"Happy is the man who finds wisdom, And the man who gains understanding". Prov.3:13 (NKJV)

November 17, 2017

Feminine Friday~ 11/17/17


Feminine Friday 11-17-17

Hi everyone. It’s time for another Feminine Friday. Today I'm wearing a black (3 way) poncho, leggings, and boots. I love when Fall comes around so I can break out these boots my hubby bought me. I shared before how I love wearing ponchos. I wish I had several colors of this one :-) Be sure to click on the button below to visit Renee's post to see other women showing modesty in our modern times showing our true beauty as women of God.

There Is Beauty In Grace

November 16, 2017

Continue...

Colossians 4:2(NKJV)

Continue earnestly in prayer, 
being vigilant in it with thanksgiving;


November 14, 2017

Batch {Bulk} Cooking Black Beans, ect…

Hello dear readers. I’m back to share with y’all another batch cooking session. This week I’ll share with you the benefits of cooking dry beans and show you different ways to use them in your cooking. I washed, sorted, and cooked a 1 lb. bag of beans in an electric pressure cooker. I did this with two different types of beans (separately of course).

First I want to share with you that I learned the hard way about cooking beans in the pressure cooker. I normally do them in a crockpot LOW and SLOW. One day I decided I wanted to give the pressure cooker a try. I cooked two different kinds of beans: red kidney beans and black beans. I cooked them each separately. I learned that it’s best to put around 2 Tbsp. of oil in with the water (or chicken broth) and the beans when cooking in a pressure cooker. I had not done that when I cooked mine so I had a huge mess to deal with. There was bean juices spewing out all over the place. It sounded like my pressure cooker valve had gotten stopped up and it caused a big mess for me to clean up. Unfortunately the juices from the black beans left a noticeable stain on my wall :(. Adding the oil helps the beans to cook right so I’ll keep doing that way for now on.

Bulk Red Kidney Beans

From a 1b. of dry beans I can get several cans worth of cooked beans. Once the beans were done I separated them into 2 cup portions with 1/2 cup of the bean juice (can be rinsed off when thawed and ready to use). I pour the portions into quart sized labeled “Ziploc” bags. I ended up with the equivalent of 6 cans of both the red kidney beans and the black beans. I  flatten them to get out as much air as possible to freeze flat on a baking sheet.

Bulk Black Beans
I’m sorry for the way the black beans look in the picture. The bags had a lot of condensation going on inside so I couldn’t get a better picture.  Now what can I use these bags of beans for? If you did not season them up to eat by the bowl, you can do anything that you like using canned beans for. Here are some suggestions if you can’t think of any:

Meal ideas to serve Red Kidney Beans in, or with:

* Chili
* Red Beans and Rice
* Minestrone (Italian)
* any Soup
* and Stew
* Make Bean Dip or Hummus
* Make a Bean Salad (with red kidney beans, black beans, and white beans)

Meal ideas to serve Black Beans in, or with:

* Add to Soup, Chowder, or Stew
* Add to Chili
* Make Hummus or a Bean Dip
* Make Cuban Beans and Rice
* Make veggie burgers
* Tacos (or taco salad)
* Burritos/bowls
* Enchiladas
* Flautas
* Quesadilla
* Tostadas
* Mexican casserole
* Make bean and corn salsa
* Serve with nachos
* Mix into Brownie batter

These are just some examples of the many things you can do. Other types of dried beans can be pressure cooked too. I’ll have to try more soon. If any other things come to mind, I may come back to add to this list later. What can you think of that I haven’t added to the list? Please fee free to let me know in the comments below. I will be back with you in two weeks with another bulk cooking session. Thanksgiving is fast approaching us. Turkey Day will be here next week. There is so much to be thankful to our Heavenly Father for. I pray you take time out to give Him thanks. May you and yours have a blessed Thanksgiving Holiday!

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November 9, 2017

Rejoice always…

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (NKJV)

16 Rejoice always,
17 pray without ceasing,
18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.



November 7, 2017

Batch {Bulk} Cooking with Pumpkin & Butternut Squash

I’m back to share with y’all another batch cooking session. This week I’ll show you different ways to cook and use pumpkin and butternut squash. I had 3 butternut squash and 1 medium sized pumpkin. Preheat your oven to 375-400 degrees.

