21
Mar

Melt the Meal Idea Block

Sometimes I get “meal-idea-block”, unable to think of a “good” meal idea when I am asked to help a family with a dinner. Oh, the pressure. As though the meal needs to be amazing or they may think I’m a lousy cook! Sound familiar? Trust me, the struggle is real. So, let’s melt that “block”, together.

Here are a few ideas to keep up your sleeve (or anywhere handy that you’ll remember) for the next time you get asked to help with a Food Tidings schedule or a meal for a family.

I can assure you, these meal ideas are easy and travel well: 

  1. Breakfast for dinner: Scrambled eggs, or a quick egg casserole with onions, peppers, ham, and cheese; baked at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. Add some pancakes or cinnamon rolls (from the tube at your local store), with fruit on the side.
  2. Taco night: Brown up some ground beef (seasoned to taste), and package up shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, jar of salsa and some tortillas and/or chips on the side. Feeling fancy? Throw in some guacamole!
  3. Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner: Roast a chicken with potatoes and broccoli, seasoned with butter and salt. A one-pan dinner! Or, in a hurry? Pick up a pre-cooked Rotisserie Chicken from Costco or local store, add your roasted veggies on the side.
  4. Casserole a la Easy: Make a chicken and rice casserole with mixed veggies: Add chicken (pre-cooked), rice, mixed veggies (frozen, works great!), can of cream of chicken soup, sour cream and top with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Add fruit on the side, and you gift “fresh-comfort” all in one.

While these recipes or ideas may not win fancy awards, but they are meals that most families can and will eat. When a family is in need, that’s the most appreciated thing about getting a meal; they can enjoy it without having to think about it. Also, these meals require no special ingredients and can be made in double batches so you can feed your family that night, too!

Tiding Tip

Once you’ve signed up to make a Food Tiding dinner, plan to make it in a double batch so you can feed your family that night, too.

Again, these are just a few general ideas to keep in mind. Go with it as they are, or use them as general themes to start the ideas flowing. If you’d like more specific recipe details, you can always use your favorite recipe(s) or find something on Pinterest or online.

In the end, I hope you’ve gained a few simple, quick, go-to dinner ideas to relieve the pressure the next time you are asked to serve another with a Food Tidings. Never be “meal-idea-blocked”, again. Be confident and, most importantly, know that anything will be appreciated!

Create A Schedule

Put these easy meal ideas to work for someone you care about!

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Leanne Schinella

Food Tidings Blog Contributor

After being the recipient and participant in many meal schedules, my husband and I co-founded Food Tidings in 2007. We have 8 children, 3 dogs, 2 cats, 9 chickens, 1 hedgehog and 2 bunnies (yes, we are THAT fun) 🙂 When I’m not on wife or mom duty, I love photography and capturing family moments, for other families and my own, to treasure.

15
Mar

IRISH GUINNESS BEEF STEW (Slow Cooker or Instant Pot)

It was my lucky day. I was searching for a hearty, Irish meal for St. Patrick’s Day a couple of years ago, and discovered this recipe from The Cookie Rookie. It was like finding a pot of gold at the end of a dinner-recipe-search rainbow!

I’ll have to admit, I’m personally not a beer drinker. However, I love Ireland and find the history of the Guinness family interesting. A few years ago, I got to tour the Guinness Storehouse/Brewery in Dublin, Ireland and managed to get down the traditional class of Guinness at the end. I still have the glass to prove it. It was a fun experience and I’d highly recommend the tour, with or without the ending taste “test”. This recipe flooded me with memories of that trip and I had to try it.

Guinness Storehouse, Dublin, Ireland
Source: https://www.guinness-storehouse.com/en

Whether you are a beer fan or not, the aroma of this “Irish Stew” will fill your home with cooking-happiness and the flavor of this stew will leave a lasting impression. It’s hearty, comfort food at its best. Don’t miss out.

This recipe comes with our family’s “Van Dyke Seal of Approval”; which is among an elite few (it can be tough getting 6 people to agree, sometimes!). In fact, it immediately became one of our son’s favorite meals; so much so, he requested it as his “Birthday Meal” (over a restaurant choice). Since then, it’s been in the regular dinner rotation in our house; especially during the cooler months.

So, go ahead and add a little “Irish” to your dinner or someone else’s.


