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NORASPAT's Photo NORASPAT Posts: 56,826
7/2/10 7:36 A

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For a big batch of macaroni, I use a 16oz box add it to 8-12 cups of boiling water (Depends on shape of pan.)it should be large with tight fitting lid.
After adding pasta- WW or Reg. Stir to separate and bring back to boiling. Remove from heat and cover. Let stand for 20 minutes then drain.
I cool and refrigerate. This is great to use in salads or with kids add sauce and make beefaroni.
2 G-Kids one is into mac/cheese, other mac/tomato. Thanks to microwave quick individual meals in minutes. Pat in Maine.

Pat in Maine.
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FITCOFFEEMOM357's Photo FITCOFFEEMOM357 Posts: 2,672
7/1/10 10:21 P

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Week Two sounds like my week.

We BBQ on Saturday and have enough leftover for Sunday and Salads for the week.

I do not have too much room in the freezer most times, but we do our best.

I mostly cook things once a week to eat the next night or later in the week.

Becky ~ 44 & DH ~ 48
19yrs
Brittney ~ 16 yrs
Xander ~ 14 yrs
Bailie ~ 12 yrs

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6/30/10 9:16 A

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My big batch cooking was chicken in the crockpot and a pork shoulder. All is cooked and frozen.

My kitchen gadget I like is my electric chopper!! Saves a lot of time!!



MARCIE_ELAINE's Photo MARCIE_ELAINE Posts: 30,757
6/30/10 5:30 A

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Since I am not allowed red meat or pork I do cook in batches and freeze, freeze, freeze!

Since it is BBQ time we BBQ lots (meats on sale) and freeze them for later use. Also chicken BBQ and baked.

Rice noodles and fruits freeze well and when in season and on sale I take advantage.




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3RDSTRING's Photo 3RDSTRING Posts: 252
6/28/10 11:47 A

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"i actually roast some pork tenderloin and freeze it and already cooked chicken,
When I want to do sandwiches, thats what I use I put it in refigerator the day before and slice it for salads and sandwiches. That way I am avoiding the sodium and the sulfites and Nitrates added to processed meats."

That is an excellent plan. I eat relatively healthy now but the sodium beast still rears his ugly head & this will make strides in the right direction.

Chuck

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ARDYNLEE72's Photo ARDYNLEE72 SparkPoints: (0)
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6/28/10 10:23 A

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The only time I do big batch cooking is by accident. I usually tailor my recipes so that I'm only making enough for the 4 of us.

I'm going to try black beans and rice, so maybe I'll make enough for the whole week. That way my husband will have it to snack on.



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NORASPAT's Photo NORASPAT Posts: 56,826
6/25/10 5:22 P

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Yes, Yes, Yes definiely the way to go. I do the same thing if the coals are hot you use them.
If the stove is on you fill it up. These days i actually roast some pork tenderloin and freeze it and already cooked chicken,
When I want to do sandwiches, thats what I use I put it in refigerator the day before and slice it for salads and sandwiches. That way I am avoiding the sodium and the sulfites and Nitrates added to processed meats. So much better for our bodies.

Pat in Maine.

Pat in Maine.
I FEEL Healthier every day with my Spark Tracker.
I will do it slowly I like it that way.
Toodle-ooo! and Toodle- Pip!
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Be mindful that happiness isn't based on possessions, power, or prestige, but on relationships with people we love and respect.
Remember that while money talks, Friendships sing and laugh out loud.


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SUSANREN1's Photo SUSANREN1 Posts: 16
6/25/10 2:14 P

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Big batch cooking is the only way to go in my house. I don't do full recipes, but rather big batches of meat and roasted veggies. I will do a pork tenderloin, chicken breast and some steak or salmon all on the grill and then roast a bunch of vegetables to add into eggs, in sandwiches, salads, as side dishes with a little goat cheese. My family loves this too. So when we are running out the door to baseball or trying to squeeze in the gym, we are able to grab and go. No extra thoughts.

