Saturday, February 18, 2012

Just say NO to the Drive Thru! What's in my freezer this week?

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Wow, it's been a while since I've posted!  I have been one super busy house wife preparing some super yummy dinners to stock my freezer with!  I didn't take the time to take a great photo of my newly stocked freezer with cooked food, but I did find this quite hilarious one on Photobucket, and just had to share.  And while I'm not a domestic diva (like I tend to think I am at times...HA!), I do know a few tricks to save you from the drive-thru, especially if you're a working mom, a stay at home mom, or during sport seasons!  Now, keep in mind a few things:

  1. I cook with regular every day ingredients.
  2. Most of my recipes are super duper easy.
  3. I measure nothing.
  4. I use salt, pepper, and parsley in almost everything.
  5. These are cheap recipes (HOORAY!).
  6. I am not a health nut, but if you practice portion control, you'll be fine.  And it's still lower fat and healthier than the drive-thru.
Ok, here goes!  A run down of what's in my freezer, and how to cook it.  Enjoy!

1 Pinto beans and ham
2 Baked pork chops
3 Baked BBQ country style pork ribs
     Chicken in creamy chicken gravy
5 Leftover coca-cola ham
     Pot roast with potatoes and carrots
oHomemade waffles
8Homemade bacon, egg, and cheese biscuits
Cubed steak in gravy
2lbs. browned and seasoned ground beef
3 quarts homemade chicken broth
1Deboned whole boiled chicken
1Smothered squirrel
1Un-iced cupcakes
4lbs baked turkey bacon
5 slices Canadian bacon
1 tray food club family size lasagna
Scrambled omelet style eggs (for more egg biscuits)

RECIPES:
PINTO BEANS AND HAM:
Quick soak and cook 1lb pinto beans according to directions on package.  Add however much leftover ham, smoked sausage, pork chops, or any other salty meat you would like.  Season with salt and pepper.  Put in ziplock bag and squeeze out air.  Place in second ziplock bag, label, and put in freezer.

BAKED PORK CHOPS:
Place pork chops in big casserole dish.  Season with salt, pepper, parsley.  Cover with foil.  Bake at 350 degrees until chops are done (about 3 hours or so), then uncover and bake until just browned.  Place in ziplock bag and squeeze air out.  Place in second ziplock bag, label, and place in freezer.

BAKED BBQ COUNTRY STYLE PORK RIBS:
Place pork ribs in big casserole dish.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add worstechire sauce and BBQ sauce.  Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees (about 3 hours or so) until they are falling apart when you test them with a fork.  Place in ziplock bag.  Squeeze the air out.  Place in second ziplock bag, label, and place in freezer.

CHICKEN IN CREAMY CHICKEN GRAVY:
Spray a skillet with non stick cooking spray.  Add a handful of chopped onions, and some cut up boneless skinless chicken breasts.  Cover and smother on medium heat until chicken is done.  Uncover and add a can of cream of chicken soup, a can of evaporated milk, salt, pepper, and parsley.  Simmer on low about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Place in ziplock bag and squeeze the air out.  Place in second ziplock bag, label, and place in the freezer.  Great over rice or noodles.

COCA-COLA HAM:
Place a large bone-in spiral cut ham in the crockpot.  Add one 12oz can of cola.  Cook on high until done.

POT ROAST WITH POTATOES AND CARROTS:
Place one rump roast in the crockpot.  If frozen, add no water.  If defrosted, put a little water at the bottom of the crockpot to prevent sticking.  Quarter about 5 potatoes and place in crockpot.  Add one small bag of fresh baby carrots.  Add one can of cream of celery, one can of golden mushroom soup, salt, pepper, and a handful of chopped onions.  Cook on high until done.  Soups can be substituted for packets of instant gravy, other soups (such as cream of mushroom, French onion, etc) use whatever you have on hand for the gravy.

HOMEMADE WAFFLES:
Follow the directions on the back of the box of any kind of pancake/waffle mix.  Allow the waffles to cool, then place two waffles in a quart size freezer bag and squeeze the air out.  I can usually make 12 quart size bags of two waffles each with two batches of mix.  Place in toaster 1-2 cycles to defrost and eat.

