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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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  • [January 15, 2016] - It's National Soup Month so this month's posts will focus on soups. Yum!
  • [February 1, 2016] - An interesting report on why you should always choose organic tea verses non-organic: Toxic Tea (pdf format)
  • Sticky Post - Warning: 4ever Recap reusable canning lids. The reports are growing daily of these lids losing their seal during storage. Some have lost their entire season's worth of canning to these seal failures!

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Two Easy Low Cost Freezer Meals & Inspiration from Take-Out

I'm in the middle of processing tomatoes so am relying on both my pantry and freezer stores for quick yet tasty meals. We left last Friday to visit the kids and celebrate our Canadian Thanksgiving (October 13, 2008) early. I was already feeling the effects of using the manual food mill so much so the break was very much appreciated. After a lovely trip to Cudleigh's for apples, a stop at the plant nursery, a wonderful turkey dinner and two nights away we made our way back home with my husband sniffling and complaining of a sore throat. The weather had turned cold then has been raining on and off since so getting tomatoes just wasn't going to happen.

Noodles with Mushroom Sauce

We arrived home late Sunday afternoon leaving not a lot of time to do a lot of cooking for dinner. My husband gets cravings for comfort food when he isn't feeling well so it was no surprise when he wanted noodles with mushroom sauce. This is a very simple yet comforting dish consisting of four ingredients. I like adding fresh parsley as a garnish so technically it is five.

I pulled a container of homemade mushroom soup and pound of ground beef from the freezer to thaw then chopped up a Spanish onion while the ground beef was browning. Raw onions are good for any respiratory ailments. I cooked the extra broad egg noodles until they were al dente, drained then stirred in the mushroom soup, onions and ground beef. I garnished with fresh parsley which is also eaten to provide additional Vitamin C something the body needs any time but more so when not feeling well.

Always freeze left-over soups as they can often form the basis of a quick, low cost meal. Almost all homemade soups freeze nicely. Those with noodles tend to freeze well but noodles can become soggy or fall apart when reheated depending on how they are reheated. A way around this is to slightly under cook pasta in soups that will be frozen but this is unavoidable for left-overs. Cream based homemade soups will show some signs of separation. This is fine. Simply stir the soup well when reheating.

Breaded Porkchops

Pictured are my husband's famous breaded pork chops paired with oven baked potatoes and home canned green beans. By Monday night my husband was feeling pretty tough but still able wanting more of the solid types of comfort food. I pulled two of his breaded pork chops from the freezer. These were left-over from the last time we had them and I have to admit this is the first time I tried freezing. What I did was allow the cooked, breaded pork chops to cool then froze. To re-heat I put in the oven at 350ºF along with whole potatoes for about 40 minutes. This warmed the pork chops through nicely.

Whenever you are cooking always keep in mind that you can put up a bit in the freezer at least enough for a quick start for a meal. A real time saver is having pre-cooked meat ready to use in the freezer. Simply add vegetables and there you have a nice meal with almost no effort.

Harvey's Original

By far the vast majority of the hamburgers we eat are homemade usually grilled. Awhile ago I made and entry titled Burger with an Attitude inspired by Harvey's original cheeseburger with the works. This is one of the very few fast food restaurants I will eat the food. Harvey's is a Canadian fast food franchise available only in Canada but not Canada wide (only in Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec) specializing in grilled burgers, fresh cut French fries and it uses Canadian ingredients as much as possible. Their first location opened in Richmond Hill, Ontario in 1959. When you go into a Harvey's, they ask you the number of patties then you stand in front of the toppings offering so you can build your burger the way you want it.

My husband stopped at Harvey's Tuesday night mainly because with him not feeling well he wanted fast, comfort food. Now we live about a half hour from the closest Harvey's or any other fast food place for that matter. Fast food simply does not travel all that well. Still it was nice to taste the burger that was inspiration for one of our favorite and fantastic homemade burgers. I should also mention that their fries were the inspiration for my home cut home fries.

If you find you really enjoy a fast food item look for copycat recipes. It's surprising what's out there as far as recipes. If you can't find an actual copycat recipe then bring one of those food items home and take it apart if you can. It might take a little tweaking but chances are you will be able to come up with something very similar if not a bit better and likely for a lower price. So do give it a try.


2 food lovers commented:

CookinsForMe said...

I hope your husband recovers quickly! The burgers sound great. I think I'll use your basic idea and change it into something lower in carbs that the man person and I can eat. We love burgers but bread makes them too high in carbs for us. Hmmm, a new recipe to play with! Thanks. :)

Garden Gnome said...

Thanks for the well wishes. Hubby was a mess but has since recovered for the most part. I read somewhere that you could use portabello mushrooms in place of buns. They would be a lot lower in carbs too.