Sunday, January 27, 2008

Freezer Fun! (Part 2)

All the preparation is done and the last of the meat is freezing as we speak. It marinated overnight in the refrigerator and now it is freezing flat on a cookie sheet. We also cleaned out my freezer. I am not sure I want to post pictures of the before - but so you can appreciate the difference I will. At the bottom of the post is everything in my freezer (meal wise) I put the numbers after each one to cross off as I use them. (It looks nicer than this in my Word document. (Check out the last picture - we learned to make Paella at our International Cooking Club last week!)

My freezer before :-(
The chicken all in bags ready for the freezer
The freezer after cleaning and stocking
Another close up of the freezer
Paella - Yummy!


2- 8 cup chicken stock
2 - 2 cup chicken stock

5 - 1 cup pkgs cooked chicken 1 2 3 4 5
2 pkg BSCB in Soyvay Veri Veri Teriyaki 1 2
3 pkg BSCB in Trader Joe’s Island Sokiyaki 1 2 3
2 pkg BSCB in Italian dressing/Apricot preserves/tobasco 1 2
1 pkg chicken strips in TJ’s Island Sokiyaki 1


2 pkg steak in Safeway Ranchhouse marinade 1 2
2 pkg steak in Oklahoma Joes steak rub 1 2
4 pkg steak, cubed 1 2 3 4
3 pkg hamburger/sausage mix 1 2 3
3 pkg meatballs 1 2 3
2 pkg spaghetti sauce 1 2
1 pkg Santa Fe soup 1


3 pkg pork with Italian dressing/TJ’s peach salsa 1 2 3
2 pkg pork with southwester rub 1 2
1 pork roast 1

Friday, January 25, 2008

Freezer Fun!

Today I went shopping! Not your average grocery shopping trip. I bought 29 pounds of meat for $51.89. I found some deals and being inspired and motivated by the recent "Investment Cooking Classes" by my Pampered Chef consultant, Sharon, I decided to freeze some meat and meals. From that 29 pounds of meat I hope to freeze a minimum of 27 meals. That is $1.92 a meal for the meat! That is pretty good, I think. Below are some pictures of before. I wish I had thought to take pictures before I started. Add to these two pictures 5.5 pounds of top round steak which is already prepared for freezing. (2 meals with rub, 2 meals marinating in a steak marinade and 4 meals of cubed beef for stew or goulash.)
On top of all of these meat meals I already have two meals of soup frozen, 2 batches of spaghetti sauce, 3 meals of meatballs, and three batches of hamburger/sausage mix cooked for nachos or quesadillas.
That is 37 meals!!! I hope this does not become addicting - because the idea of this is that you should only have to do it every few months. The other thing is that I like having all this stuff frozen and prepared so having a little bit of a hard time convincing myself to take it out of the freezer and use it :-). I also need to get my freezer organized. It is a mess and I need room to put all this when I get it done. Hmmm! maybe I should have thought about that before I started!
When I am finished tomorrow I will try and remember to take a picture of everything! I am using several different marinades and rubs and as we try the different ones I will let you know the ones that are really good. Some are "homemade" and some are bottled.

Pork Loin and Chicken - before. I had the butcher cut the pork loin for me.
The chicken already in the pot. It will become soup stock and meat for enchilladas, quesadillas and soup.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Menu Planning Monday

Another week and back at the menu planning. Today I actually made a couple of soups that we will have later in the week and will also freeze some for another day. I am getting motivated to try and cook ahead and have some things in the freezer. My only issue with doing this is I really like variety in my menus and kind of cook what I am feeling like eating at the time. I guess things will last a long time in the freezer and I just have to remember they are there. Anyway, on to my menu for this week. You can find other menus and ideas at Laura's blog, I'm An Organizing Junkie

Wednesday - Santa Fe Soup

Thursday - Out to a Welcome Home Party for friends

Friday - Leftovers

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Santa Fe Soup

I have come across a Pampered Chef Consultant that does "Investment Classes" instead of the traditional Pampered Chef shows. She teaches a series of 5 classes on different subjects. They are basically giving you tips and hints how to cook from scratch more economically and efficiently. In November I hosted a Baking Show where she showed us how to bake ahead and have plenty of things in the freezer for the Holidays and the rest of the year as well. Recently my sister hosted a show on Soups and Stews. It was very helpful and we got some great recipes. One of the recipes that she gave us and my sister made it for the show was this Santa Fe Soup. It was very yummy! This makes a lot of soup and the idea of her recipes is that they are all freezable and you can make a large batch and then freeze some for more meals. As I try some of the others I will post them.

Santa Fe Soup

1 lb. ground chuck, cooked and drained
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cans whole kernel corn, drained
2 cans Pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 cans Kidney beans, rinsed and drained
2 cans Mexican stewed tomatoes, chopped
1 can Rotel tomatoes, chopped
2 packets taco seasoning
1 packet dry ranch dressing (optional)
1 can green chiles

Cook ground beef. Drain, add onions and garlic. Saute for a few minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients. (If you do not want chunks of tomatoes you can puree them in a blender) Simmer for 30 minutes.

Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream and tortilla or frito chips on the side.

If you do not like beans in the recipe you can substitute with ones of your choice.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Barbecue Meatballs

Tonight I am helping to organize a potluck with some of our leaders in our International Ministry at church. We are going to have salmon, a chicken dish (probably something Indian) and I am going to make these Barbecue Meatballs. This is my little sister's recipe and I am looking forward to trying it. I think I will make it a little earlier in the day (like during someone's nap) and then put it in the crockpot. It will make it easier to stay warm and transport to the dinner. I will add an update to let you know how they turn out. * See update below

Barbecue Meatballs

3 lbs. ground beef
1 12 oz can evaporated milk
1 c. oatmeal
1 c. cracker crumbs
2 eggs
1/2 c. chopped onion
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. chili powder

2 c. ketchup
1 c. brown sugar
1/2 tsp. liquid smoke
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 c. chopped onion

Combine meatball ingredients and form into 80 small meatballs. Bake the meatballs until done, about 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Drain off any grease then add sauce and bake 30 minutes more until onions in sauce are done. Serve over rice. These freeze very well. Make meatballs and freeze on cookie sheet. Store in freezer bag.

*Update - These turned out very well. I baked them and then put them in the crock pot and added the sauce cold. They were in the crockpot on low for about 6 hours. They were hot and ready before that - probably 3 hours.
We had them for leftovers the next couple of days and Annalynn loved them. She ate two bowls with rice.