Jan 302011

A Week in the Kitchen with Carol

Hello everyone! Have you ever cooked based on a theme? Sounds strange, huh! This week I took a look at what I had that needed to be used and my theme for the week was the color ORANGE!


I had an abundance of orange juice, oranges, mangoes, and sweet potatoes on hand that needed to be used. Before I go shopping for the week I like to take an inventory of the perishables that I have on hand so that I can use them up before they spoil. I hate wasting food!

So here’s what I ending up making this week (and I also made some extra recipes for the freezer at the same time!) You have to just love freezer cooking. It is so versatile!


I made some Cranberry Orange Muffins for the freezer. It’s a recipe from the Big Book of Freezer Cooking and it one of my favorite muffin recipes. This time when I made the muffins, I used half Splenda® and half sugar. I also used reduced fat sour cream instead of the yogurt listed in the recipe. It gave them a tangy flavor! They were great.

Cranberry Orange Muffins

Cranberry Orange Muffins


I tried a new recipe for a salmon marinade. It’s called Ginger Orange Salmon. I like marinating salmon. This marinade is sweet and it gives the fish a different flavor without totally covering up the taste of the fish.


Ginger Orange Salmon


While grocery shopping on Monday, I picked up some ground beef on sale. I made 3 recipes of Sloppy Joe Sandwich Filling (the BEST Sloppy Joe recipe in my opinion!), 8 hamburger patties, and 1 recipe of Perfect Little Meatballs. I served one of the recipes of the Sloppy Joes for dinner with some potatoes seasoned with the Grill Fries Seasoning Mix. Yum!

Sloppy Joe Sandwich Filling

Sloppy Joe Sandwich Filling


While grocery shopping on Monday, I also picked up several pounds of fresh boneless, skinless chicken breast for 1.79 a pound. I made several bags of marinated chicken – 2 meals with a pesto garlic marinade, 2 meals with spicy Italian, and 2 meals with a sun dried tomato garlic marinade. I also made a meal of Parmesan Chicken for dinner. Six quick meals in the freezer with very little effort involved in making them.



I had purchased a ham at Christmas time when they were on sale and I had not cooked it yet. I have been wanting to try a different ham glaze – something with a tropical twist. I created a Mango Orange Ham Glaze. Dijon mustard makes it tangy but the mango and orange combination gives it a very distinct when you taste the ham after it is cooked. My family really liked it. (I also used up the sweet potatoes as a side for this meal!)

Mango Orange Ham Glaze

Mango Orange Ham Glaze

After cooking the ham, I had a large ham bone left over. My Mom always saves hers and makes Ham and Bean Soup. I saved mine and tried making the soup in the slow cooker instead of on the stove top. The soup was great and this method makes it very easy to make. It also freezes well. It’s perfect for serving on a cold winter night for dinner. All you need is a salad and loaf of crusty bread and you have a quick meal.


Ham and Bean Soup

(I’ll share the ham recipes with you in a later newsletter!)


I still had some mangoes left so I decided to make some fresh Mango Salsa for the Tilapia with Mango Salsa recipe from the Big Book of Freezer Cooking. This is one of my family’s favorite recipes. The marinade for the tilapia makes it very moist and when it is combined with the flavors of the Mango Salsa it is wonderful! I usually serve it with Lime Rice.

Tilapia with Mango Salsa

Tilapia with Mango Salsa

Closing Comments From Carol

I’m trying a new format for the newsletter. I thought you might like it if I shared what a week in my kitchen is like – a little cooking from scratch, mixed with some experimental recipes and a little bit of freezer cooking. What’s a typical week like in your kitchen?

Do you have any recipes that you would like to share? I’d love to try and share them with everyone. You can post your recipes on the 30 Day Gourmet Facebook® fan page or click here to send me an email. Or do you have any other topics that you would like me to cover? Click here to send me an email. I enjoy hearing from you!

Have fun in your kitchen!


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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