Thursday, December 31, 2009
The list is broken down into months, and then weeks within the month. Each week, you buy the items that are designated for that week. You really don't have to stick to the weekly schedule though, it's just a suggestion.
I liked cutting out the lists for each month and taping it to the corresponding month on my calendar. As I made my shopping list, I could look at the food storage list on my calendar, see what we needed, and try to coordinate it with the sales ads. As I made my purchases, I simply crossed them off the list taped on my calendar.
Week 1: 7 gallons of water, 10 candles
Week 2: 3 cans tuna fish (or other canned meats), 5 cans tomato soup
Week 3: 10 pounds rice
Week 4: 5 gelatin mixes, 5 pudding mixes
Week 5: 10 lb bag of sugar, 1 box macaroni & cheese
This month for your 72-hr kits, get a backpack or tote bag and 2 bars of soap.
Week 6: 2 lb peanut butter, 1 box crackers, “dried” soup mixes (5 Ramen or 1pkg Lipton, etc)
Week 7: 25 lbs flour, 2 cans refried beans
Week 8: 10 lbs pasta (macaroni, spaghetti, etc)
Week 9: 10 cans/jars of fruit
This month for your 72-hour kits, get 1 large candle, 2 2-liter bottles of water for each person, water purifying tablets, and any supplies needed for infants.
Week 10: 7 cans of mushroom soup
Week 11: 2 large bottles of pasta sauce
Week 12: 2 boxes or bags of cereal
Week 13: Toiletries (toothpaste, shaving cream, toothbrushes, shampoo, razors, etc)
This month for your 72-hr kits, get matches and a battery powered radio (or batteries for the radio if you already have a battery powered radio), and add 10 one dollar bills to your kit.
Week 14: 10 lbs powdered milk
Week 15: Mixes: cake, pancake, muffin, cookies, etc.
Week 16: 10 lbs dried beans
Week 17: 7 cans cream of chicken soup
This month for your 72-hr kits, 2 flashlights with batteries (or replace batteries if you already have flashlights), paper and pens, and 10 one dollar bills.
Week 18: bottled juices
Week 19: 10 cans/jars of vegetables
Week 20: 10 lbs oats
Week 21: 5 lbs oil or shortening
Week 22: 1 bottle vitamins
This month for your 72-hr kits, toilet paper, paper towels, paper plates, cups, plasticware.
Week 23: 2 cans pork and beans, 1 large box mashed potatoes
Week 24: condiments: mustard, mayonnaise, catsup, pickes, etc.; 1 box salt
Week 25: aluminum foil, plastic garbage bags, Ziploc bags
Week 26: laundry detergent, dish soap, etc.
This month for your 72-hr kits, make sure you have a change of clothes for each family member (including shoes & socks), sleeping bags, and extra blankets. Add food items for each family member requiring no refrigeration or cooking (graham crackers, granola bars, raisins, canned fruits, canned meats, pudding snacks, etc). Be mindful of specialty items like formula or baby food needed for infants or small children.
Week 27: 9 gallons of water, sweeteners (honey, syrup, etc)
Week 28: feminine products, Tylenol, Motrin
Week 29: 3 cans tuna fish (or other canned meats), 4 cans tomato sauce, 2 cans soup
Week 30: 10 pounds rice
Week 31: 5 gelatin mixes, 5 pudding mixes
This month for your 72-hr kits, make sure you have a can opener, utility knife, and first aid kit (band aids, Neosporin, Benadryl, gauze patches, swabs, cotton balls, hydrogen peroxide, etc).
Week 32: 10 lbs sugar, 1 box macaroni and cheese
Week 33: 2 lbs peanut butter, 1 box crackers, “dried” soup mixes (5 Ramen, 1 pkg Lipton, etc)
Week 34: 25 lbs flour, 2 cans refried beans
Week 35: 10 lbs pasta (macaroni, spaghetti, etc)
This month for your 72-hr kits, make sure you have feminine items, plastic bags and ties for garbage, Ziploc baggies, a set of scriptures, copies of patriarchal blessings, copies of legal papers (passport, drivers’ license, social security card, immunizations, wills, insurance policies, birth certificates, etc).
