Getting things back to normal

My main goal in life is to get things back to normal right now. I’m on the right path, but not there completely yet. Since the move we have gotten back to normal for our works lives and bedtime stuff, and mostly our eating. I know that sounds pretty good and I swear if I stopped there we would all survive, but I want more. I want my frozen homemade food back so we can eat something yummy and somewhat healthy at a moments notice, I want more things unpacked and I want our homeschool area ready. One thing at a time.

I can only do so much at once so I’m stating slowly with the frozen food. Last week I made our favorite tomato soup. I always make a double batch and freeze the leftovers, so now I have just about 3 meals worth of frozen tomato soup ready to go. I had never done it with the cheese sandwich croutons before, but this last time we had the soup I made grilled cheese sandwiches on our new panini press and we finally figured out why people eat grilled cheese with tomato soup. It was awesome! Due to my lovely gallstones I only had a bite or two of sandwich, but loved it. Waldo and Lily were sold and I think I’m never going to get away without the cheese sandwiches.  So now I’m going to have to make sure I always have cheese slices in the freezer.  What we did this last time worked great. Waldo sliced the leftover cheese from our Costco blocks of cheddar and Gruyere and put what he felt was one sandwich’s worth in a slightly offset stack and wrapped them in parchment paper (next time I think we’ll try freezer paper as I just found it in a box) and then he put them in a freezer bag. We took them out a few minutes before we were ready to grill the sandwiches and they worked out awesome.

Today was a big day, I made banana bread just for fun and because our banana started to look really sad. I have read that you can unpeel the bananas and put them in a freezer bag for later bread making (or whatever floats your boat), but I’ve never tried it myself. I always just make the bread. I don’t have a link for the recipe I use because I didn’t note where it came from and I’ve changed it quite a bit. I will try and remember to post my recipe at some point.

After I finished the banana bread I made southern biscuits and froze them unbaked, now when we want some biscuit love we just have to pull them out and bake them. I’ve never done this one before, but it’s noted on the recipe so I have high hopes and I’m looking forward to a surprise of buttery biscuits for breakfast one day. Side note: these are buttermilk biscuits and I never have buttermilk at home. I use powered buttermilk and it works out fine.

Now I’ve got pasta sauce simmering on the stove. That is again a double batch and I’ll put it in freezer quart bags and we’ll have months worth of easy pasta dinners almost ready to go. I don’t change much with this one, except that we don’t like chunky tomatoes so after this is all simmered I use my immersion blender and make it fairly smooth. I think I need to start simmering this sauce longer because once we put it on our plates the sauce kinda leaks water that drives Waldo crazy. It’s still delicious, but he hates the water portion. Our cook friend suggested that I cook it longer. I’ll try and remember to report back with how this works.

Next week I plan to make pizza sauce and chili. Whew, I’m tired just looking at all of this.  We love this pizza sauce, it’s the BEST. Much like a lot of Alton’s recipes it’s a lot of steps and fiddly, but I think that’s what makes it so perfect, it’s very tasty and full of flavor. I use my immersion blender on this too and we make it fairly smooth. I think you’ll see a trend when it comes to tomatoes and us. I can’t recommend this sauce enough.

**I started this post a few weeks ago and have been trying to get it finished this whole time. At this point we have polished off the soup and pizza sauce. Waldo has informed me that he wants us to try and find another chili recipe. The one I use is good, but not knock-your-socks-off.

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