Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Peanut Butter and Jelly "Uncrustables"

If you have children you probably know about Uncrustables.  These tasty little PB&J sandwiches have the crusts already cut off and are sealed into these little pockets of yumminess. You can find them in your freezer aisle for a pretty hefty price tag. I decided to make my own for less than $0.50/sandwich. (Even cheaper with coupons, sales, cheaper bread, etc. . .)

Peanut Butter and Jelly "Uncrustables"

Peanut Butter
Jelly (I'll be making these with homemade strawberry jam once I find an awesome sale on strawberries.)
 Set up your assembly station.
Just had to throw this in there, one of my FAVORITE things is getting that first scoop in a new jar of peanut butter. If I was Maria in the Sound of Music, it would have been included in my song about favorite things. :D
Spread a layer of peanut butter on each and every slice. I'm going to be taking the crusts off of these, so only spread it in the middle. You want PB on every slice to prevent the jelly from sogging (is that a word?) into the bread while your sandwich thaws. Plop a bit of jelly into the center of half of the bread slices.
If you have a sandwich sealer, go ahead and use it now. I do not. I used this great pink tumbler from Ikea. Just find something round, or square, that is about the right size to cut out your sandwich. I pushed the cup down and then just kind of twirled it a bit to really seal it shut.
Go ahead and pull the crust away from the sandwich (it shouldn't be too difficult) and stick the crusts in a bag to use later. You can use them for homemade breadcrumbs, croutons, etc. . . Just stick the bag in the freezer until you find a great use for them.
 And there you have it! Don't they look just like the store-bought ones?! And just as yummy too!
Go ahead and stick them into your bag/container and keep them in the freezer. Pull them out about half an hour before you want to eat, to let them thaw. Unless you like them frozen. I know some people who are like that. . .
 Here's one after it's been frozen and thawed. Not soggy at all and perfectly delicious. :D

Monday, April 9, 2012

Mini Bagel Pizzas

Bagel bites. . . Bring you memories from your childhood? Sure does for me! I remember my little sister and I being so excited when we spied the huge box of them from Costco heading for our freezer. The one's I've made here are about 2-3 times the size of regular bagel bites (my store didn't have teeny-tiny bagels, sadly), but they are still darn tasty! And VERY easy to put together!

Mini Bagel Pizzas

Mini Bagels, I used 10
1 Cup of your favorite Pizza Sauce, store bought or homemade
Mozzarella Cheese
1 tsp Italian Seasoning (optional)
1 tsp Dried Oregano (optional)

I nabbed these super adorable little "mozzarella pearls" at my Smith's store on clearance for only $2.49. However, you can use shredded, cubed, or chop up your own into little pieces. Because I was going for convenience, I used a basic store-bought sauce and jazzed it up with the Italian seasoning and oregano.
Slice all your bagels in half and lay them out on a cookie sheet. Try to find one big enough to hold all of the bagels, so you don't need to also use a dinner plate. :)
Spread about 1-1 1/2 teaspoons of sauce onto each bagel half.
Now go ahead and add some cheese and chopped pepperoni onto each bagel. You can also use whatever toppings you like, of course.
Stick them straight into the freezer and let them sit for 2-3 hours, until all the toppings are frozen solid. You don't want any falling off later! And yes, my freezer is so tiny I had to use the ice-cube tray area.
After they are good and frozen, you can transfer them to some kind of freezer-safe tupperware or gallon-size freezer bag. I've learned to label the bag/container with the cooking instructions, so you might want to, also.
When you want to cook these little suckers, simply pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees and then bake on a cookie sheet for 20-25 minutes. Of, if you're in a pinch and pregnant and starving and you can't wait, zap em in the microwave for 1-2 minutes. Enjoy!!!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Freezer Lunches Theme Week!!!

First of all, Happy Easter! Whether you celebrate or not, please make sure you get some ham in your tummy tonight. I love big holidays mostly because of the big food!

Now, on to the main event. I am FINALLY having another theme week!
Pregnancy sure affects my cooking/kitchen time, but I've got some energy and motivation back and I'm ready to go! However, I know this energy won't last very long once the third trimester/a newborn baby arrive and I know that quick and easy meals are going to be a life-saver! I'm prepping now for those days ahead, and thus, this next week's theme: Freezer Lunches!

You hear a lot about making dinners and even breakfasts to keep in the freezer for easy reheating for the family, but what about lunch? I think my worst time of day for eating is lunchtime, because I find it so easy to grab a bag of chips or an ice cream sandwich top ramen rather than actually make a lunch. Life is just too busy! Not to mention my complete lack of making lunches for my hubs to take to work. :(
But no longer! Come along with me this week as I share with you easy, quick, lunch-portion sized foods that are just perfect for grabbing from the freezer, heating up, and enjoying a scrumptious meal in the middle of the day.

*Warning: We like pizza around. You will see. . . *

Monday: Mini Bagel Pizzas

Tuesday: PB&J "Uncrustables"

Wednesday: Bean and Cheese AND Steak and Cheese Burritos

Thursday: Ham and Cheese AND Pizza  Pockets

Friday: Pizza "Lunchables"
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