Ingredient prep is simple and goes quick.

Ready to cook! My trusty crock pot is still my friend; but on my busy days, my Instant Pot is my fast and fun BFF.


THE RECIPE:

(Adapted from Becky Hardin | The Cookie Rookie’s “Irish Guinness Beef Stew (Easy Slow Cooker Beef Stew”)

PREP TIME: 15 min

COOK TIME: 8 hrs – Slow Cooker; 1 hr 20 min – Instant Pot

Serves 6-8

INGREDIENTS

  • 10 small red potatoes, quartered
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can sliced carrots
  • 2 full stalks celery, chopped
  • 3 lbs stew meat, cubed (Note: You can make this stew “fancy” (eg. for a Birthday Meal) by using Sirloin Steak, which I use when it’s on sale; otherwise, general stew meat works great)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups diced onion
  • 2 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • 10 ounces beef broth (about 1/3 of a large box)
  • 1 (13 g) envelope Onion Soup Mix
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 12 ounces (1 bottle) Guinness Stout
    • Tip: Some grocery stores will sell individual bottles, so you can purchase only what you need. Even if you’re not a big-beer fan (don’t tell that to your Irish friends!), the flavor of this stew is worth the effort!

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Put potatoes, carrots, and celery chunks in the bottom of crock pot on low heat. Pour in beer, beef broth, garlic powder, salt and pepper, soup mix, and basil. Stir to combine.
  2. Season beef lightly with salt and pepper and then coat in the flour.
  3. Heat oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Cook the beef until almost browned, and then add in the onion. Continue turning and browning until the meat is fully browned and the onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. (You might want to brown the meat in batches, so it doesn’t get too crowded.)
  4. Add meat and onions to the slow cooker.
  5. Stir in the tomato sauce and cover, heating on low for 8 hours or high for 4 hours. Low is best, but if you don’t have the time, high will work! (*Or in Instant Pot: You can use the “Meat/Stew” button. On busy days, I usually cook it through the cycle TWICE on this setting (1.2 hrs total), to get the meat to extra “fall-apart” goodness; then, let it “stew” or warm until we’re ready to eat.)
  6. Serve with lots of bread! Enjoy!

Tiding Tip

This stew is hearty enough as a full meal by itself. Package it up for your Food Tidings delivery in a disposable pan/dish and deliver it with a french or sourdough baguette. The Recipient will savor the taste for days; be grateful to you, forever.


Sitting down to this meal just soothes the soul, every time.

Tiding Tip

Adding an “Irish” dessert would make a fun meal addition near St. Patrick’s Day or add an “international” flare to an everyday meal (Unless your Irish, of course…then, it’s just a regular ol’ brilliant meal, anytime.)


Help Someone Feel Lucky

Support them with a free Food Tidings schedule!

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Crystal Van Dyke

Food Tidings Blog Contributor

I loved FoodTidings.com at first sight. My husband and I had the opportunity to become a Food Tidings Partner in 2011, after meeting the original co-founders at our church. I have a Bachelors in Public Administration from the University of Arizona (Go Wildcats!) and a Masters in Health Services Administration, emphasis in Strategic Planning & Marketing from The George Washington University. We planned my early retirement from the market 3 kids in and was blessed with a 4th to complete us; finishing with 2 boys & 2 girls. Our oldest is now launched, happily married and proudly serving in the Air Force, while the three at home keep us on our toes, amazed and inspired. As a full-time Wife and Mom, this website is my side-gig that serves as a personal ministry for our family. Seeing caring communities created, hope spread and generosity in action continues to be a motivator for all of us.  Matt 5:16

21
Feb

Do I have to Cook?

Ok, let’s be honest shall we? Sometimes we get a Food Tidings invitation and we want to help the family but, we DON’T.WANT.TO.COOK.A.MEAL! 

This doesn’t just happen to me, does it? Anyone? Well, today I am going to let you in on a tip. The meal you bring does not have to be homemade. There, I said it. Is a homemade meal yummy? Of course! But, the main reason you are providing a meal is to take pressure off a family or someone you care about in their time of need. Usually, the reason for the Food Tiding schedule is taking up their time and emotions, so you’re just trying to help them not worry about a simple thing like what to eat. It doesn’t matter where the food actually comes from or who exactly made it. If it’s edible, it counts and will be appreciated. I think that’s something we can all agree on.

