Friday, August 3, 2012

Home Management: Simplified & Streamlined, Stocking the Freezer

This week's project was to freeze one item each day, in an attempt to streamline our efforts in the kitchen. I am so pleased to have some food in the freezer, and even more pleased at how little effort it took to get it there!

This week I was able to freeze:
::Strawberries (3lbs)--I just wash, dry, and freeze them whole (leaves and all) for smoothies. We don't notice the leaves once they're blended up, and this makes it super easy.

::Bananas--I asked the man in the produce section at the grocery store to mark down 8 bunches of organic bananas that were already getting brown. He was happy to, and I peeled, halved, and froze most of them for smoothies. It ended up being two full gallon-sized bags.

::Sweet Brown Oatmeal Bread (1 loaf)--I made this for breakfast yesterday and doubled it. We ate one loaf and I froze the other. To freeze, I let it cool completely, sliced it up, wrapped it in plastic wrap and then put it in a freezer bag.

::Meatballs (2-3 meals' worth)--We had these BBQ Meatballs for dinner one night, and I froze 2/3 of the meatballs raw to thaw out and bake up on other nights.
I also have some homemade beef breakfast sausage browned and ready to freeze (I use this mainly for topping homemade pizza) and about 2 cans' worth of cooked beans, but I don't have any small freezer bags. We're going to be in town this evening, so I'll stop at the store to grab some.
 I am hoping to continue the habit of regularly freezing meal components to help me spend less time in the kitchen, and I'm hoping to try freezing some whole meals before this baby makes his appearance this fall so I can stay (mostly) out of the kitchen for a while.

Week 8 Project: Menu Planning
This week, Rachel and I will be focusing on menu planning. I have been pretty consistent in this area for many months. My plan is to make lists of our favorite meals (by protein--beef meals, chicken meals, etc.) to reference each week in order to streamline my planning process. I'd also like to make a consistent breakfast menu to repeat each week--and perhaps even designate "themes" for each weeknight. I'll have to play around with list-making and see what I think will work best for us.

Be sure to head over to Intentionally Simple and see how Rachel's week of stocking the freezer went!

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