Thursday, July 10, 2008

Divide Before You Devour

After making a batch of hot chocolate chip cookies, it is very difficult to eat only two. Frequently the whole batch is eaten soon after it is cooked! I have learned that by putting them in sandwich bags after they have cooled and then freezing them, I eat less and have cookies for lunches in the future. This same process can be used for chips, store-bought cookies or other snacks. If you divide them into single portions when they are opened and put them away or freeze them right away, they are out of sight and out of mind. Having these portions prepared ahead of time makes sack lunch preparation much less stressful. I have done this same thing with dinners. Divide before you devour. If I find that I have more than I need for the night, I put the extra into one serving containers and either put them in the refrigerator or freezer for lunches the next day. We make pizza bread and after they are cooked and cooled we divide before we devour. They freeze well and when put in lunches in the morning they are defrosted by lunch time. To make them, you can use your favorite bread recipe you like or use frozen bread dough (see recipe below). After the bread has risen once, separate it into about 3 or 4 inch balls. Roll each ball flat and place shredded cheese and pepperoni on top. I prefer mozzarella cheese, but I have used all kinds. You can also substitute the pepperoni with Italian sausage, cut up ham, turkey, chicken etc. Just make sure the meat is cooked ahead of time. Be creative. Vegetables do not work too well because they are too moist. After you put your choice of meat and cheese on top of the rolled dough, roll up your pizza bread like you would cinnamon rolls, and seal the edges by pinching the dough together. Let them rise for about 30-45 minutes and then bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. You can serve them for your meal and then freeze the extras in sandwich bags. It is a nice change from peanut butter and jelly. Just freeze and it really makes lunch making a breeze. You can use the same process when you have extra muffins, cake, etc. Leave out the amount you think is a good for your family and freeze the rest. Below is my favorite bread recipe that I have used for many years. The dough is excellent for kids to play with because it isn’t too sticky. I usually don’t need flour on the counter when rolling it out. I usually make a batch and divide it in half to make nice rolls for dinner and let the kids play with the rest and make what they want. Everyone is happy that way! They make rabbits, alligators, teddy bears and all sorts of things and keep busy while I make my rolls the way I want.


Dissolve 1 pkg. Yeast (about 1 tablespoon) in ½ cup warm water. Add 1 Tablespoon sugar, 1 Cup quite warm water, 1 ½ teaspoons salt, 1 heaping Tablespoon shortening. Add about 4 cups flour. Let rise until doubled. Shape and let rise. Bake bread at 350, rolls at 375 until brown. Rub butter on top after baking while still hot if desired.

I ALWAYS double this recipe because that way I only have to get the 1 cup measuring cup and the Tablespoon measuring spoon dirty.

Everyone can use a little bit of convenience in their lives. Instead of paying someone else to do it by buying prepackaged items, why not do it yourself? Besides getting more mileage out of your work, it also makes your food stretch and your money last longer.

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