Ok, as promised… Here is the second half of my cooking day… Yesterday’s post was full of someone else’s ideas. Today? Today is all mine, baby!
***I promised my husband I would correct an error – HE washed all the potatoes! lol*****
So, where was I? Oh… ya, right… The soups! Oh, boy, the soups. I made 3 different soups – I tripled each of the recipes. While the soups were cooking, I made the spaghetti sauce.
The first soup is my favorite, it is from the Peter Christians Recipe book -
Broccoli Parmesan Soup.
Heat 2T butter in a soup pot and saute 1 small onion diced
Add 2 C chicken broth and 1 bunch of chopped broccoli, cook until broccoli is just tender.
In a small bowl mix: 3T flour and 1/4 C cold water, Add the flour mixture to the sop, stirring until thickened.
Season with 2T sherry, 1/4 C Parmesan cheese, 2t basil, 2 t onion powder, 1/4 t nutmeg.
Simmer for 20 minutes, adding 1C milk and 1C light cream.
You can serve it like this, or… I like to use one of those magic wands and smoosh up the soup – it freezes better that way. This recipe as is makes about 6 servings. If you multiply the recipe, mind the amount of chopped onion you add – I like to only double the onion if I triple the recipe.
From there I made my new favorite – Dutch chicken and corn chowder – I will feature this recipe later next week. And I finished my soup frenzy with Dill Potato Soup.
Now on to my easy peasy pasta sauce – I am a RAGU addict. I mean, like, it’s ragu or it’s nothing at all. Because of that, all my daughter will eat is Ragu as well. So, imagine my dilemma when a while back we were in huge financial struggles and I couldn’t even justify spending money on Ragu - we tried generic, it went over like a fart in a wet suite. It was then that I came up with this…
Easy Peasy Pasta Sauce
#10 can of Tomato Sauce
1 cup of Spicy Spaghetti seasoning
1/3 cup sugar
OK – Here’s the deal – pour a little EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) in the bottom of the pan – saute your onion and garlic. Pour in the tomato sauce and spicy spaghetti seasoning. Taste it… It was a little too salty for me, so I added the sugar, and it took out that salty taste. I have been informed by my picky taste testers that it tasted EXACTLY like RAGU! Bonus? The total for all of this was around $5! So you know what I am talking about – here is the spicy seasoning:
What else??? oh ya! The calzones!!!
OK, so you know that pizza dough we made? take it out…
now, roll out palm sized portions of pizza dough – add about 1-2 T of your shredded chicken (either the bbq or the buffalo). fold over the top of the dough and use a fork to seal the edge. Bake for 8 minutes and then take out and cool. This will NOT be cooked all the way through. Once cooled, put them in freezer bags. When taken out to be cooked, either thaw in the fridge, or microwave for 4 minutes. Then bake in a 350 oven for 8-10 minutes.
Once all of this is done? All that’s left is the clean up! (Thanks mom, for coming and helping me)
One of the benefits? The day after I finished all of this, a good friend called and said she needed to be in bed, resting for a couple of days. I was able to just grab a couple zip bags from the freezer and head over to her house. The end of last week I wasnt feeling well, and I was able to send the kids down to the freezer to pick out just what they wanted and because it was all labeled, they were able to do it themselves.
A week and a half later, this is what remains in my freezer -
What isn’t in this picture are the bags of soup that wer upstairs in that freezer. My goal had been 40 meals – I ended up with probably over 50.
Can you do this? Certainly! Do you have to do it on this scale? No.
You could start by making two of what you ar having for dinner tonight, and freezing one of them. Poaching chicken breasts for something? LEt it do double duty, save a TON of money – strain the liquid and freeze it to use when making recipes that call for stock or broth!