Friday, December 19, 2008

December Meal Preps

Chicken Cheese Soup(1 large, 1 small container) Thaw and reheat. May need to simmer if barley isn't tender enough. Top with shredded cheddar.
Beef and Broccoli Calzone (2 bags) Already baked. Reheat as desired.
Chicken Cacciatore

Pulled Pork Chili (2 containers) Thaw and reheat.
Chicken and Dumplings (2 containers) Thaw and reheat.
Steak Stroganoff Pasta (1 container) Thaw, reheat and serve over noodles.
Lemon Butter Glazed Chicken (from last month). (1 pan, 4 large pieces) Thaw, reheat chicken. Already precooked.

Chicken Lasagna Alfredo (1 pan) Thaw and bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 min. (not pre-baked)
Tex-Mex Chicken Fingers (2 bags)
Taco Soup (1 large, 1 small container) Thaw and reheat. May be spicy, so add v-8 or can of tomatoes if desired. Top with cheese, tortilla chips and/or sour cream.

Meatloaf (1 pan) Thaw then warm in oven until center reads 155 degrees.
Rouladen (1 pan, about 5 meat rolls, 3-6 oz. each) Thaw and warm covered until you are certain that the center is warm. May need to add a little broth since the gravy is thickened and might scorch.
Rosemary Roasted Chicken and Potatoes (1 pan w/ 4.5 lb. chicken and 2.5 lbs. roasted red potatoes. It is completely cooked and you may want to watch it as it warms, but keep it covered. There was very little juice in the bottom of the pan so you might want to add chicken broth to the bottom while it warms.

Chicken Parmigiana (1 bag--about 7 breasts, 3-cup bag of red sauce and package of sliced mozzarella) Thaw and place in greased baking dish. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Pour red sauce evenly over each piece and continue baking for 10 minutes. Place a slice of mozzarella on top of each piece and bake until melted.
Feta and Spinach Lasagna Rolls (1 bag, 10 rolls each) Place lasagna rolls in a greased baking dish (8 rolls fit in 9-inch square dish), cover with foil and thaw in refrigerator. Pour marinara over rolls and top with mozzarella. For every four lasagna rolls, use 1 cup marinara sauce and 1/2 cup mozzarella. Replace foil and bake for 35-40 minutes.
Red Sauce (1 bag, 2 cups)
Beef Barley Soup (1 bag) Put frozen soup into slow cooker (don't thaw). Add 4 cups of water and the bag of barley (included). Cook on low for 8 to 10 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tex-Mex Chicken Fingers

From "Fix, Freeze, Feast" by Kati Neville and Lindsay Tkacsik

Makes 3 entrees, 12 fingers each

1 tray (about 6 pounds) boneless, skinless chicken half-breasts
4 eggs, lihtly beaten
6 cups plain dry bread crumbs
3 tablespoons ground cumin
3 tablespoons granulated garlic
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
3 (1-gallon) freezer bags, labeled

1. Rinse and trim chicken and cut each half-breast lengthwise into three strips. Set aside.
2. Place eggs in a shallow dish.
3. Combine breadcrumbs, cumin, garlic, chili powder, salt, and cayenne in a large bowl.
4. Dip each piece of chicken first into the egg and then into the breadcrumb mixture. Place breaded chicken pieces onto one or more baking sheets. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until solid.
5. Once the chicken fingers are frozen, remove from baking sheets and divide evenly among the 1-gallon freezer bags. Seal and return to the freezer.

1. Completely thaw one entree in the refrigerator.
2. Preheat the oven to 350.
3. Bake chicken fingers on a greased baking sheet for 30 minutes, or until chicken pulls apart easily and is no longer pink in the center of the thickest portion.

December Menu Plan (meeting date to be determined)

Chicken Cheese Soup
Beef and Broccoli Calzone
Chicken Cacciatore

Pulled Pork Chili
Chicken and Dumplings
Steak Stroganoff Pasta
Waffles, Pecan Sticky Buns (optional)

Chicken Lasagna Alfredo
Tex-Mex Chicken Fingers
Taco Soup

Rosemary Roasted Chicken and Potatoes

Chicken Parmigiana
Feta and Spinach Lasagna Rolls
Beef Barley Soup
Basic Red Sauce

October Meal Preps

Stromboli (4 halves) Bake from frozen like a pizza.
Four-Cheese Mac & Cheese (1 bag+bag of parmesan) Thaw and reheat.
Magic Meat (3 bags, 2 cups meat each) You have options--see the recipe link.

Autumn Bean Soup (1 container) Thaw and reheat. You may want to add additional spice or a can of diced tomatoes.
Spaghetti Pie (1-9x13 or 2-8x8) Bake at 350 until bubbly, about 35-40 minutes from thawed. Add an hour to baking time if you don't thaw.
Loaded Baked Potato Soup (1 container) Thaw and reheat. Stir and may need to add milk. Top with additional cheddar, bacon, green onions and sour cream if desired.
Lemon-Glazed Chicken See recipe. Saute chicken breasts in butter, add sauce and simmer.
Black Bean Burritos (1 pan+1 bag cheese) Top with cheese. Bake at 350 (covered?) until bubbly. Can bake from frozen.

Barbecue Beef & Beer Chili (1 container) Thaw and reheat.
Savory Beef & Mushroom Pie (1 pie) Thaw, cover with foil and bake at 375 for 35 min.
Chicken Cakes with Creole Sauce (1 bag+1 bag sauce) Saute cakes in butter until done. To the contents of the sauce bag, add 1/2 cup mayo and 1/2 cup sour cream.

BBQ Pulled Pork (1 container) Thaw and reheat.
Split Pea Soup (1 container+1 small container) Thaw and reheat.
Mango-Cranberry Chicken (2 bags) Thaw, simmer in skillet. Serve over rice or noodles (Asian flavors).

Hot Ham & Colby Sandwiches (1 bag, 12 sandwiches) Thaw and bake in foil 6-10 min. at 350. From frozen, bake 30 min.
Red Beans & Rice (2 containers) Thaw and reheat. Serve over brown rice.
Big O Beef (1 bag) Thaw and reheat. Serving suggestions: on toasted hoagie with provolone and sauteed onions; over mashed potatoes.

Pumpkin Sausage Pasta (1 bag) Thaw and reheat. Cook 1 lb. penne and toss in sauce.
Creamy Garlic Shrimp (1 bag) Thaw and reheat. Cook 1 lb. penne and toss in sauce. Add milk if it separates.
Crockpot Maple Chicken Breasts Thaw and dump in crockpot. Cook on low for 8 hours.
Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes (1 bag, six halves) Bake at 425 until potatoes are heated through and nuts are toasted, 8 min. from thawed.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Hawaiian Chicken Strips

RecipeZaar Recipe #226170


4 cups Rice Chex, crushed to 1 2/3 cups
1/2 cup flaked coconut
2 pinches cayenne pepper
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1 lb boneless chicken breast, cut into strips
2 (20 ounce) cans pineapple chunks
2 bell peppers, cut into 3/4 inch pieces (red or green)

1. Heat the oven to 400. In a large plastic bag, combine the cereal, coconut and cayenne pepper. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, and honey. Stir the chicken strips into the mayonnaise mixture. Place the strips in the bag with the cereal mixture, a few at a time, and shake until well coated.
3. Thread each strip onto a skewer with 2 chunks each of the pineapple and the bell pepper. Place the skewers on a rack in a shallow baking pan.
4. Bake 15-20 minutes or until the strips are no longer pink in the center. Remove to a platter and serve.

