welcome back to my website, so I am tackling a weekly meal prep. I have kind of gotten out of the rhythm of doing these, but I’m working my way slowly back into doing these. They just take so much stress off of me, because I know that half of the work is done, if not more, and I can quickly get my dinners pulled together at the end of each day, because I have so much prepared beforehand. I’M going to be starting out by using up some bananas that I thought my little ones would be eating and we are going to make some banana muffins, but first we have to make some homemade brown sugar. I just wanted to have a baked good that we could eat for breakfast over the next two days, and that is what this did.
But we need this wonderful, homemade, brown, sugar, sugar and it’s really easy to make. You just take regular white sugar and you add in molasses, and it doesn’t really matter if it’s baking, molasses or black, strap molasses, you just might need a little less if it’s black strap molasses and I like to put the Whisk attachment on my mixer, but to Be honest to get it completely finished and mixed in, I usually have to use my hands and really just kind of smear. That’S probably the best word. I have smear that molasses into the sugar until it’s to the color that I like some people like their brown, sugar, darker and some people like it. A little lighter.
I think I find somewhere in between and once I have it all mixed up. I just fill up my canister with my brown sugar. So, as usual, the recipes will be in the description box below either a link to them or they’ll, be typed out if they are a recipe of my own or one that I use often so I am taking some of the bananas and I’m smashing them up To go into this recipe, this one is super quick and simple, and my daughters actually asked if I would make this again soon, so I may end up next week making the same thing just as a nice breakfast option and I personally love banana as well.
So it’s just a really easy one to mix up and not that long ago I heard another mom talking about the fact that dinner time seems to be a busy time and it also seems to be a transition point in the day when you’re going from your Busy schedule of the day to a more slow relaxing evening and for some reason it seems like it’s the point of the day when our families need us the most, I know at least for our family. Usually, my children really are wanting my attention and my husband wants to talk about our day and what we did, and it just seems to be a kind of crazy time of day dinner time.
So I think, taking extra stress out of that time by prepping and really making it very minimal time spent on cooking at that point in the day is really helpful. Just for the flow of our family to make sure that everybody’s getting the attention that they need and to take my stress levels and lower them. So that is why I’ve recommitted myself to doing my best to meal prep every week. So you all are going to see a whole lot more weekly meal preps. I know that you really really enjoy those and I like their finished results of getting my meals prepped as well.
So here I am just mixing this up by hand. I think that mixing little batteries, like this by hand, sometimes are sort of relaxing. I know that might sound kind of funny, but I just like to do that and then I have these actual muffin size tins I’ll leave them linked below along with these muffin papers, and they work great because they open up into kind of like a little plate And we don’t even have to get plates out to eat these muffins and breakfast is served with a glass of milk and we’re on our way. So once I had the batter in the little muffin papers, then I went ahead and mixed up the crumble that went on top. It’S like some butter, some flour, the homemade brown sugar and some cinnamon, and I just kind of whisk that together and then I put those crumbles on top of these muffins.
Another option you could do is once they are baked. You could do like a drizzle. If you wanted to use some powdered sugar and just kind of make like a glaze for the top of them, but I just love the taste of brown sugar, and so does my family. We’Re also really big fans of cinnamon in our house. So this is just an easy way to get the topping on there before it’s baked and throw it all into the oven and, like I said, I did have a bunch of bananas that my little ones convinced me they were going to eat this past week and We did not eat them, so I went ahead and just peeled them.
I put them whole into some freezer bags and threw them in the freezer. You could smash them up. First, I just like to be able to see if it’s an entire banana like if my recipe calls for two or three bananas, then I can go ahead and use them and know how much is there, so I like to freeze them that way, so we’re gon Na go ahead and start prepping Monday’s meal and it is going to be mashed, potatoes and meatballs. This is something that we eat. I would say every other week, and sometimes every week it’s just a favorite meal of our families.
My husband loves. It loves my barbecue meatballs and I was thinking about it this week how this meal, even though we do make it often it still does take a lot of prep time and I could cut the prep time down a whole lot during my meal prep day. So I’m starting out by P peeling some potatoes that one of my sweet neighbors gave me. She had a bunch of potatoes that she was pulling out of her garden because they were starting to turn green and she wanted wanted to know. If I wanted some – and of course I told her yes, we would not turn down fresh potatoes, so I went ahead and peeled them and put them into my Dutch oven here.
I’M pulling those muffins out of the oven and my children could not resist. The smell. Was just too intoxicating so they asked if they could. Please please. Please have some, because they were just finishing up their schoolwork, we homeschool and so having snacks around like this are really great.
