Apr 012004

Notes from Tammy

tammyHappy Spring, everyone!!!  I’m definitely ready for some warmer weather!  We had a few “teaser” days, and then right back to the cold again.  Bring on spring… it’s gotta be right around the corner by now!!

Our apologies once again; this time for the March News being delayed so long.  We have over 20,000 subscribers, and we crashed the server when we tried to send the News the last few months.  Nanci put a lot of hours into getting things straightened out, and breaking our list up into 4 or 5 smaller groups.  We sent the News, and it still crashed the server.  Enough is enough!  We are more frustrated with this than you are, trust me!

In trying to find another solution, we decided to give Yahoo groups a try.  If Fly Lady can send out over 224,000 emails at once with Yahoo, why can’t we use it to send out 20,000 emails?  So we’ve been working diligently to make that a reality.  Keep your fingers crossed that it works!

While we’re making changes, we’ve decided to shorten the News a little bit.  We don’t want it to be so long that you don’t have time to read it!  We’ve still got four new recipes, the contests and updates from Nanci, Shelley and I.  And if we occasionally find a great joke or web site we want to pass along, we will.

Another “something new” this month is that our Bonus Recipe section will feature some of our ebook authors and consultants and their favorite family recipes.  Each month will feature a different cook, who will share a little bit about themselves, and then four of their favorite tried-n-true freezer recipes.  The ebook authors will give us new recipes that go with the theme of their ebook.  So if you have a favorite ebook, keep watching, coz there’s new recipes on the way.  Carol Santee gets us started this month by showing us how we can modify recipes to make them healthier, just like in her new ebook “Healthy Freezer Cooking: A Guide to Creating Nutritious Meals”.  Check it out, if you haven’t already!

Bonus Recipes from Carol Santee

carol2007Hi everyone! This month’s bonus recipes section focuses on modifying recipes to make them healthier. Four family favorites were analyzed and changed to reduce the fat, sugar and calories but still taste delicious. See for yourself how easily recipes can be modified.  I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.  These techniques are described in more detail in my new ebook, Healthy Freezer Cooking: A Guide to Creating Nutritious Meals.

Healthy Freezer Cooking features 25 new recipes with nutritional analysis as well as techniques to modify your own favorite recipes to make them healthier for you and your family.  Simple changes such as portion control, fat reduction, and the use of sugar substitutes can make a big difference in your diet.  Since variety is the spice of life, your menu should not be boring either.  Therefore, the ebook also includes menu planning tips and a guide for planning fruit and vegetable servings. The ebook also provides links to over 20 other websites and books where you learn even more about healthy cooking.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

This recipe is from the February/March 2003 edition of the Chewin’ the News newsletter. This soup is wonderful and is one of our family favorites. We wanted to make this soup healthier without losing the great flavor. Much of the fat in thsoup comes from margarine that is used to make the creamy base.The margarine was removed totally from the soup. The cream base can be made with flour and milk like method used to make Fat Free White Sauce recipe in the Freezer Cooking Manual. Another source of fat is the bacon. Turkey was substituted for regular bacon. If you can’t force yourself to make the switch from regular bacon to turkey bacon, try mixing them half and half. You’ll still cut some of the fat from the recipe. Fat free cheddar cheese was substituted for regular cheddar in the soup itself. Fat free cheddar usually does not melt as well as regular cheddar but because it is in the soup and not by itself, it works in this recipe.


Click here to view/print the regular Loaded Baked Potato Soup recipe!

Click here to view/print the lighter Loaded Baked Potato Soup recipe!


Tropical Cheesecake

This recipe is one of my Mom’s favorite desserts. She asked me to try to reduce the fat and the calories in this recipe. If you like coconut, trust me, you will love this crust. The major source of fat, calories and carbohydrates in this recipe is the cream cheese and the sugar. Fat free cream cheese was substituted for regular cream cheese. If you don’t like the taste of fat free cream cheese, you can try light cream cheese instead.  A sugar substitute was used in place of sugar. Give this recipe a try tonight!


Click here to view/print the regular Tropical Cheesecake recipe!

Click here to view/print the lighter Tropical Cheesecake recipe!


Apricot Bread

I found this recipe one day when going through my grandmother’s handwritten recipe book. She had written “very, very good” on the corner of the page. Boy, she was right. It is very delicious. To reduce the fat and the carbohydrates in the recipe, the sugar was replaced with a sugar substitute. The margarine was reduced by 1/4 C. and applesauce was used in its place. These kinds of changes can be made to many quick bread recipes to reduce the fat and sugar.


Click here to view/print the regular Apricot Bread recipe!

Click here to view/print the lighter Apricot Bread recipe!

Cheesy Chicken and Noodles

This recipe has been a family favorite for many years. It has the best cheese sauce. It is so creamy and delicious. This dish can also be cooked in a slow cooker instead of the oven.  Just cook until it is heated through and bubbly.  The major contributor to the fat in this recipe is the cheese. Regular cottage cheese was replaced with reduced fat cottage cheese. Processing the cottage cheese is one of the secrets to the creamy sauce. The amount of Parmesan cheese was reduced. If you don’t want to mix it in, you can leave it out on cooking day and just sprinkle it on top before baking.

Click here to view/print the regular Cheesy Chicken and Noodles recipe!

Click here to view/print the lighter Cheesy Chicken and Noodles recipe!

Website News from Nanci


nanciwebObviously, since you’re reading this you know all about our yahoo group for freezer cooks. We’re still working out a few kinks but we’re sure that the flexibility of using yahoo groups will be great! Tammy and I love having instant access to all of you – ha!  A few things to keep in mind:

*The virus spreaders are getting pretty sophisticated. They harvest e-mail addresses from the internet and then “pretend” to send messages from those addresses. We will NEVER send you a virus! Our messages go through several layers of anti-virus scanning before they reach your mailbox. Just be smart. If it looks and sounds weird, it’s probably a virus.