Week 36: 10 cans/jars of fruit
Week 37: 7 cans of mushroom soup
Week 38: 2 large bottles of pasta sauce
Week 39: 12 rolls toilet paper
This month for your 72-hr kits, add 10 one dollar bills, a small ax, a single flare, and laundry soap.
Week 40: 2 boxes or bags of cereal
Week 41: 10 lbs powdered milk
Week 42: mixes: cake, pancake, muffins, cookies, etc.
Week 43: 10 lbs dried beans
Week 44: 7 cans cream of chicken soup
This month for your 72-hr kits, add extra supplies to first aid kit, and over the counter medications (Tylenol, etc) as well as prescription medications.
Week 45: bottled juices
Week 46: 10 cans/jars of vegetables
Week 47: 10 lbs oats
Week 48: 3 cans pork and beans, 1 large box mashed potatoes
This month for your 72-hr kits, add a plastic bucket with a tight fitting lid, and personal hygiene items (toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, razors, etc).
Week 49: Treats for baking: cocoa, coconut, chocolate chips, vanilla extract
Week 50: 12 rolls toilet paper
Week 51: 10 boxes macaroni and cheese
Week 52: 2 lbs peanut butter, 1 box crackers, “dried” soup mixes (5 Ramen, 1 pkg Lipton, etc)
This month for your 72-hr kit, add 10 one dollar bills. Add food items for each family member requiring no refrigeration or cooking (graham crackers, granola bars, raisins, canned fruits, canned meats, pudding snacks, etc.).
Now of course, this isn't the "list to end all lists." You may not like macaroni and cheese, so there would be no reason to keep it on this list. Instead, you can substitute the macaroni and cheese (or cream of chicken soup, or dried beans, or anything else on this list you may not like) with something else, something you do like. There's no sense in stockpiling something that will be difficult to swallow later on if you had to eat from your food storage. So definitely feel free to mark up this lst to suit your own needs. :)
And also, note that your long-term food storage isn't just about food. It's important to have other items stored on-hand, such as your toiletries, storage bags and condiments. We all use this, might as well buy 'em up. Especially if there's a sale and you have a coupon, right?
If this list isn't quite what you're looking for, never fear! There are more lists to come, so check back often as I will continue to post more food storage helps.
Happy New Year, everyone!
1 lb ground beef
1 medium onion, diced
1 can (28oz) crushed tomatoes
2 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
2 Tbsp sugar
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup water
8 flour or corn tortillas
toppings: olives, sour cream
Brown ground beef and diced onion; drain fat. Add tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir in water. Simmer for 10 minutes. Place a heaping spoonful of enchilada sauce into a tortilla. Roll up tortilla and place seam-side down into a baking dish. Continue putting enchilada sauce into remaining tortillas, using about 2/3 of the sauce. Spoon out remaining enchilada sauce over enchiladas and sprinkle with cheese. Add sliced olives on top. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes and serve.
If freezing: Prepare enchilada sauce and place in gallon-size freezer bag. Squeeze out air, seal, lay flat and freeze. Thaw 24-36 hours in refrigerator. My enchilada sauce was just a little frozen, so I heated it up in the microwave for about 3 minutes, then spooned it into the tortillas to make the enchiladas. Bake as directed above.
These were ok. I think this is only the second time I've ever made beef enchiladas. Hubs said that he preferred my chicken enchiladas. I think the flavor was a little off because I accidentally used basil-infused crushed tomatoes. So they were more like spaghetti-meets-enchiladas. Different, but not bad.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Grilled Chicken Salad
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2-3 Tbsp Italian salad dressing
salad fixin's (I used red and green leaf lettuce from our garden, grated carrots, diced celery, a little shredded cheese and orange slices)
Cut chicken breasts into strips and place into large nonstick skillet with salad dressing. Saute' chicken in salad dressing over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until done, about 15 minutes. Serve your chicken over your favorite tossed salad.
If freezing: Place cooked chicken breasts into a quart-size freezer bag. Squeeze out the air, seal and freeze. Thaw 24 hours in refrigerator. Serve cold over your salad, or heat the chicken up in the microwave for 1-2 minutes and then serve over your salad.
