Eating Real Food, Homesteading

Food Review: Roasted Rabbit

Okay so a month or so ago we bought rabbits to raise for meat, even though we’d never tried it before. (A little nutty- I know right?) So we bought what we thought were 2 females and a male, only to end up with 2 males and a female. We bought another female to make up for that, and had the extra male we didn’t really need.

This particular male was just around 4 months old and was around 4-5lb. Now after butchering and dressing him out, he weighed around 2 to 3 lb. Raising rabbits for meat is a very economical way to eat healthy, fresh food that you know where it came from, how fresh it is, what it’s been fed, and who has handled it.

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Now I know a lot of people say they are squeamish about eating such a cute animal, but I have no more problem feeding my family rabbit than I do chicken/beef/pork or any other meats. Our next project is to get some sheep to have our own fresh lamb!

So I took the dressed out rabbit and seasoned it with a local seasoning called “Magic Chick Dust” and some onion flakes also. Placed it into the slow cooker with a bit of chicken broth in the bottom, Cooked all day on low and it was fall apart tender when I got home. I picked it off the bone and had enough meat to feed my family dinner. (I had made some cheesy rice and some honeyed carrots to go with it.) This would also be enough meat for a casserole or soup too.

So what’d it taste like, inquiring minds want to know? Like chicken, yes it tasted much like chicken, which was what many people had told me. I did not have my camera out, so I forgot to snap any pics, but picture a plate of shredded roasted chicken and that’s what it looked like.

So we will be eating more rabbit as we grow them off. We have babies right now that are a few weeks old and are growing off quite quickly. We also have our other female we thought was expecting, but thinking not now. So she will go back in with our male for awhile.

The garden is in full swing with: potatoes, onions, tomatoes, squash, lettuce, and bell peppers. Going to add some broccoli and cauliflower this weekend.

Hope you are having a wonderful week- mine has been quick, but good so far. Have a blessed day and weekend!!

Recipes/ How To

Cheeseburger Buns- Simple and So Yummy!

Okay we we love us some cheeseburgers around this house, so when I saw a similar recipe on Pinterest for these, I knew we would love them.

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Mine are so easy and quick, they make a great weeknight meal. You’ll need only a few ingredients: 1pkg of Yeast rolls (from the freezer), 1lb cooked/crumbled ground beef, ketchup, mustard, chopped dill pickles, onion flakes, seasoning that you use on burgers (we use the Weber grill seasoning for Gourmet Burgers), and sliced American cheese.

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I lay out the frozen rolls in the morning. (When I have time, I like to make my own dough because it’s cheaper- but this works well to save time)

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I use the cooked crumbled beef from a freezer session, if I have any, otherwise I just cook/crumble a pound of ground beef. Then add the ketchup, mustard, onion flakes, seasoning, and chopped dill pickle until it’s the way you like it.(I just taste it as I go, usually end up about 1/2c ketchup. 1/4c mustard, 1tbsp onion flakes, a few shakes of burger season, and about 2-3Tbsp chopped pickle. But season to your liking)

Roll the dough into circles, Scoop a heaping spoonful into the middle, add 1/4 slice American cheese on top. Fold over and seal edges up (I use a little water to seal it) . Bake at 375* for 15-20 minutes until browned.

These are great and you can change up the filling- leave out what you don’t like- add what you do like. You could use ground turkey to make it healthier also.

Hope all are having a fabulous week! I have been under the weather,  but am feeling much better today. Have a great rest of the week!

Weekly Meal Planners

Weekly Dinner Planner- Week of 9/14 through 9/20

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Okay, so here’s to another hectic week! We have been running quite a lot but have tried to stick with some meal planning. Meal planning is so hard when you add in odd work hours (our daughter), sports (our son) and me and the hubs working and running a business at the same time! But we somehow manage to eat at home most of the time, even it is just a sandwich or leftover casserole heated back up.

So for this week we are going to try to stick to the plan, and here it is:

1. Hot Turkey and Swiss sandwiches with honey glazed baby carrots (today)

2. Cheeseburger Buns and Chips

3. Tator Tot Casserole (I found the recipe on Pinterest that the Duggers use and we love it!) Find it here:  duggarfamilyblog.com/2011/10/duggars-tator-tot-casserole.html

4. French Dip Sandwiches and potato wedges (meat filling prepared in slow cooker)

5. Chicken Tacos’ or Taco Salad and Spanish Rice

6. Upside Down Pizza Casserole

7. Grab something quick for some Friday Night Football!

So for the Mini subs- here is what I did- Placed 6 Kings’ Hawaiian Rolls into a 9×13 pan sprayed with cooking spray. Drizzle with melted butter, top with a generous amount of shaved smoked deli turkey, top with 1 whole slice swiss each sandwich. (I used about 3/4 lb meat for 6 sandwiches)

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Drizzle a bit more melted butter over these- place in 400* oven for a few minutes (til cheese is melted). Top with other bun (top) and a little brown spicy mustard and honey, if you like, then cover with aluminum foil and bake for 10 minutes at 400*. I served this with some honey glazed baby carrots.

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These are always a big hit with my bunch, and I do change up the meats and cheeses,too. We like honey ham with sharp cheddar, or roast beef with swiss or provolone. This is super quick to throw together and super tasty!

Have a Blessed week!! God blesses us each and every one daily, we just have to open our eyes and see the many blessings right in front of us. God is Great!