Tiding Tip

The meal you bring does not have to be homemade! Food Tidings’ “Send a Meal” option will represent you well and provide a great meal for the Recipient!

At Food Tidings, we simplify it for our schedule Participants by offering the option to “Send a Meal“, straight from the schedule page, that is made by a gourmet chef’s kitchen. For those of us that have those days when we just don’t want to cook, they are waiting and willing to do it for us. Check out the made-for-you-meal options in our Shoppe, anytime. Not only are their meals extremely “edible”, but they are very tasty, get high reviews and they ship nationwide via FedEx. 

The “Send A Meal” option on a Food Tidings schedule delivers it right to the Recipient’s door!

Trust us, these are NOT your average frozen ‘TV dinners’ and offer a great alternative to ‘fast food’ when you want to provide a real home-style meal. The meals offered in our Shoppe are freshly made with the best ingredients, flash frozen to seal in flavor and shipped in a cooler with dry ice to make the trip to your Recipient. The Recipient will be able to use the meal the day it arrives, or it can be refrigerated or frozen to use at their future convenience. It is great quality, will represent you well and very thoughtful.

Tiding Tip

You can “Send a Meal” on a family’s Food Tidings Schedule by signing up on a specific date and choosing that option OR you can scroll down to “Help Another Way” to go straight to the Shoppe and make your selection.

Whether you’re local and not up for cooking this time or you live far away and are not able to drop off a meal – the “Send a Meal” option will make it easy to participate and still let the Food Tiding family know you are thinking of them. So, next time that email shows up and the desire to serve is high but you’re motivation to cook is low, order them a tasty meal and still send your love! They’ll appreciate it all the same.

Sample of delicious meals in the Food Tidings Shoppe available as ‘Send A Meal” options!

Tiding Tip

When using the “Send a Meal” option on a Food Tidings Schedule, the Recipient’s delivery address is automatically sent to our vendor – so you won’t have to provide it, the Organizer has already done the work for you! 

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Leanne Schinella

Food Tidings Blog Contributor

After being the recipient and participant in many meal schedules, my husband and I co-founded Food Tidings in 2007. We have 8 children, 3 dogs, 2 cats, 9 chickens, 1 hedgehog and 2 bunnies (yes, we are THAT fun) 🙂 When I’m not on wife or mom duty, I love photography and capturing family moments, for other families and my own, to treasure.

All meals matter!

home cooked or delivered are welcomed

12
Feb

Baked Chicken Tacos

TACO-TIDING-TO-GO!

Oven baked chicken tacos have lots of flavor and none of the stress, great for a Food Tidings delivery. 

Tacos to go would fit nicely in a disposable pan. (Photo Credit: TheCookieRookie.com)

This Baked Spicy Chicken Tacos Recipe is the most popular recipe on TCR, being pinned over 2 million times and viewed over 5 million times!

TheCookieRookie.com

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 pound cooked chicken shredded (pre-cooked Rotisserie chicken makes it easy! )
  • 1 ounce Taco Seasoning click for homemade recipe!
  • 1/2 cup onion diced
  • 1 can diced tomato 14.5 ounce, fully drained
  • 1 can Chopped Green Chiles 4.5 ounce, fully drained
  • 10 Stand and Stuff Taco Shells, Old El Paso or other
  • 8 ounces Refried Beans 1/2 can
  • 2 cups Mexican Blend Cheese shredded

Be ready to finish off with sliced jalapenos, sour cream, salsa, chopped cilantro, shredded lettuce or any of your favorite taco toppings!

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with nonstick spray.
  2. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a medium skillet.
  3. Add onion to skillet and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the onion is translucent and fragrant.
  4. Stir in the chicken, taco seasoning, tomatoes (FULLY DRAINED), and green chiles (FULLY  DRAINED) *see note. Stir to combine fully. Reduce to simmer and allow to cook for 5-8 minutes.
  5. Place the taco shells in the baking dish (disposable pan, for a Food Tiding), standing up. Typically, you can fit 10+ taco shells in the dish by adding 2 on each side.
  6. Bake the taco shells for 5 minutes by themselves to allow them to crisp up. Remove from the oven.
  7. Spoon 1 tablespoon of beans into the bottom of each taco shell. Top with the chicken mixture, almost to the top of each shell.
  8. Sprinkle each shell generously with shredded cheese, the more the better!
  9. Bake for 7-10 minutes or until cheese is fully melted and the edges of the shells are browned.
  10. Remove from the oven and top with your favorite items such as jalapenos, sour cream, cilantro, and salsa. Adding toppers on the side for a Food Tiding will be easy, colorful & much appreciated.
  11. Enjoy!