One thing that's nice about this meal is that it can be as "no fuss" of a meal as you like. Make your chicken and pop open a bag of salad and you're done! Or you can make a homemade version with all your favorite add-ins. Our lettuce is still thriving, even with the freezing temperatures we are having each night, so for now I'll forego the bagged salad and make the homemade version.
Many of you have heard about the new Green Bag Tags available at CVS. I finally picked one last night. I'm all about saving money like with the ECB's that CVS offers. I'm just sorry that I didn't get my green bag tag sooner! I just kept forgetting to get a tag every time I went to CVS. (My Mommy Brain has been in full force for a couple months now).
But I got one, halleluia! Each time I take a reusable bag to CVS for my purchases, the cashier will scan my green tag. And on the 4th visit, I'll earn an extra $1 ECB!
But that's not all!!!
The cashier last night said I don't even need to attach my green tag to a reusable bag. She suggested that I keep it in my purse or with my key chain. I can use it for small purchases like a 20oz soda or a bag of candy. So technically, I don't even need to bring in a reusable bag!!
Not that I make it a habit to go buy junk food at CVS.
Ok, I may have done that once or twice.
But anyhow, it's nice knowing that I can pick up one little item and say "no thanks" to the plastic CVS bag, and still get my green tag scanned to help me earn more ECBs (while helping the environment, too!). :)
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
Stuffed Pork Chops
1 box stuffing mix, any flavor (I usually use pork or chicken, this time I used low sodium chicken)
4-6 boneless pork chops
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare stuffing according to box directions. Place chops into a baking dish. Scoop prepared stuffing on top of chops. Cover baking dish with foil and bake in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes. Remove foil; return baking dish to oven and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes until stuffing is a golden brown and chops are cooked through.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
For those of you new to the blog, I started making freezer meals in March of 2009. That month was more or less a test run, as I only made about a week & a half's worth of food. Since then, I've been whipping up a month's worth of supper meals each month, devoting one day during the month to spending a day in the kitchen making freezer meals. I did skip October since we were on vacation for about a week, and I extra freezer meals stocked in the freezer.
Freezer meals have definitely been a blessing for me and my family. I don't claim to be a professional--far from it. I read up just a tiny bit of tips from other bloggers, like Tricia at Once A Month Mom, and friends I know who have done freezer meals, and I just kind of took it from there. I don't seek out recipes that are specifically meant for freezer meals. But I do search for recipes that sound tasty, or that we've had before and have a proven track record of being delicious. Making freezer meals has been a true adventure in trial and error, definitely an experirence in "learn as I go."
But they are definitely worth it!
I'm able to spend just a little more time with my family in the evenings, since I spend less time in the kitchen. I work full-time, and before freezer meals, I literally felt like I was pulling my hair out trying to get supper on the table and the kids to bed at a decent time. But post-freezer meals, I'm able to keep my sanity, I'm less stressed, I spend less time in the kitchen and more time with my husband and children. We typically eat supper between 6 & 6:30pm, whereas before I started making freezer meals, we were eating supper between 7 and 7:30pm. What a difference!
So not much to recap about this month's experience, except that it went well, and I finished up earlier in the evening than I usually do. But that's probably because I took a few short-cuts on several meals since I didn't have all the ingredients. Instead of making the entire meal, I just cooked the meat and froze that. Like Saucy Scalloped Potatoes--I had run out of potatoes, so instead of making the whole meal, I just cooked up the ham and froze that. I'll buy potatoes later in the week, after I get paid, so on supper day for this meal, I'll just put the potatoes & other ingredients in the crock-pot and let it simmer while I'm at work, then throw in the ham before serving it.
Even though I did take some short-cuts this time around, my freezer is full, and I have plenty of meals to feed my family for the next month. It's a great feeling. :)
Here's the plan for this week's supper meals. I'll post recipes throughout the week.
Monday--Spaghetti & String Cheese Meatballs, Sugar Snap Peas, Pears
Mondays are usually our weekly "Family Home Evening" or FHE nights, where we have a special fun family activity. But the Vikings are on TV, so hubs made a special request that we have FHE on Sunday, the day before. We played a couple of the kids' new board games that they got for Christmas.
