Where to Store Ice Packs in the Freezer

Last week I cleaned out the refrigerator and freezer. I keep my freezer organized by using baskets. One is for frozen fruits and two are for meat.

One thing that I hated to see taking up space was the ice packs. They take a lot of space and they are worthless unless they are frozen. I decided to line them up along the back of the freezer behind the baskets. There was plenty of room and the baskets did not touch the door. When stored in the back, they stay frozen solid.Ice packs in back of freezer.

Now if I could only get rid of the contraband that my son put in my freezer…”State Fair Corn Dogs.” Why? 1) A frozen corn dog can never compare to a hot one served at the fair. 2) I hate hot dogs. 3) He never shares anyway. (Sigh)

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Stretching Syrup

Monday was David’s birthday and he asked for homemade waffles for breakfast. I reminded him that we still had some blueberry syrup left, but when we got out the jar, it was almost empty.

I was not going without blueberry syrup on my waffle!

I added a tablespoon of corn syrup to the bottle. Corn syrup and blueberry syrup

I shook the bottle well,  to get the bits of blueberry off the sides, and turned it upside down. Upside down jar of blueberry syrup

By the time I finished making the rest of the waffles, the syrup and blueberry bits were down at the bottom of the bottle. There was plenty!Waffle on a plate

I used a spatula to scrape the batter off of the measuring cup and bowl. I used my finger to scrape the extra batter off of the spatula and found there was enough for one more waffle. Waffle

Always use every last drop!

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Waffle Garlic Bread

One of the best parts of our weekend away was breakfast at the motel. They used real plates, cups, glasses, silverware, and offered: egg rounds, bacon rounds, biscuits, gravy, and “make your own waffles.” They had chocolate chip batter and I was in heaven. I covered that waffle with strawberries, blueberries, sliced almonds, cinnamon, and whipped cream!

David said he saw a lady take a piece of buttered bread and put it in the waffle iron instead of making a waffle. It was a Belgian Waffle maker and they were thick! That gave me an idea!

While we were gone, our youngest was on his own for meals. You guessed it…he made hot dogs. (Yuck.) And every time you have hot dogs, you end up with two extra buns. (Why do they do that?)

I made angel hair pasta with homemade spaghetti sauce for dinner Friday. I took those two hot dog buns, cut them in half, and buttered them. I sprinkled them with garlic, oregano, and a dash of rosemary and stuck them in my waffle iron until the light went off.

Waffle Garlic Bread!

It worked! I don’t like to use the oven in the summer and the waffle iron is smaller than my electric grill. I made the spaghetti sauce in a Crock Pot and let it simmer all day. A salad, watermelon sticks, and chocolate pudding completed the meal. I put mini marshmallows and trail mix on top of the pudding for fun!

I wonder what else I can make with that waffle maker?Hot Dog Buns on a dish

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Mini Biscuit Pizzas

“What’s for dinner?”

The question many moms dread hearing! I make a weekly menu when I make my grocery list, but I don’t stick to it completely. I like to look in the refrigerator and see what items need using up.

One day, I had 1/2 a bag of mozzarella cheese, and 1 cup of homemade spaghetti sauce. I had frozen the extra spaghetti sauce to use on homemade pizza. I didn’t take into account the hamburger, mushrooms, and herbs that were in the sauce. When I tried using one on a pizza I found I had to use two. That left me with an extra bag. I decided to make…

Mini Biscuit Pizzas

Biscuits

Spaghetti Sauce, 1 cup

Mozzarella Cheese, shredded

Parmesan Cheese, shredded

I baked homemade biscuits and put the spaghetti sauce on top. After I used up the mozzarella cheese, I added Parmesan cheese.Biscuits, spaghetti sauce and cheese

Since it was a hot day, I put them in the refrigerator and we warmed up a few at a time in the microwave. Mini Biscuit Pizzas

Look in your refrigerator before you decided what’s for dinner. Ask yourself, what needs using up?

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Green Bean Casserole Dinner

I shared earlier how I added meat to my favorite corn casserole and made a dinner out of it. I did it again with Green Bean Casserole.

