Thursday, April 8, 2010

All in a day's work

Everything looked so colorful at today's cook date, I couldn't resist snapping a couple of pictures with my BlackBerry. While the colors don't pop quite as much as they did on the kitchen counter with the mid-day sun shining through the windows, I hope you get the picture.

On Thursdays, I cook for a family of six; they like simple foods that their kids will eat, and often request the same items each week. The top photo includes Baked Ziti (at the top of the picture - it's actually Unbaked Ziti - the client pops it in the oven the night they eat it); White Bean and Tomato Salad; Bacon and Cheese Quiche; and Emerald City Rice/Vegetable Salad.

The second photo includes the components for a Fresh Fruit Salad (black containers at the top); Chicken and Steak Fajitas with Onions and Peppers (two aluminum containers); and Hamburgers. The double aluminum pans are my cooling method: I place the hot food in one pan, which I place in a second pan full of ice. I stir the food and it cools quickly, enabling me to package it for the fridge or freezer without it being in the danger zone for any significant amount of time.

Today's Tip: I discovered that grilling a batch of hamburgers and then freezing them is the perfect way to have something for Picky Teenage Son to eat when he doesn't want what I'm serving for dinner. Or when he needs a meal at 3 pm. Or 11 pm.

Regardless of the time of day, all you have to do is take a frozen grilled patty from the freezer, place it on a microwave-safe plate, cover loosely and heat at 40% power for 2-3 minutes. The burger should be defrosted and warm at this point. Then flip the burger and heat for 1 more minute at 40% power (add cheese now if desired), and serve.

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