Notes from Tammy
Summer is in full swing at my house, and we’ve been busier than ever! We took our annual family vacation to the Outer Banks of NC this month, and had a great time! It was a much-needed break for all of us. We ate out at a couple of our favorite restaurants and I pulled 30 Day Gourmet recipes out of the freezer for the rest of our meals. It sure doesn’t get any easier than that on vacation!
Speaking of easy, I need to get some Granola Bars and Teddy Bear Snack Mix in the freezer, to take care of those afternoon munchies. It makes life so easy to have those on hand to grab as needed. At my house, we have them as poolside snacks, and also take them along when we have to run errands in the afternoon. Helps prevent whiney kids, and I’m certainly all for that!
This issue of “Chewin’ the News” brings you four new recipes from Cindy Clark, the author of our Freezer Cooking for Daycare Providers and Busy Parents eBook. I hope you enjoy getting to meet Cindy, and that you enjoy her recipes as well!
Bonus Recipes from Cindy Clark
I hope you’ll check out my e-book “Freezer Cooking for Daycare Providers and Busy Parents.” If you’re like me, you’re busy with family activities whether it’s in the middle of a school year or summertime, and you have to eat in shifts or have just a little time to get something together for a meal. That’s where freezer cooking comes in! A lot of meals you’ll find in the book can be heated in the microwave in very little time, or kept warm in the crock pot whenever you can find time to eat. As my kids get older (I have a 7, a 10 and a 13 year-old) I realize how important a decent meal is as we fly from one activity to another. Not only to save your sanity but also your pocketbook! The recipes work well for daycare, too. Portions can be frozen in muffin cups – just the right size for little servings. This really helps plan your daycare schedule, also, because you don’t have to wonder “what’s for lunch?” and can spend more time with the kids. So give it a try – and I hope you like the new recipes below too!
Enjoy the bonus recipes!
This is a recipe that my mom made every summer. It’s a great alternative if you don’t care for the tartness of pie. We had a huge rhubarb patch in the yard and I couldn’t wait to dip my rhubarb sticks into the batter. Mom would have to make a little extra batter just so I could do this. If you like rhubarb, you’ll love this cake. Even if you don’t, most people still love this cake. If you don’t tell them it contains rhubarb, they think it’s some sort of berry or sweet apple. My husband was even skeptical at first and now this is one of his favorites – my kids’ too!
This is a delicious dessert that my kids like as a change of pace from chocolate chip bars. The bars pack well in a lunchbox and thaws out right in time to eat for lunch.
I helped run the Little League concession stands last year, which was no little feat considering our town has about 1200 kids playing ball every week. I learned the “secret” recipe for the beefburgers, which were the most popular sandwiches on the menu. I love to have batches of these in the freezer, because they are so easy to heat and eat. Plus, you’re getting that concession stand taste without having to always eat at the ballpark or fork out money. It’s great to keep warm in the crock pot if your family has to eat in shifts between summertime activities like track, ball, dance, etc.
Website News from Nanci
Summer is flying by here at the Slagle house- isn’t that the way it always goes?! What a great time to pull together your freezer recipes and do a little organizing. Make plans now to gear up for a big late summer cooking day. It’s so great to have a freezer full of food heading into fall and those busy back-to-school days. We’ve tried to help you out as much as we can in providing easy, time-tested, freezable recipes on our website.
FREE TO EVERYONE
Visit the RECIPES section on the site for hundreds of great recipes. All multiplied out and ready to use. The recipes are sorted by “Type” (beef, chicken, etc.)
To be a member, you just need to own a copy of our Freezer Cooking Manual and/or our Cooking Software. The member access info is included in your order. Being a member gives you access to the Members section where you can download the worksheets along with 50 more recipes (different from the ones in the manual/software).
RECIPES FOR SALE
We’re all about freezer recipes. Each of our books gives you new/different recipes to freeze.
The Freezer Cooking Manual from 30 Day Gourmet – 60+ recipes
Holiday Freezer Cooking eBook – 25 recipes for holiday cooking
Freezer Cooking on a Budget eBook – 25 inexpensive freezer recipes
Freezer Lunches to Go eBook – 25 recipes for easy lunches;
lots of great info too
Freezer Desserts to Die For! eBook – 25 yummy dessert recipes for the freezer
Freezer Cooking for Daycare Providers & Busy Parents eBook– 25 recipes specifically for daycare providers; USDA food requirements included
Healthy Freezer Cooking eBook – 25 recipes to help you cut the bad stuff out of your diet; lots of great info; nutritional info included
SPREAD THE WORD – Please!
Please help us spread the word about 30 Day Gourmet by sending this newsletter on to your friends and by purchasing products from our website. Our plan is to always keep the newsletter and website free but as many of you know it costs quite a bit of money to keep 800+ pages up and running. We can only do that by selling our cookbooks to YOU! Thanks for your support! (And if you ever wonder if I’m getting rich off this venture, just ask my kids. They are still teasing us about taking them to Benihana’s for spring break while their friends all went on cruises ?)
Recipe of the Month Contest Winner
Congratulations to Lori Sorkin of NJ for her Chicken Fried Rice recipe. I will admit that this isn’t normally a recipe I would try. I don’t like rice and rarely fix it. But I thought I’d try it for the contest, since it was something different. And am I glad I did! I took one bite and said “Wow! That’s good!” and had a bowl full! I had my Asian neighbor try it and she said “Oooh… you made this?!? This is REALLY good!!!” The only “down” side to this recipe is that after your family gets used to eating it, they won’t be able to eat the fried rice from your local Chinese take-out restaurant anymore. This homemade recipe is that much better!
