May 012004

Notes from Tammy

tammyHi everybody! Summer has definitely arrived… it feels like August here, not May! And how about those cicadas? Have you seen them? I told someone I had seen a couple but I hadn’t heard them. They said “Oh yes you have, you just don’t realize it! Remember the movies from the 1950’s that had aliens and they played this funky background music every time they showed the UFO’s or aliens? That’s what the cicadas sound like!” And they were right!! That’s exactly what they sound like! It’s amazing! I’ve also heard there are recipes on the internet for cooking with cicadas. I’m sure you won’t mind if we don’t go there! I’ll leave that to “Fear Factor”!

This issue of “Chewin’ the News” brings you four new recipes from Marie Cole, one of our consultants from Texas. I hope you enjoy getting to meet Marie, and that you enjoy her recipes as well!

Bonus Recipes from Marie Cole

I am an avid freezer cook! I first learned about freezer cooking almost three years ago. I had one of those just really awful days, when everything when wrong. I had a five-year-old daughter and an eighteen-month old baby girl, and I was really overwhelmed and tired. Nevertheless, I decided I was going to get it together and that my home was going to sparkle and my kids were going to be perfect!

On the day I decided that all of this was going to happen, my mother-in-law dropped by unannounced while I was in the middle of laundry (picture mountains of laundry all over the living room floor) and my daughter had just shattered a bowl of cereal all over the floor. After my mother-in-law left, my daughter decided to write her name on the carpet with pink calamine lotion, and my other daughter decided to see what artistic creations she could design with the contents of her diaper, not to mention the burned- to- the- size- of- a- hockey- puck pot roast I was making for dinner. Yikes! I certainly didn’t get it together that day, but rather lost it by the end of the day! On that day, I prayed for help, and about three weeks later, I found out about freezer cooking. So, for me, freezer cooking has been an answer to a heart-felt, earnest prayer for help!

Since that time, I have calculated that every time I freezer cook, I save myself about forty hours of time. I have used that time to start two small businesses (Freezer Pleasers and Grace Notes Piano Studio), play the piano for our church, homeschool my two daughters, co-direct a large homeschool co-op, teach Sunday School, conduct women’s retreats, teach freezer cooking classes at our local university, and I even wrote a cookbook for freezer cooks! It’s available on my website, at

I love to give freezer cooking classes because I feel that out of all of the answers to that prayer I prayed three years ago, freezer cooking has made the most impact on our family. It has saved us money, helped us to reduce those high-fat runs to the fast food restaurant, and gathered my family around the heart of my home, the kitchen table. I also love the freedom I have to help other people.

I used to want to offer to bring someone a meal, but was having trouble getting dinner on my own table, much less someone else’s! Now, I only have to grab an entrée or two from the freezer and drop it off. In this way I have been able to help people ranging from a retired missionary family whose wife had very complicated back surgery to the mother of three boys whose husband was murdered, to cancer victims, and the list goes on. It is something simple I can do to make a difference in our community!

At Freezer Pleasers, we feature the 30 Day Gourmet cookbook, because I feel it is the best one on the market! The recipes are all wonderful, and the helpful planning sheets and equivalency tables make planning a cooking day easy! We teach people how to cook the 30 Day Gourmet way!

For further information about Freezer Pleasers, please e-mail me at

Enjoy the bonus recipes!


Spaghetti Pie

On our Assembly Days, my friend Kim and I always make “Cheese-Filled Shells” from the “Freezer Cooking Manual from 30 Day Gourmet.” That recipe is delicious, but we always have filling left over. The filling is delicious used in this recipe in place of the ricotta cheese. We usually have enough filling left to make at least 2 pies a piece.

You can make this dish lower in fat by using part-skim ricotta. I usually serve this dish with fresh zucchini and yellow squash sautéed in a little butter and garlic, and Italian bread. My husband considers this dish the best one I make!

Calico Beans

This recipe is one my grandmother used to serve her nine kids. They were on a strict budget, so this dish was great for stretching the meat. I like to serve it at Thanksgiving and on special occasions. The flavor is delicious, and it can stand alone as a meal as long as you add a simple vegetable or fruit.


Pink Lemonade Pie

This recipe is from my mother-in-law. She is a fantastic cook, and often relies on simple recipes like this that yield great results.

I will never forget the first time I tasted this recipe. I had never had anything quite like it! It is so refreshing and cool on a hot day, especially the summer that the temperature reached 110 and the asphalt pavement began to melt. It is always a hit here in Texas!