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NORASPAT's Photo NORASPAT Posts: 56,826
6/21/10 9:47 P

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ZOEJADA, way to go. Good for you. This food is so good for you just keep up the good work.

Pat in Maine,

Pat in Maine.
I FEEL Healthier every day with my Spark Tracker.
I will do it slowly I like it that way.
Toodle-ooo! and Toodle- Pip!
JUST DO IT!

Be mindful that happiness isn't based on possessions, power, or prestige, but on relationships with people we love and respect.
Remember that while money talks, Friendships sing and laugh out loud.


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ZOEJADA's Photo ZOEJADA Posts: 844
6/21/10 8:51 P

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I like to make big batches of soups, especially. This weekend I made a version of minestrone soup I found on SparkRecipes. I'll eat it this week and then freeze the rest. It's great to bring to work - and it's high in fiber and protein.

I also made a whole wheat couscous and chickpea salad. I'll also be eating that this week.

By accident I have a big batch of extra miso soup today. Not sure what to do with that - maybe bring for lunch tomorrow.

I need to take better advantage of big batch cooking - and plan it better.

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NORASPAT's Photo NORASPAT Posts: 56,826
6/20/10 10:19 P

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Today i had 2 crock pots in the garage since it is a hot day. 2 whole chickens in one and a piece of beef in the other'
Our grandkids will be coming and we will take them camping in our small motor home. I like to have plenty of ready made meals on hand so I do not have to take too much time out from visiting with them.
Pat in Maine.

Pat in Maine.
I FEEL Healthier every day with my Spark Tracker.
I will do it slowly I like it that way.
Toodle-ooo! and Toodle- Pip!
JUST DO IT!

Be mindful that happiness isn't based on possessions, power, or prestige, but on relationships with people we love and respect.
Remember that while money talks, Friendships sing and laugh out loud.


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LEAKAY59's Photo LEAKAY59 SparkPoints: (48,842)
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6/20/10 1:04 P

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I have our 6.5 qt crock pot three-quarters full of beets, celery, tomatoes, a potato and some spices. DH has a hankering for cold borscht for dinner. Should have LOTS left over to freeze! LOL!

Laurie

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MEIJER's Photo MEIJER Posts: 3,964
6/20/10 12:37 P

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I have a big pot of potato soup on the go. Days that I should be eating salads humm

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LIZZIE13's Photo LIZZIE13 SparkPoints: (0)
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6/20/10 7:29 A

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I like to cook most everything in big batches. We will have a serving on the day cooked, then I freeze the rest in serving sizes for our family, then pencil them in for menus in the coiming weeks. I like doing this both in winter and summer. Summer rainy days is a good time to do big batch cooking...gets rid of that dreary feeling that comes after having rain for a few days/like wise for winter with tons of snowy days. When I bring home the raw meats from the store, I divide them up in portion sizes as well. **HINT** When freezing meat this way, use the waxed paper from your cereal bags (good for recycling) and the food peels away from it better than the papery waxed paper. I do this for most all meat. Also freezing hamburger meat in 1# packets and squishing it flat makes storing in the freezer easier and takes up less room than leaving it in ball form. hugs n tugs emoticon

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RFBURWELL's Photo RFBURWELL Posts: 13
6/19/10 9:22 P

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With only myself and my 89 year old mother in the house, every recipe is pretty much big batch cooking. I separate into portions and freeze at least half of any recipe I make. I always make a large pot of soup for the week for lunches and freeze half for later. That way on evenings when I'm not going to be home until late I have a portion controled meal and so does mom.

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LEAKAY59's Photo LEAKAY59 SparkPoints: (48,842)
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6/17/10 7:28 A

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You're quite welcome, JuliaJean! Let me know what you think of it. It's an old family favorite that I have to make for my son's birthday every year.