Creamy Garlic Shrimp

RecipeZaar Recipe #50794


1 1/2 lbs shrimp, cooked and peeled
4 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (more if you want spicy)
8 green onions, chopped
3 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
3 cups milk
1/2 cup white cheddar cheese, grated
salt and pepper

1. Melt the butter in a large non-stick pan over medium heat.
2. Add the crushed red pepper and garlic and cook for 1 minute.
3. Remove from heat and add the flour.
4. Stir until well blended.
5. Add the milk a bit at a time and stir until smooth before adding more.
6. Return mixture to heat.
7. Add the shrimp, green onion and cheese and cook until the sauce has thickened and the shrimp is hot.
8. Add salt and pepper to taste.
9. Serve over cooked rice, noodles or toast.

Crock Pot Maple Chicken Breasts

RecipeZaar Recipe #81506


6-8 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/4 cup real maple syrup
3/4 cup apple cider
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup brown sugar

1. Combine maple syrup, apple cider, cider vinegar and brown sugar in a small sauce pot and heat until sugar dissolves.
2. Place chicken breasts in crock pot.
3. Pour liquid over the chicken.
4. Cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes

From Kraft Kitchens

Makes: 4 servings, 1 stuffed potato half each

2 large sweet potatoes (1-1/2 lb.)
2 oz. (1/4 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese, cubed
2 Tbsp. fat-free milk
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/4 cup PLANTERS Pecan Pieces

HEAT oven to 425ºF. Cut potatoes lengthwise in half; place, cut-sides down, in foil-lined 15x10-inch baking pan. Bake 30 to 35 min. or until tender.

SCOOP out centers of potatoes into bowl, leaving 1/4-inch-thick shells. Add Neufchatel cheese, milk, sugar and cinnamon to potatoes; mash until blended. Spoon potato mixture into shells; top with nuts.

BAKE 8 min. or until potatoes are heated through and nuts are toasted.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Mango-Cranberry Chicken

From "Fix, Freeze, Feast" by Kati Neville and Lindsay Tkacsik

Makes 4 entrees, 4 servings each

1 tray (about 6 pounds) boneless, skinless chicken half-breasts
1/2 cup chopped dried mango (about 4 ounces)
1/4 cup dried cranberries
2/3 cup boiling water
2 (9-ounce) jars mango chutney (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup rice vinegar
1/4 cup minced onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic (about 9 cloves)
1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon curry powder
4 (1-gallon) freezer bags, labeled

1. Rinse and trim chicken and cut into bite-size strips. Divide the chicken evenly among the four 1-gallon freezer bags.
2. Place mango and cranberries in a medium bowl and cover with boiling water; stir. Add chutney, vinegar, onion, garlic, sesame oil and curry powder; stir. Divide cooled sauce evenly over the chicken.
3. Seal and freeze.

1. Completely thaw one entree in the refrigerator.
2. Simmer chicken and sauce in a large skillet over medium heat until meat is thoroughly cooked, 15 to 20 minutes.
3. Serve hot over rice or noodles.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Autumn Bean Soup

2 cups white kidney beans (cannellini)
1 cup kidney or red beans
1 cup chickpeas (garbanzos)
2-3 cups fresh spinach or escarole, washed, drained, and chopped OR 1 10oz package frozen spinach
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. each dried basil and oregano
1 T dried parsley
Pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese (optional)

Beans can be canned or cooked from dry.

Combine all ingredients and simmer until onions are soft, about 45 minutes. Garnish with optional parmesan cheese.

Serves 6

Recipe from FirstLine Therapy.

Pasta with Pumpkin and Sausage

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
1 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage
4 cloves garlic, cracked and chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
4 to 6 sprigs sage leaves, cut into chiffonade, about 2 tablespoons
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock, canned or paper container
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup (3 turns around the pan) heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, ground or freshly grated
Coarse salt and black pepper
1 pound penne rigate, cooked to al dente
Romano or Parmigiano, for grating
Pumpernickel or whole grain bread, as an accompaniment

Heat a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and brown the sausage in it. Transfer sausage to paper towel lined plate. Drain fat from skillet and return pan to the stove. Add the remaining tablespoon oil, and then the garlic and onion. Saute 3 to 5 minutes until the onions are tender.

Add bay leaf, sage, and wine to the pan. Reduce wine by half, about 2 minutes. Add stock and pumpkin and stir to combine, stirring sauce until it comes to a bubble. Return sausage to pan, reduce heat, and stir in cream. Season the sauce with the cinnamon and nutmeg, and salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer mixture 5 to 10 minutes to thicken sauce.

Return drained pasta to the pot you cooked it in. Remove the bay leaf from sauce and pour the sausage pumpkin sauce over pasta. Combine sauce and pasta and toss over low heat for 1 minute. Garnish the pasta with lots of shaved cheese and sage leaves.

Serve pumpkin sausage pasta with pumpernickel or whole grain bread.

A Rachael Ray recipe!

Serve with another Rachael Ray recipe and pumpernickel bread:
Spinach Salad with Apple and Red Onion.

Spinach Salad with Apple and Red Onion:
1 pound triple-washed spinach, de-stemmed
1 small Golden Delicious apple, quartered, cored, and sliced
1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons (a couple of splashes) apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon grain mustard
1 tablespoon (a good drizzle) honey
Coarse salt and black pepper

Place spinach, apple, and onion in a salad bowl. Place oil, vinegar, mustard and honey in a small plastic container and fit lid on container. Shake dressing to combine, 1 minute. Pour dressing over salad, toss, and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

December Menu Plan (date to be determined)

Chicken Cheese Soup
Beef and Broccoli Calzone
Chicken Cacciatore

Pulled Pork Chili
Chicken and Dumplings
Steak Stroganoff Pasta
Waffles, Pecan Sticky Buns (optional)

Chicken Lasagna Alfredo
Tex-Mex Chicken Fingers
Taco Soup

Rosemary Roasted Chicken and Potatoes

Chicken Parmigiana
Feta and Spinach Lasagna Rolls
Beef Barley Soup
Basic Red Sauce

September Meal Preps

Chicken Breast Supreme (with rice): (9x13 pan) Thaw. Cook covered 1 hour at 350 degrees. Needs salt.

Honey Hoisin Chicken: (1 bag) Thaw and slow cook 4-5 hours. Take chicken out, add cornstarch and turn to high to thicken sauce. Put chicken back in.

Chunky Chicken Chili (Bottlecap Chili): (2 containers) Thaw and reheat. Add chili powder and hot sauce to taste.

Ginger Beef: (1 bag) Don't thaw. Slow cook on low for 5-6 hours.

Shanghai Stir-Fry: (1 bag beef) Thaw. Pour off marinade and reserve. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add beef and stir-fry until well browned, about 10 min. Remove beef from pan and keep warm. Add marinade to skillet, reduce heat and simmer 3 min. Return beef to pan. Stir in a can of mandarin oranges and sprinkle sesame seeds on top.

Garlic-Studded Pork Loin: (1 bag) Thaw and slow cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Cashew Chicken: (1 bag entree, 1 bag cashews) Thaw and reheat. Serve with rice.

Chicken Gyro Kit:(1 kit: pitas, fully cooked chicken, feta, yogurt sauce) Thaw and reheat. Warm pitas in the oven. Add a chopped cucumber to the sauce.

Tzatziki Sauce for Gyros

Black Bean Burritos: Thaw. Spread with salsa and cover with foil. Bake 30 min. at 350 degrees. Uncover and add cheese. Bake until melted.

