Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Down Home Cookin'

Hi! I'm Lena, the second sister, and I cook for 10.

There are 4 adults (my parents moved in with us last year) and 6 kids.

Later this week I want to talk about getting back to basics in the kitchen. For now, I'll tantalize your taste buds with some honest to goodness home cooked meals/menu ideas.
Week 1
Pork Roast
Potatoes & Carrots

I used leftovers from the roast later in the week, and froze the rest for enchiladas.

Cheesy Vegetable Soup in Bread Bowls

Bread bowls are super easy to make. Just divide up a loaf size amount of bread dough into three or four pieces (or smaller for your kids), roll into a ball, allow to rise for 25 minutes in a warm place and bake for 15 to 20 minutes. Slice off the top and scoop out the middle to create a "bowl". I save the innards for bread crumbs and put them in the freezer. In this case I used the leftover "bread" to dip in fondu.

Baked Potatoes
Toppings: Bacon, Cheese, Sour Cream & Chives
Veggie Salad

When I make baked potatoes, I always make extra to use in a meal later in the week. With these I used some in a potato salad, and the rest in a baked potato soup.


Extra chili is great for Navajo tacos or Chili Cheese Fries.

Barbecue Pulled Pork Sandwiches on homemade buns
Potato Salad
Mixed Veggies

I extended the pork a bit with some rice. It was incorporated so well with the meat and sauce, my husband didn't realize it was in there!

Baked Potato Soup

Chili Cheese Fries

Chili Cheese Fries are easy to make. You can make your own fries with potatoes, or you can use the cheap shoestring fries from your grocer's freezer. On a baking sheet spread out the bag of fries, top with chili, sprinkle with cheese. Bake until the fries are done and the cheese starts to brown. Yum!

Week 2
Stir Fried Veggies over Rice
Oriental Salad

Cheese Fondu with Bread (from the bread bowls)
Butternut squash
Rice Pudding (made from Sunday's leftover rice)

Quiche Lorraine
Vegetable Salad
Apple Pie

Baked Spaghetti
Homemade Garlic Bread
Lettuce Salad
Jello Salad

Chicken Noddle Soup

Pizza Night!
& Apple dessert Pizzas
Green Beans

Vegetable Soup

You can save a lot of $$ by saving leftovers and incorporating them into another meal. Some food, like leftover bread from bread bowls can be frozen for later use. I used leftover bread the following week to dip in Cheese Fondu. I used the extra bacon topping from baked potatoes in a quiche. Other foods, such as extra baked potatoes, need to be used during the same week, (potato salad and baked potato soup).
L. Reid's old saying still rings true, "Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without." This applies to groceries as much as it does to anything else. If you don't feel like using up leftovers right away, freeze them for a day when you don't feel like cooking. It's as good as a free meal.

Another area I save $$ in is in the bread department. I make all of our bread. A batch of bread usually takes a little more than one hour to make. You may think I have all the time in the world to spend in the kitchen. Well, think again. I not only have six kids to take care of and run around with, I teach early morning seminary, and have a few piano students besides. I still manage to find time to cook for my family (after all, we have to eat!) and make homemade bread. If I have a little time to make some bread, I'll make it, cool it, slice it, keep out one loaf to use and freeze the rest for later. A lot of times I'll make bread on a Friday or Saturday to use for the coming week.

When I make cookies or muffins, I like to double the recipe and then freeze the extra to use later.

I've run out of time for now, but remember, cooking from scratch doesn't have to be time consuming, it just takes a little planning and creativity. ~Lena


Lee-Ruth-Clark-Cal-Shanna-Haley-Elden said...

Wow. You are a master Lena! From your menu and fun pictures, I can definitely tell that you live by your words of using planning and creativity for your menus. YUMMY menu! I need to have chili cheese fries and fondu sometime!!!

Nostrebor said...

Wow, I thought you guys just made nice food for company. I didn't realize you eat so well all the time! Yum!!