Category Archives: Food

Saving Time By Freezing Cooked Rice

I recently shared 10 Ways My Family Saves Money.  Number 6 was: We create our own convenience items.  In this post I thought I’d share my oldest daughter’s favorite homemade convenience item.

Be sure and read all the way through because I’ll share a bonus homemade convenience item that  she’s also a fan of at the end.

Saving Time By Freezing Cooked Rice

My oldest is a big fan of rice… all rice, but her favorite is brown rice. Particularly because of the taste and because it’s healthier than white rice.

Unfortunately, although more convenient, instant brown rice isn’t as healthy or tastes as good as regular brown rice.  The good thing is we’ve figured out that cooked rice freezes and reheats well.  It’s perfect for making ahead of time and freezing into individual servings.

It’s really easy to do too.  You just cook the rice according to the package instructions.  We always cook it without the optional butter, oil, or seasonings.

When the rice is  done let it cool completely and then put it into single serving containers to freeze.  We save and use the containers that Hillshire Farms lunch meat comes in.  These are perfect for holding a cup to a cup and a half of rice

Individual rice servings to freeze

You could also put in freezer bags and flatten if you’re short on freezer space.  We’ve got a deep freeze with plenty of room so we go with the plastic containers.  That way my daughter can defrost, heat, and eat right from the container.

By not seasoning the rice when cooking, it allows you to get creative later when you use it.  You could add sugar and cinnamon for a sweet treat or add veggies, meat, and soy sauce for a quick microwave stir-fry.

One 2 pound bag of rice made us 13 individual servings.  The 12 shown here and 1 that got eaten when we made it!

Prepared brown rice to freeze

Here’s the bonus homemade convenience item: Hand-Cut Cheese sticks. 

Sure, you could buy prepackaged cheese sticks or you could buy a big block of cheese and cut your own.  We bought this 2 pound block of co-jack cheese at Costco for $4.69.  It cuts into 30 sticks making each one cost only 15.6¢.

Cutting cheese sticks

What are some homemade convenience items your family makes?

 

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Initial Thoughts: Cuisinart Smart Stick 2 Speed Hand Blender

One of the things I had on my Christmas list this past holiday season was a hand (or immersion) blender.   It’s one of those kitchen tools I’ve never owned but always thought would be handy.

I had forgotten it was even on my list but sure enough, at our last Christmas gathering, I unwrapped one.  It was a Cuisinart Smart Stick Two Speed Hand Blender.

Having never used one before I scoured the included book for recommended recipes and uses.  I even talked to a good friend about how he uses his.

He was full of good tips.  Including using it for everything from making shakes and protein drinks to mixing your scrambled eggs.

Tonight, with the help of my youngest, we gave it a try… making smoothies for the family.  I ran the blender and she added the ingredients.

Adding honey to smoothies

Smoothie ready to blend

We had a pretty good system down and the smoothies turned out great!

Finished smoothies

So, what did I think of the Cuisinart Smart Stick Two Speed Hand Blender?

  • If you’re making just one smoothie it’s great but if you’re making more it’ll take more time than if you used a regular blender like a Ninja.
  • But… using the hand blender everyone can choose their own ingredients.
  • It would work better if you partially thawed the frozen fruit. I didn’t and we had some chunks that didn’t blend well.  Not really a big deal but worth mentioning.
  • The hand blender is much easier to clean than a regular blender pitcher and lid.
  • The texture of the smoothie seemed to be more airy.  This got me thinking about blending some warmed up milk and adding it to strong coffee to make a homemade latte.
  • I can’t wait give it a try on other things.  Next up will be: scrambled eggs, blended soups, guacamole, and the previously mentioned latte.
Do you have a hand/immersion blender? Got any good tips for using it? Click To Tweet

 

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Top 10 Blog Posts Of 2015

Another year is coming to a close and as it does I thought I’d take a look at this blog’s stats and see what the top posts of 2015 were.  If you missed any of them the first time or want to read them again just click on the title.

Top 10 Blog Posts Of 2015

  1. Perfect Crockpot Potato Soup – Besides my chili recipe, this is our family’s favorite soup to make in the crock-pot.
  2. 10 More Iowa State Fair Tips – If you ever head to the Iowa State Fair these tips will help you out.
  3. Review: Lego Creativity Tour – I can usually tell whenever a Lego Creativity Tour makes a stop in another town because this post will get lots of views.  At last check if you google Lego Creativity Tour reviews this post is the first one listed. I thought that was pretty cool.
  4. Product Review: Yeti Rambler Colster – I love when my kids get involved with my blog.  This was a little experiment my oldest and I did.  It was fun working together to see what the results were.
  5. Donating Blood For The First Time – I’ve found an easy way to volunteer and give back.  I plan on donating as much blood as I can in 2016.
  6. Cheesy Crock-Pot Chicken Bacon Tator Tot Casserole – All the ingredients for this separately are great. Put them together in a crock-pot and awesomeness happens!
  7. Going Over The Edge For Special Olympics Iowa – I was fortunate to be able to participate in this event again. What an experience!
  8. Picking Your Parenting Battles – I didn’t use my parental veto powers on this shirt… and it all worked out.
  9. First Ever Family Applefest – What a fun day! I hope this becomes an annual event. I think the thing many people liked about this post was the making of the apple roses video in it.
  10. The Back-To-School Budget Experiment – This worked out so well we’ll do it again in 2016. May kids learned a little about the value of money and my wife and I learned that our kids can make wise choices when given the chance.
  11. Here’s a bonus one: Weekly Verse – Teens On A Mission – I’m always impressed when teenagers think more about others than they do themselves.  This was a great example!

What was your favorite Faith, Family, and Technology blog post from 2015?  I’d love to know! Feel free to leave a comment here or on the Facebook page.

2015

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