Welcome to the feed, your family tonight, podcast. Do you dread hearing the question, whats for dinner? Whether you spend your days, keeping up with toddlers, running kids to after-school, activities are juggling, a career and family getting dinner on the table. Can be a struggle for us all. I dont receive a box, a business owner wife, and mom of four. Im on a mission to build stronger families. One dinner at a time. And Im here with tips, tricks and inspiration. You need to feed your family tonight. Welcome to the feed, your family tonight, podcast, episode, 241, Amy, Rose, Marie fever. And Im so excited to be with you today. Today is a really special episode because it is a full-on are coaching session with the delightful Emily. We dig into some of her challenges like figuring out how to get dinner on the table. After you pick up the kids from daycare, how did kind of the number of meals that youre making sure youre not having the same thing over and over again? We also digging a little bit into bass cooking and some of the easy ways to get started back to him. And then what kind of containers are you putting these things in that your back cooking? So, listen to todays podcast and learn a little bit about what its like to be coached by feed your family. Emily. Welcome to the feed, your family tonight podcast. Im so happy to have you here to do a little bit of on are coaching. Were going to start off by just have you introduced yourself, tell us who you are, who lives in your home, where in the world you live and then well kind of go from there. So, tell us Emily, tell us who you are. And where in the world you live in, whos at home with you. So thanks for having me. I am in Maryland, I have four kids and a husband. So I have six year old twins. That are my stepkids, and then a three year old and a five-month-old. You are in the thick of it of motherhood, youre still really in that phase where theres a lot of physical taking care of peoples needs. Do you feel that? I feel that and we just got my daughter in daycare full-time. So its done, making the bottles and doing doing all that stuff now that shes in the school full time. Time. And theres so much to prep, and then they get home from daycare. And you have all of the cleanup and you have dinner and you have bedtime. Do you feel that in your routine? Does the cleanup become part of your dinner routine? Or is it a separate routine is the severity? And I wish you could be part of my dinner routine, but theres just too much going on while Im trying to cook the dinner. So it kind of becomes part of my clean up hurting but some days I have seven bags to be able to go to school. So that part its like, clean up lunches and just making sure everyones wearing the right shirt that day, the right color if they have like color day or whatever. So its, its a lot of its own organization with it. I bet. And from what little I know about you, because you filled out an application before you got on the podcast, I get the feeling that youre a very regimented type of mom, who tries to. The Is and cross. The ts in my right eye means our daycare teachers, have told me that Im always on top of it, with making sure that theyre always were in the right thing. And During their Hawaiian shirt on luau day so kind of yes I that is something I am not. So I always admire people that have that gift. You kind of talked about dinner a little bit and were going to hop right into it. What, what is your current dinner time? Like, do you like to eat at the same time everyday? Are you changing time to time depend upon whats happening? Tell me what your dinner hour looks like in your home. So, I strive to get dinner on the table by 6 and depending on the day, it can go all the way until 6:30. So I try to get between at 6 or 630 time, hopefully its more closer to the 6 and its the same every single day cuz Ill get off of work. Go pick the kids up and come back home. Okay. And you work from home. So youre kind of going back and forth between home, what time do you pick up everybody from daycare usually give or take? I try to pick them up at like, 4:30 and be home by 5. So, you have that long of a commute, you have a half hour commute from daycare to home Its a long time to pick all the different kids up. Are you at 1? Take care of. You have to stop one day care that youre picking up for that creates that creates a half hour pick up routine and then whats it like, whats it like when you come home are the kids have they had a snack? Are they hungry? Are they cranky? Are they needed, whats it? Like when you come home. So when I come home they have been had a snack at school and so I dont do any. They dont get any food until its time for dinner from me. Theyve already had a book at 3 or 3:30 snack. And so we come home and either if my husbands home, hell take the older kids out, either a bike ride or play outside. If its just me. Normally, we just sit in front of the two. They sit in front of the TV while Im trying to get dinner prep. My five month old is really the hard at the hard one cuz thats kind of her witching hour where shes just kind of cranky until its time