Breakfast Burritos: (18 super-yummy, 4 low-cal) Leave plastic wrap on. Cook in microwave 2 min.

Southwestern Goulash: (2 bags, 6 servings each) Thaw and reheat.

Apricot Pork Chops: (1 bag w/7 large chops) Thaw and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees.

Italian Mac & Cheese: (1 bag) Thaw sauce, combine with 1 lb. cooked penne pasta, transfer to baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and grated Parmesan over the top and brown under hot broiler.

Sassy Spinach Quiche: (1 bag) Thaw. Fill 2 pie crusts and bake 40-50 min. at 350 degrees.

Marlboro Man Sandwiches: (1 bag/12 sandwiches) Thaw and gently reheat. Serve on sub rolls with pickle spear. Provolone suggested.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

August Meal Preps

FreezerChicks instructions for August exchange meals:

Pecan-Stuffed Burgers (6 1/3 lb. burgers per bag): Grill from frozen. Be sure to remove toothpicks!

Buffalo Chicken Burgers (6 burgers in bag, one bag sauce): Thaw and reshape burgers. Broil 5 in. from heat and baste with sauce. Make tangy slaw if desired (see linked recipe).

Baby Back Ribs (4 lb. slab): Pre-cooked. Grill about 20 min. on direct heat.

Lasagna (9x13 pan): Thaw and bake at 350 for 1 hr. If frozen, bake about 2 hours.

Beef Roll-ups (8): Thaw and grill. Serve on bun or as a steak. Recommended: Country Bob's Barbecue Sauce.

Berry Roasted Chicken (whole chicken): Thaw and pour marinade into cavity. Roast breast-side-up at 325 degrees for 1 1/2 hours.

Greek Beef Bites-Gyro Kit (enough for 6, bag of pitas, bag of meat): Saute beef. Make a cucumber-yogurt sauce. Serve with sliced tomato and white onion.

Gourmet Chicken Bundles (7): Bake from frozen at 350 for 30-40 min.

Shredded Beef Enchiladas (2 8x8 pans): Thaw and bake covered at 350 for 20-30 min.

Fiesta Enchiladas (2 pans, 5 enchiladas each): Thaw and bake at 375 for 50-60 min. Could add onion and more salsa if desired.

Thai Chicken & Noodles: Thaw and reheat. Serve over rice noodles and add salty peanuts.

Gorgonzola, Apple and Bacon-Stuffed Chicken with Blue Cider Sauce (9x13, container of sauce): Don't use foil pan. Transfer to baking dish and thaw. Pour one cup of sauce around chicken and bake at 350 for 25-30 min. Heat remaining sauce on stovetop and serve over chicken.

Breakfast Muffins (12): Heat individually 30-60 sec. in microwave.

Raging Garlic Pork Stir-Fry (2 kits): Thaw. Pour off and discard accumulated liguid in bag of pork and add 1/2 cup cornstarch. Shake to coat. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Stir-fry pork until thoroughly cooked, about 10 minutes. Add bag of vegetables and bag of sauce and stir-fry just until veggies are tender crisp. Serve over rice noodles or rice.

Tex-Mex Chicken Fingers (bag of 13-14): Thaw and bake at 350 for 30 min.

Honey Glazed Chicken Thighs (2 bags, 4-5 thighs each): Don't thaw. Place frozen chicken in ungreased baking dish. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Remove dish from oven, separate chicken and place meaty side down. Bake 90 min. longer or until the sauce has browned and is thick and sticky.

Tomato-Basil Soup: Thaw and reheat.

September Menu Plan (9/16)

Meeting Tuesday, Sept. 16 at 8 p.m. at Janet's

Chicken Breast Supreme (with rice)
Honey Hoisin Chicken
Chunky Chicken Chili (Bottlecap Chili)

Ginger Beef
Shanghai Stir-Fry
Garlic-Studded Pork Loin

Cashew Chicken
Chicken Gyro Kit
Tzatziki Sauce for Gyros
Black Bean Burritos

Breakfast Burritos
Southwestern Goulash
Apricot Pork Chops

Italian Mac & Cheese
Sassy Spinach Quiche
Marlboro Man Sandwiches

Friday, August 15, 2008

Chicken Gyro Kits

Makes 6: 4 serving meals (1 gyro per serving)

1 cup olive oil
3/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup garlic, pressed or minced
2 T dried mint
2 T dried oregano
2 T black pepper
1 T salt
10 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces

In a med bow, whisk together all marinade ingredients. Pour over chicken and stir to combine. Marinate, refrigerated, for 2 hours. Work in batches as necessary. In large skillet over med-high heat, add chicken and saute until cooked through. Transfer chicken to large bowl. Disgard juices. Cool. Divide evernly among one quart freezer bags. Seal bag, pressing out excess air. Refrigerate.

24 wrap pitas
12 oz. Feta cheese, crumbled

Package cheese in snack bags (2 oz per meal or 1/2 oz per serving). Place a package of chicken, a package of pitas, and a package of cheese in each one gallon freezer bag. Seal bag, pressing out excess air. Freeze.

Yogurt-Dill Sauce

1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, softened
2 pounds natural plain yogurt
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 t garlic, pressed or minced
1 T dried dill
2 t salt

In substituting low-fat or non-fat yogurt for natural yogurt, strain overnight in frig in a coffee-lined sieve. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl or processor. Beat or process until smooth. Divide evenly among freezer bags. Include one yogurt-dill sauce with each chicken gyro kit.

FREEZER CHICKS INSTRUCTIONS: Defrost in frig. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Warm foil-wrapped pitas in oven for 10 mins. Warm chicken in oven or microwave until heated through. Stir yogurt-dill sauce. Transform into Tzatziki, if desired, by adding 1/2 large cucumber (peeled, seeded, finely diced or shredded, and drained). Top pita rounds with chicken, yogurt-dill sauce, and crumbled feta. Tomatoes and onions can be added upon serving.

Black Bean Burritos

Makes 6-4 serving meals (1 1/2 burritos per serving)

3 1/2 pounds dried black beans or 13 pounds of canned black beans, drained and rinsed

In a large stockpot, soak bean overnight (if using dried beans). Drain and rinse. Return to stockpot, cover with water and simmer 1 hour or until desired tenderness. Drain and set aside.

olive oil
7 medium onions, finely chopped
2 T plus 1 t garlic, pressed or minced
7 pounds canned diced tomatoes, undrained
7 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
2 T plus 1 t chili powder
2 T plus 1 t ground cumin
2 T plus 1 t dried oregano
3 lemons, sliced and seeded
1 t salt

Work in batches as necessary. In a large stockpot over med heat, heat oil. Saute onions, garlic and jalapeno peppers until tender. Stir in drained beans, tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, oregano, lemon slices and salt (omit if using canned beans) and bring to a boil at high heat. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 30 minutes. Remove cover and simmer until slightly thickened (approx 20 mins). Remove lemon slices. Working in batches as necessary, puree half of bean mixture in a blender or food processor until smooth. Add unblended bean mixture to blended and stir thoroughly. Cool.

48 ounces mild salsa or picante sauce
6 cups shredded Monterey Jack or Co-Jack cheese
36 10-inch flour tortillas

Package salsa in snack bags (1 cup per meal or 1/4 cup per serving). Package cheese in snack bags (1 cup per meal or 1/4 cup per serving).

Assemble burritos by placing 1/2 cup bean mixture onto each tortilla, folding ends in, and rolling. Place 6 burritos (or 1 1/2 per serving) in each tin. Cover with a sheet of plastic wrap, pressing down to cling to food. Place a package of salsa and a package of cheese in each tin. Cover. Freeze.

