Frozen Breakfast Sandwiches

The main things I craved while I was pregnant with the minion were fruit and breakfast sandwiches.  The fruit was easy, but the breakfast sandwiches made me feel guilty every time we stopped at a fast food restaurant.  So I started making my own.  Recently I decided I should try to freeze them so on rushed mornings, I can still have a yummy breakfast.  The first time I made them, I tried to do the eggs in a pan, the way I normally cook fried eggs.  But these needed to be sandwich shaped, so the second time, I baked them.

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Breakfast Sandwiches for Freezing

12 eggs

12 English muffins

12 slices of cheese (Swiss works well, cheddar gets really greasy)

12 pieces of ham/bacon/sausage if desired

Crack eggs into a 9×13 pan and scramble.  Bake at 350° for 10-15 minutes.  Let cool at least a little bit.  Cut up eggs into 12 rectangles.  Assemble sandwiches with one rectangle of eggs, one slice of cheese, and meat if desired.  Wrap in wax paper and store sandwiches in the plastic bags the English muffins came in.  Freeze.

To reheat, take one sandwich out of bag, no need to unwrap, microwave for 4 minutes at 50% power.  Let sit for about a minute and enjoy!

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You can add a lot of things to the eggs, I’ve done paprika so far, but I have the idea to do about anything that you can put in an omelet, mushrooms, tomatoes, parsley, avocado, hot peppers.    Also after you’ve cooked it, you can add fresh veggies.  I’m thinking tomatoes and sprouts.  What would you add to yours?

Avoid Pantry Moths with your Freezer

If you’ve ever had pantry moths you know how horrible they are.  They infest everything in your pantry and you have to throw out a ridiculous amount of food.  We had them once and I really don’t want to get them again.

Recently I found some organic blue cornmeal at a discount grocery store.  It was only a dollar a bag.  I excitedly got two bags and when I got home, I put them both in the freezer.  Any grains or dry pantry good you plan on putting in your pantry should spend a cool two weeks in your freezer before joining your other food.  You should also store things like that in hard plastic, glass, or metal.  Bugs can eat through cardboard and plastic bags.  We have some of those plastic shoe boxes as well as a variety of re-purposed glass jars to store our food in.

Now I have to make some blue cornbread!

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Multi-Bean Soup: Dried and Ready To Go

I’ve been wanting to make some convenience foods lately.  Something I can quickly throw together but is still healthy for my family.  I am also a bit limited on freezer space, so I’ve been looking into dried convenience foods.  So I made this multi-bean soup.

I know you’ve been saving all of your glass jars after you use up the products from the store.  We have a lot of them from nut butters and coconut oil.  Pro-tip, clean the labels off before you fill the jars.  You could package these in canning jars, but you might as well use these recycled jars and save the canning jars for actual canning.

Convenient Multi-Bean Soup

*makes aprox 7 jars

1 bag pinto beans

1 bag black beans

1 bag navy beans

1 bag split peas

1 bag other beans (lentils, garbanzo beans, black-eyed peas, ect.)

aprox 1/3 cup dried chopped carrots

aprox 1/3 cup dried celery

aprox 1 cup dried leeks

black pepper

Grind up the leeks and celery in a food processor.  Divide the ground leeks and celery and carrots evenly between jars.
On top of that, layer the beans in any order you like.  Pop the lid on and make a label with these instructions.

Soak overnight in 8 cups of water.  Simmer in 6 cups of water for 1 1/2 – 2 hours.

OR

Cook in slow cooker.  Cover with water and then an additional 2 inches.  Cook 8 – 10 hours on low.

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My original plan with this was to use kidney beans as my fifth bean but at the last minute, learned that kidney beans have to be cooked differently than the others, so I had to fill it out with the various little bits of other beans we had.

This can be eaten as a soup as the recipe says.  You could also add meat into the slow cooker with them.  Or you could serve the whole thing over rice.  Or you could mix it with pasta sauce.  Can you think of any other ways to use this convenience food?

String of Habanero Peppers

All the peppers are coming in right now so I decided to string up some of our Habanero peppers for them to dry.  Just another method of food preservation.

It’s pretty easy to do.  I threaded a large embroidery needle with embroidery floss (red because it goes so well with the orange peppers).  I doubled it over and tied a big knot in the end.  Then I threaded each pepper through the stem leaving a bit of room between each.  When I got all the peppers threaded on, I cut the needle off and tied the two strands together forming a loop.  I hung my string of peppers by that loop.  Now all I have to do is wait for them to dry.

You could easily do this with any hot pepper.  I have some cayenne peppers that I might do this to also.  Maybe ghost peppers too…

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Frozen Sheets of Pasta Sauce

We’ve had lots of tomatoes (the ones that survived the carnage) and they all come at the same time.  They’re pretty much done for the season, but we’re just finishing up processing everything.  So in addition to canning some for later use, I made a ton of pasta sauce to freeze.  I would’ve canned it but I couldn’t resist using my own recipe, not a tested, canning-approved recipe.

I used a similar recipe to the black king pasta sauce but with a mix of all the different types of tomatoes.  Mainly black kings, early girls, and beefsteak.  I also threw in a few banana peppers.

Then I poured 2 cups each into freezer bags and froze them flat.  Freezing them flat makes them take up less room in the freezer and I figured about 2 cups will be a good amount for a meal for my little family.

I figure when we actually eat these sauces, we can toss in any vegetables we have on hand.  Eggplant, carrots, mushrooms (fine, not actually a vegetable), squash, beans, corn (yea, a grain), and whatever else we have.  I’d even give something like boiled spinach a try mixed with the pasta and sauce.  We could also throw in leftover meat of practically any kind.  Pasta sauce as a leftover catch-all.

Freezing Figs

We’ve just started getting what looks like it will be a huge harvest of figs.  We plan on freezing some for later use.  We can use them in smoothies or just eat them frozen.  In order for us not to have a giant clump of figs frozen together we laid the pieces of fig out on a baking sheet and froze them that way.

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Once they were frozen we put them into a freezer bag for storage.  You can use this technique for freezing any produce.  We’re also planning to make fig jam and dehydrating some figs.  Maybe we can use them to make granola poppers.

 

Canning Class: Now I Know What I Did Wrong

I went to a canning and food preserving class that our extension service offered and I learned we did a lot of things wrong when canning our first few things.  First, I learned you shouldn’t use random blogs as directions of how to can.  So ignore most of this linked post.  You should be careful where you get your recipes.  Ball jars have a pretty extensive site as well as many extension services.  You don’t get to be creative with these recipes.  I think it’s easier to can individual ingredients such as raw tomatoes and then make pasta sauce with that jar after I open it and add anything I want.  I also learned that we are at an elevation of 1026 feet above sea level at my house.  And most canning recipes call for more processing time at elevations  above 1000 feet.  So um…yea, take a class.  or go to your extension service and get info (mine had lots of pamphlets).  Or learn from someone who took a class in the past couple of years (recommendations are constantly updated).  Sorry, Granny doesn’t always know best.

BTW, why is it called canning when you’re putting food into jars?