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Freezing Vegetables

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One very easy way to store vegetables is freezing them.

1. Wash them thoroughly.

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2. Boil a large pot of water.

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3. Throw in the veggies.

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4. Wait for the pot to start boiling heavily again.

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5. Now let the pot boil for about 3-5 minutes to blanch the veggies (blanching-varies depending on the food).

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6. Take out the veggies and put them in an ice bath.

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7. Strain them and lay them out on a towel to dry.

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8. Finally, put them in freezer bags, write the date on the bags, and stow them away.

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For a chart of blanching times and a more detailed overview of this critical aspect of freezing different fresh foods, check out:
http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/freeze/blanching.html

Kids In Bed, Out With The Steak!

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steak

Enjoying an evening with your spouse on a tight budget without a lot of the commotion that comes with small children can be a challenge. We have found a solution.

First of all, we usually have all of our little ones in bed by 8:00. That gives us a big break almost everyday. It provides time to talk, read, or just relax. Second of all, we use Friday or Saturday nights to treat ourselves to a gourmet meal at home after the kids go to bed. It is delicious but far less expensive than going out to eat at a restaurant.

As the husband, I know that my wife wants a cooking break, so I do most of the cooking and all of the grilling for these dinners. I do most of the clean up as well. We feed the kids at their regular time and just eat something small and light to hold us over until we eat our gourmet meal for two. When we’re done, we’re both happy because we just ate a thick juicy marinated streak (a marinated piece steak, chicken, pork, etc. allows you to tenderize a less expensive piece of meat to keep cost down and taste up–always keep bulk ingredients handy to save a boatload on marinating costs). Along with this particular meal we usually have a salad, baked potato, and ice cream.

Meggan is thrilled because she gets pampered with minimal work on her part, and I’m thrilled because I spent $10 instead of $60! This nice piece of steak for two (a little over 18 oz) in the photo was one sale for $6.70 at Wal-Mart; it was great!