Recipe from Cooking Among Friends: Meal Planning & Preparation Delightfully Simplified by Mary Tennant & Becki Visser.


Defrost in refrigerator. Preheat over to 350 degrees. Remove cover, salsa, cheese and plastic wrap. Spread salsa over burritos. Cover loosely with foil to prevent drying. Bake until bubbly around the edges and hot in the center (approx 30 mins). Remove foil and sprinkle with cheese during the last 5 mins of baking. Let stand at room temperature 15 mins before serving.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Tzatziki Sauce for Gyros

Tzatziki is a cucumber yogurt dill sauce that makes a refreshing dip or a topper for gyros and pita sandwiches. The sauce is served chilled or at room temperature. Do use fresh mint or dill. Plan ahead to drain the yogurt overnight.

Prep Time: 15 minutes


1 container (16 ounces) plain lowfat yogurt
1/2 English (seedless) cucumber, not peeled, seeded and finely chopped plus a few thin slices
1/1-2 teaspoons salt
1 to 2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh mint or dill plus additional sprigs
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Spoon yogurt into sieve lined with cheesecloth or coffee filter set over bowl; cover and refrigerate overnight. Transfer drained yogurt to medium bowl and discard liquid.

Meanwhile, in colander set over bowl, toss chopped cucumber with 1 teaspoon salt. Let drain at least 1 hour at room temperature, or cover and refrigerate up to 8 hours. In batches, wrap chopped cucumber in kitchen towel and squeeze to remove as much liquid as possible. Pat dry with paper towels, then add to bowl with yogurt.

With flat side of chef's knife, mash garlic to a paste with remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add garlic, chopped mint or dill, oil, wine vinegar, and pepper to yogurt and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 or up to 4 hours. Serve tzatziki sauce chilled or at room temperature, topped with cucumber slices and mint sprigs.

Yield: about 1-1/2 cups

Per Tablespoon: about 17 calories, 1 gram protein, 1 gram carbohydrate, 1 gram total fat (0 gram saturated), 1 mg cholesterol, 182 mg sodium.

Recipe Source: The All New Good Housekeeping Cookbook edited by Susan Westmoreland (Hearst Books)

Buffalo Chicken Burgers with Tangy Slaw

1/4 cup thinly sliced celery
1/4 cup shredded apple
2 T prepared fat-free blue cheese salad dressing
1 t finely chopped walnuts

3 T Louisiana-style hot sauce
2 t ketchup
2 t reduced-fat butter, melted


2 T chopped sweet red pepper
2 T plus 4 t thinly sliced green onions, divided
1 T unsweetened applesauce
1/4 t salt
1/4 t garlic salt
14 t pepper
1 pound ground chicken
4 lettuce leaves
4 hamburger buns

1. In a small bowl, combine celery, apple, salad dressing and walnuts. In another small bowl, combine the hot sauce, ketchup and butter; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, combine the red pepper, 2 T green onions, applesauce, salt, garlic salt and pepper. Crumble chicken over mixture and mix well. Shape into four burgers.

3. Broil 6-in from the heat for 5-7 minutes on each side or until a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees and juices run clear, basting occasionally with reserved sauce. Serve on lettuce-lined buns; top each with 2 t slaw and sprinkle with remaining green onions.

From Healthy Cooking by Taste of Home

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Breakfast Muffins

1 pound sausage, browned and drained
6 eggs
1 cup Bisquick
2 cups half-and-half or milk
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
2 cups grated cheese

Place drained sausage evenly in muffins tins which have been sprayed with Pam. Mix eggs, Bisquick, milk, salt and pepper together. I added a can of green chilies. Pour evenly over the sausage. Top with grated cheese. Bake for 25 mins in a 350 degree oven.

Optional: While browning sausage, you can add some onions, green peppers and mushrooms. Also, bacon or ham can be substituted for sausage.

From Recipe ID: 7943

Gorgonzola, Apple, and Bacon-Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Blue Cider Sauce

6 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
2 T unsalted butter
2 large apples, finely diced
1 T light brown sugar
One 3-oz package cream cheese, softened
1 cup crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
6 strips bacon, cooked crisp, drained, and crumbled
1/2 (1 stick) unsalted butter
1/2 cup olive oil
1 t Old Bay seasoning
2 cups dried bread crumbs or panko crumbs, or a mixture of 1 cup panko and 1 cup dried bread crumbs

1. Cover a flat surface with plastic wrap and place a chicken breast with the flat side (where skin would have been) down in the center of the plastic wrap. Cover with a second sheet of plastic wrap and pound the chicken with a meat pounder or the bottom of a flat-bottomed wine bottle until it is a uniform thickness, about 1/2 inch. Season the chicken with salt and pepper on both sides. Repeat with the remaining chicken breasts.

2. Melt the butter in a small skillet over med heat. Add the apples and brown sugar and saute until the apples are caramelized and have turned a nice golden brown, 7-10 minutes. Transfer the apples to a bowl and let cool. Stir in the cream cheese, Gorgonzola, and bacon, and form into a log that is 6 inches long and 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide. Wrap in plastic wrap and freeze until firm, about 15 minutes.

3. Cut the log into 6 pieces, and place 1 piece in the center of each chicken breast. Roll up the chicken breasts from the V-Shaped end, folding in the sides to make a nice compact package. Place the chicken seam side down on a baking sheet. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour to firm the chicken and filling.

4. Melt the butter with the oil and Old Bay seasoning and let cool slightly. Dip each rolled chicken breast into the butter mixture, then roll it in the bread crumbs. Place in a 9 x 13 baking dish, drizzle with any remaining butter mixture. Cover and freeze.

Blue Cider Sauce

2 T unsalted butter
2 T all-purpose flour
1/2 cup apple cider
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup finely crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
1/2 t freshly ground black pepper

Melt the butter in a 2-quart saucepan over med heat. Add the flour and whisk until bubbles from on the surface. Continue to whisk the sauce for 2 minutes, then add the cider and cream. Bring the sauce to a boil, whisking constantly. Remove from the heat and add the cheese and black pepper, stirring to thoroughly combine. Serve warm.

1. Defrost chicken in the frig overnight, if necessary.
2. Preheat over to 350 degrees. Allow the chicken to come to room temperature for 20 minutes.
3. Pour 1 cup of sauce around the chicken in the baking dish. Warm the remaining sauce on the stove top. Bake the chicken for 25 to 30 minutes, until it is cooked through (160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer) and the crumbs are golden brown.
4. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 -10 minutes. Slice each chicken breast into rounds with a serrated knife and serve in a pool of sauce on a plate or platter. Serve any additional sauce warm in a fondue pot or in a small slow cooker.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Fiesta Enchiladas

1 1/2 cups shredded Mozzarella cheese
1 (10 oz) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 1/4 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste
1 (15 oz) container reduced-fat ricotta cheese
1 egg white
12 (8-in) flour or flavored tortillas
1 (16 oz) jar salsa

In a large bowl, mix 1 cup of the Mozzarella and the spinach, corn, onion, garlic, salt and pepper, ricotta and egg white. Place 1/3 cup of the mixture evenly down the center of each tortilla. Roll the tortillas and arrange them, seam side down, in a 3 quart baking dish coated with non-stick cooking spray. Pour the salsa over the filled tortillas and sprinkle with the remaining Mozzarella cheese.

From Holly Clegg's trim & terrific Freezer Friendly Meals.