to go to bed. She just kind of tired from the day. When I get home, I try to either feed her and then get dinner started or kind of, I kind of play that one by ear and I just take that next time the kids are either occupied with my husband or with the TV and then Im done working on gum work on cooking dinner. Okay. So then tell me what kind of dinners are you making? And they may change from day-to-day? Are you, are you kind of at 6 things earlier in the day in for something in the slow cooker? Are you like cooking from the starting from the very beginning when you set foot into the kitchen and working your way until dinner time, I am some days, Ill work on my lunch break and try to prep a few things, but mainly its 5. Lets start but hopefully I figured out what Im going to plan on doing this meal planning. But if I do Ill start cooking. So its you know, if Im making tacos but Im grounding Browning the meat and starting from there or putting snuff in an instant pot, but Im not the girl. Cooks. Ive been kind of working on my grill, something on my car and our girl or something, but Im not the greatest guess Im trying to work on broadening my horizons because I am I kind of took the same things over and over again, but I its just theres not a lot of prep so Im trying to work on getting things prepped better than I do in wanting to build your cooking skills and youre also really not alone when it comes to feeling like youre cooking the same thing over and over again I talked with thousands of parents all over the country and that is a big pain point for a lot of people tackle that first or do we want to tackle some of the time management and some of the prep things first, which way would you rather go? Probably the time and its been prepped and you said your meal planning so are you meal planning for 5 Days 7 days or hit and miss here and there in DayZ what I found out work for me this week was I literally took my pen and paper to the dinner table and ask kind of just asked everyone, okay, you can pick on Tuesday what you want and you can pick on Wednesday and I tried to get different peoples input for me, coming up with ideas, I was like, spaghetti, I was having trouble coming up with new things, okay? So thats another question is, did your kids give you a variety or they kind of picking the same things that are in your standard repertoire? They know I can cook, like, spaghetti, and chicken and mashed potatoes, but I also asked them for. We could have led them to answers. Like I would you like rice on the side or mashed potatoes or things? I knew how to Cook. And then they gave that they give their answers and of course they all wanted macaroni and cheese and so weve made them pick different things. But I mean, Im not in the same with little macaroni cheese every now and then, but you dont want it was 7 days a week like that would be more than I can handle. Okay. Do you have a master meal planning sheet which is like a list of all of the things that you currently may you have one of those do not have one I am working on building one. Okay okay. Building one. Takes I tell people to get one thats really working takes about a year because as the seasons change, youre going to think about, like, right now, were in the dead of Summer and youre not thinking about soups and stews, and then when the fall hit, youre going to be like, oh my gosh, Im wanting some like warming. Things like, casseroles soups to roast those things. So, as the seasons change, adding to that Master meal planning sheet will help you. And I have a copy of Master meal planning sheet this broken-down either by animal proteins or I have one for vegans and vegetarians 2. So you if you have a printed that off and for the listeners you can get that at feed your family tonight. Calm slash Master. Ill link to it in the show notes but this master meal planning sheet is a place to do a quick brain, dump of things that you make. And then as you try new recipes here is the key to the master meal planning sheet. Working is that do not put it on the master meal planning sheet until you fed it to your family three times with relative success. I am feeding a family of six picky eater and relative success means four out of five will eat it. That this one will eat it and they will complain in the sixth one gets a peanut butter sandwich. So its the first time you make it Everybody Eats it and then the second time they make it half of them complain and of the Third Kind of like we dont like this mom. So if you can get you the third time and they like it, then it can go on the sheet, we kind of her talking. Time management and I think Emily for you to take this one step further is you need to start writing the amount of time. It tastes. So is this a 30-minute Meal start to finish? Or is this Emil that you can work for like 15 minutes on your lunch hour since youre working from home and do a little prep and like throw it into the oven before you head to daycare? Is this a meal that you can prep the night before and again put in the oven at 4:30 before youre heading to pick up everybody from daycare? Or is this a meal where it? You put