Your Tips

mzdeeMarch 31, 2001

What is your favorite tip for once a week cooking? I haven't quite converted yet, but I do batch cook. So, this is my favorite tip.

When ground beef is on sale, I crumble and brown a big batch. I add "standard" seasonings (pepper, garlic powder, italian seasoning). When cool, I divide into ziploc bags and freeze. Over the week, this becomes taco salad, chilli, spaghetti sauce, or a quick tortilla filling for the kids' afternoon snack. You can also do this with ground turkey.

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RuthieG_mediaone_net

Forgot to say that there are tons of web sites featuring OAMC so my suggestion would be to use your search engine and get all the information you possibly can.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2001 at 7:57AM
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springgarden_ca_yahoo_ca

I make up ground beef patties some I freeze individually for hamburgers and some I put in containers with gravy for hamburger steak. In the fall before winter sets in I do them on the bbq so they have that grilled flavor.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2001 at 7:59AM
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RuthieG_mediaone_net

I just started doing the ground beef thing. I have seen lots of women who are boiling their ground beef but so far I haven't, I still fry mine up. I worry about the flavor but everyone says there is no difference. I do fry it up into crumbles and store in meal xixe amounts. If you did it and froze it first say on a cooky sheek so the crumbles froxe individually you could store them in a big bag and just take out the amount you needed. It's easier for me just to do the individual bags.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2001 at 9:26AM
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tweedee65_hotmail_com

I was have wondered about boiling the hamburger too. How different does it look and taste? how can you tell when it done, wouldn't turn the same kind of brown that fried hamburger would does it?

    Bookmark   March 31, 2001 at 10:14AM
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lidagal_ccia_com

I noticed mention of boiling ground meat. I thought I would pass this on; I brown ground beef for soups and chili, and I almost always use Sirloin Tip because I buy it on sale at under 1.50 per pound and it is really very lean, and then I put the browned meat in a fine strainer and run under hot water to remove the grease. I have verified that the flavor does not change enough for me or anyone else to notice, and it sure cuts down on the grease.

HAGD

    Bookmark   March 31, 2001 at 11:02AM
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taunia1_yahoo_com

You can also put raw ground beef by itself in your ricer. It tastes like fast food ground beef if you know what I mean; really crumbly & tastey!

    Bookmark   March 31, 2001 at 12:41PM
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RuthieG_mediaone_net

There are many great web sites and I thought I would give a good one for basic information...

Here is a link that might be useful: Deb's

    Bookmark   March 31, 2001 at 2:01PM
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rbohach_runbox_com

For fresh veggies- I buy the baby carrots and baby spinach in bulk at Sam's Club. I bring them home, blanch them for a few minutes in boiling water, then put in ice water to stop the cooking. I then store them in zip locks, adding water to fill the bag up to 2" from top. I then freeze. This is a good way to eliminate freezer burn.

    Bookmark   March 31, 2001 at 6:06PM
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thejohnsons_localaccess_com

I use southern style hasbrowns (the cubed kind) for many recipes potato soup, potato salad, bring to just a boil then check annd drain, clam chowder. Anytime that I can get away without peeling im happy

    Bookmark   March 31, 2001 at 11:44PM
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silcoxmarie_hotmail_com

I can like crazy all summer--vegies and meat--then I have alot already done for winter!!

    Bookmark   April 1, 2001 at 6:21AM
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jamie_fuller_net

For chicken/beef stock for gravy & soups, I boil the meat to freeze, then render the leftover drippings for a few hours until it's very thick & concentrated, skim off a bit of the fat, freeze it in ice cube trays and then store the cubes in a ziploc bag. No salt, easy to use, cheap. :-)

    Bookmark   April 2, 2001 at 1:19PM
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Johnnie_Tschosik_halliburton_com

When I chop onions,celery or bell pepper, I always do a lot of them, put in individual zip lock bags, always have this to add to whatever I am cooking.

    Bookmark   April 2, 2001 at 1:45PM
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candghays_earthlink_net

Hamburger
To Microwave hamburger...I, use a plastic strainer suspended over a bowl. Give it about 5 min. then stir, stir every 2 or 3 min (breaking it up as you stir), until all the pink is gone. The hamburger will be crumbled and look browned...the grease drains into the bowl.

Perfect rice
The trick to perfect rice, is as follows:
Be sure the pan lid fits snug, place a paper towel between the top of the pan and the lid and don't peek during cooking...trim the towel, if needed, so that it doesn't hang down near the flame. Fluffy rice, every time.

Joy

    Bookmark   April 2, 2001 at 10:18PM
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Fairlight47_yahoo_com

Joy:

Does the paper towel work in a rice cooker also?

    Bookmark   April 4, 2001 at 2:56PM
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candghays_earthlink_net

Hi Amy, I don't know, I don't have one. I, thought a 'rice cooker' made perfect rice, every time...if, that's not the case, try the towel, I don't think it would make it worse. Let us know what the problem was and if using the towel made it better.

I forgot to add, that rice freezes very well. I use one cup per small bag (put all the bags in a larger bag). Easy, to use as many cups as the recipe calls for and the small portions thaw very quickly.

