Monday, January 30, 2012

Freezer Queen

I sometimes refer to myself as a bit of a freezer queen. I freeze anything and everything (well almost). It may seem common knowledge to most, but there are still alot of people around that don't use their freezing power to the full extent that they should. 

So here are my best tips for saving money & reducing waste by freezing the simple things that tend to get thrown away. These are all tried and tested common practices in our own home.

1. Don't waste the contents of CANNED FOODS: weigh the left over contents in a snap lock bag, then mark the weight and date. No need for waste. These can include: tinned tomatoes, soups, beans, etc.

2. Don't let FRESH HERBS go to waste: My most favorite freezing trick. Pick, wash and preferably de-stem any bunch of herbs that you have. Place in a freezer bag and pop in the freezer. BUT THIS IS THE BEST BIT * Pull the bag out of the freezer, work quickly while the leaves are still frozen and bash the bags contents on the bench. All of the frozen leaves smash and you have perfect fresh finely chopped herbs. Works perfect with basil, parsley, mint, oregano.

3. CAKES AND SWEETS: It may come as a surprise to you that with almost ALL of my baking once a cake has cooled in my house, it is cut into quarters and frozen for when guests come around. Freezing is the best way to ensure freshness every time you want to enjoy AND you never have those last wasted pieces. My boys and husband aren't huge sweet fans. So I can still indulge in baking and have something yummy when the occasion calls for it. Works great with Pulla, Cake, Pikelets, Cakey Slices, Muffins, not so much cupcakes cause the wrappers come off. 

4. FREEZING MEALS: This is just commonsense. Make a big batch and freeze. We only ever make Bolognaise (spelling?) in a HUGE batch, so that we always have a freezer stocked with the stuff. I also love making a huge batch of Potato Mash: this stuff freezes great it you use cream instead of milk to mash. PERFECT for a super fast side to a meal. I go straight from freezer to microwave with this.

5. Does your TOMATO PASTE always get thrown out before you can finish it? If you can start to freeze just one thing, this is it! Empty the whole jar into a snap lock bag. Seal it and lay flat on the bench. Smooth out so that the contents are flat like a pancake. Lay flat in the freezer and simply break off what you need when you are cooking ~ so great!

6. PARMESAN CHEESE is expensive, freeze it. Grate or slice from frozen, easy! This also works for any of your standard block cheeses.

7. I rarely use GINGER so peeled and froze mine, so I can easily grate some when needed. Saves money!

8. FRESH FRUIT AND VEGETABLES are not worth wasting, when you have a veggie garden you can get alot of excess too. Squeeze lemons and oranges: freeze the juice. Peel and chop vegetables and freeze: worked well for pumpkin, onions, carrots, shallots, beans and peas. Mulberries and berries freeze well. Bananas are great to freeze when too far gone to eat, perfect for cakes and muffins! Excess tomatoes are great diced and frozen ready to add to meals.

9. Lastly, our BREAD is also another thing that goes straight into the freezer. Defrost when pieces are needed, you never have waste and always have fresh bread :-)

I hope that even just one of these tips have inspired you to use your freezer more and reduce waste in your kitchen. 

I would love to hear any other things you might freeze.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Happy New Year 2012

Hello, I am a little late celebrating the new year on my blog... it has taken me this long to recover from a very exhausting Christmas. And recover I did at the beach house. There is nothing like endless days in the sun.

A shell collectors delight
I love the new year, it always feel good to put the last year behind you and start all over again. I always have positive views for what the year ahead may hold. My biggest focus will be maintaining a balance in life. There are a few exciting events that will unfold this year. And for those who know me well.... having another baby will NOT be one of them. So don't get any ideas there (we are well and truly done in that department of life).

Enjoying Heaven On Earth
For the start of this year I am going to focus my blogs on some of my money saving ways and more importantly ways of being a little more resourceful in the kitchen and around the home.