it all in the instant pot and then you go and feed your 5 months old and have their snuggle time will the instapot, does the work? So I want you to kind of start putting the time and when that time happens, if it happened the night before cuz it happened earlier in the day, does it have to happen right at dinner time? Do you think that that might help you plan a little better? Just even thinking about how long think steak is even instant pot. Put it in for 10 minutes then its got that time that takes to seal up. So Im putting in the thought in this big list of kind of even knowing how long things take cuz sometimes I dont even thats why its sometimes dinner doesnt end on the end up on the table until 6:30 because I didnt calculate the time right over the next few weeks. As youre making me up start admin to the master meal planning sheet, you might even like set a stopwatch on your phone so that you have realistic time because I dont know about you. But in my mind, I think I can do things faster than they really take. And sometimes, Im not honest with myself about how much time a task really takes that, because I do recipe development, I make myself set stopwatches, so that I can write it down in the recipe said, I put on my blog are accurate, at least accurate in my home. And honestly, Ive had a little bit because Im faster with a knife than a lot of people, you know, Im faster and I can multitask. Juan cooking more than a lot of people cant just because I have so much experience with it. So start setting a stopwatch on on your phone and then start adding those times to that Master meal planning. The other thing that you said that, I think might be really helpful to you is to you ever do like a little bit of batch cooking or a little bit of cook. Once eat twice for you like make double batch you put some in the freezer for later. You ever do any of that Ive done that only with ground beef, like Browning it ahead of time to talk to me and the just regular ground beef. And every time I do it, Im like, this is really helpful, but then its like, it takes a little time to get it out and heat it up that you didnt appreciate it because it just kind of happened by Eminem. And I havent gone forward with doing that regularly. Im in encourage you to start with that cook once. Eat twice velocity. So if you are putting on your meal plan and do you order your groceries or do you physically go to the grocery store? Okay, when you go to the grocery store and you have tacos on your meal plan and made you have tacos and spaghetti, Im going to encourage you to make double the taco, meat and double the spaghetti. So youre going to probably be getting like, 4 lb of meat, or, I dont know how many times you use, but but youre going to get more than double what you would expect. And then when youre cooking that taco meat, it takes the same amount of time to cook to two pounds of taco meat. As it does to cook one and then put one in the freezer in, in a zip bag or in a container, make sure you label it. What time I had barbecue beef on tacos thinking that it was taco meat and it wasnt, it was barbecue beef. I thought it was chicken tacos, I was. But, you know, if we make sure you label it and then youll have your spaghetti or anyting. Spaghetti is not hard as quick as fast as easy, but if you already have the meat Roundup, do you make your own saucer to use? Use a jar of sauce? No, shame in either game. I used the jar then you dont want to mix the meat with the sauce packet to meet precooked and and have it in the freezer ready to go. Thats one way to do it or if you happen to have like an hour on a Saturday. I am not a big fan of like, spending my whole weekend prepping, but if you happen to have like an hour Brown up 10 lb of hamburger, and you can put salt and pepper and onions in it, or you can do whatever you want. And then just put it in meal, size portions for your family. And thats really important because you freeze it in a big block. It is of no use to you cuz you going to have to have to talk a lot, but put it into meal, size portions for your family and have it in your freezer and then you can make spaghetti, you can make tacos, you can make cheeseburger baked potatoes. Theres a thousand things that you can do with it and if you have that 10 pounds, there will be days. We be like oh my goodness this is so nice to have. You ever done it? You guys eat animal proteins. Do you have you ever done it with chicken? Have you ever precooked chicken at all? I have not done it with chicken, but I havent done with chicken but I will take just frozen chicken breasts and put an instant pot. So I feel like thats still really simple. Really simple way to to do chickens. Ive never really gone through the day. Do the thing of making it cooking it and then putting it back in there in the freezer. So, next time, you can take the frozen chicken breasts and put double the amount and then have that chicken meat. And then that already cooked chicken that you think its not going to make your life faster than the instapot. But I promise you, it will even if you take it, if you take it out the night before and you