It has been two months of traveling and staying with others. After finally moving into our own apartment, I'm back to cooking ahead. Without cooking for toddlers, I have to remember not to cook so much at once. I feel like I did a mini-session, but actually have several meals.
Hamburger meat for spaghetti.
I browned hamburger with some minced onion and garlic powder. I put it in a container and in the freezer. I'll defrost it and add it to spaghetti sauce.
I mixed ground turkey, cracker crumbs, garlic powder, onion powder, and minced onion. I made patties and fried them in a pan. I got 11 patties out of two pounds of ground turkey.
Tangy Sweet Potatoes
I followed the link recipe, except I used the juice of two small lemons instead of the juice from the mandarin oranges.
I have turkey burgers for lunches made, yummy sweet potatoes, and meat ready for spaghetti. It feels good to have some ready-made meals again.
Hopefully you had a great Thanksgiving with a beautiful bird. Ours was wonderful.
We have a lot of turkey left over. What to do with all that turkey? Here are three easy ideas:
Prepare 1 pound pasta (your choice of the shape). Drain and return to pan. Add 2 cans cream of chicken soup and 1 to 2 cups cut into bite sized pieces. Mix well and heat through.
Turkey and Biscuits
In a large skillet, combine 1 can chicken broth, 1/4 cup melted butter, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Add 1-2 cups turkey cut into bite sized pieces and cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, until bubbly. Place refrigerator biscuits (2 10.8 oz cans, or I make homemade ones) evenly over top. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon paprika and simmer uncovered 10-12 minutes or until broth is slightly thickened.
Cook and stir 2/3 cup uncooked rice and 1 medium, chopped onion in 2 tablespoons hot oil until rice is golden brown and onion is tender. Stir in 1 1/2 cups boiling water, 1 tablespoon beef or chicken soup base, 2 tablespoons soy sauce, and 1 to 2 cups cooked, diced turkey. Heat to boiling. Lower heat, cover tightly, and simmer for 15 minutes without removing lid. Remove from heat and fluff with fork. Cover and let stand for an additional 10 minutes. Serve or freeze.
Those three recipes I have made over and over through the years.
I discovered for items like pancakes, cheese & sausage biscuits and other things that don't need to be directly in a crock pot for heating, I can put on top, covered with a bowl to trap heat. I have the vegetables of the day in the crock pot, warming.
Remember my pumpkin pancakes? Well I had to use up the rest of the pumpkin and the rest of the box of pancake mix. When I did that, roughly doubling the recipe, it came out too thin. I had to add something to thicken it up. I just so happened to have about 2 cups of quick oats that needed to be used up. I mixed it in and it was just what it needed to thicken up.
I cooked just like I described in the original recipe. They came out very good with added texture and nutrition. It was a good mistake.
I had made some basic meatballs for Sweet & Sour Meatballs. They were just sitting in the freezer waiting for something to go with it so I made up some Sweet & Sour Rice.
I didn't measure anything, I didn't even look at a recipe--yikes! I mixed up:
pineapple tidbits and juice (the whole can)
apple cider vinegar
I kept adding things and tasting until it tasted right.
I made several cups of Jasmine rice in my rice cooker. I Put a serving of rice with some sweet and sour sauce, into a container then into the freezer. To heat, I put in some of the meatballs, then a container of rice and sauce into my mini crock pot and heat for 2-3 hours.
I think I need to trust myself more and cook without recipes. Maybe we all need to try it once in a while.
I put a little butter in a frying pan and heated the pastrami. I took the meat out of the pan, then put the bread in, topped with the pastrami and some provolone cheese, then topped with bread. I let it brown, then flipped to brown on the other side.
I ate this without any condiments. It was a very nice, simple sandwich.
I had a head of broccoli, some pasta that needed to be used up and a few bottles of Italian dressing. I had bought Italian dressing, then forgot I bought it, then bought it again, so I needed to use it up.
I cooked the pasta according to package directions and drained.
Meanwhile, I cut the broccoli into bite-sized pieces.
I put the pasta, broccoli, and dressing all in a bowl and tossed, then chilled.
I turned out very yummy! I nice change-of-pace salad for my lunches.
I had a can of pumpkin in the cupboard and a box of pancake mix that needed to be used up. Pumpkin Pancakes sounded so good! Now to figure out how to put it together. I search for a recipe, but ended up piecing this one together . . .
2 1/2 cups pancake mix
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 3/4 cups milk
2 tablespoons oil
1 cup can pumpkin
Mix all the ingredients together. Cook in heated pan with a little oil. Flip when golden brown and almost cooked through. Cook until the other side is golden brown.
I had these plain with just a pat of butter on them. They were very yummy!
I put the leftovers in a gallon freezer bag. I get a few out and heat them up in the microwave for a quick breakfast.
Leftovers On Purpose -LOP- is about how I make meals ahead and store in my freezer :). It includes ideas for feeding daycare toddlers, as well as what I do to keep healthy food choices available for myself. The same ideas would work for feeding a busy family.
. . . since I have started to work with your recipes, I have been able to cut down on my grocery list by..... believe it or not...... $100.00 per week . . . So... BIG THANKS to you and sharing your wonderful recipes that helps me keep my grocery bill down.