Monday, September 24, 2018

Kitchen Management aka meal prep

Monday here is kitchen Management aka meal prep day.  It is a tool that takes an hour, but  saves  hours in the long run.

Reminder of meals

  • Stew with potatoes, carrots , herbs , peas 
  • Pizza
  • Pork loin , baked potatoes, veggie 
  • Chicken enchaladas 
  • Spaghetti , french bread, salad 
  • Tuna melts 
  • Breakfast for dinner 
  1. Wash kitchen floor 
  2. Clean refrigerator, and dump anything dead and note what needs to be used soon, 
  3. Wash and disinfect counters  and sinks and drains. 
  4. Clean the floor under  the refrigerator. 
  5. Wash potatoes and carrots with vinegar water and set to dry 
  6. Thaw  pork loin 
  7. Make muffins 
  8. Organize freezer. 

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Meal plans

Meal plans are a tool that makes for a smoother experience in the dinner time.   You know what ingredients you will need, you know what might have to come out of the freezer in the morning, and left is just easier.

We meal plan on a matrix based on protein.   It gives a variety of meals and nutritional choices.

  • Pork stew with potatoes, carrots, peas, and herbs, 
  • Pizza 
  • Pork loin, baked potatoes. Broccoli 
  • Chicken enchiladas , salad 
  • Spaghetti on the insta pot. 😀, salad , French bread 
  • Tuna  melts. Salad 
  • Breakfast for dinner 

 Notes : 
This week’s grocery shopping had a lot of basic needs on bulk.   Chicken noodle soup was on sale and there were coupons to make it about 1/2 price.   It is a good go to especially if someone is sick.
Cheese was on sale at safeways and we had coupons.  Two dollars and fifty cents is my buy price and it was 2.00 a pound.

Pork cubes are from the butt end of a pork loin.  Cutting the tapered down ends of the meat 
and making stew meat or stir fry is a good way to assure even pork chops.  The rest of the loin is cut  into roasts and center cut pork chops.   Butchering your own saves a lot of much as 2.50 a pound. Protein is the most expensive part of your food budget, so saving a lot on it makes good sense. 

Pizza from scratch costs out at a dollar if you are buying your ingredients at RBP.   That’s is probably  why there are so many pizza places out there,  considering that those places get wholesale prices on their ingredients, they are making a lot of money.  It is easy , anyone can do it .  Our granddaughter at four yo could do it.  You can pat or roll the crust and the DT has most of the ingredients cheap, name brands.  Save bits from other meals and freeze.  Dedicate a door she,f in your freezer and pizza is a piece of cake—or maybe pie.  LOL

Pork loin Roast is from the end of the pork loin, after the stew or stir fry meat.  Roast it on the oven and add potatoes and a vegetable —Classic Sunday dinner,   There have been recipes out there lately with cranberry glaze or some with an Asian flare, 

Chicken enchiladas are easy and sauce can be made simply using a roux ( white sauce technique. 
Basically, make the flour and oil paste, add chicken stock and sour cream.   We add some of a can of mild chillis (Winco).  Fill tortillas with chopped cooked chicken and a little sauce, cheese and chillies. Pour sauce on bottom of a baking pan, place rolled tortillas on top of sauce and top with sauce and grated cheese.  Bake off at 350 degrees until the edges are bubbly.  Everything going in is edible and cooked if needed, so you are just warming it up to a desired temperature,   

Spaghetti is a favorite of many families.  We make it on the insta pot (8 minutes).  French bread is less than a dollar at Winco or it costs about 30 cents to make. Add a salad . 

Tuna melts are made with English muffins.  Sometimes  they can be found at the DT.  Orowheat, or the cheapest price is at Fred Meyer .  They are usually in a basket by the eggs.   

Breakfast for dinner is a hit here.  It is a relaxing way to eat breakfast. Most mornings are grab some breakfast and get out the door.  Buttermilk pancakes are good.  Making your own mix is easy.  It is better price wise to omit the milk powder and use milk instead of water when you make the mix.  My prices on line for dry milk are prohibitive,  I got my dry milk last time at Winco in  the bulk isle.  
Eggs  continue  to be close to a dollar on some places.  Yogurt is on sale and there are coupons for it .
Cinnamon rolls have been on dollar sales lately. 

Thanks for stopping by...

Saturday, September 22, 2018

Tips and tricks to organize your freezer / refrigerator.

We are, after twenty years, getting a new fridge.  It’s been a long time coming and it is way past it’s designated useful life.   Lol

So, I thought it would be a good time to discuss organizing your freezer and refrigerator.

Putting like things on a shelf makes finding them in a hurry a lot easier.

Usually the top shelf is the tallest,   That’s where we put things like pickle jars and condiments,  

Using those larger plastic containers that we aren’t supposed to store food in is a good way to contain the clutter,   We have one for yogurt cups.  Another for any items like tube biscuits.
Dairy except milk on the door, is one one shelf excluding eggs.  

The next shelf has tortillas and eggs.   We keep eggs in lock and lock egg keeper.  It really saves of someone  drops the eggs,  like that would ever happen. Lol

The bottom shelf before the bins, has a celery keeper, cheese keepers, and any refrigerator dishes with leftovers or fruit that has been prepped.

The door has a space for butter, and cream cheese, a shelf for milk and juices, and two for condiments,   I separate sweet and savory condiments so they are easier to find,

This is just our organization. You can make your own,

The next drawers are for meat, vegetables and cheese.