So, even if they don’t get used for breakfast, even if they get used for an after-school snack, I am so okay with that. It’S a homemade goodie that I know what all went into it so back to our mashed potato potatoes. I love using my Dutch oven to make mashed potatoes because it helps the potatoes cook pretty quickly and that’s always the time consuming. Part of making mashed potatoes is to boil the potatoes, and I do not like using my canned potatoes for mashed potatoes. It just has the weirdest texture, and so it has to be fresh potatoes for mashed potatoes.
So this is how I make our meatballs, like I said, very often um. You could use cracker crumbs. I’Ve done that before or bread crumbs, but just to eliminate another starch or flour in something I usually use almond flour and that’s what I shook in there. I do not have a measurement for it. I just kind of shake it in and do about as much as I think I should, and then this was two pounds of beef, so I put in two eggs.
I always just do an egg for every pound of beef that I’m making and then this week I use the back porch burger seasoning. If I can remember I’ll, leave it linked below, but I don’t always use the same seasoning. So those are just my three things. I find a seasoning blend, I’d use, almond flour and I put egg in it and then I make it into meatballs. Now I’m actually putting this into the refrigerator in this pan, but I’m not going to be baking it in the pan.
I’M actually going to be frying them up in my cast iron skillet and they’re, just ready to go for me. All I have to do is turn on my Skillet pull those out of the refrigerator and stick them in and start frying them up, and the work is half done for me, which is amazing, so my mashed potatoes, I like using an old-fashioned potato matcher um. I know there’s lots of other ways. You could do this, but this is just the way that we enjoy the texture the most. So I usually look what’s in my refrigerator and go from there, so I usually like to use sour cream and some butter and I’ll add in a little bit the Milky she’s almond milk.
That’S what we often have on hand is almond milk, unless I’m making yogurt that week and if I’m out of sour cream, I’ve also used cream cheese um, and then we love this buttery Steakhouse seasoning, I feel like it has to be in our mashed potatoes. It’S just the flavor that we have learned to love in our potatoes and once that is all mixed together, I’m ready to put it into a dish that I can then reheat whenever we’re ready to eat it, and I don’t have to go to all the trouble Right at five six, maybe if we’re doing a late supper, seven o’clock when everybody needs mom to make mashed potatoes, I can just heat it up and we’re good to go.
So Tuesday is taco night for this week and we’ve been really into frying. Our own corn, tortillas or store-bought corn tortillas, but frying them in the cast iron and building our Tacos on those they’re just so delicious, and I realized that I didn’t have any Taco packet seasonings now full disclaimer. I do not like taco packet seasoning.
However, my husband loves it, so I decided to go ahead and make a dupe for the taco packet seasoning that we like and make my own seasoning mixture. I will leave the link that I found on Pinterest to this mixture and I have good report to say that we do enjoy this seasoning now. I did add in you’ll, see here when I fry up the meat. I add in a little bit of xanthan gum or you could add in a little bit of cornstarch. That is what makes the taco packets so popular people like that it kind of thickens their meat just a little bit, and usually that’s because there’s some sort of an additive that thickens the meat.
So once I had the taco seasoning mixed up and well combined with a whisk, I went ahead and just put it into a jar where I can just store it in my pantry and pull it out as um. I need it and I did not take a measurement on how much of this seasoning you would use per pound of beef or whatever ground meat you’re using um. However, I just kind of eyeballed it and shook it over the meat. Once I’ve worked with it a little bit more, I will report back and let you all know how much to use for each pound of meat. So I just labeled the top with my Sharpie and then I went ahead and put a little bit of avocado oil into my cast iron, and I put my two pounds of ground beef in there.
We used to be able to get away with one pound, but as our family grows and children get bigger, you have to feed more. So I chopped up the local ground beef that we buy. We’Ve been started buying a quarter to a half of a beef at a time, and I just love having that meat in the freezer. I highly recommend checking local to you where you can access meat like that, it’s just so much better quality and it’s just convenient. I don’t have to run to the store every single time.
I need beef. I just have to run to my basement in a deep freezer, so here I’m just adding the seasoning on top of the meat, as well as some of the xanthan gum and I’m just stirring all of that in and just letting it cook a little bit. I think I also may have added a splash or two of water and I’m going to store that in a dish with a lid in the refrigerator. And then all I’ll have to do is heat that up whenever we’re ready to make tacos and it made taco night go so quickly. This week I love this.