Tuesday--Grilled Chicken Salad, Rice, Oranges
Wednesday--Easy Enchiladas, Zucchini
Thursday--Eat Out or Take-Out In
Last day of the year--yikes! Time sure is flying. My husband's parents have offered to keep the kids for the evening and have them spend the time, so that means date night for hubs and I! We have no idea what we're going to do yet. I can't remember the last time the in-laws offered to take the kids when we didn't have anything planned, so I'm pretty stumped. Our church is having a New Year's Eve activity...or we could just watch the ball drop on Times Square...we'll have to see!
Friday--Li'l Cheddar Meatloaves, Black-Eyed Peas, Cauiflower
Saturday--Chicken & Vegetable Stew With Parsley Dumplings
Sunday--Chili Cups, Corn, Green Beans
For hundreds of menu plan options, visit OrgJunkie.com! :)
Thursday, December 24, 2009
We've kept up the tradition each since then, making special homemade reindeer food, and then spreading it across the front yard on Christmas Eve before going to bed so Santa's reindeer have something to snack on while Santa's snacking away on milk & cookies in the house.
Last year, both children made sure to put the reindeer food in the "perfect" spot to ensure the reindeer wouldn't miss a single bite!
6 Tbsp rolled oats
1 Tbsp glitter
Mix oats and glitter together in a baggie or paper bag. Spread across yard. Santa's reindeer will have a field day snacking on their special treat!
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
But one thing that is different, and a tradition that I did not grow up with, is Santa Claus comes and visits on Christmas Eve.
This is a Christmas tradition that comes from my husband's family. On Christmas Eve, we go to my in-law's house for dinner and to open presents. But just before it's time to open our presents, Santa arrives to visit the children, bringing a small gift, and a reminder to continue being a good little boy or girl because he would return later that night with a much bigger gift, but only if they were good the rest of the evening.
Of course, a visit from Santa is a perfect picture opportunity! My daughter has yet to sit with Santa. She is very afraid of him. But our son is very brave and always has been.
My husband played the role of Santa for several years in a row, but our oldest niece kind of caught on that he was Santa. Last year, we didn't want to spoil the magic of Santa's visit, so hubs stayed himself. His aunt and uncle were visiting, so his uncle took on the role of Santa Claus. And we had our oldest niece convinced that he was the absolute, real Santa Claus. She was definitely enchanted. She did figure out later that evening that it was her great uncle, but she was smart enough to not spoil it for the younger children, and she was very pleased with herself for figuring things out.
A friend of ours will play the role of Santa this year, someone that neither of our nieces have ever met, so we'll see if we can stump them both and keep them guessing who "Santa" really is. This is definitely a fun tradition, and we all love seeing the kids' eyes light up when Santa walks into the house (excluding our daughter who will probably come running to me to be held...maybe next year she'll be ready for Santa :).
I grew up in Texas, and if there's one thing that I miss living out here in North Carolina, it's Tex-Mex cuisine. Enchiladas Verdes, Fajitas, Arroz Con Pollo, Tamales, Quesadillas...my mouth drools just thinking about it. There is a Mexican restaurant in town that we like, and I've tried making homemade meals at home, but nothing quite compares to what I left behind when we moved here. So I was really tickled when I found the Foods and Flavors of San Antonio blog. Heaven! That's where I found this recipe.
Mexican Pork Chops
2-3 Tbsp olive oil
4 center loin pork chops, trimmed of fat
1 medium onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 clove garllic, minced
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp chili powder
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 1/2 cups water
1 can (15oz) Mexican stewed tomatoes, cut up (I used Rotel Diced Toatoes & Green Chilies)
3/4 cup long-grain white rice
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 13x9 baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside. Heat the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pork chops and brown on both sides. Transfer to the prepared baking dish. Add the onion, green bell pepper, and garlic to the skillet. Saute in the pork drippings until tender. Season with black pepper, chili powder, and cumin. Add the water and tomatoes. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes to blend the flavors. Sprinkle the rice over the pork chops. Pour the sauce over. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for one hour. Uncover and sprinkle with the cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 5-10 more minutes or until the cheese melts. Stove top: Return the pork chops to the sauce in the skillet. Prepare the rice separately. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring and turning occasionally. Serve over hot cooked rice.
