One of the bonuses in the Ultimate Healthy Living Bundle (this sale is over – sign up here to be sure you hear about the next one in plenty of time!) that I couldn’t wait to try is a starter from Cultures for Health to be able to make our own version of San Francisco’s famous sourdough bread (there are lots of cultures to choose from – European sourdoughs all the way to an Alaska version).
My daughter is SO excited about this, as she’s always wanted our sourdough bread to be a little more sour tasting, like the San Francisco bread we’d get from the store. Our regular sourdough is made with whole wheat flour and this starter specified that it needed to be made with white flour, so it will be interesting to see the difference in the bread between a different starter and different flour.
Do any of you make a sourdough with all white flour and see a difference? I’m pretty sure it will be lighter in weight and texture, but do you think the white flour could make it more sour tasting?
After getting the new sourdough starter mixed up, I decided to experiment with freezer cooking in an hour using a couple of the eBooks from the Ultimate Healthy Living library. Many years ago I attempted the major freezer cooking thing – where you do a ton of planning and prep and spend all day Saturday cooking – and it about wiped me out. I HATED it – and I usually love to cook! PLUS, almost all the things needed to be thawed and I’d always forget, so it ended up not being very convenient.
So my “freezer cooking” has been limited to doubling a recipe here and there, or freezing our breads (already baked or just dough like these Zucchini Freezer Muffins). But I’ve been curious about the streamlined freezer cooking – getting fewer things done in a quicker amount of time – and these two eBooks included in the bundle were enough to spur me into motion:
- Money Saving Mom’s Guide to Freezer Cooking, is the book that suggests different time frames for freezer cooking, and
- Grain-Free Meal Plans Freezer Cooking Guide, which is much more detailed and has a great method of breaking up freezer cooking into ‘blocks’ that feature similar ingredients (cooking all meat one time, vegetables another, and so on).
Both emphasize doing what works for your family and schedule – and for me, it was one hour. Here’s what I decided to get done in an hour, using ingredients I had and produce I needed to use up:
- Breakfast burritos (recipe from MSM’s Guide)
- Marinated chicken thighs (from MSM’s Guide)
- White Zucchini Cake (my recipe)
- No-Fail Zucchini Bread (my favorite recipe)
One of the cooking blocks in the Grain-Free Meal Plans was for baking, but I needed to get some zucchini used up and I like our recipes, so I just decided to use them. The cooking block I’d like to do next from that book is the dehydrating and condiment block – I love the idea of getting all our condiments made in one fell swoop, like our own mayo and honey-sweetened ketchup and the eBook’s quick fruit-and-honey syrups.
I made a basic plan, printed out the checklists from MSM’s eBook and started my preparations (ignore the basil and parmesan on the list – at first I thought I’d get pesto made as well, but realized before even beginning that it would never fit in the hour timeline). Prepping things like the shredded zucchini first was perfect, as it needed to drain in a colander for a bit anyway. I had bacon, so that is what I used in our breakfast burritos and I just cooked in the preheating oven that I needed for the baked goods. It was all clicking as I got into a multi-tasking groove.
But, man, what a mess – even with being able to use items already dirty (measuring cups, etc.) for multiple recipes. And multi-tasking has it’s drawbacks, I discovered, when the eggs almost burned. My daughter saved the day and they came out just a little brown – no big deal she said, since they’d be in burritos (she was cheering me on, the sweetie).
And I don’t know what I did wrong, but I couldn’t get everything done in an hour – from the time I started the prep until the I put the zucchini bread in the oven to cook (the last baked good) was an hour and a half. If I added cleanup to that it would be 2 hours, but Brian came to my rescue and did the dishes (yep, a keeper). Did I plan too many things for the hour or is prep not included in the hour total time?
So, in 1-1/2 hours, I added 10 breakfast burritos, 2 marinated chicken thigh bags, 1 zucchini cake and 2 zucchini loaves to our freezer. Or, 10 breakfasts, 2 dinners, one dessert and lots of snacks, which doesn’t sound too bad, actually. Plus I got to use up two of our garden zucchinis that needed to be used, which is always a good thing!
Do you have any freezer cooking-in-an-hour tips for me?