thought in your refrigerator Presto change of you are a winning moms, but if you even take it out and just throw it in the microwave. Its still faster and less Cleanup in the instapot. A beast to clean. You know, you got to clean insert, you got to clean the ring and, you know, youre not only Satan cookie time but youre cleaning time as you can because you can Zip bag and put it in a small little bowl. That can go straight into your dishwasher weeknight dinners you. And I have talked about this on social media before Auntie Ems is that its about time management more than it is about recipe. If you can get that time management piece down and again start doing 15 minutes worth of work over your lunch break. Now, what are you doing for size? Are you are you a salad person? You guys vegetable people are you just put the meat on the table and call it good? Like what, how do you what do you do about sides, or mashed potatoes? I actually recently found out that making mashed potatoes from scratch is very simple and you dont need to just use the bags mashed potatoes. I like literally on 33, I literally just figured that out. So weve been kind of experiment with that and then broasting the vegetables or just getting Frozen ones for a bag and boiling them. I got an air fryer recently, so weve been kind of experimenting with. A little bit, but I said no steam. Some vegetables. Will do different sides like that. Be my husband awaits salads, but not the kids wont really. They just beat the truth out of the salads right now. I mean, theyre playing that game. I left myself a crouton to so thats fine. Most of your veggie prep. Youre either cooking potatoes, or youre just taking frozen veggies out of the bag. Youre not cleaning vegetables. Very often, right. Im trying in my learning how to cook to eat more fresh vegetables. But I, I dont have a lot of confidence in and eating fresh vegetables, all the time. So thats kind of been a work-in-progress. What kind of fresh vegetables do you like? Follower work, Im working on carrots and different stir-fry vegetables, broccoli. Ill buy that all cut up in the bag. That was pretty easy and Ill Broast those but as far as like peeling and cleaning and all that. Im not there yet with my cooking skills. Thats okay. Thats actually one thing that especially really busy moms. I feel like at the phase of life that youre in, or youre having a lot of physical work with the children, like my kids are older, still a lot of my Works more mental Than Physical, but when you have kids that are, you know, six down to five months, theres a lot of physical wrangling of bodies and taking care of taking care of basic needs. And so, you may start looking at to get your fresh vegetables, letting the grocery store, do some of the shopping Like You by the bag of chopped chopped broccoli. If you like mushrooms or stir-fry vegetables, buy them pre-sliced. Even one of my little tricks has to use the salad bar at the grocery store especially if you need like just a little bit of like chopped celery for a recipe or something. Like you need like a quarter cup of chopped celery for a recipe of a salad bar and grab a quarter cup of chopped celery and let the grocery store kind of do more. After so many more pre-chopped vegetables available as winter comes, youre going to be able to get fresh chopped butternut squash and youre going to be in there. So theres so many things that you can do that, the grocery store can help you with and it your phase of life. Thats probably the easiest way to get more fresh veggies in and that as your skills improved like, okay Im going to tackle peeling and cutting up my own butternut squash will walk you through that. You message me anytime its not a big deal but for now let your time be focused on getting the other parts of the meal on the table and let the grocery store do some of the prep for those fresh veggies. I mean, you can buy the baby carrots already pre, pre pre shredded carrots in a bag and you can use those in stir fry to so frozen, vegetables are sometimes higher quality than fresh. I am a big fan of frozen veggies, because you can throw in your airfryer With a little bit of olive oil and salt and you can blanch them and some salt water and throw them into your oven and you can roast them. Frozen. Veggies are a wonderful, wonderful time saver and often they have higher nutrients and they taste better than fresh. Dont beat yourself up too much that youre not doing too many fresh vegetables. And Im here. So were good vegetables that all are great and, you know, if your kids go through a phase where they were voting on, vegetables will be okay, theyll come back. I have one that revolted and vegetables for many many years and they are slowly starting to come back every once in a while those surprise you in like eat a mushroom and onion or something. I like Okay, so the second thing I kind of noticed that you were a little frustrated with was that you were eating the same things over and over again and your kind of one wanting to expand. What you are fixing. Your family. Is that correct? Yes. Okay, I have this concept of Base ingredients and I