Kitchen Fun with Carol
What does freezer cooking mean to you?
August is here and I am in the last month of my summer menu. I am getting ready to plan my fall menu and have my cooking day. I have been doing a lot of mini cooking sessions over the last month. I have just not had the time to do an all day cooking session. I have been cooking recipes based on what is on sale to extend our food budget. I posted the details of one of my cooking sessions on the Cooks’ Corner Message Boards.
While preparing for my fall menu planning I decided that I should update my Meal Inventory Checklist (Worksheet F from The Freezer Cooking Manual). I know, my checklist should be up to date but when you have four people who take food out of the freezer, you just have to check your counts to make sure! I grabbed my form and took my husband down to the basement to inventory the freezer. (This task goes so much faster with two people.) This helps me know what I have on hand so I can incorporate these meals into my menu planning and not waste time and money making something I already have. Boy was I surprised and so was my husband! I have made more meals than I thought over the last month. Here is a list of what I made:
3 Meatloaves (from The Freezer Cooking Manual)
16 individual servings of Sloppy Joes
- 2 Wet Tacos
3 meals of Meatballs (from The Freezer Cooking Manual)
16 hamburger patties
8 pounds browned ground beef for Tacos, Chili, or Crock Pot Enchiladas
3 Delicious Pot Roast (members can access online)
3 meals of Crock-Pot Beef Sandwiches (from The Freezer Cooking Manual)
24 Chicken Patties (members can access online)
14 individual Chicken Pockets (from the Freezer Lunches to Go ebook)
4 Chicken Fingers (from The Freezer Cooking Manual)
Pork and Fish Recipes:
6 individual servings of Country Pulled Pork
24 Egg Rolls
2 Ocean City Pork Chops
9 individual servings of Ham and Cheese Freezer Hot Pockets
2 Pork Chops with Stuffing (from the Healthy Freezer Cooking ebook)
3 Cheese-Filled Shells (from The Freezer Cooking Manual)
1 Tara’s Macaroni and Cheese (members can access online)
I was able to make a lot of meals by having several mini cooking sessions instead of having one large session. Have you ever tried this? That made me wonder about people’s concepts of freezer cooking and what it is to them. I know that when I have talked to people about freezer cooking some cooks are afraid to cook for 30 days at a time. They think that it is too much work, not possible or they just do not have enough space. I am a firm believer in doing whatever works for you and your family. Cooking for 30 days at a time may not work for your situation but that is what makes 30 Day Gourmet so great! If you don’t have time for a big cooking session, try mini sessions like I did or try making doubles of recipes when you are cooking dinner. Most of the time recipes can be doubled with very little effort on your part. A good place to start is with marinades. It is just as easy to make two bags of marinated chicken as it is to make one. Another easy recipe to try is lasagna. Many families will not eat a whole 9×13 pan of lasagna at one meal. The easy solution is to take that one recipe and make it in two 8×8 pans instead. Wow! Two meals from one recipe and no leftovers to deal with.
A new ebook is in the works!
As I am sitting here writing this newsletter I have two slow cookers cooking away in the kitchen. I am making Delicious Pot Roast (members can access online) for dinner tonight in one slow cooker (which is one of our all time family favorites!). I am making Crock-Pot Beef Sandwiches in the other one. This recipe will go into the freezer for my fall menu. Aren’t slow cookers wonderful!
We are working on our next ebook. It is dedicated to slow cookers and we are looking for your tried and true family favorite recipes. We will pick recipes from your postings on the Cooks’ Corner Message Board. So post your recipes under the Cooking – Crock Pot category and we will consider them for the ebook. If your recipe is chosen for the ebook, your name will be published along with your recipe and you will receive a free copy of the ebook!
There are a few rules.
We will only be reviewing recipe submissions through 9/30/08 so submit your recipes to the Cooking – Crock Pot category as soon as you can if you want your recipe to be considered for this ebook.
Please submit only your own original recipes. We cannot accept recipes that are copied word-for-word from any publication or any other website. However, we can accept recipes that you have tried and adapted to your own tastes from a previously published source.
