Freeze ahead meals

Last grocery day, I purchased enough food and disposable pans so I could make some meals in triplicate and freeze them.  I went to the store late Wednesday afternoon and on Thursday night, I came down with strep throat. It was a doozy of a time for me. I was down for the count. Bedridden. Yuck. No meals in shiny throw-away pans lining my freezer.

I love my man, but Mr Homemaker he is not. Each night, he would appear by my sick side and gently ask, “what were your plans for dinner?” (or lunch, depending on the day) I would open my eyes only long enough to give him a look that I hoped said, “please tell me you are not waking me up for this…” and I would whisper my response – “I don’t know.” He would wander out of the room and back downstairs to the kitchen.  He finally took the giant slab of ground beef that I had purchased and made 8 enormous hamburgers (gasp) and a supersized pan of taco meat. While I am proud of his efforts, this was not what I had originally planned so we have seen some weird meals around here since then!

My plans were to make several chicken spaghetti’s, poppy seed chickens, pizza pockets and meatloaf. I was only able to make three poppy seed chickens to grace the freezer. I have big plans for this next round of shopping. First of all, I am not going to be sick. That will help a lot.  I am going out of town at the end of October for several days and will need to have many meals socked away for my guys while I am gone.  I need easy, non-messy foods.  Who has a tried and true favorite they want to share with me? The only rule (and it’s a doozy) is that Mr Perfect is also Mr Picky. He doesn’t like many casseroles or mixed foods and he is not the world’s biggest fan of the vegetable. Yet I still love him.

While I wait patiently for your responses. let me tell you about something I read today: did you know you can put a meatloaf in a metal baking dish IN YOUR CROCKPOT????  Well, I didn’t. I am trying it tomorrow. We have to do crockpot meals twice a week because of basketball practice. We leave the house at 3 and don’t get home until after 7pm.  I will let you know what happens.

I did go to my happy place on Friday and bake. My Bosch and I baked 5 loaves of sandwich bread, tons of hamburger and hot dog buns, crescent rolls (froze those before they rose) and a bunch of pancakes. I really had a good time. I am so thankful for my mixer and grain mill. I feel like I am really doing something special for my guys. I like that.

That’s about it for now. I look forward to your great freezer friendly ideas. My aluminum foil pans are ready and waiting!!

~Janna

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What I don’t like about ground turkey…and other culinary delights

Right now, I have ground turkey sizzlin’ away on the stove.  In a few moments it will be a part of the spaghetti sauce that will coat each and every one of our cute little radiatore pastas.  It will be yummy.  I just know it.

I buy ground turkey for a variety of reasons – the first being the supposed health benefits vs ground beef. The second would be the price. Ground beef is scary expensive down here. Scary. Really.  I don’t use turkey for any other menu item other than browned and crumbled usage. You know, spaghetti sauce, lasagna, sloppy joes, tacos…. I won’t go into the other reasons, although I am sure you want to know them.  I just want to keep you guessing.

The last time I made a dish with ground turkey, my man was unpleased. This means the opposite of happy. He stated something akin to, “Babe…Why are you using this instead of beef? I want beef. No more ground turkey. I can tell it’s turkey every time. You don’t fool me, Janna.”  Yep, that was pretty much what he said. So I told him I would try. But this morning, I noticed I had two rolls of ground turkey in the freezer. I felt compelled to use them.I had no choice. “Waste not, want not”, my mother always said. It still doesn’t make much sense to me as a mantra, though. Then again, her family also brought the, “Sing at the table, whistle in bed, the devil will get ya before you are dead” saying to the mix…but I digress.

So, back to the title of this post…what I don’t like about ground turkey (besides the fact Mr Darcy is totally going to be unpleased with this dinner.) When I put the raw turkey in the skillet to brown it, I take great care to beat it to a pulp with the spoon so it will be in little crumbles. I really work at it. I stand over it and continue the process, all the while looking like some heinous butcher as I beat that turkey into submission. You know what happens? The minute I turn my back and go to another room for a nanosecond, that crazy stuff attaches itself back together! WHAT? It’s like that scene in all the Terminator movie where the drops of leftover robot slide together and make a new robot. Do you remember that? Maybe it was the Blob movie. I can’t remember. In any case, this ground turkey does not want to be in crumbles. It wants to be in giant clumps and I don’t like that. It scares me a little.

So, tonight will be the last night I willingly go against my main man on the ground turkey. I won’t do it again.

Probably.

I don’t want some robot blob turkey attacking us while we are all sitting on the couch later on tonight.

Bon Appetit!

~Janna