Freezer Cooking News From Nanci
Where did the fall go? Ours was beautiful here in Indiana though it may be coming to a close soon. Most of the leaves are down but we still had temps in the 60’s today and the Colts went 8-0 on Sunday. Great fall to be a Hoosier!
Things have been busy as usual at the Slagle house. It’s a little strange adjusting to life with just one child at home. Kaytee moved to Los Angeles on August 1st to hopefully work for the LAPD but the terrible economy out there has her still filling out applications and sending out resumes. Becky is almost finished with her 6.5 month internship in DC and is more than ready to head back to the Midwest for her last semester of college. Adam is enjoying the Engineering program at Purdue and the house that he is renting with two friends from high school. Jenna is 7 months post-op now and is doing great. We ride into school together every day and she’s enjoying being a sophomore.
Big Changes Coming for 30 Day Gourmet
A few of you have emailed wondering if we are dialing things back here at 30 Day Gourmet since you haven’t heard from us for awhile. Quite the contrary!
We’ve been working on some big changes here at 30 Day Gourmet but I have hesitated to tell you about them too soon since it always seems to take me 3 times as long to get something done as I think it will? But here goes!
Carol and I have been working with our webmaster, Curtis, for several months now to update the website. Of course, it was a much bigger project than we all had anticipated. We hope to launch the site by 1/1/2010. You’ll love it!
Yes, we’re also working on a new cookbook. Carol and I have been talking for quite awhile about the need for a more comprehensive book that will offer several needed features:
- layflat binding (hardcover with a spiral inside binding)
- process info including pictures and meal planning tips
- color photos (pictures of EVERY recipe and all in COLOR)
- more recipes (150 total!)
- healthier ingredients
- more ethnic recipes
Gaylen and Shelley are working on a new version of the software that will be compatible with the new book as well as the Vista and Windows 7 platforms. It will be available sometime after the new manual is available. We will keep you posted!
Meanwhile . . .
We will be selling the current version of The Freezer Cooking Manual from 30 Day Gourmet until our supply runs out. I have about 200 new books here in the office ($15 each) and also about 150 “slightly damaged” books that have a few scratches on the cover from shipping. I’ll be selling these for $10 each on our website.
Holidays are Coming Up Soon!
Are you panicking about hosting Thanksgiving dinner and wondering how you will get everything cooked in the right quantity at the right time? Relieve some of the stress by making all or some of the meal ahead of time.
Appletime In Indiana
It’s that time of year again! The apple harvest is plentiful here in Indiana. The Slagles have always had this family tradition of going to our local Beasley’s Apple Orchard once in the fall and buying 2-3 pecks of apples along with some sticks of old-fashioned candy that they keep on a shelf in jars behind the counter. I realized that my October 2002 newsletter featured that very event along with a pix of 9 year old Jenna posing in the apple store. Of course, being the nostalgic mom that I am, Jenna and I drove (actually Jenna drove!) there today after school for a reenactment. Here she is 7 years ago. And. . . .
Here she is now!
Back in 2002 I paid $6 for a peck of apples. Today, I paid $9.50 which equals about .95 a pound. That’s the same price that the chain grocery stores charge for cooking apples. Why not support your local orchards?!
Click here for a great list of apples varieties and their uses. The best apples for freezing are Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, and Honey Crisp.
Here are a few quick tips for buying apples in season and freezing them:
1. Always put apples in the refrigerator as soon as you can. They will keep MUCH longer that way.
2. To freeze apples whole (yes, you can do that!) wash the apples thoroughly. Then, freeze whole and unpeeled on a tray. Transfer to freezer bags once frozen.
3. Don’t plan to freeze apples, thaw, and then slice and eat. The texture changes and you won’t like them. They are fine to use for apple butter, apple sauce, pies, cakes, baked apples and other baked dishes.
4. I never peel my apples before freezing. I just wash them and then cut them up according to my purpose. I slice some for pie filling and chop others in small pieces for muffins and cakes. This article gives some great info about the nutritional benefits (more than just the added fiber!) of apple peels.
5. If you’re worried about the apples turning brown before they freeze, you can always dip them in lemon juice first.
Here are some fast facts about apples:
- 1 peck = 10-12 pounds = 30-36 medium apples
- 1 pound of apples = 4 small OR 3 medium OR 2 large
- 1 pound of apples = 3 C. diced
- 1 medium apple = 1 C. chopped apple
I decided to tackle one of my cooking “mountains” and make a bundt cake. I can’t remember how many years it had been since I blew the dust off my pan, but I’m happy to say that this cake turned out great!
Another great new apple recipe I made is Apple Cider Cupcakes. These cupcakes are super moist and really taste great. They actually taste good without the butter cream frosting too so if you want to save some calories, try them “plain” or with a dusting of powdered sugar on top.
Closing Comments From Nanci
We already have LOTS of recipes on our site that contain apples. I’ve listed several of them below. Don’t forget – you can always sort our recipes on the site by going to the “recipes” tab and then searching through the categories.
- Apple Cranberry Crisp
- Apple Dumplings
- Apple Harvest Cake
- Apple Crunch Muffins from the Big Book of Freezer Cooking
- Apple Pie Cake
- Apple Thumbprint Cookies
- Caramel Apple Dip
- Easy Apple Pie Filling from the Big Book of Freezer Cooking
- Mary Anne’s Apple Strudel
- Pork Chops with Apple Gravy
- Sweet Apple Pork Chops from the Slow Cooker Freezer Favorites eBook
Have a great Thanksgiving! My brother (from Alaska) and my sister (from Maine) are coming to Indy next week to spend some time with our dad who was recently diagnosed with ALS. We will have an early Thanksgiving dinner together – probably the first time that we have done that in at least 30 years. I will pull Sweet Potato Soufflé out of the freezer to bake and take. I’ll buy an extra turkey to cook, slice and freeze (can’t beat the price!).
I’m really hoping to do a cookie/dessert exchange with my female colleagues this year in time for Christmas. I’m also hoping to get at least 9 of them interested in doing a Co-op Cooking session with me too. We did it one other time a few years ago and many of them have told me what a big stress reliever it was to know that they had 10 entrees ready to go in the freezer.
Thanks for hanging in there with us! Many of you have been 30 Day Gourmets for more than 10 years now. Keep sending us your recipes, suggestions and comments. We love hearing from you!