Laurie

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JULIAJEAN2's Photo JULIAJEAN2 Posts: 2,894
6/16/10 10:19 P

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Greetings LEAKAY59,

Thanks for directing me to the recipe site. I added it to my cookbook and will put needed ingredients on my shopping list and try this one. It looks great and it will be the one of two new recipes to try this week. Thanks again. Have a great night and happy Thursday. Julia emoticon

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LEAKAY59's Photo LEAKAY59 SparkPoints: (48,842)
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6/16/10 9:44 P

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LOL! JuliaJean, if it's okay to "toot my own horn" I believe I do! It could probably be made leaner with ground turkey or 93% ground beef, but I make it as we like it!

recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-detai
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asp?recipe=794769


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JULIAJEAN2's Photo JULIAJEAN2 Posts: 2,894
6/15/10 11:55 P

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Greetings all,

I had posted earlier that I tried not to cook too much at a meal time because we are not huge fans of leftovers. I would like to rescind that a little because I do cook in large batches at times.

When I grill I like to cook meats like ribs, pork loin or shoulder, etc so we can make small packages of "meals for two" and freeze. We have a meat slicer so it is handy to cook half a loin on the grill then slice it and package for either meals or for sandwiches.

I have not been big on making or eating meatballs, but I might have to check into that. Do you have a good recipe to share?


Edited by: JULIAJEAN2 at: 6/15/2010 (23:58)
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SHER11's Photo SHER11 Posts: 1,262
6/15/10 9:33 P

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I do a lot of cooking and often make big batch meals. With a family on the go all time, this really helps save time. Sunday is my day to cook and I spend a lot of time in the kitchen but I do enjoy it.

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MEIJER's Photo MEIJER Posts: 3,964
6/14/10 5:27 P

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Yeah meatballs are great for freezing. Great ideas.

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RHIANNON0207's Photo RHIANNON0207 SparkPoints: (39,409)
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6/14/10 1:16 P

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we precook our hamburg and freeze it.

We buy ground hamburg in large quantities while their on sale. We separate some of it into 1lb bags raw to be used for hamburgers, we then cook ground beef and separate the cooked into 1lb bags, and freeze them.

One pound is generally what our family uses at a meal. This way if we make taco's or some dish that requires cooked ground beef it's all ready cooked.

This saves time and is all ready portioned out for what is needed for the meal.

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3RDSTRING's Photo 3RDSTRING Posts: 252
6/13/10 9:41 P

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I big batch cook meatballs, mainly because I couldn't find any packaged with decent nutritional stats. It's just me most of the time so dinner is generally a piece of lean meat some veggies & a starch.

Chuck

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CRBSMITH1968's Photo CRBSMITH1968 Posts: 223
6/13/10 9:52 A

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we have 8 people in out family so everything I cook is on the bigger side. I used to double things and freeze them but I honestly need the room in my freezer and fridge just for the food we're going to eat in one week LOL

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NORASPAT's Photo NORASPAT Posts: 56,826
6/13/10 9:23 A

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I always cook big batch and there are just the two of us. It gives us more time together and less in the kitchen. It only works well for us if we cook large and freeze small. I buy big batch lean meats leave a few for roasts, cut smaller for soups stews and casseroles. I Make my own stock from chicken bones using the crock pot in the garage in summer. Soups I freeze in 2 portion sizes. DH loves English scones so I do 4 batches and freeze them on a tray and pack them in bags. He removes one at a time they take little time to thaw or even defrost in microwave. Same for cookies and muffins. They may be off limits for myself but if someone stops for s coffee I always ask if they want it and thaw it pronto. Sweets are in the freezer away from temptation. Bulk strawberries, I even cook apples for Crisps ready for a go to quicker dessert. Always add lemon juice cook in microwave never add any sugar or sweetener but ready in 15 minutes, Oat topping. Works for 2 of us but we appreciate the economy of time and money. Pat in Maine.