If freezing: Brown chops and saute' vegetables. Add seasonings and tomatoes. Cover and simmer until chops are done. Place pork chops, vegetables and seasonings in a freezer bag; squeeze out air, seal, lay flat and freeze. Thaw 24 hours in refrigerator. Prepare rice, and heat pork chops in microwave. Serve pork chops with rice and cheese, if desired.
We omitted the cheese and the rice. I prepared this as a freezer meal in advance a month ago, and I haven't been brave enough to freeze rice. I kept out the cheese to keep down the fat content. We were in a hurry to run some errands this evening, so I didn't want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen cooking up the rice. I loved the sauce and the vegetables, although they certainly packed a lot of heat! The pork chops were a little tough, which I think happened because I overcooked them during the browning process on my freezer meal day. But I'm glad I made this meal as it took me back to my favorite eateries in the San Antonio/Austin area, and even having chewy pork chops was worth that!
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
But this past weekend, I managed to make a quick trip to a couple stores. I took a peak at the sales ads while my daughter was in dance class Saturday morning, and saw a few great buys that were worth stocking up on.
Walgreens had a coupon to buy canned mandarin oranges for 39 cents each, so I bought 4, same as the coupon maximum. My kids love these. I normally use fresh oranges since we often get them in our monthly Angel Food Ministries fruit & veggie box order. But the mandarin oranges are nice when I make a stir fry--they help keep the theme of the meal!
And there was also a coupon to buy envelopes for 49 cents each. I picked up 6 of them, same as the coupon maximum. These envelopes are perfect for mailing pictures of the kids to their great grandparents.
You won't believe where I went shopping next. Walmart. It's not my fault! (if you're new to the blog, Walmart and I had a "falling out" several months ago and I've gone out of my way to not shop there whenever possible ever since).
But the thing is, I had bought and wrapped all my husband's presents. And then he gave me this "list" of what he wanted for Christmas. Of course, nothing I had bought him was on his list. And I just couldn't ignore the puppy dog look in his eyes as he handed me his list.
He wanted some hunting items that he had seen at Walmart...so off I went. I didn't feel like trekking all over town, especially since a "quick" trip to Walmart, even if it was just to the hunting department, would have taken me an hour. (that store is too big for its own good!)
So I decided to do some price matching on some really good deals in the IGA sales ad. So the purchases below really aren't Walmart deals, but IGA deals...that justifies me going to Walmart, right?
IGA Deals Snagged at Walmart
IGA had cans of Swanson beef and chicken broth on sale for 39 cents each. What a steal!! I like making homemade chicken broth, but for this price, I simply could not pass it up. I bought 4 cans of beef broth, and 8 cans of chicken broth. It was, literally, all I could do to not buy more. After all, I needed to stick to my budget. Walmart's regular price was $0.89, so for 12 cans of broth, I saved $6 by having the cashier match IGA's sale price.
IGA also had Kraft salad dressings on sale for $2/$4. We were getting low on ranch dressing, and since this is hubs's favorite, I knew it was time to to stock up. Walmart's price was $2.42 each. I bought 4 bottles, price matched, and saved $1.68.
Finally, IGA had Kraft mayonnaise on sale for $1.98 each. I don't even remember the last time I saw it below that price. I can't remember Walmart's price, but it was well over $2. So again, I saved money. I just wish that I had looked at the label closer. I didn't realize that I had grabbed the "lime" mayonnaise. Lime? In mayonnaise? I hope it tastes good, and I hope hubs won't notice!
So that's it! How about you? Have you snagged any Bargain Buy deals yourself? Please feel free to share your story. You'll help inspire me to continue hunting for those can't-live-without deals!
Sunday, December 20, 2009
We started up this tradition just a few years ago as my kids and my sister-in-law's kids got a little older. We open presents on Christmas Eve at my husband's parents' house. But before opening the presents, my mother-in-law takes the kids upstairs and dresses them up for the big performance. It doesn't take a lot--big shirts, towels or scarves around the head--to "magically" transform them from rambunctious little kids to quiet, almost reverent, well-behaved children (they do, after all, have an important role to fulfill!).