It’S just an easy one and my pan is free to toast up the corn, tortillas and just goes really fast. So now we’re going to work on Wednesday’s meal, we’re doing barbecue, chicken, potato salad and my home canned baked beans. I will leave the recipe link or article link below where I made those home canned baked beans. They are a bit of a detailed recipe and you’ll definitely want to check that article out if you’re interested in doing that. So now I’m opening up a bunch of chicken we had in our freezer.
We have a couple local stores that will sell 40 pound boxes of these chicken quarters and they’re so delicious on the grill. So I’m going to make a marinade for these and they’re going to sit in the refrigerator for a couple of days in this marinade it has some water, some white, vinegar, I’m adding in avocado oil. You could do olive oil or a vegetable oil. I feel like they’re all pretty interchangeable, and then I grabbed a jar of this canned lemon juice and before you all start commenting wait till the end of this article. I will show you how I can lemon juice.
You all have seen me freeze it before, but I did get some canned and I want to show you how to do that. It’S so incredibly easy and I can buy half bushel boxes of lemons from my local food store and Juice them myself and can them so I put the lemon juice into the marinade, and now I am just mincing up some garlic cloves with my little rocking mincer.
I love this thing. It’S just easier to clean than the mincer that has two pieces where you press it together. I can throw this in my dishwasher and it cleans up pretty nicely and then I’m adding in some of my pink Himalayan salt and then you could do any seasoning, but we have this bourbon Peach seasoning.
I think I got it at Costco um. Some point in the last six months and it’s just been a very good, very good chicken seasoning and then I’m adding in some raw local honey. And we are going to just whisk all of this up together and then I’m going to dump it across the chicken and if you guys want a really easy hack to doing a good, marinated chicken and you don’t have time to even put a marinade together. I sometimes will even use like an Italian dressing, where I just let the chicken marinade in that or vinaigrette like a salad dressing, it’s an easy little hack for quick, marinated chicken, but this marinade is very good. We definitely enjoy it.
I think it’s our favorite way to make chicken, so I’m going to let that sit and marinade and then, along with this meal, we’re also going to be doing a potato salad. Now.
This is something I like to use my canned potatoes, for if I can find the article where I’ve made canned potatoes in the past, I will try to link that below and I am just taking the potatoes, I’m cutting them a bit smaller, a little more bite-sized For the potato, salad and then I do rinse them once and just kind of drain them off a little bit before I add in some of the other ingredients and normally in my potato salad, I really like to have hard-boiled egg, but you guys I forgot to Make it this morning I was planning to make hard-boiled egg kind of before I started my prep and I totally forgot so you know what this week we’re gon na have potato salad without hard-boiled egg in it. So I also had this Margarita seasoning um from Kinder’s seasonings, and I haven’t found too many uses for it. I think I’ve tried it on chicken.
We need to try out some more on chicken, but I thought you know what this might be kind of good, more like a margarita, flavored, potato salad and actually it did work out it tasted pretty good. So I put that in the refrigerator and that’s something that tastes better if it can sit for a couple of days anyways, so it will sit in there with the marinating chicken Thursday we’re doing chicken alfredo and cheesy broccoli. Now this is where planning helps you out. So so so much, you might have wondered why I was putting so much chicken into my marinade for our family, so actually that chicken is doubling as chicken for this Alfredo as well. So we will grill that chicken up and actually on my husband’s smoker, we’ll probably smoke it and then the next night.
I will shred what’s left and we’ll put it into this Alfredo. Now I’m going to explain how I make my alfredo sauce, I always start out with a stick of butter and a pack of cream cheese. So I put the butter into the pan and usually I put my garlic in, but I forgot to this time around this way, so I will melt the butter and the pack of cream cheese I’ll even add a couple splashes of milk just to help kind of Thin down that cream cheese, I whisk that I let it kind of slowly get nice and warm. Then I grab whatever cheese I may have around. Usually it’s mozzarella and some Parmesan.
However, I didn’t have any parmesan this day, so you know what we’re making it without and that’s what I do. I generally don’t like to have to run to town for just something really small like that. If we don’t have it we’ll do without it. So here I’m just shredding up an eight ounce block of mozzarella, I’m throwing that in the pan. You do want to be attentive to this, because, if not, you will have it burning to the bottom of your pan, so you want to be whisking as you’re going along and you’re going to see that this sauce is extremely thick and creamy without ever having to Add any flour to this, and that’s something that I really enjoy about making Alfredo this way is that there is no added flour and no added fillers.
You just have the pure creamy cheesyness without any added filler. I added some salt and pepper and of course, my garlic, which I don’t think I showed in these clips, but I did add about two cloves of minced garlic in you – can kind of play with the seasonings on this um and make it your own. But again it’s just a stick of butter, a pack of cream cheese and some shredded cheese and some milk and just start whisking. So because we will be eating this later on in the week I went ahead and put this in a jar. Put it in the refrigerator and it’s already made for me – there is my homemade alfredo.