FREEZER CHICKS DIRECTIONS: Remove from freezer and thaw. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Bake, covered, for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until the tortillas are heated through and the cheese is melted.

Thai Chicken & Noodles

8 ounces rice noodles
1 T peanut oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T peeled and minced fresh ginger
1 1/4 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 t toasted sesame oil
2 T fresh lime juice
Dash of hot sauce
1/4 cup chopped scallions (white and green parts)
Lime wedges for garnish (optional)

1. Cook noodles according to the package directions. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water.

2. Meanwhile, heat the peanut oil in a large skillet over med-high heat. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken and cook until golden brown on all sides, 3-5 minutes. Add the reserved cooking water, the soy sauce, sesame oil, lime juice, and hot sauce and bring to a simmer. Add the noodles and cook for 2 minutes to heat through, stirring frequently.

3. Remove from the heat and stir in the scallions. Serve with the lime wedges on the side if you like.

From Robin to the Rescue by Robin Miller

FREEZER CHICKS DIRECTIONS: Thaw overnight in the frig or in the microwave for 5-7 minutes on LOW. Cook and drain the noodles. Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water. Reheat chicken mixture on the stove top in a large saucepan or in the microwave for a few minutes on HIGH. Add the reserved water to chicken mixture. Bring to a simmer. Add the noodles and cook for 2 minutes to heat through, stirring frequently. Top with scallions and salted peanuts for more flavor and crunch.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Breakfast Burritos OAMC

18-24 Servings


1 (16 ounce) bag hash browns, cooked
1 1/2-2 dozen eggs, scrambled
1 (16 ounce) jar salsa
1 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 lb ham, diced (I use sausage)
1 (3 1/2 ounce) can green chilies
8 ounces shredded cheddar cheese or Mexican blend cheese
18-24 tortillas


1. Mix everything together in a very large bowl. (You can also add a pound of sausage, if you want.).

2. Roll up in tortillas.

3. Wrap each one individually in plastic wrap, then store in a gallon-size freezer bag.

4. When you're ready to eat one, just microwave it for 2 minutes.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

August Menu Plan (8/12)

Breakfast Burritos
Pecan-Stuffed Burgers
Buffalo Chicken Burgers
Baby Back Ribs (reserved option)

Beef Roll-ups
Berry Roasted Chicken

Greek Beef Bites-Gyro Kit
Gourmet Chicken Bundles (for Jen some w/o shrooms)
Shredded Beef Enchiladas

Fiesta Enchiladas
Thai Chicken & Noodles
Gorgonzola, Apple and Bacon-Stuffed Chicken with Blue Cider Sauce
Breakfast Muffins (possible add-ons)

Raging Garlic Pork Stir-Fry
Tex-Mex Chicken Fingers
Mango Cranberry Chicken
Tomato-Basil Soup (possible add-on)
Basic Red Sauce (Marinara-possible add-on)

June Meal Preps

Stromboli (2): Parbaked, bake from frozen like pizza.

Pork Chops Monterrey (2 bags, 3 chops each): Thaw, cook covered in microwave for 15 min. (Use cooking spray.) Also can grill or bake. Serve over rice.

Chicken Cacciatore (2 qt. container): Thaw and reheat. Serve over rice or noodles.

Pork Chops with Orange Hoisin Glaze (2 bags, 3 chops each): Thaw and grill or pan-fry until golden brown. Pour glaze over.

Lemony Sirloin Tips (2 bags, 3 each): Thaw and grill.

Black Bean Lasagna (1 8x8, another 8x8 on the way): Thaw and bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 min. Can also be baked from frozen; add i hr. to bake time.

Sweet Bourbon Salmon (2-1.5 lb. fillets, 2-2 gal. bags marinade): Place salmon in bag with marinade and thaw. Grill. Could also bake or broil.

Peanut Broccoli Chicken (1 bag): Thaw enough to remove from bag and reheat in skillet. Serve over rice.

Cajun Pork Burgers (1 bag, ~12 burgers): Thaw and grill 6 min. each side. Will be pink! Make your own sauce: 1/2 c. chili sauce, 1/4 c. mayo, 1/4 c. sweet red pepper relish (Target or Walmart Hungarian).

French Dip Sandwiches (1 bag with ~1 lb. roast, 1 small container sauce): NEED ON HAND: rolls. Thaw and reheat. Good with cheese.

Bruschetta Chicken (1 9x13 or 2 8x8s): Thaw and bake at 400 degrees for 30 min.

Beef Tenderloin Pizza w/Horseradish Cream (3 bags-1 meat, 1 cheese, 1 sauce): NEED ON HAND: boboli crust. Thaw. Layer sauce, then cheese on crust and bake at 425 degrees for 10 min. Top with meat (barely heat it so it stays tender).

Stuffed Meaty Pizza (2 halves of italian loaf): Don't thaw. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 min.

Seared Almond-Crusted Chicken (2 bags-1 chicken, 1 veggies): Thaw and sear both sides of chicken 2 min. per side. Pour veggies in skillet and simmer covered. OR, sear and bake chicken, simmer veggies.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Weights and Measures

I was looking online to find lbs. vs. cups of oats, and I ran across this. Thought some of you might find it helpful too as you buy gigantic packages of ingredients at Sam's to convert your recipes into huge batch cooking for the freezer. It was at

Dry:1/3 cup =1 slice
Soft:3/4 cup =1 slice

1 stick = 8 Tbsp or 1/2 cup
4 sticks = 2 cups or 1 lb

Cheese, American:
1 lb = 2-2/3 cups,cubed
Loaf 1lb.=16 to 20 slices

1 lb = 4 cups,ground

Corn meal:
1 lb = 3 cups

Cracker crumbs:
23 soda crackers =1 cup
15 graham crackers =1 cup
1lb medium fine = 5 to 6 cups

1 large = 4 Tbsp liquid
4 to 5 whole = 1 cup
7 to 9 whites = 1 cup
12 to 14 yolks = 1 cup
12 (1 dozen) = 2-1/4 cups

1 lb all-purpose = 4 cups
1 lb cake = 4-3/4 cups
1 lb graham (whole wheat) = 3-3/4 cups
1 lb rye = 5 cups

Lemons, juice:
1 lb = 4 to 5 lemons or 3/4 cup juice
1 medium = 2 to 3 Tbsp
5 to 8 medium = 1 cup

Lemons, rind:
1 lemon = 3 Tbsp,grated

Milk, dry, nonfat solids:
1 lb = 4 cups

Oranges, juice:
1 medium = 6 to 8 Tbsp
3 to 4 medium = 1 cup

Oranges, rind:
1 rind = 2 Tbsp grated

3.25 oz package,flavored = 1/2 cup
1/4 oz package,unflavored =1 Tbsp

Rolled oats:
1 lb = 4-3/4 cups

1 lb = 2-1/4 cups

1 lb brown,solid packed = 2 cups
1 lb = 96 cubes
1 lb granulated = 2 cups
1 lb confectioners,sifted = 3 cups

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Sweet Bourbon Salmon

Recipezaar Recipe #112918 | 2 days | 35 min prep | SERVES 6

Lone Star Steakhouse copycat recipe

1 1/2 lbs salmon fillet (can use steaks or even whole, cleaned salmon)
1 cup soy sauce
1 cup pineapple juice
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup bourbon

Mix all wet ingredients, and stir in the brown sugar.
Add the fish and marinate no less than 24 hours (I go at least 48).
Heat grill and cook till fish is desired doneness.

Peanut Broccoli Chicken

Serves 7 (1 cup servings). | Source: Hy-Vee Test Kitchen.

