The Ol’ Bag Lady Has Dinner in the Bag

My husband fondly calls me  The Ol’ Bag Lady” because of my fondness to organize everything, even my dinner, in a bag. Sometimes, he shortens it to just “Ol’ Bag.”  He may or may not be referring to my attitude, but certainly he is referring to my love for organizing with bags.


dinner in the bag

There are amazing women  who cook a month of meals at a time and throw them in the freezer.  It’s a great idea, but my family is not particularly fond of food that’s been frozen.

“The noodles are mushy.”

“The hamburger tastes funny.”

And those were just my complaints.   I know, picky, picky, but there is nothing like a freshly cooked meal.  It’s another thing to fit in a busy life. It’s easier to dream than do.

Other amazing women plan a week of meals and shop according to their meal plan.  I stand in awe.

Then, there are women like me.  I shop with a list and still forget items. The week I plan the entire menu is the week my husband ends up traveling out of town.  I grocery shop, but am too tired to cook dinner. I’m embarrassed to admit how many days 4pm rolls around, or 5pm, and I’m slapping my forehead thinking, “UGH! Why do people in this house need to eat dinner every. single. night?”

We have a few standby crock-pot recipes, but it never fails, I run to the pantry and find I am short one item. Or I discover somebody put the spice jar back in the drawer, but it was empty. GGRRReat!

That’s when I had my Light bulb moment.


white chicken chili pm


Yep, I have children.  My stapler never works correctly.  And I was lucky to find the black Sharpie in my junk drawer without stabbing myself with a rusty nail or box cutter.  Not Pinterest pretty, but Got ‘Er Dun pretty.



White Chicken Chili @MindyJPeltier


The ingredients for one meal were bagged with the recipe, the ingredients to be added highlighted in case anybody else wanted to make dinner. Anybody? Anybody?



white chicken chili fresh pm



The only ingredients purchased and added to the stuff in the bag.


Mindy’s White Chicken Chili

Sauté until soft, about 5 min:

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 medium green pepper, minced
  • 1 large onion, chopped

Add and sauté another minute:

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

Add and simmer:

  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 limes, juiced


  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans white beans(drain, mash one slightly)
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, remove skin and shred meat

Although this is called “chili” it is more of a chicken and bean soup.  It is quick, easy and filling on a cold, rainy day, which is nearly every day during the winter in the Pacific Northwest. We serve with sour cream and grated cheese.



Southwest Roast pm


The other recipe  I bagged up for the pantry is the Southwest Roast. It’s one of the few recipes I’ve blogged, I’m not really a recipe kinda’ girl.


lid pm

The Southwest Roast with the Special Ingredient was another popular post because the recipe is simple and delicious.  You start is 24 hours ahead of time, so when you’re cleaning up dinner one night, you throw the ingredients for tomorrow’s dinner in the crock and go to bed.

If you get a little organized with your family’s  favorite recipes, you can have dinner in the bag.




 Other ways I’ve used to organize my life:

drawstring bag new pm

For years (OK, I have to admit, I should use the term decades here), I’ve sewn drawstring bags to organize toys at home, in the car and to use as gift bags for toys I give away.

black tote bag large pm


An organizing series I wrote a few years back was called Flying Frantic, which describes the lives of most women.  We have more people, projects and personal goals than we know what to do with.  The post on using tote bags to organize your life according to commitments was popular. I have one bag for church, one bag for homeschool coop and one bag of special things for my daughter in the car.


Making your home sing Mondays               WHWButton#2

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8 Responses to The Ol’ Bag Lady Has Dinner in the Bag

  1. bdd3 October 1, 2013 at 7:42 pm #

    Way cool idea! I will share it with many others. Thank you.

    • Mindy October 2, 2013 at 12:11 am #

      Thanks! Makes me feel good when I have a good idea in the kitchen. Not my strong suit…. 🙂

  2. Joanna Pearson October 2, 2013 at 5:08 am #

    Yum!! That sounds so good! I will have to try it. Thanks. 🙂

    • Mindy October 2, 2013 at 2:38 pm #

      The chicken chili is especially great when you have people with gluten or dairy issues. I served it at a writers retreat and everyone was able to eat it!

  3. Judith at WholeHearted Home October 2, 2013 at 4:36 pm #

    I have been exhausted by ten o’clock!! Can I come over for supper? It looks good and I don’t feel like cooking either!!

  4. Kendra October 2, 2013 at 9:00 pm #

    Very smart!

  5. Lydia Caudill October 3, 2013 at 9:04 pm #

    This is great. I just made Jubilee a draw string bag out of a pair of jeans. She keeps all her toy animals in it 😀

  6. scott October 4, 2013 at 3:50 am #

    Listen folks, my wife is so organized, “…. how organized is she….” you ask. Well, she is sooo organized, she will make a list about her list of things on the list of things to do on the list about the list of where she put the list and then create a list to find the list and organize it. I love my organized wife… oh, and she is so organized she is planning our daughters weddings, and they don’t even have boyfriends…. cept me. 🙂

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