Freezer Cooking News from Nanci
Here it is summer again. Where do the months go? I have been out of school for almost 4 weeks now. In case you didn’t know, the teachers look forward to summer just as much as the students doJ My goal this summer is to organize-organize-organize. Organize my classroom to save time during the school year. Organize my home so that it is a refuge and not a source of stress.Organize my freezer so that my teens want to eat at home and so that mom doesn’t have to be here in order for a meal to be eaten! Organize my 30 Day Gourmet office to serve you more efficiently.
Take a few minutes to sit back and relax. I’ll catch you up on our family (some of you have been with me for 10 years now), encourage you to save money by freezer cooking in these tough economic times, tell you about all the new freezer cooking talk out there and share some recipes just for “kids” (mine are 15, 18, 20, and 23).
New Edition Released March, 2008
Some of you may have noticed that 30 Day Gourmet released a new edition of the manual recently. What’s different you ask? I basically changed the cover a bit, updated some recipes, deleted 2 recipes and added 2 new ones. Carol and I decided to take out the “Italian Chicken” and “Chicken Spaghetti” and put in the “Santa Fe Chicken” and “Honey Glazed Chicken” for some new flavors. Each page has a new 2008 copyright and my bio is updated on the cover. That’s about it. Should you buy a new book? Probably no need to. I know that’s a bad marketing move but that’s just the truth. Tell your friends, though, and give them for gifts. Click here to order.
Freezer Cooking is Everywhere!
Have you noticed that more people are talking about freezer cooking than ever before? 10 years ago there were only a couple of books on the market and when we told people that we made 60 entrees in one day they gave us that “are ya kiddin’ me?” look. Not anymore.
- Amazon.com now has a whole host of freezer cookbooks. Very few of them contain information to teach a new freezer cook the steps to being successful at the process but many are filled with great recipes for the freezer. Some of the recipes are multiplied out in some fashion. Others aren’t. I suggest trying one entrée to see if your family likes it before you make 3 or 6 of them. Our multiplication charts will help if you convert the recipes you find to work for 1-6 entrees. Remember, the time saving comes in making multiples. It doesn’t take 3 times as long to make 3 meatloaves as it does to make one.
- Meal Preparation storefronts (Dream Dinners, Super Suppers, My Girlfriend’s Kitchen, etc.) have popped up in the last few years and made cooks more familiar with the concept of freezer cooking. From what I am hearing and reading, though, many of them have not been able to weather the tough economic times. We’ve been getting e-mails from cooks who have tried these storefronts and then realized that they could make their own for a lot less money and jumped onto the internet looking for recipes. Of course, you have to do the shopping and the cleaning up afterward! Several of the meat dishes average about $4 per serving. I can generally make entrees for about half that amount. If you like the camaraderie aspect, just invite a few friends to form a cooking club with you. It’s not that hard to divide the work and divide the food.
- What does 30 Day Gourmet offer that is unique?
- Our cookbook is a manual. It teaches you how to freezer cook and it provides the tools that are necessary for you to do it any way you wish. Our worksheets (available free online with a book purchase) help you do all of the calculating. We also give you instruction in how to incorporate your own recipes into the system.
- Our recipes are always multiplied out in the same way. We have saved you a bunch of time and headaches by doing this work for you. It helps you make multiples in an efficient way. Our recipes also are based on 6 servings per entrée. It’s hard to plan your cooking when some recipes have 4 servings and some have 12.
- 30 Day Gourmet gives you great help along with tons more recipes on our website. Our message boards offer help, stories, recipes and the expert advice of hundreds of seasoned freezer cooks.
- The 30 Day Gourmet yahoo group is now #3 in the “Cooking and Recipes” groups with over 11,600 members.
How can you help?
Spread the word about 30 Day Gourmet to your friends! Talk about us in your blogs and on message boards where you participate. Write nice reviews on Amazon and other book sites. It helps our Amazon sales to have recent reviews. Even though you may own an older edition, please post your reviews under the new edition. Thanks so much!
Here’s a quick list of our items. Free shipping on orders over $50. Gift wrap only $1.
- 30 Day Gourmet’s BIG Book of Freezer Cooking $19.95
- Advantage Cooking Software $34.95 download
- Holiday Freezer Cooking $6.95 download
- Freezer Cooking on a Budget $6.95 download
- Freezer Lunches to Go $6.95 download
- Freezer Desserts to Die For! $6.95 download
- Freezer Cooking for Daycare Providers & Busy Parents $6.95 download
- Healthy Freezer Cooking $6.95 download
- Vegetarian Freezer Cooking $6.95 download
- Co-op Cuisine $6.95 download
- Souper Freezer Soups $6.95 download
- Slow Cooker Freezer Favorites $6.95 download
Saving Money by Freezer Cooking
Did you know that?