HOW DO YOU KEEP THE SHELLS FROM GETTING SOGGY ON THESE CHICKEN TACOS?

Here are some troubleshooting tips:

  1. Bake the shells for 5 minutes on their own before stuffing them with all the delicious toppings and cooking all the way. This way they have the chance to really crisp up on their own before you get started.
  2. Make sure refried beans are the bottom layer, creating a bit of a barrier between the chicken mixture and the shell. The shells are bound to be less crispy on the bottom than they are at the top, and that’s just part of what happens when you bake them, but they SHOULD NOT break or be soggy.
  3. The other truly important step is FULLY DRAINING the tomatoes and green chiles before adding into the chicken mixture. It’s recommended that you first drain, then letting sit over a bowl in a strainer for about 5 minutes to make sure they drain all the way. This will help to keep the shells crispy, so important!

Thank you, The Cookie Rookie  – one more yummy recipe for the books!

Pan perfect, easy to transport & serve. (Photo Credit: TheCookieRookie.com)

Then, be the first to sign up for Taco Tuesday, or Taco Any-Day!

You’ll get a smile, guaranteed.

8
Feb

Instant Pot Roast: Mississippi style

I wanted to share a recipe for a quick, easy, and delicious meal that my family and I have really been enjoying lately. It gets two thumbs up from all four of our kids; and let me tell you, that can be challenging. It’s “Mississippi Pot Roast”, a recipe adapted from simplyhappyfoodie.com. Made in the Instant Pot, it literally fell apart when I opened the lid (which is a good thing for roasts, in my book!), and it took quite a bit of willpower to wait to eat it until dinner time! The amazing smell seemed to lure each of the kids to the kitchen, and I had to tell them we’re “closed” until dinner so it wasn’t gone before then. HA!

This would definitely be an awesome meal to bring to a friend or family member who is going through a transitional time in their life: had a baby, sick, going through treatment for cancer, recovering from surgery, just moved, has a chronic illness, a caregiver for a family member who is sick, or those who are mourning the loss of a loved one. We suggest taking it in some kind of container that you don’t mind getting back or something that is disposable.

Tiding Tip:

Taking a meal to someone is one of the best ways to communicate that you care!

Photo Credit: Simply Happy Foodie

INSTANT POT MISSISSIPPI ROAST

Ingredients:

  • 5 pound beef chuck roast cut in 2 to 3 pieces to fit inside Instant Pot
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 cup pepperoncini juice
  • 8-10 pepperoncinis, whole
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 packet ranch seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil or something of the like
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted or salted butter

Directions:

  1. Turn the pressure cooker on, press “Sauté”, and wait 2 minutes for the pot to heat up. Add the avocado oil and beef and cook until browned, about 3 to 5 minutes per side, flipping once. (Note: You may need to cook the beef in batches so the pot isn’t overcrowded.)
  2. Take beef out and place on plate, insert Instant Pot trivet. Pour in beef broth and pepperoncini juice. Then place beef back into Instant Pot, add salt, pepper and ranch seasoning packet. Cut the butter into chunks and place the butter on top of the seared beef. Then, place the pepperoncinis on top, as well.
  3. Turn the pot on Manual, High Pressure for 90 minutes and then let the pressure naturally release release. Once it’s released fully, open the lid and enjoy the amazing smell that comes from the pot, but don’t put your face too close or you’ll get a steam facial you didn’t bargain for. 🙂 The meat should shred quite nicely. ENJOY!

Tiding Tip:

Stock up on disposable containers from the Dollar Store or when they are on sale; then you’ll have containers on hand when it’s time to take a meal to someone you love and care about.

