4 lbs. of beef equals dinner x 5!

Payday, check! Costco, check! Time to make some freezer meals! I didn’t have the motivation to tackle all the meat at once so I decided to break it down in to one meat per night until I was finished. Hey, 3 nights with a little extra time spent on dinner is worth it to know dinner is planned and ready for the next two weeks plus! Tonight we tackle the beef.

4 lbs burger FM

So how do those three ziploc bags amount to 5 meals you ask!? Well, I’ll tell you what, that meatloaf isn’t going down in one sitting! And believe it or not, that loner pound with the skillet meal mix, once you add the mix and rice to the meal, it’ll feed this family two times, especially if you want to add some extra goodness like corn or black beans or maybe roll it up into a tortilla. Oh man and those burgers, my new FAVE!!! That’s a LOTTA burger. Once you beef it up (no pun intended) those “quarter pounders” are more like 1/3 or more.

So this is how freezer meals work, you take the ingredients, mash up in a bag and freeze them until you’re ready to use! Obviously there’s still some cooking and maybe even a few more ingredients required to complete the meal. For instance, the above recipes will require spaghetti sauce, Wildtree’s Mexican Skillet Meal, milk, rice, and hamburger buns (optional). These are often staples you keep in your pantry anyway. For the complete recipes with cooking instructions contact themom@wahmbahmsahmiam.com!

 

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Chocolate pudding for dinner!

Along with my recent obsession with what to do with overripe bananas, a new obsession has emerged. What to do with overripe avocados! I bought a bag of avocados with good intentions…Life sometimes gets in the way of that! And as the mother of a child who refuses to eat pretty much anything, I’m always looking for creative ways to use healthy foods. I know I’ve neglected my blog lately (as I said life sometimes happens 😉 ) but eventually we’ll get back to the meals and not just my little sides of goodness! If you’d like to have or feed someone chocolate pudding for dinner and not feel guilty about it, then look on! I think the picture says it all. Enjoy!

pudding text

“Make you Banana Pancakes” Mmmmm…

If Jack Johnson music is resonating in your head, at some point or another you’ve probably craved banana pancakes after listening to that song!

My 3 year old rarely makes specific requests for food, but when he does I try my best to fulfill his request as it’s usually actually fairly reasonable. Case in point, earlier this week he wanted pancakes for breakfast. Since I was on a ‘use up the bananas in my freezer’ kick, and I’m trying to be more conscious of what I eat I decided to try the easiest banana pancakes recipe I saw on Pinterest. Here we go:

1 banana

1 egg

Banana pancakes too thin

You can’t really tell here, but this concoction is so thin, it’s nearly impossible to flip. It cooks so fast you have to flip it relatively soon so as not to burn it. (Definitely a low temperature required food!)

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This is what it does after the first flip! So I’ll definitely need to flip it again to get that raw part to cook.

Banana pancake thin mess

Argh!!!! Back to the drawing board. I’d just seen another recipe for banana pancakes on the internet. Let’s try that…Hmm…too complex. Don’t have all those ingredients. What can it do without?…Think, think, think! Aha! I’ll just add 1 Tbsp of coconut flour for each egg/banana. (And yes, for some reason I had coconut flour in my house!)

Banana pancakes thickend1

Much better! Almost a little too thick though, I’ll give it a good shake and try to flatten out that mound!

Banana pancake thickened2

Okay…okay, now let’s see how it flips!

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BAM!

Banana pancake final

We have banana pancakes! So not only is my son satisfied, because he has pancakes upon request, mom is satisfied knowing she’s not eating grains for breakfast and getting good protein! My new recipe:

Banana Pancakes (gluten free/grain free)

1 banana

1  egg

1Tbsp coconut flour

multiply by the number of mouths you plan to feed!

Ice Cream for Breakfast!