The recipe must be freezable. It can be frozen raw on assembly day and then thawed and fully cooked in the slow cooker on serving day like the Crock Pot Beef Stew recipe. Or it can be fully cooked on assembly day, frozen and then reheated (in the slow cooker, stovetop or microwave) on serving day such as the Country Pulled Pork recipe.
Make sure your recipes include specific measurements and complete instructions (including freezing and reheating instructions).
If your recipe is chosen to be published in the ebook you will be notified by email. It is a very important that you include your email address in your Cook’s Corner User Profile. You can choose whether you want it publicly displayed. Just make sure it is entered so that 30 Day Gourmet can contact you.
Good luck to everyone! We look forward to reviewing your recipes.
Last month I promised to share some seafood recipes with you. I am always looking for a deal when grocery shopping. Some of the seafood items that regularly go on sale at my local grocery store are frozen fish fillets which are usually sold in one pound bags and frozen shrimp sold in various counts (depending upon the size of the shrimp). Both of these products are a easy to work with and are very versatile. You can create a quick marinade, toss the shrimp with some pasta and vegetables for a quick dinner or put together breading to use on serving day.
This is a fun recipe to have on hand when cooking for company. The marinade is good with or without the hot sauce so feel free to adjust it to your own tastes. Shrimp are sold by count, which is a range of numbers that expresses the number of shrimp per pound. The smaller the count per pound the larger the shrimp. If you are using skewers for quick grilling, you need to buy a shrimp count of 50-60 or smaller. Remember to not overcook the shrimp. It can make it tough and rubbery.
Freezer Cook of the Month
Our Freezer Cook of the Month is Christi. Christi has a great posting on the message boards about her back to school cooking session. It really inspired me to get in the kitchen and finish my cooking before everyone goes back to school. There’s only 10 more days until school starts!
Let’s hear her story:
School is just around the corner here (19 days away!), and I did a mega session to fill the freezer with quick and healthy lunch options. Wanted to add some variety this year – sandwiches get old – for two kids, and my DH and I, who also pack daily lunches. I did a Beef and Chicken Plan. All recipes are from 30 Day Gourmet ebooks, manual and the website. Planned last weekend, shopped on Tuesday, started prep work on Wednesday and am about half way thru my list (I work full time – so am doing this after hours). Will finish up this weekend with the baking.
Anyone else stocking up for back-to-school lunches?
- French Dip
- Stuffed Pepper Soup (uses hamburger)
- Crock Pot Italian Beef (from The Freezer Cooking Manual)
- Taco Rice (members can access online)
- Taco Soup
- Cheeseburger Soup (from the Souper Freezer Soups ebook)
- Swiss Steak (from The Freezer Cooking Manual)
- Beef with Broccoli and Onions (like a stir fry from the Healthy Freezer Cooking ebook)
- Sloppy Joes
- Vegetable Beef Soup
- One Beef Fajita Kit – just used a fajita seasoning packet and froze steak in marinade
- Crispy Rice Chicken – used drumsticks (members can access online)
- Crunchy Chicken Strips (from the Freezer Cooking on a Budget ebook)
- Baked Chicken Nuggets (members can access online)
- Chicken & Rice Soup (from the Freezer Cooking for Daycare Providers and Busy Parents ebook)
- Chicken Noodle Soup (from the Souper Freezer Soups ebook)
- Sweet & Spicy Kielbasa (this was a new recipe for us — kids loved it!!) (members can access online)
- Chicken Fried Rice
- Brown/white rice — 14 cups for various recipes
- Broccoli and Cheese Twice Baked Potatoes
- Apple Bread – (members can access online)
- Banana Bread – 4 loaves
- Pumpkin Bread – 4 loaves
- Poppy Seed Bread – 4 loaves
- Sweet Cornbread Muffins
- Raisin Bran Muffins (from the Co-op Cuisine ebook)
- Orange Tapioca Salad
- Brownies (boxed – caught on sale for 99 cents each)
- Henny Penny cornflake cookies (also known as Stovetop Cereal Cookies – (members can access online)
- Slice & Bake Cookies (frozen dough)
Thanks for sharing this great story with us.
Closing Comments from Carol
I hope everyone is enjoying their summer. Enjoy the seafood recipes. Next month I will share some of my favorite back to school 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!