It has been clean-out-the-freezer-week here at the Dineen/Martorano homestead. It’s been more full than usual and a danger every time the door has been opened. Besides the usual meats that I buy in bulk, cut, portion, and freeze, there is a goodly amount of broth, chili, pasta sauce, soup… things I made in bulk and then froze. I’ve been subconsciously planning for Armageddon and assuming the electricity would stay on indefinitely. Armageddon has a better chance of arriving than does uninterrupted power…

Night before last was baked stuffed sweet potatoes.  The freezer item here was hot Italian sausage. There are /were at least six packages of hot Italian as well as a couple sweet Italian. I get trays of 24 sausages and repack into packs of 4. While there’s always a few sausages in the freezer, I hit a couple of sales last month. Lots of sausage.

I baked a big sweet potato and then, when it had cooled, cut it in half and scooped out the innards, leaving a quarter-inch shell.

I sauteed onion and garlic in a bit of olive oil, and then added the sausage out of the casing. I let it cook and when it was done, mixed in the sweet potato and small cubes of muenster cheese. Back into the shells it all went and into a 350° oven for about 30 minutes.

Sour cream on the side…


Last night was Chili con Carne. When Victor was in Dallas last month I made a pretty big batch of chili. More than even I could eat in a week – and I could live on chili, chili burgers, chili dogs… This was thaw, heat, and eat. Lots of raw onions on mine.


As I said – a big pot of chili. I don’t quite remember the exact recipe, but it was about a pound and a half of white beans soaked overnight to begin with, a couple of pounds of cubed beef, onions, garlic, cumin, chili powder, ancho chili powder, smoked paprika, chipotle powder, tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, jalapeños, diced green chilis, salt & pepper. Simmered for a long time.

And it made a few really good chili burgers with chili fries.


With lots of onions…

Tonight was Baked Stuffed Shells with more of the aforementioned hot Italian sausage…


All three of these items came out of the freezer. Thaw, heat, eat, again.

If the kitchen gods are willing, I should be able to see into the freezer before my Monday shopping trek. Maybe something good will be on sale…