Archive for Fixin

Day 19 – AYGC

Settling in back from our trip. Had to restock some food.

First trip: Central Meats. I was hoping they had rennet… am I on a mission, or what? They have lots of seasonings and preserving products, but no rennet. Bummer. But they did have a small pack of salt-packed sausage casings ($6.14 including tax). Now I’m all set to make my next batch of brats or kielbasa (pork butt is in the freezer). Not the cheapest casings in the world, but a decent price here locally for 50 feet or so.

Next, on to Sams Club. Pizza fixin’s were at the top of the list. They now have another brand of pepperoni, in a larger package (5 lbs), that worked out to about half the price per oz. of the Hormel, so I got it instead. Now I have enough pepperoni to last me well into 2010. Boy am I glad I had room in my chest freezer. I also got 5 pounds of shredded whole milk mozzarella, which will be used on the pizzas, as well as lasagna, baked ziti, and a few other recipes. Mike asked me to pick up some fresh brats, and it didn’t occur to me that I’d just bought casings… (duh), but we’ll go through them, as we love them grilled in the summer. And last, but not least, half and half for our coffee. Mucho slurge, but I don’t like my coffee any other way. I got 3 quarts since I don’t actually go to Sams that often. Total: $35.21

For dinner tonight we had meatloaf, baked potatoes and green beans from the garden.

The meatloaf was one I had in the freezer — frozen raw in a 1-gallon zipper storage bag. I flatten out the whole thing before I freeze to take up less space. I make them up when I buy hamburger on a loss-leader sale for no more than $1 a pound.

Meatloaf – Serves 5

1 ½ lbs Ground Beef
3/4 cup oatmeal
1 ¼ cups Milk (reconstituted dry milk works fine)
1 lg Egg
¼ cup Onions — chopped
1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 ½ tsp Salt
½ tsp Dry Mustard
¼ tsp Pepper
¼ tsp Ground or Rubbed Sage
1 clove Garlic — crushed

Mix all ingredients. Spread in an ungreased loaf pan, 9x5x3 inches. Cook uncovered in a 350° oven until done, about 1-1/2 hours. (I usually make 6 mini meat loafs placed in a 9×13 baking dish and baked for 45 minutes — faster!)

Want to make more?

7 meatloaves:

10 lbs Ground Beef
5 ¼ cups oatmeal
2 ¼ quarts Milk
7 lg Eggs
1 ¾ cups Onions — chopped
½ cups Worcestershire Sauce
¼ cups Salt
4 tsp Dry Mustard
2 tsp Pepper
2 tsp Ground or Rubbed Sage
7 cloves Garlic — crushed

Mix all ingredients together well. Divide into 7 portions. Fold back the sealing edge of gallon-size freezer bags (to keep the zipper clean) and plop a portion into each bag. Seal the bags ALMOST closed and then smoosh the meatloaf mixture until it’s flat and fills the bag (how’s that for a technical term!). It should be about 3/4″ thick. Once you’ve got it flat, finish sealing the bag. Mark the bag with a Sharpie®. Stack flat to freeze. Once they are frozen they can be stored on their end like a book to make the most of your freezer space.

Day 7 – AYGC

I really blew it today. I *should* have gone to the store to pick up some milk, pizza fixin’s, etc., but just couldn’t get my butt in gear, so now those items will end up in the budget for the week we’re vacationing.

We used up some produce in the fridge for dinner — my husband made stuffed bell peppers. We always have plenty of rice on hand (I buy it in 25 lb bags at the warehouse clubs for about $12), and we had the hamburger in the freezer too. The recipe he made was from a Betty Crocker cookbook from the 70s and the recipes are mostly mid-western versions of food. It called for pre-cooking the hamburger and even mixing some of the tomato sauce with it and the rice and a few spices then stuffing the par-boiled peppers. Then topping with more tomato sauce and baking, adding mozzarella cheese to the top during the last 15 minutes in the oven. Very odd, but probably the best way to go if you’ve only got regular ground beef on hand and not lean.

My normal recipe calls for mixing the raw hamburger, salt, pepper, rice, chopped onions and a tad of garlic up and stuffing that into raw peppers. Then cooking that on the stove in a mixture of tomato sauce and chopped tomatoes, seasoned with oregano, bay leaf, salt & pepper (and whatever strikes me at the moment), sometimes adding a little red wine. If you use full-fat hamburger you’ve got a bit of problem on your hands with that recipe, though if you poke holes in the bell peppers before stuffing them the fat drains out okay.

With the stuffed peppers, my husband also served corn & peas, and mashed potatoes. Yum! Nice dinner, and even better since I didn’t have to cook it.

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