That’s right, I said it! In an effort to get my 1 year old to eat, I made the infamous “ice cream” recipe we see floating around the internet. It’s healthy, it’s natural, it has ONE ingredient. So here’s my experience:

banana icecream prep with text

This is supposed to be a great way to use up your ripe bananas as well! I let my bananas get pretty ripe as you can see. Peel and slice the bananas and freeze them in bag. Due to the ripeness of my bananas I laid mine on a piece of wax paper in a single layer and placed them in my zipvac bag. I didn’t want to just throw them in and have a big glob of frozen banana!

processing bananas with text

Once frozen, you can use a food processor or blender to blend the bananas into a smooth ice cream like texture. If you’re like me and only have a dinky 2 cup food processor you bought to  make homemade baby food and then had a child who refused to eat the delightfulness you poured your sweat into making him, take note: I didn’t get a satisfactory consistency with my food processor so I recommend the blender! Either way, due to the small blade, you’ll need your rubber spatula (aka scraper) to push down the sides during blending. (STATING THE OBVIOUS: you’ll want to turn the motor off for that step…MOM!) She knows what I mean!

The result!

Banana ice cream with text

My taste test revealed that using overly ripe bananas results in an overly ripe banana flavored “ice cream”. I added about a tsp (I never measure!) of Wildtree Chocolate Lover’s Syrup. We like to eat our ice cream out of coffee mugs so here you see my soft serve like chocolatey goodness. Needless to say, my 1 year old ate it like a champ! A single banana made about the equivalent of a large scoop of ice cream. In the future I will be using a less ripe banana! I’m sure it would be AMAZING with some frozen berries thrown in there! I used the chocolate syrup as a quick fix as my son was WAITING… and I figured he’d like the overly ripe banana flavor as much as I! 😛

I hope you found this helpful and “real” as the sites I found showed that perfect consistency that probably comes with practice. Just because it doesn’t look like the other guys, doesn’t mean it doesn’t taste just as good! Also, if you make a large batch and put it back in the freezer, I’m sure it will look more like real ice cream!

Check the pantry!

Wildtree pantry

If you’ve ever used that phrase chances are you’ve heard this response: “I can’t find anything in here!” On a quest to organize my pantry I found some acrylic drawer organizers (meant to keep your socks and undies nice and organized in your dresser) and thought, “these would hold my spice bottles perfectly!” Knowing I needed more shelf space I knew I’d have to go up. So, I stacked one on top of the other on the store shelf and they seemed pretty sturdy. I grabbed both organizers and off I went. When I got home I jumped right into my new project. The result? As you can see in the picture I have my drawer organizers stacked with all my shorter bottles in the bottom and taller bottles in the top. If I need to get something out of the bottom, I can easily slide the top organizer off like a drawer and have easy access without having to worry about knocking 15 things over to get to something in the back! The point? Think outside the box! Organizing and decluttering decreases stress. Clutter is an inherent disease in my family. I’m slowly emerging! Sorry, family! I know it’s not all of you, but let’s look at the relatives (we all know who they are, including myself!) I hope you find this tid bit helpful and perhaps I’ve even inspired some to tackle their pantry! It’s a busy day so look in the next couple days for more photos in the Clean Your Room tab of my website!

Hhhaaa! means Hot!

Burnt corn

Hhhhaaaa as in you’re trying to clear your throat or a cat with a hairball! That’s what my 1 year old says at the sight of a steaming pot on the stove. And last night I’m glad he informed me! Who knew you could burn boiling corn on the cob? Oh, I’m sure you did! Well, this is what it looks like! I’m sure you’re wondering why you would take cooking advice from a girl who can do that. Well, rest assured!  The freezer meals and recipes you’ll find in the I’m Hungry section of my website are tried (by professionals) and true. I’m merely sharing the wonderful tips and tools for easy, HEALTHY meals for busy people. A resource if you will! I never said I could cook!

When I follow the recipes accordingly, I’m told my cooking is quite good! Believe me my husband knows how to politely tell me, “It was edible,” which translates, ” I only ate that because I love you!” When he says, “that was good,” he means it! And so far, the freezer meals I’ve prepared are ‘really good’ so please don’t be frightened when I’m brutally honest and show you my burnt corn on the cob! I share because I care! If you really are like me and didn’t know you could burn boiling corn on the cob, you’ve been told! Tonight we are having nachos made with the taco meat from my freezer meals. Fool proof!

