Monday, December 13, 2010

Menu Plan Monday

I had a very productive weekend and was able to work ahead to get some dinner preparation done for the week.  I LOVE to cook, but I struggle with wanting to cook during the week in the winter when it is cold and dark by the time I am home from work.  As you know, we do not eat boxed or frozen processed foods (most of the time!) so the dinners I make take at least 30 minutes to get on the table.  So, I have decided that on the weekends I need to do some preparation for the week so it saves me time in the evenings.  This weekend I did just that, more on that in a minute.  First, here is what we are having for dinner this week.

Sunday:  Macaroni & Cheese with Ham.
Monday: Chili
Tuesday: Biscuits and Gravy
Wednesday: Leftovers (Brenden has Volleyball)
Thursday: Sausage & Tortellini Soup
Friday: Leftovers (Brenden has Volleyball)
Saturday:  Out of town to finish Christmas shopping!

To prepare for the week here is what I did over the weekend:  
  • Cooked the hamburger for the Chili
  • Cooked the sausage for the gravy on Tuesday
  • Mixed up the biscuit dough, rolled & cut them out, and put them in the freezer 
  • Cut up the vegetables for the soup on Thursday
Some of you may be thinking "She makes her own biscuits?".  I get this question alot.  Making biscuits is really easy and does not take a huge amount of time.  I am experimenting with freezing the dough then baking them when I need them. This way I have frozen biscuits that can be pulled out and baked as quick as popping open one of those cans of biscuits which contain horrible ingredients.  Here is my biscuit recipe:

Buttermilk Biscuits

  • 3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting. (I used whole wheat flour. You could use a combination of white unbleached flour and whole wheat flour if your family is not used to whole wheat flour. You could also you part pastry flour.)
  • 4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 10 Tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and cut into pieces
  • 8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted. This is for brushing on top of  biscuits before baking. 
  • 1 cup plus 2 Tbsp buttermilk (see below for tip to make buttermilk)

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. In large bowl mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt
3. Using pastry cutter, fork, or fingertips blend in the 10 Tbsp chilled butter pieces until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the buttermilk, and mix until dough holds together.

4. Turn dough out onto lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth.  Roll out the dough to 1/2 inch thickness and cut into rounds using biscuit cutter or glass.

5. Place biscuits on prepared baking sheet.  Brush with melted butter.  Bake until just lightly golden, 12-15 minutes.  Transfer biscuits to wire rack to cool.

I did all the steps above except brush them with butter and bake.  Instead I put them on the baking sheet (on parchment paper), put foil over the pan and put them in the freezer for an hour or so.  You just need to have them in the freezer long enough to become solid so when they are put in the storage container they do not get smashed from being too soft.  Pull the pan out of the freezer and put them in storage container with parchment paper between each layer.  I just use a square glass container with a lid, but a zip lock bag would also work.

The pan is on the top of my freezer shelf with foil-kind of hard to see what everything else in there!

When you are ready to bake some biscuits, pull out the number you need. Place them on a parchment line baking sheet, brush with melted butter, and bake.

If there is a recipe that calls for buttermilk and you do not have any, here is the substitution:

Add 1 Tbsp. white vinegar or 1 Tbsp. lemon juice to 1 cup of buttermilk. Mix together.  Let sit for 5 minutes. Add into any recipe that calls for buttermilk.  How easy is that!  I actually use this recipe for all my recipes that use buttermilk and have never had an issue with how the recipes turn out.

I will let you know how the biscuits turn out when I bake them this week.  What things do you do to help yourself out in the kitchen?

This post is linked up to I'm an Organizing Junkie. Check it out here for other recipe ideas.

1 comment:

  1. I'm going to try your biscuits out soon...maybe next week. Let me know how freezing them turns out. I would like to be able to freeze them.


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