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Okanagancook

Challenge: cook your way through your freezer (part 2)

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I can contribute again, pulled out a striploin fromthe freezer, triple cooked fries and a bearnaise

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BeeZee   

2 more gone from freezer. Leftover zucchini casserole (sort of like noodle-less lasagne), added some darkly roasted cauliflower bits (dated from Feb) mixed with parm cheese, crumblike texture, used them as the bottom layer in the pan. Frozen prepared crabcakes (only 3 days in freezer, quick turnover!). I am now realizing I have more froz veg than I thought, may be soup time soon.

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Dejah   

A partial package of scallops, a few shrimp, and a small halibut steak - from the freezer. Coated with Lefty's Spicy Fish and Chicken mix, pan fried. Eaten with new taters boiled and fried in ghee, and leftover steamed green beans.
Don't think it made much of a dent in the freezer, but at least they got used up!:$
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On 9/2/2017 at 7:03 PM, robirdstx said:

We did not actually lose much due to lack of power to the freezer - mostly some veggies and pot pies that got soggy. We did not lose any of our frozen meats, which were stored in the bottom drawer and packed with ice. Since we were on generator power for five days I did not buy any more meat, instead, using this as an opportunity to see what I could do with what we had on hand.

 

My freezer is not looking so bare! I made a grocery stop while running errands yesterday and restocked the pot pies, veggies, ice cream, etc. and also added some chicken tenders, a flat iron steak, a couple lbs. of ground chuck, and a pot roast to the meat drawer. Our nearby neighborhood little Walmart had lost power during H. Harvey, so they had to toss all the meat, dairy, frozen products and most of the produce, etc. The store has now been mostly restocked.

 

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Edited by robirdstx (log)
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Dejah   

Big day today! My new upright freezer was delivered this morning. Was rushing to get the old chest freezer emptied (thus no picture)so the delivery guys can move it out to allow room to maneuver the new one into the corner.
I LOVE IT!...no more freezer diving.xD
I kept the baskets used in the chest freezer - fits well.
Took a while to get everything sorted and placed in appropriate shelves, baskets. 
There are three 3-rib prime roasts (one dated Dec. 2016!), a couple of dozen steaks, 2 trays of baby back ribs, 2 of side ribs, chicken, shrimp, pickerel,  lots of frozen fruit, and so on...
Organized now, but we'll see...No shopping for proteins for a while!
Thawing old chest freezer - Hydro PowerSmart program will come and haul it away. I get $50.00!
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New 20.9 cu ft upright                                     59b20b9c962ab_NewFreezer0985.thumb.jpg.166b8bb6024796e92d6b9fac41d9f0da.jpg
                                                                 

Door shelves:Low-carb breads, Chinese ingredients,  etc
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Shelves with protein, joongzi,  and frozen fruit

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And...where's the beef?

                                          
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And, one rib steak didn't make it back into the freezer!
Supper tonight - steak, pan-fried new potatoes, and sauteed mushrooms.
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lindag   
10 hours ago, Dejah said:


                                                                  

New 20.9 cu ft upright                                     
                                                                 

 

                                                   


 

Is yours a frost free model? 

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Dejah   

@lindag no...it's a manual defrost. I could have gotten a 16 cu ft upright for a little more, as opposed to &749.00 for this one,  but I wanted the bigger one. Could have gotten the 20.9 frost-free but would have been over $1000.00.
The salesman said that manual is better as the frost-free cycles melt a thin layer of frozen meats = freezer burn. I trusted him.
Besides, the upright will be easier to defrost than a chest freezer.

Cooked a rack of lamb for tonight. It was purchased at 50% off - close to "best before" date of March 20th, 2017. Rubbed with Greek seasoning and grill. Make Greek lemon taters and peas with fresh mint.
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3 hours ago, Dejah said:

The salesman said that manual is better as the frost-free cycles melt a thin layer of frozen meats = freezer burn. I trusted him.

 

Very nice Greek themed meal, Dejah. Looks like a perfect cook on the lamb for me.

