Saturday, January 7, 2012

more cooking and stuff

Ok so I find myself with a little bit of time and decided to add some more today.  Along with extra time, I also see that I find myself with a little bit of left over ground chuck, I just smashed it very thin in a few bags and will either use these to reshape for some burgers or some off the wall meal we might want this month.  Smashed this flat they will be soft enough to shape after running under hot water (in the bag of course) for 2-3 minutes.

Also I had told some folks I would show you how simplistic I make my meals, one example here, our beef and gravy over noodles.  Let's say I am sick in bed or lucky enough to get out of the house for the evening, I can tell Craig it's beef & noodle night.  In the freezer is very thin sliced and cubed, stored flat in a single layer, some beef I cut off our roast before freezing, with instructions on bag to run under hot water for 4 minutes, flour and brown in pan, put in crockpot with stuff from B&N bag in cupboard.  So as the meat is browning he can read the instructions written out on a card in this bag, recycle your instruction card for another month.  You won't need the cards for yourself I am sure, but you never know when something might come up or you might not feel well, with this set up there is NO reason someone can't get dinner on the table for you.

it spells it out step by step, and it really don't need to go in the crockpot but it's better than him "accidentally" burning it on the stove.  If I were home, I would do it on the top of the stove.  You will see that I have egg noodles in a separate plastic bag inside of the big one.  For our flavored pasta I do the same thing, only I will include the things we like, a little baggie of Parmesan cheese, or maybe a spoon of chicken bouillon and then add both to a larger bag.  I boil up the noodles, toss with a little unsalted butter and top with the topping of our choice, or if it's bouillon I add that to the water when boiling and then quick shave a carrot into them when they are done.  Let your imagination and family taste go wild here, you can also do the same with rice.

I also like to get the bacon for the month out of the way, I really do NOT like cooking bacon, but I LOVE to eat it.  Now I really don't like spending half a day cooking it, but worse than that....waking up on the weekend in the mood for a full breakfast, kids and husband waking up all yelling for food and still having to cook it.  This is much easier and also handy when I want a late night BLT :)  Bacon is good in the freezer cooked for 3-4 months and only takes a second in the microwave to warm.  Yep you can buy the microwave bacon, but it costs more (especially if you use coupons or price match) and also I will buy 2 types of bacon, ONLY Oscar Meyer center cut for breakfast and BLT's, I will use a cheaper or store brand for things like bacon to top cheeseburgers with, or crumble and throw on a salad or top the twice baked potatoes since there are so many other flavors already it doesn't have to be the absolute best (and it's my blog, so NO arguing, OM center cut is the BEST).  Just place on paper towel to absorb some of the grease when done cooking, then let cool  and place between sheets of freezer paper.

This also goes great with pancakes made up (this is really easy) and stored two small to medium sized in a bag.

The frozen fruits and veggies I just break down into portion sizes and freeze.  The fruit I will make my own blend with since you get more and can have what your family likes.  (This week here in town I was able to score a really good price match)  The bags are small in size you say?  Well since the boys are offered fruit with each meal they don't need to be huge, also with this size, I can pull out the fruit when I am pulling everything else out, dump bag on a plate and sprinkle just a bit of sugar and by the time I am ready to put dinner on the table they are soft enough, still cold but soft enough for a 2 yr & 4 yr old to eat.  They are even handy straight from the freezer to toss in the car if you might be out running for a while, the kids can nibble on them and you won't feel guilty for stopping at McDonald's and they like the sweetness.

The picture of the large bag is how I mix it up (yep I am LAZY and don't like to even have to wash a bowl out, don't be shocked, I told you in the beginning I was lazy)

I still haven't started the empanada dough so I might not get to them tonight after all, but I am going to try so I can be done, done and done for the month.

For those that don't want to commit to a whole month, I think you will see there are still somethings that any family can use to save some time and just by spending a few minutes glancing at ads, you can save a boat load on price matches even if you live somewhere that doesn't double coupons (like me)  this week though I was able to get all my chicken half priced without having to run all over and just to find out that one of the stores were likely to be out of it anyway (isn't that how it always happens when they run a killer sale?)

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