Pat in Maine.
I FEEL Healthier every day with my Spark Tracker.
I will do it slowly I like it that way.
Toodle-ooo! and Toodle- Pip!
JUST DO IT!

Be mindful that happiness isn't based on possessions, power, or prestige, but on relationships with people we love and respect.
Remember that while money talks, Friendships sing and laugh out loud.


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MBSKIT's Photo MBSKIT SparkPoints: (0)
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6/12/10 6:29 P

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I did do some big batch cooking but instead of freezing it we just had it for leftovers the next day for lunch.


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HIKESHAPPY's Photo HIKESHAPPY SparkPoints: (28,056)
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6/11/10 9:17 P

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There's very little that my DH will eat as leftovers:-) We've gotten very good at cooking for the two of us and having no leftovers. However, I'm interested in discovering ways to make things easier - trying to do some big batch cooking (maybe I can find some things I can at least pre-assemble and freeze). We do have a freezer, but I haven't used it much lately.

We have a smoker, so it's certainly better to fill it when we smoke than to just do a little bit:-) Right now, one of the stores has chicken breasts on sale, so I'll get several packs tomorrow morning and we'll smoke them. I'll take the meat off the bone, then freeze it in individual portions. Mmmm, good eats:-)

I'm not much of a veggie eater (gotta work on that:-) but as an adult I've learned to kinda like corn. I eat more (maybe half an ear - lol) if it's fresh and if it's silver queen. It should be coming in soon here, so I'm hoping to get several dozen and freeze them. I haven't done that in a few years but it's really good eats to be able to take fresh corn that I'll eat out of the freezer:-) I can handle a tablespoon or so (literally) of other corn, and that's about it.

I'm planning to look at some books this weekend to get some ideas:-)

MEIJER's Photo MEIJER Posts: 3,964
6/11/10 11:53 A

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I do the big-batch cooking mostly in the cooler weather but I do cook pasta and potato salads in big-batches so I do get repeats of eating those salads. I love them so no complaints.

*Carol*



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L3DESIGNS's Photo L3DESIGNS Posts: 4,847
6/10/10 2:49 A

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I love cooking big-batch recipes... I do cook them for me, but need to come up with some that my kids would eat. Often I will cook up extra chicken breasts to get an extra meal or two out of them, but they aren't into many meals that freeze well.

Our sides are salads, cut fruit and veggies. Not all lead well to prep ahead of time.

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JULIAJEAN2's Photo JULIAJEAN2 Posts: 2,894
6/9/10 9:30 P

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I usually don't cook in big batches anymore because we do not really care for leftovers after the second meal of the same food.

I buy my meats in bulk and when I get home I place enough meat in a freezer baggie for two and then freeze. In the morning before I am off to work or get busy with other things I take a package of meat out of the freezer to defrost. During the summer we mostly cook on the grill so our sides are usually, baked potatoes/vegetables (although I am cutting way down on # of potatoes each week), salads, and fresh fruit.

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DUBLREED's Photo DUBLREED Posts: 116
6/9/10 2:17 P

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I'm another person in a two-person house, so we're either cooking for two, or sometimes just one (when the other is out for whatever reason). Most of our recipes serve 4, so usually we plan 3 or 4 meals per week, and the leftovers act as dinner for the next evening. And if we do a one or two serving recipe, we generally choose a side that is a minimum of 4 servings, and which will go well with the other recipes for the week. Couscous is great for big batch cooking!

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ANDI_3K's Photo ANDI_3K Posts: 1,757
6/8/10 7:22 P

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Pretty much everything I like to cook is "big batch" ~ Homemade spaghetti sauce, Several types of soup from scratch, chili, and such. It's great to have a freezer full of foods when I come home from work. I even make hamburgers up in large batches and freeze them prior to cooking, then I can cook them as needed.

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MBSKIT's Photo MBSKIT SparkPoints: (0)
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6/8/10 4:44 P

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I haven't done big batch cooking. But it is worth a try.
Something to think about this week!


