Oct 012004

Notes from Tammy

tammyHi everybody! Ready or not, here comes fall! The leaves are starting to turn here in the Appalachian Mountains and the air is definitely getting cooler! One of my favorite parts of fall is taking a walk and swishing my feet through the fallen leaves. It’s on my “To Do” list for later in the month, when there’s more leaves on the ground!

Another part of fall that I love is going to the apple orchard for crisp and juicy apples. Ok, it’s not the apples so much as it’s baking with them! My new favorite this year is Rome apples… Rob said the apple crisp was the best I’ve ever made, and the only difference was the kind of apples I’ve used. Another benefit to the Rome apples is that they’re solid enough to put on my Apple Peeler-Corer-Slicer from Pampered Chef, which in turn (no pun intended!) makes them SO easy to bake with! I’ve got four loaves of Apple Bread in the freezer and have made a couple Caramel Apple Crisps.

I also have made 2-1/2 bushels of Jonathan apples into Applesauce in the slow cooker. Ok, I can’t really say “I” did it… my mother-in-law lives with us, and she has been a great help peeling and coring apples. I doubt I would have done so much without her help! I have two slow cookers, and can do three batches of applesauce between them. And if I start early in the morning, I can get two rounds done. So that’s six batches of Applesauce a day. The kids are lovin’ it! Sometimes I think they can eat it as fast as I can make it, which is extra incentive for me to get it in the freezer! If you haven’t tried this recipe from our message boards, I highly recommend it!!

Last month I traveled to Indianapolis and spent the weekend at Nanci’s house. We’ve been working together for 3 years now, and finally got to meet. Our consultant retreat got cancelled due to lack of participation, but since I already had my plane ticket, I went anyways. Consultant Cyd from MA already had her plane ticket, and planned to do some sightseeing with a friend, so they traveled too. So Nanci and I met Cyd and Darlene, and local consultant Kelly for dinner on Friday night. We had a great time together!

Nanci needed to update her consultant presentation with some new pictures, so we planned a cooking day for Saturday. We spent about 10 minutes on the computer using our Advantage Cooking Software to make up our recipe list, and then from there, all the reports we needed to make it a successful day! Nanci compared the list to what she had on hand, and we were off to grocery shop. Then it was time to start cooking!

We invited Cyd, Darlene and Kelly over for the afternoon to watch, and help us cook if they wanted to. We also invited Briana over so we could both meet her. Briana lives near Nanci, and works for our webmaster. I work with her every month to get the News out and she is very intrigued by this cooking thing we do. So they all came over and we had a great time! Cyd is a master potato peeler and jumped in to do dishes too. Darlene and Briana were our “bag ladies”… they put the food  in freezer bags as we finished it up. And Kelly is the vacuum sealer queen! Nanci and I put in a very long day that day, but we got it done! The food is in her freezer, and we got all the pictures taken too. We really had a great time together and I’m glad I was able to make the trip!

This issue of “Chewin’ the News” brings you three sample recipes from our newly released Vegetarian eBook, by Brandel Falk. Read more about it below, in the Bonus Recipes section.

Bonus Recipes from Brandel Falk

I’m Brandel, and I’ve been a vegetarian since I was in high school. I now have a whole vegetarian family to cook for–husband and five kids–at least on nights when it is my turn to cook. I hate having to plan dinner every night, so I started to use my freezer to save time and mental energy.

There are a lot of freezer recipes available today, but it is still difficult to find any vegetarian recipes (especially main dishes) to make ahead and freeze! The new vegetarian ebook is here to help vegetarian families. The book offers information about vegetarians and vegetarian cooking, as well as 25 recipes for various types of vegetarians. Over half the recipes have no animal products at all (vegan); many of the ones that do use dairy products or eggs come with instructions on how to make them vegan.

If you aren’t a vegetarian family, you may still be interested in these recipes. A lot of families are choosing to have occasional (or even frequent) vegetarian meals for health reasons or just for variety. If you have a family member who doesn’t eat meat, you can prepare vegetarian food, then freeze it in single-serving sized portions. Or you can freeze individual portions or whole meals for when you have a vegetarian guest. And the soups, side dishes, dips, and desserts may just go along great with any meal.

PeachSoupPeach Fruit Soup
We like having soup for family dinners, but who wants hot soup in the middle of the summer? This recipe is the result of a search for a cold soup (with no added sugar) that our whole family would like.


EggRollsEgg Rolls

Egg rolls are easy to make at home and freeze beautifully! Making them yourself lets you pick your favorite vegetables for the filling and adjust the seasonings just right, too. You can deep fry them for the most authentic taste and texture, or oven fry them to make them lower in fat.


