As you can see above I decided to celebrate my new Menu Monday format change with a new header! :) It was time for something new..
Now on to food chat... I have 2 freezers and was wondering if I was at a point I could downsize to 1. A few years ago I had 3 freezers and was able to clean them all out and reorganize down to the 2 I now have. I gave that freezer to my daughter Hannah. I figured it was time to try again with my family size going down. I don't freeze as much food as I use to. I don't buy in the huge quantities I use to. So I tackled it and was successful! I was able to send some things that had been in there way to long to the goats (veggies). I was able to toss things that I had not marked well and had no idea what they were or how long they'd been there. A couple months ago I had also started making a concerted effort to use up food in the freezer so that had helped. Now with better organization and an ice free freezer, my food fit nicely into one freezer with room to spare.
I also made a list of everything I have in there. I mark things off the list when I use them and add to the list after I shop.
My freezer is a chest type and they can be a challenge to organize. Currently I have 2 large boxes in the bottom. I have one box for meat and the other box has cheese, frozen veggies, frozen potatoes, etc in it. I then placed a third box on top and it has french bread, loaves, bagels, hamburger buns, etc. I figured this way the third box would be light enough to lift out so I can get to the items below.
I have 2 baskets that hang in the freezer and one has juice and ice cream in it and the other has a few things my son bought for himself in it.
Hopefully this will stay easy to organize and prevent items from falling to the bottom to never be seen again! Ha, ha!!
If you have a chest freezer, how do you keep it organized?
As for the menu.. last week went.. OK.. the pulled pork I made I was hoping to last for 2 nights, but my son had some friends over and it got eaten up the first night. I needed another meal. I had some boneless, skinless chicken thighs in the freezer and I boiled 4#'s of those and used the broth to make gravy. I divided the chicken gravy into 2 9x13 pans and topped it with biscuits and baked them in the oven. That seemed to do the trick for an extra meal. We ate this for a couple of nights..
Last week I also mentioned about being flexible in changing up a meal if needed for whatever reason. I had spaghetti on my menu. I'm working to use up my tomatoes and made a delish spaghetti sauce with fresh tomatoes. I had the sauce all done cooking and went to get my spaghetti noodles out to cook only to discover I was out of them. But I did have an open package of rotini noodles. Not only did this work great, but I was able to use up the open package on the shelf (and I currently have spaghetti noodles on my grocery list!)...
This week I have my meals planned out and am adding an extra pantry meal to the list just in case we have company or I just have a really hungry family that eats a meal all up in one sitting!
I knew I had bought a ham a few weeks ago when it was on sale. But it had somehow fallen to the bottom of the freezer and I found it while cleaning out and organizing. The weather here looks like it will be cooling down and I figured a baked ham and some mashed potatoes would be a perfect meal. I'll serve some sort of veggies or a salad along with this. I'll save the ham bone for soup for next week.
Tater Tot Casserole
An easy stand by recipe that my family loves. I often make it in the crockpot for simplicity. I'll serve a salad to go along with this.
Pizza Chili is just a slight twist on regular chili that I came up a couple years ago. A pan of cornbread or corn muffins and a salad will make this a complete meal.
The Pantry Meal: a pantry meal is simply a meal that can be made easily from items I have on my pantry shelf. If I need a 4th meal for the week it will be tuna patties. I can serve rice or pasta with this.
Hope your meal planning is going well!!