Sunday, September 5, 2010

Holiday Grand Plan Week 2 - Question Week

How did Week 1 go for you?
  • I got the front porch freshened up.  This is a great first week activity for me because it takes almost no time at all and makes me feel all successful and productive.  We can do it!
  • I made my lists.  This is also easy for me since it is on the computer and saved as a template.  All I had to do was update who I shop for - luckily the list keeps getting smaller as more and more of us go to a "kids only" gift-giving plan.  I have lists of goodies to make and meals to freeze that I reuse every year.
Now it's time to move on to Week 2. The goals for this week are:
  • Deep clean the living room. We converted our formal living room into a home office, so I do that room.  Honestly, I think that's a lot harder to deep clean than a living room that doesn't get used much, but I will give it a go.  I figure if I make a half-hearted attempt every year, it's still better than it was.  
  • This is the week that we start making an extra meal for the freezer.  I used to skip this step until I realized how awesome it is when meal planning for early December and you realize that there are several meals that only need thawing and maybe a salad.  Phew!   Much better on your beltline and bottom line than going out to eat because you are just too tired/busy to cook.  I'm going to see if I can post a freezer-friendly recipe each week for you (see below).
  • This week we are instructed to buy extra sugar, flour, etc. for holiday baking.  I usually don't do this on this exact week, but start to keep an eye out for sales on these items and stock up.
  • We start building gift ideas and planning menus this week.  The only menu I'm really responsible for is Christmas Day.  We used to have a crowd and do pot-luck, but now we are down to ten of us.  For the last several years I have enjoyed searching Epicurious, Food Network, No Fear Entertaining, and other sites for menu ideas.
  • This is also the time when we are supposed to order holiday cards, buy stamps, and get that family photo taken.  As much as I love receiving photo cards of my friends' kids, I have boycotted sending cards for the last few years.  The stress reduction is huge, the budget cut is welcome, and I can let go of the green guilt over all that paper.  Plus, virtually everyone I would send to is either on facebook or we email regularly. 
Freezer Friendly Meal of the Week -  Bren's Meatloaf
This is a meatloaf recipe that my friend's husband, Bren, used to make.  It freezes perfectly!  When ground beef is on sale, I buy at least double, sometimes triple, and make a big batch.  It's a wonderful, comforting meal for a family in crisis and all the kids I know will eat it.  It's best with mashed potatoes (which don't freeze well) but a package of quick cooking flavored rice will do in a pinch.  I also add a tossed salad and sometimes crescent rolls (especially for other people).  I double this for my family of 5 (that includes 2 teenage boys!), which leaves us with some nice leftovers for sandwiches.
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 C milk
  • 1/2 C Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sage
  • 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef

For topping:
  • 1/4 C ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
Beat eggs.  Add milk and breadcrumbs.  Mix well.  Add salt and sage.  Mix.  Add ground beef and mix with hands until all ingredients are taken up.  Bake in greased loaf pan at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.  While baking, mix topping ingredients.  Remove meatloaf from oven, drain, and cover with topping.  Return to oven for 10 more minutes.

To freeze:  after mixing in ground beef, store in freezer safe container.  Put topping in smaller storage bag or container.  Once the meatloaf mix is frozen, I put the topping bag inside the container so I always have both together.  I have never tried freezing it after it's cooked - there's never any left!


No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for joining the conversation!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...