Sep 292012

A Week in the Kitchen with Carol

Happy Autumn, everyone! Our lives have been chaotic but wonderful the last two months. I’ve started watching my grandson for my daughter-in-law so she can return to work. It’s been awhile since I have taken care of an infant all day but it’s all coming back to me. I have a renewed appreciation for all the stay at home and working moms with infants. It’s hard but rewarding work.

Throughout the last two months one of my pleasant discoveries is how much 30 Day Gourmet has helped me adapt to this new lifestyle! On my day off, I do any baking that needs done for the week. I also plan out the menu for the week, go “shopping” in the freezer for the meals I’m going to serve, and put together a grocery list for my perishable items. Having meals in the freezer has been such a great help!

fruitNoat_002Here’s an example of my week in the kitchen. On my baking day, I made Fruit and Oat Bars for lunches, baked a Frittata (from the Big Book of Freezer Cooking) for breakfast, and I tested a recipe for Beanie Brownies. I also made a batch of Muesli to have on hand for a quick breakfast.

To make sure dinner was taken care of for my cooking day, I loaded the slow cooker with Mushroom, Beef, and Brown Rice Soup to serve for dinner. I sent some of the leftovers for lunch during the week. The rest went in the freezer for a later time.

For my freezer “shopping” day, I decided to pull chicken for Grilled Chicken Salad, Tilapia with Mango Salsa (from the Big Book of Freezer Cooking), a larger batch of Garlic Lime Chicken for Fajita Salad and Black Bean Salad, and Shrimp Fried Rice.

SeptMenu copy


I cooked the chicken for the Grilled Chicken Salad, made the Mango Salsa and the Black Bean Salad. We always have leftover salsa after serving it with the tilapia. The leftover Mango Salsa makes a great topping for Garlic Lime Chicken. After I grilled the Garlic Lime Chicken, I stirred the extra chicken into the Black Bean Salad.

It’s always great to double check what on hand items you need for serving day. You can easily to do this using the Advantage Cooking Software. Just create a “Cooking Day” that includes the recipes you are serving for the week. Then print a Grocery Report for just the Serving Day Ingredients. Tada – an instant grocery list! I like to double check the list with the items I have in my pantry so I know what I need to buy to complete the recipes I just just removed from the freezer.



What a great week in the kitchen!

Bonus Recipes

Here’s two new recipes we are making this Autumn at my house! I love making soup when the weather gets chilly and this stir-fry recipe packs a little heat too!

BeefRiceMushroomMushroom, Beef, and Brown Rice Soup

If you love mushrooms you will love this soup. I usually make it with portabella mushrooms. It is so good and you’ll love how it smells when it cooks. This is a very versatile recipe. You can cook it in the slow cooker directly from a frozen state on serving day or you can fully cook it on cooking day and just reheat it on serving day. Very convenient!

ShrimpFriedRiceShrimp Fried Rice

This is one of our new favorite recipes. We like all the vegetables in the recipe versus your typical fried rice. The combination of the ginger, sesame oil, and hot sauce gives it a totally different flavor. We use brown rice when making this recipe and the leftovers heat up nicely the next day for lunch!

Closing Comments from Carol

Enjoy the recipes! FYI – the Black Bean Salad recipe can be found on the 30 Day Gourmet Facebook® fan page in the Notes section.

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.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.