Pumpkin and Butternut Squash

I started off by thoroughly cleaning the outside of all 3 squash and the pumpkin. You’ll want to use a big cutting board or spread a towel over your counter surface to put the squash and pumpkin on. I used a big sharp knife to cut off the tops and down the center of each individually. Be VERY careful doing this. They are hard to cut and you don’t want to hurt yourself doing this. I used a spoon to help me dig out the guts and seeds. I kept a bowl nearby for placing them in. Once the innards are out I washed the inside of the squash and pumpkin to be sure I got it all. I cut the top parts of the squash and peeled the skin then cut into bite sized cubes. Those got tossed in some olive oil and roasted on a baking pan for about 30-40 minutes.

Butternut Squash
Now I placed the rest of the squash cut side down on baking pans or in aluminum pans that are big enough. Rub olive or vegetable oil all over the inside and out. You can put up to 1/2 cup of water in if you think it’s needed. Cook the squash about 45 minutes or more. Once the squash was fork tender I scooped the flesh out and put in a pan. Throw away the peeling. I used my hand held emersion blender to puree the squash. I did the same with the pumpkin (cooked it on a different pan for an hour and scooped out the flesh to puree). I was left with two medium bowls of squash and pumpkin puree.
I divided the squash (also the pumpkin) into 2 cup portions in labeled quart sized Ziploc bags. I  flatten them to get out as much air as possible to freeze flat on a baking sheet. As you can see in the pictures I ended up with 5 or more bags of each puree. I poured the roasted squash cubes into a container to use in meals for the week. Now what can I use all of this squash and pumpkin for?

Batch Butternut Squash
Meal ideas to serve butternut squash puree in, or with:
* Use as baby food (Yes you read that right. You can make it as thin or thick as needed)
* Make a Pureed Soup/ Bisque
* Stir into a sauce for pasta

Meal ideas to serve roasted butternut squash cubes in, or with
* Add to Soup
* Add to a Stew
* Serve with other roasted vegetables (like carrots, potatoes, Brussel Sprouts, ect.)
* Mix with roasted sweet potato cubes (to serve as a breakfast Hash)

Batch Pumpkin
Meal ideas to serve pumpkin puree in, or with:

* Mix into pancake batter
* Make sweet breads/muffins
* Make cookies
* Make cake
* Make Pie
* Make Pumpkin Butter
* Mix into cornbread batter
* Make Pureed Soup/ Bisque
* Stir in Chili
* Use in a smoothie
* Use in a dip for cookies or fruit

These are just some examples of the many things you can do. If any other things come to mind, I may come back to add to this list later. What can you think of that I haven’t added to the list? Please fee free to let me know in the comments below. I will be back with you next week with another bulk cooking session.

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November 3, 2017

Feminine Friday~ 11/3/17


Hi lovely readers. It’s time for another Feminine Friday! Today I'm wearing another maxi dress with a gray shirt and flats. I’m headed out to run some errands on this foggy day. It would love to see more ladies joining with us in showing that modesty still exists in this day and age. True beauty comes from within and showing how you represent Christ.

There Is Beauty In Grace

Be sure to click on the button above to visit Renee's post to learn more.

November 2, 2017

And whatsoever you do...

Colossians 3:17 (KJV)


And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, 
do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, 
giving thanks to God and the Father by him.


October 31, 2017

Batch {Bulk} Cooking with Pork Butt

I’m back with another batch cooking session. This week I’m sharing different uses for the meat from a whole pork butt roast. I got this pork butt on sale at Aldi for a very reasonable price. As for preparing it first off I thoroughly wash my meat before I start cooking it. Next I put a seasoning blend all over the whole pork butt (be sure to coat all sides) and place in the crockpot. I pour in a cup of water around the meat and turn crockpot on to LOW to let cook for 10 hours. I want the meat falling off the bone so this is a great way to cook it for that to happen. Once it is thoroughly done I proceed on to the next part.


I carefully take out big chunks of meat and lay it on a platter. I use two forks to begin shredding (separating) the meat. I continue getting more out of the crockpot and shred until all of the meat has been shredded. I used some to make BBQ pulled pork sandwiches that night for dinner. I separated the pulled pork meat into 2-2.5 cup portions each and put into quart size Ziploc bags. We also had some leftover from that nights dinner that I put into a container to have the next day.


As you can see I got 4 bags of each (minus the leftovers in the container) that I pre-labeled, squeezed all the air out of them before closing, and placed in a flat single layer on a baking sheet to freeze. Once it was stiff enough I take the baking sheet out, and stack the bags on top of one another in the freezer. Now what can I use these bags of cooked pulled pork to make?