think its the best way to expand your familys palate as well as your cooking skills. And that the theory was based ingredients is that you dont want to change the flavors and the ingredients at the same time. So, heres an example, is if your family is used to eating spaghetti, with meat sauce, you dont want to switch that to a chickpea pasta, Curry, if youre wanting to change something with your family change, either the flavors. So you keep the beef and the tomato sauce, but you change the flavors from a reggae No and garlic and basil to cumin and coriander and Curry and youre keeping that proteins in the Main Ingredients, the same, but youre changing the flavor or you change the base ingredients and you keep the same flavor. So you switch over to like cooking with chicken with basil and oregano and tomato sauce is so you just change the protein. So your family isnt getting to things changing at the same time. Does that make any sense to you? I mean, that makes perfect sense. Thats also like, you know, how Im going to be healthy eating. So lets go to quinoa and this, and that and this and that. And now Im like, well, I dont like even me not even just buy kids. Like I dont like how that taste. Lets go back to what time you still such a really good way. Not only to make meals, that the family gets used to and myself included, but also to kind of go to a healthier made maybe some of these healthy ingredients. What works with this is, I dont like people scrolling on their phones too much looking for recipes because I feel like its a giant time-suck in nine times, out of 10, youre going to end up going to something that you have done it before. But as youre on social media, and youre seeing people posting, do you think food that looks good? I want you to evaluate. It are the flavors something that were used to, or are the main ingredients something that were used to, when you look at those pick one. So, if you see a recipe that has flavors that your familys used to, but uses some different ingredients, maybe its subbing out the meat with a bean, or a tofu or something. You think? Well, thats worth trying because the flavors are all the same. Now heres the thing about trying new recipes. I really dont recommend busy moms. Like you try them on a weeknight because theres too much pressure Prime on a weekend where you can start a little bit earlier cuz anytime youre trying a new recipe you want to give yourself up. Little bit of buffer time, make sure you read through the recipe, to top to bottom and think about how much time each step is going to take. And sometimes when youre looking at that, you like who I can combine, these two steps read through the whole recipe and kind of look and see how much time its going to take Instinct in your head. How youre actually going to physically do the cooking? Are you going to start with the shopping? Are you going to start by turning on the boiling water? I do this. Even when I do television segment is I actually walked through each step of the cooking process in my head before I executed, and that is going to help you be more successful with a new recipe, but do it on the weekend. When if you eat at 6:45 the worlds not going to end, you know? Cuz Im a busy night, you want to get those kids fed. You want to get them in their bath. You want to get them to bed, so that you can have a couple of minutes to yourself. Theres just too much pressure on the weekdays from the time management, cuz if you havent done it before, do you really know? I mean, they say Prep 5 minutes, but its really five minutes. When youre like got a baby thats crying that you keep having to stop and help her or whatever it is. Thats a really good really good idea if hes that have familiar flavors or familiar ingredients and start trying to be one of those two weekends a month, but you dont have to do it every week, like, your family might Revolt because theyre like, were not used to these laborers anyway, and its a lot of pressure on you because trying new recipes is, is stretching your skills. The other thing is, if you are really kind of up in your cooking game, like you learned how to do mashed potatoes, that was a new cooking technique with a flavor. That that was familiar, right? Like mashed potatoes and mashed potatoes, youre used to that, you know what, those are like. And you tried a new skill for you even rather than trying to flavor she might just start looking for some new cooking skills. And when you look at a recipe, think I have never done that cooking technique. One of my favorite cooking techniques is to blanch vegetables. Have you ever blanched vegetables about it? The Lansing vegetables, before you roast them is magical. If you use enough salt in the water, so you can do this with frozen veggies. You can do it with fresh veggies. You can do it with the pre bagged broccoli from the grocery store. Im all for it. You get a pot of really, really, really salty water. So, if Ive got a probably like two quarts of water, Im putting in, like, two tablespoons of salt, so about a tablespoon per quart, so a lot of salt and you put the veggies in there for about 2 or 3 