Tuesday, May 9, 2017

HaPpY Mother's Day~

Parenting and working full time is a challenge that requires more organization, planning and follow through than most jobs. Single parents do it all themselves. It reminds me of that quote about Ginger Rogers being a better dancer than Fred Astaire because she did everything backwards in high heels. Oh wait, you many have no idea who Fred and Ginger are, ask your parents…or your grandparents. Anyway, Jennifer Pate has been a single mom of two growing, active boys for 9 years and has developed, in her words "My tried and true method of feeding two bottomless pits on a budget... planning!!! Makes my heart happy, makes their stomachs happy.” Nice, right?

You know how you can hate and love cooking all at once? It’s so easy to have it become just another chore. Well Jennifer plans ahead for those days when she doesn’t want to cook by making a HUGE batch of spaghetti sauce which she bags into quart size bags and lays flat to freeze. She likes DaVinci seasoning, our meat department’s homemade sausage, family size ground beef pack, garlic, onion, carrots and throw in everything. Your basic kitchen sink recipe. Her family has so many uses for this sauce! English muffin pizza, or just pizza, over tortellini, make burritos with it, over hotdogs instead of chili, over frozen raviolis! Great for the end of the month!

Jennifer has a lot of great ideas for getting the most for your time and money at mealtime. Every Sunday she plans out the week, makes the shopping list, puts meals on the calendar, shops, puts the dry ingredients in baskets with the recipe and the corresponding perishables are in the fridge marked for that day. Baskets are for Monday through Thursday then Friday is leftover day. The boys do the prep work before she gets home from work then Jennifer finishes it up! On the nights the boys have karate or scouting she chooses a shorter recipe.  

I follow Jennifer on Facebook and her cooking makes me hungry! Homemade tomatillo sauce, cauliflower crust pizza, asian lettuce wraps and, her latest, sweet potato tacos. The tacos were a Meatless Monday dinner and she says they were vegan before she “ruined them with a smidge of cheese”. I say cheese never ever ruined anything. I <3 cheese. The sweet potato tacos were an instant family favorite! Here’s her recipe~

Sweet Potato Tacos
4 medium sweet potatoes diced into 1/4” cubes *Jenn’s note, “trust me on the size, it’s worth it”
1 can black beans drained and rinsed
1 can corn drained and rinsed
2 pkgs taco seasoning                                                                      
1 yellow onion finely chopped
1 clove garlic minced
2 limes
olive oil
tortillas of your choice
Taco fixin’s ~ lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, sour cream, salsa, avocados, your pick.
Preheat oven 425*
Spray baking sheet with cooking spray
In a large bowl combine sweet potatoes and 3/4 cup onion. Add a good amount of olive oil & 1 1/2 pkgs of taco seasoning. Toss well and spread over baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes, toss once, bake until browned
In a large skillet heat 2 tbsp olive oils and sauté other 1/4 cup onion and garlic. Add beans, corn and leftover seasoning mix. Saute for 5 to 6 minutes.
Warm tortillas ( I HIGHLY recommend a La tortilla oven :) )
Fill tortillas with sweet potatoes, bean and corn mixture, squeeze lime over. Add your favorite toppings and enjoy!

Jennifer’s comment on this dish was " We ❤ Meatless Monday's!!! Sweet potato, black bean, and corn tacos. Ky is on his 7th taco, Connor is on his 8th. I'm contemplating a 4th 😅 #YUM”

Planning this way Jennifer’s family has time to do the stuff they love to do together like going to the lake or Lassen Park. Isn’t that what it’s all about?

I think I’m gonna need a few more of those recipes.

Thanks Jennifer Pate for showing us how you keep your family Hometown Healthy, Happy, Proud!

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