How to Freeze Ground Beef

How to Freeze Ground Beef (Super Easy!) at

I’ve written a similar post before, but I’ve come up with an even better (faster!) method.

You know that I pre-cook the vast majority of our ground beef to use in spaghetti, soups, tacos, casseroles, etc.

Oh. You didn’t know? Well, I do.

But I like to have some that is not pre-cooked (especially in warmer weather) so I can make things like burgers.

Fine. Who am I kidding? So Hubby can make burgers.

Anyway, this means I need to divide it up for freezing since freezing a six pound chunk of ground beef isn’t a good idea. Trust me. It’s not. But I buy it in six-pound chunks since it’s cheaper that way.

I’ve always divided it into quarter pound portions to freeze, but I recently came up with an even easier way to do that.

Prepping Ground Beef for Freezing at

Press three pounds of ground beef evenly onto a cookie sheet with sides.

(I don’t weigh. I just use a halfish portion of a sixish pound package of meat. You can do the math according to your package.)

Then, I use a flat, but not-sharp, utensil (it’s the plastic paddle that came with my rice-cooker) to “cut” the meat into twelve evenish pieces.

The Best Way to Divide Ground Beef for Freezing at

(It’s not as awkward as it looks. Unless you’re trying to do it with your left hand so you can take a picture with your right hand . . . )

I cover the cookie sheet with foil and freeze.

Once it’s frozen, I pry the meat off and break it easily into pieces to store in the freezer in a gallon freezer bag.

Ground beef frozen in Meal-Sized Portions at

Now, I can grab four pieces when I need a pound of ground beef, or let Hubby throw them straight onto the grill.

Note: I did put aluminum foil under the ground beef this time, but I don’t think it’s necessary and was kind of a pain to peel off after frozen.



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Three Separate Bursts of Bread-Baking Energy

Evidently, my sudden desire to bake bread isn't an isolated incident. At

Monday was an Ice Day for us. On Sunday afternoon, as ice began to pour down from the sky, I had a thought.

The thought? “If tomorrow is an Ice Day, I shall bake bread.”

I’m not sure what ice and bread have to do with one another, but it’s what happened.

I have had visions of being the mom who bakes fresh, homemade bread on a semi-daily basis. I’m pretty sure that the vision also had inset images of me planting the wheat and harvesting it and grinding it and such.

And being completely unaffected weight-wise by all this delicious slathered-in-butter hot, fresh bread.

Alas, other than the occasional bout of breakfast pocket freezer cooking, and the yearly tradition of rolls for Thanksgiving dinner, it hasn’t happened.

I don’t know that I had ever (before Monday) baked a plain-old loaf of bread.

And I’ve definitely never harvested wheat. Not even a little bit.

But recently, I randomly noticed a jar of yeast in my baking cabinet.

So Monday, I decided to get “that” jar of yeast out and get to work.

And that was when I realized that I didn’t have a jar of yeast. I had three. And all three were expired.

Expired Yeast at

The most-recently-expired one . . . expired almost a year ago.


I guess I’ve had these bursts of bread-baking energy before. But the last one was a rather long time ago.


Thankfully, I swagbucked “How to test yeast” and found this link with instructions.

Testing Yeast at

I was pleasantly surprised when the yeast got all bubbly like it is supposed to. I then proceeded to use the past-its-expiration-date-by-almost-a-year yeast to make some very lovely homemade bread which was a huge hit with the whole family.

I threw the other two jars of yeast away. I debated with myself over testing them, but decided against it. The jar I kept has enough in it for at least four more bread-baking sessions, which will likely last me until that jar is two-years-expired.

And that’s if I suddenly start baking bread (or breakfast pockets, or whatever) four times as often as I have in the past more-than-a-year.

I’m hopeful, but not convinced.

Fresh baked bread at



How Long Does It Actually Take to Empty the Dishwasher?

Emptying the Dishwasher (How Long Does it Really Take) at

When I speak at moms’ groups, I always say: “I have really bad news. Emptying the dishwasher is actually more important than running it.”

It is. And I’m sorry.

Emptying the dishwasher first thing in the morning means I can re-fill it all day with whatever dishes get dirtied.

Re-filling it all day (instead of leaving/piling random things in the sink, on the counters, on the table, etc.) means my heart doesn’t sink (and my foot doesn’t stomp) when it’s time to clean up after dinner and run the dishwasher.

I’ve written about it before, but I have to re-remind myself over and over (and over) that it only takes a few moments to unload it.

Like . . . four.

So today, when I walked into the kitchen after recording a podcast, a whole five minutes before I was supposed to receive a business call (not first thing in the morning), I grabbed my camera and took a picture of the clock and of the dishwasher to prove to myself that it really only does take four (maybe five) minutes to unload that blankety-blank dishwasher.

Started at 9:55.

Ended at 10:00.

It only took me less than 5 minutes to unload the dishwasher at

Or, 9:59 according to the other oven’s clock (that was also at 9:55 when I started).

Not bad.

Oh, and if you don’t have a dishwasher, unloading the drying rack is equally important. When we spend time at the lake (sans dishwasher), unloading the drying rack is the task I most despise, but is also the one that causes the most kitchen-cleaning-backup when left undone.


If dishes overwhelm you, check out my e-book: 28 Days to Hope for Your Home




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