Thrifting :: Cheese Farm :: Freezer Meals
Thank you for providing such helpful information regarding sergers on my last post. I have a good direction now, and some saving to do. I'd prefer to wait and buy the right machine that's going to cover all the necessary tasks. If it could be the machine to last a lifetime too, well that would be pretty great.
I'd all but given up on winter over the last two weeks but snow is coming back to us tomorrow so that's making me pretty happy. Yesterday Adam and I took a little outing to a local cheese farm (that holds some serious world class credentials), then we visited a couple of thrift stores. It's been too long! We don't exactly look for the same type of treasures; him coming home with a velvet lined mahogany box (to hold his knives...?) and me with a few sparkly pieces of glassware and a funky turquoise pottery crock... but I've always felt quite fortunate to have a husband who digs a good treasure search as much as I do.
I'm trying to build a small collection of vintage cordial and shot glasses for mini desserts. Things that would normally be served as standard portions, but mini versions instead - because sampling everything on the dessert table is much more fun. I'm thinking Fresh Berries with Vanilla Nut Cream Sauce, Frozen Raspberries and Dark Chocolate, Raw Chocolate Torte, Blueberry Glace Pie, Raw Berry Cheesecake... and the Lemon Un-cheesecake from Whole Food Kitchen. Things like that, miniature style. Not cut and portioned into small glasses for serving purposes, but actually making the desserts right in there. Wouldn't that be amazing? I can't wait to try it out, just need a few more sparkly glasses.
I made Emily some freezer meals/snacks this weekend. It's kind of unreal how much food teens can eat. And not just "I'll have an apple" type snacks; they seem to need hearty and high calorie at every turn. Add to that sports and regular trips to the gym and it's basically a constant caloric infusion. The other night I made what I thought was a very filling and yummy Red Lentil Dahl over Roasted Cauliflower, Emily enjoyed it (not the cauliflower part) but was starving about one hour later. So, with tomato sauce from our garden, and eggs from the backyard stirred into ricotta, I made a bunch of individual baked ziti and put them in the freezer. I guess this is our version of tv dinners.
I posted about it on Instagram and Facebook over the weekend and folks asked about reheating so I'll mention it here too. We don't have a microwave which means a little planning ahead is needed, but not much. (We're always thinking ahead regarding food, something that comes with from scratch cooking. You get used to it.) After some time thawing on the counter or in a bowl of warm water, it is baked in the oven at 350 F for 15 minutes or so. She bakes it right in the jar. Instead of baking with the (plastic lined) canning lid, we remove that and just put a small oven safe saucer on top. You might want to put the whole thing on a cookie sheet depending on how stable you feel the jar is on your oven rack. Gosh, as I write this it seems complicated. It's not though, really. Just different steps if you don't have a microwave. I don't see why this couldn't be reheated in a skillet (once thawed) on the stove-top - just add a splash of water to the skillet and heat over medium. I'd actually prefer to use the Pyrex glass containers that we use for food storage, but at this time I don't have enough to sacrifice such a large bunch to the freezer.
Individual baked ziti, ready and waiting in the freezer. It's a good way for Emily to enjoy pasta, something that rarely makes it to the dinner table because two out of three family members don't feel very good after eating it. At 16, Emily has reached the point of food independence which is pretty great to watch (I've always held a great deal of flexibility in this area, more so than people might think given my preferred crunchy ways - but gone are the parenting days of attempting to convince her to "try" a certain vegetable). Anyway, enjoy those carbs Emily! I'm happy to make you healthy, homemade versions of the foods you love! Next up, I'm thinking individual Shepard's Pie.
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Emily's best friend is coming to spend the day today so I best get going. Hopefully I'll be back before the end of the week... I'd love to get back to the good ol' days of more than once a week blogging. Fingers crossed.