May 012009

Kitchen Fun with Carol

DSCN0014Hello fellow freezer cooks! Wow – it is hard to believe that it is May. I hope everyone had a great Mother’s Day weekend. We had brunch with my side of the family. My husband, Tod, made chocolate chip and banana pancakes (using the Master Baking Mix recipe from the Members Only section of the website) with our niece and nephew. We also had different kinds of muffins, fruit salad, Breakfast Egg Casserole with ham and broccoli, French Toast Casserole (from the Members Only section), scrambled eggs and bacon. It was fun! Later that day we also hosted dinner for my husband’s side of the family. We served grilled chicken tossed with grilled vegetables and penne pasta, Garlic Toast, grilled corn, strawberries and ice cream. It was a busy but wonderful day.

How many of you have planted a garden this summer? There has been a lot of publicity on summer gardening since the white house garden was planted this spring. We enjoy gardening. It really gives us more flexibility in our summer food budget if we can just pick our own produce instead of buying it at the store. And there is something special about eating what you have grown. And personally I think it tastes better! We planted our garden last weekend. We have tomatoes, several varieties of peppers, zucchini and cucumbers. Once August is here I will be very busy canning and freezing my harvest.

A few months ago I wrote about how our family is trying to cook meals that are more heart friendly. In the spirit of this, I have done some testing with the new Smart Balance 50/50 Butter Blends. They come in stick form and you can use them in the place of butter or margarine in a recipe. They are great for sautéing vegetables, making Garlic Toast, buttered pasta, etc. The original kind states that it is good in baking so I tested it with a couple of recipes. I tried it with No-Bake Cookies (from the Members Only section). They had a slightly different taste and they took longer to set up but they were still very good. I also tested the product with Chocolate Chip Cookies. The texture was a little different but the cookies still tasted great! All in all I would say it is a good product and you should try it if you are trying to be heart healthy.

I am looking for potluck and grilling recipes to share with everyone. You can post your recipes on the 30 Day Gourmet Facebook® fan page or click here to send me an email.

Freezer Cook of the Month Contest Winner

Our Freezer Cook of the Month is Shelia from Benton, KY. I hope you are as encouraged as I was to see how you can not only use the 30 Day Gourmet system to change your life but the lives of others.

Let’s hear Shelia’s story:

I would like to share with you a story about the “30 Day Cooking”, but please allow me to share some background with you first. In 2006, at the age of 37, I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. We had two 3 year olds and a 12 year old. As you can imagine, our lives were thrown upside down.

Over the last 2 years, I have had 15 rounds of chemo and 14 surgical procedures, including a double mastectomy and all the lymph nodes removed from my left arm. During this time, our family and friends have been wonderful and supportive. When it became obvious recently that there were going to be some long-term physical limitations as a result of all of this, we began to make some major life-style changes. Aside from physical restrictions, I am easily exhausted and things that were once routine, now take tremendous energy.

One day, my best friend, Karen, who lives 8 hours away, called and said “I’m coming down. I have found something that is going to make a huge difference in your life!”

She explained the concept of “Freezer Cooking” and told me she was coming down to stock my freezer. Since my family was surviving mainly on Peanut Butter & Jelly, frozen pizza and fast food, they were pretty excited about the possibility. Karen drove down for the weekend armed with your “Freezer Cooking Manual”, downloaded charts and recipes. She planned meals, did the shopping and did all the prep work. Then she and my 14 year old, Katie, spent an entire day cooking. Together they made between about 60 meals for our freezer. This has had a tremendous impact on our lives! There really are no words to express the difference this has made for us. We are eating healthy meals again and I am not exhausted by the process.

Karen also organized things so that I can continue the system with a few friends who live nearby. When our supply of meals run low, we will have another “cook day”. I will organize things and oversee the process and my friends and daughter will do the cooking for the families.

Thanks to our wonderful friends, and your system, we have one fewer things to worry about.

We are Blessed.


It is great to hear how freezer cooking can really make a difference in your life!

So, how do you make 30 Day Gourmet work for you? How do you use it to help you deal with a challenge in your life? How do you use it to help others? Do you have a funny cooking story to share? You can post your recipes on the 30 Day Gourmet Facebook® fan page or click here to send me an email.

Bonus Recipes

Flatbread Pizza

Flatbread Pizza

Flatbread Pizza
I have been experimenting with grill pizzas for a long time. I have come to the conclusion it is all about the crust. I started experimenting with flatbread dough. Since flatbreads cook so fast it is the perfect recipe for making pizza on the grill. Simply grill one side of the dough to get it to “set”. Pull it off, flip it over, put your toppings on the cooked side, and return it to the grill to cook the other side. This would be fun for a large gathering since they cook so fast. You could set up a topping bar and let everyone choose their own toppings for their personal flat bread pizza. What fun!

Peanut Oat Bars


Peanut Oat Bars

These are so good! I was looking for new recipes for potlucks and family gatherings and I found this recipe. It is so easy to make and it takes great.


Closing Comments from Carol

Next month I hope to share my graduation and summer menus with you. I would also like to share some of your favorite summer recipes or favorite summer dinner plan. If you have a recipe or dinner plan that you would like to share with everyone, you can post your recipes on the 30 Day Gourmet Facebook® fan page or click here to send me an email.

Have a happy Memorial Day, everyone. And for those of you in the military or with family members in the military, thank you for your service.



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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