Shredded ideas:

* BBQ Pizza
* Breakfast Hash
* Fried rice
* Slider (sandwiches)
* Pit beans
* Soup
* Salad
* Chili
* Stew
* Burritos/Wraps
* Quesadillas
* Tacos
* Pulled Pork Loaded Nachos
* Tostadas
* Tequitos
* Enchiladas
* Empanadas
* Put into prepared Mac-n-Cheese then baked til bubbly
* Pull Pork Stuffed Baked Potatoes

These are just examples of the many things you can do. If any other things come to mind, I may come back to add to this list later. I hope I have helped you think of other ways to use up pulled pork besides having days and days and days of BBQ sandwiches. What can you think of that I haven’t added to the lists? Please fee free to let me know in the comments below. I will be back with you next week to share another cooking session.

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October 27, 2017

Feminine Friday~ 10/27/17


Hi lovely readers. It’s time for another Feminine Friday! Today I'm wearing a maxi dress with a white sweater and flats. I’m headed out to enjoy some quality time with my family. It would be great if more ladies could join us in showing that modesty still exists in this day and age and how it looks. We’re not here posing to see who looks the best, or to show off in any way. Beauty is not about the outer appearance. It should come from inside out showing how you represent Christ.  Remember modesty is more than just what you wear. It’s a mentality- a way of thinking/believing (your heart’s attitude/actions).

1 Peter 3:3-4(KJV)

Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.

Just in case you don’t clearly understand let’s hear it again…




1 Peter 3:3-4(NKJV)


Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.

There Is Beauty In Grace

Be sure to click on the button above to visit Renee's post to learn more.

October 24, 2017

Batch {Bulk} Cooking with White Chicken Chili

I’m back to share with y’all another chili batch cooking session. This week I’ll show you different ways to make comfort meals out of big batches of white bean chicken chili.

Cooked White Chicken Chili

I cooked up a double batch of white bean chicken chili using some of the chicken I had in the freezer from my previous session where I cooked up a big batch of chicken legs and thighs. I made the chili in my 6 quart slow cooker. If you can tell by the picture, it was a LOT of chili. For dinner that night I used 2 cups of it to see how it would taste in a cheesy chili pie. It was yummy!

Batch Cooking White Chicken Chili
I separated the rest and put it into several different containers. Once the chili had completely cooled off I put it all in the refrigerator overnight. I poured 2 containers into a gallon sized labeled Ziploc bag, squeezed out as much air as possible, and put it on a baking sheet to freeze flat. The other containers I labeled and placed in the freezer. Now what can I use all of this chili for?

Meal ideas to serve chili over, in, or with:

* Chili Pie (Tamale Pie)
* Chili Chowder
* Chili Soup
* Chili Stew
* Chili Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
* Chili Stuffed Peppers
* Rice Bowls
* serve over spaghetti squash
* Burritos
* Nachos
* Enchiladas

These are just examples of the many things you can do. If any other things come to mind, I may come back to add to this list later. What can you think of that I haven’t added to the list? Please fee free to let me know in the comments below. I will be back with you next week with another bulk cooking session.

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October 20, 2017

Feminine Friday~ 10/20/17




Hi everyone. I'm joining in with other Christian lady bloggers for another Feminine Friday. Today I'm sharing another none skirt or dress post because you don't have to always wear a dress or skirt to be modest. Modesty is more than just what you wear although it is a big part of it. Today I'm wearing a blouse, pants, and my black boots. I love when Fall comes around so I can break out these boots my hubby bought me. I shared last time how I love wearing my long cardigan with my clothes on cooler days. I also love wearing ponchos. It keeps me warm on a chilly day and also helps me feel more covered up all around. I could not decide on how to wear my hair so that's why it's in two different styles :-)

Be sure to click on the button below to visit Renee's post to see other women showing how to be modest in these times as well as showing our true beauty as women of God.

There Is Beauty In Grace

October 17, 2017

Bulk Meal Prep: Pork Loin

For the last few weeks I have shared several batch cooking ideas with you. Today I want to share how buying a whole pork loin can save you more money than buying the smaller (already sliced) packages of meat. I just recently learned that it really is cheaper to buy the primal cuts of meat. When something like a whole pork loin goes on sale it is good to take advantage of the sale. By buying the primal cut you will have to do your own cutting since you are not buying the smaller packs. It really is easy to cut the meat down yourself. I forgot to get a picture of the pork loin I bought. I believe it was near 10 lbs. This will be a short post but keep reading to see what I did with all that meat.

