Feb 012010

Kitchen Fun With Carol

FrontCoverHello everyone! I am sorry it has been awhile since we have sent out a newsletter. Nanci and I have been spending our time working on the new Big Book of Freezer Cooking. Nanci and I spent a good part of Martin Luther King King Day weekend working together on the book. I have been working with Nanci since 2002 but this was the first time that we met. It was great spending time together!

We have some good news! We have finished the book and it is currently at the printers. It has been a lot of work but I think you are really going to enjoy the new book.

Some of the new features of the book include:

  • 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 (more than 150!)
  • Healthier ingredients
  • More ethnic recipes
  • Updated Tally Sheet

You can download a free 15 page sample of 30 Day Gourmet’s Big Book of Freezer Cooking (The actual book is 234 pages.)

Sample includes:

  • Cover
  • Table of Contents
  • Introduction
  • Freezer Cooking Rewards
  • Beef Kabobs
  • Fried Rice
  • Hot Pizza Dip
  • Creamy Mocha Dessert
  • Index
  • Back Cover

Click here to download your FREE sample copy of 30 Day Gourmet’s Big Book of Freezer Cooking!

Winter Bargains

Photo_071009_002Our family eats a lot of produce every week. Winter can really take a toll on your food budget because you can no longer buy seasonal/local produce. One of my strategies this winter has been to shop to clearance racks at my local grocery store. I have been able to pick up some great bargains that have really stretched my budget.

Take a look around your local grocery store. More than likely you will find several clearance areas. I typically look through the bakery clearance area. Most of the time I can find loaves of Italian bread or French bread for less that $1 a loaf. This is great for making homemade garlic bread, French Bread Pizzas, or Iowa State Fair Guinea Grinders.

I also take a look at the meat isle. Most of the time there is either a “Manager’s Special” section or I will look for meat that is marked down because it is close to its sell-by date. The closer the date, the more it is marked down. Generally it is 20 to 40 percent off. If you find these types of sales, be prepared to cook or freeze the meat within the next 24 to 48 hours. I only buy what I can use or freeze immediately. For example, this week I was about to find CAB ground chuck for a little more than $1 a pound. What a bargain! I made hamburgers the for dinner the day I bought it. The rest was browned for grinders, chili, and Hamburger and Rice Soup (see recipe below).

Some of by best deals lately have come from the produce department. Our local store has a rack with discounted produce. Generally Wednesdays are the best days to find these bargains. I have found strawberries for .30 a quart, colored peppers for .20 each, oranges for .05 cents each, zucchini for .20 a pound, etc. I ended up making several batches of Zucchini Carrot Muffins and Cranberry Orange Muffins. I made some stir-fry and fajitas with the peppers. Planning is everything when shopping this rack. You have to know what recipes you can make with the produce you are buying before it goes bad.

So how do you save money on groceries? Post your favorite tip on the 30 Day Gourmet Facebook® fan page or click here to send me an email. I would love to share your tips with the rest of our readers.

Contest Winners

Our Freezer Cook of the Month is Chella. Chella had a great posting on the message boards about her last cooking day.

Here’s what Chella made:

  • Carolyn’s Chocolate Chip Cookies 30 dozen ( rolled in balls, flash frozen, then put into bags 2 dozen at a time)
  • 10 Pizzas
  • 1 Chicken Swiss Casserole
  • 1 Chicken Enchilada Casserole
  • 1 White Trash
  • 1 Spaghetti Sauce with meat
  • 1 Sloppy Joe
  • 1 Haceinda Casserole
  • 1 Stromboli
  • 1 Ham and Cheese braid
  • 1 Chicken Pot Pie
  • 1 Chicken and Noodles
  • 1 Taco Chili
  • 1 Jambalaya and Rice
  • 1 Cheeseburger Soup

What a great cooking day! At the end of her posting she notes that she was preparing to have another cooking day the next day for breakfast and snack recipes. Way to go Chella! It is great to hear how you can adapt freezer cooking to fit your life style!

I was unable to reach Chella before the newsletter went out, so we will have to meet her next month. You too can get in on the winning by posting your funny story, good deed, cooking tip, assembly day story, favorite recipe, etc. on the Cook’s Corner Message Board under the appropriate category, or email it to me at carol@30daygourmet.com to be entered in our contest.

Bonus Recipes

BReadBowl_03Bread Bowls

A couple of years ago I had soup in a bread bowl at a book club meeting. It was such a wonderful way to enjoy a good bowl of soup. I’ve always want to try making my own. These are simple to make if you are familiar with making bread. My husband did a great job cutting the tops. He used a pineapple corer to make the uniform sized opening. Or you can just slice off the top and hollow out the insides by hand.



Hamburger and Rice Soup

Hamburger and Rice Soup

Hamburger and Rice Soup

January was National Soup Month so I put together this soup recipe. It is hardy, thick and full of vegetables! We love soup in the wintertime. I always have my freezer full of single serving soups for lunches.

Closing Comments From Carol

I hope you enjoy the recipes and the sampler of 30 Day Gourmet’s Big Book of Freezer Cooking. Next month I will show you some of the upcoming changes to the 30 Day Gourmet website. I think you will love the new look.

We’re look for your recipes and for your stories of your cooking days.

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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