 

I agree with the salesman. I've had the manual defrost and they keep stuff preserved in much better condition for longer than the frost free do. I'd have made the same choice in your place.

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lindag   

Yes...that's what I've been told.  Mine are both manual, of course the side by side is frost free.

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BeeZee   

Working my way thru a bag of TJ's half dried frozen figs. Defrosted some and chopped, mixed with cottage cheese for lunch. I liked these, so once the bag is done it will likely be replaced, only a temp freezer space saving.

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She ain't pretty. But she ticks alot of 'ohmygoshstopbuyingstoringandfreezingstuffyouneveruse' get rid of it boxes. So we have the ubiquitous frozen trio of peas, corn and carrot that I always seen to have a 'back up' 6 bags of, freezer released chicken stock, chicken breast also rescued from the ice and from the pantry, half a box of wholemeal Couscous that has been staring at me without a hint of inspiration for Two. Years. 

Reminds me of my student days. Although I don't think I could afford chicken then. 

 

 

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More chicken leg quarters being par-cooked in the sous vide setup this morning!

I'm proud of myself! 

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On 9/7/2017 at 11:18 PM, Dejah said:

My new upright freezer was delivered this morning.

 

Lucky you!

I would LOVE to have an upright!

:)

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Dejah   

@DiggingDogFarm: HAD to, really...Too much food was buried, and I am no longer young enough to continue "freezer diving"!
Last couple of meals:
Another rib steak as I slowly work down that stash! Rubbed with Creole Spice that I picked up on one of our trips south of the 49th ...
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Found a package of Hot Italian sausage, so it was Keto- Tuscan Zupper in the Instant Pot. Switched out the potato with cauliflower.

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Tonight, pulled 3 lbs of lean ground beef from the freezer and made Instant Pot Chili. Served over Shirataki tofu fettuccine , topped with cheddar cheese and avocado.
Fast, low carb, and tasty!
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Tonight's freezer rummage produced steak (rump I think, I grew up with British named cuts, shop with Australian named cuts and learn about American cuts so, I'm pleased to just identify it as Cow). Served with Parmesan Hassleback, Broccoli and a dollop of baby p**p/cat sick (depending on the angle). 
The sauce is something I make only for those I cook for, in Aussie country pubs around where I am living its a staple on most menus labelled "Dianne Sauce" although its completely different to the sauce I associate with Steak Dianne so who knows. They likes it. I also think I made it too thick. 

 

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Dejah   

One of three chickens (sold as 3/bag) - rubbed with Ethiopian Berbere spice and left for the day. I wanted to cook it in the Big Easy, but the ignition knob is, I think kaput...
Cooler day, so the oven was acceptable.

Steamed up a a couple of clumps of frozen mixed vegetables (from somewhere in the old chest freezer), and the last 1/4 of a humongous spaghetti squash from a friend.

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Since the arrival and organization of the up-right freezer, I haven't bought any new protein except for a piece of steelhead trout!:cool:

 

                                         

 

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Amberjack pulled from the freezer.  Now what to do with it?

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Dejah   

One package of baby back ribs, purchased Dec. 2016 - rubbed with Harissa spice and slow-roasted in the oven.
Eaten with cauliflower "fried rice" and peas - from the freezer.
 

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3 more packages of ribs to use up...9_9

 

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Anna N   

 I am making very little progress with my freezer drawer. Somewhere in there I am fairly certain are some sausages. I have been jonesing for some sausages. But when I attempted to retrieve them I realized that a freezer drawer is only a chest freezer in miniature. Digging down into one if you are even slightly physically challenged is at least as difficult.  Two or three times now I have abandoned the attempt to reach sausages should they actually be there.  Something has to change. 


Edited by Anna N (log)
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Anna N   

 And so something has changed!  

 

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 The top drawer as it was when I woke up this morning. Everything is Higgly Piggly here and there and I had no clue what was in there. 

 

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 The top drawer as it is now. I was so ruthless I was able to finally store many pounds of nuts that were gift and that I had vacuumed packed but knew would need to be frozen before I could possibly think of using them all up. 

