Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Prep for Success day!

Off subject, but the menu plan for the week is coming. I'm waiting for the Carrs ad to come out before doing the final touches on this week's menu plan to give those who have to shop at Carrs the opportunity to get some ideas for dinner too (I figured it was only fair), in case something uber cool is on sale this week.

And so here's my "Prep" day...well days *yesterday and the day before). Because REALLY I can't call what I've been doing the last couple of days as "baking" per se. I've mainly been cooking. Everything but the home made popsicles I did day before yesterday. So, what did I do those two days?

Well, I started to grate my "block o' cheese" but didn't get very far because my daughter kept yanking on my pant leg and eating handfulls of it as I handed it to her *laugh* and because I was also using it in cooking. That and grating cheese is HARD! I did grate enough to get my recipes done though. So, that's why bags of grated cheese aren't on the table...they aren't done yet.

4 bags of steaks from the bulk beef I bought at Costco, bagged individually than in another freezer bag and frozen (I didn't want to pull out my food saver). Only 2 are pictured because the other 2 bags were buried underneath other stuff in my freezer and I just didn't want to mess with it. I also have one bag of stew beef that isn't in the picture either AND a bag of cooked and diced chicken that I'll use to make things like cheesy chicken casserole and stuff later on (those two bags were in my fridge freezer and I forgot to grab them for the picture).

1 Recipe Farmhouse Chicken

1 recipe Chicken Tetrazinni Doubled.

This looked good when I read it on Money Saving Mom on her last baking day and decided to try it (I have a TON of bulk spaghetti to use, so this was a nice way to do it). I had to add some seasonings to get it to the point my family would like it and I threw in some frozen veggies too. It turned out pretty darn good. I can't wait to try it when you actually bake it. Yum! Best of all? You just freeze this stuff flat in a freezer bag. Easy peazy! I doubled the recipe like Crystal on "Money Saving Mom" did and just split it up into three meals for us. I think Armina will really like this!

1 recipe mini-meatloaves (this one is easy. For those of you who do NOT know how to make a meatloaf, allow me to help out!)

Take a pound to two pounds of meat (preferably beef, but I like ground turkey like I did this time). Put it into a bowl with one egg (I'd use 2 if doing 2 pounds of meat), a couple GOOD handfulls of bread crumbs (cracker crumbs or even potato chip crumbs work in a pinch), parmesan cheese (if using turkey), a couple tablespoons of your favorite grill seasoning or italian seasoning (my two blends of choice, but go with what you like), a couple good squirts of ketchup and mustard. Mush up with hands (add more bread crumbs if needed so it doesn't resemble really sticky mush) and make sure you have the right consistancy that you can form it into a loaf and/or other form. Shape into form of choice (I usually just free form it and put it in a baking dish). Poke holes down into meatloaf with fingers (deep but not all the way to the bottom) and fill holes with milk (this lends to a REALLY lovely moist meatloaf...my mother-in-law taught me that trick and boy does it work!). Put in 375 degree oven for an hour to an hour and half (depending on size of loaf).

I used jumbo muffin tins instead of making the meatloaf into an actual loaf and just cooked them for about 40 minutes (I put a wad of cheese in the middle of each of them as a "surprise" when we eat them...Armina MIGHT eat them that way *laugh*). They came out just perfect. I then cooled them on a towel (they come out just like regular muffins) and put them into a freezer bag. I figure six of these (which is what I got) will last us three meals (since my daughter still isn't too keen on eating meat other than chicken nuggets).

1 Freezer Baked French Toast

1 Lasagna (I got another 8x8 pan at the thrift store the other day, so I'm up to two now! Yay!). I used cottage cheese instead of ricotta because I a) Forgot to buy Ricotta cheese at the store the other day, and b) Ricttoa cheese is darned expensive. I've never TRIED cottage cheese in my lasagna before, so this will be a new experience for me.

1 Recipe Chocolate Chip muffins (from box with added white and dark chocolate chips I had left over from the pumpkin muffins). These went into the freezer as breakfast foods and snacks.

And finally, 2 things of home made popsicles (I just use Crystal light or the equivalents to make these so they are sugar free).

And there you have that. Sorry I haven't posted today. My son and I are both down with a stomach bug (I'm in better shape than he has been...poor little guy!), so I and my husband have been busy just taking care of Alvah and I. And now I'm off to field my cranky daughter who is feeling neglected. Later days all!

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