Green Bean Casserole Dinner

1 can of green beans

1 large can of Chunky Cream of Mushroom Soup

1 large can of milk

1 large can of French Fried Onions or 2 small cans

1 can mushrooms or fresh mushrooms

7 ounces of noodles

1 pound hamburger

1 Tablespoon minced onion

Cook noodles according to directions. Cook hamburger with salt, pepper, and minced onion. Mix green beans, mushroom soup, milk, and mushrooms. Add hamburger and noodles. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes. Top with French Fried Onions and bake for 5 minutes.Green Bean Casserole Dinner

The casserole tasted great, but it made way too much for three people. Next time, instead of baking it in a 9″ X 13″ pan, I am going to make it in two smaller pans: 11″ X 17″ and 8″ X 8″. I will use only half of the large can of French Fried Onions, (or one small can), and freeze the second pan after it cools. I can top it with the onions when I warm it up.Big pan or 2 small ones.

 

Any ideas of what I can add to candied yams?

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Easy Enchilada Sauce

I shared earlier about how I use up the small condiment packages that we get when we order out, see here and here. My family loves taco pizza and tacos. I ended up with a bunch of “hot sauce” packets.

I planned on making Enchiladas for dinner and I always make my sauce. I don’t know if I was being lazy or I just had a brainstorm. I decided to use up those packets. I poured an 8 ounce can of tomato sauce into a bowl and kept adding the packets until it was hot enough for me. Of course, my family dumped even more hot sauce on top!

Easy Enchilada Sauce

8 ounce can of tomato sauce

8-10 hot sauce packets

(You can add more or use less of the hot sauce.)

Making sauce this way makes it kid-friendly.Add hot sauce to tomato sauce.

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Easiest Fruit Salad Ever

My cousin’s wife, Sue, used to bring the best fruit salads to the family reunion…in November! I finally got up the nerve to ask her how she made it. She used frozen fruit.

I didn’t want the expense of frozen fruit. I make my fruit salad with whatever fruit is in season. What makes this salad so easy is the juice is already made.

Easiest Fruit Salad Ever

1 can of Fruit Cocktail, in heavy syrup

1 can of peaches, in heavy syrup

Any fruit!

The syrup keeps the apples and bananas from turning brown.Fruit Salad

I made this when we grilled out and used the leftovers for stuffed French Toast. I just put yogurt and fruit salad on it. French toast with fruit

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BLT Salad

“I counted how many pieces of lettuce I had left.”

No, this is not something I do often! I usually use 2 leaves of green leaf lettuce as the base of my daily salad. My husband does our grocery shopping and I was trying to determine how soon he would need to go to the store.

I know, I’m spoiled because my husband buys the groceries. He says I spend too much money. (The last time I shopped, I bought some jewelry and spent double what he does!) He also takes the time to figure out the unit price of items and determines the best deal.

He goes to the store on days when they run specials or he schedules it around work and his other activities. I try to keep the trips down to once a week, which is why I needed to count the lettuce!

Sometimes there is an item on sale and I don’t need it. I try to use up what I already have. One week it was grape tomatoes on sale. I had plenty of them and a lot of fried bacon. I made a BLT salad.

BLT Salad

Lettuce

Grape Tomatoes

Bacon, fried crisp and broken into pieces

Mayonnaise

I combined the ingredients and added mayonnaise in place of dressing. I ate some crackers with it.

BLT Salad

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Salt and Pepper Mill Caddy

One of my favorite things about eating at a fancy restaurant is when they offer freshly ground pepper on your salad. Or when they shave Parmesan cheese on to your salad until you tell them to stop.

I wanted to have the same experience at home! I bought a salt and pepper mill, but they made a mess in my cupboard! There was always salt and pepper leaking out.

I found the perfect solution last year after eating a mini loaf of pumpkin bread. I washed the tiny, tin pan out to recycle it and realized it was the perfect size to hold my salt and pepper mills.

It is easy to transport them to the table in it and my surfaces stay clean.

Salt and Pepper Mill Caddy

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