As the title implies...there is no bun in the oven...but I did amazing on my exams! I know, I know, its the second time I have taken this set of exams...so I can't get too carried away...but I did do drastically better than last year and for that I am just so so so relieved. Seriously high score of a 93 and low score of an 82...I am just so stinkin relieved and happy. Last year I was just above passing on all my exams.
It means that all this hassle of the long distance marriage is worth it, it means I can do this and do it well!
Mostly thanks to the wonderful wonderful support given to me by my roommate who are providing me with a home during the week so I don't have to live alone, cook me delicious food, and encourage me to study, plus providing the right amount of distractions to keep me sane! (Stephanie, if you are reading this...I am ever so indebted to you, you have taken care of so many things for me and really helped me to excel this year...thank you!)
As the previous post discussed I spent my break this weekend prepping some freezer meals for Stephen.
Stephen could definitely feed himself, and he has been, for the last 6 weeks he survived off of sandwiches and fast food. But he does not get home from school until 9 so making a wholesome dinner is just not a possibility.
I have struggled a lot with being unable to care for Stephen living at Loma Linda. I can't help but feel guilty not being there to handle those responsibilities and pick up the slack as I could if we lived together. Certainly some may think its a burden to have the responsibilities of cooking and cleaning thrust on them, but they are both things I enjoy doing and I especially love that I can do them for my husband and make his life easier.
So I wanted to prepare some food that we could freeze in individual portions and he could simply defrost and reheat in the microwave. So that is exactly what I did this weekend!
I cooked to my little hearts content and cleaned our apartment too!
First we went to the store to look for containers. We found these lovely Ziploc containers that had separate compartments for meals and sides, and we also bought some basic Ziploc containers for soups and chilis.
Then we went home and got started.
On Saturday night I made Summer corn chowder. We ended up eating most of the delicious soup for dinner, but we froze the leftover portions for Stephen for later on. The soup reheated well. However, it was thicker after the freezing process, so I would suggest adding a little extra milk to each portion before freezing.
- 6 medium ears of corn
- 6 strips of bacon
- 1 small onion
- 1 medium poblano, finely chopped
- 1 rib of celery, finely chopped
- 3 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped (parboil for easy peeling)
- 2 medium boiling potatoes (about 1 pound), peeled and cubed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
- pinch of sugar or two
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 small bay leaf
- 2 cups half and half
- 1 cup milk
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Working over a bowl, cut the corn kernels from the cobs. Then, using the back of the knife, scrape the cobs over the bowl to release all the "milk"; set aside.
- In a large saucepan, fry the bacon over until crisp. Transfer the bacon to paper towels to drain. Crumble and reserve.
- Discard all but 3 tablespoons of the bacon drippings from the pan. Add the onion and cook over medium heat until golden, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the poblano pepper, and celery and cook until slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, potatoes, salt, allspice, sugar, bay leaf and the reserved corn kernels and their "milk" and stir well. Cook over medium heat until mixture begins to sizzle.
- Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are tender, 35 to 45 minutes. Stir in the cream and milk and bring just to a boil. Remove from heat and season with black pepper to taste. Ladle the chowder into bowls and garnish with the crumbled bacon.
Then I continued with making Chicken Parmesan to freeze with partially steamed broccoli and spaghetti noodles.
For the broccoli steam it slightly less than the desired "doneness" so it won't get mushy when you reheat it.
For the spaghetti I used whole wheat thin spaghetti and I mixed the noodles with a little olive oil and a little tomato sauce.
For the chicken parmesan:
- 2 whole Chicken Breast Halves, Boneless And Skinless
- salt and pepper
- 1 egg
- 1 Tablespoon Dried Oregano
- 1 Tablespoon Dried Basil
- 1 Tablespoon Dried Thyme
- 2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
- 1 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- ½ cups Italian Breadcrumbs
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 2 cups Tomato Sauce (Use your favorite, I used Private Selection (Kroger) Original Marinara)
- Handful or two of Grated Parmesan
- 1 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- Fillet the chicken breast so that you now have 4 chicken breasts that are thin
- Combine the herbs, salt, pepper and bread crumbs in a shallow dish.
- Beat the egg in a wide bowl
- Season about a cup of flour with salt and pepper in a shallow dish
- Dip each chicken breast first in the flour mixture, followed by the egg mixture, and then in the breadcrumbs and shake off excess.
- Heat olive oil in large oven-proof skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and cook just until brown, about 3 minutes per side. Remove the skillet from the heat.
- Sprinkle each chicken breast with half the parmesan cheese and mozarella cheese.
- Cover with Tomato sauce
- Top with the rest of the parmesan cheese and mozarella cheese. I always add extra
- Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the cheese melts and the chicken is cooked through.
Following with the chicken theme I also prepared chicken enchiladas which were frozen with sides of rice and corn.
For the rice I just made short grain rice with some enchilada seasoning mixed in. For the corn I just used frozen corn and added some to each container with a few drops of water.
The enchiladas I made I used whole wheat flour tortillas, but from now on I will use corn as Stephen did not like the gumminess of the flour after it was frozen.
5 to 6 servings
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 can olives, drained
- 1 can rotel
- 1 small onion diced
- 3/4 cup. shredded cheddar cheese
- 3/4 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 10 1/4 oz can of cream of chicken soup
- 2 chicken breast halves, boneless and skinless
- 6 to 8 tortillas (I suggest corn, but you can use flour it will just be gummy texture)
- 1/4 cup milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
- Cube the chicken breast and brown it over medium heat until just cooked through. Do not overcook your chicken or it will be tough after baking the enchiladas.
- In a bowl mix onion, garlic powder, onion powder, rotel, 1/2 the olives, sour cream, soup.
- Reserve 3/4 cups of sauce.
- To remaining sauce, add chicken and 3/4 cups of cheese (I just mixed the two cheese together
- Warm tortillas and fill with the sauce mixture. Roll and place in 9X13 ungreased dish.
- Combine reserved sauce and milk. Pour over tortillas and sprinkle the rest of cheese and olives on top.
- Bake 30-40 mins
When I go to visit again in two weeks I plan on making some meatloaf and maybe lasagna to accompany these so he has a wide variety of meals to choose from.