Bulk Pork Loin

After cutting mine down I ended up with five meals. I bagged and put them in the freezer for later use. What are different parts of the pork loin good for?

The end pieces are good for:
* Slicing off and using for pork roasts (it's the dark part of the meat)

The middle is good for:
* Slicing into thin or thick pork chops

Other things to do with the tender parts are:
* Cut into strips for a Stir-Fry
* Cut into cubes for Stew meat or for making Kabobs

These are just examples of some things you can do. If any other things come to mind, I may come back to add to this list later. What can you think of that I haven’t added to the list? Please fee free to let me know in the comments below. I will be back next week to share another batch/bulk cooking session with you.

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October 13, 2017

Feminine Friday~ 10/13/17


Hi everyone. I'm joining in another week of Feminine Friday's. I shared before how I love wearing maxi skirts and dresses. Today I'm not wearing a skirt or dress. You don't have to always wear a dress or skirt to be modest, so I'm showing a way I dress repectably and still look like a lady. I'm wearing a blouse, pants, and my tan flats. I feel better wearing shirts that cover my behind. This shirt is what I consider short because I do like to wear them longer. I also love wearing my long cardigan with my clothes on cooler days. It not only keeps me warm, but helps me feel I've covered up all around.

Be sure to click on the button below to visit Renee's post to see other women showing how to be modest in these times as well as showing our true beauty as women of God.

There Is Beauty In Grace

October 11, 2017

Easy Peasy stuffed Bell Peppers

Stuffed Bell Peppers

Easy Peasy Crockpot Stuffed Bell Peppers

Ingredients:

5-6 Bell Peppers (I like using a variety of colors)
24 oz. meat pasta sauce (I use my homemade sauce)
1 lb. ground beef, cooked and drained (add this only if your pasta sauce doesn’t already have meat in it like mine does)
1 egg, beaten (optional)
1 cup cooked rice
1/4 cup water
1 cup shredded Italian blend, Mozzarella, or Colby Jack cheese
Grated Parmesan Cheese

Directions:
Cut the tops off your bell peppers. I don’t throw mine away. I cut around the stem/core and use the other pepper pieces in another meal (see note below). Since I’m using my crockpot there’s no need to blanch the peppers first. In a large bowl, stir together your pasta sauce, beef (if adding), and a beaten egg (This is not a must. I just like the addition of the egg to help everything hold together when it’s cooking). Stir the rice into the meat mixture. Spray inside of crockpot with cooking spray. Stuff each bell pepper halfway with meat mixture. Sprinkle a little shredded cheese on top. Finish stuffing the peppers with more meat mixture until almost full. Carefully place each pepper in crockpot standing up. Sprinkle a little Parmesan Cheese over top of each. Pour 1/4 cup of water inside crockpot to fall to the bottom. Cover and cook on LOW heat for 5-6 hours. The last 30 minutes of cooking sprinkle the rest of shredded cheese on top to melt. When done serve and enjoy.

Stuffed Pepper
Note: About those bell pepper tops. You can dice up and saute what is left on the tops to add to your meat sauce or use in another meal. Just cut around the stem/core and throw away (I put mine in a Ziploc bag in the freezer with other scraps to make homemade vegetable broth). Another thing I've seen done is to cut all of the seeds away from the tops and place back on top of peppers while they are cooking. The rest of the stem is easy to pull off and discard once cooked.

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October 9, 2017

Batch {Bulk} Cooking with Rice

I’m back to share with y’all another batch cooking session. This week I’ll show you how cooking big batches of rice saves time when preparing a meal. Sure rice is real easy to fix, but you won’t regret having some already prepared ahead of time. First I'll share that I like cooking different varieties of rice. I use white long grain, brown, Basmati, Jasmine, parboiled, and even wild rice.

Batch Cooking Rice

For this session I'm using long grain white rice. I do wash my rice before I cook it. I learned this from my hubby when we first got married. The first time I saw him washing rice I thought it was weird. I didn't recall ever seeing my mom wash her rice before cooking it so that's why I gave him strange looks. At the time I didn't know he was trying to teach me something beneficial. Moving forward years (and many Food Network Shows) later I learned why one would choose to wash the rice first, then put it in the pot, and fill with the appropriate amount of water needed to cook it. Washing the rice gets rid of the coating that's on the rice when they package it. It's best to rinse it under cold water in a fine mesh strainer until the water runs clear. Doing this will result in rice that won't be mushy/gummy after you finish cooking it. I do this for my white and brown rice.

