Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Works-for-me-Wed. - organize your kitchen with index cards

My very best and easiest kitchen organization tip is to ALWAYS make a weekly (if not monthly) menu (I actually do both and find this works great - the monthly is just suggestions based on things in the freezer and very flexible).

I use a 3 x 5 index card that I keep clipped to a basket on the counter in the middle of my kitchen counter. I write my menu on one side and a running grocery list on the other. When I go to the store I can slip it in by back pocket with my credit card because I always have 2 to 4 "helpers" with me. Having the menu with me helps me replace items I can't easily locate and/or know whether we'll really use any of the cool deals I find on the bakery clearance rack or elsewhere. I also always circle the things I HAVE to have in the next 2 days or so. Occasionally I forget things or have to make a quick exit due to my helper situation - helps to know what I had to have and make sure I get those items in the very least.

Head on back over to ROCKS IN MY DRYER for oodles of ideas!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Works-for-me-Wed. - freezer cooking - pork

I am a freezer cooking fanatic - nothing consistently works better for lessening the stress and increasing the peace around here. Last time I posted, I shared chicken recipes. My new favorite thing to freeze, cook and eat is pork loin. It's almost too easy.
1. Wait for pork loin to go on sale (around here it goes as low as 1.88/lb. and is often 1.99/lb.) Buy a big one (or two).
2. Label four quart freezer bags (not generic) "pork steaks", "pork roast", "pork tacos" and "pulled pork sandwiches".
2. With an electric knife, Cut the pork loin in half lengthwise and then each of those in half (like little bricks - faux tenderloins). Continue cutting one of the bricks into thinish "chops". Place these in the "pork steaks" bag.
3. Brown remaining three 'bricks' in a pan. Cool and place one in each of the other bags.
4. Add your favorite BBQ sauce to the "pulled pork sandwiches" bag.
5. Mix together 1/3 c. olive oil, 1/4 c. lemon juice, 1/4 c. soy sauce and 2 T Worchestershire sauce. Pour into "pork steaks" bag.
6. Seal bags well (squeezing out extra air)
7. To cook:
"pork steaks" - grill, discard (or boil for sauce) marinade
"pork roast" - use like a beef roast in a crock pot with onion soup mix, a little water and potatoes and carrots
"pork tacos" - add pork, package of taco seasoning and about 3/4 c. water to crock pot. Cook on low all day, shred by cutting with kitchen shears and add water if necessary. Serve on tortillas with taco/fajita toppings.
"pulled pork sandwiches" - cook in crock pot all day on low. Shred by cutting with kitchen shears and add more BBQ sauce if necessary. Serve on buns with extra sauce if desired.

You don't freezer cook? Try it - you'll like it!
Have no idea where to start? You could try my method here. My last post was also freezer cooking tips.

Head on back over to ROCKS IN MY DRYER for oodles of ideas!