Oct 302012

A Week in the Kitchen with Carol

Hello fellow freezer cooks! How has your time in the kitchen been this past month? I have had several small cooking days due to some sales that I encountered at the grocery store this past month. Do any of you cook based on what’s on sale?

Here are some examples of my sale based small cooking sessions:

The first sale item I encountered was roasts that were buy one get one free. I also had a coupon for $2.00 off meat if I purchased $10.00. I purchased some ground chicken which was basically free because of the coupon. They also had tortellini on clearance. From this shopping trip I ended up making:

1 recipe of Italian Wedding Soup
1 recipe of Delicious Pot Roast (from the Members area)
1 recipe of Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff
1 recipe of Overnight Soup (from the Freezer Lunches to Go ebook)
1 recipe of Basil Tortellini Soup

The next week I found chicken for $1.66 a pound. I bought 10 pounds. They also had whole pork loins for 1.88 a pound. I had the butcher slice it into pork chops for me. Most of the chicken is in the freezer until we decide what winter recipes we want to make. I made:

3 recipes of Garlic Lime Chicken.
3 recipes of Sweet Apple Pork Chops (from the Slow Cooker Freezer Favorites ebook),
Seasoned 2 meals of chops with Caribbean Citrus Seasoning for Mango Lime Pork Chops (from the Notes section of our Facebook® fan page)
2 recipes of Choppy Rice Bake (from the Members area).

Finally just last week I found Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage on sale. It was only $1.50 for a 19 ounce package. Eggs were $1.00 a dozen. Cottage Cheese was $1.66 for a 16 ounce container. There was also a great produce sale. Colored peppers were .50 each. Spinach was $1.00 a bag. I made:

2 recipes of Vegetable Frittata (from the Big Book of Freezer Cooking)
2 recipes of Chicken Cacciatore
2 recipes of Turkey Sausage Pasta Toss
2 recipes of Tuscan White Bean Soup (from the Big Book of Freezer Cooking)
2 recipes of Spinach Lasagna (from the Big Book of Freezer Cooking)

Wow! What great sales this month! While I didn’t have a BIG cooking day I still ended up making 25 meals during the course of the month. That is why this system is so great! You can customize it to meet the needs and schedule of you and your family.

Recipe tip:
You can speed up the process of making the Wedding Soup by partially baking the meatballs before adding them to the slow cooker. Cook them for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees. This will take off about 2 hours of cooking time so you can free up your slow cooker for another recipe.

Facebook Recap

I received several emails from some of you who are not on Facebook and who have not been able to access some of the extra recipes that we have posted there for you to try. Here’s two of my favorite recipes I have posted in the Notes section. I am still working on freezing directions but they are great recipes to try!


Cashew Chicken Stir-Fry
serves 4
1/2 C. low sodium chicken broth
2 T. teriyaki sauce
1 T. cornstarch
4 t. sesame oil, divided
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast cut into 2-inch strips
1-1/2 C. fresh broccoli florets
1/2 C. sliced onion
1 C. snow peas
1/2 C. roasted cashews
1/2 t. minced garlic
2 green onions, thinly sliced
3 C. cooked brown rice (or white if you prefer)

In a small bowl combine the broth, teriyaki sauce, and cornstarch. Set aside.

In a wok or large frying pan heat 2 t. of the sesame oil over medium high heat. Add chicken to the pan. Stir-fry for 3 minutes or until no longer pink. Remove chicken from the pan using a slotted spoon and set aside.

Add remaining 2 t. oil to the pan. Add the broccoli florets. Stir-fry for 2 minutes. Add the onion, snow peas, cashews, and garlic. Stir-fry for 3 minutes or until snow peas are crisp tender. Add chicken back to pan.

Push the vegetables and chicken to the sides of the pan making a well in the center. Stir the broth mixture and pour into the center of the pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and coat chicken and vegetables with the sauce. Cook another 2 minutes or until the sauce is clear and the chicken is hot.

Serve over rice with green onions sprinkled on top.


Southwestern Black Bean Salad
serves 4
15 oz. canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1-1/2 C. grilled or frozen corn (if frozen, thaw)
1 C. diced tomato
1/4 C. diced red or sweet onion
1/4 C. diced red bell pepper
2 T. lime juice
2 T. olive oil
1 T. finely chopped cilantro
salt and pepper

Combine beans, corn, tomato, onion, pepper, lime juice, oil, and cilantro. Stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Marinate in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes before serving.

Comments – I serve it on a bed of lettuce with grilled chicken. You can also serve it with chicken quesadillas.

Bonus Recipes

Here’s two new recipes using pumpkin or apples that are perfect for the month of October. They are also great to have in the freezer if you are hosting overnight guests for Thanksgiving or Christmas. Enjoy!

GloriousMorningGlorious Morning Muffins

These muffins are great straight out of the oven. You’ll have a hard time keeping them around long enough to make it to the freezer! They are super moist and have lots of flavor!



Pumpkin Pancakes

Our family has always loved pancakes and having them in the freezer for weekday morning breakfast is so convenient. You can also make these pancakes with cooked sweet potatoes instead of pumpkin. Substitute 1-1/2 cups of mashed sweet potatoes for the 15 ounces of canned pumpkin. It’s a great way to use up left over sweet potatoes from your Thanksgiving meal.

Closing Comments from Carol

Enjoy the recipes!

Do you have any recipes that you would like to share? I’d love to try and share them with everyone. You can post your 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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