Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tips, tricks and shortcuts

With the odd schedules we work, I need some shortcuts that keep the natives fed (and less bee-atchy). With the economy as it is, we are all trying to find ways to cut waste out of our budgets. I have gone back to batch cooking as a time saver and also a way to take advantage of sales at the grocery store. I spent Sunday cooking up several batches of meat to freeze for future meals and also to feed us this upcoming week.

First up, ground beef:

I browned up a 3 pound package of 80/20 ground round that I got on sale for $5.69. I browned it up with some shallot salt, roast beef seasoning and a little Worcestershire. I divided it into 3 freezer bags and put in the freezer.

Next up is a roast turkey breast. I bought these at Christmas with a buy one, get one free sale. I roasted in my large slow cooker.

I cut up 2 TBSP of butter into 6 pieces. Sliding my fingers between the skin and the meat, I loosened the skin and placed the butter across the breast meat. I wedged up a lemon and stuck into some crevices and then sprinkled the whole breast with poultry seasoning. After it was done, I sliced some for sandwiches we had this week, cubed some for a hot dish and stuck in a freezer bag and chunked some up for my salad for dinner last night.

Last up is boneless, skinless chicken breasts. My daughter had taken a package out of the freezer to cook up, but forgot about it so I had to use it up. I would normally cook more than one package, but these were thawed already and didn't have time to thaw more. I know that boneless, skinless are more expensive, but the whole piece is usable. No waste. When I make a dinner with chicken, I use the fryer or a cut up chicken, but when making chicken to use in hot dishes or tacos, I use the chicken breast. I got these on sale for 4 packages for $10.

I poached the breasts in a quart of chicken stock and some poultry seasoning. I normally poach for 25 minutes and then start checking the temp. Since I was blogging that day, I left a little longer. Hopefully they aren't too dry. I shredded up a breast for my daughter for taco meat and then cubed the other two for a chicken salad-which I have never made, so I need some ideas :)
What do you do to save money, time or sanity?


Heather said...

great tips :)

Bob said...

Good stuff. I sometimes do batch cooking, but on a smaller scale. Having fewer natives to feed. Heh.