Since I’ve been posting so much about my alter-ego Drive Thru Sue, there’s a good chance that many of you are thinking that I can’t cook and that my Kiddo survives on peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (he pretty much does, but that is because he’s super-picky and insists on pb&j at many meals. It’s not related to my cooking skills!).
Anyway, from my Simple Starter Menu, to my must-have specialty items, to my weekend prep, my goal is to keep things simple and easy. I can – and DO – cook, but when I’ve only got a couple hours with my Kiddo a day, I don’t want those hours to be slaving over a hot stove. As I mentioned last week, though, I bulk cook on the weekends to make my week work better. I generally spend a couple (or more) hours cooking on either Saturday or Sunday so that meals are quicker and easier during the week. The Kiddo doesn’t mind – he gets a special treat of watching a little extra TV, or heading to the gym or the park with P-Daddy, or taking a nice long nap (okay, he does not consider that much of a treat, I admit!). And I prep THM food for me as well as additional items for my growing boys.
This week, I got busy with a variety of easy prep items for snacks
1) Skinny peanut butter chocolate – the bottom layer is made with all peanut flour in place of cocoa, and the top layer is normal skinny chocolate – YUM!
2) Chocolate cream cheese nut slab – Necessity was the mother of invention here. I really wanted chocolate nut slab, but I was out of cream. Since I happened to have a bit of cream cheese, I decided to improvise. And it was GOOD!
3) Greek yogurt – I often make my own, but when I saw those HUGE (4 pound) cartons of plain non-fat yogurt for just $1.99 at my local scratch and dent store, I snatched them right up! It’s gonna be a yogurt kind of week around here!
4) GGMS and the Shrinker – I recently got some ginger tea and decided to use it to make these. They both turned out great, and I’ve got a few bottles in the fridge for easy drinks this week.
5) Cottage Berry Whip – this is, undoubtedly, one of my most favorite THM snacks. It’s super-easy and oh-so-yummy! I like to keep portions in the freezer so that I can toss them into my lunches and they double as my ice pack.
In addition to the easy prep, I embarked on a pretty intense bulk cooking session, spurred on by some great deals at Kroger this week. Here’s a little sample:
Lemme say that if you have a large family, the bulk cooking that I do is probably only going to feed your guys for a meal or two. But there are only 3 of us. And one of us sweetly says “samwich please” whenever he’s asked what he wants to eat, so really this is only bulk cooking for 2. Here’s what went on in my kitchen this weekend to give me easy meals many times over:
1) Frittata – I’d like to say that I froze some of this for later, but the truth is that P-Daddy loves this so much that he can pretty much eat the whole thing in a 24-hour period. It made about 8 good-sized servings for me (and they are solidly S with the eggs, sausage, and cheese), but probably only 2 or 3 for P-Daddy. What can I say, it’s his birthday week – I’m letting the man live a little! But let’s compromise and call this 5 meals.
2) Pumpkin baked oatmeal – this made 9 generous servings, or 12 smaller ones. It’s a great E breakfast or snack. Or even dinner if that’s when you want it. I often freeze individual pieces to grab when I am on the run, but I also leave some in the fridge since Pooh thinks that this is the best thing ever. He actually chose it over pb&j the other day. So it’s going to provide easy-peasy breakfasts this week for both of us. I use the same baked oatmeal recipe that I have used for years, tweaked just a bit for THM, but if you are looking for a great recipe, Stacy’s got one for you right here.
3) Beef and bean burritos – As I mentioned last week, we tend to keep burritos in the freezer at all times. Except when we run out, of course. But I try not to let that happen. I made about 2 dozen of them, and I’d consider 2 burritos to be a good meal, so that’ll be a dozen lunches or quick dinners over the next few weeks. I tend to just make up the recipe as I go along and each batch is different, but this was a pretty good batch – I may actually need to post the recipe just so I can remember it and recreate it again in the future.
4) Creamless Creamy Cabbage – this was my very first try at this recipe (see page 352 in the THM book) and it was incredibly easy and wonderfully delicious! I used 1/2 head of cabbage and made 6 good servings of it. I’m not sure how it’ll freeze, so I’m just planning to eat it as a side for several meals this week. Notably, I’ll be eating it in combination with this next item in #5, cause that combo rocks my world.
5) Chili cheeseburger casserole – this was fabulous! Here’s the full recipe, but it’s basically all that stuff in the pic up there with the Kroger’s managers special tags. From this, I got 10 servings: 6 that I paired with creamless creamy cabbage on the side for meals this week, and then 4 much more generous servings that I froze for later.
The way I look at it, a few hours in the kitchen this weekend provided me with 36 meals to use over the course of the next few weeks:
5 servings of frittata (S)
9 servings of baked oatmeal (E)
12 burrito meals (E)
10 chili cheeseburger meals (with sides for 6 of them) (S)
That makes me happy! And it might even provide me with time for a bubble bath one of these nights soon!