Friday, March 27, 2009

Ways to make life easier.

I was at a mom's night last night (fondue is good--I'll try to post that recipe as well), and we were talking about food and cooking dinner and saving time and all that.

Here are some things I do to make my life easier:

1. Whenever I buy ground meat, I try to buy in bulk. Then I cook most (all) of it, let it cool, and freeze it in approx 1 lb pre-cooked portions. You can pull frozen ground meat out and put it directly into the skillet for tacos, sloppy joes, pasta sauce, shepherd's pie, or anything else you make with ground meat.

2. I also try to buy chicken breasts in bulk. You can put a rub or marinade on chicken breasts and freeze them in ziplock bags. Then, as the chicken defrosts later, it also marinates. I learned this from some cooking show, but I don't remember which one.

3. I love the crock pot. Spray with cooking spray, chop an onion, and throw in a pork tenderloin. Cover it with a jar of green salsa and you'll end up with a yummy burrito filling. Cover it with a bottle of your favorite barbeque sauce and you'll have awesome pulled pork for sandwiches (I like them with cole slaw on top). I'll try to do a crock pot entry some day, because the crock pot is AWESOME!

4. Always have pasta and jarred sauce. If all else fails, dinner can be ready in 12 minutes with pasta and a jar of sauce. If you have frozen meatballs in your fridge (or some chicken sausage--Trader Joe's has some sweet Italian pepper sausage that is YUMMY), even better.

5. We also always have a box of Zataran's Jambalaya mix and a turkey smoked sausage. Throw in a can of corn and a can of diced tomatoes and it's even better. This may be Andy's favorite go-to meal of all time.

Ok, share some of yours!


  1. As an alternative to pasta with red sauce I always have tortellini in the freezer with a container of pesto and prosciutto. They I just chop the prosciutto up with kitchen shears and crisp it up in a pan while the pasta is cooking and pesto is defrosting. Then you toss it together.

    I like your tips though. I'm going to have to try the Zataran's one.

  2. I thought of another one. You can also freeze shredded chicken for use in soups or enchiladas (I have a yummy enchilada casserole recipe I like to make). It's easy to boil a bunch of chicken, let it cool, and shred it in a ziplock bag.