Lately, I have been finding "contentment" in getting back to some home stuff that I let fall by the wayside when I had the shop. And while I still have lots to do with our booth, upcoming shows and some new ventures.....working from home allows me to get back into the groove of "homekeeping."
One of my favorite things to do, when I don't have to clean up beforehand...is to cook and get us on a schedule. This week I signed up for "The Grocery Game"...if you haven't heard of this or checked it out...please do!!! I have wanted to get back into the couponing thing...but everyone that I knew that saved huge amounts, also spent HUGE amounts of time working the coupon game...and I just don't have that. For $1 for 4 weeks to try it, you get to put in the grocery stores in your area and she sends you a list of specials, unadvertised sales and where to find the coupons to get the best deal. It is all about learning to stockpile so that you can shop from your own cabinets...so your shopping list is more about perishables and speciality items you want to buy. (Ok the commercial is over....but I really love this!!!)
One of the great deals I purchased this week was two LARGE packages of the good ground beef. What did I do with it???? The first package, I browned the entire package with a little onion and salt. After it is browned.....I put it in the strainer and rinse with warm water to make sure all extra grease is rinsed away. When it cools...I put one to two pounds in each freezer bag....this was it is ready for tacos, sloppy joes, casseroles, pizza, spaghetti sauce and more.
The next package....I took half of the meat and put in a large crockery bowl. I mixed up a batch of meatloaf mix. Chopped up onion and green pepper....added italian breadcrumbs, a couple of eggs, tomato sauce and meatloaf seasoning. Mixed it up.... Then I pulled out my jumbo muffin tins...I lined a cup with plastic wrap that was larger than what you would need just to line it. Press in meatloaf mix to fill muffin cup......then wrap over the extra plastic wrap to seal it up.....remove from tin and place on cookie sheet. When you have finished all of your meatloaf mix....place all on cookie sheet and put in freezer to freeze. Once they are frozen, pull out and place in freezer bags. These are ready to pull out for an easy meal.
With the other half of package two..... I browned the meat with onion, italian seasonings and salt.
I made up pizza dough (recipe to follow) in the bread machine (EASY). I made one large pizza to serve the family that night. (Sprinkled cornmeal on my baking stone (Pampered Chef type), and worked the dough onto the stone....used Ragu Pizza Sauce on top and then top with favorite ingredients--i used green and yellow peppers, onion, groundbeef mixture, tomatoes and lots of cheese). After throwing this in the oven....I pulled out aluminum foil round cake pans (from the $ store)..put a little cornmeal in the bottom of each, and then made personal pans in each of these to freeze....turned out WONDERFUL.
I had some of the meat left from the pizzas....so the next day, I pulled out the crockpot...threw in the leftover meat, two cans of spaghetti sauce, 1 can of tomato sauce, mushrooms, finely chopped carrots and celery, onion, peppers, italian seasoning, salt, pepper....let this cook in the crockpot all day....finished with salad, rolls and pasta...for a great meal....
Guess what.....I have some sauce left over, so tomorrow I will be using it to make crockpot lasagne...... See what one day of cooking can do......leave you with several wonderful meals in your freezer that are far better than any fast food or purchased frozen meal...and the $$$ savings are great...especially with all the rising costs!!
Let me share with you my favorite pizza crust recipe....sadly, I can't find where I got it at, I know it was from one of the OAMC lists I belonged to awhile back...so if I find where I got this, I will gladly share that!!
GARLIC PIZZA CRUST
2 pkg yeast (or 2 Tbsp of bulk yeast)
2 c. tempid water
2 Tblsp sugar
1/2 cup oil
1 tsp. salt
5 1/2 - 6 cups flour
3 cloves crushed garlic
Dissolve yeast in water and add sugar...wait a few minutes...add oil and salt and garlic...mix in 3 cups flour and whip about 10 min. till it leaves the side of the mixer bowl...add remaining flour w/dough hook or by hand....knead till smooth ...allow to rise twice in the bowl...punch down...oill baking sheets...use fingers to press out to the edges.
Makes 2 pizzas, cookie sheet size, let rise a bit and top....bake at 425 degrees for 20 min.
This makes 2 cookie sheet sized or 12 after school snack size pizzas.
(From Debbie: I just put all the ingredients into the bread machine and run it on the dough cycle. When it is time to rise, I take it out to put in a large crock bowl, and cover to allow it to rise. If I forget and leave it in the bread machine.....it will rise OUT of the machine....yep, a mess!!! LOL)
OK...I gave you lots of info, hopefully, it is some you can use! And a side note....I am working on a new online radio show with a couple of friends....Creative Living 101. It will be on Blog Talk Radio and when we get started, I will have access to it through our blog site. We are so excited about this as we want to have lots of home, friendship, faith, cooking, books and more info on this show with some great guests to share with you.
Have a great week!!!!!