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Watermelon Sorbet

This recipe is adapted from a recent Better Homes and Gardens article that I read. 

It turned out pretty tasty and makes a fun, refreshing summer treat!

Ingredients:

Seedless watermelon ( about 3 cups pureed) $.99 right now at the Asian market near us

Cranberry juice 1 cup $.22 (juice was $1.79 for 1 64oz. container)

Total: for 8 cups of sorbet = $1.21

Directions:

Cut up and puree your watermelon to desired consistency and pour into 9×12 baking dish

Pour 1/2 cup of cranberry juice in and mix through

Freeze until completely frozen and let sit on the counter for 5 minutes

With a fork begin scraping the icy mixture until it starts to become slushy (you may need to let it sit a little longer and come back to it)

Add 1/2 cup cranberry juice and stir through

Spoon mixture into freezer safe dishes and put back in freezer

Serve when icy again and Enjoy!

Spaghetti Sauce

This is a much anticipated recipe from certain members of my family who love my spaghetti sauce.  It is definitely a favorite in our house and it freezes well (when there’s some leftover 🙂 )

Ingredients:

1 lb. Ground Turkey $2.00

1 Onion minced (I just toss it in my food processor so that I don’t cry while cutting it) $.25

2 cloves garlic $.02

28 oz Tomato sauce (used my homemade recipe) $.50

28 oz. Crushed Tomatoes (used my homemade recipe) $.50

small container of Tomato Paste $.50

1 1/2 TBS of Italian Seasoning or a combination or Oregano & Parsley $.03

2 heaping TBS of brown sugar $.10

Total for sauce: $4.15

Directions:

Brown turkey, onion and garlic until turkey is cooked through and onions and garlic are tender

Add the rest of the ingredients and let simmer for about 1 1/2 hours until thickened and flavors have combined

Serve hot over your favorite pasta and enjoy!

Freeze leftovers in a labeled freezer container.

Freezer Organization Project

So I have been avoiding this since we moved.  When we moved I put all of our items from our house freezer into our garage freezer and I haven’t had time to reorganize.  It wasn’t until things started falling on my head that I realized I really needed to complete this goal.

Here is the before picture:

As you can see, things were literally just thrown in here.

I brought some of the random items into the house freezer, like popsicles and some of the veggies.

Then I organized everything by type and expiration date and wrote it on my white board on the front, so now all I need to do is glance at the front to know what I have and what I need.

Here is the finished result:

By freezing things flat I can fit more things in.  I’m pretty happy with the finished result!

Homemade Strawberry Freezer Jam

I have always wanted to make my own freezer jam, but thought that I didn’t have the time.  It was so quick and easy that now I understand why so many people do it!

Ingredients:

4 Cups Strawberries (B1G2 FREE $4.99 for all + had 2 cups left over)

1 Cup sugar ($.50)

2 packets liquid pectin ($3.99)

Total cost: $2.60 each for 3 containers

Directions:

Cut and puree strawberries until smooth in food processor

Bring Strawberry puree and sugar to a boil in saucepan and add liquid pectin

Let simmer for a few minutes until thickened

Let mixture rest in the pot until cool enough to put into freezer safe containers

Let sit out at room temp. for 24 hours and then put into freezer until desired use.

Homemade Chicken Stock Recipe

While there are many chicken stock recipes out there, this one is my favorite.  It was one I came up with a few years ago after trying several batches and not being satisfied with how they came out.

Keep in mind that I have an enormous stock pot that I purchased at the thrift store for $3.00. Score!  I would highly recommend finding something like this, or you can just reduce the amount that you put in the recipe.

Ingredients:

6-8 Frozen leftover chicken breast carcasses from deboning chicken, click here for video tutorial (free, since leftover from chicken that I used)

3-4 large peeled carrots, cut into thirds ($.50 for all at asian market)

4 celery stalks, cut into thirds ($.30 for all at asian market)

1 whole onion, peeled and cut into chunks ($.25 at asian market)

3 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole ($.10 at asian market)

26 cups of water (for my huge stock pot)

Directions:

Place all ingredients into the stock pot together and boil for about 1 hour, stirring a few times.

Reduce heat and simmer for another 3 hours.

Place a large fine mesh caulunder over a very large bowl and drain all ingredients over it, separating the ingredients from the stock.

Let the stock cool and then place the bowl into the fridge until it’s fully cool.

If there is any film at the top then scrape that off.

You can measure out your stock into whatever increments you think you will use the most.  I have found that I tend to use the larger increments for soups and other recipes, so I put 2 cup increments into freezer bags and freeze them flat in trays so that they stack neatly once frozen.  You could also freeze some in ice cube trays for recipes that only call for a couple of TBS of stock.  Then you put the cubes into a freezer bag and label accordingly.

Total for 18 cups of chicken stock was $1.15, which makes it $.06 per cup!  Much better than even getting it couponing and there is no salt added at all!

Happy cooking!

Pulled Pork

There are many ways to cook Pork Shoulder Roasts, but this is the easiest way that I have found. 

First you put your Pork Shoulder Roast in the crockpot on low, either overnight or for around 5-6 hours depending on the size of the roast

I don’t add anything (no water, seasoning, etc.) I’m sure that you could but the flavor of the meat really comes out on its own

This is about how it should look when it’s done.

Once the meat has thoroughly cooled, I separate the meat from the bone and fat.  When you are done you should end up with a bowl full of pulled pork.  I separate the meat into family size portions and freeze them until I’m ready to use.  Then I thaw in the fridge and flavor according to what recipe I am using. 

It’s as easy as that!  Enjoy!

Leftovers

I know that my family hears this word and cringes, so I can understand if yours does too.  Well in my segment about waste and how much food average Americans waste per year, I’m sure that a lot of that is attributed to leftovers being thrown away too.  Here’s a couple of solutions that might help your family, as it helps mine.

Re-purpose:

Make your leftover food into something new.  For instance, last night I made roasted potatoes along with our chicken.  We ate all of the chicken, but had some potatoes leftover.  Rather than use them again in our next dinner meal, I decided to make a big breakfast the next morning and re-purposed the potatoes as hash-browns.  I could have also mashed them and used them for dinner again as well.  You just need to get creative. 🙂

Portion sizes:

If your family is really against leftovers, then try to only make what you are going to eat for that meal.  Sometimes it’s hard to gauge but here is a good guide from WebMD’s website of the portions that we should be eating.  Something that I have been doing recently to save money, which is probably why my family isn’t too keen on leftovers, making a double batch, serving what I know we will eat and then rolling the meal over to the next night.  I pack up the leftovers right away, to properly store them and so that we don’t overeat.

Freezing:

If you have enough leftover for another meal, then you could freeze the leftovers and use them for another night.  Soups freeze well, as do many other things.  This way your family can’t complain that you are serving the same meal two nights in a row, but you still don’t have to cook on the night you decide to serve it.  Just thaw and reheat.