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Old 05-21-2014, 12:54 AM
9,863 posts, read 8,979,797 times
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When I worked I did the weekend cooking for my main dish. Spaghetti sauce, chili beans, pot roast with veggies and I was the casserole queen back then, chicken casserole, baked spaghetti, greater tater casserole, meat loaf. I would freeze the main dish, take it out of the freezer the night before and put it in the refrigerator. By the time I got off from work it would be thawed out. Hubby got off work before me and he would take it out of refrigerator if necessary. All I had to do was heat it up, throw a salad together and bread.

I stayed at home with our 3 children until they were all in school. Then worked part-time to be able to pick them up from school. After they were older I went to work full time. I would walk in the door after work and they all were starving. Standing in the kitchen frying chicken or cooking a meal really got to me. I had visions of feeding hogs and this was my husband and children. That is when I did the weekend work preparing the main dish. Life was easier then. I didn't tell them about my 'hog visions' until they were grown and gone. We sat down at the dining room table and had a meal together every night and it was so much easier once I organized my weekend cooking.
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Old 05-21-2014, 08:54 AM
Location: Chicago W Suburbs
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Originally Posted by weezycom View Post
Most weekends, I stick a chicken in the crockpot with some water & garlic & thyme. I pull the meat off the bone and save that, and recook the bones & scrap in the broth for another 1-2 hours to get every last bit of goodness. Strain the stock and save it for adding to other dishes/gravies or for soup, and use the pulled chicken for chicken salad, enchilada filling, chicken pot pie, chicken al a king (I need to make that again -- it's been awhile), etc. A nice roast is another thing I'll do on a weekend, then slice for sandwiches, stir fries, stroganoff. Sometimes I use the weekend to do a huge batch of hamburger meat & chopped onions and garlic to have as a base for other dishes, such as chili, spaghetti sauce, stuffed peppers, stuffed cabbage, baked ziti, and so on.
Great ideas, Weezy! I'm going to have to do that with both the chicken in the slow cooker and also browning a big batch of hamburger with onion and garlic, to use as base levels of various meals.
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Old 05-21-2014, 09:16 AM
Location: Up North in God's Country
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Meatloaf is great. You can have it hot, and then slice it for cold meatloaf sandwiches. Nothing like a cold meatloaf sandwich!!

Another easy one is to brown a pan of hamburger with onions. Drain. Cook some pasta (bowties, elbows, anything). Drain. Then pour a jar of Ragu pasta sauce over the top. Quick and easy...with plenty of leftovers.

A favorite of mine is to buy the dry 15 beans (ham bean flavored). Cook them as directed, and add some chopped up ham. You can eat them plain or serve over rice. Delicious, and sticks to your ribs!
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Old 05-21-2014, 09:28 AM
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Lasagne, Enchiladas, Chili, Soups, large chunks of meat.
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Old 05-21-2014, 10:11 AM
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We like to eat "fresh and fresher" meaning fresh fruit and veggies and not reheated meals. I find the most time consuming activities to be cutting up fresh veggies and dealing with raw meat. I do have a few make ahead meals also.

To cut out preparation times on fruits and veggies, I buy frozen or buy as much as I can already cut up in the fresh produce section. I love to cook with shredded carrots, ready to eat spinach, frozen green beans, broccoli, etc. This stuff is great for soups, stir fries, and casseroles. Ive also found some of the cabbage, carrot, broccoli blends from the bagged salad area great to fluff out meals.

When I cook meat, I cook more than I need so I can freeze the rest. I made turkey noodle soup the other day from leftover turkey from the freezer, shredded carrots, frozen peas, chicken broth I had frozen from when I cooked chicken and a couple of stalks of celery I needed to use up. I have another simple go to soup I make that is just leftover ham/ham bone, a single diced onion and frozen purple hull peas. Beef stew is just leftover roast shredded or cubed, the juice from the roast, leftover veggies, shredded or baby carrots, green beans, peas, a couple of potatoes. I add a couple of beef bouillon cubes for salt and a little extra flavor.

I've used the frozen meal section at the store for inspiration when I've needed it. My kids love my home made chicken pot pies and have asked me to freeze them for snacks. Those are more time consuming, but delicious. I also make home made burritos when I have leftover roast. You could make them with chicken, ground beef, or pork depending upon your preferences.
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Old 05-21-2014, 11:57 AM
Location: UpstateNY
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Wow, I want to eat at your houses!

It's just the two of us, but I'm too cheap to run theoven for just one dish. I will roast a pork loin, chicken or turkey and bake brownies at the same time.

The crock pot gets used mostly winters, although I have read of some savvy cooks relocating it on the porch or garage to get the heat out of the house.

Homemade marinara and BBQ sauce are staples, always at the ready.

I'm lucky, DH only eats pork so what I feel like having is my choice. A pork roast all week is just fine with him, he's very picky and won't eat many things. I'll cook up a bunch of chicken then figure out what I want to do wth it when I'm making the meal.
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