Tag Archives: freezer

Freezer Board

I think I mentioned here that I was planning to hang a dry erase board to keep track of where I had stored all of our refrigerated/frozen foods as we have 2 freezers and 2 refrigerators that we are currently using.

Well, I did manage to get the board hung up on Saturday but the sticky hooks weren’t strong enough and it soon fell down. Today I went to Walmart and picked up a couple of command hooks:

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And a pack of small sawtooth hangers:

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The plan was to attach the hangers to the back of the dry erase board and then use the hooks to hang it on the wall. First problem was getting those hangers attached because the nails were so darn tiny!

Then I remembered a trick I had seen somewhere before:

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The picture is a little blurry but I used a comb to hold the nail in place so I could hammer it in without smashing my fingers.

Voila! A few minutes later I had them both attached.

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Next was to place the hooks on the wall. I just eyeballed this… sometimes my OCD kicks in and I will spend a few hours measuring and checking the level but not this time.

I then used some alcohol to prep the area.

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While I was in the bathroom grabbing the alcohol and cotton balls Mr. Coffee Connoisseur decided he would ‘fix’ himself a hot chocolate but luckily he can’t reach the power button. He insisted he was ‘just getting it ready’ so Momma could finish it.

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We talked about how the new coffee maker was not a toy and then I told him we would all enjoy a nice hot chocolate after we finished this project.

Then I got the hooks ready:

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The hooks came with three sticky pieces. Each side is labeled so it makes it pretty easy. (They also remove very easily, if needed.) Once the hooks were ready I put them on the wall:

Once the second one was attached I hung up the dry erase board:

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I attached some sticky back velcro to the board and to my dry erase marker. (I thought about attaching the eraser too but I would probably use my finger anyway.)

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And the board was complete. Well almost….

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Mr. Coffee, who loves to practice writing his name, had added his own little touches to the board while I was attaching the hooks… never a dull moment here. Then I let my OCD have its way, just a little, when I rewrote the bottom half of the board.

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I wrote the items in order as you can find them in the porch freezer. The other freezer is a chest freezer and it is fairly organized as well as the outside fridge.

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Now the board is finished… I am still thinking of a catchy name for it other than ‘Freezer Board’ though. I am hoping this will be a handy addition to help with managing our grocery shopping and meal planning. This allows not only me but my oldest daughter to be able see what we have on hand, where to find it, and what we may need to get or add to the grocery list.

Mr. Coffee was happy to see it finished and he asked if he could write his name on it again but I explained to him that this was Momma’s board and reminded him that he has his own. Then we made some hot cocoa, (Momma had some Twinings Earl Grey tea) and had some powdered donuts for a snack. (A special little treat, Just Because.)

 

 

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Meal Prepping: Freezing Squash

I was recently blessed with some yellow squash and zucchini. It was more than we could eat at the time as I had some in the refrigerator as well. I decided to put the best looking ones in the freezer to use later on. The ones that were bruised or slightly damaged were fried up later on to go with dinner. Yummy!

I will give the instructions for two different methods of freezing squash. The first will be for short term storage (1-3 months) and the second is for longer term (4-6 months). When you freeze the squash it will be best to use it in casseroles, breads, cakes, cookies, pies, or sauteed as it will lose some of its original firmness. I will be posting recipes for using the fresh and frozen squash in future posts so keep checking under the Recipes tab or do a search for squash.

Method #1. (This is the method I normally use as we will eat it rather quickly.)

  1. Wash the squash, cut off the ends, and cut away any damaged areas. You should use fresh squash for freezing.
  2. Slice, dice, or grate the squash.
  3. Arrange the squash, in a single layer, on a large cookie sheet(s) that has been sprayed with nonstick spray.
  4. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer for at least 2-3 hours, or overnight.
  5. Remove the cookie sheet and place the frozen squash into freezer bags. Squeeze out as much air as possible and place in the freezer.
  6. Use within 1-3 months for best flavor.

Method #2.

  1. Wash the squash, cut off the ends, and cut away any damaged areas. You should use fresh squash for freezing.
  2. Slice, dice, or grate the squash.
  3. Boil a large pot of water.
  4. Fill a large bowl with water and ice.
  5. Boil the squash for 3-4 minutes and promptly remove from the hot water.
  6. Use a slotted spoon to remove the squash and place into the cold water.
  7. Cool completely and then drain thoroughly.
  8. Arrange the squash, in a single layer, on a large cookie sheet(s) that has been sprayed with nonstick spray.
  9. Place the cookie sheet in the freezer for at least 2-3 hours, or overnight.
  10. Remove the cookie sheet and place the frozen squash into freezer bags. Squeeze out as much air as possible and place in the freezer.
  11. Use within 4-6 months for best flavor.

