Friday, October 30, 2009

AK's Best Grocery Deals foodstamp challenge prep-day!

Wow, that's a mouthfull for a subject line huh *laugh*. Well, today was THE day. I got the chickens disected last night and the bones and stuff simmered all night long so that I'd have chicken stock to work with today (actually I still have it on "warm" so that it'll get even THICKER by'll be good). So, I did good today. What did I get done? All but two of my dinners I wanted to make (pretty much) and I have about three extra dinners (I cooked the drumsticks and another chicken breast I hadn't planned on making). I know you can't really make much of it out that's in bags because of the reflections and I was the best picture that would come out.

I'll do the recipe match-ups as I eat the food, or seriously this post would be a mile long. So, here's what I got done today...

I put on my pot of coffee first thing this morning (although I had "Morning Blend" juice for breakfast instead of coffee) and then I got to work. I made...

I made stuffing out of five slices of bread (which means I'm making bread tommorrow, but it was worth it). I left them out on the counter last night after dicing them up REALLY small and placing them on a cookie sheet. So, they were good and stale this morning. I then threw some of them into a bowl and put some oil, garlic powder, salt and pepper on them and some chicken giblets that were cooked and then pureed in some home made chicken stock along with some onion, celery and a bay leaf. I threw the liquid on top of the croutons and VOILA! Instant stuffing for the chicken breast. The rest I did the same as the above except I didn't add as much "giblet juice" so that the stuffing wouldn't be as mushy and I used that to put on top of the individual Farmhouse Chicken I made.

I actually made the sauce for the Farmhouse chicken and since the Butternut Squash casserole recipe I was using called for a basic white sauce (same as the Farmhouse Chicken...and the Pumpkin Penne with Sausage called for heavy cream, but since I didn't have any of that, I just used the white sauce with that too) I just made a big batch of it to use on all of them (basic white sauce is just milk, flour and butter cooked a certain way...see the Farmhouse Chicken recipe for details). I made a big batch (half a box) of Penne Pasta for the Pumpkin pasta, the butternut squash casserole and the chicken tetrazinni.

The Cheesy broccoli and Potato soup (the brocoli slaw didn't make the soup turn green, but it tasted fine...and I have enough slaw left over to make cole slaw later in the week when I have some chicken strips) and the Autumn Butternut Squash soup (well acorn and pumpkin squash soup) were easy to make because they were both "throw the ingredients into a pot and boil until squishy then take a blender to them). Easy peazy! I put those on the back burner while I was working on other things and just threw the cheese (I think it's some type of mexican blend just has orange and white cheese in it) I got into the pot with the soup and hit it with my stick blender. Worked great (those are in the quart freezer containers and are now sitting in my freezer for later in the week).

I made an actual pretty good sized portion of Orangey Chicken Strips (I cut up a chicken breast just for that) and threw them into a freezer bag for dinner and probably a lunch later in the week). I cut up another chicken breast, diced it up into smaller pieces, and threw it in the fry pan with some herbs and spices. This I used in the Farmhouse Chicken and the Chicken Tetrazzini. I made the mini-meatloves super simple with the pound of hamburger I had in the freezer (defrosted over the last couple of days in the fridge). I got six big muffin sized "loaves" out of it, so I'm thinking that's going to be two more meals than I thought I'd have out of it.

So, the only two dinners I didn't get to were the Peanut Butter Pasta with Chicken (I'm going to use some thigh meat for that), the crab (of course) and the French Toast (which will be an "on the fly" type of deal). AND I still have a half of a box of Penne left (although once I make the peanut butter pasta with chicken that'll get cut down somewhat), LOADS of celery and carrots left (which will be good for snacks...celery and peanut butter anyone? Or carrots and ranch dressing?), I'll have 3 chicken thighs left over once I get the peanut butter pasta done, I still have two italian sausages left, a couple of bratwurst and other stuff. Yeah! I'm doing good.

So to recap I made...

1 stuffed chicken breast (ready to defrost later and microwave)

1 individual Farmhouse Chicken Casserole (actually this will probably last me two meals)

1 Pasta with pumpkin and Sausage (it's the orange and sorta grody looking dish ;)

1 Cheesy Broccoli and Potato soup (which might very well last me two meals too)

1 individual butternut squash casserole

1 Autumn butternut (acorn and pumpkin) squash soup (this will last me two meals easy)

1 bag orangy chicken strips

1 bag of herbed chicken (I made a paste out of softened butter and herbs and some true orange and lime and placed it under the skin of the chicken before cooking...came out tasting great)...four drumsticks and 1 breast

1 bag of six mini-meatloaves

1 bag Chicken Tetrazzini (which actually came out tasting pretty DARN good with the home made stock and the penne instead of the spaghetti)

I also made one container (I 1/2 the recipe...surprisingly I still have a decent amount of flour left over) of the Master Mix (home made Bisquick)...not pictured because I forgot to get it off of my counter, which I'll use for biscuits for at least one meal and potentially some mini-pancakes or something...depending how far it'll go.

I still want to make some French Toast to freeze and have for meals a little later and I have to make the cornmeal mush for my breakfasts next week (I'll wait until I KNOW my husband won't be home for that...he HATES the smell of it).

So, there you go. I'm about 99% done with meals (other then the fresh ones like salad, which I really didn't want to make ahead of time and have it get icky on me). I'm actually really pleased with how it all turned out. AND I still have enough of the canned pumpkin left that I was able to freeze, that I'll have it for pie at Thanksgiving (which is good with the potential national shortage this holiday season).

And there you have that.

My recap for food for the day?

Breakfast: Knudsen "Morning Blend" juice (not bad at all really) and a small bowl of Kashi cereal.

Lunch: My other Kashi Go-Lean bar (I'm wishing I had gotten another Sunday paper now for the 40% off Kashi coupon...those Crunchy carmel bars are GOOD! I actually really really liked it)

Dinner: Another bowl of Kashi cereal (I was super busy and juggling was just easier).

Great part about it is that the two gallons of milk I've gotten over the past two weeks are serving me well. I JUST opened my second gallon (which was good because darn the first one was about to go bad on me). So, eating cereal the rest of the week won't hurt me milk-wise.

And there you have it folks. Enjoy the evening!

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