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.

Jul 212014

Carol: Have you ever had a “mini” freezer cooking session? They are great when you are short on time. Kroger has boneless skinless chicken breast for $1.88 a pound. They also have a buy one get one free deal on steaks and roasts in our region. It’s a 2 week sale so I can split up my cooking session over several weeks instead of doing it all on one day. I find this method helpful when we have a full weekend schedule. I can usually handle making 3 or 4 recipes in one evening after everything settles down.

Tonight I made 3 recipes of Marinade for Grilled Chicken Salad, 2 recipes of Orange Beef and Vegetable Stir Fry, and a batch of Zucchini Carrot Muffins (I have to keep up with the zucchini crop!).

Next shopping trip I think I will make some meals for the slow cooker…

First Harvest – Zucchini!

 Carol's Test Kitchen  Comments Off on First Harvest – Zucchini!
Jul 132014

Carol: We harvested our first vegetables from the garden! It’s so exciting and it made for a great dinner. I can’t wait until we have fresh tomatoes. Fresh roasted tomatoes are wonderful.

Have you tried grilled zucchini? This is such an easy recipe. Give it a try!

Grilled Zucchini

1 zucchini per person
olive oil
garlic powder
Shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)

Slice the zucchini in half lengthwise. Brush the sliced side of the zucchini with the olive oil. Sprinkle with garlic powder, salt and pepper. Heat grill to medium high heat (around 425 degrees). Place sliced side down on the grill. Cook for about 10 minutes.  Turn over and grill for another 10 minutes. Remove from grill, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese (if using) and serve.



Red, White, and Blue Grilled Chicken Salad

 Carol's Test Kitchen, Poultry  Comments Off on Red, White, and Blue Grilled Chicken Salad
Jul 032014
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Carol: Here’s my Red, White, and Blue Grilled Chicken Salad for the 4th of July. Enjoy!

2014-06-29 13.26.23

Serves 4

1 recipe of Marinade for Grilled Chicken Salad
2 heads of artisan lettuce (butter lettuce, read leaf, etc.) or romaine
2 roma tomatoes, chopped
6-8 strawberries, diced
3/4 C. fresh blueberries
1/4 C. sliced almonds (optional but we like the crunch)
1 C. diced apples (tossed in lemon juice, Sprite®, or 7-Up® to prevent browning)
your favorite dressing (we like raspberry or pomegranate vinaigrette with this salad but a light ranch dressing is also good)

You could also add some shredded Asiago cheese if you like the flavor. It goes well with the fruit based dressings.

But I Don’t Like Cilantro…

 Carol's Test Kitchen, Freezer Cooking Info  Comments Off on But I Don’t Like Cilantro…
Jul 022014

Carol: Cilantro – you either love it or hate it! I use it when making fresh salsa and in one of my favorite recipes, Marinade for Grilled Chicken Salad.  Why do some people not like the taste and what are some possible substitutions? Cilantro contains a chemical and how you interpret the taste of this compound, according to the latest news, is partially due to genetics. Thoroughly crushing or chopping the cilantro helps break down the chemical. Cooking it, also helps lessen the effects of the herb. I’ve noticed this with the Marinade for Grilled Chicken Salad recipe. The cilantro flavor is not as strong as when it use it fresh in salsa. You can try substituting fresh parsley with a little basil or oregano (depending on the taste that you are trying to achieve). One substitution I have been using with this marinade recipe in particular is chopped, fresh celery leaves. The flavor mixes well with the other ingredients and we like it just as well as the original recipe! If you have been afraid the try the recipe, give this substitution a try.

Jul 012014

Carol: I’m a little late posting this week’s menu! We have been so busy with projects around the house that time just gets away from me. Freezer cooking is such a time saver when life gets so hectic. I am so glad that I have meals made ahead so I can just grab and go for the week.