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JILLSMYTH Posts: 808
6/8/10 9:50 A

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It's just the two us here too. We just plan the leftovers into our meal plans for the week. It means that we only cook something two or three times. If it makes a LOT of servings, like a chili, then we would freeze some but generally we like what we make so neither of us has a problem eating leftovers for a couple of days.

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CD7417021 Posts: 99
6/8/10 8:52 A

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I don't cook big batch, as - like many of us, it seems! - I just don't have the room to store it. But I always cook 2 (sometimes 3) meals at a time. My partner and I cook for 4 servings at a minimum, and always take leftovers and some fruit for lunch the next day. We not only save a ton of money that way not eating out, but we also don't have to store "special" food for lunches, like sandwhich materials.

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6/6/10 10:50 A

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We cook lots of food when family comes over for dinner. We always have too much. I freeze left-overs to be used with other meals.

Edited by: SHADOZA at: 6/6/2010 (10:52)




DEBRA-B's Photo DEBRA-B Posts: 311
6/6/10 9:17 A

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my son and I cook together, (he is 18) so we cook food just for that day. We love to play with herb and spices, When he moves out things may change. for now one meal at a time.

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6/6/10 9:16 A

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I do the same thing, Bonnie. My friends laugh at me because I eat beans and rice nearly every day at least once. I can make a rice-cooker-full of brown rice with cumin and sea salt, throw in a couple cans of black beans and some pico de gallo, and eat from that pot for close to a week. Some days I have it with chicken or shrimp, some days I just melt cheese on top and have it with a nice dollop of sour cream, and other days it's a side for some other dish. It's "boring" but I'm not bored with it - I like not having to think about it.

Since I live alone, I also like cooking dishes for 4, eating one portion right away, freezing 1-2 portions, and keeping another 1-2 in the fridge for tomorrow's lunch/dinner. I haven't been doing nearly enough of that lately ... hence the challenge to get back to home cooking instead of going out!

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LEAKAY59's Photo LEAKAY59 SparkPoints: (48,842)
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6/6/10 9:10 A

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REBECCA926, I have wondered if the so-called "stick blenders" work as well. My mom had one, but I don't recall what happened to it when she died. Maybe that's the answer for me for the moment. Thanks!

Laurie

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BONNIE627's Photo BONNIE627 Posts: 7,061
6/6/10 8:21 A

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I only cook a couple times a week as I cannot cook for one and usually have leftovers the rest of the week..it works and I can add a new veggie or something to the leftovers to make them different

Bonnie in Cincinnati


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MUMZELLA's Photo MUMZELLA Posts: 830
6/6/10 1:06 A

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I try to avoid the large batch cooking because either I'm tempted to eat it or it goes to waste. I can only eat so much in a row, and my freezer's not that big. I tend to buy the large packages of chicken and break them down for smaller meals; and freeze small portions of left overs for lunches at work. I don't mind eating leftovers because that's less cooking to do. If I like the recipe, I'll enjoy it more the next day. If I don't like the recipe then freezing won't help, it'll just take up room until I get up the nerve to toss it.

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CD3027116 Posts: 1,613
6/5/10 4:53 P

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@LEAKAY59 I recently got rid of my blender. Now, I blend things using either an immersion blender or my food processor.

The immersion blender is nice, because it comes in two pieces, so when I'm not using it, I can unscrew the two parts and store it anywhere. It's also cool, because you can put it directly into a pot of soup to blend and thicken it, or place it into a glass to blend a smoothie.

BONNIE627's Photo BONNIE627 Posts: 7,061
6/5/10 2:18 P

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I will buy the big bags of frozen chicken breasts and cook them all in my crockpot.. I then divide them into smaller containers and freeze for taco's, hot chicken sandwiches, burritoes, and to add to any other dishes like chicken and noodles, etc. It never goes to waste and sometimes I can get two or even three meals out of the small container of chicken.

