What are you reading? Between teaching blogs and curriculum, I haven’t been reading much of anything fun these days. But G reminds me to at least enjoy a good picture book every day 🙂
This morning I ran to Safeway and scored a great deal – 50% off organic eggs! I paid $3.98 for two dozen organic eggs. Insane. That’s cheaper than just one of my favorite breakfast sandwiches at Starbucks.
Even though I’m still exhausted from my big freezer meal prep, I knew I needed to whip these bad boys up into some back to school breakfasts. I made 8 breakfast sandwich middles with 8 of the eggs (recipe soon), and 8 breakfast burritos with another 8 eggs. I still have 8 left to whip into something else fun. Maybe French toast sticks, or egg muffins, or a fritatta…the possibilities are endless.
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup diced onion
1/4 tsp salt
dash fresh ground pepper
3/4 cup shredded cheese of your choice
1 pound chicken breakfast sausage
8 tortillas, preferably Tortillaland (you can find these amazing tortillas at Costco)
Preheat oven to 350. In a medium size bowl mix eggs, milk, onion, salt & pepper. Pour in an greased 8×8 baking dish and bake for 15 minutes. Add shredded cheese to egg mixture and stir well. Bake 5 minutes, stir again, bake 5 more minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large pan, brown the chicken sausage. Once eggs and sausage are done, mix together in a large bowl. Spoon evenly between 8 tortillas and wrap burrito style, folding in the ends as you go. Flash freeze on a cookie sheet & store in a gallon freezer bag. You can also wrap them in parchment paper, followed by a piece of aluminum foil for easy portability.
To heat, microwave on high for 1 minute 30 seconds.
And don’t forget I’m pairing up with Jenn at The Wannabe Housewife for a $100 cash giveaway! Enter through the rafflecopter below 🙂
What is your favorite breakfast burrito mixture?
This is technically round 3, but I promised, and never delivered rounds 1 & 2. How long can I blame these sorts of things on being a new mom? Does the grace period wear out when G turns 1? If so, I am squeezing another 5 weeks out of that excuse!
A lot of food we buy is organic (dairy, meat, and the dirty dozen for sure), so that does up the cost a bit. But overall I think we spent about $200 between Costco and Safeway (use the Just4u app!), and wound up with 18 freezer meals, all of which will give us plenty of leftovers. Probably 36-45 meals total. This breaks the price per meal down to roughly $4.40 per meal. Not too shabby, and cheaper than my soy latté this morning. On the day of, some of the meals will require add ons like cooking some quinoa, or making a salad, but nothing over the top price or money wise – maybe $50/week for produce, yogurt, milk, and other staples as we run out (less in the summer).
This go round I mixed in some tried and true freezer meals with some new ones. Most meals made in the crock pot can be turned into freezer meals. They are my favorite kind because they are quick and easy, for the most part. You just dump, seal, and freeze. I also love making yummy marinades for meat – they are perfect for the grill. And finally, casseroles are a good standby. The ones I pick are more time consuming than most, of course.
For freezer meal inspiration I have a pinterest board, pick and choose recipes from Once a Month Meals *(OAMM, formerly Once a Month Mom), and use tried and true family favorites. My burlattas have actually been featured on the Once a Month Meals 2011 November menu too!
*I haven’t done a full OAMM menu yet, however, because I’m not a fan of tangy sauces, and am not a huge meat eater. So customizing a menu to my own taste is something I take the time to do. But if you aren’t picky about that sort of thing, OAMM is a GREAT freezer meal resource!
First I compile my favorites and newbie recipes. I make a grocery list (sorted by area of the store), and create a word doc for directions. For a big cooking day I try to chop all my veggies the day before during G’s nap. This doesn’t always happen, but makes the process smoother. The next morning I’ll throw chicken in the crock for shredding (pretty much all my menus require some shredded chicken – it’s best with some taco seasoning thrown in the mix), and get to filling freezer bags (either ziploc gallon size or foodsafe bags for our vacuum sealer) with my dump and go meals. Then I attack the casserole dishes one by one. I’ve attempted making more than one at once (i.e. making pasta while sautéing the ground beef/Italian sausage mixture and rolling enchiladas), but I usually miss a step with something, or forget to throw in an ingredient or two. So I figure it might take a bit more time to focus on one at a time, but haste makes waste, right?
After I do my dump meals I flash freeze the casseroles before vacuum sealing them. Flash freezing is very easy – I just make a flat space in my freezer, lay a cookie sheet down, and then place whatever meal I need on top of the cookie sheet. After 45 min to an hour I can usually vacuum seal. Some things take longer (like the pulled pork, I needed to wait for the Dr. Pepper to freeze a bit more before sealing otherwise the liquid would all go out of the bag). Sometimes I leave them all night, it just depends on what comes up and gets in the way of the process!
