Aug 302011

A Week in the Kitchen with Carol

FreezingMuffinsHello everyone! It’s hard to believe that it is almost September! The summer has flown by so fast. My focus this month has been to fill the freezer with food for lunches. Packing lunches is a real money saver for my family so I know that it is definitely worth the effort. With a little planning I can pack a delicious and nutritious lunch with minimal effort. Every week I purchase baby carrots, celery, cucumbers, bananas, apples, mandarin oranges, and other seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables to serve as side dishes for lunch.

CranberryPopcornBarsI keep a “snack box” that has individual servings of snack items that I just grab and place in the lunch box. I also keep some snacks in the freezer such as Zucchini Carrot Muffins, Breakfast Cookies (from the Big Book of Freezer Cooking), and Chewy Granola Bars. A new recipe we have tried this fall is Cranberry Popcorn Bars. It’s a combination of a granola bar and a popcorn ball. We love the mix of texture and flavors.

The bulk of the recipes I made during my last cooking day were main dishes for lunch. I specifically set aside one shelf in our refrigerator freezer for lunches. Here are some of the recipes that I made this month.

Italian Meatball Soup

Italian Meatball Soup

I love soup for lunch. One of my favorite recipes from the 30 Day Gourmet web site is Italian Meatball Soup. I usually make my own meatballs for this recipe. Sprinkle a little freshly shredded Parmesan cheese on top. Yum!

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Another family favorite is Loaded Baked Potato Soup. I make the lighter version with two percent reduced fat cheddar cheese, reduced fat sour cream, and turkey bacon. It’s great! I also like to make Bowtie Soup (mini bowties are fun!), Wedding Soup, and Beef Stew.


Shredded Chicken Sandwiches

Shredded Chicken Sandwiches


I have been testing recipes for Shredded Chicken Sandwiches this summer. This is such a convenient recipe to pack for lunch. If your family has access to a microwave at lunch time, try freezing this recipe in single serving containers. This also works well for other sandwiches such as Shredded Roast BeefCountry Pulled Pork, or Sloppy Joe Sandwich Filling.

So what are your favorite lunch time recipes that you freeze?

Closing Comments from Carol

Enjoy the recipes! Are you getting ready to make your favorite Autumn recipes? I am ready for the apple season to begin. I can’t wait until the Honey Crisp apples are back in the stores.

I also enjoy baking and making fresh bread. It was great turning on the oven for the first time in months! I made Zucchini Carrot Cake and Zucchini Carrot Muffins. I also tried out a recipe for Ciabatta Bread. It’s fun to make your own!


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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