CarrotCakeCarrot Cake

I invented this recipe just for this cookbook. Most cakes need eggs for the texture and to help them rise. Because I wanted dessert recipes with no animal products (acceptable to even the strictest vegetarians), I found another way to leaven the cake. And it is so good, you’ll never miss the eggs! Be sure to make one cake to eat right away; it’s great straight out of the oven. Yumm!


Website News from Nanci

nanciwebApples at my House
Wow! Is it fall already?! The leaves are beautiful here in Indiana. We haven’t made our annual trip to the apple orchard yet but hopefully this week. My apple recipe list looks something like this:
Easy Apple Pie Filling
Becky’s Apple Crisp 
Apple Bread
Apple Bars (from the 3rd edition)

Tammy_NanciWeekend with Tammy
It sure was great to finally meet Tammy face to face. We had a FUN weekend! Planning, shopping and cooking together was especially FUN! We just ate one of our frozen meals (Make Ahead Enchiladas from the new edition) and I thought of that weekend and my kitchen full of happy, laughing cooks. Tammy also got to experience the “office” firsthand by helping me print 100 labels and slap them on some newly copied Daycare CD’s. Then we raced down to FedEx and sent the CD’s to a consultant who was teaching a seminar the next day. That kind of stuff doesn’t happen every day but it does happen!

New Ebooks!
It seems like we just released our Co-op Cuisine Ebook and we’ve got another one coming out already. These are both great ebooks! If you don’t have them yet, you need to order one. Each ebook has 25 recipes and the cost is only $6.95 for the download version. Our new Vegetarian Freezer Cooking Ebook would make a great gift for a vegetarian friend. Christmas is just around the corner!

Holiday Freezer Cooking Ebook
It’s not too early to start planning your holiday foods. We’ve been staying home for Thanksgiving for several years but are planning a quick trip to Michigan this year to visit Bob’s parents. They usually go out to eat but would prefer to stay home. It’s just not worth it to cook for two. We will bring lots of the food along with us in a cooler and whip up a great Thanksgiving dinner in a few hours. Thanks to my cooking day with Tammy, I have two large bags of Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes and two large containers of Celebration Salad in my freezer. Add the Apple Pie Filling that I’ll be freezing this week, some Sweet Potato Souffle and a few other goodies from the Holiday Freezer Cooking Ebook and I’ll be all set! We’ll share even more holiday recipes next month.

Recipe of the Month Contest Winner

Recipe of the Month… Buffalo Chicken Dip

Our winner this month is Cheryl from WI with her recipe for Buffalo Chicken Dip. My husband Rob loves hot Buffalo Wings, and my oldest son likes them too. The rest of us don’t eat them… they’re too spicy!

I thought this recipe would be great for tailgate parties… the flavor of wings without any of the work!! And I was right! All of my taste-testers agreed it was awesome! My neighbor, whose family loves wings, took one bite and said “Oooh.. I’ve got to get the recipe for this from you!” I gave Rob a scoop and some tortilla chips to try it. My oldest son asked to try it. They both said it was great. Next thing I know, both of the boys have taken the bowl and chips from Rob, and are eating it as fast as they can, to try and get more than the other. Which really surprised me, because the youngest doesn’t eat much spicy food. Guess this was the exception! Spicy-wimp that I am, I must admit I had a few bites. I reached for my water quick, but it was good enough to have a few more!

I would think that anyone who likes wings would love this recipe! It’s thick, spicy, tastes just like wings and is so easy to make! What’s not to like!??

Let’s meet Cheryl:

I started 30DGing in 1997 after my youngest was born. I saw Nanci and Tara on TV and immediately ordered the 30 DG manual. I once had the privilege of seeing them in person in Wisconsin Dells too.

I am happily married to my DH, Rick, and we have two girls, Danielle and Emily. I work fulltime in a federal prison, leaving the house at 6:00 a.m. and returning at 5:00 p.m. Those hours didn’t leave much time for creative dinners. Since I began 30DG, not only do we eat better meals, but we can enjoy our meals earlier than we used to also! I like to cook by the “what’s on sale” method rather than cooking a full month’s supply at a time. I’d rather work with one type of meat at a time. In addition to the family sized portions I freeze for my family, I freeze individual sized meals from my mom and grandma. They both live alone and really appreciate having an entire meal ready to heat up.

My hobbies include sewing, knitting, crocheting and scrapbooking. I am also a professional cake decorator, usually doing 10-20 custom decorated cakes a month.

I hope everyone enjoys the Buffalo Chicken Dip as much as we do! We think it’s addictive!!

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

Freezer Cook of the Month Contest Winner

Our winner this month is Heather, with a funny story for us. Maybe she can use her prize check to buy more ingredients so her husband can try this recipe again!?

