyone.
One of the most popular recipes for using in this system is the King Ranch Chicken Casserole. It freezes well, and I have never heard from anyone who didn't rave over it. One of my subscribers, "Howard," sent me this information on the actual King Ranch:
"Have you ever heard of the real King Ranch? It is in South Central Texas, and is over one million acres. I don't know the current status of the ranch, but for many years it was owned by King family. They originally made their fortune in the east Texas oil fields.
They still find skeletons on the ranch (human ones). Back in the old days it was a well-known fact that if you wanted to murder someone, you just took them out on the ranch property so far that they could never walk out and simply leave them to die. If anyone was missing, the last thing you would dream of doing would be to search on the ranch--it would be an impossible job.
The King Ranch Chicken Casserole has been around for as long as I can remember (I am 76)-- much longer than computers (and by now, most cooks also). It is a delicious recipe and was originally much longer and more complicated as I remember but I have eaten this one and it is surprisingly delicious also. Regards, Howard"
King Ranch Chicken Casserole
Recipe By : Real Food for Real People
Serving Size : 6
1 cup Onions -- diced
1 cup Green Bell Peppers -- diced
1/2 pound Mushrooms
1/4 cup Butter or Margarine
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
1 can Cream of Chicken soup
1 pound Cheddar Cheese -- shredded
2 cups Chicken -- cooked and diced
1 can Tomatoes with Green Chilies
1 clove Garlic -- minced
2 tablespoons Chili Powder
1 tablespoon Chicken Broth
12 Corn Tortillas -- torn into quarters
In a large pan, sauté onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms in butter, Add soups, tomatoes & chilies, garlic, chili powder, and chicken broth.
Line bottom of a 9x13 inch pan with pieces of tortillas. Spread half the chicken over the tortillas and top with half of the sauce, then half of the cheese.
Cover with another layer of torn corn tortillas, and repeat the chicken, sauce and cheese layers. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until bubbly.
Note: This recipe freezes very well.
If you are interested in more information or more recipes for Once A Month Cooking, you can find it on the Real Food for Real People website at realfood4realpeople.com.
We're still paying off last Christmas and worry how we'll afford the holidays this year without charging it again! Tell us: Yes, we could use help getting out of the debt trap we're in! or No, debt is not a problem for us but I'm always looking for ways to trim my family's expenses further!
More Money-Saving Tips for Families
- Best September bargains for thrifty shoppers
- 5 big bills you can cut fast
- 5 frugal ways to expand your living space
- 4 steps to a simpler (and more frugal) life
- Start now and have a stress free Christmas later
- Raising money for your school, church or non-profit group
- Inexpensive storybook costume ideas
- Organizing the disorganized mom
- This week's Readers' Tips