I know no one uses the blogs anymore, but I really just want to talk about food. It wasn't quite right for the MadCast Cookbook thread, and making a whole new thread about me seemed sort of redundant... SO BLOGS IT IS!
I have a few kitchen goals:
1. Reduce the grocery budget.
2. Build a solid collection of recipes we like.
3. Find ways to do more prep/cooking ahead of time (because more gaming after work).
April Goals Status:
1. Grocery spending down 40% from March.
2. A handful of awesome recipes.
3. Pancakes (I shall elaborate further).
Anyway, referencing goal #3, I have been trying to figure out how to do more prep work on the weekends, etc. I find I get home from work around 5:30, crash for a little while to try to get some introverted re-charge time (not been very successful with that since Prince moved in LOL), and then make dinner. Dinner can be elaborate and always seems to eat into a significant chunk of time that I used to spend gaming back when I made pasta every night. Still, meal planning and freezer cooking and that shit is a bit overwhelming to start from cold turkey, so I decided to go with breakfast first!
I am not a morning person, so I usually just wake up, stumble to the coffee machine, throw on some clothes, and then head out to catch the bus. I know I need to eat breakfast, but we already go through 2-3 gallons of milk a week without cereal, and it's just too much hassle to make eggs or bagels or w/e.
Two weeks ago I made pancakes for a Saturday lunch, and decided to cook up 2 huge batches of them on a whim for freezing. I separated them all out in little sandwich baggies, 3 per serving, and stacked them up in the freezer door. Prince has now had pancakes for breakfast pretty much every day, and is quite happy about it (I do not like syrup, and so refuse to eat pancakes and waffles and french toast mostly). This made me look into other frozen breakfast options though, so I have a May Breakfast plan, which I proudly present to you!
May Pre-made Pancakes:
4.5 cups flour
3.5 TBS baking powder
1 TBS salt
3 TBS sugar
2 TBS vanilla
3.75 cups milk
1 stick butter (melted)
Be warned this needs a super extra large bowl.
Mix all ingredients up together (first dry, then wet), and use a quarter cup scoop to measure out the pancakes. As they come off the griddle, lay them out flat on a cookie sheet (they can be very close together). When the cookie sheet is full, place the sheet in the freezer for about 2 hours. This ensures the pancakes freeze flat, and makes them a lot more easy to store! I find that it is easier if you let the pancakes sit on the cookie sheet for 5-10 minutes after you pull them out of the freezer so they don't stick to the pan. Baggy them up based on the amount you will need to pull for a full serving (maybe you want to feed a family, but I just need breakfast for 1), press out as much air as possible, and stack them up in your freezer for later. It takes about 90 seconds to reheat in the microwave!
You will have a lot more pancakes than one sheet, so set aside the rest on some plates or pans, and freeze them on the cookie sheet(s) in batches.
May Pre-made Omelets:
1 large onion, chopped
1 TBS crushed garlic
1 cup bell peppers, chopped
1 cup spinach, chopped
1 LB meat of your choice (sausage, crumbled bacon, ground beef, shredded chicken, etc)
Shredded cheese of your choice in the amount your heart desires
Saute up the bell peppers, spinach, onion, and garlic with the spices of your choice. If you want to substitute other veggies in, or use more in place of meat, go for it. Cook the meat separately, and drain excess grease. Add meat to cooked veggies and mix well. Whisk up all the eggs in a large bowl and add salt/pepper.
Portion meat/veggie mixture evenly into muffin tins (you probably want to use liners, but you don't have to). Depending on size of muffin tin, this recipe could make 24 small omelets or 12 larger ones. Add cheese generously over the top. Portion eggs in on top, and use a spoon to give each muffin a stir so all ingredients are equally distributed. Bake at 350F for 10-15 minutes. Let cool, and then transfer into freezer bags for storage. After frozen the bags can be stacked on top of each other.
May Pre-made Muffins:
Make the muffins your heart desires (I am still deciding, but I know I'm making Banana Bread muffins) and freeze. Ta-fuckin-da.
My banana bread recipe:
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
.25 tsp salt
1 stick of butter
.75 cup brown sugar
4 large bananas (or 5 small)
Mix butter, brown sugar, eggs, and bananas till well blended. Stir in dry ingredients. Do not beat it senseless by over mixing. Bake at 350F (about 20 minutes in the muffin tins, or about 1 hour in a bread pan).
Grocery List which I pretty much already have:
- 1 bag of flour
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Brown sugar
- Gallon of milk
- 1 package of butter
- 3 cartons of eggs
- Bell Peppers
- 1 LB meat
So basically I am looking at about $10 in groceries to buy. I may make strawberry or blueberry muffins but I have those too, so I'm set! I plan on getting all this cooking done by May 3rd and will post some nice pictures of that.