I cooked up a huge batch of long grain rice in my pressure cooker. I used water this time to cook it, but I often do use chicken broth most of the time. It just gives it a little more flavor. I needed some rice for dinner so I just went ahead and cooked up four cups of it. For dinner I used some of it to make Stuffed Bell Peppers. I will share that recipe later on this week.

Bulk Rice

After I separated the rice I ended up with four quart sized Ziploc bags full. Each had 2 cups of the cooked rice in it. As stated above I used one of them for dinner. I only used 1 cup of the rice and put the other in the refrigerator to use later on in the week. Once the rice had cooled off a bit, I stacked the labeled and flattened bags in the freezer. When ready to use you do not have to thaw it out overnight. All you have to do is take it out of the freezer when you need to use it, put the bag of rice on a microwave safe plate, and thaw it out just a little. Next open the bag and pour the partially thawed rice in a bowl or container, and put a couple of teaspoons of water over it. Heat it until fully thawed then fluff with a fork. Now what can I use pre-cooked rice for?

Uses for pre-cooked rice:

* Eat with a Stir-Fry
* Make Fried Rice
* Serve Rice bowls
* Eat with Curry
* Make Breakfast or Regular Burritos
* Enchiladas
* Skillet Meals
* Casseroles
* Soup
* Stew
* Chowder
* Stuffed Peppers, mushrooms, or tomatoes
* Taco Rice
* Spanish/Mexican Rice
* Dirty Rice
* Red Beans and Rice
* Gumbo
* Jambalaya
* Rice Pilaf
* Rice Pudding
* Use in Meatloaf or meatballs (in place of breadcrumbs)

These are just examples of some things you can do. If any other things come to mind, I may come back to add to this list later. What can you think of that I haven’t added to the list? Please fee free to let me know in the comments below. I will be back with you later in the week with that Stuffed Bell Pepper recipe.

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October 6, 2017

Feminine Friday~ 10/6/17


Hi everyone. I'm joining in with my blogging buddy Renee in another week of Feminine Friday's. I've been stuck inside all week trying to get over being sick. I'm heading out to run some errands in hopes that I feel up to getting all I need done. Today I'm wearing a sky blue blouse with a light gray and white stripped skirt as well as some tan flats. I shared last week how I love wearing maxi skirts and dresses so this skirt is another one I have. If anyone were to wonder what gift to give me these skirts/dresses would definiately bring on a big smile from me. Even though I'm not totally well I feel so lady like and my hubby even said I looked like what a truly beautiful lady should be. *blushing*

Be sure to click on the button below to read all about Feminine Friday and visit Renee's post to see other women showing how to be beautiful in Christ.

There Is Beauty In Grace

October 3, 2017

Batch {Bulk} Cooking with Chili

I’m back to share with y’all another batch cooking session. This week I’ll show you how cooking big batches of chili won’t leave you stuck eating bowls of chili day after day after day.

Batch Cooking Chili

Bulk Chili

I cooked up a double batch of chili using some of the ground beef I cooked up in my previous session where I cooked up a whole 5 lbs. chub of ground beef. I made the chili in my 6 quart slow cooker. If you can tell by the picture, it was almost to the rim. For dinner that night I used 2 cups of it to make a cheesy chili pie. It was delish!

Cooked Chili

I separated the rest and put it into several different containers. Once the chili had completely cooled off I put it all in the refrigerator overnight. I poured 2 containers into a gallon sized labeled Ziploc bag, squeezed out as much air as possible, and put it on a baking sheet to freeze flat. The other containers I labeled and placed in the freezer. Now what can I use all of this chili for?

Meal ideas to serve chili over, in, or with:

* Chili Mac (I do homemade version)
* Chili Cheese Fries
* Chili Cheese Dogs (oven baked is good too)
* Taco Salad
* Chili Pie (Tamale Pie)
* Chili Stuffed Potatoes
* Chili Stuffed Peppers
* Cornbread Waffles topped with chili and cheese
* Potato Hash
* Rotel Chili Dip
* “Cincinnati” Style Chili
* Burritos
* Nachos
* Enchiladas

These are just examples of the many things you can do. If any other things come to mind, I may come back to add to this list later. What can you think of that I haven’t added to the list? Please fee free to let me know in the comments below. I will be back with you next week with another bulk cooking session.

