Mickey and Minnie preparing to Trick-or-Treat
Low Country Boil A Very Rainy Football Game
A Winning Team Our Return Flight, over the Phillies' Stadium as Game Four in the World Series Was about to Begin (The bright blur in the middle of the photo; Eagles Stadium is in the foreground)
These weekends, it is very hard not to be piggies. I'm of the mind that it is okay to enjoy good food in moderation, but to indulge on special occasions. As Mireille Guiliano says, "We eat grandly on occasion, not regularly." So, as we head back north, we're also heading back into a world of moderation.
You might be wondering about our eating habits, as I'm prone to make quickbreads and brownies and cakes (oh my!). I'm not going to say that we don't struggle with weight gain with all of these goodies around, but I do want to give you a trick which my mom taught me: use your freezer! If you wrap your goodies up and freeze them, you will be able to enjoy them longer, avoiding the siren call of overindulgence from the brownies on your countertop. Plus, you avoid wasting your hard work and good food due to some questionable blue fuzz.
Depending on the food, I wrap differently. Here's an idea of what I do:
Yeast bread (Like the Colonial Oatmeal Bread): Sliced and bagged by half-loaves. I know that we can safely get through a half-loaf without it going bad. When we run out, I pull out the next half-loaf the night before so I can easily make sandwiches the next morning (without having to pry apart frozen slices of bread).
Quick Bread: Sliced and bagged. I'll admit, my husband is the one who usually eats this for breakfast, and he does have to do a bit of prying with a knife to get the slices apart. He pulls out a slice each morning and toasts it. You could also leave a half-loaf out like the yeast bread, but that's too tempting for me.
Muffins: Individually wrapped with saran wrap, and then bagged all together in a freezer zip-lock bag. My husband pops these out for an on-the-go breakfast.
Brownies: I made these brownies in muffin tins and wrapped them individually with saran wrap, but have also wrapped traditional brownie squares (two together) with saran and bagged them all together in large zip-locks. I can pull these individually wrapped portions out of the freezer to throw in my husband's bag; they'll be thawed by lunch.
Cookies: I usually freeze put these in rubbermaid containers, but they could also be bagged in smaller baggies for pre-portioned on-the-go goodies.
Don't throw out leftovers: When we don't make it through a batch of soup or red beans and rice within a few days, I freeze those, too. I use quart bags and label them (date and contents--There's nothing worse than an unknown, questionable substance in the freezer!). Some items don't freeze well as is, but can be safely stashed away in soup or stew form (for example leftover thanksgiving turkey can be frozen as turkey hash). It might take a little bit of extra effort, but you will love having something on reserve for those nights that you don't have time to cook.
Our freezer is small enough that these emergency meals, goodies, and on-the-go breakfasts don't get lost below the ice cream and freezer packs, but if you have a larger freezer, it might be a good idea to keep a running list of what might be lurking behind the frozen peas. And remember, don't leave food in your freezer for more than a few months; it will start losing its quality.