Monday, November 17, 2014

Sauteed Butternut Squash

I am not a huge fan of veggies, I'm sure you already know that!

And of course, butternut squash is running rampant at the grocery stores lately, with Whole Foods having the organic stuff at 89 cents a pound! Really? Nothing is ever 89 cents a pound at Whole Foods, you know, so yes, I grabbed a small squash.

Mind you, every 2 weeks, I get the bug, and pick up a butternut squash, a spaghetti squash, an acorn squash AND some zucchini. Generally it's the pretty display and the less than $1 per pound sign that lures me in ... after all, it's Frugal and it's supposed to be good for you ... so hook me up and reel me in, every time.

Then, 10 days later, I see the variety of squash STILL sitting in the guest kitchen refrigerator and end up tossing them out ... FOOD WASTE EXTRAORDINAIRE! There. I said it. :-( Boo.

So this time around, it's a beautiful Sunday afternoon, I've left the butternut and spaghetti squash sitting on the counter in the MAIN kitchen, so every time I do something, I have to move the damn things. But at least they were constantly in sight, which is why I decided to do something with the butternut squash, at least!

First up was figuring out how to manhandle the thing. Geesh.

I ended up cutting off the top and the bottom, and then peeling the skin off with a vegetable peeler. Well. That wasn't so very bad or difficult.


Then I cut it in half, which took a little more work. And at this time, my left finger pads were getting numb and tingly. Odd.

So I scrubbed my hands and put on some gloves. Way better now.

Then I sliced the halves into slices, about 1/4 inch thick, somewhat and cut those in to cubes. Like so.


Cutting the cubes was by far way easier than cutting the slices! I really should have made a better attempt at cutting them a little more uniform in size, but oh well, I'm not a perfectionist and never insinuated I was ;-)

Then I melted some olive oil and butter in a large skillet. I am LOVING the Kerrygold Butter I picked up for $2.00 each. Yes, I know that's $4.00 a pound, but so is regular butter. Doh. I've stashed quite a few in the freezer along with the decent deal on grass fed ground beef I picked up.


Dump in the squash and add a generous amount of salt, pepper and chili powder.


Stir well to mix up and then let it cook for about 10 minutes or so til softened and a little golden color ...


At the last minute,  I decided to dump in the leftover diced onion I had in the fridge along with some garlic ... so glad I did ... this definitely changed things up so by all means, add some onions and garlic!


Done and ready to eat.

This will come to work with me for lunch this week ... I'm pretty stoked as it tasted way better than I anticipated. Yes, I still act like a kid sometimes when it comes to trying new veggies but this may be a new favorite. Step aside, green beans!

Looking forward to sharing with some of these great parties ... make sure you check them out! Wonderful WednesdayHearth & SoulFluster Buster Creative Muster,  Show Me What Ya GotWhat's Cooking WednesdayIts a Party!Works For Me WednesdaySugar and SpiceWake Up WednesdayWhatever Goes WednesdayWednesday WhatsitsReal FunWork It WednesdayLovely Ladies, Weekly CreativeDomestic Superhero, All Things ThursdayThe Weekly CreativeTogether on Tuesday, Tasty ThursdayFull Plate ThursdayCreate It ThursdayFabulously Frugal ThursdayCrafty Thursday Obsessions Showcase Your TalentThink Tank ThursdaySimple Lives ThursdayFoodie FridayGet Real Frugal FridayFrugal FridaysFood on FridayFreakin Did It FridayFeature FridayThe Pin JunkieFreedom FridayFriday FavoriteFoodie Friday, A peek into my paradise, Weekend Social, Foodie Friends FridayFun Friday blog hopCelebrate It!,  Friday FavoritesTGIF BLOG HOPWeekend RetreatWhat’s ShakinWeekend WondersWeekend PotluckGet Him Feed Anything GoesDwell on FridaysFriday Foodfight, Lil Luna Link PartyFoodie FridayTGI Friday Friday with Friends, Simple Living Foodie FridayInspirationsWeekend WanderWeekly RoundupFeature Yourself SaturdayThe Party BunchShow Off Saturday, I Gotta CreateShow Off WeekendShow Stopper SaturdaySweet and SavoryThe Weekend CreativeWeekend PotluckWill Cook For SmilesStrut Your Stuff SaturdaySaturday Show & TellSuper Saturday Show & TellSay G'day SaturdayNot Bad SundayPotluck PartySunday Showcase Sundae ScoopSuper SundayMop It Up MondayMerry MondayCreative MondayThe ScoopMelt In Your Mouth MondayPin It Party Made By You MondayHunk of Meat Monday What’d You Do This WeekendMarvelous MessMaking It CuterTime To SparkleMealtime MondayTime To Sparkle, Makin You Crave MondayClever ChickCreative Corner Blog HopMake Your Own MondayMix it Up Monday,  Save Money MondayLou Lou GirlsInspire Me MondayIn and Out of the Kitchen, MemoriesTasty TuesdaysTuesdays At Our HomeHow To TuesdayHandmade TuesdayMaking a HomeShow Me The GoodsTotally Tasty TuesdayAll My Bloggie FriendsShare Your Stuff TuesdayTuesday Talent ShowFat TuesdayPenny Pinching PartyThe Gathering SpotAnti-Procrastination Tuesdays

Friday, November 14, 2014

Frugal Tip - Freezing Bread

It's been a while since I've done a Frugal Tip ... so here you go!

