The Most Important Meal of the Day

They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and I believe it. However, most mornings, for me, breakfast consists of dry cereal and an ounce of cheese. My Humbly, however eats a good breakfast most days, of course he wakes up at an ungodly hour so he has plenty of time to make breakfast.

On Sundays, he often makes enough for me to enjoy too. Do you remember that dinner he made for me on Friday (second paragraph)? It included roasted potatoes, onions and asparagus. Guess what made awesome homefries on Sunday.

IMG_1001Add some scrambled eggs with chopped veggies and cheese (yeah, it was supposed to be an omelet but it is hard to flip those things); fry up some bacon and sausage; toast an english muffin and a glass of orange juice and you have a delicious, semi-nutritious breakfast.

I left for church with a VERY happy tummy.

 

Tuesday Tips – Saving on Meat

When I was growing up in Las Vegas, my mother was so organized. I often wish she would come to my house and get my uncontrolled clutter into some sort of order. My mother’s freezer looks quite a bit like this.

freezerwith30entreescropped

 

Trust me when I say that you don’t want to see my freezer. Mine isn’t even this good.

freezerbefore

However, one thing that I did retain from my mother’s organization skills was the way she would buy ground beef in bulk and then separate it into one pound packages for freezing. Can someone tell me why it is so hard to package ground beef in anything but round numbers? I mean really, what recipe has ever called for 1.28 lbs of ground beef? Shouldn’t the butcher be trying to get each package as close to the nearest pound or even half pound as possible?  — Okay rant over.

We recently purchased our second vacuum sealer and it is worth every penny we spent. Of course, the picture I took was of zipper top freezer bags but that is because I knew I would be using this meat this week so it wouldn’t be in long enough to freezer burn. Sometimes I don’t want to lug out the sealer for a small amount of meat.

IMG_1002The meat comes out almost as good as if it was fresh and since I am buying in bulk I get a discount per pound. For example, one pound of 80% ground chuck costs $4.38 at Walmart near me but I go to Fred the Butcher and purchase $25 of other meat (which unfortunately is not hard to buy) and I get a 10 lb bag of 85% ground chuck or 93% ground sirloin for $3.49 per pound or $3.89 per pound respectively. So better quality meat (less fat) at about $5 less for a 10 lb bag. If you do this just once a month you save $60 over the course of a year and you always have meat on hand.

The best parts are 1) since we package the meat in flat packages it stores nicely in the freezer and 2) it takes no time at all to defrost the meat, just in case you forgot to plan something for dinner.

What tricks do you use to save money in the kitchen?

 

Meatful Monday – Slow Cooker French Dips

I am not in danger of being called a health food junkie. In fact, I am a pretty picky eater. I used to be able to honestly say that I NEVER ate anything that was naturally green (M&Ms don’t count, right?). I am getting better but the only green food that I can honestly say that I love is scallions and really how many scallions can you realistically eat? I am proud to say that I have added spinach, peas and celery on a regular basis to my diet but I still struggle with things like green beans, asparagus and broccoli (OMG the smell!).

My son, T3, thankfully got his palate from my Humbly. Just yesterday I steamed him up a big bowl of broccoli and he ate it all with just a touch of butter. It is a good thing that he likes his veggies too because at 15 years old he is an eating machine and veggies are cheaper than meat.

And speaking of meat… drumroll please.

Awesome Slow Cooker French Dip Sandwiches! My Humbly says he would put these sandwiches up against all others and it is SO EASY!

Just get yourself a big hunk of beef, whatever kind floats your boat, in fact the cheaper the better because after cooking the heck out of it the meat is as tender as any expensive cut. Put your meat in your slow cooker, no need to sear or season.

Then mix 1 pkg Italian Dressing mix

good-seasons-package

One packet Au Jus gravy mix

KRR-70315-2

Two beef bouillon cubes

beef-bouillon-cubejpg-7b07bf46ea8ea84a_medium

And 2 3/4 cups of water

water

Mix it all up in a bowl and dump it on the meat. Cook on low for at least 8 hours and ta-da!

IMG_1004

Lots and lots of wonderful meat! That is my Humbly shredding it up for me. Then, make your sandwiches.

IMG_1012

We made ours with Swiss and purple onions. Then we popped them into the oven for just a couple of minutes to melt the cheese.

IMG_1015Dish up your au jus for the dipping part of the French Dip and some home made fries and sweet peppers to round off the meal. I used the leftover meat to make Oven Baked Chimichangas, stay tuned for the recipe soon.

 

Real Nachos

First of all let me apologize for my photography. I am taking pictures on my iPhone and also I shake, a lot. Since moving to upstate NY in the spring of 2003 one of the things I have missed most is good nachos. If anyone knows where I can get good nachos in the Albany/Saratoga area please enlighten me because you just can’t find them. Denny’s nachos are the closest that I have found but it just doesn’t sound right to get nachos at Denny’s. Also, it is a 25 minute drive to get there. So…

When you can’t buy something you learn to make it yourself. My Humbly (dear husband) made me to dinner on Friday night, steak, roasted potatoes with onions and asparagus (yes I pushed the green onto Humbly’s plate), and farm bread. The best part — leftovers that we made into nachos the next night. This was dinner Saturday night.

IMG_0997

I cooked up 4 slices of bacon then we reheated the steak in the bacon drippings. Now, the key to great nachos is a variety of cheese. We had two types of cheddar and a Jalapeno Monterey Jack that we found at our local Price Chopper. We also added lettuce, purple onion (also known as red onion but it is not red, it’s purple), and scallions. On mine I put jalapenos too and Humbly put black olives. We do a layer of chips with all the toppings and then a second layer with all the toppings. Bake at 350 for 7 minutes (rotating in the over at the 5 minute mark to ensure even cooking). Then we topped it with canned chili beans, sour cream and taco sauce (hot for me, mild for my wimpy white boy).