All you need:
3 tbsp Hy-Vee soy sauce
2 tbsp Hy-Vee creamy peanut butter
2 tsp Hy-Vee white vinegar
6 drops hot sauce
2 tbsp Grand Selections olive oil
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into thin strips
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp Hy-Vee ground ginger
3/4 c. chopped green onions
2 1/2 c. fresh broccoli florets
1/3 c. Hy-Vee unsalted dry-roasted peanuts
2 c. Hy-Vee instant brown rice
1 3/4 c. Hy-Vee chicken broth

All you do:
In a small bowl, stir together soy sauce, peanut butter, vinegar and hot sauce.
Heat oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat. Add chicken, garlic and ginger. Cook, stirring constantly, until chicken is golden on the outside, about 5 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium. Add onions, broccoli, peanuts and peanut butter mixture. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until broccoli is tender and chicken is cooked through.
Meanwhile, prepare rice according to package directions, substituting chicken broth for water.
To serve, pour rice onto a large platter. Spoon chicken mixture over rice.

Daily nutritional values:
15% vitamin A
45% vitamin C
4% calcium
8% iron

Nutrition information per serving:
Calories: 340
Carbohydrate: 26 g
Cholesterol: 55 mg
Dietary Fiber: 2 g
Fat: 12 g
Protein: 30 g
Saturated Fat: 2 g
Sodium: 760 mg
Sugar: 2 g

June Exchange Plan (6/24)

Chicken Cacciatore
Asian (Vietnamese) Pork

Black Bean Lasagna
Lemony Flank Steak
Pork Chops w/Orange Hoisin Glaze

Peanut Broccoli Chicken
Sweet Bourbon Salmon
Hot Rolls (depending on time/budget)

Bruschetta Chicken Bake
Cajun Pork Burgers
French Dip

Chicken Tot Pie
Steak & Mushrooms
Almond-Seared Chicken

Monday, May 26, 2008

Frugal Broth

I have flipped into a whole other dimension of frugality.
I hate paying for broth.
It's a real money waster - really it's like paying for flavored water - but then some would say I don't have time to make my own.
I got curious about broth a while back & finding inexpensive solutions. The cheapest is the creamy paste base stuff you find at the local store...or you can try your own hand at some goodness.
Recently, the hubby & I have embarked on a new eating adventure that requires a lot more fresh veggies (that's our choice in it, you can cook them). I was watching Martha the other day & she was talking about how her chickens just love the leftover veggies & she cooks them down for her chickies. Then it hit me - veggie broth!!!
I collected a days worth of cut ends or nearly dead fresh veggies & threw them in the crock. The first time I did it on the stove & got some lightly colored golden broth. BUT the crock got more from the veggies. It's a nice dark gold like you buy from the store. I threw them in the crock w/ a bunch of salt & cooked on low for 8 hours.
I have never felt so frugal in all my life. I can't wait to try this next time I need broth for a recipe & I grab my tasty veggie broth that is full of flavors - can't you see all that fresh celery? Don't you love the taste & savor of celery in your dishes? Me too - can't wait it will be tasty!
Do your grandma's proud & get your frugal on!
**from tina

Monday, May 12, 2008

Creamy Pasta Primavera

Prep Time: 15 min
Total Time: 30 min
Makes: 6 servings, 1-1/3 cups each

3 cups penne pasta, uncooked
2 Tbsp. KRAFT Light Zesty Italian Reduced Fat Dressing
1-1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch chunks
2 zucchini, cut into chunks
1-1/2 cups cut-up fresh asparagus (1-inch lengths)
1 red pepper, chopped
1 cup fat-free reduced-sodium chicken broth
4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese, 1/3 Less Fat than Cream Cheese, cubed
1/4 cup KRAFT 100% Grated Parmesan Cheese
COOK pasta as directed on package.

MEANWHILE, heat dressing in large skillet on medium heat. Add chicken and vegetables; cook 10 to 12 min. or until chicken is cooked through, stirring frequently. Add broth and Neufchatel cheese; cook 1 min. or until cheese is melted, stirring constantly. Add Parmesan cheese; mix well.

DRAIN pasta; return to pot. Add chicken and vegetable mixture; toss lightly. Cook 1 min. or until heated through. (Sauce will thicken upon standing.)

FreezerChicks Instructions: Thaw and reheat. Don't overcook. Sprinkle with parmesan if desired.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Marlboro Man's Fave Sandwich

Blessings to the Pioneer Woman!

Marlboro Man’s Favorite Sandwich
2 to 3 pounds cube steak (tenderized round steak that’s been extra-tenderized
1 large onion OR 2 small/medium onions
4 French/Deli rollsButter,
Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
Worcestershire Sauce
-Slice onions and cook in 1/4 stick butter until soft and light brown. Remove and set aside.-Slice cube steak against the grain. Season with Lawry’s.
-Heat 2 TBSP butter over high heat (in same skillet) until melted and beginning to brown.
-Add meat in single layer. Cook one side until brown, then flip and cook until brown, about a minute on both sides.
-Add 1/2 (at least) Worcestershire sauce, 5 to 6 shakes Tabasco, and 2 TBSP butter. Add cooked onions. Stir to combine.-Butter halved French rolls and brown on skillet.
-To assemble, lay bottom half of French roll on plate. Place meat mixture, followed by a spoonfull of juice from the pan. Top with other half of roll, cut in half, and devour!
And go get on the Stairmaster. Now.

Instructions to FreezerChicks: Meat will be cooked, thaw & serve on toasted rolls, gently reheat in microwave or pan until warm.

Brandied Bacony Chicken

So simple & so good!
From Nigella Express

1 Chicken (whole)
2 strips of bacon
1/4 brandy (**used whiskey)

Heat oven to 425
Cook bacon over medium heat until it's crisp & the pan has lots of yummy bacony fat, approx 4 minutes
Remove pan from heat, place bacon into the cavity of chicken, place chicken in roasting pan breast side up
Pour brandy into still hot frying pan w/ bacon fat & let bubble for a minute, pour over chicken
Roast 45 min, till juices run clear btwn leg & body of chicken, let rest 10 minutes before carving

Instructions for FreezerChicks: This bird will be roasted to last 15 minutes of cooking. Bird must be thawed before cooking. Follow food safety as chicken reheats!

Pecan Stuffed Burgers

Pecan Burger
Recipe courtesy Paula Deen

1 1/2 pounds ground beef
6 slices bacon
6 tablespoons chopped pecans
3 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons onion, grated
4 tablespoons butter, softened

Preheat broiler or grill. Divide ground beef into 12 flat patties. Partially saute bacon - the fat should start rendering, but it shouldn't be crispy. Drain bacon. Mix pecans, parsley, onion, and butter together. Spread mixture on 6 of the patties. Top with remaining 6 patties and seal the edges with the partially sauteed bacon and secure with a wooden toothpick. Broil or grill 10 to 15 minutes, or until cooked to desired doneness, turning once.

Instructions for FreezerChicks: Thaw & broil or grill, the bacon will be partially cooked as the recipe recommends.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Chicken Creole

2 cans stewed tomatoes
1 tablespoon creole or cajun seasoning
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 half boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 pound hot smoked sausage

Cube and cook the chicken. Slice, brown and drain the sausage.
Puree one can of tomatoes; chop remaining can.
In skillet, combine tomatoes, seasoning and garlic; bring to boil.
Reduce heat and simmer 12 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Stir in chicken and sausage, cover and simmer five minutes. Serve with rice.