An affair to remember!

baked chick scampi pan

Call me rebellious! I made a freezer meal last night that called for a greased 9×13 pan and I used an ungreased 12″ cast iron skillet instead. Oooooh! About a month ago I decided to buy some cast iron pans on sale. I have a cabinet full of expensive stainless steel pots and pans, but I found my food was always sticking to the pans. I will not use non-stick pans for my meals so I started to wonder about cast iron. My mom used it growing up. My sister uses it. Why hadn’t I tried it? Oh yeah, I remember! I kept convincing myself it was expensive. NOT! I don’t know why I had it in my head that cast iron was too expensive. I mean relatively speaking, it’s way cheaper than most cookware out there. I guess I just didn’t have money when I started the whole thinking process and had it in my head that I could never afford it.

Fast forward to the sale! My largest stainless steel pan was a 10 incher, not quite big enough for some things in my opinion. So I set out to get a 12″ cast iron skillet. Of course that was the only size sold out when I arrived! I decided to go ahead and get an 8 and 10″ skillet and got a rain check for the 12″. And so began my new love affair! I couldn’t wait to get my 12″ skillet! I could cook everything in my cast iron! Nothing sticks and I’m not worried about chemicals leaching into my food. I can bake in it too! Yes I have a stone 9×13 I could have used in last nights recipe, but why bother when my cast iron is always handy? Now I gladly own all 3 cast iron skillets and my stainless steel sits sad and lonely in the cabinet.

If you are considering cast iron, do it! If you are worried about using non-stick pans, just use cast iron! Don’t have room? In my opinion you can leave your clean cast iron skillets nested right on the stove and they add character! You can find cast iron pans for $20 and under at most hardware, camping and department stores.

I sacrifice for the cause!

lime-1

So have you ever read something on the internet ie. Facebook, Pinterest and wondered if it was true, “Does that really work?” This week I conducted my own experiment. I read a post on Facebook. For the life of me I can’t remember which page! It was about an unusual use for limes. Did you know you can use limes for deodorant? I thought, “No way! Sticky, stinky, stingy!” And while some households may always have a lime on hand to give this a try, I assure you we are not one of those households. “But wait! I just bought 6 limes for my freezer meal planning and didn’t use them all. Perhaps I’ll give it a try!”

So I took a shower (shaved my armpits, mind you), cut a lime in half and labeled a sandwich bag “DEO” so no one tries to eat my ‘stinky pitties’, as my 3 year old calls them. I closed my eyes, held my breath and rubbed that bad boy right on my freshly shaved armpits…Hmm, not bad! I picked the pulp off my skin and walked around like a gorilla for about a minute while I waited for it to dry. Day 1: so far so good! (and no, it wasn’t sticky!)

Now the real test, the sacrifice! Day 2: no shower. Now to say this is a sacrifice is any SAHM’s laughable denial. Sometimes we don’t shower! Shhh! Mondays are often my I don’t want to get out of bed, much less bathe day. So I walk to the fridge, pull out my new handy, dandy deodorant and give the ‘stinky pitties’ a rub. Refreshing, actually! Through out the day I gave my armpits a good whiff. Nothing!

So there you have it, it works! While the lime is only meant to be used for about 1-2 week max, it may not be the cheapest natural deodorant (mineral salt crystals last FOREVER!), it’s about as natural as you can get and it’s handy in a pinch when you have nothing but a lime in your fridge to stifle the pits!

flowers

Welcome! WAHM, BAHM, SAHM I AM! That’s right, I am a Work At Home Mom, Blog At Home Mom, and Stay At Home Mom! This blog was created to share my work and help other mom’s do the same. I hope to eventually include videos of how to prepare easy, healthy freezer meals for your family, ideas for cooking and cleaning without chemicals, cute organizational tools and fun things to do with kiddos. Thanks for reading!