Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Cooking Anonymous

Hello. My name is Jessicca. I have a confession to make. I love to cook. But that's not actually my confession. The confession is that Sunday I spent all afternoon cooking meals that I could freeze for fast and easy weekday meals. I know, I know, you're not supposed to work on Sunday. But can it be considered work if it's something you love to do? I think not.
I chose 3 recipes to make big batches of for freezing. The first was an Italian Sausage Soup.

Dice the onion.

There's something about coming home from a long day of work, putting some soup on the stove to simmer and just relaxing that is so so wonderful. No meal to cook, not much to clean up. Just yumminess and relaxing.

Slice the carrot.
There's also something very relaxing to me when I'm chopping and dicing vegetables. I know it's odd. I think it's the repetitious movements. It keeps my hands busy but allows me to just daydream.

Chop the celery. Ok-So there is one thing I don't like cutting. And that would be garlic. If you properly mince it rather than just using a garlic press like I sometimes do when I'm feeling really lazy, then my fingers smell like garlic for the next week. Not good.
Mince the garlic.

After you've browned your Italian Sausage (we use the HOT sausage at our house because we like to keep things spicy) add all the vegetables.

Add your garlic and spices.
Mix, mix, mix it up.
Add diced tomatoes.
K at this point I started to get a little lazy on the picture taking. So I don't have a picture of the end result. I know, it's a little anti-climatic. But you add 5 cups of chicken broth and a can of kidney beans and let it simmer for awhile. And that's it! Delicious and not much work!

I got 10 meals from just a few hours of cooking.
Italian Sausage Soup
adapted from Allrecipes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb Italian sausage, casings removed
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 cups sliced carrots
1 stalk celery chopped
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried sage
1 (14.5oz) can diced tomatoes
5 cups chicken broth
1 (16oz) can kidney beans, drained
1 cup pasta shells (I don't add the pasta until the night I make the soup. You could add them before you froze it if you wanted, but I don't like soggy pasta)
Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Cook sausage until evenly browned and break into pieces. Stir in onions, carrots, celery, garlic, basil, rosemary, red pepper, and sage. Continue cooking 10 minutes or until veggies are tender. Mix in tomatoes and cook until heated through. Stir in broth and beans. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 20 minutes.

adapted from my mom :)
1 pound hamburger
2 onions
3-4 stalks celery
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 cans tomato paste
27 oz can kidney beans
3 small cans water (use the tomato paste cans)
1 can stewed tomatoes
3 jalapenos (depending on how spicy you like things. 3 will make it pretty hot)
Cook hamburger until browned. Add onion and celery and cook for 10 minutes or until veggies are tender. Add 1 teaspoon chili powder and mix. Drain grease. Add tomato paste, beans, water, tomatoes and jalapenos. Reduce heat to low and simmer 20 minutes.

Beef and Bean Burritos
I don't remember where I got this recipe.
1/4 cup oil
2 onions chopped
4 lbs ground beef
4 cloves garlic minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste
16 oz can tomato sauce
62 oz can re fried beans
24 10-inch flour tortillas
Heat oil, cook onions. Add beef and garlic. Drain grease. Add chili powder, cumin and salt and pepper. Add beans, cook and stir. Cool slightly. Spread mix onto tortillas. Roll tortillas burrito style. Place on greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Cool and freeze on baking sheet. After frozen you can remove from baking sheet into Ziploc freezer bags.
Thaw desired number of burritos. Reheat at 350 degrees. Bake for 15-20 minutes.


the madsen family said...

I am going to try these! You need to give me some more recipies... I am not good at branching out and trying new things.

Nicole said...

Thanks Jessie for these recipes, I am going to try them. They look & sound great!