Updates from Nanci

nanciwebOn the Home Front 
I can’t believe it but my firstborn is graduating from high school in a few weeks. Talk about a trip down memory lane! She’s a great kid and we are so proud of her! Of course, her impending Open House has given me a reason to draw up a new “to do” list for Bob. He would be about halfway through it if I wouldn’t keep adding things!

Summer Cookin’
I don’t know about you but I plan to schedule a cooking day soon – before it gets HOT and before the cicadas start driving us nuts here in Indiana:) Why don’t you join me? Click here to check out my recipe list. Since I’m hoping this will hold me for most of the summer, I’m breaking the “rules” and using 14 recipes. The trick to that, though, is to make at least half of them “super easy” recipes.

New Fill-in-the-blanks Worksheets Available for Members
Thanks to computer quiz Carol Santee we now have a way for you to fill out your worksheets online. Carol has created worksheets in Word and Works so that you can save a master and then fill in worksheets for each cooking day. I used them for my Summer Cookin’ planning and wow – was it easy.
Click here to check out my shopping list.
Click here to go to the Members Section and see the new worksheets.
(To be a member, you must own a copy of the Freezer Cooking Manual and/or the Advantage Cooking Software for 30 Day Gourmet. The member access info is given to you upon purchase.)

Yahoo Group Info
Again, our apologies for the bogus message that you got. I like Oprah and Dr. Phil just fine but we would never send you an e-mail with a solicitation for a book about them. Especially a book that is ranked #650,000 on Amazon. What happened is called “spoofing”. People (who need to get a REAL job) surf yahoo groups and choose some targets. Then they work their evil magic and pretend to be us and send a message. There are entire websites out there devoted to learning how to do this. They hit another cooking list the same day. We are hot on their trail and hope to send them to cyberjail soon.

So the common internet rules of thumb are:
#1 If it looks weird, it probably is. Just delete it.
#2 Run anti-virus software all the time. This one didn’t have a virus. They just hoped you would link to Amazon, buy something and earn them a commission.
#3 Don’t unsubscribe because of this. Get used to being a smart consumer on the internet too. Make the “delete” button your friend.

Product Updates:
Carol’s Healthy Freezer Cooking eBook is selling really well! Better get yourself a copy. Lots of great info and wonderful recipes. When I read it, the word that came to my mind was “sensible”. If we would all just eat sensibly, we’d be just fine. I heard yesterday that they are making low-carb Pepsi (not Diet, but low-carb) and low-carb Krispy Kreme donuts. Oh my. I’m afraid that the low-carb diet is headed the way of the low-fat diet. Once everything single food item has a “low carb” version we will think that we can eat as much of it as we want and then wonder why we are still overweight. I’m talkin’ to myself here! My skinny husband asked a good question “just what will a low-carb Krispy Kreme donut be made out of anyway. Whole wheat flour and Splenda?”

Jan_friendCo-op Cuisine eBook Coming!
Next month we will release a new eBook. This is a fun one! Co-op Cuisine was written by Jan Limiero, a veteran 30 Day Gourmet who has perfected the whole “cook with a group of friends” idea. She has this thing down to a science and the ebook is all you will need to make it work for you. The basic idea is that you get a group of 10, meet to hand out recipes, take 3 weeks to each make 1 recipe (2 when you are experienced) x 10 (1 for each person), and then meet again to swap out the food and settle up on the bills. Sounds easy, huh? Well, it’s not. Jan has learned by trial and error how to do this with the least amount of “pain”. I’ve already got my list of 9 friends. You’d better get started on one too.


Did you order the new ebook yet? You can download a free sampler and try out 3 of the recipes. Carol has some great tips and info about freezing healthy meals. No excuses now! Download versions are $6.95.

Recipe of the Month Contest Winner

Recipe of the Month Taco Seasoning Mix

Congratulations go to Angel Sweezea of MI for her winning recipe, Taco Seasoning Mix. I’ve been looking for this type of recipe, and have tried a few. I really like Angel’s recipe for the combination of spices and taste, and the quantity it makes.


My family loves Mexican food, and would eat it 3 or 4 times a week if I’d let them. I figured if I made my own seasoning mix, I’d get better taste, it would be more economical, and it would probably be healthier too. And I was right! The flavor is wonderful! I’m a real wimp for spicy foods and this recipe wasn’t too spicy for me. You could easily make it spicier by adding more chili powder and crushed red peppers.


Click here to view/print the May Recipe of the Month.

Freezer Cook of the Month Contest Winner

Congratulations to Carmen Beverly of Alabama for being such a great friend, and winning our Freezer Cook of the Month contest in May.