My husband's cousin reads from Luke 2 as the children re-enact their roles. The kids don't have to say a lot, since the words are read out loud. But they do act out the scenes, even placing a doll into a cradle to represent the baby Jesus lying in a manger.
It's enough to bring tears to my eyes now just thinking about it!
I had intended on doing my freezer meals yesterday, but it just didn't happen. Instead, I'll be making a month's worth of freezer meals the day after Christmas.
I truly feel like I'm about 2 days behind where I feel like I need to be as far as the holidays go. I've gotten a ton of things completed this year, way better than in previous years. I owe some of that to the great organizational skills I've been learning over at OrgJunkie.com--planning and preparing! But although I tried planning, and I tried preparing, I just wasn't ready to do any freezer meals yesterday.
So instead, this upcoming week we'll be working off of some premade meals that came in a recent Angel Food Ministries order and a couple of carry-overs from my November freezer menu. I ended up with way more meats in the freezer than I intended, so I want to knock out at least a little of what's in there before filling it up.
Here's the menu for the next month (mostly freezer meals with a handful of non-freezer meals). I am taking advantage of the colder season and making a lot of soups of chili, something I don't get to do very often during the warmer months!
Grilled Chicken Salad
One Pot Chicken Dinner
Chicken & Rice L'Orange
Chicken & Vegetable Stew With Parsley Dumplings
Cornish Hens in Sour Cream
Honey BBQ Chicken
Hot Pork Sandwich With Gravy
Cuban Pork & Black Bean Soup
Sweet 'n' Sour Pork Chops
Mu Shu Pork
South of the Border Lasagna
Li'l Cheddar Meatloaves
Hungarian Cabbage Stew
Shredded Beef Sandwiches
Ham It Up White Bean Soup
Saucy Scalloped Potatoes
Red Beans & Rice With Kielbasa Sausage
Stuffed Pork Chops
Spaghetti & String Cheese Meatballs
Chicken and Broccoli Casserole
Carry-Over Freezer Meals
Mexican Pork Chops
Aaachh!! Can it already be the week of Christmas?? I've managed to get a lot done getting ready for this day, but I still feel like I'm a day late and a dollar short. I'm not stressing just yet, but I am pretty close. So while I take a few deep breaths to remain calm, here's the menu plan for this week's dinners:
Monday--Fish Sandwiches, French Fries, Mixed Fruit
This is our weekly "Family Home Evening" or FHE as we call it. We'll drive through some of the neighborhoods in a nearby town and look at Christmas lights.
Tuesday--Tortilla Casserole, Tossed Salad With Orange Wedges
We were supposed to eat this meal last week, but it got pushed back. My friend Melissa had the recipe for Tortilla Casserole at her blog, Melissa's Bargain Blog, but the link I had been using isn't working right. I printed off the recipe several weeks ago, so I'll post the recipe later this week.
Wednesday--Mexican Pork Chops, Mango & Kiwi, Rice
Another meal we were supposed to have last week. What's really bad is that the night I had planned for this meal, I actually thought we were supposed to have Chicken Tacos, which we didn't even have until a few days later. My "mommy brain" has kicked into full gear, thanks in part (I'm guessing here) to the holidays and all the goings-on. Too much to keep up with! And I think I'm confusing myself just writing all this.
Thursday--Christmas Eve at the in-laws
They have a tradition of opening presents on Christmas Eve and having a huge holiday spread of finger foods, appetizers and all types of treats for dinner.
Friday--Christmas Day at the in-laws
Anything leftover from Christmas Eve gets served on Christmas Day, along with a baked ham. My mother-in-law is also using a turkey that I gave her to make some dish. I have no idea what it is--she won't get into specifics with me about it. But, I did manage to find out that the turkey is prepared a few days ahead of time and you discard the carcass, so it's not a traditional holiday baked turkey...be interesting to see what it ends up being.
