Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Kitchen Goals Update #2

It's time to update my 2012 kitchen goals.  Each year I set 12 goals (one per monthish) to work on in my kitchen.  Here's how I am doing since my last update

Goal 3 - Limit dining out/take out/deliver to 2-3 times/month - working really hard on this one since we returned home after our house flooded.  I think we have eaten our 3 times in July.  Hopefully that will be it.

Goal 6 - Better utiliziation of garden produce - less waste - this has been a miserable failure.  28 days out of our house and 100 degree temps have really make it almost impossible to keep the garden up.  In fact, I only got 4 of my 6 beds even planted.  I'm scrapping this on until next year.  I did get 8 jars of banana pepper mustard and 6 half pints of pepper jelly made before I pulled up most of the garden.

Goal 7 - Dehydrate and freeze more - See Goal 6! 

Goal 8 - Update Family Favorites and Freezer Cookbook - Freezer Cookbook is done and I have a plan and all the supplies for the Family Favorites

Goal 9 - Learn to make and freeze creamed corn - DONE!   A friend and I put up 13 quarts of corn together.  Plenty to get us through the winter.  It was easier than I thought, and delicious!

Goal 12 - Let my kids cook more - SUCCESS!  Both kids are helping me in the kitchen ALOT.  They are learning so much and the kitchen doesn't seem like foreign country to them anymore.  Boo Boo is the most involved, but Bubba has really helped this summer as well.

Monday, July 23, 2012

It's Freezer Cooking Time!

I really can't believe I start backe to school in 1 1/2 weeks.   Our entire summer has been spent recovering from the 10,000 gallons of water that flooded our home on May 29th.  While we are back in our home, most of our furniture is still being repaired and there are still too many boxes waiting to be unpacked.  However school and fall sports just don't understand that and they are coming upon us quickly!  So, I'm taking a break for unpacking boxes and organizing my house to do my annual summer freezer cooking session.  I will spend a week cooking a large variety of foods to fill my freezer and keep us eating at home instead of heading to the drive thru on the way home from practice.  This about the 13th year I've done this.  I am using mostly tried and true family favorite recipes with a few new ones for variety.  You can check out 2010 and 2011 freezer sessions for more ideas. 

Here is my VERY ambitious plan.

Beef Recipes
Sloppy Joes
Beer Chili
Taco Meat (browned beef with taco seasoning)
Beef Mix  (browned beef with onions and garlic)

Chicken Recipes
Whole Chickens -
Shredded Chicken and Broth
Mediterranean Chicken *
Lemon Rosemary Chicken

Marinated Breasts-
Garlic Ranch *
Lemon Pepper
BBQ (using Pappy Red's BBQ sauce)
Plain, Shredded

Meals -
Honey Sesame Chicken *
Orange Chicken *
Buffalo Chicken
Cilantro Lime Tacos *
Chicken Taquitos *

Pork -
Mozzarella Stuffed Meatballs
Pizza Pasta Casserole
Pizza Bagel Bites *
Ham and Cheese Croissants *

Side Dishes -
Mac and Cheese
Broccoli Casserole
Spinach Parmesan Bake *
Lima Beans
Baked Potato Casserole
Mashed Potatoes

Breakfast -
Breakfast Burritos (Sausage and Bacon)
Sausage Biscuits
Banana Oat Muffins
Zucchini Blueberry Muffins
Banana, Apple, Cranberry Muffins
Oatmeal Breakfast Bars
Cherry Almond Granola Bars *
Peanut Butter Granola
Vanilla Granola

Treats -
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Kentucky Sugar Cookies
Chocolate Almond Biscotti

Extras -
Chocolate Sauce
Enchilada Sauce
Red Beans
White Beans

* New to us recipes

Here's what the next few days look like -

Day One - Inventory Freezer, select recipes, create master ingredient list, inventory pantry, create grocery lists. - DONE

Day Two - Shop - I NEVER shop and cook in the same day. I usually end up at 4 different stores (Costco, Restaurant Depot, Publix and Walmart) and that makes for a very tiring day. I usually prep the onions, garlic, etc, but I don't assemble anything.

Day Three - Breakfast (no baking) and Side Dishes

Day Four - Beef Day

Day Five - Chicken Day

Day Six - Finish up any Chicken or Beef dishes that didn't get completed  and Extras (sauces and beans)

Day Seven - Baking Day and any breakfast items that don't get done on day 3- these are the things we can live without. If I really run out of steam, I can come back later and make these items.

I know this is a lot of work, but for me is really is worth it.  This will keep my entire family fed until Christmas, with very little effort from me.