Simplified Pantry . . . a TOS Review for the Mamas! :-)

I was so excited to be chosen as one of the reviewers for Simplified Pantry written by Mystie Winkler!

As a reviewer, I was given access to three different products, and asked to choose one to use during the review period so I could tell my readers about it. I chose Mystie Winkler’s e-book Simplified Dinners, because I am ALWAYS looking for some way to simplify this part of my life, while at the same time, making sure my family is well fed with meals they actually enjoy. Well, Simplified Dinners is a definite winner with us!

This is a 30 page e-book, which I chose to print out and put into a three-ring binder. This is not a “cook-book” like I was used to, rather it is more of a how-to book. In her e-book, Mystie has given us first an explanation as to how and why she came up with this system, an explanation which really struck a chord with me. She was really tired of thumbing through and bookmarking cookbooks, recipe cards, etc, and having to keep track of ingredients needed. This system helped Mystie to pare down her pantry, purge her recipes, and even made it easier to let her children help in the kitchen. That last one turned out to be important for me, as during the review period I had surgery, and am currently unable to stand at the stove and cook, so my husband has had to take over a lot of what I normally do, with at least one of our children (“The Artist”) helping some. More on that later!

Mystie then gives us a master pantry list, which I went over when deciding which meal ideas to use during this review. I wanted to see just how much I could do without actually needing to go out and buy a ton of special stuff. I was surprised to discover how many things I was already set to make, with only minimal purchases! The reason for this is (from the Simplified Dinners website) “Simplified Pantry is all about encouraging homestyle cooking with basic ingredients. It is possible to cook good, healthy food without a pantry full of specialized ingredients, and it is possible to make easy dinners without shortcut, pre-prepared products. Simplified Dinners (and the gluten- and dairy-free edition!), enables anyone to transition toward home-prepared, real, whole foods cooking—even those less confident in the kitchen. Simplified Dinners helps keep dinner streamlined while allowing flexibility.”

Mystie also points out on her website how essential menu planning is in helping to promote peace in our home and our mind. However, we rarely think much about all the steps that are involved in menu planning. Also from the website:

“But do you realize how many steps are actually involved in menu planning? Typical menu planning involves multiple dependent steps:

1.Find out what’s on sale or what coupons you have.
2.Find recipes you can cook and want to eat.
3.Figure out what ingredients you need to cook those recipes.
4.Try to mesh the ingredients you need with what’s on sale.
5.Make the grocery list.
6.Shop.
7.Remember what you’re going to make for dinner when, and pull it off.
8.Use the perishables before they go bad.

No wonder we often dread it, forget to do it, or procrastinate.”

That was me, before this review, to be honest.

The e-book Simplified Dinners is SO easy to implement . . . if *I* could do it, anyone can do it, believe me! I make no claims whatsoever to being a “domestic diva”, lol!

Mystie has broken it down into categories:

•Slow-Cooker Roasts
•Slow-Cooker, No-Defrost Chicken Pieces
•Chicken-in-a-Pot
•Skillet Cutlets with Pan Sauces
•Marinades for Grilling or Broiling
•Foil-Packet Fish
•Stovetop Pasta
•Bean Pots
•Fajitas
•Quesadillas
•Taco Bar
•Burritos or Enchiladas
•Taquitos
•Frittata
•Oven Omelette
•Pizza
•Simple Stir-fry
•Potato Hash
•Baked Potato Bar
•Bean Soups
•Stews
•Blended Vegetable Soups
•Quick Soups
•Main Dish Salads
•Vegetable Side Dishes
•Side-Dish Salads
•Starchy Side Dishes

What Mystie has done, rather than create yet another recipe book, is to give a basic method for each of the above mentioned categories, along with anywhere from three to six or more alternative ways to make the same basic dish into something different. For example, Chicken-in-a-Pot gives the basic method for cooking a whole chicken, but then gives us three other ways to do it, called “Sassy”, “A More Interesting Basic”, and “40 Cloves of Garlic”. Each alternative idea switches up some ingredients, while using the basic method.

At the end of the e-book, Mystie even gives us a sample winter menu plan and a blank menu planner.

If you’d like to get a better look at what you’ll be getting, you can download a sample here, but really, I’m telling you that at the price of $12.99, Simplified Dinners is well worth the purchase!

Here are some of the dinners we had during the review period:

Peanut Butter Chicken (in the slow cooker) . . .

001

and on the plate!

012

Here, we have the Oven Omelette, which was a huge hit at my house!

013

Orange Honey Chicken . . .

022

Chicken-in-a-Pot (sassy version) . . .

002

Now then, as I said above, I am now recovering from surgery on both of my feet, and unable to do a lot of what I usually do. My husband was able to take this method, with ingredients I had made sure to have on hand, and with “The Artist” as his assistant, he made the Flexible Frittata for our supper one night!

Here are the ingredients . . .

004

The process . . .

005

007

And the finished product!

010

I think they did a great job, don’t you? Just so you know, that was my plate, and I only eat small servings since my bariatric surgery. There was enough for a family of six, with the other five being pretty big eaters, and nobody went hungry! 🙂

Mystie also offers a Simple Gluten Free & Dairy Free Meals edition of her e-book, also at the reasonable price of $12.99. I know a lot of people who need to find ways to feed their family without using gluten or dairy . . . this one is for you!

The third product reviewed by members of the crew was Paperless Home Organization, which is available for only $3.99!

I do intend to give this one a try when I’m feeling more recovered from my surgery, but I am more of a hard-copy schedule and list maker type, to be truthful. I know a lot of people who are really more likely to go paperless if given an easy way to do so, though, so here is the product if that description fits you!

The prices for Mystie’s e-books are very good as they are, but right now, she is offering a discount to my readers of 30% off any or all of the e-books! Just use the code TOS2013, and you will receive this discount. You do need to hurry though, because this code will only work until June 3, 2013!

Click below to find out what my fellow crewmembers thought of Simplified Dinners, Simple Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Meals, and Paperless Home Organization!

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Filed under cooking, family, food, Schoolhouse Review Crew Post

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