Saturday--Chicken Tenders, French Fries, Green Beans
Finally, my freezer meal cooking day!! I had intended on making my freezer meals yesterday, but with all the holiday happenings, I just wasn't as prepared as I needed to be. Plus, my refrigerator/freezer and my chest freezer are packed solid. I simpl don't have a lot of room! I overstocked up on meats, and a friend from church gave us about a 20-lb turkey. Plus, I also got a turkey from work, which I gave to my mother-in-law to use in our Christmas Day dinner (see above). Hubs did some hunting last week, and shot a deer. He came home with 30lbs of ground venison, which we've had to store in his parents' upright freezer since we had no room. But please don't misunderstand me, I'm not complaining! I'd rather have too much than too little.
Sunday--Stuffed Pork Chops, Tossed Salad, Vegetables Sicily
Finally...a day of peace & relaxation, I hope (keeping my fingers crossed!!!). :
For hundreds of menu plan options, please visit OrgJunkie.com!!
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Crockpot Beef Fajitas
1 lb thinly sliced steak (I used ribeye)
1 pkg fajita seasoning mix, or homemade equivalent
1/4 cup water
1-2 cups sliced bell pepper
1-2 cups sliced onion
toppings such as grated cheese, sour cream, etc.
Put meat in crockpot, top with seasoning, add water. Cook on low all day (8-10) hours. About 30 - 60 minutes before serving, add bell peppers and onions and mix well. Serve on warmed flour tortillas, top with cheese and sour cream.
If freezing: Place cooked beef fajitas into a freezer bag, squeeze out air, seal, lay flat and freeze. Thaw 24 hours in refrigerator. Heat in microwave for about 3 minutes.
Hubs and I really liked these (the kids had cheese tacos). The meat was very tender and shredded easily. They really reminded me of Carne Asada tacos, since they came out more like a beef roast than beef fajitas. I give them two thumbs up!
Friday, December 18, 2009
On my mom's side of the family, my Great Grandmother always made De Ball (pronounced "D" Ball) cookies and Date Pinwheels. I don't even know how far back she started doing this. The De Ball cookies are my uncle's favorite, and my Great Aunt continued to make the cookies after my Great Grandmother passed away. She, too, is getting up there in age, so I started making these cookies a few years ago, using my Great Grandmother's recipe. I like sending these cookies out to family members in a care package, keeping just a few for me, my husband, and our children.
First of all, melt and cool 1 1/2 Tbsp of butter or margarine. Add 2 beaten eggs, 2/3 cup sugar, and 2 cups chopped dates. Mix and cook, stirring constantly until thick.
As the mixture heats up, the dates will get very soft and the wole mixture will turn a dark color. As you stir, make sure you stir the date mixture away from the sides of the pans. You'll cook and stir for about 10 minutes.
Add 1/2 cup chopped nuts and cooled date mixture.
This is where things get a little sticky. Mix cereal, dates and nuts with your hands. Dip your fingers into a little bit of butter and spread around your palms and fingers to keep the cookie mixture from sticking to you. Shape into balls or logs, using about 1 heaping tsp of the mixture. See below. I added more butter than is really needed, so you can see how to spread it over your hand. You may need to add a little bit more butter every so often to your fingertips as you shape the cookies into balls (it only takes just a little bit of butter).
Parmesan-Crusted Pork Chops
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
2 large eggs, whisked
1 cup Italian style bread crumbs (I used 1 cup plain + 1/2 Tbsp Italian seasoning)
4 pork chops (1/2-3/4" thick)--bone-in or boneless (I used boneless)
salt and pepper to taste
6 Tbsp olive oil (I only used 3 Tbsp)
Lay out 3 pie plates (or other similar size container with sides). Place Parmesan cheese, whisked eggs and bread crumbs in 3 separate pie plates (one ingredient in each container). Sprinkle pork chops with salt & pepper on both sides. Coat pork chops with parmesan cheese on both sides; pat to adhere. Dip chops into eggs, turn to coat both sides. Dredge pork chops in bread crumbs; turn to coat both sides. Pat to adhere. Heat 3 Tbsp oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add chops in batches if necessary; cook until golden brown and center reaches 150 degrees (~6 minutes per side). Transfer to plate; serve.
If freezing: Prepare as directed, then allow to cool. Seal in food saver and freeze. Thaw 24 hours in refrigerator. Heat in microwave for 2-3 minutes.
We loved these! The flavor of the Italian seasoning was a nice touch and really helped "make" these chops.
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