Joy

    Bookmark   April 4, 2001 at 7:50PM
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laurieestep_yahoo_com

Question about using cubed southern style hashbrowns in potato soup, etc. You boil the hashbrowns?? In making soup, for example, how long would I leave the hashbrowns in the soup as I cook? Wouldnt they turn to mush? I LOVE potato soup, but hate the time involved peeling all the potatoes...

    Bookmark   April 11, 2001 at 1:19AM
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lidagal_ccia_com

Here's another potato time saver. I microwave potatoes for potato soup or salad. I use leftover mashed potatoes for thickening of soups. Ham, corn, potato, sea food chowders all can be thickened with leftover mashed potatoes, and microwaved potatoes can be used in place of boiled and peeled in soups, and even potato salad. I also use leftover steak (from the expensive restaurants) to make steak salad and I use microwaved baked potatoes in place of french fries. Cuts down on the fat and the taste is great. Easily as good as french fries, and a lot less work and fat.

Lida

    Bookmark   April 15, 2001 at 4:24PM
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mzdee_excite_com

Ya'll are just brilliant! I made a seasoned pork roast in my crockpot today using a cooking bag (you can these at the dollar store!). What a breeze! Removed roast and juices and wiped interior of pot with a nice soapy towel and rinsed. Voila. It doesn't get any better than this for a working woman......

    Bookmark   April 17, 2001 at 8:41PM
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Louisev99_hotmail_com

About the oven bag in the crock pot, doesnt it melt and stick to the side of the crock? Louy

    Bookmark   April 17, 2001 at 10:22PM
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mzdee_excite_com

Nope Louy,
The bag doesn't melt. These are the same bags that you use in the oven to cook roasts, turkeys, etc.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2001 at 6:19PM
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maz_angel_gateway_net

Whenever I roast a chicken or pork or beef roast, I always save the drippings. When they are cool i pour them in an ice cube tray, then baggie them once frozen. Whenever I make a stew, i throw a couple of those in, doesn't really matter if its pork or chicken or beef, seems they all add great flavor to whatever stew or soup i am making.

And, I always buy bulk containers of seasonings I use a lot, like parsley or pepper...

    Bookmark   April 22, 2001 at 3:16AM
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dhfitzgerald_home_com

I peel and freeze my garlic cloves in small jars. I use jars because the garlic will permeate your freezer if you use bags. The flavor seems to get stronger so you can use less. It's so convenient!
Try some roasted garlic and pepper seasonings. Some of the other blends are really good too. I usually use onion powder, garlic powder etc. and stay away from the extra salt.

    Bookmark   April 24, 2001 at 11:38PM
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brashlr_auburn_edu

About the garlic- it's even easier if you freeze the garlic straight from the ground (or store). When you pull it out of the freezer jar the peeling just about falls off! Then I just rinse and chop. SO easy we use fresh (frozen) garlic all the time now!

Leslie

    Bookmark   April 26, 2001 at 2:35PM
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RuthieG_mediaone_net

That garlic tip is nice to know. I buy garlic in the mesh bags at Sam's so I always have lots on hand. sometimes by the time I get to the bottom of the bad the last ones are getting a little old looking. I am going to try the freezing tip.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2001 at 10:40AM
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leffler12_home_com

joy, THANK YOU! i've always detested the boiled burger taste (they're called 'maid-rites' in the midwest after the restaurant), and for all of you who have never found someone who can tell the difference, I CAN! BLEECH!! p-TOO-ey! but i tried the plastic colander/microwave tip, and it's wonderful. thank you so much! also, lida, someone told me years ago to use mashed potatoes for thickening soups and i thought it was the perfect idea and promptly forgot it, haven't found anyone who knows what i'm talking about since. thanks... i'm writing it down now! =)

    Bookmark   May 20, 2001 at 9:49PM
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brenda_t_ivillage_com

DH claimed he noticed boiled hamburger too. I believe him since he had no way of knowing I did something different. He said he couldn't tell in a taco salad, when smothered in Catalina dressing. But the next day he had loose hamburg in a sandwich and said it was nasty. I will have to try that microwave method. I can't stand the mess of frying. Wonder if all these methods work on all ground meat?

    Bookmark   May 21, 2001 at 12:17PM
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mamabirdx5_netzero_net

I love the idea of using oven bags in the crockpot. And I'm interested in trying 2 meals, each in a separate oven bag in one crockpot at one time. I read that somewhere... Maybe it was here. I hope it works. I am always looking for a shortcut ;~)

    Bookmark   June 1, 2001 at 9:31PM
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mzdee_excite_com

Jane,
YES, YES, YES....Those cooking bags work great in the crock pot. This is the gold medal tip of the forum. I saw it early on and I'm in the habit of doing it now. Last weekend I did chicken breasts in a cream sauce in one bag, broccoli florets in another, and spaghetti sauce in a 3rd bag. I put this on before going to church on Sunday. It gave me makings for 2 dinners (spaghetti, garlic bread, and salad on Sunday; chicken,broccoli, rice on Monday) and 1 day of leftovers.

