Tuesday, November 9, 2010

November Menu

I can't believe we are 9 days into November!  That can only mean the holidays are right around the corner.  This menu is sure to keep you warm on those cold November nights, and are so quick and easy, you will have plenty of time for holiday festivites!

Just click on the entree and the link will take you to the full recipe. 

  • Eggwiches- No time for breakfast?  This is as quick as it gets!
  • Blueberry Zucchini Bread- This is also a great snack for anytime of the day. Make one loaf for today and freeze another for later.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Weekly Menu

I hope you all haven't thought that I've forgotten about you!  No, no, things have been a little on the crazy side the past week or so.  We've been potty training, teething, and sleeping on a crazy newborn like schedule, which makes for exhausted parents, so forgive me for not updating the blog. 
The great thing about Once a Month Cooking, is despite the chaos, we've been able to sit down and have a warm, home cooked dinner every night without much effort because it's in the freezer. 

This week proves to be just as busy as last- my birthday, the arrival of a new addition to our extended family, and relatives who are visiting.  So, here is my weekly menu.  Just click on the name of the entree and it will take you right to allrecipes where you can find the recipe and cooking instructions. 

I'd love to hear from you!  Have you tried a freezer recipe?  Did you get up the courage to have a cook-a-thon in your kitchen yet?  What type of recipes are your favorites that you would like to see on here?  I'm all ears on how I can make this blog better serve you.  Have a great week!

Menu for October 11- October 17th

  • Spinach and Feta Quiche ( I followed the directions up until baking, and baked for about 20 minutes, or until set.  Then, I let it cool and used my vacuum sealer on it.  On cooking day, just preheat the oven to 375 and bake until golden brown, about 20-25 minutes in my oven.)
  • Tomato Basil Soup (Progresso Can)- Sometimes you have to take shortcuts!
  • Turkey Tacos- no "recipe" here, just browned some ground turkey and used this Taco Seasoning that I already had made up on one of my prep days, and served in warm tortillas with cheese, sour cream.
  • Taco Rice
  • Chips & Salsa
  • Worlds Best Lasagna- I do not bake this on assembly day.  Just let it cool before freezing it.  On cooking day, let it thaw completely, and bake following directions on recipe.
  • Garlic Bread
  • Ceaser Salad
  • My birthday dinner...out to eat!

We will be tailgating, so I'm bringing this and serving it with Fritos.
  • Chili Cheese Potato Casserole. - Again, I followed the recipe up until the point of baking and then froze it.  On cooking day, just let it thaw and top with 1/2C. shredded cheddar cheese and bake for 20-25 minutes or until bubbly and the cheese has melted.

Family Dinner @ my parents house, which means no cooking for me!  Hooray! 

Enjoy your week and I'll see you soon!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Turn Up the Heat In Your Freezer, With Chili!

Today, I took a risk of being "blacklisted" by my Alma matter, Indiana University, and tried a new chili recipe called Boilermaker Tailgate Chili. A recipe that obviously from the name, comes from IU's number one rival, the Purdue University Boilermakers.  Now take it easy on me, the recipe has gotten rave reviews by almost 1700 people on allrecipes and I, being somewhat of a  self-proclaimed chili connoisseur, wanted to know what all the fuss is about. 

So with our beloved Colts playing this evening at 4pm, I had plenty of time to fire up my chili pot this morning, to have a deliciously warm, hearty bowl just in time for kick-off. 

The starting line-up.

This recipe calls for 2lbs of ground chuck and 1lb of Italian sausage.  Normally, we don't eat beef in our household, but I thought for the sake of giving the recipe a fair chance I'd follow the recipe. 

Brown and Drain the ground chuck/sausage mixture.

Next, I added the chili beans and diced tomatoes, undrained.

Then, I added some veggies and bacon crumbles.  No green pepper fans in this house, so I subbed with yellow peppers from our garden.

Lastly, I added my spices and remaining ingredients.

Let it simmer.  The longer the better!