You know how mammograms are not even recommended annually until you are 40? Well one of my best friends, Esther, insisted that she get one, even when told her insurance company might not pay because she was so young. Well they did pay and thank goodness because that was one of the few good things that have happened with Esther’s health since. She had breast cancer and now 5 years later I guess I’ll just say everything happens to Esther. She went from being the best cook, Mom, housekeeper, and friend to doing all those things now without the use of her left arm.

To help out, I cook dinner for Esther and her family every Monday and with such help as Parsley Parmesan Chicken and Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes I can cook for both of our families. I was always the worst cook or at least the “weird food” cook but with the help of your website and recipes and techniques I am reformed. It is not a hardship for me. I don’t find myself making a “Taco Run” at 5:00 and the last Monday her 9 year old son hugged me and told me I made the best food! I made beans last night and will use your “Freezer Techniques” to store them. This Monday, I will just pop them out of the freezer and I might even get another hug!


I hope we all can be such a good friend to others in need!

Gourmet Q&A from Tammy

Q. My family won’t eat tacos and stuff like that.  Any ideas how I can change the recipes so they will eat them?  Jo

A. The answer is probably easier than you think, Jo.  In my experience, when people object to Mexican foods, the main thing they don’t like is the spice Cumin that’s used in so many dishes.  My dad and brother won’t eat Mexican food.  In talking to my brother about it, we discovered it was the Cumin he didn’t like.  And it was more the smell than the taste, if you can believe that!  I had him smell a jar of cumin, and he knew right away that it was the culprit!  So, I did a little research, and found that the widely accepted substitute for cumin is chili powder.  Just use an equal amount of chili powder instead of cumin in your recipe.  Give it a try and see if it works for your picky family members.

Cookin’ at the Keyboard with Shelley

ShelleyThe Advantage Cooking software is such a great tool! When it comes to planning a cooking day, I hardly have to think anymore. It takes only minutes to create a new “Cooking Day” and select the recipes I want to prepare. With one click of the mouse, the Grocery Report is printed and I’m on my way to the store. Before grabbing my keys, there are three things that I always remember to do:

1) Print a Container Report. The Grocery Report is a list of the food items needed to cook; the Container Report is a list of the storage items needed to freeze. Containers can be a variety of things, e.g. freezer bags, rigid containers, plastic wrap, aluminum foil, cupcake liners. If  I come home without enough of these important items, I either have to improvise, or make another trip to the store (both of which can be frustrating and time consuming!).

2) Detour through the kitchen. I’m always anxious to get in the car, but a few minutes spent here saves me money at the checkout. I do a quick inventory of the cupboards and pantry, eliminating the items on the Grocery Report (and Container Report) that are already in the kitchen. No need to come home with double and have to store it until next time.

3) Consider the staples. I can’t count the number of times I’ve finished a cooking session, only to discover that we’re out of butter, or milk, or flour, or something! I was just at the store and I’m not in the mood to go back. I’ve tried two different methods to avoid this event, and they both work equally well. First, manually write in the staples your family can’t live without. Secondly, create a recipe called “Household Staples” and add it to the Cooking Day. My recipe contains things like butter, milk, flour, bread, lunch meat, peanut butter, lettuce, bananas, and apples.

By using the software, I find myself conquering the aisles at the grocery store before it’s necessary to look at the recipes I’m cooking. Adding a few practical steps, in the right order, gives me an even greater “Advantage!”

If you haven’t tried our Advantage Cooking software, click here for a 30 day free trial or to order your own copy.

30 Day Gourmet in the News

We were recently recommended in Nancy Twigg’s “Counting the Cost” eNewsletter. Check out Nancy’s website on simple and frugal living at

Maybe you’ve heard about the benefits of freezer cooking (also called “once a month cooking”), but have never given it a try. Maybe it seems too complicated or too involved. If so, here is a book that will help you experience the freedom of cooking only once every 30 days. Because it is written in a very conversational style, looking through this book is like reading a good friend’s notes from her personal recipe collection. In addition to step-by-step instructions, you’ll find a wide variety of recipes, reproducible worksheets, and helpful equivalency charts. Dieters will particularly appreciate the nutritional information included with each recipe. “The Freezer Cooking Manual from 30 Day Gourmet” is available through and through

Final Thoughts

Time to wrap up this newsletter and get the next one out! Hope you’ve enjoyed all the info in this edition of the News. Thank you for your support of 30 Day Gourmet! Have a great summer!

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!



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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