  • Grilled Chicken Salad Marinade (served on a salad with a red, white and blue theme!)
  • Southwestern Black Bean Salad – I couldn’t resist the sale on fresh corn this week at .25 an ear. You can add pre-cooked diced chicken to the recipe to make it a main dish. We like to eat the left overs for lunch.
  • Chicken, Sausage and Tortellini Soup – I’ll share this recipe with you in the test recipe area after I test freezing and reheating the recipe
  • Shrimp Fried Rice with chicken instead of shrimp
  • Flatbread Pizza

What are you cooking for the 4th of July this year?

Accessing the Members Area on our New Web Site

 Freezer Cooking Info  Comments Off on Accessing the Members Area on our New Web Site
Jun 302014

Carol: You may have noticed that Nanci and I have been rebuilding the 30 Day Gourmet web site. We want you to know that all of the information from the old web site is still here but the way that you access it is different.

To access the recipes in the Members area, just click on Members and then the Member Recipes or Member Worksheets option.


You will receive a message that the area is password protected and it will ask you for a password. Just enter the password from the book and you will be able to access the member recipes and worksheets. You can find the password on the Web Info page of your manual (page 3 in the Big Book of Freezer Cooking, page 3 in the 4th and 5th edition of the Freezer Cooking Manual, page 141 in the 3rd edition of the Freezer Cooking Manual, or in the Visit Us on the Web section of the Big Book of Freezer Cooking for the Kindle or Nook).


The same password screen will appear if you try to access any of the Member Recipes from the the Recipes tab. Notice the Members: designation in front of the recipe title, Apple Bread, in the picture below. Any recipe with this designation will require you to provide the Members password to access it. Again, just enter the password from your book and you will be able to access the recipe.


If you want to be able to add comments to postings on the web site or make a purchase from our store, you will need to register on the web site. To do this, you need to click on the Register link in the Log In box on the right hand side of the screen.

Please note that you do not need to register on the web site to access the members area.


We hope you are enjoying the new format! Let us know if you have any questions.

First Signs Of Fresh Garden Vegetables

 Uncategorized  Comments Off on First Signs Of Fresh Garden Vegetables
Jun 292014

Carol: I don’t know if you like to garden in the summer time, but I do! We installed a new raised bed this year just for vegetables. I planted tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, cucumbers, cantaloupe, and baby watermelon. I am looking forward to enjoying all the the fresh fruits and vegetables in the next few months. It will be great to have zucchini in the freezer this winter for soups, breads and muffins. I also hope to have enough tomatoes to make several batches of spaghetti sauce. Now if I could just keep the rabbits from eating my pepper plants…

Weekly Menu – June 22

 Freezer Cooking Info, Weekly Menu Ideas  Comments Off on Weekly Menu – June 22
Jun 222014

Carol: We are working our way through all the recipes in the freezer. I just went “shopping” in my freezer and here are the meals that I am going to serve this week.

What are you serving this week?

Grilled Shrimp

 Carol's Test Kitchen, Pork and Fish  Comments Off on Grilled Shrimp
Jun 212014
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Carol: One of my sons is currently living in Florida. Whenever we get a chance to visit him, we usually bring back fresh Gulf shrimp. I have to admit, the first time we brought the shrimp back I did not have a shrimp peeler and it took me a long time to peel the shrimp! It was definitely worth it. Fresh cooked shrimp is wonderful and we really enjoy it. Here’s the newest shrimp recipe I tested. We loved the flavor.

Grilled Shrimp

serves 4-5

2 lbs. jumbo shrimp

1/4 C. olive oil

2 T. chopped cilantro

1/4 C. diced onion (or 1/2 of an onion cut into large chunks if using skewers)

3 T. lemon juice

1 t. dried basil

2 t. minced garlic

1/2 t. salt

1/2 C. diced or chunked red pepper

1/2 C. diced or chunked orange or yellow pepper

1 C. seeded and chopped tomatoes

Cooked brown rice


Peel and de-vein the shrimp and place in a container. Mix the remaining ingredients with the shrimp. Allow to marinate for 2-4 hours. To grill (with a grill pan or on skewers) or cook on stovetop – remove shrimp and vegetables from the bowl with a slotted spoon. Discard marinade. Cook over medium high heat for about 6 minutes turning the shrimp at 3 minutes. Shrimp should be pink on all sides. Remove from heat and serve over rice.