Friday, April 27, 2018

Saturday Seven...Hints for cutting large quantities of food down to size...

For those who are unfamiliar with this Southern staple, this is a picture of one of the tree collards in the MIL's backyard. It's a pretty hardy plant, and determined to send off secondary plants, so it's a constant struggle to keep it down to a dull roar, especially since I rarely cook them. I have developed a masochistic desire to try growing kale as well, so I will keep you posted.

The year has gotten to a pretty somber start for us, as is evidenced by the fact that I'm helping my best friend put on a memorial for her guy tomorrow, so my Seven this week is not book related and relatively quick. I will try to do better next week!

Okay, the hubby and I are fairly small folks (ELF, remember?) so that kind of conflicts with our tendency to shop at Costco and buy massive quantities of things we can't consume within a short amount of time. Therefore I have found ways to divvy things up in an effort to avoid negating any savings by throwing unused portions away due to spoilage.

1.  Blocks of cheese. I tried freezing the blocks, but discovered that it was very crumbly when I tried to grate it, so...GRATE CHEESE BEFORE FREEZING. I divide the grated cheese into sandwich bags and freeze them. If we're having tacos or chili or something else requiring grated cheese, I grab the bag and leave it in the fridge the night before we're going to have that meal or leave it out for about 30 minutes (depending on the ambient temperature) before it's needed.

2. Containers of hummus. I admit that this isn't an issue so much anymore because both the hummus and the guacamole are being sold in individual packs lately (which concerns me a bit because of the increase in packaging and containers) but I used to divide the container into small portions (the tiny Rubbermaid ones work great) before freezing.

3. Ravioli. I tend to be the pasta aficionado in the family, so for the days I'm alone I have portions that have been divided out and frozen. For me, that means about 5 ravioli in the bag, I boil water, throw the ravioli in, cook until tender (time depends on whether the ravioli were frozen to begin with), drizzle a little olive oil and a dash of salt. Yum.

I tend to be a bit lackadaisical and stick things into this is a misc. mixture that has basil, asparagus, tomato and a mystery plant that I'm still waiting to discover what it is!

4.  Rice (or quinoa). Raw, I just throw the bag in the freezer (ever since bugs hatched in our brown rice package--yech). Cooked, I divide into individual portions and put in...yep, sandwich bags. When it's time to use them, I throw the baggie in the microwave for a minute...and voila! When packaging up, I sometimes bag up a larger portion to use for fried rice.

5. Croissants. I slice the croissants in half (longwise, to make a top and bottom for sandwiches) before freezing. I usually wrap them in foil and pop them in a cold oven and turn it on. By the time it reaches 350 degrees (Fahrenheit) they are just right.

6. Rotisserie chicken. We usually start out by making sandwiches from the breast meat about an hour or so after getting home. We then carve up the dark meat into meal portions and freeze them. The remaining breast meat is often chopped up to make chicken salad. One of these days I will be good and start making stock with the carcass...but not in the near future, lol.

7. Pot roast. We don't necessarily get this from Costco, but it is another item that is divided up into meal-sized portions, with some put aside in chunks for more substantial meals (yum, gravy and potatoes and carrots and...) and the rest shredded (pull apart with two forks) and made into portions for tacos. We tend to heat the meat in a little broth (and yes, being lazy, I often just use the chicken bouillon powder to make that) while we are prepping all of the other ingredients. It's one of our favorite summer meals!

Okay, now I'm hungry!  Thanks for visiting, and don't forget to visit Long and Short Reviews to enter their giveaway this week AND to discover the posts from others participating in this fun hop!


  1. What would we do without freezers?!

    Before I moved to Asia (where fresh chilies are always available), I used to buy them at the local Chinese grocery, then freeze the package immediately - because you never need more than four or five! Didn't seem to decrease the spiciness.

    My Saturday Seven is here, by the way:

  2. Wow, I had no idea that it was possible to freeze ravioli. Does it end up tasting more or less the same after you thaw it out and heat it up?

    My Saturday Seven post:

  3. Thanks for playing! I'm with you on dividing things up and freezing them. I always found, however, that often I wouldn't get to them in time and ended up with freezer burn. Enter my handy-dandy vacuum sealer! Amazing the difference (and it does a great job sealing up potato chip bags as well!)

  4. Wow Lydia, we love collards. I'm going to look for your tree kind. But...'fess up...are you trying a tree variety because you hate trying to get the sand off of them? Let me know about the kale too.

    Oh, I'm so excited...tree collards. Healthy!

  5. I like to divide up guac, too. I've frozen extra frosting, the multitude of banana bread loaves I made when I came across four bunches of bananas that needed to be eaten, and tomatoes so we can make sauce! Good tips. :-)
    Here's the link to my post:

  6. Freezers are our friend. I almost never buy meat regular price, and instead stock up when they put it on sale as a loss leader. I'm ready for the zombie apocalypse! LOL...

    That collard tree looks a lot like my kale (I thought it was kale at first glance), so I imagine you'll be having a similar monster of your own soon. Thanks for playing!