Friday, January 28, 2011

Dinner tonight / Freezer Meal Meatloaf

Tonight we are going over to a friends house for dinner. Sales presentation dinner :(. But free food and a room for the kids to be away from me. SOLD. I however won't be buying anything. I will be thankful for that salesman in my prayers tonight though :)
I made up this recipe so if you hate it, you suck! Or mess around with it until you like it. It's fun to create.
This is one that you need to put into a pan/Pyrex/casserole dish.
Or sometimes I put it in a big loaf pan and then seal it with a food saver, if you have one.

1 lb. Lean Ground Beef
1/2 lb. Ground Pork
1 1/2 tsp. Crushed Garlic Cloves
1 Egg (slightly beaten)
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Pepper
1/4 tsp. Basil
1/4 tsp. Thyme
1/4 cup Oats
2 tbsp. melted butter
1/4 cup minced onions
1/4 cup Parmesan
1/2 cup Mozzarella
1 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1/4 -1/2 cup Spinach (you can just put the leaves in whole. When you start mixing with your hands it breaks up the leaves. BUT if you really don't want your kids to know its in there, finely chop them up before putting them in the bowl)

Combine above ingredients in a bowl. Squish together with hands :). Shape into a loaf. once in loaf shape, poke a few finger holes through out the loaf. Pour another 1 tbsp, Worcestershire sauce into the various holes.
Surround with 3 cups (75% cooked) Wild Rice Blend. I under cook the rice because they with soften some with the cooking of the meatloaf juices:)

Note: My friend kept thinking this was not cooked because it was still pink in the middle. The pork makes it a little pink so don't keep cooking it until it's brown. It will not get completely brown :)
Also it's been a while since I cooked this. Just guessing here, 365 for 40-45 min (if its completely thawed) longer if partially frozen still....

Have you heard of this!!!!

Go to Sign up for the mom's club. Just type mom's club in the search box. That gives you free 2 day shipping, just wrap the kid in a dish rag if you are completely out of diapers. It's only two days. Or I bet if you are like me, you can scrounge up enough to last 2 days. Car, diaper bag, church bag, downstairs, moms house.....
Then sign up for "suscribe" next to the item you want to subscribe to, wipes are a great deal too. Mom's club saves you 15%, Subscribing saves you another 15%. Subscribing just sets it up so they are delivered regularly. Every month, 2 months 3 months or 6 months. You can ALWAYS change your subscription. I just got an email saying mine was about to ship, but I still have quiet a few, so I just pushed it out 2 weeks. AWESOME!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Taco Soup

This recipe came from Jenny

This is what we are having tonight. This is the easiest of the last minute, because it doesn't even really need long to defrost. This is the one where, "Oh crap I have been gone all day and didn't pull something out before I left."
This one is a great beginner one because you just put it in a Ziploc gallon freezer bag and lay it flat like a book. They stack up nicely and take up little room in the freezer. Do this one even if you aren't going to always eat freezer meals and just need that last minute meal. Much cheaper than eating out and better for you.
I always have sour cream in my fridge. It doesn't expire for a long time and a bunch of my freezer meals are Mexican :). I also always have cheese, who doesn't. I always have tortilla chips too. Even if they are stale, they taste great crumbled up in this soup. (if you don't have anything to top it with (sour cream, cheese or chips, it still tastes great)
The canned beans and corn are great to buy in case lot sales and just have in your food storage

Taco Soup (serves 12 skinny people, more like 8-10) So divide one recipe into 2 bags unless your Mormon or a polygamist.

2 lbs ground beef (I buy in bulk at Costco)

1 envelope taco seasoning (I also buy the huge container at Costco, its 2.25 tbsps)
28 oz crushed tomatoes
15 oz salsa
15 oz canned corn (or I can use frozen)
16 oz kidney beans
15 oz black beans

Defrost and cook in sauce pan. You can serve the soup with cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips

(whatever you have on hand).

Side note When you are doing this in larger quantities, it is hard to brown more then 2 lbs of ground beef at a time. So just do one recipe at a time but get everything out for 3 (6 meals for a family of 4-6). Ground the beef, put in big mixing bowl, add other ingredients, divide into two bags. REPEAT. You can use all the same dishes so it is still a time saver.