Recipes/ How To

Freezer Cooking Prep= Easy Weeknights!!

Okay, so what do you do when things get hectic and you have zero time to even consider making dinner? For me it used to be grabbing fast food on the way home, but not anymore! Why not?  you ask, well I will reveal my secret*** freezer cooking!!

About 10-12 years ago I read an online article about freezer cooking and I was hooked. Now, I don’t go all crazy and freeze 20 pans of lasagna, but I sensibly use our tastes and recipes I have used for years and tweaked them into freezer meals. I have also found many new recipes as of late, as freezer cooking has become quite “cool”.

Here was a mini-session result from this afternoon:DSC_0092

I ended up with 5 packages of cooked/crumbled ground beef, 2 packages of crock pot BBQ pork, 1 package of green chile pork (for enchiladas), 2 packages of Balsamic Chicken, 2 packages of Sweet and Sour Pineapple Chicken, 1 package of French Dip Beef meat,and 1 package of Swiss Steak meat. For a grand total of 14 meal/meal components.

Now I am not greatly fond of whole casseroles frozen, although there are a few exceptions to this, and you will occasionally see me posting a freezer meal that is a casserole.

I love the meals which I have dubbed “dump and go”, these are ones which you lay out of the freezer the night before, dump into the slow cooker in the morning, make a quick side or starch to go with it, and you have a great meal in very little time.

So, for the details and recipes I use here, here goes:

The ground beef just gets cooked and crumbled, drained and rinsed, then placed into 1lb portions into a freezer bag.These bags are just tossed into the fridge to thaw, then used for anything which calls for crumbled ground beef: spaghetti, sloppy joe’s, taco salad, enchiladas, soup, chili, and the list could go on and on! It just saves time,and couldn’t be easier.

The crock pot BBQ pork is so easy, I feel like it’s cheating! I just mix some bottled BBQ sauce with some dried onion flakes, garlic powder, salt, pepper, a dash of worcestershire sauce, and a dash of  liquid smoke, then add a bit of water to thin it a bit (maybe 1/4cup) I toss this mix into a freezer bag with a pound and a half of boneless pork tenderloin. Thaw the night before (or throw in frozen) cook on low in the slow cooker all day, shred and serve up on hamburger buns.

Next is the Green chile pork, which I love to use for nachos or for enchiladas. Into my freezer bag goes a pound of boneless pork tenderloin, 1 can of chopped green chiles, 1 small onion, diced up, half a packet of fajita seasoning, and a handful of chopped cilantro. Thaw (or not), toss into slow cooker, cook on low all day, shred up and serve. For nachos: layer tortilla chips, rotel dip, shredded pork meat, and sour cream/fresh cilantro.For enchiladas, stuff corn tortillas with the shredded meat, grated pepper jack cheese and fresh cilantro. Top with a can of green enchilada sauce and bake for 15-20 minutes at 350*

For the Balsamic Chicken, I throw in a pound and a half of boneless/skinless tenders, 1/4cup of balsamic vinegar, small onion, chopped, a can of diced tomatoes (undrained), and 1tsp of Italian seasoning. Again, toss into the slow cooker, cook on low all day. shred and serve over hot pasta.

Okay for the Sweet and Sour Chicken, I got the recipe from Six Sisters Stuff web site (link http://www.sixsistersstuff.com )  This recipe is under the slow cooker recipes. To make it freezer friendly and a bit quicker, I toss in the peppers and onions called for, but not the canned pineapple or the cornstarch and 1/3c chicken stock to thicken at the end of cooking.  So all ingredients go into the freezer bag except the pineapples, 1/3c chicken stock and 1/3c cornstarch. Toss into your slow cooker, cook on low all day, remove chicken and shred, set aside. In a small bowl mix together the stock and the cornstarch, pour into slow cooker and turn up to high for 10-15 minutes, until it starts to thicken up a bit. Then add the chicken back and the drained pineapple chunks. Serve over white rice.

By the way, I love,love, love that web site! It rocks with great ideas and the sisters are cute as a bug!! Check it out!

For the delicious French Dip sandwich meat, again so easy I feel like I am cheating!! Toss into the freezer bag a pound and a half of beef steak (I use whats on sale, slow cooking makes beef fall apart anyways), add 1/2 cup canned beef broth, 2Tbsp worcestershire sauce, 1Tbsp soy sauce, 1/2tsp black pepper and about a tablespoon of jarred garlic. Add to slow cooker the bag and 1/2 cup water. Cook on low all day, shred and serve on deli split rolls with some dipping sauce from slow cooker. Yummy! (my fave if you couldn’t tell!!)

And last but certainly not least- The Swiss Steak! Toss into the bag pound and half of beef steak (what ever is on sale- remember!) a can of diced tomatoes (undrained),, 1/4 cup of tomato paste, 1/4 cup of Italian salad dressing, a heaping tablespoon of jarred garlic, 1/2 cup beef broth, and 1 bell pepper, sliced into rings.Toss into slow cooker, cook on low all day, shred beef a bit, serve over hot white rice.

I should note a few things- when I say cook on low all day, I really mean around 7 to 8 hours. This mini-session took me a few hours to complete. I like things simple yet scrumptious, so you won’t find gourmet like stuff around here, no crazy ingredients or tons of steps.

So there you have it, a few of my fave freezer meals. I would love to hear from you- do you freezer cook? What are your favorite freezer meals? Let me know if you have questions! God Bless!!