Instructions for Freezer Chicks: One 2-qt. container each, plus a ziploc of creole seasoning to turn up the heat. Instructions are to serve over rice, but we like to mix it all together in the skillet. You might add about three to four cups of cooked rice to this. Kids may like it sprinkled with some cheddar cheese and with milk to drink (to kill any hotness). I used regular (not hot) smoked sausage. This ended up being pretty inexpensive because I was able to use the huge cans of tomatoes from Sam's, so I think we could afford to splurge on shrimp (instead of chicken) next time if we'd like it again.

Mexican Pizza

(from Everyday with Rachael Ray)


12 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded (3 cups)
4 ounces monterey jack cheese, shredded (1 cup)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
12 small flour tortillas
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
Two 15.5-ounce cans red kidney beans, rinsed
Salt and pepper
One 8-ounce jar taco sauce
One 4.5-ounce can chopped green chiles
One 3 1/2-ounce package cooked chorizo sausage, thinly sliced

1. Preheat the oven to 375°. In a medium bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups cheddar with the monterey jack and set aside.

2. Brush a rimmed baking sheet with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Arrange 6 tortillas on the sheet so that the surface is covered, overlapping as needed. Sprinkle the remaining 1 1/2 cups cheddar cheese evenly over the tortillas, leaving a 1/2-inch border on all sides; cover with the remaining 6 tortillas, overlapping as needed. Prick the top layer with a fork and bake until the tortillas begin to brown, about 10 minutes.

3. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until golden-brown, about 10 minutes. Add the beans and 1/4 cup water and mash until the beans are soft and the liquid is absorbed, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Spread the bean mixture over the tortillas, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Top with the taco sauce, chiles, chorizo and reserved cheese mixture. Bake until the cheese is melted, 25 to 30 minutes.

Instructions for Freezer Chicks: This recipe says four servings, but it has a lot on it (a pound of cheese, two cans of beans, 12 tortillas). I was a little chicken to get it too hot for everyone, so I used mild taco sauce and mild chorizo (about 8 oz. cooked and crumbled). I think it could be hotter. Each pizza is on a foil 10x15 cookie sheet. They are fully cooked and ready to reheat and eat.

Friday, March 7, 2008

April Meal Plans


Pecan Crusted Chicken with Honey Pecan Sauce
Pulled Pork Chili
Maple Chicken and Ribs
  • Misti-all white meat
  • Tina-all dark meat
  • Janet-mixed
  • Teressa-mixed
  • Jen-mixed


Brandied Bacony Chicken

Pecan Stuffed Hamburger wrapped with Bacon

Marlboro Man Sandwiches


Pizza Casserole

Shepherd's Pie

Sweet and Spicy Chicken


Cajun Pork Burgers

Beef Taquitos

Italian Mac & Cheese


Turkey and Noodles

Chicken Creole

Mexican Pizza

March Exchange

The secretary is back at work :-)


Bleu Cheese, Walnut & Mushroom Stuffed Chicken:
Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, pour mushroom sauce over chicken and bake for an additional 30 minutes.

Spaghetti Pie:
Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly.

Reuben Casserole:
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes covered. Uncover and bake for an additional 20 minutes until bubbly.

Beef Pot Pie- I believe Janet's exact words regarding this dish was "I'm pretty sure you put it in the oven & cook it!" Bake at 350 degrees until toasty on top.

Pizza: 2 pizza, bake in oven at 350 degrees until the cheese melts.

Weeknight Cheeseburger Bake:
350 degrees until bubbly.

Polynesian Honey Pineapple Chicken: 3 breast/bag in marinade.
Thaw and grill.

Glazed Baby Carrots: 1 bag with OJ glaze and 1 bag with Pineapple glaze.
Thaw, bring to boil. Cook for 20 minutes covered. Might want to add 1 T cornstarch to thicken the sauce.

Chicken with Cider and Bacon Sauce: 6 breast pounded flat.
Thaw and reheat covered in the microwave.

Steak Fajita Kits: Everything you need to make fajitas.

Cowboy Baked Beans: 1 2 qt bowl.
Thaw and reheat. Serve with cornbread.

Farmer's Casserole:
Thaw and Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly. MUST THAW FIRST!

BBQ Cups: Thaw and Reheat.

BBQ Brisket: Thaw and reheat.


Bacon Wrapped Chicken:
Thaw and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Last 5 minutes cook under broiler until bacon is crispy.

Buttermilk Herbed Chicken:
Thaw and grill.

Grandma's Secret:
Add corn. Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly.

Honey Pork Chops:
Thaw and pan sear.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Polynesian Honey-Pineapple Chicken

Recipezaar Recipe #61981

1/2 cup pineapple juice (unsweetened)
1/4 cup honey
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger (or 1 tsp. ground)
1 teaspoon salt
12 chicken drumsticks or chicken thighs (or a combination, approx. 3 lbs. or any other meaty chicken pieces)

For marinade, in sauce pan combine pineapple juice, honey, worcestershire sauce, garlic, ginger& salt.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat.
Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes or until marinade mixture is reduced 1/4 (approx.).
Cool to room temperature.
Place chicken pieces in a plastic bag or shallow dish.
Pour in marinade & marinate chicken at least 6 hours or up to 24 hours.

Drain chicken pieces, reserving marinade.
Cook chicken on covered medium heat grill (indirect heat) for 40 to 45 minutes or until chicken is tender& no longer pink, brushing occasionally with reserved marinade for the first 30 minutes.

Freezer Chicks instructions: You each get three enormous (Misti-six smaller) raw breasts (with bone and skin) in marinade. I wish I would have changed the recipe to boneless/skinless--but I'm still learning! Thaw and proceed with the instructions above.

Chicken With Cider and Bacon Sauce

Recipezaar Recipe #240820

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 slices bacon, chopped
1/4 cup onions, minced
3/4 cup apple cider
1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth

Flatten each chicken breast half to 1/2 inch thick. Sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper.
Cook bacon in large nonstick skillet over med heat til crisp. Remove bacon from pan. Add chicken to drippings; cook 6 min on each side or til cooked through. Remove chicken from pan and keep warm.
Add onion to pan; cook 2 min or til tender. Add cider and broth; bring to a boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Cook til reduced to 1/2 c (about 5 min). Stir in cooked bacon and serve sauce over chicken.

From Cooking Light.

Freezer Chicks instructions: You each have six fully cooked chicken breasts with sauce in a bag. The instructions are thaw and reheat, but be careful to keep covered whatever method you use so the the breasts don't get too dry.

Glazed Baby Carrots - Dump OAMC

Recipezaar Recipe #255213

1 lb carrots
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill
1/4 teaspoon salt
At cooktime:
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Combine in a freezer container and mix.
Seal, removing as much air as possible. Freeze.
Defrost. Pour into small saucpan and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes or until your carrots are tender.
Add cornstarch, stirring constantly. Simmer 2 minutes longer or until sauce thickens.
If cooking for small children or other picky eaters, leave out the dill and add a bit more sugar.

Freezer Chicks instructions: No dill! You have one bag (1 lb. carrots) of these with oj and another marked "polynesian" with the pineapple juice I had left over from the Polynesian Honey-Pineapple Chicken. Misti--I'll trade with you if you want two of the same kind to feed your family at one meal.

