Wednesday, October 19, 2016

I know I've said it before but... Lord am I glad I own a FoodSaver (affiliate link)  It was glaringly apparent this trip when after researching the town about 30 minutes away from us that we were going to be in for nothing but sodium laden mediocrity if we relied on restaurants.  Or it meant I'd be cooking...all...the...time.  Just like at home. No thanks.  But the prospect of "heat and eat" was fine with me or at least heating half and making the other half.

I made a batch of turkey chili split into two bags so we could have it for dinner two of them being the first night.  After a day long drive, I wouldn't have more in me than heat and eat.  So I packed up some shredded cheese and our low sodium oyster crackers pre-portioned and even made cornbread.

I made some pecan crusted chicken breast to put over TJ's pumpkin waffles and we brought our light syrup in a smaller bottle and it made for an awesome breakfast before heading out to the park.  WAY better than anything we'd get at their restaurants where you're hostage to what's available.

I also made meatloaf and I made it with lean beef and pork and tons of veggies.  I've always liked to top it myself since I like ketchup on mine and the Mr likes A1 on his so I don't make it with glaze or anything.  I brought corn from the freezer and roasted red potatoes and it was sooo good!  I just had to tend to the potatoes every now and then but no biggie.

I made my MIL some banana bread and since I knew one normal sized loaf would be too much for her alone, I split them in two of those paper loaf pans so she could have one and we would take the other.  I wrapped it tightly, froze it, FoodSaved  (affiliate link) it and moved on!  We had it with 2 eggs and some organic sausage.

Even the birthday boy's pancakes were frozen!  I made them with his M&M's, froze 'em, Food Saved 'em and then birthday morning, cut a slit in the bag and microwaved for 45 seconds and they were fresh and fluffy as the day I made them!  Score!

The one I was really hoping turned out well was his birthday dinner.  We sometimes go to the Cherry Hut in Beulah MI for the 2 weekends per year they serve apple pie and cinnamon ice cream along with his Thanksgiving dinner, there was pressure.  Well, I made a tutorial for the turkey and Food Saved what will be our leftovers and enough to bring to the cabin.  I premade and froze the stuffing and reheated that and even the homemade turkey gravy!  The only thing I had to make were the mashed potatoes and that was just boiling the taters and then mashing them with a little skim milk and a few pats of buttah.  I was relieved when he told me no offense but mine was way better (but we'll always love Cherry Hut!)  He also heavily hinted at cake all throughout the day but I had other plans.  Since he told me he wanted me to make him a chocolate peanut butter pie for his birthday this year I said I would.  I lied.  Instead I had our favorite pie place ship 3 mini pies...2 apple crumbs and of course his chocolate peanut butter pie he requested.  I even made sure I found cinnamon ice cream and put the little cheese wedge on the side just like Cherry Hut.  We may not have been there but it sure was close!

We brought some frozen Chicago dogs to roast over the fire from TJ's and I made caramelized onions and FoodSaved  (affiliate link) those too so all I had to do was microwave them and put them on top of our dogs when the fire made 'em sizzle and it tasted just like eating a Maxwell Street Polish.  (You Chicagoans know what I'm talkin' about!)

That thing saved our trip!  I did not even mean to make a pun like that...I have more class than that.

No I don't but still.

I have used mine so much and it's lasted 10 years but this black Friday I'm going to get a new one because I think it's going to peter out on me soon and I don't have time for that!  I got a great deal through their website using Ebates for my aunt and uncle last year.  They use that thing CONSTANTLY not just for their own meat since my uncle is an outdoorsman but they use it to make meals for my grandma and her husband so they aren't constantly eating junk and she'll even make chicken for salads and meals for my mom too.  So it's definitely getting the mileage this year!

I even use it to pre-make cookie dough about a month before holiday cookie baking time to save a little sanity where I can.  Just pull the dough to the fridge 2 days before and boom, ready to scoop!

This post isn't sponsored by FoodSaver or anything like that even though there are affiliate links if you're interested in buying one.  I linked to the one I like the best that is middle of the line price wise.   But seeing what a major time saver it was to make sure we ate not just good food but better options than we would've had at restaurants and that I now have confidence that Christmas travels will be in the bag (okay, I meant that pun...regret it), I feel a LOT better about it.  I will say that flattening the food will help because we got one of those RTIC coolers and that thing has very little room so I need to make every inch count!

So if you're ever thinking of investing, do yourself a favor.  Now that I've used it for travel purposes, I love it even more!

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  1. Before we owned one I thought some of the claims the infomercials used to make about Food Savers were just overblown comments but once I found out that I can save my hometown pizza and donuts year round by foodsaving (yes it's a verb) them I am a true believer! It definitely proved itself on this trip and everything tasted as fresh as the day you made it. I appreciate all the hard work that went into that and I am glad it worked out so well so that you didn't have to do as much on vacation!

  2. I have one sitting in a cupboard. I think it came from a thrift store. I've test it, but never really used it. It just seems like a lot of work - but it sounds like it's worth it. I think I need to give it a real try.

  3. It's too bad there aren't any really good places to eat in the Luray/Shenandoah area! We carried groceries to cook in the cabin we rented.
    I had a Food Saver - wanted one desperately and finally got a really nice one for Christmas. But then I didn't use it very much so I got rid of it. The items I saved in it were preserved better than using plastic bags, which is what I normally use.

  4. I've never used a Food Saver, but guess what I'm asking Santa for this Christmas?! The MR is a lucky guy - you deserve major kudos for prepping all that food and making it during your vacation, and I know he appreciated it. I hate being held hostage by poor/no choices for eating while on vacation too. So much healthier your way!

  5. My mom had given us the FoodSaver a few years ago and I love it! And it's fun to use, too. =o)


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