Friday, June 20, 2014

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Food Storage: Bananas

Bananas are feast or famine around here. We either have "1 last banana" or "15 black ones". I've tried a myriad of ways to freeze very ripe bananas this is the best for several reasons:

  1. You don't have to defrost them to measure
  2. Minimal amount of space. (they stack nicely)
  3. No peeling slippery banana icicles.
Most recipes measure banana by "number of bananas". These easily break off and can be thawed individually for most recipes or used frozen in the case of smoothies.

Peel very ripe bananas and place in 1 qt ziploc freezer bag:

Freeze flat and stack when frozen solid

P is for Penguin and P is for Peacock

Burger - Food Storage

"What's for dinner?" "Oh, dinner. Right...TACOS"except it takes you 20 minutes to defrost a pound of beef. Not anymore... 

Costco sells beefs in two ways one large brain looking thing or sectioned off into what some people mistakingly assume are patties (these weigh 8oz+ each). I purchase the "patties" and roll from there. I'll explain why:

First off I get as close to 6 pounds as possible. 6.15lbs? That'll do! Honestly I never make ANYTHING gourmet out of burger meat. It just doesn't happen around here. So if there is a little less or a little more beef in a certain dish NO BODY NOTICES.

As I mentioned each "patty" is 8ish ounces. I grab six 1 qt freezer ziploc bags and write "1# Beef date".  While not necessary, if you fold the tops over you greatly reduce the amount of raw burger stuck in the zipper of the ziploc bag. This may not be important to you but it is very very very important to me. 

Note: the "#" is not a is called a pound sign and I have two little boys itching to get their grubby hands on my sharpie. I can use the pound sign to indicate pound and move on with my life.

Place two patties in each bag and wash your hands. YOU ARE DONE TOUCHING THE MEAT!

Seal the bag most of the way and while safely hiding behind the plastic you can now manipulate the beef into a perfectly flat airless blob. Flat is important for storage space and airless is important to eliminate freezer burn.

Stack the meat and freeze. Can you believe that is 6 pounds? That's a lot of tacos.

Mine fit perfectly below the bottom shelf. Yes that is my only freezer space. Now you know why I am a storage snob. 

If you are particularly OCD you may place the bags on a cookie sheet to freeze flat prior to stacking. Personally I like the grooves in the bottom's on less thing that attacks me when I open my freezer. 

Beef Round Eye Round Roast

I know beef has become a naughty word in this health conscious world but realistically there are options:
This Beef Round Eye Round Roast from Costco is gorgeous: 

 Hott right? But you havent even seen the most attractive part. Feast your eyes upon this nutritional info

And now for the grand fanale take a look what a little salt pepper and 5 hours in a 200 degree (F) oven can do:

This roast is cooked to 130 degrees and rested for 10 minutes to reach 135 degrees
Preheat oven to 200 degrees Farenheit
Place meat fat side down.
Rub in salt and pepper on exposed sides.
Bake for 4-6 hours depending on preference.
Check internal temperature.
Remove from oven 5 degrees below desired temperature.
Let rest uncovered for 10 minutes or until desired temperature is reached.

Suggested uses:
Slice and reserve all drippings for Au Jus
Dice and freeze in 1 lb increments in separate ziploc bags for The Best Beef StewGreek Yogurt Stroganoff, Steak Salads, etc
OR separate the raw roasts by weight and freeze for future meals such as: Barbacoa Beef

V is for Vulture

To be fair, I got the layout idea from several places but this one is particularly inspired by this vulture.

We're running out of room...ignore the umbrella tangled in his wings. When I use white on my white walls I like to outline it with a black sharpie.

v is for vampire bat

My 3 year old is isn't familiar with "vases" and while he loves eating "vegetables" it just doesn't sound like a thrilling craft. So we came up with another fun one especially when paired with I'm the Scariest Thing in the Castle by Kevin Sherry

U is for underwear

My search for short sound letters is leading me down an unexpected path. My little boy loved this one!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Grandma Spiering’s Fabulous Miraculous Dump Cake

You don’t dump the cake.... you dump the ingredients! I don’t understand how it works so we’ll just call it a miracle
1 lg. can crushed pineapple (undrained)
1 can pie cherries (undrained).
1 reg. size white or yellow cake mix
1/2 cup Butter or margarine thinly sliced

Directions: Put cherries in bottom of pan; then the crushed pineapple then sprinkle dry cake mix over top and dot with butter or margarine. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.