For winter squash/pumpkins:

  1. Wash the squash, cut off the ends, remove the seeds, and cut away any damaged areas. You should use fresh squash for freezing.
  2. Boil a large pot of water.
  3. Fill a large bowl with water and ice.
  4. Boil the squash until tender, promptly remove from the hot water.
  5. Use a slotted spoon to remove the squash and place into the cold water.
  6. Cool completely and then drain thoroughly.
  7. Scrape the squash from the rind and discard the rind.
  8. Slightly mash the squash with a potato masher or a fork.
  9. Place the squash into freezer bags. Squeeze out as much air as possible and place in the freezer.
  10. Use within 4-6 months for best flavor.

Pantry Challenge Week

What is a Pantry Challenge? Well, it is pretty much what it says. A pantry challenge is a technique I have to use up the food I have in my pantry or freezer.

I set up one week every three to four months as a ‘Pantry Challenge Week’. This forces me to check through my pantry to see what may be hiding in the back. It forces me to check dates on items that I have forgotten about. It also forces me to look in the freezer. Look everywhere in the door, the drawers, and underneath the frozen bags of whatever is lurking in there. Continue reading Pantry Challenge Week

Monthly Routines

This is a quick run down of our monthly routines or tasks that I try to complete once a month. I have divided them up by weeks so that it helps me keep them on track. I only have five tasks per week so I only need to concentrate on one each day.

1st week:

  1. Check/Pay bills
  2. Change calendars
  3. Clean/Sanitize the dishwasher
  4. Make appointments
  5. Yard work

Ok so number one is a must! If you don’t do that one you will be sitting in the dark.

Number two is a little more detailed for us as this not only involves me flipping the page on my desk calendar but changing out the school calendar. I have different themes for different months/seasons. All the cards are printed out and laminated. I keep them separated by months in a small index card holder. (I will try to do a post on this another time.)

I have included a link for the third task. It is important to make sure you take care of your appliances so they will last.

I sit down and see who needs appointments for physicals and such. I also check through my mail to see if I have gotten any appointment cards for anyone.

We try to take care of any big yard work like weed eating, trimming bushes, etc.

2nd week:

  1. Run vinegar and water through the coffee pot
  2. Clean burner pans on the stove
  3. Spot clean couches
  4. Spot clean the carpets
  5. Garden

I have included a link to this first one. It is important to clean out your coffee maker to keep the germies away!

I usually need to clean the burner pans on the stove at least once a month. This reduces the chance of something catching on fire.

The next two are pretty self explanatory. With kids messes are inevitable. I try to clean up messes when they happen but sometimes I don’t see them right away. I take a few minutes, once a month, to check the furniture and give it a quick cleaning.

I do the same with the carpets. I have the Shark Sonic Duo and I love it! It cleans really well and dries really quickly. This machine comes in really handy for big messes too.

When we have a garden I will use this week to give it a little extra attention and let the kids get some hands on learning at the same time.

3rd week:

  1. Change water filters, if needed
  2. Clean vacuum filters
  3. Clean AC filters
  4. Clean out fridge
  5. Clean out freezer

I use a water filter on the kitchen sink for drinking water and our fridge has a filter also. We try to keep a check on them and replace them as needed.

A lot of the vacuums have filters that can be washed. I try to wash mine once a month. I also give the vacuum a good cleaning and check the roller as well.

We have window AC units and they stay in all year round. The ACs run much better and are  more efficient when the filters are cleaned on a regular basis. So this not only saves me money but helps keep us more comfortable as well.

Once a month our fridge gets a deep clean. We take everything out shelf by shelf and wash it. Then we dry it and put it right back.

Same with our large freezer. I try to take everything out shelf by shelf. I use laundry baskets and coolers to hold the items. Things can get a little disorganized when others help put away groceries so I try to organize it by shelf. I separate the fruits and produce, the meats by types, breads, and try to keep the small items or items that need to be used in the door.

4th week:

  1. Wash your car
  2. Menu planning
  3. Wash shower curtain
  4. Clean out tubs/showers
  5. Chicken pen

Our cars get really dirty here. If it rains they get covered in mud. If it doesn’t rain they get covered in dust. When I am in town running errands I try to run my truck through the car wash once a month.

I also take a day to review my upcoming month’s menus and rearrange meals to fit our schedules and budget for the month. If I have multiple meals that pop up for a day I will choose one and delete the rest of them. I will also try to keep in mind what foods are more readily available for whatever season we are in.

Once a month I try to remember to throw the shower curtain in the wash with a load of whites. I hang it up as soon as it is washed so it can dry. When the curtain is down it makes it easier to clean out the tub in the back bathroom. I normally have DD17 take care of that and I take care of the big tub and separate shower in my bathroom.

The bathrooms just smell so much better when you keep everything washed up on a regular basis and don’t give them a chance to gather any kind of funk.

This last week is when we give our chicken pens a little extra attention too. We try to give everything a good cleaning with the water house and replace shavings and whatnot. This keeps the chickens and the geese fairly happy.

I hope this has helped you with some ideas for setting up your own monthly routines.