With baby number two on the way in early October, I am determined to have my freezer stocked up better than I did with G. I had all sorts of good intentions before she came along but without the help of my mom, I would have had nothing in the freezer at all. So this time I have decided to encourage myself to do this by making my efforts public.
The plan: Stock the Freezer with meals for after the baby gets here. I know we will have lots of help from the wonderful ladies at our church on dinners, so I am really trying to focus on easy to make snacks, breakfasts, and lunches. There are going to be some dinner items, as well, so stay tuned!
The procedure: I am going to get this done by challenging myself to make something for the freezer almost every weekday of September. I am taking a couple of days off because we celebrate our anniversary during September and I am hoping a certain someone will take me out to dinner! On tap are 20 different days (19 different recipes) to try to get that freezer filled before the baby gets here. It is a race against the clock, if you will.
Your part: Please feel free to join me in my cooking/freezing adventures by linking up your freezer cooking exploits each week on a week in review post I hope to get done each weekend. You can grab the button at the top of this post and use it on your own blog if you like. OR you can just plain leave a comment encouraging me in my endeavor – we 8 month pregnant woman can use all the encouragement we can get! Check back frequently to see the progress we are making on filling our freezer.
So, for September I will have a certain The Clash song stuck in my head with my own made up lyrics. Look for the first post of a real live freezer recipe on Monday! Here’s hoping it all works out!
Since today is Labor Day and my husband is home, I decided to ease myself into the stockpiling extravaganza and start off with a relatively quick and easy recipe to put in the freezer.
I have seen this recipe for Homemade Baking Mix often used on moneysavingmom.com and I have been wanting to try it for a while. The recipe can be used in place of Bisquick or other brands of baking mix.
The ingredient list is fairly simple, but includes a couple of items I don’t normally stock in my pantry: powdered milk and coconut oil; so you might have to grab a couple of the items at the grocery before starting this recipe.
Welcome back to the September Stockpile. For today’s stash, we added some Roasted Tomato Soup to our freezer. The recipe I used is adapted from Taste of Home’s Special Edition magazine: Ultimate Freezer Cookbook. I am thinking this recipe will be really good for quick and easy lunches with grilled cheese on the side.
Roasted Tomato Soup
15 large tomatoes (5 lbs.), seeded and quartered
1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
8 cloves of garlic, minced
1 large onion, chopped
2 c. water
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1 tsp. white pepper
1/2 c. heavy whipping cream
Fresh basil leaves and balsamic for garnish
Place tomatoes in a large baking pan. Combine 1/4 c. oil and garlic; drizzle over tomatoes. Toss to coat. Bake at 400 F for 20 minutes or until softened, stirring occasionally. Let cool for a little while, then remove and discard skins.
In a Dutch oven, saute onion in a small amount of olive oil until tender. Add the tomatoes, water, salt, pepper flakes (if desired), and white pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes to let the flavors blend together.
Use a stick blender or blender to process the soup. If you are using a blender, you need to do this in batches after letting it cool just a little bit. Stir in whipping cream and heat through.
To freeze: let cool completely, transfer to containers for the freezer. Freeze up to 3 months.
To use the frozen soup: Thaw in refrigerator overnight. Heat in a saucepan. Garnish with basil and balsamic. Serve with grilled sandwiches.
Freezer Tip of the Day: Let your food cool completely before you put it in the freezer. In fact, it might be wise to cool it to room temperature and then put it in the refrigerator overnight, then put it in the freezer. If you put a hot item in your freezer, it actually raises the temperature of the entire freezer for a while until the hot item cools down. This can cause all the food in your freezer to be compromised in quality.
It took a while to get to the point where I could do my freezer cooking today. I had to run to the grocery store after putting G down for the night and then get to the kitchen to work on stocking up that freezer! Thankfully the recipe I had planned for today ended up being VERY easy to put together. For today, we are making a breakfast/lunch/dinner item for the freezer: Individual Quiches.
This recipe is adapted from Taste of Home’s Freezer Cooking magazine I mentioned yesterday. The original recipe is very small, so I tripled it. Here is what I did:
6 slices white bread, cubed
1 and 1/2 c. fully cooked ham, diced
1 and 1/2 c. fresh mushrooms, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 and 1/2 c. 2% milk
3 Tbsp. prepared mustard
1 and 1/2 c. cheddar cheese, shredded
Other ingredients you could include in these quiches: fresh broccoli, bell pepper, ground breakfast sausage.
Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease 12 small ramekins with cooking spray. Place ramekins on large baking sheets.
Divide bread cubes evenly into each of the ramekins. Layer with ham, mushrooms, and onion.
In a bowl with a pour spout, beat together eggs, milk, and mustard; pour evenly into each ramekin. Sprinkle with cheese.
Bake uncovered for 25 minutes or until a knife inserted near the center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
To freeze: Let cool to room temperature. Run a knife around the edge of each ramekin and place in freezer to flash freeze. Once the quiches are frozen, remove them from the ramekins and place into freezer storage bags.
To use from frozen: Place on an ungreased baking sheet and bake uncovered at 350 F for 30-35 minutes. OR place on a microwave-safe plate and microwave at 50% power for 4-6 minutes or until heated through.
Freezer tip of the Day: When you have all the ingredients for a small recipe, consider doubling or tripling the recipe and then stocking your freezer with the extra. You will have easy and quick go to items stocked up, without much extra work.
I am so excited to share today’s stockpile recipe with you for one reason and one reason alone. This lady on Maury Povich’s talk show a few years back believed that her man was cheating on her with her best friend. Nothing new, right? Well, she believed that the best friend’s sole seduction was, you guessed it: Chicken Tetrazzini. She was so adamant about the reason he strayed that she said it over and over, creating much parody and silliness all over tv and the internet. Sadly, Maury did not include the recipe for the infamous dish.
So, inspired by that woman to keep my man by whatever means necessary, I bring you a recipe for Chicken Tetrazzini that will hopefully be the siren song that brings my husband’s heart home at the end of the day. Continue Reading
Today provided the opportunity to invite some dear friends over for dinner so I made most of dinner in the crockpot and used my normal dinner cooking time to prepare today’s stockpile recipe: Spicy Fajita Chili.
I could go into a long discussion about the fact that this does not actually qualify as a chili because it has beans in it; but as they say in Texas, “Anyone who knows beans about chili knows that chili has no beans.” Enough said, right? So, let’s call it a Chili because the recipe calls it that, but when we eat it around here, it will be soup or stew. Here’s the recipe from Taste of Home:
Spicy Fajita Chili
1 and 1/2 lbs. ground pork
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cans (11 and 1/2 oz) V8 juice
1 can chili beans (I used Ranch Style beans)
1 can diced tomatoes and green chilies
2 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. seasoned salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
In a Dutch oven, cook the pork, onion, and peppers until meat is no longer pink. Add garlic, cook 1 minute longer. Drain
Stir in the V8 juice, beans, tomatoes and chilies and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until slightly thickened.
To freeze: Cool completely, transfer to freezer containers, and freeze. May be frozen up to 3 months.
To use from frozen: Thaw in the refrigerator. Place in a saucepan; heat through. Sprinkle with cheese and onions, serve.
Freezer Cooking Tip of the Day: When freezing soups in containers, make sure to leave about an inch of space from the top of the container. The soup will expand in the freezer and you will need to accommodate for the expansion.