Saturday, September 18, 2010

Sept 18

It is Saturday. I am making a batches of soup and beans today. When I take time on Saturday to do meal prep Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday tend to run smoother. Those are our big school days. All we have to do is reheat for a meal, slice some bread and put out apples and carrots.

The status of the freezer...right now we could fit in the pork we have committed to. Just using up the frozen fruit (smoothies) has freed up a lot of space. The freezers got loaded up this summer when I found green grapes on sale for 2 bucks a flat. The girls have loved being able to go in, grab a handful of grapes and munch away. All the ice cream is gone, much to #3's dismay.

I forgot the recipe for Breakfast Porridge. Here it is-

Breakfast Porridge

2 c. steel cut oats
1 t. cinnamon
1/8 t. cardamom
1/4 t. salt
2-3 apple grated or chopped
6 c. water

Place all ingredients except water in rice cooker and mix. Add water and set on regular rice cycle. Serve with milk and a sprinkle of brown sugar.

Can add 6 T. of flax seeds. Lately I have been using dehydrated apple rings in place of the fresh apple. The kids have not complained. I used an entire quart jar for a batch, they weren't tightly packed so I am going to go with 2 cups. I added in an extra 1/2 cup of water for the apples to rehydrate.

Red Beans and Rice
8 slices bacon , chopped medium
1 medium onion , chopped fine
1 green bell pepper , chopped fine
1 rib celery , chopped fine
6 cloves garlic , minced
Ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
5 bay leaves
Table salt
3/4 pound dried red kidney beans , rinsed and picked over
3/4 pound dried red beans, rinsed and picked over
7 cups low-sodium chicken broth (I use chicken base and water)
7 cups water
1-2 pounds andouille sausage or kielbasa, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch half-moons (I normally make more on the 2 pound side because the boys walk past the pot, fish out a piece of sausage and pop it in their mouth.)
cooked rice
Hot pepper sauce-we like Frank's best, Tabasco was too vinegary (Margo and I did a taste test.)

1. Cook bacon in large Dutch oven over medium heat until lightly browned and fat has rendered, about 7 minutes. Add onion, bell pepper, and celery and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add 1 teaspoon pepper, oregano, thyme, cayenne, bay leaves, beans, broth, and water, and bring to boil over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain vigorous simmer (mixture will be steaming and several bubbles should be breaking the surface) and cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until beans are soft and liquid thickens, 2 to 2 1/2 hours.

2. Stir in sausage and cook until liquid is thick and creamy, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serve over hot cooked rice with hot pepper sauce, if desired. (Leftover beans can be refrigerated in airtight container for several days.)

We like these better the second day.

Chicken and Stuffing Casserole
1 bag frozen boneless, skinless chicken thighs
1 bag of Peppridge farms stuffing mix
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup

Use hot water and moisten the stuffing mix. Layer chicken, stuffing and soups in a shallow pan. Can sprinkle with cheese. Serve with instant mashed potatoes and veggies.

Vegetable Barley Soup

1/2 c. barley
1 large potato, peeled and diced
2 lb. frozen mixed vegetables
1/2 lb. frozen lima beans (if the mix veg doesn't have them in the mix)
1 14.5 oz. canned diced tomatoes
12 c. vegetable broth
1 leek, lower portion only, sliced

Combine all in pot. Simmer until barley and potato are cooked. This is using up the remainder of the mix veg we didn't eat this week.

After all the soups are made I ladle them into quart jars. It takes up less room in the frig and each jar feeds 3-4 little kids and 1 hungry big kid. The soup goes in hot, the lids seal and then the food lasts longer. They are not processed for shelf. They still need to be refrigerated. At lunch time we don't all have to have the same soup.

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The days are so different. Instead of mess and homeschool teaching I have a DH working from home and quiet until 2:54 when #6 (who is 10)...