The chili appears to not have enough liquid at first, but give it time, the vegetables will start to cook and loosen up, leaving you with perfect consistency.  Don't rush this chili, it really needs to simmer for at least 6 hours.  It would probably be best to cook it the day before you actually need it, and just reheat it in a crock pot. 

Topped with shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream. The perfect bowl for me!

Now, if you would like to freeze your Chili....hard thing to do in this house because we love it so much, let it cool completely.  Once cooled, place your chili into dated and labeled Ziploc freezer bags.

*Here's a trick to make sure that you get all the air out of your freezer bags: after filling your freezer bag with desired contents, place a straw into the bag, but do not let it touch the food.  Press the bag, and filling as flat as you can manage, closing the Ziploc bag up until you reach the straw.  Now, suck through the straw to remove any remaining air.  Quickly, remove the straw and finish closing the Ziploc seal!

Find the entire recipe at http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Boilermaker-Tailgate-Chili/Detail.aspx

Saturday, October 2, 2010

A Trip To The Apple Orchard

My favorite time of year is here!  I love this cool, crisp fall weather and watching the leaves turn beautiful shades of orange, crimson, and cinnamon brown.  Yesterday, I had the pleasure of visiting Tuttle Orchards, an adorable orchard just tucked on the outskirts of the hustle and bustle of the city.  Locally grown apples, pumpkins, and vegetables abound at this hidden gem.  Now I don't know about you, but sipping a warm mug of cider and picking my very own apples is my kind of Friday, and this is the perfect time of year to stock up on apples and freeze them for year-round use.

When we arrived we were informed that we were the first to pick the newly ripened Ida apples, a beautiful red and green apple that is great for cooking and baking. 
We also loaded up our baskets with plenty of our favorite, Jonathan apples.  Not only are they great for baking and cooking, but they make a great snack.  My son, who never eats his fruits or veggies, managed to eat 2 before we even got out of the orchard. 
Pulling 15lbs of apples by himself!

Tips on Freezing Apples
  • Choose ripe apples that feel firm and crisp, avoid apples that have brown spots or appear mealy.
  •  Generally, if the apple is good for baking, it will also be good for freezing.
  • Once an apple is frozen, it will not be good for eating raw, but needs to be used as apple butter, applesauce, or baked apple dishes etc.

How To Freeze Apples
  1. Wash apples thoroughly.
  2. Peel, Core, and Slice apples.
  3. Sprinkle apples with lemon juice or Fruit Fresh to prevent browning.
  4. Lay the apples flat on a baking sheet and flash freeze.
  5. Put frozen apples into Ziploc bags, storage containers, or whatever your preferred method of storage.
*To use your apples as pie filling, add the spices and sugar to the apples.  Line a pie tray with foil, fill with pie filling and wrap tightly in foil.  Once it is hard, remove from the pie pan and place in Ziploc bag for long-term storage.  Don't forget to date and label! 
*When ready to bake, just place the filling in a pie shell and bake.  You may need to increase the baking time, and don't forget to put foil over your pie crust so it doesn't burn. 

Look at all these frozen fruits and veggies!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Frugal Freezer Mom October 2010 Menu

Summer is coming to an end and that means fall is just around the corner. These recipes are sure to warm you up on a cold evening. Lots of fun pumpkin recipes since it's back in season. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Pancakes

Breakfast Burritos

Lunch & Dinner

Vegetable Soup

Buffalo Shrimp

Chicken Chimichangas
These make quite a few chimichangas. If you are doubling the recipe, consider taking these portable Chimis for a quick work-week lunch!

BBQ Chicken Pizza
This is by far my family's favorite. I only included ingredients to double this recipe, but in my family we always make 4 at a time!

Pumpkin Ravioli Casserole

Brown Sugar Meatloaf

Meatball Nirvana
Use these for your spaghetti and metballs one night, and then meatball subs another night, or place them in a crockpot for a game-day appetizer!