Saturday, September 24, 2016

Where's the Beef?

What I’m listening to this week: 

Main meat meal: To start this week, I threw onions and squash in the bottom of a crock pot, and put about five pounds of beef on top of them.  I loosely based the recipe on this one .  It was a little bland, but I forgot to add the salt, so that's on me. I served it with lefse on the side, because it was on sale.

Day 2: I made rice and steamed broccoli.  To top the rice, I made roux with 4 T butter and the beef fat I skimmed from the leftovers, mixed with a heaping quarter cup of flour.  I added two cups of drippings and a cup of beef broth.  I then threw in a bunch of the leftover beef.  I let it all simmer together and served it over rice.  It was great!  Exceeded expectations.  

Day 3: Quesadillas in the car.

Day 4: I mixed a can of refried beans with salsa and shredded beef and spread those on the last lefse and sprinkled cheese on top. This would also be good with tortillas. 

Day 5: Not my circus

Day 6: Weekend rush

Day 7: leftovers

Friday, September 16, 2016

Fun with Fowls

My sister found this one during our mid-week commute:

Main meat meal: This week I started with a whole chicken from my freezer.  I have less experience with whole chicken, but we made it work.

Monday: I put in the bottom of the crockpot: onions, celery, carrots and potatoes.  I put the chicken on top of that, rubbed the skin with olive oil, sprinkled it with salt and paper and let it cook on low all day.  For dinner, I put the vegetables in a bowl with the some chicken for everyone.  My 9yo remarked, "Oh good!  I like it when we have meat and vegetable meals!"  I know.  I was surprised, too. 

Day 2: I used this recipe and made some CSA green beans on the side.  It was a big hit.  Very few leftovers. 

Day 3: We eat in the car on this day because of crazy commuting, so there were quesadillas with the option of burrito filling inside.

Day 4: Picnic day with Daddy.  I sauteed peppers and onions and added some leftover chicken.  I put these on buns, added a little tomato sauce to the top, and sprinkled shredded cheese overall.  I broiled them till the cheese melted and made sandwiches, with sliced peppers and sliced cucumbers on the side. 

Day 5: Not my circus.  Daddy brings home dinner. I am using the last bones of the chicken to make soup, though, to fend off a cold.

Day 6: Weekend rush: Where we will polish off leftovers. 

Day 7: We'll know when we get there.

Friday, September 9, 2016

So, life has been crazy, as it often is.

I'm getting back into the swing of writing again and I have this great new system.

I love the convenience of the crock pot, but I can't seem to gauge leftovers well.

I love the idea of pre-cooked meat that cooks up quickly with vegetables, but that stuff is expensive!

I love the freezer-to-crockpot method, but I can't always hit on recipes that please the carousel of picky kid eaters.

So, I have my own system: I get meat cheap on sale and freeze big portions.
Then at the beginning of the week, I cook a lot of meat.  The first day, everyone gets a lot of protein and whatever vegetables I managed to sneak into the crock.  The second day, I start getting creative with leftovers and use what I can on the days that are left.

It gives me a great deal of flexibility and the ability to work in my CSA (community supported agriculture) box each week.

So, cheers and enjoy!

Also, I'm going to throw a song I like at the heading of each week, because music lifts me up. <3
What I'm Listening to This Week:

Main meat meal: Teriyaki Chicken in crock pot (onions, garlic, squash, carrots in bottom of crock, 5 pounds of chicken breast, top all with a can of pineapple chunks and a cup of terikyaki sauce. Cook all day)

Day 2: stir fry with more veggies and leftover chicken.

Day 3: Quesadillas with chicken.

With Labor Day weekend and an unexpected rush on Thursday, this was a somewhat abbreviated week, but you get the idea. :-)

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Slow Cooker to Freezer Meal plan, part 2

The Great Shopping Trip

Today I dropped the kids off with mom.  I took my shopping list (made yesterday) and started at Woodmans, my favorite 24/7 grocery store.  Total for all the produce and staples I'm going to need for tomorrow was about $50.  I got everything except the meat.

Next I hit my neighborhood grocery store, Festival Foods for their meat selection.  They deeply discount certain meats at the end of the day, so I was able to get about 20# of meat ranging in price from 1.50 -3.00 per pound.  I didn't have a chance to get chicken breasts, but I was able to get several good looking beef and pork cuts.

Later today I might stop by Sam's, where I can get chicken breast for 1.99#.  We'll see.  Otherwise I'll work with what I have.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Slow Cooker to Freezer Meal plan, part 1

At 36 weeks, I am feeling very much like nesting... without the energy.  I want to have meals in the freezer for the post baby haze, but I don't want to be on my feet cooking.  At all.

So, I am going for my tried and true freezer to slow cooker approach.

For my first step, I made my battle plan today.

I got my recipes from here. I picked the recipes I was going to use (I was going to start with 10, but went to 13 and I'm planning on doubling all of them) and made my grocery list.

I love the simplicity of these recipes, but I am adding my own modifications.  I always, always, add veggies to my freezer meals, which means I need about twice as much seasoning to cover the whole meal.

So, first I'm going to load the meat into my trusty, labelled gallon bags.  Then I am going to add the seasoning for 24 or 26 (depends on how much meat I get) meals.  Then I am going to fill the rest of the bag with chopped, freezable produce.

Tomorrow, I will be shopping cheap cuts of meat and in-season, freezable veggies for my grand meal-making adventure.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Spanish Slow Cooker "Skillet" Recipe

So, today was Tuesday after an eventful week, which I knew meant I could put dinner in the morning, or the kids would be having PB&J for dinner.

So, I took stock of A) what I had on hand and B) what they have been liking lately.  If you have kids, you are familiar with the idea that their taste in food morphs on a daily, or even hourly, basis.

Shockingly, everyone loved it.  So, here is the recipe for tonight's win.

Spanish Slow Cooker "Skillet" (adapted from "Spanish Noodle Skillet" in the "More with Less Cook Book")

Throw in the slow cooker:
1 # cooked ground beef (I buy and cook in bulk and freeze in one pound portions)
2 cans diced tomatoes (You could probably substitute six cups fresh)
Corn from three cooked ears (could substitute one can corn)
1 can kidney beans (or two cups cooked)
1 cup brown rice
2 cups water
1 T salt
1/2 t pepper
1 t oregano

Let cook all day.

If desired, sprinkle cheese on top ten minutes before serving.

Voila! Kid approved.