Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Time to fill the freezer: Meatballs, Porcupine Eggs, Hamburger Patties, Meatloaf

Hi there, my Menu-Makin' Friends! If you've followed this blog long enough, you've learned that the best way to save money and plan your menu is to prepare and freeze a few recipes at a time, using common ingredients that are on sale. With that in mind, it’s time to fill the freezer with new Make-a-Menu Meals! As always, these are simple everyday-type meals that all your peeps will love. They will sing for joy when you serve MMM-Good Hamburgers, Italian meatballs, MMM’s Meatloaf, or Porcupine Eggs!

This week’s menu uses ground beef. Of course, if you’d like to fill your freezer with even more beef recipes for even more savings, be sure and click on the “Beef Plan” link on the left sidebar. If you find your ground beef on sale for less than $2.00 per pound, which I'll find at HEB this week, this entire batch cooking session should cost you just about $20.00. That's only $5.00 per meal for a family of 4!!
Here’s a couple of quick Make-a-Menu reminders:

1. Don’t forget to add your recipes to your Menu Calendar as soon as they go in the freezer!

2. Add any items that will complete your meal to your shopping list BEFORE your week starts. For example, on the week that you serve meatloaf, you might want to include green beans, mashed potatoes, and rolls. Be sure to add these items to BOTH your menu AND your shopping list. When you serve Italian Meatballs, you might need rolls if you are making meatball subs; or you might need spaghetti noodles if you are serving spaghetti and meatballs.

3. Check out my Make-a-Menu resources and instructions on the left sidebar if you need a refresher on how to make your menus EASY and STREAMLINED!  This is great for ALL families, especially those where both parents are busy working moms and dads!
Let’s get cookin’... Here's the lineup:

MMM-Good Hamburgers

Italian Meatballs

MMM's Meatloaf

Porcupine Eggs

**All recipes serve 4**



7 lb. Ground Beef
2 packets Onion Soup Mix
1 packet Beef Gravy Mix
4 Tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
½ c. Bread Crumbs (I keep a stash of make-your-own in my freezer)
½ c. White Rice
1 c. Onion, minced (about 1 medium onion)
2 tsp. Salt
1-3/4 tsp. Pepper
3 Eggs
32 oz. (2 cup) Spaghetti Sauce
15 oz. Can Beef Consommé
1 c. Water
½ tsp. Garlic Powder
¼ tsp. Garlic Salt
2 tsp. Basil, dried
2 tsp. Italian Seasoning
1/3 c. ketchup
1/3 c. BBQ Sauce
2/3 c. Quick Oats


Other Supplies:
2 Gallon Freezer Bags, 2 Quart Freezer Bags, Wax paper or Fold-over type sandwich bags, Aluminum Foil


Step #1 - Make the MEATBALLS

Mix the following and form into 2” balls, then bake at 250 for 20-30 minutes. Cool and freeze in a gallon-size freezer bag.
2 pounds ground beef
½ cup onion
¼ tsp. Peppe
1 tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. Garlic salt
2 tsp. Italian Seasoning
1 Egg

**Reserve 24-ounce can Spaghetti sauce OR 1-1/2 to 2 cups homemade spaghetti sauce for serving day

To serve, thaw in the refrigerator then cover with one 24-ounce can spaghetti sauce (or 1-1/2 to 2 cups homemade) and simmer. See "Serving Ideas" at the end of this article.



Mix 2 pounds ground beef with 1 packet onion soup mix, 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, and ½ cup bread crumbs. Form into 8-10 patties. Place patties into fold-over type sandwich bags or separate by wax paper or foil. Freeze in a gallon-size freezer bag.

To serve, thaw first, then grill, broil, or pan fry. Serve on hamburger buns with all the fixin's and fries or corn on the cob, or with onions and gravy and mashed potatoes. MMM-Good!


Step #3 - Make the PORCUPINE EGGS

In a large bowl, mix the following and form into 8 balls. Spray a pan with non-stick cooking spray and fry the meatballs, or bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Cool, place into a quart-size freezer bag. Freeze.

1 pound ground beef
½ cup rice
½ cup minced onion
1 tsp. Salt; ½ tsp pepper
1 egg
½ cup spaghetti sauce (freeze the other ½ cup until the day you serve this)

To serve, thaw the meatballs. Place in a casserole dish or crockpot. Add ½ cup spaghetti sauce, 1 15-ounce can of beef consomm√©, 1 cup water, and 1 packet beef gravy mix. Bake 40 minutes at 350 or cook 4 hours on low in the crockpot.


Step #4 - Make MMM’S MEATLOAF

In a large bowl, mix the following ingredients. Dump the whole mess into an aluminum foil lined loaf pan and press down into a loaf-shape. Freeze until almost hard. Remove from the pan, wrap with more foil, and freeze in a gallon-size freezer bag.

2 pound ground beef
1 egg
1 packet onion soup mix
1/3 cup ketchup
1/3 cup bbq sauce
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2/3 cup quick oats
1 tsp. Pepper

To serve, thaw in the fridge. Place back in the loaf pan and bake at 350 for 1 hour.


Serving Ideas:

1. Italian Meatballs are great in soups and stews. They can be used on sub sandwiches and of course, served with spaghetti sauce and spaghetti noodles. They are also superb when sliced in half and placed on homemade pizza!

2. MMM's Meatloaf leftovers make great panini sandwiches!! Leftovers can be crumbled and served over egg noodles for a great dinner too!

3. MMM-Good Hamburgers can be served on buns with all the fixins' along with french fries or corn on the cob, or they can be pan fried and smothered with onions, mushrooms, and gravy then served with a side order of mashed potatoes with peas and carrots.

4. Serve the Porcupine Eggs over a small portion of rice, along with steamed green beans (I love the fresh, of course, but in second place come the steamer packs!  Talk about easy!)