Photo Credit: Simply Happy Foodie

Be An Inspiration

We know it’s easy to get into a dinner making slump or get stuck on what to take as a Food Tidings meal. It’s always helpful to have ideas coming from friends. 🙂 We’d love to hear what your favorites have been lately – please share on our FaceBook page with #FoodTidings!

Know a Family Who Could Use a Food Tidings Schedule?

Start the celebration or encouragement, now!

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Lisa Shepherd

Food Tidings Blog Contributor

Hello to our amazing Food Tidings community! My husband and I co-founded Food Tidings in 2007. It’s been amazing to watch it grow the way it has, and be such a wonderful tool for SO many people all over the world!

28
Jan

Super Bowl Snack Stadium

Wow. What a gameday win! You’ll be the talk of the town if you do this for your super bowl party. While it looks like it’ll take you days to construct, it’s actually pretty doable in a short time since drinks make up most of the structure.

Know someone that’ll be staying in for the Super Bowl? Think how a mini-stadium…or well, maybe a gift basket of snacks might pump up their game. There’s always a good time for a Food Tiding!

Let us know if you attempt the stadium or a simple gift. Post your pics on our Food Tidings FB page, we’d love to see them and be inspired!

Here’s the blueprint on how to make it!

Screen Shot 2019-01-27 at 7.43.35 PM

 

Here’s how’s it’s done:

Thanks AllCreated.com and DELISH!

 

27
Jan

Themes Make Meal Planning Easy

Anyone else think that sometimes the hardest part about dinner is planning what to make? Whether it’s for your family or a Food Tiding you’re dropping off for a neighbor, it can feel overwhelming.  Dinner themes may be the ticket. Pick a theme for each night of the week and relieve some of the pressure by narrowing it down. Even if the meal is for another family, they’ll love that you’ve “included” them with your family theme and appreciate the food and gesture. So go for it, two meals for the planning of one.

An added bonus…our kids are creatures of habit, so they love the predicability and I love that they don’t ask me, “What’s for dinner” a million times. Win-win.

Here are some ideas to start your brainstorming, have fun with it. Let us know what your favorites are on Facebook with #FoodTidings!

Screen Shot 2019-01-27 at 12.11.41 AM

(via https://momtomomnutrition.com/food-and-recipes/themed-dinner-ideas/)

Copy of CLICK HERE

29
Oct

Unique Alternatives to Traditional Thanksgiving Dishes

Copy of CLICK HERE

With the Thanksgiving holiday quickly approaching, we went on a search for some delicious alternatives to traditional Thanksgiving dishes. And we were not disappointed with our findings!

29 TOTALLY UNEXPECTED THANKSGIVING SIDES

From Oyster Kimchi Stuffing to 30-Minute Butternut Squash and Cider Soup to Parmesan Wasabi mashed potatoes, these recipes have you covered to stand out this holiday season.

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 9.27.56 AM

 

(via PopSugar)

5 Unique Alternatives to Traditional Thanksgiving Dishes

If the Butternut Squash with Garlic and Thyme doesn’t get you, then we might not get you!

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 9.45.18 AM

*Photo credit: Julia Maguire | Spoon, NJ

(via SpoonUniversity)

Copy of CLICK HERE

Creative Thanksgiving Side Dishes that are Easy to Make

These Urban Accents seasonings turn ordinary into extraordinary side dishes your friends and family won’t soon forget.

Screen Shot 2015-10-29 at 9.48.13 AM

(via Trendy Mom Review)

With these easy-to-make alternatives to traditional Thanksgiving options, there’s no reason to stick with the same ol’ same old this year. Switch it up, spice it up, eat it up!

 

 

 

29
Apr

Dance It Out Playlist

We give to you our Dance It Out playlist. Enjoy every minute as though no one is watching. )But do close your blinds first if you’re concerned about that sort of thing.)

Day 7: Dance It Out

14
Oct

Ordering Meals for the Week

Week of Meals and Soup

 

 



Did you know that we now have the ability for you to order several days’ or even a week’s worth of delicious, gourmet meals to be sent to a family member or friend — even if they don’t have a schedule created on their behalf?

Several of our new vendors, including Rockin’ the Ladle and Veestro, have put together custom multi-meal packages only available through Food Tidings.

So now you can collect those $1, $5 and $10 donations and put them to a very, VERY delicious use! See the quick video below for step-by-step ordering instructions.