minutes and theyre usually going to get really bright and vibrant colored. If there are carrots, are going to get a brighter orange. If theres something green, theyre going to get really really bright, then you take them out of that water, and you put them on and oiled baking sheet and roast them in the oven at 450 degrees. Theyve got that salt. How to trade it all the way through and its going to make them so much better. A friend of mine, she texted me and she said, I dont know what this magic is with blanching, but my family ate all the cauliflower off the pan before it even got to the table. And shes not kidding. Its happened with my family to my family could be a little veggie. At first glance thing is a cooking technique and its a way of cooking it, but especially when youre trying to expand vegetables, its something. So, that might be something that you try in the next couple weeks to kind of expand your cooking skills. Expand your veggies, who was kind of a win-win-win, can you blanch it like at lunch time and then put it in the refrigerator and then roast it on the refrigerator at night? Absolutely the actual technical term for blanching cuz I kind of do cheer. Blanching is you actually take it and then you put it into a bath of ice water so youre chilling it if you take it out and put it in the refrigerator and Ive done that before I as matter fact. I will bike use the same water over and over again, cuz I was like, this is a lot of salt and water and I will blanch like three nights worth of veggies. And then Ill just roast them fresh every night. So that theyre nice and Crispin, you may do that on the weekends. You know, you may take and Blanche a few sets of veggies and then just be able to throw them straight on a sheet pan dinner time or blanching at lunch time while youre eating your lunch and then put them in the fridge. Absolutely. To do that. Thats a good idea. You say, you do instant pot meals, have you ever got everything in the liner of your instant pot of your lunch hour? Or so that when its dinner time you can just put it in the instapot and start it before you go pick up the kids from daycare, then putting it into the fridge out of the instant pot thing. So its the metal, the metal on there and I just have that in the fridge with the ingredients ready to go and then all I have to do is flip the liner out of the refrigerator and put it in the instant pot. Have you ever done that? Ive never done that. I am working still on cooking skills and having confidence because its going to go from a duck old refrigerator into this instant pot. Is that even legal? Im not sure. So Ive never done it. Okay, that my change your world a little bit because if you can have that instant pot going, while youre driving to pick up kids from daycare back and forth, and the instapot and keep things warm at a safe temperature, for a long time with the instant pot. Goes from cold to hot so quickly that youre not in the danger. Zone of the danger zone is 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit and you want to stay at that temperature for his little amount of time as possible. So room temperatures, like 70, you know, 70° here, take. You dont want it sitting at room temperature, if it can sit in your refrigerator at 38 degrees during the day, and then you just put it straight in the instant pot can take it up. You can do this with the slow cooker. As long as the food isnt Frozen, you dont really want frozen food in the slow cooker ever because its sits at that 4242 long but you can even get things in your slow-cooker liner and keep your slow-cooker liner in your refrigerator. You can prep it tonight before put that slow-cooker liner in the refrigerator. And then at lunch time, when youre taking a lunch break, you can put your slow-cooker liner in and turn your slow cooker on So doing that with your instapot or slow-cooker, may be a way for you to kind of take 10 minutes at lunch time and save. You 45 at dinner time? You know, the people that are the slow cooker and instant pot experts are my friends thats arriving home driving home blog.com is their website. Ill link to it. They have to slow cooker. Instant pot cook books, and theyre just brilliant with it. They even have like a one-hour session where you spend 1 hour on the weekend and you have six meals that you keep in your freezer that you can just put into your slow cooker. Instant pot are the queens of that I have other skills and so I send people to them for slow cooker, instant pot tips but as far as food safety, youll be fine. If youre putting it from the refuse long as youre keeping it in the refrigerator and sometimes thats easy for even then putting in the slow cooker all day long. Most people are over cooking their food, in their slow cooker. And thats part of the reason why slow cooker meals, kind of taste meth sometimes chicken breast in your slow cooker, really only take like 3 hours on low. For most people are cooking it for like 8 9 hours on high and theyre over cooking their me. Okay? And then using that and Im like, wow. Like now I dont have to worry about is this chicken done but Im also like youre saying not overcooking, it and it tasted so good. I was like why is it taking so long to buy this $20 meat thermometer from Amazon? Like, I dont know why. I never, oh my goodness Emily. An instant-read thermometer is an indispensable kitchen tool. Im so glad you have one. Ill link to my favorite one in the show. Knows I have one that Ive had for over 10 years of my kitchen, it was $12 and it was like the best $12 and it saved me so much guessing because nobody wants fried chicken. You know, you want to make sure that youre feeding your family safe food but overcooked chicken is not pleasant eater. 