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Your Tips

Posted by
mzdee
(mzdee@excite.com) on
Sat, Mar 31, 01 at 6:24

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.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Another tip

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.


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RE: Your Tips

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.


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RE: Your Tips

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.


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RE: Your Tips

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?


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RE: Your Tips

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


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RE: Your Tips

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!


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RE: Your Tips

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


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RE: Your Tips

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.


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RE: Your Tips

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


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RE: Your Tips

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


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RE: Your Tips

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. :-)


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RE: Your Tips

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.


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RE: Your Tips

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


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RE: Your Tips

Joy:

Does the paper towel work in a rice cooker also?


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RE: Your Tips

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


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RE: Your Tips

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...


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RE: Your Tips

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


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RE: Your Tips

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......


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RE: Your Tips

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


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RE: Your Tips

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


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RE: Your Tips

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...


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RE: Your Tips

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.


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RE: Your Tips

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


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RE: Your Tips

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.


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RE: Your Tips

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! =)


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RE: Your Tips

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?


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RE: Your Tips

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 ;~)


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RE: Your Tips

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.


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RE: Your Tips

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.


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RE: Your Tips

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


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RE: Your Tips

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!


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RE: Your Tips

"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


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RE: Your Tips

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


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Your Tips

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


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RE: Your Tips

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


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RE: Your Tips

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!


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RE: Your Tips

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


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RE: Your Tips

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.


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RE: Your Tips

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


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RE: Your Tips

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!


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RE: Your Tips

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.


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RE: Your Tips

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


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RE: Your Tips

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.


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RE: Your Tips

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


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