We generally eat 1-2 freezer meals a week, and cook 1-2 times. Once I have a full freezer I often will double recipes once a week, and freeze the second half. That way I don’t have to do big cooking days – which can be really difficult with a little one. Once the freezer starts to get low I start looking for inspiration again. Also, some of my girlfriends are getting into freezer cooking and we swap meals. I’m trying to rope more friends in, as swapping can really add to the variety of your freezer.
This rounds recipes – all were doubled
** indicates a tried and true recipe
Dump & go crock pot meals:
Mustard Lime Chicken – can be baked or grilled. I doubled and will probably cook in each style to decide what I like best for the next go round. I suspect grilling will win!
Chicken & Dumplings** – I’m looking for a non-condensed soup version if anyone has a recipe suggestion. Though this one is really tasty. I used the Cascade Farms Organic peas/carrots/corn blend for the veggies because it was 50%. Score! Not having to chop veggies is priceless for bulk cooking days!
Pulled Pork**- this one was tripled because of the cut of meat we bought, and it is SO tasty! I’d like to find a recipe that doesn’t use soda, but Dr. Pepper is pretty magical, so I guess I can handle it every once and a while.
Pesto Ranch Chicken Thighs – an easy crock pot meal to serve over rice, quinoa, or pasta.
more time consuming & casserole style meals:
Cream Cheese Spaghetti **- I’ve made this with spaghetti, ziti, and fusili. I like the fusili the best. I do half (local, organic) ground beef and half Italian sausage. Do not attempt to add mushrooms! I tried last go round and the filling was way too watery. Doubling the onions and bell peppers works though. And do not neglect the French fried onions at the end of the cooking process. I’d never eaten a French fried onion before this meal, and man, I was missing out!
Paleao meatloaf – I made this with Italian Sausage, instead of ground pork. I have no idea of that is paleo compliant, (probably not!). I’ve never made meatloaf before, can you believe it?!? I actually rarely cook meat, I’m more of a chicken or fish kind of gal. But this recipe was super easy, and allowed me to finally use the almond meal I bought at Trader Joe’s forever ago and forgot about. Also, you top the meatloaf with bacon. And as we all know, bacon is amazing. I also made these in silicone cupcake liners so I could pop them out when frozen and just pop 3 or 4 in the oven at a time. If I get adventurous this week I might make some mashed potatoes and freeze them in the silicone cupcake liners for single servings as a side for these meatloaves. Which would totally ruin the paleoness of this meal, haha.
Avocado chicken enchiladas – This was made the following day after the chicken had cooled & was shredded. I added a small onion (diced) to the sauce. I filled my tortillas (purchased from a local Mexican restaurant for a more authentic taste) to the brim. I think one enchilada will be a substantial meal, so this should yield us 7 meals.
We’ve only had one of the freezer meals for this round so far, (pulled pork), and it was a total keeper. We had pulled pork sandwiches one night, and used as taco filling another night. We still have plenty leftover too!
And exciting news, I’m pairing up with Jenn at The Wannabe Housewife for a $100 cash giveaway! Enter through the rafflecopter below 🙂
What are your favorite freezer meal recipes or freezer meal websites?
I cannot believe that next week I’ll officially be back in the classroom, and the following week I’ll have students. Where did summer go?! I am soooo not ready for the school year to begin. My type-A tendencies are freaking out and my left eye keeps twitching. That could also have something to do with all the coffee I’ve been drinking lately though…
So what have I been up to?
~Soaking up as much summer sun as possible w/my little miss.
~Arranging, and rearranging my classroom (only one more rearrange left I think!)
~Planning a kitchen remodel (so I can see into the living room), and picking paint colors for our living/dining room. Getting bids (all way more than I would like to spend), and trying to figure out what we can DIY without losing our sanity.
~And watching my daughter grow more and more independent. She started daycare for the first time last week and PUSHED me away when I tried to hug and kiss her goodbye. And last Friday she refused to sit on my lap for library story time. Little miss G crawled over to the librarian and sat at her feet while she read. Then she did the same thing this week. She’s such a little bookworm 🙂
What have you been up to this week?
Ok, ok, so this isn’t a teaching blog….but I am a teacher (and a lot of you reading are teachers), and I follow a lot of teacher blogs. I keep saying I’m going to write more teaching posts, and then I never get around to it. But maybe getting aboard the Blog Hoppin’ train will spark a little something 🙂
Today’s theme: meet the teacher
1. I’m about to start my 3rd year in 4th grade. I graduated with my Masters in Teaching from Whitworth University in 2010, and was hired as a middle school librarian for the following school year. After one year the library I was laid off and recalled to fourth grade. It was a big change, but a great one! Last year I was on maternity leave for 4.5 months and returned to teach only in the mornings (math, science & social studies). This year one of my kinder buddies, aka my sister wife, is joining me to teach ELA in the afternoon. We’re crazy busy right now trying to sort through two classrooms worth of bins, labels, art supplies, etc. Hopefully we get it all organized soon!
2. I have been married for nearly 5 years to Tim, aka the hubs. We met at an auction when my husband was in law school. We moved to San Diego (where the hubs is from) right after he graduated, lasted 9 months, and promptly moved back. We were married on Gonzaga’s campus (where I went to undergrand and he went to law school), and had our reception at Arbor Crest Winery.
