Today I decided to peel and use the 15 pounds of yellow potatoes that had been waiting for me to do something with them since last week. Well, actually, the hubs pointed to the bag and asked if I was going to plant them in the yard soon. You see blog troubles, lots of stuff to get ready for tax time, and general everyday mayhem kept getting in the way of making them into freezer sides. Today I decided to think beyond freezing and to do up some sides that would feed two of us, sometimes twice a day, for the next 7 days.
First I made mashed potatoes. I used approximately 15 medium sized yellow potatoes and once cooked, I mashed them by hand and added 4 oz cream cheese, 4 tbls butter, and a cup of milk. Delish! Next I washed and cubed about the same number of potatoes only this time I put them in a bowl with 2 tbls butter, 1/8 cup olive oil, 2 tsb chopped garlic, and a generous sprinkling of salt, pepper, and parsley. I poured them out onto a baking sheet and cooked them at 375 for about 20 minutes. I’ll be having them tomorrow morning with scrambled eggs, hub’s will have them Monday night with BBQ chicken.
With the remaining potatoes I peeled them and sliced them thinly. I sprayed a 9×11″ baking dish with Pam and then layered the potatoes in the pan. I tossed them with salt & pepper and then made sure they were all laying flat. To that I drizzled 3 tbls melted butter then topped it with 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese. To finish the Au Gratin potatoes, I added 1 cup fresh bread crumbs. I baked them at 375 for 40 minutes (time depends on the size of your slices and the depth of your potatoes).
For dinner I made vegetarian “chicken” gravy and to it I added cooked, cubed chicken from the freezer for the hubs and fake “chicken” for me and served it over the mashed potatoes. So fabulous! I use 4 cups water, 4 tsp Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base (it’s vegetarian), and pepper. I brought it to a boil and added 1/3 cup corn starch mixed with a small amount of water. I added it to the bouillon as well as parsley to taste. Once thickened, I added 2 tbls butter. I removed 1 cup for me, and added 3 cups of cooked and seasoned chicken from the freezer.
By the way, the Better Than Bouillon products are amazing! They have everything from the vegetarian “beef” and “chicken” flavors that are my favorite, to lobster, mushroom, turkey, and chili and many of the options are organic and several are vegetarian or vegan. After trying many of the powered vegetarian bouillons and finding them bitter and odd tasting, I was thrilled to find this line. I buy them at Amazon – the selection is much better, the price is considerable lower than my local grocery store, and I buy enough to get free shipping.
Hub’s will get three meals out of his gravy, I had one out of mine. I stored the hub’s meals for tomorrow (he works a 24 hr shift so I send lunch and dinner for each day) in my new Easy Lunchboxes. The large compartment holds 3 cups of food (enough for my hungry fireman) and the smaller two hold 3/4 and 1/2 cups. I added green beans and corn in the two smaller containers. Because they’re not frozen, the hubs can heat them up in just a few minutes in the microwave. The Easy Lunchboxes are freezer safe so I’ll be freezing in them some time in the future. The coolest feature of the Easy Lunchboxes is that the lid fits down onto the wells so they don’t leak into one another. Plus, they’re cute! But, it’s what they don’t have that impresses me: NO Lead, Vinyl, PVC, Phthalates, or Bisphenol A (BPA).
My full stomach and I are going to hang out on the couch for the evening and watch Kitchen Nightmares. Love that show!