65 degrees is fully cooked. Usually most foods will have a little bit of residual cooking. If youre pulling them off the grill at 160, itll come up to 165 on its own. Thats kind of the thats the FDA there are Chef. That would say go a little lower than that. I kind of like to go with the FDA cuz Im not going to mess with it. And Im not going to get people sick so but 165, you know that its food safe. Okay. So before we go, do you have any last questions? What would be your best recommendation on freezer storage? Cuz all I ever do is zip lock. All I ever do is zip locks in the freezer and Im, like, the label and half the time. I try to, I try to label them, but do you have any recommendation on any other type of, like, I know you say, you do lasagnas and so what kind of do I need anything more to be doing these fries or things or? Ziplocs really all. I have all I need to do and and thats it. If my zip top bags and thats what I use for. Probably 90% of my freezer cooking. Is it tough bags? A couple of tips about zip-top bags is use a Sharpie marker to mark them before you put the food in because once the food is in, they get kind of slippery and its hard to write dates, put the ingredients in the date on it, on your zip-top bag. If youre trying to cut down on plastic with a lot of us are you can use those stasher bags with your kind of a reusable, zip top bag, the ones that I like, the best are the ones that are kind of round and they stand up on their own. So you can pour liquids in them without them like, spilling all over. So you can get those and I can lead to some of those in the show notes. The other thing is, I am a new fan of stupor. Cubes. Cubes are really awesome. They are these silicone molds and they come in all sorts of different sizes to Cup. And one cup is probably the size that you would use the most. They Will stand up on their own. They have a solid plastic lid and you can even put liquids in them and it portions everything into perfectly square or rectangle block of measured size. So, its really good for, like, lunches and stuff for, like, when Im making soup for my lunch, the Souper cubes work really well. Or if youre doing any hamburger, you can have a 2 block of hamburger. Ill link to him in the show. Now its this really fun couple out of California and they invented this and they are a little expensive. Im not going to say that theyre not, but you use them over and over and over again. And thus the key with the SuperCube, you freeze them in the super cute and then you take him out and you can put them in zip bags, are stasher bags? If youre doing a lasagna, I am a big fan of the Dollar Tree disposable pans and I do lasagna in the Dollar Tree disposable pans I feel like its worth $0.50 and then I after I bake it I toss it and I dont have to worry about are actually. I usually rinse it off and put in the recycle bin. Its a little man, but if youre wanting to be a little bit more eco-conscious, I tell people to look for 9 by 13 containers, at estate sales and garage sales and just use so that youre not using your regular stuff because you dont want your regular 9 by 13 pan tied up in your freezer, until you decide to eat a lasagna. So, get some disposable one from the dollar store or if youre wanting to be a little more, eco-friendly my mother has a stack of like 12 of them that she finds it estate sales and shell like it when shes taking dinners to someone. Who had a baby or something, shell just leave them in the pan and just leave it with them. I use it backs most of the time and I just feel like its the best. Now theres a couple of tips about zip bags. I can give you is I like to put my zip bags cuz Im usually doing several things at a time. Id lay them flat on a baking sheet that has a rim. So if they leaked a little something, its not leaking all over my freezer and I put it in the freezer until its solid. And then I take it off that baking sheet and I can stack it in. Containers and bins and stuff in my freezer, but freeze it solid first because you dont want to just throw it in the freezer and then its like, folded wonky and you cant get the stuff out of the bag or if youre doing instant pot specific meals, put a bag inside your instant pot liner. You know, that insert that goes into it, put the food in that and freeze it in the shape of the instant pot. so when you go to make it in your instant pot, you dont have to worry about falling it so that it fits Okay, and then just goes right in there and you cook it. Then he just pop it right in there and you cook