Sunday, July 18, 2010

CLOSED: Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms Review & Giveaway

Closed!

Winner:
Betty C ... 117


Your busy mom lifestyle dictates quick get-on-the table meals, but how do you prepare and cook a delicious meal at the end of your busy day when you are simply out of time and energy?

It’s simple! Here’s how: Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms Cookbook. This is Jane Doiron’s cookbook of savory, family-favorite recipes that were individually home-tested and selected. Make Ahead Meals are:

• Simple to prepare.
• Simple to assemble ahead of schedule.
• Simple to freeze ahead.
• Simple for the whole family to enjoy.


Jane Doiron helps you, a very busy mom like herself, to put a fabulous dinner on the table every night for friends, or just for the family, with a minimum of fuss and a maximum of flavor.

Jane’s goal was to seek out main dish, family-favorite recipes that could be make ahead meals without sacrificing the food’s taste and texture by freezing. After years of home-testing recipes, Jane has compiled this must-have cookbook with specific make-ahead directions. In addition, Jane includes her best recipes for clever side dishes, flavorful appetizers and luscious desserts. Imagine opening your freezer to pick out a family-favorite appetizer, main dish, or dessert, and all you have to do is thaw and heat it!

Make-ahead meals are a healthy and economical alternative to take-out and preservative filled, pre-packaged foods. With make ahead meal planning, you are making fewer trips to the grocery store, and saving money otherwise spent on unhealthy, take-out and fast foods. It’s simple. Give yourself a break during the hectic weeknights with Jane’s make-ahead meal recipes. Spend the time that you save outside of the kitchen doing something that you enjoy.

Meals are hard for me. I have a full time career, a 2 1/2 hour commute a day, a family and I attempt to blog everyday. I know it is also hard on stay at home moms. That is also a difficult job. Too often, we turn to fast food or frozen foods. It's not cheap and certainly not healthy!
When I was given the opportunity, by the author Jane Doiron, to review the cookbook, Make-Ahead Meals, I was extremely interested. Although I love cookbooks, the title alone intrigued me! I had seen this cookbook around the net and was ecstatic and honored, to say the least, for this opportunity. 

Jane, a mom and a teacher, fully understands the mealtime dilemma facing families. In Make-Ahead Meals For Busy Moms, Jane Doiron has come up with a solution to this common problem. Follow her lead, plan meals ahead of time and alternate your meats. Following the tips in Jane Doiron’s Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms will allow you to discover a whole new way to feed your family. I had a busy weekend because I had a friend in the hospital so I spent all day there while hubby watched the little man. He said he was going to make lasagna for dinner and I asked him to try this recipe and make extra. We ate one pan of lasagna that night, and he froze three other pans for meals later in the month. He ended of loving this method of cooking and said we will work together to do this every weekend.



The recipes are easy enough for any level of cook to handle.  The instructions are well laid out and include directions for making ahead, before serving suggestions, and freezing and thawing directions. Make Ahead Meals For Busy Moms is full of recipes that can be partially or fully made ahead the night before.  This is perfect for fitting meal preparation into your schedule.  Planning and preparing your meals and following a schedule will help to eliminate the problem “what are we going to have for dinner?”. However, you still have to remember to thaw a meal.  By making use of Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms,you can have several things on hand that will save time, money and make finishing a meal super simple!


Take a look at the Amazon Index of the book and see all the fantastic dishes you will be able to create! In addition, there is a lot of valuable information and recipes on her site! For example, I love the Stuffed Shells with Rotisserie Chicken!


Stuffed Shells with Rotisserie Chicken









Ingredients
10 oz. bag spinach
1 or 2 rotisserie chickens
12 oz. jumbo shells
Cheese Filling
2 lbs. ricotta cheese, part-skim
2 cups Parmesan cheese, grated
2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black ground pepper
Sauce 
2 pints heavy cream
3/4 teaspoon chicken bouillion powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups Italian cheese, shredded
salt & pepper, to taste
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated (for the topping)
Directions
1.  Cover and boil the spinach in one inch of water until completely wilted.  Drain well and set aside.
2.  Remove the meat from the chicken(s) and set aside.
3.  Cook the jumbo shells according to the directions.  (Be sure to remove them before they split.)  Drain the shells and place them on wax paper to dry.
4.  In a large bowl, combine the cheese filling ingredients.  Fill the shells with the cheese filling using a decorating bag or spoon.  Place the stuffed shells in two 13 x 9-inch baking dishes.  Add the chicken and spinach to the dish, so that it is evenly distributed around the shells.  Set aside.
5.  Heat the cream in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add the boullion powder, garlic, Italian cheese, and salt & pepper. Stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is heated through.
6.  Pour the sauce evenly over the shells, chicken and spinach.  Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese on top.
7.  Bake at 350 degrees F until bubbly and the cheese is golden brown about 30 – 40 minutes.
Serves 8 – 9.
Freezing Directions
I recommend freezing this meal in disposable aluminum baking tins.  Prepare this recipe through step # 6;  cover and cool in the refrigerator.  When completely cool, cover and wrap in plastic wrap and aluminum foil.  Label the meal and include the cooking directions.  Freeze up to 2 months.
To reheat, simply remove the foil and plastic wrap and place in the oven (frozen).  Bake for about 1 hour at 350 degrees F until bubbly and heated through.
This recipe was part of Mommy’s Kitchen Pot Luck Sunday.  Head over there for some great recipes!







Buy It!
You can purchase Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms from Amazon,Barnes and Noble, or you can purchase as an e-book from the Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms website.


Win It!
One lucky Extreme Personal Measures reader will win their own copy of Make Ahead Meals For Busy Moms!

Here is how to enter:
the MANDATORY entry
the EXTRA entries
After the first required entry, you can do any (or all) of the following for one entry each!
  • Subscribe to Extreme Personal Measures by email or Reader.                                               ***Important Note: If you subscribe for the points, you must be a subscriber at the time of                drawing or the entry is disqualified ***
  • Follow extreme_measures and Jane Doiron on Twitter AND tweet about this giveaway. (You must do both for this entry.) Leave me a comment with your status update! You can as many times a day as you like, with one our intervals, for an extra entry. Be sure to come back and leave the URL for your status update. 5 points
feel free to copy and paste this tweet:
RT WIN a Make-Ahead Meals for Busy Moms book from @extreme_measures & @janedoiron PLEASE RT! 

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For complete contest rules, please see our Contest Statement and Blog Disclosure. Contest ends at 11:59pm EST on July 31,2010 when a winner will be drawn at random and announced the next day. When commenting, please include your email address. I will notify the winners and they will have 48 hours to respond!
This was not a paid post. My own opinions were used based on my perceptions and experience. Thank you to Jane Doiron/Make Ahead Meals for Busy Momswho supplied the products for review and giveaway.

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