Other side note, write on the bags with a sharpie ("Taco Soup, 1/27/11, Heat in saucepan, top with sour cream, cheese and crumbled tortilla chips") BEFORE you put in the taco soup. Much easier :)

More recipes at a later date

Freezer Meals

I've had several people ask me about freezer meals. We pretty much live off them, since I only now have time to cook once a month. BONUS only really have to clean up once a month too.

Here is the low down. I make 3 meals, 6 times each recipe. Basic math there you have 18 meals. I bet you are thinking, "But Emily there are 30 days in a month." Well we all have pizza nights, eat at parents, eat out, eat cereal, you understand... 18 should be plenty.
Once a month. For me it's the first Tuesday. Set a day, rent a new movie from redbox and stick the kids in front of the TV. Or I get together with a friend and we help eachother. Take turns doing the shopping for both of us. And we are both there if one needs to stop and help with the kids.
It will take a while to build up stock so you can't live off only freezer meals the first few months, or you are rotating between 3 meals. Boring to my palate. But once you have a good rotation, you'll not need to cook again :) other then the first Tuesday.

Best investment I ever made was buying a deep freezer. Look on craigslist, or your local classified ads.
Second best investment. Pyrex freezer wear with the tight seal lids. Kind of expensive, I bet your thinking. Well start off with buying an extra dish when you go to the store. They are about $6 each. When I first started I used the cheap foil like throw away pans. Well those are $2 each and don't hold up well or keep the freezer burn out. You can see how using your Pyrex just 3 times (again with the basic math) pays for your investment. Also tried putting them in foil, NASTY! Foil will change the taste of your food. Not good. You can look online for other ideas, but I have tried them all. Just buy the Pyrex, save yourself some heartache.

When you put your meal in a ziplock bag permanant marker right on it, what it is, the date (meals are only good 6 months or a few months longer in a deep freezer), and directions on how to cook it if you haven't memorized it.
If it's in Pyrex, put a piece of painters tape and write the same stuff on it.

Things that have not worked for me, but may work for you;
Freezer meal swap. You make like 10 of the same meal at your house and swap it with a group of people. Reason this didn't work, I'm a picky eater, I'm a germaphobe (did you wash your hands?), I'd have to drop off my containers beforehand or use disposable pans, above mentioned problems.

Now I wake up in the morning, think what's for dinner? Are we both home (if not it's mac n cheese, cereal or McDonalds)? Are we going out? Then if I determine that its a family meal night, I go out to the garage and pick a meal. Set it on my counter for the day. I plop it in the oven, 30-60 minutes before my husband is supposed to be home. If you are one of those good families that had veggies with dinner, heat hose up at the same time.

Middle of the night woes

I lay my head on my pillow tonight and the first thing that pops into my mind is, "I'm not sure I can do this!"
Like I have a choice. I already have 2 kids. It's not like I can return them. Walk up to the counter at the hospital, "I'm sorry, this just really isn't working out for me."
And who do you ask for for help? Everybody I know has their own kids and is probably feeling the same way. At least I hope they are. I hope you all want to cry or scream at the end of the day. It comforts me, imagining a world full of crying moms. I can't be the only one. And if you do miraculously have it all under control, why would I want to ruin that for you by sending over my 2 little nightmares? I can't hold it together with mine, I certainly don't want yours!
Tonight we attempted to clean out the garage. All I wanted to do was get rid of all the baby stuff. I want to be DONE! I want to move on from this stage in my life. All the older people say, "It goes by so fast. You're going to miss it." oh hell no I won't! I am never going to miss days like today, where the whining and crying NEVER stops. Where it takes all my self control not to hit my children. Where my voice is hoarse from yelling. I think the child needs a hearing aid because he cannot hear me. You old people have selective memory.
Do you have any idea what I would give for a good nights sleep? Well I'll tell you, I'd give my first born. Or my second. You pick!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Remember this?

Well I obviously didn't! I am scrapbooking and going through our old blog posts to journal on my pages and discovered this. So Sorry!

Jamie and Ali, your wonderful, NOT strange gifts will be in the mail first thing Monday. Sorry they are so late!