Bonnie in Cincinnati


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SHADOZA's Photo SHADOZA SparkPoints: (0)
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6/5/10 12:40 P

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Some things I cook extra, like chili, goulash, and casseroles. I freeze the left over, which is usually only one meal. I do not deliberately cook big batches.





ROOTIHAUSMAN's Photo ROOTIHAUSMAN Posts: 2,583
6/5/10 12:28 P

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I usually always cook BIG. I am from an Italian family and that is the only way they know how to cook so I use leftovers for lunch or freeze them for later.

Quoted from Spark Coach Dean
" The important thing is to start where you are right now, and keep moving in the direction you want to go."


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CD2332407 Posts: 200,228
6/5/10 10:33 A

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I'm with the rest of you. Just dh and me and very little storage space. I do cook up chicken and ground beef to freeze, mostly in the winter. I prefer frozen vegetables but don't have enough freezer space, so I buy canned goods. I have to drain and rinse them because of the sodium content.

DGRAZIA's Photo DGRAZIA SparkPoints: (0)
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6/5/10 10:02 A

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Laurie, that is funny:-) My kitchen is tiny also. I have managed to find a spot on the end of one small counter, but if not there..I would put it on the shelves leading to my basement. Just a pain to take it out. I got a Kitchen Aid, because every other one I ever owned broke too soon. I am loving it, and put it to great use!

Stand up for yourself and for others who are not as strong as you..always take a stand in what you believe to be the truth.


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LEAKAY59's Photo LEAKAY59 SparkPoints: (48,842)
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6/5/10 9:37 A

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It's beginning to look like I need to invest in a blender. But where to put it? My entire kitchen is, literally, about 10 by 8. Count a foot and a half from each of three edges for counters, we have about 5.5 by 5.5 feet of space. The counters house a countertop convection oven, a microwave, a mini food processor, a coffee maker, food scale, and a toaster. What little is left is prep space and my space to put my crock pot, which lives in cupboard space under the stovetop. It's cluttered without clutter, if you know what I mean! On the up side, I can spin in the middle of the floor and reach the prep space, the sink, the convection oven and the stovetop, all without moving my feet an inch! LOL!

Laurie

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Calvin Coolidge

Co-Leader, Official Healthy Cooking Challenge


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DGRAZIA's Photo DGRAZIA SparkPoints: (0)
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6/5/10 9:19 A

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I do this more in the winter, when I am home more. But I do take all my chicken breasts and put them on a cookie pan to freeze. Later I put them into a plastic bag. I am also only cooking for DH and me, so more often than not..I take out a couple pieces of chicken to either grill or poach. I always have plenty of staples from shopping, so the chicken can be added into pasta dishes, stir-fries, or on a big salad.
I don't have tons of freezer room, so left over veggies are blended, put into small containers to add to my tomato juice. I do the same with fresh berries..and this way I have no loss of produce.

Stand up for yourself and for others who are not as strong as you..always take a stand in what you believe to be the truth.


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LEAKAY59's Photo LEAKAY59 SparkPoints: (48,842)
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6/5/10 8:41 A

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This is one of those things that sometimes I do without trying. It's only DH and me to cook for, and so many recipes, especially the crock pot ones, make six or eight servings anyway, so there are almost always leftovers. Sometimes I will just plan to take them to work for lunch, sometimes they build up in the refrigerator for a couple days. When that happens I usually cancel whatever I've planned for dinner and just have a heat-up-the-leftovers night. We can't afford to be throwing food away!

My other problem with big batching is that we have a really tiny freezer. By the time I buy and freeze skinless boneless chicken breasts, 90% lean ground beef and lean boneless pork chops, there's not a lot of room for anything else. Of course, I guess if I batch cook the chicken I should be able to store it back into almost the same space it came out of; right? Guess I won't know until I try!

Laurie

Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Calvin Coolidge

Co-Leader, Official Healthy Cooking Challenge


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