3. I have an almost 1 year old, Genevieve. She’s pretty much the cutest thing ever. Recently she’s been sharing her food with the dog, clapping when she likes something, and giving kisses. Today she kissed her first boy at library story time. I’m a little worried about her assertiveness 😉
4. I just turned 30. I don’t feel like I’m 30, but then I read things like this and realize that, yeah, I’m totally 30. Yeah, I totally side with the parents on teen dramas these days. No comment about me still watching teen dramas…
5. I’m a runner, or at least I like to pretend I am. I ran my first half marathon 2 summers ago, but was sidelined with a bad IT band tear. After it healed I was knocked down with morning sickness, and resigned myself to walking until just recently. Yesterday I decided to train for my first 10K in October. Wish me luck!
6. I love to cook. I haven’t been as creative as I’d like, but I’m slowly getting my grove back. I’ve been pretty lazy this summer, and now that Genevieve is eating solids, I try to at least be healthier in my laziness. I’m working on my next freezer meal plan. I’m on the hunt for some great ground beef recipes, because I have about 10 pounds from a local organic rancher that I’d like to use for more than just burgers and taco meat.
7. If I could figure out a way to dress up my yoga pants in a work appropriate way I’d be the happiest teacher in the world. And not the new, not super comfortable, but your butt looks amazing in yoga pants. I mean my old, faded, super stretchy yoga pants.
8. I have one dog, Rilo (named after Rilo Kiley), and one cat, Rikka (short for Paprika, don’t ask me about the misspelling…she may or may not have been named after a bottle or two of wine). Rilo is very sweet, and great with Genevieve. Rikka is a brat, but we love her anyway.
9. I love to read, but haven’t read as much as I’d like to since my daughter was born. I’m trying to be better about that. I recently finished My Name is Memory, by Ann Brashares, and picked up Call the Midwife, by Jennifer Worth from the library to start next. I also have the CUTEST lending library across the street from my house. My daughter and I like to pick up books for ourselves, and I often see my students borrowing books too 🙂
10. I’m a wannabe crafter. The hubs got me an amazing sewing machine for Christmas a few years ago, and my mother-in-law has been helping me with projects here and there. She helped me sew Genevieve’s crib bedding, and I have a few more projects on the horizon. Their all being held hostage on my pinterest board waiting to be unleashed. So far I’ve managed to replace G’s pinwheels with bunting flags. I want to make some for my classroom too…if I have time!
Your turn – tell me one fun fact I don’t know about you!
I love the Munchkin Meals linky party Brittany hosts each week, and I’m excited to finally add G’s meals to the mix. While she is still primarily breastfed, G has been exploring new foods since around 6 months. Her pincher grasp is pretty good, and she loves to feed herself with a spoon. I, however, have gotten very lazy, and don’t like to deal with baby food in puree form. So spoons have pretty much gone out the window until she’s ready to not throw her bowl on the floor. Baby Led Weaning won out due to pure laziness on my part!
Generally our mornings start off with a nursing session, followed by a half to a whole banana, yogurt, scrambled eggs, or a breakfast cookie.
Then she pretty much nurses, aside from some Trader Joe’s O’s snacks (which she likes to share with Rilo), until dinner.
Dinner is often a mix of a veggie (roasted carrots or frozen peas), quinoa, shredded cheese, and/or whatever meat or bean we’re eating. I just put some of whatever we’re eating aside before I add salt. Her favorites so far are ground beef, salmon, carrots, and cheese. Lots and lots of cheese.
What are you eating for dinner tonight?
I’m on summer break for a few more weeks, and while that used to mean I could sleep in and recipe test as I pleased, it now means wake-up on G’s schedule and stumble to the kitchen for coffee STAT. Bonus points if I already have breakfast ready.
During the school year I perfected the no-added sugar lactation breakfast cookie to eat while I pumped before work. I still make these each time I have browning bananas, and omit the chocolate chips for Genevieve’s half of the batch. I love them, she loves them, and Rilo doesn’t mind vacuuming up the pieces that fall on the floor.
[Lactation] Breakfast Cookies
Ingredients vary – you can make these no matter how many browned bananas you have.
1/2 cup quick cook oatmeal per 1 banana – I usually wait until I have 5 bananas, and 2.5 cups oats.
1/4 tsp cinnamon per banana
1/4 tsp vanilla per banana
1/2 tsp chia seeds per banana (not required)
1/2 tsp flax seed per banana (not required)
1 tsp brewers yeast per banana (omit if you don’t want lactation cookies)
1 TBS chocolate chips per banana (omit for baby cookies)
Preheat oven to 350. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
Mash bananas and add all other ingredients. Mix well.
Scoop mixture with 1/3 cup measuring cup and flatten into a cookie shape. Bake for 18 minutes. Once cooled a bit, cut parchment paper and stack on a container. Store in fridge for up to 1 week.
What is your favorite way to use browning bananas?