 

 I forgot to take a photograph of the bottom drawer before I began cleaning it up. But here it is now:

 

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 On the right are two levels of baskets separated by an old cutting board.

On the left are three baskets ( two below the red one you see). 

 

 I learned a great deal about myself with this exercise. 

 

There are no meals that I have frozen that I have any interest in eating. In other words don't bother freezing meals!  

 

 Frozen rice doesn't do it for me either. 

 

 Don't ever believe that you will be using it within the week and therefore do not need to package it properly for long-term storage. xD  I did find the sausages mentioned  above but most of them I'm afraid went into the bin. Stored only in a Ziploc bag without any care taken they were freezer burned and most unappetizing. 

 

There is nothing wrong with having a few slices of bread  in the freezer. But when a good 50% of the freezer is occupied by bread products there is a problem.  It was getting rid of most of the bread that freed up so much space. 

 

LABEL LABEL LABEL. DATE DATE DATE. 

 

If you don't know when or why you are putting it in the freezer then it does not belong there.

 

 All freezer inventories need at least two more columns: 

 

A.   Planned use (in other words choose a recipe/technique/occasion for the item's ultimate purpose).   If possible, start plugging things into a meal plan for the next month. Ingredients such as nuts and seeds are exempt from this requirement. 

 

 B.  Use by or discard date!   It's not helpful to know that something will survive for two years in your freezer unless you are buying a whole cow.  If you haven't used it within 6 months chances are good you never will. (this would not apply of course to those of you who freeze your garden produce.)

 

 Just because you can freeze  something doesn't mean you should.  Why are there  six lemons still in my freezer?xD

 

Gaining control of one's freezer is very much like quitting smoking. You rarely succeed on the first try or the second try....

 

These are lessons I learned about myself and do not necessarily apply to anyone else. 

 

 Now to look at my freezer inventory and start adding those other two columns. :)

 

 Sorry if I bored everyone.  But I thought some might get a little bit of use out of my lessons. 

 

 

 

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rotuts   

@Anna N 

 

congratulations 

 

fresh Nuts  are a Gift from [ fill in the blank ]

 

My sister used to send me Pecans from Tx where she lived

 

She had good friends that were growers

 

she also pick up a lot of P.Nuts in here small town

 

they were planted in that part of Tx as shade  in the public areas

 

nothing quite like really  Fresh Nuts

 

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Im glad you VacFz your stash !

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ElsieD   

One thing I have learned from cooking my way through my freezer is that I now vacuum pack ALL meats.  No exceptions.  I too am guilty in the bread department.  Off the top of my head I can think of at least 7 different kinds of breads/buns in there. 

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Dejah   

Cooked one of 4 one lb packages of pickerel I bought from a local fisherman in June.
Breaded with low-carb coating and eaten with tofu, peas, and cole slaw (been carving and eating this all week!).

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Here is my real dedication to cooking my way through my freezer. This is one of 3 rib roasts that were at the bottom of the old chest freezer. It was too heavy and too far down for me to pull out. Now, there is now escaping my grasp! In view of the heavy teaching load I have this term, and the marking load to go along with it, I want to have lots of leftovers for lunch and dinner.

There are only the two of us at home, so some of the cooked meat MAY go back into the freezer.
It was such a great price, I couldn't refuse. This one is dated October, 2016...3.975 kg!
The weather has really turned chilly : 7C today and rain. Doing a slow roast for this hunk of meat will take the chill off the air.9_9
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Nice find.  If sealed well you have little chance of developing off flavors even if much older 

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Dejah   

That October 2016 rib roast from the above post - became this tonight! Stuck it in 275F oven at 1:30. Pulled at 140F at 5 pm... Threw in baking potatoes and Yorkshire pudding (last minute decision), carrots and green beans made a grand meal. We ate barely one rib width for supper. Cut the rest into 2 big portions. One portion, in Foodsaver bag, went back into the freezer along with 8 Yorkies. The other portion  and 2 Yorkies are for...maybe Monday. Food Truck Warz are in the city, so may well hit that for supper tomorrow!

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