I bought a large loaf of udi's gluten free bread from Costco a while ago knowing full well that no one but ME would most likely be eating it ... and of course, I try not to eat a whole lot of bread ... so what's a girl to do?

Freeze it!

But, oops, have you seen the insides of my freezers? No way a whole loaf was going to get squished in any of them, not to mention, I sort of wanted to protect this pricey bread from freezer burn AND be able to use a little as I go along ... not the whole loaf.

Brainstorm!

Remember those sandwich bags I picked up to freeze the chicken breast?

Remember the concept behind freezing the chicken breast individually?

Yup, applied the same thought process to freezing the bread.




I simply froze 2 slices in each baggie. Folded them close and stuck them in a LARGE freezer style ziploc bag and stored that bag in the door of the garage freezer.




Sweet.

So now, when I get the urge to have toast, generally after a night of drinking unhealthy beverages, I just grab a little baggie, toss it on the counter for about 15 minutes and then toss it in the toaster while my eggs and bacon are cooking away .... 



Sweet!

Honestly, this is really a no-brainer and I would highly recommend it for those of you who have bread that goes bad in the pantry (here, here, it seems no one eats bread and then when they DO want some, it's a science project gone bad) ... I can't believe I didn't think of this before!

Do you freeze your bread?

Looking forward to sharing with some of these great parties ... make sure you check them out! Wonderful WednesdayHearth & SoulFluster Buster Creative Muster,  Show Me What Ya GotWhat's Cooking WednesdayIts a Party!Works For Me WednesdaySugar and SpiceWake Up WednesdayWhatever Goes WednesdayWednesday WhatsitsReal FunWork It WednesdayLovely Ladies, Weekly CreativeDomestic Superhero, All Things ThursdayThe Weekly CreativeTogether on Tuesday, Tasty ThursdayFull Plate ThursdayCreate It ThursdayFabulously Frugal ThursdayCrafty Thursday Obsessions Showcase Your TalentThink Tank ThursdaySimple Lives ThursdayFoodie FridayGet Real Frugal FridayFrugal FridaysFood on FridayFreakin Did It FridayFeature FridayThe Pin JunkieFreedom FridayFriday FavoriteFoodie Friday, A peek into my paradise, Weekend Social, Foodie Friends FridayFun Friday blog hopCelebrate It!,  Friday FavoritesTGIF BLOG HOPWeekend RetreatWhat’s ShakinWeekend WondersWeekend PotluckGet Him Feed Anything GoesDwell on FridaysFriday Foodfight, Lil Luna Link PartyFoodie FridayTGI Friday Friday with Friends, Simple Living Foodie FridayInspirationsWeekend WanderWeekly RoundupFeature Yourself SaturdayThe Party BunchShow Off Saturday, I Gotta CreateShow Off WeekendShow Stopper SaturdaySweet and SavoryThe Weekend CreativeWeekend PotluckWill Cook For SmilesStrut Your Stuff SaturdaySaturday Show & TellSuper Saturday Show & TellSay G'day SaturdayNot Bad SundayPotluck PartySunday Showcase Sundae ScoopSuper SundayMop It Up MondayMerry MondayCreative MondayThe ScoopMelt In Your Mouth MondayPin It Party Made By You MondayHunk of Meat Monday What’d You Do This WeekendMarvelous MessMaking It CuterTime To SparkleMealtime MondayTime To Sparkle, Makin You Crave MondayClever ChickCreative Corner Blog HopMake Your Own MondayMix it Up Monday,  Save Money MondayLou Lou GirlsInspire Me MondayIn and Out of the Kitchen, MemoriesTasty TuesdaysTuesdays At Our HomeHow To TuesdayHandmade TuesdayMaking a HomeShow Me The GoodsTotally Tasty TuesdayAll My Bloggie FriendsShare Your Stuff TuesdayTuesday Talent ShowFat TuesdayPenny Pinching PartyThe Gathering SpotAnti-Procrastination Tuesdays

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Red Meat Sauce



We used to do Italian Sunday's back when the Sopranos came on every Sunday at 10pm ... and this was one of the things I always had on standby in the freezers ...