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September 29, 2017

Feminine Friday~ 9/29/17



I'm joining in with my blogging buddy Renee in Feminine Friday's. This is my first one. I'm heading out to a breakfast date with hubby before running errands for the day. I'm wearing a pink shear blouse with that comes as a set with a pink undershirt. I love wearing maxi skirts and dresses so this skirt is one I have. It went well with my blouse. I love how the colors compliment my skin tone :)

Be sure to click on the button below to read all about Feminine Friday and see other women showing how to be beautiful in Christ.

There Is Beauty In Grace

September 26, 2017

What to do with unused chicken skin & bones?

As promised in yesterday’s batch cooking with chicken quarters post, I’m back with part 2. Today I want to share with y’all what I do with all that liquid left over from cooking the chicken. I will also share what I did with those skin and bones I didn’t throw away so be sure to read to the bottom.

Homemade Chicken Broth

I had mentioned how I seasoned the chicken before cooking it. This was so that the liquid (that is now turned into broth) would have a little flavor added to it. Using the meat, skin, and bones is mainly how that canned chicken broth we see on the store shelves is made. This is why I don’t throw that cooking liquid away. I’m saving money by having my own already made up and it’s healthier because I know what I put in it. After straining the liquid through a big mesh strainer I’m left with a whole lot of broth to use in future meals (see below). I refrigerate it overnight to let the fat rise. You'll want to remove (throw out) that top layer of fat before using your broth.


Chicken bones and skin

As for the bones and skin I put all of that into a gallon Ziploc bag and keep in the freezer until it gets full of bones (ones from future meals we eat). Once the bag gets full I use it to make chicken stock A.K.A. bone broth. I have shared how I make my chicken stock here on the blog so be sure to check that out. Now what can I use all this chicken broth (or stock) for? To amp up the flavor in a meal I prepare. It can replace using plain water in many meals. Use the broth to make anything requiring broth as well as:

* Mashed Potatoes (boil potatoes in broth instead of water)
* Rice (cook rice in broth instead of water)
* Soups
* Chowders
* Stews
* Skillet meals
* Casseroles
* Sauces, ect.

Now you can see why having cooked up a lot of chicken for meals, and having several cups of homemade broth is time saving and economical. If you were wondering, this can be done with bone-in skin-on chicken breasts as well. Next time they are on sale go ahead and stock up on a few packs and give this a try. I will be back next week to share another cooking session with you.

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September 25, 2017

Batch {Bulk} Cooking with Chicken

I’m back with another batch cooking session to share with y’all. This week I’m sharing what can be done with whole fryer/roaster chickens, family packs of chicken parts, or even a 10 lb. bag of leg quarters. First off I thoroughly wash my chicken before I start cooking it. Next I either put the whole fryer in the crockpot (you can cut it up into parts if your prefer to) or cut my leg quarters into halves. If all my pieces can’t fit into my 6 quart slow cooker at once, I put the rest in a pressure cooker (this is the fastest way to get the job done). For this cooking session I used a family pack of bone-in skin-on chicken legs, and a family pack of bone-in skin-on chicken thighs.

Chicken quarters

I put a little lemon pepper and seasoned salt on the chicken (this is a little added flavor for the broth. I’ll talk about this later on). In my slow cooker I add to the chicken about 6 cups of water, a big chopped carrot, a bay leaf, and a big onion I quartered to it (if I had a celery stalk that would have went in too). In my pressure cooker I added to the chicken the same veggies but only 3 cups of water. I programmed the slow cooker to cook for 3 hours on High, and selected the chicken setting on my pressure cooker. Before I continue let me say that this post will be done in 2 parts with this being part 1.

