Mar 252011

A Week in the Kitchen with Carol

icedteaHello everyone! Wow – it’s hard to believe that another month has gone by! It’s finally spring and we got a nice shot of warm weather for several days. It was even warm enough to make sun tea. It’s cold again but soon it will time to work in the yard, plant the summer garden, and cook on the grill. It will also be time to pick strawberries, rhubarb, and start canning and freezing summer produce. I can’t wait!

I am just completing week five of my Pantry Challenge. We usually only do four weeks of a Pantry Challenge but this time we have continued past that to clean out the stand alone freezer and the refrigerator freezer. We are considering extending the challenge out two or three more weeks. We’ll see how long I can hold out! It’s hard to see an empty freezer.

Drum roll please…. After 5 weeks of the Pantry Challenge, I have saved over $130! This will go a long way towards buying meats for my next cooking day. Exciting! I can’t wait to plan my menu.

I’ve been posting my weekly menus on the 30 Day Gourmet Facebook® fan page. If you are not already a fan, make sure you check us out. There’s a lot going on online! Here’s a recap of weeks 2 through 4 of my Pantry Challenge.

Chicken Lo Mein

Chicken Lo Mein

Week Two Recipes

Spinach Lasagna (from the Big Book of Freezer Cooking)
Crock Pot Beef Stew 
Cranberry Pork Roast
Turkey and Noodles (from the Members area)
Chicken Lo Mein (from the Big Book of Freezer Cooking)
Bowtie Soup (from the Freezer Lunches To Go ebook)




Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff

Week Three Recipes

Chicken Florentine Lasagna (from the Big Book of Freezer Cooking)
Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff
Sloppy Joe Sandwich Filling
Chicken Patty Parmesan (from the Members area)
Tara’s Favorite Muffins (from the Members area)
Tilapia with Mango Salsa (from the Big Book of Freezer Cooking)
Farmer’s Breakfast Casserole (from the Big Book of Freezer Cooking)




French Toast Casserole

Elegant Chicken in Marinade (from the Big Book of Freezer Cooking)
BBQ Pork Sandwiches
Quesadilla Chicken Salad (new marinade I’m testing)
Lasagna Rollups (from the Big Book of Freezer Cooking)
Ginger Orange Salmon
French Toast Casserole (from the Big Book of Freezer Cooking)

And here are the recipes that I am making this week!


Week Five Recipes

We had a “soup day” for lunch and served some of the lunch portions of miscellaneous soups that I have in the freezer for lunch including Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup and Slow Cooker Chicken Chili.

I made some Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins for the week. It’s based off the Chocolate Pecan Pumpkin Bread a recipe from the Big Book of Freezer Cooking. This is one of our favorite muffin recipes.


Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

For dinner I served Oven Crisp Chicken Fingers. It’s also a recipe from the Big Book of Freezer Cooking. This is a very versatile recipe. You can serve them plain with some marinara sauce for dipping or along side Fettuccini Alfredo for a fancier presentation.

Oven Crisp Chicken Fingers

Oven Crisp Chicken Fingers

I found shrimp on sale for $3.00 a pound while grocery shopping. I made a shrimp stir-fry for the family. It was wonderful and much less expensive than eating out!

I had an English Roast that I had pulled out of the freezer. We were in the mood for Tex Mex so I made Slow Cooker Beefy Burritos. This recipe is so easy! You can control the heat by the choosing different salsas. Serve it with sautéed peppers and onions, Mexican Rice, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, salsa and sour cream. Yummy!

Slow Cooker Beefy Burritos

Slow Cooker Beefy Burritos

I served Parmesan Crusted Tilapia (from the Big Book of Freezer Cooking) again – I can’t help it! It’s one of our favorites! I served a side dish portion of Tara’s Macaroni and Cheese (a Members area recipe). It was a great way to clear two things out of the freezer and have left over mac and cheese for lunches.

Tara's Mac and Cheese

Tara’s Mac and Cheese

I made Savory Turkey Burgers and Grill Fries. I grow rosemary in the kitchen window during the winter. It smells great and it is wonderful in this burger recipe! I also have an old cast iron skillet we used to use when camping. This works great for Grill Fries. You just cook them in the oven in the skillet at 425 degrees.


Closing Comments from Carol

Enjoy the recipes!

Post your stories and 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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