It also happens to be the ONE thing that I am in charge of making whenever we run out ... normally Hubby will try to out do me, but not on this one ... this is the ONE thing I am 100% responsible for making! Sweet. I have him one upped!

So ... just a reminder ... Hubby does NOT like chunky cooked tomatoes. Totally turns him off the dish if it happens.

And ... he has this bay leaf phobia thing ... if there is a piece of bay leaf floating around, he will get it, bite it and totally flip out. I know this for a fact. First time, amuzing, second time, frightning ;-)

Needless to say, I like to start this when he's still sleeping or just out of the house!

You will need several hours for it to simmer and get happy so don't expect to start this at 5pm for chowing by 6, ain't happening!

This makes a fairly large batch of sauce, intentionally. I freeze several bags in the freezer (lay them flat so that they will defrost faster!)

Let's hop to it and get you a pot of sauce simmering!

About 2 tbs olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
6 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 1/2 lbs (or so) Italian sausage (I used 4 to 5 links, and slice through the casing, peel it off and break it up)
1 tsp oregano (dried)
1 tsp marjoram
1 large bay leaf (or 2 to 3 smaller ones)
6 oz tomato paste
3/4 cup water
About 90 ounces crushed tomatoes (3 large cans) ... I just buy one of them Costco sized tomato sauce cans, I think its' 105 ounces? because hubby doesn't do chunky cooked tomatoes) (you can do diced tomatoes if that's your thing OR you can toss diced tomatoes in the food process/blender and make it smooth)
salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup loose packed fresh basil, julienned (you know, sliced thin!)

Heat olive oil in LARGE pot. Add onions and garlic, saute for a minute or so to sweat. Then add sausage and cook til no longer pink, breaking up as you go.

Add the remaining ingredients except the fresh basil. Allow to simmer for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally.


Once the sauce hits the thickness you like, turn it off and let it cool down a bit. Take the basil (if you remember!) and stir them in to the pot ... honestly, I forgot 80% of the time and it's still pretty damn good without them.

Serve up with your favorite pasta. Freeze excess into serving portions your family uses. I freeze in gallon size bags but think next time I will do quart size ...

Enjoy!

Looking forward to sharing with some of these great parties ... make sure you check them out! Wonderful WednesdayHearth & SoulFluster Buster Creative Muster,  Show Me What Ya GotWhat's Cooking WednesdayIts a Party!Works For Me WednesdaySugar and SpiceWake Up WednesdayWhatever Goes WednesdayWednesday WhatsitsReal FunWork It WednesdayLovely Ladies, Weekly CreativeDomestic Superhero, All Things ThursdayThe Weekly CreativeTogether on Tuesday, Tasty ThursdayFull Plate ThursdayCreate It ThursdayFabulously Frugal ThursdayCrafty Thursday Obsessions Showcase Your TalentThink Tank ThursdaySimple Lives ThursdayFoodie FridayGet Real Frugal FridayFrugal FridaysFood on FridayFreakin Did It FridayFeature FridayThe Pin JunkieFreedom FridayFriday FavoriteFoodie Friday, A peek into my paradise, Weekend Social, Foodie Friends FridayFun Friday blog hopCelebrate It!,  Friday FavoritesTGIF BLOG HOPWeekend RetreatWhat’s ShakinWeekend WondersWeekend PotluckGet Him Feed Anything GoesDwell on FridaysFriday Foodfight, Lil Luna Link PartyFoodie FridayTGI Friday Friday with Friends, Simple Living Foodie FridayInspirationsWeekend WanderWeekly RoundupFeature Yourself SaturdayThe Party BunchShow Off Saturday, I Gotta CreateShow Off WeekendShow Stopper SaturdaySweet and SavoryThe Weekend CreativeWeekend PotluckWill Cook For SmilesStrut Your Stuff SaturdaySaturday Show & TellSuper Saturday Show & TellSay G'day SaturdayNot Bad SundayPotluck PartySunday Showcase Sundae ScoopSuper SundayMop It Up MondayMerry MondayCreative MondayThe ScoopMelt In Your Mouth MondayPin It Party Made By You MondayHunk of Meat Monday What’d You Do This WeekendMarvelous MessMaking It CuterTime To SparkleMealtime MondayTime To Sparkle, Makin You Crave MondayClever ChickCreative Corner Blog HopMake Your Own MondayMix it Up Monday,  Save Money MondayLou Lou GirlsInspire Me MondayIn and Out of the Kitchen, MemoriesTasty TuesdaysTuesdays At Our HomeHow To TuesdayHandmade TuesdayMaking a HomeShow Me The GoodsTotally Tasty TuesdayAll My Bloggie FriendsShare Your Stuff TuesdayTuesday Talent ShowFat TuesdayPenny Pinching PartyThe Gathering SpotAnti-Procrastination Tuesdays