Let’s meet Lori:
My name is Lori and I live in Upper Montclair , New Jersey with my husband and two daughters, ages 3 years and 2 months. I love being a stay-at-home mom to my two wonderful girls. I am also an avid gardener and family photographer. One thing I do not enjoy, however, is cooking, and I always struggle with the pressure of the daily dinner plan. I have considered doing freezer cooking for a long time, and finally put that thought into action in April before my younger daughter was born. I prepared and froze six weeks of freezer meals, which we are just finishing up. What a relief during the first weeks of my daughter’s life! I had simple meals that I could take out of my freezer and pop into the microwave or oven and know that my family would be well fed. I learned a lot from that first try, and although I know it will take some trial-and-error, I plan to stick with this method of meal planning and preparation. My goal is each week to take one recipe and prepare six weeks worth of it; this should keep me with a perpetual six-week meal supply of meals in my freezer. The 30 Day Gourmet books and website have been invaluable – thank you, everyone, for your help, advice, and delicious recipes!
Click here to view/print the June Recipe of the Month.
I was unable to contact Angel, our May Recipe of the Month winner last month. After seeing she won, she contacted me to claim her prize.
Let’s meet Angel:
I am a stay-at-home mom of three. I have been freezer cooking in some form for over 13 years. I have been a consultant with 30 Day Gourmet for a couple of years now. Currently I am teaching freezer cooking to families of children with food allergies, something I have learned a lot about having two children with different food allergies. I keep busy by home schooling my children, quilting, stamping, and any other craft I can get my hands on!
Freezer Cook of the Month Contest Winner
Katie Green of IN is our Freezer Cook of the Month for June. She posted the following paragraph on the message boards, and I just loved it! It seems to be typical of many families who aren’t so sure about this new cooking thing we’re trying out on them. But then they see it isn’t so bad after all!
Just wanted to report that I finally got to make this recipe and it was a huge hit. My son – originally very resistant to my freezer cooking plans – just RAVED about it and said it was his favorite meal of any I’d ever cooked. He then went on to say, “Of course, you’ve been confusing me a lot lately – I seem to feel that way about EVERY meal you make anymore!”
When I contacted Katie to let her know she’d won, she told me that she’d been learning to freezer cook just from the website. So she is thrilled to have a new Manual as part of her prize! Katie also had this to say…
I never would have imagined how much freezer cooking would change my life – I am so much more at peace and relaxed. My college-age son is my only child left at home after many years as a single mom. He has been virtually housebound this year due to some health problems, which has really been frustrating for him. When I started freezer cooking, he saw it as yet another frustration — he was happy with the fast food rut we had fallen into due to my long hours at work (10 hour shifts).
I’ve never been much of a cook and at first I think he was skeptical that I could even make anything worth freezing. After he found out how much he liked the food I was making, I began to run into an unexpected problem — getting him to leave the freezer meals alone until their designated serving day!! Now that we are several months into the program, we are both reaping a great deal of satisfaction from the system. It used to be a struggle to get him to even try meals that I prepared. Now he not only enjoys helping me prepare the food, but he actually TURNS THE TV OFF while we eat AT THE TABLE. !!!
I am so grateful to 30 Day Gourmet for showing me the way. And being a Freezer Cook of the Month is icing on the cake.
Katie, we are proud of you for making 30 Day Gourmet’s system work for you and your son! That’s what it’s all about! Congratulations, and enjoy your new manual!
So, 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
Dissecting frogs in high school biology class was not exactly my cup of tea, but I love to dissect recipes. Sounds strange, I know, but read on to learn how it works. When freezing meals, I have several goals in mind. Primarily, I want to save time, save money, conserve freezer space, serve delicious food, and make it painless to put a meal on the table. All five of these goals can be accomplished by cooking only part of a recipe.
“Homemade Chili” is a prime example. After frying the hamburger and onion, I stir in all six of the seasonings and freeze in a food saver bag. Time is saved because I prepare multiple quantities of the recipe while the time-consuming tasks of chopping onion, frying meat, hunting for seasonings, and washing the pans and utensils need to be done only once. Money is saved because the canned tomatoes and kidney beans aren’t purchased until I serve the meal, or until they’re on sale at the store. Freezer space is conserved because I’m storing only the meat, not the tomatoes and beans. My chili is delicious because I’ve cooked the portion of the recipe that, in my opinion, freezes the best. Finally, it’s easy to put the meal on the table; the hamburger thaws quickly and the cans of tomatoes and beans are simple to add.
But wait! It gets even better! Advantage Cooking actually keeps track of a “dissected” recipe. For any ingredient in a recipe, set the “use on” field to indicate whether this particular ingredient is a “cooking day” or “serving day” item. Serving day ingredients are marked with an asterisk* on the printed recipe. I like to use the Move Ingredient buttons to position the “cooking day” ingredients at the top of the recipe and the “serving day” ingredients below.
In addition, three options are available for the Grocery Report. For any group of recipes selected, the grocery list can include:
1) all ingredients,
2) “cooking day” ingredients only, or
3) “serving day” ingredients only.
Regardless of what you thought of dissecting frogs in biology class, dissecting recipes has lots of benefits and Advantage Cooking makes it easy.
If you haven’t tried our Advantage Cooking software, click here for a 30 day free trial or to order your own copy.
If your summer seems to be flying by as quickly as mine is, I hope you take some time to enjoy it! Don’t forget your 30 Day Gourmet meals will help you have an easier summer, whether it’s helping with dinner, a picnic, a cook-out, or even taking meals on vacation with you. Let 30 Day Gourmet help out!
Click here to send me an email with any questions, ideas, suggestions or problems. I enjoy hearing from you all!
Hope you had a great month, and we’ll be talking again soon!