Today, my sister-in-law, Logi, and I carried out a pre-semester tradition that we have - cooking like crazy people in preparation for another busy semester. Each year, we try to get together for a day to prepare a few freezable meals to stash away for the busy weeks. Today, after a FUN girls night/sleepover (which I will post about later) we made our lists, did our grocery shopping and got to work.
Phew! Am I tired! In the past hour we saw E & L off, finished cleaning up the kitchen, transported the goods to the freezer in the back room. I just pressed start on the last load of dishes in the dishwasher and now, at 10:58, I am calling it quits.
We started our adventure by taking a trip to the Great Canadian Superstore to get our groceries. While we were there, a little guy named Joe Fresh distracted us for a bit (who can ignore clearance racks?) so our shopping trip took a little longer than expected. (L came home with a cute tank for 2.98 and some pants for E for 4.98 and I found myself a pair of jeans that actually fit for $19, a tank for 2.98 and two pairs of pants for hubby for $5 each). We also stopped at the Harvest Barn on the way home to pick up some locally grown corn on the cob for dinner.
When we got home, we got to work. We began by cooking up 6 lbs of ground beef and chopping up a multitude of veggies. While Logi prepped the veggies by separating them into dishes according to which recipe they belonged to, I assembled the hamburger and potato casseroles. This is one of my all-time favourites and has been since I was a little girl. Not the healthiest trick
I have up my sleeve, but delicious nonetheless.
Once those casseroles were done, we began the soups. Both Logi and I LOVE LOVE LOVE homemade soup in the fall and winter months. I almost always have homemade soup on hand between September-April. It is a must have during school when I don't always have time to cook. Today we decided to try a few new recipes ... butternut squash soup and spring vegetable soup. Both seem to be yummy but we'll see if they pass the test when we pull them out of the freezer over the next few months. The squash soup seemed to be missing something so we got creative and added a few unique ingredients to spice it up a bit. Our little secret!! At the last minute, we decided to throw together all the extra vegetables we had on hand and whipped up an ol' classic - cabbage soup.
Lastly, we made a slew of lasagnas. I am not talking normal, plain, old lasagnas. I am talking about the mother of all lasagnas complete with hearty meat sauce, spinach, cottage cheese, mushrooms, green peppers, red peppers, zucchini, onions and lots of cheese! Yum, yum!
Even when we finished the meals for the freezer, we still weren't done. We had hungry husbands and friends to serve dinner to so we made a pesto penne vegetable bake and Evan BBQ'ed some corn on the cob. We ate outside to get some relief from the heat in the house ... this is the only time that our house is ever hotter than outside.
After dinner, we finished the night off by rewarding ourselves with a fantastic treat - rocky road rice pudding. I've made rice pudding many times but this recipe took it to a whole new level! Homemade rice pudding, topped with melted chocolate chunks, pecans and toasted marshmellows. Whoooie!! What a treat!
I feel productive after getting this food all made and in the freezer. Thanks to the garden veggies and finding ways to make a little go a long ways, we finished off with 15 meals each at an average of less than $4.00 per meal. That sounds alright to me!