TURKEY BACON:
Place turkey bacon on a cookie sheet lined with foil for easy clean up.  Cook for 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

HOMEMADE BACON, EGG, AND CHEESE BISCUITS:
Bake a can of jumbo biscuits or make homemade biscuits.  While the biscuits are baking, scramble a bunch of eggs and add a splash of skim milk, salt, pepper, and parsley.  Cook them like you would an omelet so that they stay together (a GT EXPRESS cooker is great for this).  You should already have baked turkey bacon made.  Grab some sliced cheese.  Let everything cool.  Then assemble the biscuits.  Cut the biscuits in half all the way, then layer egg, bacon, and ½ slice of cheese (you will want to cut your eggs to fit on the biscuit and cut your bacon in half also to fit).  Wrap tightly with wax paper and secure with a piece of scotch tape.  Put each assembled biscuit in a small ziplock bag (I use sandwich size) and use a straw to suck out the air.  Place up to 8 assembled bagged biscuits in a gallon ziplock bag and label.  Place in freezer.  Microwave in wax paper to re-heat

CUBED STEAK IN GRAVY:
Make a roux (1/2 cup oil, ½ cup flour and brown until caramel color, stirring constantly.  Add lots of salt or it will taste like glue) and a handful of chopped onions.  Add in water slowly until the thickness is what you want.  Throw in cut up browned cubed steak (or eye of round, or whatever you have on hand).  I should have mentioned, you will want to brown your meat while your roux is going. Cook on medium to low until the meat is done and tender.  Throw in a can of tomato soup for an extra zing if you would like anytime during the cooking.  Great with rice!  Once again, place in a ziplock bag and squeeze the air out.  Place in a second ziplock bag and label.  Place in the freezer.

BROWNED/SEASONED GROUND BEEF:
Place however many pounds of ground beef/turkey/pork you have in a skillet.  Add a handful of chopped onions per pound.  Season with salt and pepper and brown.  Drain grease if you have any.  We use very, very lean ground beef or ground turkey so there usually isn’t any grease.  Allow to cool then separate into 1lb portions and place in quart size bags.  Squeeze out air and place in freezer.  Be sure to label with a sharpie marker.  I love to keep this on hand just in case I want to throw a quick spaghetti or a box of hamburger helper together.  Also great to add to canned soups you may find on clearance to beef them up a little.  Add to rice for “dirty rice” and add a can of cream of mushroom.  Possibilities are endless.

WHOLE CHICKEN:
Place a frozen whole chicken in a big stock pot and add salt and water.  Boil until the chicken is falling off the bone.  Use tongs to get the chicken out of the broth.  Place a strainer over a big pot or container to extract chicken pieces from the broth.  Allow broth to cool a bit, then place broth in quart size ziplock bags, squeeze out air, seal, label, and place in freezer.  Homemade broth is great for all sorts of things, and you won’t  have to buy any at the store.  Next, allow the chicken to cool.  Debone chicken, place in quart size ziplock bags, squeeze out air, seal, and label.  Place in freezer.  You can whip up all sorts of quick chicken dishes or add to canned soups in a pinch.

SMOTHERED SQUIRREL:
Ok, this may sound a bit strange to most folks.  Here’s the deal, my husband squirrel hunts.  He also cleans his squirrels and soaks them in water for a few hours to get the blood out.  Then we place the squirrels in ziplock bags in the freezer.  After we get a few, I put them in a cast iron skillet with a bit of vegetable oil and a handful of chopped onions.  Season with salt and pepper, then put them on a medium-low fire and let them smother down.  Don’t cook them too long, they’ll be tough.  Squirrel done right tastes a lot like chicken, so these are great to eat by themselves or throw in a soup or gumbo.

UNICED CUPCAKES:
Now, this was super easy.  I had a box of cake mix, made cupcakes according to the directions.  Allowed the cupcakes to cool, then individually wrapped them in saran wrap, and placed them in a gallon ziplock bag.  Sucked the air out with a straw, and finished sealing the bag.  Label that bad boy, stick it in the freezer.  I did the same thing with a pan of brownies, intending to freeze them, but my husband decided to take them to drill this weekend.  All is good, though.  Those puppies are individually wrapped so they’ll stay fresh for him all weekend, he won’t be visiting the local 7-11 for snacks, and if there are any leftovers, I can still freeze the remaining.

I believe the rest is self explanatory.  Yes, I do have a frozen lasagna in the freezer that’s not homemade.  My grocery store had a deal where if you buy the lasagna, you got some other stuff free, so I always get the “buy this item, get a bunch of free stuff” deals.  I have frozen French fries and chicken nuggets in there too, I have two small children, and I love to spoil them rotten!! J