The freezer.   We have a side by side.   I hated it at first, but looking at the options now, I prefer it,  
The huge black holes of a freezer would make it a chore to find anything.

In the extra freezer, o got bins from the dollar tree.   All of one thing  is in one bin,  it makes life a
whole lot easier.   In the side by side, I marked the bins with chicken, pork, beef, and fish/ vegetables.  
The doors of the freezer have vegetables, the ingredients for a pizza, and peppers.  

If you keep a bag for anything that can go on a pizza 🍕 takes away from when you are cooking meat or vegetables, and frozen pizza sauce from the jar at the dollar tree, it is really easy to throw a pizza together,   Cut small, frozen meat and veggies thaw and cook quickly at the high heat you cook a pizza.  

We also save scraps for chicken stock.  It is a good use of those tiny shelf’s in the door of a side by side freezer.  

With a little organization , gone are the days of moving a bunch of things to find what you want and buying duplicates because you think you are out of something.

Save time and money.


Friday, September 21, 2018

Friday recipes. : insta pot quick meals

I don’t have stock on insta pot, but I wish I did.   It is one of the most versatile and time and money savings workhorse on the kitchen.

Last night we had chicken pot pie,  earlier in the day I put a large chicken breast on the pot with a cup and a half of water.  You always have to add liquid to the pot, that’s what makes the steam.
I set it in poultry for 18 minutes because it was a large and thick breast.   When it was done and de pressurized, I removed it from the pot, checked to be sure it was dime, amd out it in a quart container in the refrigerator.   At dinner time, I cut the chicken on bite sized pieces, added frozen mixed veggies and a can of cream of mushroom soup with a half can of milk.   Put all of it on a casserole amd put it covered in the oven @ 375 for half an hour.  I then made the crescent rolls I got for a dollar last week and we had chicken pot pie.  

Insta pot spaghetti

Place in bottom of insta pot insert,
8 ounces of cooked ground meat
8 ounces (  1/2 a box) of spaghetti that you have broken in half and spread out in a Corel around the meat.  Almost  like a birds nest.
Add a jar or can of pasta sauce
Add 2 cups of broth of your choice pouring it around the Edge of the noodles.
Cover, seal, and  process 8 minutes.
Quick release

Stew is another thing that takes 35 minutes instead of hours.  

Rice is equal parts of rice and water or broth and put the lid on, seal, and push the rice button.

My favorite is making beans without the soak, rinse, and cook with new water for hours.   Watched pot.
Measure the beans.   You should get 3 times the volume .   Wash the beans and pick out any that don’t look good or the occasional rock.
Pour in the insta pot insert.
Cover with water past your second knuckle.
Cover, seal , and push the bean button.  
This will make well done beans, if you want more firm beans reduce the time a couple of minutes.  
NEVER fill the pot more than 1/2 full if you are cooking anything that will expand  like beans, rice, or noodles.  

The internet is full of good recipes.  Chili is a good and inexpensive meal too.  You can cook the beans and add your ingredients and switch the pot to be a slow cooker.  

It’s a slow cooker, a rice cooker, a pressure cooker and you can sauté and some let you make yogurt.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Grocery Hauls 9/21/18

Fred Meyers

Peppers .96
Sausage, chicken and a beef 2/5
Barilla pasta .96
Cottage cheese .96
Hawaiian rolls .96
Strawberries 3.96
Cinnamon rolls
Crescent rolls
Scampi BOGO @7.99
Angus beef patties 1.5 lbs 3.99
Butter 2/5
Coffee 5.99
Eggs .96

Total 49.80

Big lots 
Baking powder 1.30/ 2.60

Grocery outlet 
Cheese 1.99
Squash .99
Pepperoni 2.49
Total 8.07
Grand total 57.87

.87 over budget of 4.00 a day.  
Total is under 

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Chain store ads

Safeways is. It up on the internet yet and the mail person didn’t bring it,


Digital Friday and Saturday
Pork 1/2 loin 1.49 lb
Can use 5 times in one transaction,

Buy 5 save 5

Milano cookies 1.99
Dreyers 2.49

Fred Meyers digital Friday and Saturday
Hamburger 80/20 3 lb roll 1.88

Gala apples .99
Soup 1.00 coupons?
Grapes 1.99
Pears .99
Kroger cinnamon rolls or crescents 1.00

Sargent cheese 8 Oz BOGO -coupons ?


Cabbage .39
Grapes 1.28
Broccoli .99

Dreyers 2.99

Digital coupon - 10 ct tortillas .88

Milk 1.99@@ limit 2
Progresso soup .99@@limit 4
Bread 1.99@@ limit 2
Barilla pasta .99@@limit 4

Oven joy bread .99

Don’t buy this DBT

6 muffins 3.99 - 10 minutes hot out of the oven about a buck.
Sour cream, 1.26 - a dollar last week at FM
80/20 hamburger 3.99- 1.88 at FM on friday or Saturday   with a digital
Bread - orowheat is a dollar at the DT .

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

How did she do that? Scratch cooking

Oven roasted sausage and vegetables 

This time I separated the sausage from the vegetables because a family member is vegan. 

Cut up a variety of vegetables in somewhat  equal sizes.  
Toss them with olive oil. 
Shake on seasoning of choice,  we like garlic pepper. 
Some like Monterey steak seasoning 

Bake at anywhere between 350amd 400degrees for 30-45 monitors or until potatoes are tender, 

just about any root  vegetables,