So now we’re going to go to Friday and you guys are seeing a little bit of our old farmhouse seller here. So I’m going and digging in my freezer and I’m pulling out a roast and I’m doing this and of course this is five days in advance or four days in advance or so, and I’m gon na pop that into my refrigerator, I’m just gon na. Let that thaw out in my refrigerator and it’s going to take a couple of days to thaw out which is perfect and then when I’m ready.
I can just go ahead and put it into my slow cooker with some potatoes and carrots and we will have a delicious roast and a very easy dinner all right. So now we’re gon na go on to some long-term prep, because you guys know it is canning season.
You know I can’t keep my fingers out of a little bit of canning, so I’m going to be canning up some Peaches. I got a lot of requests um to show you all how to do this, and it is peach season here in Pennsylvania and we have been enjoying all things: peaches, my husband’s been making a lot of peach milkshakes um, we just uh love peaches in our house. So I’m just making a very simple syrup: um! I just put some water into my Kettle just kind of keep track of how many cups of water you have and then you want to put half the amount of sugar. So if it’s 10 cups of water, then you need 5 cups of sugar, and that is for a more medium or lighter syrup.
Some people will put equal amounts, water and sugar um. It just depends on how sweet you want to do it, and you can even do it with a very little amount of sugar um. Just keep in mind that the sugar does help to maintain the flavor, and you may end up with some very pale flavorless peaches. If you don’t add much sugar, so just keep that in mind, they will lose their color and they will lose a lot of flavor, if you don’t add in at least some sugar and of course the jar is packed.
So it’s not like the whole entire jar is all the syrup and you can even go as far as to rinse them when you take them out of the jar, and that is really going to cut down on the amount of sugar that is actually in your Peach that you’re eating once it’s canned, so these were extremely ripe peaches um, if you guys want to check out how to skin these really fast.
My sister-in-law, Sarah just put um a peach jam recipe on her Channel. I will link it below, but she also shows you all how to blanch these and the Skins will slip right off. I didn’t do this because I could pull a lot of these skins off and um. They just were so ripe. The skin was practically slipping off of some of them, and so I just went ahead and cut them and used a knife to pull any extra skin off, and then I sliced them, because I will probably be mostly using these for baked oatmeal through the year.
And I added in the simple syrup, over top of it, just filling it up to the neck there, and then I wiped off the rims, with a cloth with some white vinegar on it, because you don’t want any little pieces of peach to mess with your seal And once I did that I put my Lids on and we’re gon na put them into a water bath canner, so you’re going to put your Lids on you’re, going to put your rings on finger tight and that just basically means just tightening it with your fingers.
Don’t over bear on it um and then you’re gon na fill your water bath canner completely with water, or, I should say at least to cover the lids. So you want to just make sure that the lids are just so covered and you’re going to bring it to a rolling boil. I get a lot of questions about what it means for processing time, so the processing time for these – oh, I cannot remember, I don’t want to misquote it so I’ll. Just put it here on the screen, but if the processing time is 20 minutes, then you need to have it at a rolling boil, which is what I’m showing you a clip of here for 20 minutes.
So once it reaches that rolling boil, then you would set your timer for 20 minutes and then once they cool they look like this they’re, so delicious and so beautiful to have sitting on your shelf or in your kitchen, and I take the Rings off. I explained that in another article recently of why I do that and mark them and store them in the cellar. Okay. So here is a half bushel of lemons minus a few that we’ve been using fresh here and there – and I just got this from a local Bulk Food Store for a really good price, and these were so juicy. I was so happy with these.
I just took them and cut them in half I used my little electric juicer and I will leave that linked below. You all saw me use that in the article where I froze some lemon juice and I actually got a little over a gallon of lemon juice out of this and then I just fill up my jars, leaving about a half inch headspace somewhere around there wipe the Rims and I put the lids on and I think again, I need to double check and I’ll put it on the screen.
I think the processing time for these were about five minutes five to ten minutes, and so you just want to bring that watering water bath counter to a rolling boil, set your timer and process them and then pull them out with a jar lift, and you have These beautiful jars of canned lemon juice – this makes amazing lemonade. That’S the main reason I do this or you can use it in marinades or for a lemon meringue pie, whatever you want to use it for. Thank you guys so much for reading today subscribe for email.
If you’re new comment, let me know which meal you thought was the most delicious. Looking to you, let me know what you are working on in your kitchen. As far as preserving and I’ll see you all in my next article.