- most families spend about $500 a month on groceries (eaten at home)
- Americans now spend more money eating out than eating at home
If you’re like us, there are no extra piles of money sitting around. We’re doing everything we can to reduce costs. The kids are carpooling whenever possible. We are checking out the bargain movie theaters again. We will cram 5 of us, two tents and a cooking stove into a Toyota Camry next week to drive to Michigan and “mooch” off relatives for vacation. Times are tough.
We can all save SO much money on our food budget by freezer cooking. Here are a few simple ways:
- Plan Ahead. Sit down with the grocery ads when you plan a cooking day. We’ve been saying this for 10 years now but it’s still so true. The difference between boneless, skinless chicken breast at $3.59/lb and $1.88/lb is huge when you are buying 30 pounds of it! (A $51.00 savings!)
- Replicate your family’s favorite snacks and fast foods. Many freezer cooking families still swing through the drive through several times a week because the kids want “kid food”. Sometimes they don’t like our freezer cooking because we concentrate on main meals that seem too “grown up” for them. Doesn’t it kill you to pay $3 for a breakfast biscuit or a chewy pretzel or a little box of chicken nuggets?
- Save eating out for those foods that don’t freeze well or the ones that seem to cost just as much to make at home. We save eating out for the Chinese buffet (Adam), Arby’s pecan salad (me), Applebee’s riblets (Becky), and Red Lobster’s lobster dinner (Bob).
Cooking for Teens – Adam & Jenna’s Summer Freezer Foods
My son, Adam, is 18 and will be a senior this year. He’s an easy-going kid. 6’3” and skinny as a rail. I sat down with him, Jenna and my huge 3 ring binder of freezer cooking recipes today and came up with these favorites. They said that if we had these in the house for lunch and snacks, they would be happy kids and would not ask to borrow the car and run to McDonald’s (saving food money AND gas money).
- Breakfast McBiscuits
- Chewy Granola Bars
- Baked Chicken Nuggets
- Pizza Burgers
- Taco Rollups
- Crab Rangoon
- Soft ‘n Chew Pretzels
- Peanut Butter Fudge
- No-Bake Cookies (see picture of Jenna below with our freshly made No-Bake Cookies)
- Helen’s Nutty Bars
Catching Up with the Slagles
Many apologies for not sending out an update on Jenna (my 14 year old daughter with the heart problem). We did take her to the Cleveland Clinic back in November. They confirmed that her heart condition is unusual and will require surgery at some point but they were quite reluctant to do it yet because they had never seen such overwhelming fatigue tied to this condition. They asked us to return to Indy and see several specialists to rule out other causes of her fatigue. So we did. Rheumatologist. Sleep Clinic. Adolescent Pediatrician. Psychologist. Pediatric Heart Clinic at Riley Hospital . The doctors determined that she wasn’t sleeping well and put her on some medication which has helped her fatigue some. Her heart has worsened since November and she has been wearing a monitor for the last 30 days to capture the various “episodes” that she has (racing, pounding, skipped beats, etc.) We will consult with the doctors at Riley again next month. Mitral valve repair or replacement surgery in someone so young is something that they want to put off as long as possible. Jenna would rather have the surgery and get on with her life. She doesn’t like being winded constantly and having her friends see her heart visibly beating hard through her clothesJ Once we get the report from the monitor, I will send everything to the Cleveland Clinic and get their opinion. Thanks so much for your concerns. And thanks for the extra orders around Christmas time. It helped to pay for our one-day fees of $1500 (after insurance!). I’ll try to update you again before another 6 months goes by!
The rest of the family is doing well. Kaytee will finish college this next year at IU and still plans to become a cop for the LAPD. Becky will be a junior at Huntington University and leaves in a few weeks for a missions trip to China . Adam will graduate from high school next year and most likely attend Purdue University to major in engineering. Jenna will come to the school where I teach this year as a freshman (so that I can keep an eye on her!). My husband is working like crazy and asking me how long until he can retire (14 years!).
Enjoy your summer! I promise to do another newsletter soon. My next one will cover info about:
- dieting and freezer cooking (specifically the Weight Watchers plan)
- Midwest flooding and reminders about power outages
Thanks for hanging in there with us. Please send us your stories, questions and comments. We love to hear what’s going on in your lives.