I love to cook. It's one of my all time favorite past times. I check out cookbooks from the library, haunt garage sales for deals on them, and am just generally obsessed with cooking and books about it.
Unlike so many fruglies who give up all subscriptions, I subscribe to three magazines - National Geographic, Cook's Illustrated and Cook's Country. The three of them are worth every penny to me - NG for the sheer pleasure I get looking at the breathtaking photos and reading the stories of far away places and CI and CC for the kitchen knowledge they impart.
But over the last month I've gotten away from cooking so much and I really have to find my way back.
I have absolutely got to get back to planning meals at least a week in advance. Without that, we eat out too often, and that's a real budget buster! Spring Break is here so the 16 year old male bottomless pit is visiting and his 15 year old sister, almost as bottomless, will be here for a few days, too. In light of these facts, I need a little help planning meals. I've done it for years so I know how but my brain is tired of doing it and I need a little push.
In my freezer, I have a couple of whole hens (tough when baked or roasted but I can use the pressure or slow cookers for stewing), a package of charcoal steaks (5 small steaks), some ground turkey and turkey breakfast sausage, a package of beef smoked sausage, a dozen chicken tamales, lots of vegetables, and plenty of cheese.
In the fridge I have a dozen eggs but will get more today. I need to buy milk and bread, too.
In the cupboards I have plenty of canned vegetables, rice, beans, pasta, flour, salt, all those necessary things.
I have three slow cookers, a microwave, a digital pressure cooker, and an electric skillet. We have no oven or grill right now so baking/roasting/grilling are out.
Here are some thoughts I have on meals I can make this week:
Cut one to one and a half of the steaks into bite size pieces and use it to make 'beef tips' and rice. Rod and Stephen both love that. Serve it with a salad and a green vegetable.
Have breakfast one night, using ground turkey to make turkey sausage and have that with eggs and toast.
Cook beans in the slow cooker one night.
Make chili with ground turkey one night.
Cook a hen in the pressure cooker and use that for a few dishes. I have a few stand bys we like with cooked, cubed chicken but need some more ideas. If you have something you make with cooked chicken, please let me know!
Any other ideas?