it. And and most instapot things, especially if its got a sauce or something, you want to go on Saturday for a couple minutes to kind of get some of the liquid exhibiting for, add a little bit of liquid, so that it can come up to pressure and it will cook faster. Okay. Okay. Anything else before we go, I was listening about how you talk about your quarterly, big shopping trips. And this sounds like, like the most amazing thing cuz I find myself going to Costco all the time, like, once a week sometimes. And its like this week, Ill buy shampoo and next week. Ill need laundry detergent, and sometimes its cuz Im shopping the sales, but sometimes its just cuz Im not, Im not organized. And so I was thinking, well, you know, you do this big shopping trip for the next, you know, couple months. Youre just making your list of what you want and you do this big estate shopping trip where you can go to the different stores. Do you have any organization? Do you have any organization tips or tricks to be able to prepare for a big shopping trip like that or is it just as simple as you know, youre making your list and you know where you want to buy the items that because there is there any more to it to prepare for a cartilage if I did this sort of, when we are getting ready for the pandemic and now Im like, I could do that, but just all the time but do the throughout the year. Yes. This quarterly shopping trip. Saves you so much for those who havent heard about it, what it is, is where I go about once every 3 months. And I shot for all my Staples and I usually am hitting two or three stores and Im getting toilet. Paper shampoo. Do you odorant feminine products. Like everything that I need, that is not like fresh fruit and vegetables. But I mean I even stock up on some of my main Camp Goods for the next 3 months. What I get sometimes changes by season. So Im sometimes buying different things for the start of summer than I am for right before the holidays, in the feed, your family. Night holiday planning guide. I actually have like four worksheets that walk you through all of the items if people are interested in that feed your family tonight., I will make sure that that even though its not holiday season that that guy is up live and you can you can purchase that its a instant digital download and it has list of all the things, so that your brain starts thinking of it. And what I encourage you to do is over the next three months. Start checking off the things on those lists that you are using write the brands that you like, and then in September October, go into a big shopping trip and you can look at those lists and you can say, okay, I like Suave shampoo and Ive been buying the Costco brand toilet paper and were going through about this much per month. And so you kind of keep a little mental note for the next two or three months, so that you kind of know about what to get. Or it could come cut out different stores, each week. We would also save money cuz then you could actually put a little bit more thought into instead of just wore out of shampoo. Like youre figuring out the brand that you like and and getting them at and a price of place where you know that the price has the best. Sometimes you might be paying a little bit more for shampoo but youre getting your toilet paper left or your pain a little bit more for the canned tomatoes, but youre getting your pasta less and I find that it works out in the wash and just the mental space that it gives me of knowing that these ingredients and these Stables are in my house. So I dont have to be constantly worried about running out of them. Just saved me so much time and so much brain space and definitely cuts down on the amount of shopping that Im doing on a daily basis or a weekly basis. Okay, I seen that guy. I need to look at that cuz Im really interested in that. It sounds like a great idea. Its so helpful in that whole holiday planning guide has so much more in it, but thats a really handy piece. Is in the holiday planning guide. Emily has been such a joy to meet you face to face and talk with you. I hope that you gained some knowledge today that will help you in some encouragement to make dinner time a little bit easier and your house. Thank you so much for joining us. Thank you for having me. Wasnt that so much fun. Emily was such a delight and it was so fun to help her get some tips and tricks to make dinner time just a little bit easier in her home. Id love to hear from you in the future family tonight, Facebook group, what you might have learned from this episode. And if you are interested in coming on air and having me help you with some of the challenges, youre facing with weeknight dinner, you can apply to be a guest on the feed, your family tonight podcast. If you go to feed your family tonight. Calm, apply a link to the application. Is there. Its not a big hairy deal, its a small little application. But if youre interested, I would love to talk with you some more. So Reach Out, feed your family tonight. Calm apply for now, friends. I hope you are having a great week. Take care.

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