Freezer Cooking: Part One and a Prayer Request

On March 13, 2010, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome

Well, the verdict is in. I’m officially converted.   – lol- I have been playing around with freezer cooking for the last several months — doubling a meal and freezing one for later, testing new recipes to see if they freeze well. On Thursday, I jumped in with both feet and I couldn’t be more [...]

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup! Yum!

Well, the verdict is in. I’m officially converted.   – lol-

Did you miss National Banana Bread Day? Not me! Thanks, Becca!

I have been playing around with freezer cooking for the last several months — doubling a meal and freezing one for later, testing new recipes to see if they freeze well. On Thursday, I jumped in with both feet and I couldn’t be more excited to share everything that has happened with you. Not only have I saved myself the time of meal preps for the month, the savings in groceries is astounding — at least to me. We’ll see what you think.

They were gobbled up faster than I could snap the picture!

I know...not freezer cooking, but it was delicious!

I need to explain first of all, that I had a “teacher in-service” from homeschooling, today.  Mainly because I intended to be “in-service” to my three grandchildren and my neglected laundry room.  We all know the best of intentions don’t always work out the way we anticipated.  My laundry room is still lonesome, but the grandkids are awesome.

Anticipating a day with my favorite child trio, I rescheduled my usual Friday grocery shopping and went to Lincoln yesterday, instead.  What has transpired since then is nothing short of a kitchen miracle.  In 2½ hours Thursday afternoon and 2½ hours stolen through the day, today, I have put 17 main courses in the freezer!  I am only about half way through what I need to get done and I am TIRED!

Tomorrow, I will start fresh and complete the remainder of the month’s entrees.  In order to organize and write out this experience for you most efficiently, I had decided that tonight I would highlight the small scale freezer cooking I have been doing over the past several weeks and hopefully, by Sunday evening, have pictures, recipes and thoughts organized well enough to show you my first Once-a-Month cooking session.

Easy, quick side dish for dinner or alone as a perfectly delicious lunch!

Breakfast on the go! Yummy, portable andmicrowaves in seconds right from the freezer!

As it turns out, I’m so tired and have lots of pictures to edit down to size before I can upload them, so tonight, I am just going to tease you with a few of the pictures  I have taken over the last month or so (To see the pictures larger, you just have to right-click your mouse on one, select View Image, and you will be able to see it full-size.), and hopefully have everything put together and all the new pictures ready for you by late Sunday.  I hope you all had an awesomely blessed Friday and are looking forward to a great weekend!

P.S.  A Prayer Request

I also wanted to share a prayer request with all of you.  Our pastor, and a team of five other members of our church, left yesterday at 3:45 am on a flight to Haiti.  They will be working with a church on-site, there, to determine how our church may be able to help in the coming months and also to provide some minor medical care, physical labor and to be a light for Christ.  They arrived safely in Santa Domingo, last night, and drove on to Haiti, this morning.  Please be in prayer for the team as they work with the people of Haiti.  Pray for their safety and that God would go before them, preparing the way for what He desires to be accomplished.  In the last probable Internet connection for the week, Pastor specifically requested, “Pray that as we make the transition to Haiti conditions, we will be ready for the challenges.”  Thank you for praying and lifting up our friends as they journey and do what they can to help with the cleanup and rebuilding of that broken country.

Tagged with:
 

Time and Money Saving Kitchen Tips

On January 22, 2010, by Glenda Embree- BusyAtHome

This page will grow over time.  It’s going to be a place for excellent ideas and tidbits that don’t really merit their own full blog, but are too good not to share. #1 Green Onion Tops for Free! I saw this tip on the Food Network (my secret obsession).  They were having a competition to [...]


This page will grow over time.  It’s going to be a place for excellent ideas and tidbits that don’t really merit their own full blog, but are too good not to share.

#1 Green Onion Tops for Free!

I saw this tip on the Food Network (my secret obsession).  They were having a competition to find the next Food Network Star and the woman who won in the end, Melissa D’Arabian, shared this most amazing tip.  It was blowing my mind that this might actually be possible, so before I proclaimed it as gospel to all of you, I tested it in my own kitchen.  It absolutely works!

Cut the tops from your green onions and use them for cooking, but place the root ends in a glass of water in your kitchen.  In a couple days, the roots will generate brand new green tops.  I’m not sure how long this can go on, but I am on my second “sprouting” and having good success.  Change the water every day or two, so it doesn’t get cloudy and enjoy fresh green onion tops to season all your favorite dishes.

#2  Bulk Cooking Rice in Your Crockpot and Freezing Successfully

I love fresh rice, but I don’t always remember to start it early enough to be done with the rest of the meal.   I could buy the “minute” varieties, but they are SO much more expensive.  You can make fluffy, delicious rice (white or brown) in your crockpot and large quanties of it are only pennies.  The average 2 cup bag of rice is around 50¢ and will yield about 5-6 cups!  Cooking it ahead and freezing in recipe portion sizes, means you will always have time to add rice to a “quick-fix” meal.

Start by rubbing a tablespoon of butter over the complete inside surface of your crockpot.  This will help to prevent sticking and add a slight bit of flavor.  Add 8 cups of water, a teaspoon of salt and 4 cups of the rice of your choice.  Cover crockpot and set on high.  Your rice will take 1½ to 2½ hours to cook as crockpots can vary somewhat.  After the first 1½ hours, check at 30 minute intervals to see if it is done. Mine almost always takes the full 2½ and it will seem like it isn’t cooking at all until the last half hour or so.

When all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, immediately dump it into a large strainer and rinse it with cold water to stop the cooking.  This step is critical if you plan to freeze it for future use.  Forgetting to rinse it cool, now, will result in sticky rice, later.

Drain the rice thoroughly.  Divide into zip-top freezer bags, pressing them flat as you seal them, so your bags store neatly in a small amount of space.

I freeze rice in quart-size bags.  To use the frozen rice, I put the zip-top bag in the microwave for about 5 minutes.  The bag puffs up as the steam builds and the rice reheats, perfect and ready to serve.  If you don’t want to use the bag for reheating, any microwaveable dish with a tight-fitting lid should work great.

Tagged with:
 

wordpress themes