*It’s best to set your yahoo groups options so that you can receive HTML. That means you get active links, color and pictures. To change your options, just go to www.yahoogroups.com, sign in and then edit your membership.

*We will always give you a full link at the top of the newsletter so that you can cut and paste the link into your browser and then read the newsletter straight from the website if you choose. For those of you who like to print it out, just highlight and print the selection. Works like a charm.

*If you have a website and would like to recommend our newsletter to others, that’s fine with us. On the yahoo group home page, there is a link on the left that says “Promote”You can snag some buttons there that will take people straight to the sign-in page. We don’t even mind if you reprint parts of the newsletter (recipes included) as long as you give us credit and a link if possible.



Did you order the new ebook yet? You can download a free sampler and try out 3 of the recipes. Carol has some great tips and info about freezing healthy meals. No excuses now! Download versions are $6.95. 

Freezer Cook of the Month Contest Winner

I chose Karen, from Kansas City, MO as the winner this month.  She sent me this testimonial about how she uses 30 Day Gourmet to help her feed her family, in spite of her illness.  30 Day Gourmet also works great with her home-schooled kids too, as they learn to cook from scratch.

I started freezer cooking when my son was two. I have a moderate to serious asthma, so it pays off to have things in the freezer to fall back on when my asthma is giving me trouble. I just keep about a weeks worth of meals on hand that are just thaw and heat. I plan a whole months worth of meals, I just don’t cook them all at the same time.

Since we home school, I am “teaching” my two children how to cook from scratch. They (Anna 11 and Zach 8) each have one night or one day that they have to plan, shop and prepare a meal.  We have had some very interesting meals. As we get more and more busy my goal is to have more meals prepared and frozen to give me more time to be with my family.


How do you make 30 Day Gourmet work for you?  How do you use it to help you deal with a challenge in your life?  How do you use it to help others?

Cookin’ at the Keyboard with Shelley

ShelleySoftware programs that manage recipes and produce grocery lists are not hard to find. Advantage Cooking, however, is the only software program that uniquely caters to the freezer cook by defining and detailing a “Cooking Day.” A cooking day simply consists of a list of recipes, and the quantity of each recipe, to be cooked simultaneously. Once the recipes are selected, one click of the mouse is all it takes to determine how much hamburger to fry, onion to chop, cheese to grate, or freezer bags to purchase. Isn’t “clicking” so much easier than thinking? Here are a few strategies I’ve discovered for creating a “Cooking Day” that saves even more time and mental energy.

First, when creating a new cooking day, be generic. For example, start with a basic “One-Month Plan” or “Two-Month Plan”. The next step would be to consider the season and create a “Summer One-Month Plan” replacing some recipes with marinades for the barbecue, or a “Winter Two-Month Plan” loaded with soup and stew recipes. When it’s time to plan the upcoming cooking event, copy one of the generic plans, rename, and modify the recipe list as desired.

Second, create a plan which isolates a specific ingredient or recipe category (e.g. “Chicken Plan” or “Ground Beef Plan”) and include only those recipes within that category. Cooking by ingredient not only expedites the cooking process, but it also saves a significant amount of money if you cook when the meat is on sale. Once the freezer is stocked with several weeks’ worth of entrees, have a “Baking Day” to fill in the empty spaces. Collect a combination of muffin, cookie, and dessert recipes and group them together to create a “Baking Plan”.

Finally, think outside the box. Use the cooking day feature to prepare for a particular event. A “Thanksgiving Plan” or a “Christmas Plan” can include a combination of entrees, salads, breads, and desserts that are unique to that holiday. By including recipes that aren’t freezer friendly, you’ll not only have a consolidated grocery list, but you’ll also have a history of everything served at last year’s celebration.

One of my most useful plans is the “Camping Plan”. In addition to barbecue and outdoor recipes, I add a separate “Camping Recipe” using the Recipe Manager. The “Camping Recipe” includes camping staples such as marshmallows, graham crackers, chocolate bars, hot chocolate, ketchup, mustard, relish, paper plates, etc.

There is no limit to the number of cooking day plans that the software will retain. Use your imagination, experiment a little, and let Advantage Cooking do your thinking for you!

If you haven’t tried our Advantage Cooking software, click here for a 30 day free trial or to order your own copy.

30 Day Gourmet in the News

Working Mother Magazine

The May issue has an article about Dinnertime Shortcuts and they recommended 30 Day Gourmet. Wowie Zowie! One of the other shortcut ideas is about teaming up with friends for a cooking co-op. Watch for our ebook on that very subject! It should be ready by the end of May.

Final Thoughts

I hope you’re enjoying spring.  The trees and flowers are beautiful!  I hope you have enjoyed this edition of the News too!  It’s my fault it’s late this time… too much to do and not enough hours in the day!  My mother-in-law moved in with us a few weeks ago, so we’re undergoing some changes at our house.  But that’s a good thing!  We’re all very glad she’s here, and are enjoying her.  It’s wonderful to have a built-in babysitter when needed!  She is enjoying the kids and their activities, which helps keep her young!

Watch for the May edition of the News… we’re already working on it!


Carol Santee

Carol is the co-author of the Big Book of Freezer Cooking and the author of 30 Day Gourmet’s Slow Cooker Freezer Favorites, Freezer Lunches To Go and Healthy Freezer Cooking eBooks. She is a computer information specialist and works for a computer software company.

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