Cookin’ at the Keyboard with Shelley
I am a committed (dare I say addicted?) freezer cook. Our family couldn’t survive without some level of inventory in our freezer. Unfortunately, every meal I serve my family and guests can’t come from my freezer – like when we go camping – tomorrow! When I pack the cooler in the morning, I’ll pull out the frozen hamburger patties I seasoned last month, as well as a recipe of Elegant Chicken Marinade for the grilled chicken sandwiches. I’ll toss in any package of cookies or bars that haven’t already been discovered since our last cooking day.
But there are lots of things we eat at camp that can’t come from the freezer. Just like I use the Advantage Cooking software to generate my grocery list before a big cooking day, I also use the software to create my grocery list before we go camping! It’s a little unorthodox, I know, but it gets the job done.
Each meal becomes a recipe in the software, for example, “Camp Breakfast – French Toast.” I even create a special “Camping” recipe category. The recipe ingredients become everything I need to fix the meal (e.g. bread, eggs, butter, syrup, orange juice, etc.).
To start building a grocery list, I add a new cooking day and select all the camping recipes and “camping meal” recipes I want. On our trip this weekend, we’ve invited several single guys (who don’t want to cook – imagine that!) to eat with us. All I have to do is change the recipe quantities on my cooking day plan and my grocery list automatically expands. Wow, this makes packing for camp almost fun! OK, maybe “fun” is a little extreme, but you get the idea.
I’ll be back next month with some freezer-friendly recipes. For now, since I’ve got camping on the brain, here’s a couple of our favorite desserts for the campfire.
This dessert was a huge hit with the family (in spite of the fact that it preempted the s’mores) and it seems to be fool proof. I was reluctant to bake a cake in campfire coals, but it has worked every time. I used a carrot cake mix in this picture (instead of the spice cake recommended.) A delicious dessert to warm the family on a cool evening.
The kids have fun with this one! Slit the banana with a plastic knife, push in at both ends to make a boat, and fill it up. Wrap in foil and heat on a grill over coals or an open fire. Caution: don’t cook ’em too long!
< Note: this article was originally written for the newsletter last March. Although Christmas is now a distant memory, the import features of Advantage are just waiting to be unwrapped. Please excuse the context and read on!>
It sounds ridiculous, I know, but I m finally finished with Christmas! Just last week I returned a gift that was never wrapped because I had hidden it too well and couldn’t remember where to find it. Fortunately, I was able to exchange the now out-of-season fleece-lined winter hat I bought for my daughter for a pair of summer sandals that she loves. Isn’t it a great feeling to trade something good for something else that works even better?
The MasterCook. Import feature in the Advantage Cooking software does exactly that; it takes a MasterCook. recipe (something good) and converts it to the Advantage Cooking recipe format (something better)! If you have access to MasterCook. version 4/.mxp files, the import procedure is simple. (Note: the import of .mx2 files will be included in the next release of the software.)
Go to the Recipes tab, click the Import button, and specify the location and filename of a MasterCook. (.mxp) file. The recipe information is converted and displayed for editing. Wherever possible, the text from the original recipe is extracted and placed in the new recipe (e.g. title, source, serving size, prep time, amounts, measures, ingredients, comments, instructions). If an exact match does not exist, the conversion program will attempt to assign a best guess entry. Ingredients that do not have a match will be automatically added when the import is complete. The original text from the MasterCook. recipe can be viewed by clicking the Original Recipe tab at the top of the window.
To leave the conversion without importing the recipe, click Cancel , otherwise, click Import to add the recipe to your Advantage Cooking database. For more detailed instructions, see page 34 in the software manual.
Even if you don t use MasterCook., you can continue to add recipes to your software by importing them from the website or any one of the ebooks. It doesn’t take much to go from good to even better !
Click here to download a free trial version of the software!
Closing Comments from Shelley
One freezer cook writes, “I have been using your system for about a year now and love it (thank you) and when I finally broke down and bought the software it made the whole freezer cooking idea a great reality for me and my wife.” If you’ve been waiting to check out the software, now is a great time to download a free trial version. With Nanci’s special offer of 20% off your shopping cart order, you can save $7 on the software through 7/31/05. If you have any questions, click here to send me an email. My husband, Gaylen, and I are here to help.