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My tremendously supportive husband & I have 3 wonderful children, 1 dog, 12 laying hens, 2 dairy goats, 3 bee hives, and a 2000 sq foot vegetable garden on a small 1/4 acre lot in the city. In the center of it all is our small 1,000 sq foot house purchased in 2008 as a foreclosure that we fully renovated to host our growing family, home school adventures, and small home business (CozyLeaf.com). We have a desire to learn a path to self sufficiency finding ways to be good stewards of the resources God has given us. We want to learn to live with less as we laydown roots to our little homestead.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Meat Mixture for Quick Pizzas and Pastas

I love to make my life as easy as I can in the kitchen! One of the ways I cut down on dishes and time is to have various veggies cut up and meat cooked "ready to go". This meat mixture comes in SUPER handy for Pizzas, Pasta, Calzones, Omelette's, Breakfast Burrito, etc etc. Basically it is just cooked up meat that is frozen and ready to crumble on a Pizza or toss into a pasta dish so I don't have to dirty up an extra pan at dinner time just for a small amount of meat. This helps to cut down on the amount of meat we eat as well because I can use just a small handful of meat instead of feeling like I have to use the whole pound of meat so it won't go to waste.

Step 1: Decide what meat you want to have "ready to go". I usually have 1 bag that contains an assortment of meat (hamburger, sausage, chicken, bacon, etc - whatever I have on hand at the time). This time I just did a small mixture of hamburger and sausage. And I also have a separate smaller baggie of "ready to go" breakfast sausage for biscuits and gravy :)

Step 2: Cook your meat with whatever method you prefer (browning, grilling, boil, etc). This time I also added some spices and dried onions to my first mixture. I usually cook the different meats seperately to add a variety of flavor and not just 1 block of meat that all tastes the same.

Step 3: Lay out the meat on a cookie sheet or a cloth napkin (I like to use the cloth napkin to help draw out the moisture that will prevent the meat from crumbling apart after it is frozen) and fold up the edges of your napkin or towel so you dont loose pieces of meat all over your freezer.

Step 4: Put it in the freezer for a couple hours.

Step 5: Take it out of the freezer and crumble the meat apart and put into a freezer bag or some type of freezer safe container (don't give it too much time to thaw...step 3 and 4 is so that the meat doesn't stick together in a solid brick and if you let it thaw then it will probably stick together anyway). If you gather the 4 corners of the napkin it is really easy to crumble to meat that way and it also makes it super easy to pour it into the freezer bag!

Step 6: Put it back in the freezer and get ready for pizza or pasta!

Ive done this same method with Pasta and Potatoes and it makes dinner time SUPER fast. I like to have cooked cubed potatoes on hand to throw into breakfast burritos - just toss the frozen potato cubes into your eggs when you are scrambling them along with some meat mixture and some precut onions. With precooked frozen pasta then you can pull out the pasta and a can of tomatoes with a little crumble of meat mixture and you have spaghetti in 5 minutes on the stove top with little to no mess!

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