Clean up is so easy. Rinse the crockpot and lid with warm soapy water and dry. Ta da!!! If you try this method, let me know.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2001 at 8:25AM
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matbri_epix_net

I great time saver for me is to buy bulk boneless skinless chicken breasts and bulk pre made hamburger patties at bjs or costco and I cook all the burgers up at once on my GF grill and also grill all the chicken breasts, I then wrap each one individually in saran wrap and store in a zip lock freezer bag and the kids can microwavew a hamburger for lunch or a chicken breast for a sandwich or on top of a nice summer salad, or the chicken is ready for a quick pasta meal. And I also boil lots of hamburg for tacos, chili, sauces, I would never fry again thanks to this board.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2001 at 9:38AM
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hopeful_ponder

I am new at this forum and this type of cooking. I may never fry again either! I love these tips. Especially the oven bag in the crock pot. I'm Always ready to cook without a big mess.
Thanks everyone

    Bookmark   June 7, 2001 at 11:19PM
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voguevixen_hotmail_com

I can't wait to try the oven bags in the crock pot. I have one of the large ones and don't use it as often as I should because of the size...If I could cook multiple meals at once it would really be an amazing time/energy saver!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2001 at 12:33PM
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REMOVEweb_forms_hotmail_com

"Lu Lu-Mtl wrote: In the fall before winter sets in I do them on the bbq so they have that grilled flavor."

Why do people limit bbq'g to summer? I do it all year round and so do most of my neighbors, after seeing me do it.

Yes, it looks totally insane to most people at first but once you get over that hurdle it's great.

/dave

    Bookmark   June 26, 2001 at 2:57AM
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kim_yahoo_com

Please show me how to use oven bags in the crockpot to cook
different dishes at one time. Thanks!

    Bookmark   June 27, 2001 at 5:18PM
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Vickey1709_hotmail_com

Dave
We do limit our grilling to when there is little or no snow. If the snow is too deep, we just don't want to wade to the grill, if it's too cold (20 below in MN in January really isn't too unusual) nothing cooks outside.

Vickey

    Bookmark   June 30, 2001 at 6:48AM
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windwood_mb_sympatico_ca

Our barbecue is under a small overhang roof on the deck, so I can use it all winter long. I just couldn't ruin a good steak or chop by cooking in the oven or frying in a pan. We love grilled food all year round, even here in zone 2b where winter temps get below -30 regularly. I just give the bbq some extra minutes to warm up well before I put the food on. The hardest part is keeping the cook warm while tending the grill! Corrie

    Bookmark   July 15, 2001 at 2:51PM
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mamabirdx5_netzero_net

Oven bags in crockpot!
Well I finally tried two meals in one crockpot. I put chicken breast in one bag, tied it, and poked one hole near the top. In the other bag I did a simple roast in the same manner. This was in preparation for making chicken sandwiches the next day for lunch and the next day the roast I cut it up and pieces and added powder gravy mix with 2 cups water, can of cream of mush. soup, canned carrots and canned potatoes (in a hurry). Mmm. I loved using the bags and will use them again. Thanks!

    Bookmark   July 15, 2001 at 4:58PM
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bug_yahoo_com

Where can I get these oven bags? I'd like to try them.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2001 at 8:45PM
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mzdee_excite_com

Hi Jane!
I'm glad that the oven bags worked for you :)az2, you can get them at any grocery store. They are sold in the section with ziploc bags etc. I recommend the packages of 5 (or so) for medium meals. The larger ones are for turkeys and hams.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2001 at 9:39AM
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bupeeeh_aol_com

To make a really fast potato salad, I like to use canned potatoes. I also add canned potatoes to homemade soup.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2001 at 8:17PM
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mamabirdx5_netzero_net

Re: Rice freezes very well!

Thanks Joy, Another time saver! I tried it and it works great! I made 2 big pots of rice, 1 white, 1 brown and wrapped them up in the serving sizes I needed. I love the convenience of having it ready and not having to heat the kitchen to make it, especially on a hot day!

    Bookmark   August 8, 2001 at 9:21AM
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ruthieg_tx

I think what is really amazing is that when you take all of these hints and put them together you end up with a really efficient kitchen. Even small things like cooking joys rice (which is really easy to do anyway) still adds to shortening and speeding the process and it is so easy to just cook extra rice for freezing. You guys are full of great tips. Keep them coming.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2001 at 8:18AM
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borenheim_myfirstlink_net

Joy, how do you reheat your frozen rice? Do you do it in the microwave with a bit of water?

    Bookmark   September 10, 2001 at 12:13AM
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eecolbert_about_com

I reheat frozen rice in the microwave. that's the easiest way. But you can do it in the oven, or on the stove top. If you do this on the stove top, use thawed rice. Add a couple tablespoons of water, or more a little at a time, and watch it carefully. It burns easily.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2001 at 1:02PM
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polkadot95_hotmail_com

Buy whole chicken on sale. Cut it up, fry it, and freeze it.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2001 at 8:37PM
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