Some people soak in the tub. Some play a sport. Some read a book. Me? When I am worn out and need some refreshment, I find that cooking is just the pick-me-up I need.
Okay, yes - sometimes cooking is the last thing I want to do and passing out on my bed of pillows and quilty comfort is all I want. I’m not that tireless (or crazy). But over the weekend, travel weary though I was, I couldn’t stop myself from running into the kitchen to get some recipes made ahead for the coming weeks. I think it had something to do with the fact that I had suffered some kitchen withdrawal while being out of our home for eight days. And it may have had something to do with the fact that we’d eaten a few too many fast food french fries on our way home. Therefore I felt the need to grind flour, toss salads, and slice strawberries.
Anyway, I was magnetically pulled into the kitchen on Friday afternoon. I stood there for hours - cooking and baking and having a blast. And then I passed out on my bed of pillows and quilty comfort long before my family went to bed. (They, of course, were playing a lively game of soccer in the living room with their Dad because they are all of the “some play a sport” variety of refreshment seekers. Yes, the ball was soft. Yes, one picture did get knocked off the wall. No, I don’t care. Yes, I slept through it all.) But back to my kitchen time which happened before I passed out on the pillows.
I changed my plan just a little bit from the original list I shared on Friday. I was thrilled with what I accomplished in just a few hours and now have lots of healthy, prepared food ready to grab and serve. I hate that some of these pictures are ugly. Raw egg casseroles just don’t look pretty. They can’t help it. Bless their heart.
I started my marathon by getting several pounds of Turkey Sausage cooking in a pot.
While the cookies were baking and while the turkey sausage was cooking, and while Justus chopped tomatoes for dinner (irrelevant to this post, but hey, there are tomatoes in the following picture) – I mixed up two Easy Breakfast Casseroles. As soon as the sausage was done, I stirred some into the casseroles. I put the casseroles into the freezer with a note to add cheese before baking. (I didn’t feel like grating any that night, what can I say?)
Remember how Asa made a batch of no-bake cookies a few weeks ago, and it turned into Peanut Butter Chocolate Granola, so I posted the recipe? Well, this time, I made the granola and it threatened to turn into no-bake cookies. The nerve! I just smooshed it all into a platter and we’ve been breaking off pieces to eat all weekend. I think I should maybe bake it in the oven for a little while to crisp it up. Maybe I’ll do that later this week.
Somewhere in there, the family came in to help me finish making dinner, I got out my Whole Wheat Quick Mix to make the crust for a Fruit Pizza (which we ate the following day), and I mixed up a double batch of Pancake Sausage Muffins. Shucks, I had the turkey sausage fresh and ready after all. And by the way, I referenced my Oh, For Real: Real Food, Real Family, Real Easy book about twenty times during this cooking session. Hope you’re loving your copy as much as I am enjoying and using mine!
After dinner, I decided to go ahead and make a triple batch of Chicken Patty Sandwiches. I figured if I just got it done, I could then get the kitchen all clean and not worry about finishing my list the following day. We had fresh spinach from our garden, so I decided to grind some up and throw it into these sandwiches along with the carrots, onions, garlic, and chicken.
I ended up with 31 Chicken Patties for the freezer – full of all kinds of veggies and deliciousness. Unfortunately, I was on about sandwich number 27 before I remembered that I had not added one egg to the mixture. Ah well – the patties turned out great anyway. (And now you know that you can make this Chicken Patty Sandwich recipe without eggs and with spinach. Awesome.)
Once all the food cooled, I bagged it, labeled it, stuck it in the freezer, loaded the dishwasher, started it, (took my vitamins, brushed my teeth, yada yada) and went to bed. My hair smelled a bit like a fried chicken patty sandwich – the kind with no eggs and fresh spinach.