Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Tips from my Kitchen


Good morning.  Today I am going to give a few tips that I use regularly in my kitchen, that may help others.  We all look for ways to stretch our budgets and to make life a little easier.


EGGS
A couple weeks ago I mentioned freezing eggs again, and some new readers didn't realize you could that.
It is really easy.  I freeze mine in muffin tins.  I lightly spray each opening with cooking spray - crack and drop in an egg into each opening.  I then use a fork to break the yoke.  Place in freezer and freeze.  Remove and place in freezer bags for storage.  I have actually had eggs that I have used after being frozen for a couple years.
These are great for baking purposes and for scrambling.  Take advantage of a great price when you find it!!!

We used to camp a lot and we had lots of people to cook breakfast for.  We found that a great way to extend our eggs was to get them ready for scrambled eggs - then add crushed crackers (or crushed cheese crackers).  Once the eggs are cooked you have no idea there are crackers involved.  It really does extend the eggs.
I have done this at home as well, when we were down to a couple eggs.

You can also add a couple scrambled eggs to leftover rice to extend a little further.  More egg and less rice than fried rice - but a great healthy extender.

I have heard that a lot of preppers dehydrate eggs as well.  I have seen them scrambled and place on racks and dehydrated.  Vacuum seal in jars.  Shelf stable.  I have not tried this - but it is on my bucket list to do.


BEANS
I also mentioned freezing soaked dry beans a week or so ago.  I generally soak dry beans overnight in water to help break them down.  Sometimes, I soak a double batch, and place the extras in freezer bags and freeze for later.  They will not take nearly as long to cook, as the moisture and freezing then thawing help to break down the fibers and they cook faster.


MISC.
*Did you know that you can cook in freezer type bags?  I often place leftovers in a good quality freezer bag and freeze, and when I am ready to cook - I simply place the bag in water and boil.  Homemade cook in bag! 
NOTE:  They do need to be decent quality bags.

*I microwave potatoes for a few minutes before frying them.  I microwave them whole - cool and peel - then slice and fry.  Cuts down on the cooking time.

*When I make homemade meat balls, I generally don't make balls!  I mix up all the ingredients and place onto a flat pan.  I mash the meat into a rectangle/square about 1" thick.  I then cut meat into 1" or so squares.  They are easier to cook, as they lay flat - and they are easier to freeze for the same reason.  You can lightly flash freeze if desired before cutting - it makes placing them in bags easier.

*Next time you are coating and frying chicken or chicken strips, try coating the pieces in mayonnaise and then cover with your coating/breading.  It sure makes for tasty moist chicken.



*USE EVERYTHING.  So many people I know do NOT use leftovers at all.  I do not understand this.  We don't mind eating the same thing a couple times - but I most often re-invent into a new dish.
Most often we think of adding leftovers into soup and casseroles.  There are other options as well!!
Soups, stews, casseroles
Omelets
Quiche
Pizza
Fried rice
Stir fry
Calzones
Burritos
Just to name a few!!!!

Going to list this site again.  It is great when groceries are getting low and you just have no idea what to cook.  Check off the ingredients you HAVE and you get ideas and recipes for meals.  It doesn't get much easier.  It is kind of fun to use even when you have plenty of food - to get a few new ideas!
*Stale pop, leftover coffee, juice from canned fruit, tea, etc.  FREEZE in ice cube trays and use to either flavor iced tea or to cool a extra hot cup of coffee.  It keeps things from getting watered down and adds flavor.

I hope these ideas help someone save a little money or save a little time. 
What are some fun tips you use?  Please share.


JUST REMEBER:  If the world doesn't fit you - make it fit.  Backup, look around, and go do things another way.  Limitations are basically just in your head.
Have a happy day!

26 comments:

  1. I always soak my beans before cooking, but never thought to freeze them afterwards That's a great tip. Thank you, Cheryl :)

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    1. You are very welcome. it really does help.

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  2. Oh I love all the tips Cheryl! I've never thought to put crackers in eggs! That's the best tip I can't wait to try! I want to try that website too. thanks!

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    1. It sure can stretch them and nobody is the wiser. Cheesy crackers are tasty too.
      ENJOY

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  3. I didn’t know freezing eggs was so easy
    We just had some leftovers for lunch, they were really tasty and I’m thankful how easy they were.

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    1. Yes, eggs are easy to freeze and it sure can save you money, when prices go up.
      Love leftovers!

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  4. I had no idea you could freeze eggs. Thank you for todays lesson.We tend to bag and vac seal left overs. These are then quite flat and dont take up a lot of freezer space. We only have a small side by side fridge freezer, so space is at a premium. We do this with left over veg as well. When a meal is required the bagged leftovers go in the microwave. They heat up in their own juices and the flavour is amazing! Makes you look forward to left overs. We do a big cook up of rice and bag and vac seal the rice(also pasta) into meal size portions. Thaw and microwave in the bag. Meals in bags are great for camping. Heat up a saucepan of water. Toss the bagged meal into the pot of water and presto,a cooked meal and one saucepan to wipe out and put away. Beans are not something we eat a lot of in Aus. I see you US ladies have a lot of them in your pantries. It is something I am going to look into as an extra food source.

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    1. You are welcome for the lesson Jane! Getting those bags flat is a fantastic idea - such a space saver. I never thought about using the cooking bags for camping. Great idea.

      Dry beans, come in all different types, and they are full of protein. They are cheap and filling. Americans do use them a lot in various ways. YUM

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  5. Enjoyed reading your post and found some good ideas I'd not thought of before.

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    1. So glad you found some new ideas. Hope they are helpful for you!
      Have a good day.

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  6. Do you know if I could freeze concentrated orange juice after I add water as ut would already have been frozen to begin with before adding the water? Thanks. Nancy

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    1. I would think so Nancy. It's not like meat. we often thaw frozen veggies or fruit and mix with other things - then parts get refrozen. I wouldn't think it would hurt a thing.
      Good luck

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  7. Cheryl, when you use the frozen eggs, do you defrost them first?

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    1. Yes mam. It does take planning - I defrost them in the frig. so it takes a day or so.
      Hope that helps

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  8. I love the idea of boil in a bag entrees. It would be a great way for me to save leftovers and make for an easy lunch. I'll have to put some thought into that idea.

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    1. It does make life easier! Just make sure the bag is a decent brand (they are thicker) and that it is sealed well.
      Hope it helps

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  9. Loved this post! You have the best ideas ever; honestly, I never thought to freeze beans after soaking. And cheesy cracker eggs? Who would'a thought? Genius.

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    1. Thanks Melinda. There are have been many times in life that I HAD to get creative to stretch things. I must admit that I learned by accident on the beans!! I soaked too many, so froze the remainder. The rest is history. I later read that it is a trick many cooks use.
      Glad you found some new ideas.

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  10. myfridgefoods.com? OMG, where has it been all my life? lol. Great tips!!!

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    1. It is great - isn't it? Hope you can use!
      Thanks

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  11. I am amazed at people who don't eat leftovers,these are all great ideas.

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    1. Me too! My hubs accuses me of just making leftovers!!!! LOL
      Thanks. enjoy

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  12. Genius tip on the meatballs...er, meatsquares. Thank you Cheryl! Have a great day!

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    1. Thanks. They are so much easier to make, cook, and freeze.
      Have a good one!

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  13. the boil in bag idea will make camping so much easier, and how about sending some off to the college dorm when the kiddos come home for a weekend

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  14. Thank you for the idea on freezing the eggs. We do not use a whole lot of them around here and I have had entire cartons that we have been given go bad on me.

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