Chicken Leg & Thigh meat

Since the thighs in the pressure cooker is the first to be ready I go ahead and work with those. I carefully take out the thighs and lay them on a platter to cool a bit. I put on disposable gloves, and get to work pulling off the skin and separating the meat from the bones on each piece. It’s best to have separate containers set out to keep the meat in, and collect your bones/skin. I don’t throw away the cooking liquid, skin, or the bones (I will talk about that tomorrow.). I cover the container with the meat and put in the refrigerator to work with after it is fully cold. I proceed to do the same with the chicken legs once they are finished cooking in the slow cooker. Once the meat is completely cold I take it out and do two things. First I take some pieces of meat, place on a cutting board, and carefully cut into bite size cubes. I sit those aside in the container while I work on the rest of the chicken. The rest is the pieces that are easy to pull apart (shred up). Once all of that has been shredded I sit it aside in a separate container. I separated the cubes and shredded chicken into 2.5 cup portions each and put into quart size Ziploc bags.


As you can see I got 2 bags of each that I pre-labeled, squeezed all the air out of them before closing, and placed in a flat single layer on a baking sheet to freeze. Once it was stiff enough I take the baking sheet out, and stack the bags on top of one another in the freezer. Remember I explained before about the need to save on space to put other things in there. Now what can I use these bags of cooked chicken for? I have a list for each type here.

Cubed Chicken ideas:

* Chicken Helper (I do homemade version)
* Chicken Fried Rice
*Chicken Lo Mein
* Chicken Pot Pie
* Chicken Alfredo
* Chicken and Noodle/Rice Soup
*Chicken and Corn Chowder
* Chicken Stew
* Chicken Wraps
* Chicken Fajitas
* Chicken Salad/sandwiches

Shredded Chicken ideas:

* Pulled Chicken (ex: BBQ sandwiches)
* Buffalo Chicken Dip
* Chicken, Spinach, and Artichoke Dip
* Any type of Chicken Sliders
* Any type of Chicken Casserole (ex: Chicken and Stuffing)
* Chicken Pizza (ex: BBQ or Chicken Alfredo)
* Chicken Tortilla Soup
* Chicken Chili
* Chicken spaghetti
* Stuffed Baked Potatoes or Shells (ex: chicken and broccoli)
* Tacos, burritos, or Taquitos
* Loaded Nachos
* Enchiladas, Toastadas, or Quesadillas

These are just examples of the many things you can do. If any other things come to mind, I may come back to add to this list later. Some may wonder why cook up all this chicken at once then freeze. Think about how in some meals you have to cut up and cook the chicken before you add it to the rest of the ingredients in a dish. This is one step or two you won't have to worry about. You just add in the cooked chicken to make the process of getting the meal cooked quicker. What can you think of that I haven’t added to the lists? Please fee free to let me know in the comments below. I will be back with you tomorrow to share part 2 of this post.

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September 19, 2017

Batch {Bulk} Cooking with Taco Meat

Last week I shared with you part 1 of my ground beef bulk cooking. This week I'm back with part 2. First let me remind you that: Each time I buy any type of meat in bulk and have a cooking session, I’ll come on here to share with you what I batch/bulk cooked as well as some ideas of different uses for it. Now moving on to what I did with the other half of that 5lbs. ground beef.


Just like last time I took this half of it and browned it up with a whole chopped onion. I put 1/4 cup of water in the skillet to help it break up a little easier and cook off some (not all) fat. I cooked it until completely done and drained it well. I put it back into skillet with 1/4 cup water, a few tablespoons of my homemade taco seasoning, stirred to combine well, and let cook for 10 minutes on low. I separated the meat into two cup portions (1 lb. ground beef) to put into quart size Ziploc bags.



As you can see I got 3 bags out of it that I pre-labeled, squeezed all the air out them before closing, let meat finish cooling off, and placed in a flat single layer on a baking sheet to freeze. Once it was stiff enough I take the baking sheet out, and stack the bags on top of one another in the freezer. This is so you save on space to put other things in there.


 Now what can I use these bags of cooked taco meat for? Here’s a list:

* Tacos
* Taco Soup
* Taco or Tamale Pie
* Taco Casserole
* Taco Pizza
* Taco Salad or Lettuce Wraps
* Loaded Nachos or Tots
* Mexican Dip (ex: 7 layer)
* Stuffed Bell Peppers/Potatoes/Shells
* Chili Mac ( homemade version of Hamburger Helper)
* "Cincinnati" Style Chili
* Burritos, Quesadillas, Enchiladas, or Empanadas (hand pies)

These are just examples of the many things you can do. I may come back to add to this list later as other things come to mind. What can you think of that I haven’t added to the list? Please fee free to let me know. That concludes my session with a 5lb. chub of ground beef. These things can be done with ground turkey too. I will be back next week to share with you another type of batch/bulk cooking session.

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