Last night we were cooking one of our 30DG meals. I was a little hesitant about this recipe but my DH was really excited. He really wanted to try this. It’s the Broiled Roll-Up recipe. You roll out raw hamburger meat, layer spaghetti sauce, cheese, and pepperoni, then roll them up and slice a roll off (like cinnamon rolls, if you can picture it) and wrap a slice of bacon around it and hold it together with a toothpick. My cooking buddies said it was hard to get them done in the middle and they had to cut them in half. You are supposed to broil them but DH thought it would be better to grill them. He got the grill going and put them on. (We have a very short and small 10.00 barbeque.) He let our dog, Mille out on her chain. (Fence is falling apart, she escapes, hence the chain). Then about 30 minutes later he went to check on the grill. Mille’s chain had wrapped around the barbeque and tipped it over! The roll-ups were still on the grill, but covered in charcoal dust! DH was mad at Mille, although I know technically we can’t blame her, she doesn’t realize her chain gets tangled up. And she is afraid of fire. But, she is also on a diet and we have to wonder just a little bit. DH really wanted to try them. We went out for pizza instead.

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? Do you have a funny story that happened on your cooking day?

Gourmet Q&A from Tammy

Q. I have a new email address, so can you change it for me for the Newsletter?  Thanks!  Cindy

A. Hi Cindy! I’ve gotten quite a few emails like yours, so here’s the scoop. Since our Newsletter goes out via Yahoo every month, you have to edit your account with Yahoo to change your email. We do not keep the membership list, Yahoo does. Use this link to go to our page at Yahoo .http://groups.yahoo.com/group/30DayGourmetFreezerCooking/
At the top center of the page, is a link that says “Sign In”. Click there and sign in to Yahoo. At the top center of the next page it takes you to, it will say “Welcome _____” with your screen name. Under that is a link that says “my account”. Click that link, and update your email there. Click Finish when you’re done to confirm the change. That’s all there is to it!

Cookin’ at the Keyboard with Shelley

ShelleyI talked with my friend, Michelle, last weekend. She has been freezer cooking for less than a year and, with seven children and a busy husband, it is understandable why she was panicked that her freezer inventory was rapidly depleting. Recognizing that desperate look (I’ve seen it in my mirror), I offered some assistance.

It required an intense focus and some quick work at the keyboard, but in less than three hours we had a four-month menu plan, with the recipes and reports to prove it. We imported several new recipes from the 30 Day Gourmet website (what a resource!), scaling them to feed nine or more. To add more variety to the menu plan, we copied recipes and substituted ingredients (ham for bacon, broccoli for spinach, etc.) Ready to conquer the cooking, she walked out the door with relief in her eyes and reports in her hand. Here’s what she took home:

Recipes Report: Print the Recipes Report to confirm your cooking plan. Hang it on the refrigerator and cross off each recipe to show your progress while you cook.

Containers Report:
 Before grocery shopping, consult the Containers Report. Inventory your freezer bag and wrapping supplies, adding the necessary items to your grocery list. Confirm that the rigid freezer containers listed on the report are indeed clean and available; adjust if necessary.

Grocery Report: Select the grocery report to include “all ingredients” or “cooking day only” ingredients. (A “cooking day only” selection will reduce the money spent on this trip to the store, but you have to remember to stock the pantry in the coming weeks with the “on hand/serving day” items.) Before grabbing your keys, detour through the kitchen to eliminate any items from your grocery list that don’t need to be purchased.

Ingredients Report: The Ingredients Report is different than the grocery list. The grocery list accumulates ingredients and gives a total amount to be purchased, while the Ingredients Report lists the amount of each ingredient needed for each recipe. Take this report to the store with you in case a question arises from the grocery list. The information may seem redundant, but it can be very helpful on occasion!

Appliances Report: This report helps you start cooking and keep cooking by listing the recipes each appliance will process. If you have a “bottleneck” appliance, make sure it never stops cooking! I feel the most efficient when all my appliances are working for me, and the Appliance Report helps me keep them going.

Actions Report: 
This report lays the foundation for recipe assembly. It tells you how much cheese to grate, hamburger to fry, onion to chop, chicken to cook, etc. Whatever the task, you can accomplish the most with the least amount of mental energy!

Recipe Inventory Report: Congratulations! You’re done! Now print a report of what you’ve accomplished – a list of meals added to your freezer. The “on hand/serving day” ingredients for each recipe are included so you can easily determine if you have everything necessary to put a particular meal on the table. Post it on the outside of your freezer, or somewhere accessible in your kitchen, and use the check boxes to indicate which meals have been served.

If you’re like my friend – anxious to conquer the cooking, but agonizing over the planning and calculating – then let Advantage Cooking and 30 Day Gourmet give you the help you need! Download the free trial version; you’ve got nothing to lose!

Final Thoughts

I hope you’ve enjoyed another edition of our Newsletter.

Click here to send me an email with any questions, ideas, suggestions or problems. I enjoy hearing from those of you who take time to drop me a note. Happy Fall!


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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