Sunday, September 12, 2010

Holiday Grand Plan Week 3 - Entry/Foyer Week

So, how was Week 2?
  • Cleaning my office just didn't get done.  This is always the hardest week for me.  Luckily I gave it a pretty good deep clean over the summer, so I really just need to go over it again.  It was a crazy busy week, though, so I made no progress here.
  • I did get a wonderful batch of tomato sauce made and frozen in smaller containers.  I use the recipe below and divide it up into an 8 C batch for lasagna, a 4 C batch for spaghetti, and two 2 C batches for chicken Parmesan.   
  • Still haven't found the exact menu I want to use for Christmas, but I know that all of the cooking websites will roll out their holiday recipes in the next couple of weeks, so I have time.  
    Now it's time to move on to Week 3. The goals for this week are:
    • Deep clean entry/foyer.  This is an easy one for me, as I try to keep this area clean and corral unexpected guests here!  I do use this week every year to go through the coats, hats, gloves, and scarves to determine what needs cleaning, mending, or replacing, and what can be handed down or given away.  I also de-clutter the closet from all the little stuff that gets crammed in there during the year when guests are on the way!
    • This is the week we start making a holiday treat to share in addition to our freezer friendly meal.  Now you have two recipes!  Sorry for how long and text-y these posts are getting, but you can always skip the recipes if you have your own.
    • There is also the instruction this week about buying double canned goods each week and storing them for a donation and your holiday menus.  I used to do this, but realized that 1) I use very few canned items in my menus and 2) food banks are most in need at other times of the year (like now).  Since all three of my kids' schools have food drives at times NOT near the holidays, I just buy a few extra when I find a good sale and donate then.
    • And, if you want a giggle and a trip down memory lane, there is also the instruction to buy extra film, video tapes, and batteries for the camera and hide them.  Write yourself a note.  Again, I used to do this, but now there is no film, no video tapes, and the batteries are rechargable!  It's a green thang!
      Freezer Friendly Meal of the Week -  Tomato Sauce 
      This is the recipe for my tomato sauce, which I make in big batches and freeze, and for my lasagna (recipe next week), which can be frozen already assembled.  When I freeze my sauce, I usually  freeze 2 2C containers that are great for chicken Parmesan; 1 4C container that is enough for 1-2 lbs. of pasta, and use the rest for lasagna.
      • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
      • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
      • 2 large cans of Italian plum tomatoes, crushed or diced
      • 2 6oz cans tomato paste
      • 1 bay leaf
      • fresh or dried basil and oregano, to taste
      • salt and pepper to taste
      In a large pot, brown garlic in olive oil over medium-low heat.  When golden and fragrant, add tomatoes and paste, plus one paste can full of water.  Add herbs and salt and pepper.  Bring to a low bubble over medium heat, stirring occasionally.   Reduce heat to low and cover for 30 minutes.  
      If desired, at this point you can add browned ground beef or pork, sausage, meatballs, a pork chop or other meat to add flavor and depth to the sauce.  Simmer for at least 30 minutes.

        Holiday Treat of the Week -Poppy's Favorite Snickerdoodles

        These are the snickerdoodles Mom used to make for my Poppy.  They freeze well, and are perfect for all seasons; simple enough for school lunch treats and delicious enough for holiday baskets.
        • 1/2 C soft shortening
        • 1/2 C butter
        • 1 1/2 C sugar
        • 2 eggs
        • 2 3/4 C all purpose flour
        • 2 tsp cream of tartar
        • 1 tsp baking soda
        • 1/4 tsp salt
        • Additional 2 Tbsp sugar and 2 tsp cinnamon for rolling
        Bring all ingredients to room temperature and preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Mix shortening, butter, sugar and eggs thoroughly.  In a separate bowl, mix all dry ingredients.  Stir slowly into first mixture until taken up.  Roll into balls the size of small walnuts.  Roll cookies in sugar and cinnamon mixture and place 2" apart on an ungreased baking sheet  Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden around the edges.

        Makes 5 dozen if you make the balls this small.  I usually make them a bigger and get half as many, but that's okay since they're soooo easy!


        1 comment:

        1. I am so impressed with your organization. Even if you get off track, you will be so much farther ahead. I am also buying extra canned and dry goods, etc for donations. That time is around the corner. That time is always and it will be here soon enough.


        Thanks for joining the conversation!

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