Friday, June 20, 2014

Cooking for Two { Part 1 }

"How I'm Re-Learning to Shop, Store and Cook for Just Us Two" { long sub-heading, I know ! }

Having been a wife, mom, and homemaker for nearly 32 years, I've had to adjust along the way to go from shopping and cooking for 2, then up to 5 when all of our kids were still at home. When I was a working mom, I loved having leftovers { also known as "LOs" } in the freezer ready for times when I was too tired to cook after work!   However, when we became "empty nesters", I seemed to have forgotten how to only cook for just the two of us.  We'd end up having leftovers until we were sick of them!

With our re-energized efforts to eat more healthy foods, and cut our portion sizes down, it has also affected our shopping and storing of the food we purchase. Here's a few tips & tricks I'm re-learning:

1. Shop once a week, and don't purchase in bulk or stockpile food items, to avoid waste. Don't waste money on pre-packaged smaller sizes, just get ziplock-style baggies for storage and freezing.
2. All dry goods are stored in Rubbermaid containers. { Especially in a tropical climate where bugs can invade food staples.  I also did this in our previous homes in Idaho, Texas, New Mexico, etc. for the same reasons. }

3. Flour, Bisquick, Pancake Mix, and Bread crumbs are now stored in the freezer, in airtight containers. (Butter is also stored in the freezer.) The flour, etc. does not freeze, so it's still ready to use. Again, this is to preserve it  longer, and to avoid bug infestation. { I didn't have to do this in other climates. }
4. Re-package meats into single-meal sized packages before freezing, to avoid having too many leftovers.
1/2 pound or 1 pound packages of ground beef - press flat for easier freezer storage
2 individual portions of Canadian Bacon or Bratwurst per baggie -
place those inside another baggie with instructions & nutrition label
5. Cut down recipes into 2-serving sizes, or 4-serving sizes. Online calculators can sometimes help!
6. If making a larger batch of a recipe, immediately freeze the extras into 2-serving size portions, labeled with the date.

Obviously, you can see where I'm headed here: buy less, package into smaller portions, and modify your recipes for 2 to 4 serving sizes. So far, so good... re-learning is not that hard, is it?

Next time: Cooking for Two {Again} Part 2: Simple Recipes

Until then ~

   Blessings, Juju

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