Wednesday, September 22, 2010

All That and A Bag of Carrots

With everything in my life becoming so chaotic, I've given myself a fun little challenge to try and find 101 things to make out of a bag of carrots - my favorite grocery store bargain. $1.79 for a 5 lb. bag of carrots is a steal considering all the things you can do with carrots! Definitely an underutilized veggie. Here are my first 10:

  1. Carrot sticks - an all time favorite, dip them in ranch or hummus or simply eat them plain. Nutritious, low calorie and tasty! Trust me if you cut them up and set them out - they will get eaten
  2. Roasted Carrots with Parsley - peel and slice carrots, mix with a little olive oil, salt, pepper and chopped parsley. Bake in a 350 oven for 15 minutes or until roasted
  3. Homemade baby food - Peel and steam carrots, blend in a blender with a little water till desired consistency and your done! Short Cut Mommy tip: freeze in freezable container up to 2 months and defrost in microwave when ready to use.
  4. Carrot Soup with Crab - A fabulous recipe found in Sunset Magazine years ago. Sooo Good!
  5. Stock - Throw some carrots (peeled or not) in a pot with celery, (cooked) chicken remains, onions, parsley, salt & pepper. Fill pot with enough water to cover everything and boil for 2 hours. Strain and instant homemade broth! Short Cut Mommy tip: Fill reusable ice trays with broth, freeze. Pop out and keep in a freezable plastic container to use as needed.
  6. Carrot Juice - Full of vitamins and tasty!
  7. Chop up and throw in a stir fry - Carrots are a great addition to any stir fry and add gorgeous orange color.
  8. Shred on top of salads - Short Cut Mommy tip: If you have a food processor with a grate blade, shred a few and keep in the fridge ready to use.
  9. Carrot Cake - I LOVE carrot cake especially this recipe from Barefoot Contessa
  10. Shrimp & Veggie Summer Rolls - Delicious, refreshing, actually easier than you think! Check out the recipe found in Food & Wine Magazine.

I look forward to posting the next 10 great carrot finds!!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Quick Dust

I am one of the lucky ones who have light colored Pergo wood floors in my kitchen, and I have to say they look great when they are clean and shiny! But, they show everything - and I am constantly getting out my swiffer to do a quick dry mop. But I have to say the swiffer dry mop pads are a little costly when using 1 a day, so the other day I tried using a used dryer sheet that was left in the laundry basket and it worked great! I take 2 of them (so the cover the entire mop) and wrap them and tuck them into the grooves provided. A great (cheap) way to dry mop!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My Favorite Granola Recipe

This recipe is AMAZING! The original recipe is actually for the chewy granola bar (sort of like the ones Quaker makes) but I altered it a little and make my own version, plus a version of regular granola to put on yogurt, oatmeal etc. Here are my 2 versions adapted from the original recipe found at

Chewy Granola Bars

2 1/4 c. rolled oats
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/3 c. butter (softened or melted)
1/4 c. honey
1/4 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325, and grease (I use PAM) a 8x11 (or comparable) pan
Mix all ingredients together in a stand mixer, until combined. Spread in the greased pan, and pack down. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool 10 minutes then cut into bars.

Crumbled Granola Version

Same ingredients as above EXCEPT chocolate chips. Same procedure except use a baking sheet (still need to grease) and bake 10 minutes then use a spatula to turn/ spread, bake 5 more minutes or until golden.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Party Planning

I am a huge fan of planning, organizing and hosting parties, especially when I find helpful short cuts to help me get through an event happily and without exhausting myself! So I will be adding a new section to Short Cut Mommy with planning ideas, strategies and tips. I am organizing a party this weekend for my sister's college graduation so that will be my first blog entry! In observance I am posting a preview of a little addition I am making...the idea came from Bakerella and they are SO cute and creative, I love them! Stay tuned for the complete photo gallery post after the event this weekend. Cheers!

Pre-Packaged Dinners...

I try to strive and make sure hat every meal is 100% the best quality I can afford and homemade. And while I usually do a pretty good job, there are those crazy days, weeks, months, that I just do not have the time. So while shopping at my favorite Whole Foods Market I perused the pre-packaged dinners and was pleasantly surprised! I found premade (as in Whole Foods made them, not frozen) turkey pot pie, enchiladas, BBQ chicken pizza, sandwiches, dips, and a variety of other delicious (and healthy!) items that I could just take home and reheat! Everything I have tried was very tasty and not as expensive as I expected, between $5-$10; which is what I usually budget per meal anyway. They even had pre cut fajita fillings; bell peppers, onions & cilantro for $4.99 - which I couldn't have bought a green, red & yellow bell pepper and a red onion and cilantro for that, plus I don't think i would have used the left over which would result in wasting food (a HUGE pet peeve of mine). So keep it up Grocers, Mommies need a break now and then :)