Freeze Ahead Steak Fajitas

Recipezaar Recipe #51115

25 min | 15 min prep | 6 fajitas
1 lb sirloin steaks
2 tablespoons lime juice
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon salad oil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 cloves garlic, crushed
6 flour tortillas
1 package mixed vegetables, frozen (fajita blend)
1/2 cup salsa
1 avocado, cut into cubes
1 tomato, cut into cubes
fresh cilantro

Place steak in quart-sized freezer bag; combine lime juice, white wine vinegar, salad oil, oregano, and crushed garlic cloves; add to meat.
To bundle: Steak/marinade mixture; flour tortillas; frozen vegetables.
To prepare: Thaw steak in marinade.
Remove steak and pan-sear in hot pan.
Cook until medium rare; remove from pan.
In the same pan, add frozen vegetables and marinade; cover and cook until vegetables are crisp-tender.
While vegetables are cooking, slice meat into thin slices against the grain.
Add to cooked vegetables.
Add salsa to meat and vegetables; heat through.
To serve, spoon into warmed flour tortilla; garnish with avocado cubes, chopped tomato or fresh cilantro.

Freezer Chicks instructions: Each of you has a kit for 9 fajitas (1.5 lbs. meat). The meat is presliced so you'll need to adapt the recipe a little--cook for a shorter time. The kits include tortillas and cheese.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Easy Chicken Cordon Bleu

1 pkg. (6 oz.) STOVE TOP Lower Sodium Stuffing Mix for Chicken
6 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1-1/2 lb.)
6 slices OSCAR MAYER Thin Sliced Smoked Ham
1 can (10-3/4 oz.) reduced-sodium condensed cream of chicken soup
1 Tbsp. GREY POUPON Dijon Mustard
6 KRAFT DELI DELUXE Swiss Cheese Slices

PREHEAT oven to 400°F. Prepare stuffing mix as directed on package; set aside.

PLACE chicken in 13x9-inch baking dish; cover with ham. Mix soup and mustard; spoon over chicken. Top with prepared stuffing.

BAKE 25 min. or until chicken is cooked through (165°F). Top with cheese. Bake an additional 5 min. or until cheese is melted.

Makes: 6 servings

Source: Kraft Food & Family Magazine

Monday, January 14, 2008

Teressa's January Meal Preps

Chicken Cheese Soup--Thaw and reheat. Sprinkle each serving with shredded cheddar.

Apple Butter-Glazed Chicken--Each chick gets 2 breasts and 6 legs in marinade in one bag, and a smaller bag with the reserved marinade for basting. Thaw in fridge. Heat a grill pan over high heat. Brush off extra sauce from the chicken and discard. Cook chicken, in batches if necessary, turning occasionally, until browned, about 20 minutes. Continue cooking, brushing with reserved marinade, until chicken is cooked through, 15-25 minutes longer.

Cordon Bleu Roll--Thaw and reheat. I tried the Chicken Cordon Bleu recipe from the new Kraft magazine this weekend--and it was delicious! A really good freezer candidate too! Borrowing from that recipe, I recommend this sauce to serve on top: Stir 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard into 1 can condensed cream of chicken soup and pour on your loaf while heating, or heat the sauce it in the microwave in a small bowl if you like your loaf crispy. Use 98% fat-free and lower the calories without compromising taste. I guess you could even throw the Stove Top stuffing on top as directed in the new Kraft recipe. (I'll post it later.)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Tina's Pork Fritters

OK this is real sophisticated recipe...and the difficulty level is for all chefs!

Get a boneless pork loin - trim off excess fat - or since we are making a big ol' fried sandwich..then leave it on!

Now grab your meat tenderizer - be sure you make this recipe on a bad day. You are now receiving the cheapest and most effective therapy on the planet.

Be sure you use the textured side of your tenderizer and pound the H***LLL out of that meat!

Pound until 1/4 in. thick and be sure to beat both sides of the meat.

Now dredge through egg and milk wash.

Ohhh I forgot to tell you more therapy here! Get a sleeve of saltine crackers and place in a ziploc with the smooth side of your tenderizer..crush the crackers!

OK - now place your milky pork into the saltines and coat it good! If you're motivated, run it through the egg wash & coat again. However, if you're good, once is enough.

Sprinkle with season-all and place on parchment paper to flash freeze fritter. After flash freeze bag up!

In an 8lb pork loin roll, I got roughly 32 fritters, I sliced them 1/2 in thick to start with.

Get a big ol' bag of rolls from the bakery and put your fave sandwich fixings on it. Mayo, lettuce and tomato are excellent. I will eat it without bread and dip in ranch dressing.

This is a crowd pleaser, I've yet to have anyone say 'ewwww gross' or 'I don't like this...' So if you're in the mood to get rid of some table whinning try this recipe out.

Tina's January Meal Preps

Chicken-and-Wild Rice Soup

This made a huge batch of soup! You will need to add 1 can of chicken broth, 1 c of whipping cream & 1 c uncooked wild rice. You may precook the wild rice and warm all ingredients on stove top. If you are going crockpot, then you will need to add a total of 2 cans of chicken broth & 1 c uncooked wild rice on LOW for 5-6 hours. Stir in whipping cream at end.

I have never froze portabella's so let's hope they freeze well. I left them in large pieces to help them freeze well. So those may be cut smaller. I really ran out of room in the soup container to add all the ingredients! So if you add more liquid, you may choose to add more chicken if it looks wimpy, but remember those mushrooms really are considered a meat.

Tina's Pork Fritters

Heat 1 in. of oil in deep skillet or pot. When hot, you will know this by the sizzle of placing your fritter in the pan or 360 degrees (if you choose to be sophisticated and use a thermometer, remember this is fritter time!). Turn fritter when edges are golden, cook until grease slows on frying or both sides golden. These may be cooked from frozen or thawed. If frozen, you will need to use caution placing into hot oil and allowing your oil to reheat after each fritter. The frozen fritter will drop your oil temp dramatically.

Krabby Patties

Same as above or you may cook in oven. I haven't made these yet, so I have no expert testimony to give!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

More than just dinner in the freezer....

Last Friday I received some excellent news from my husband. He received a great job for a major corporation that he has always wanted to work for! But this great news was ended with some sad news for our family. We will have to move away from the home town that we love so much. In the past few days my emotions have gone up and down from extreme happiness to absolute grief over some of the impending losses. While I look forward to the new adventure there are some things that I feel may never be replaced in my life. I trust that God has a plan for the next steps in my life and will bring new and joyous experiences for our family.

Today I am going to go to the grocery store to pick up the ingredients to cook for this month's exchange. As I began the process that I do each month I started to feel very sad that in a few months everything is going to change. Including how I prepare dinner. I didn't want to get busy and let the feeling pass me by. I decided that now is the time to say some of the things that I have felt about this group rather than putting it off because of fear that I might sound sappy.

My adventure with co-op freezer cooking began about two years ago. I had joined a group because a friend of a friend had an opening. I was excited since I had been freezer cooking on my own and really wanted to "up the game" a bit. Eventually this group evolved into the group that maintains this blog. Every month we get together over lunch and plan our exchange for the next month. It is more than just a meal exchange! We enjoy each other's company, so much so that hours can pass with barely a notice. We laugh about the food disasters from the past months, we praise each other for a job well done, and we all get excited over a new and different recipe. Our love for reading cookbooks connects us together! We talk about our families and how our lives are going. Not a month passes by that I don't look forward to our meetings and our time together.

This is so much more than a club. Maybe this is true of the many other groups that have been meeting as long as we have? I don't know for sure. But I do know that what this group has is very special and I will treasure the last months of cooking for these wonderful ladies.

I'm writing this not only to say what I feel needs to be said to them, but also so that everyone reading this blog might be inspired to reach outside their own comfort zone and try something like a freezer cooking co-op. You may find yourself with a new group of friends. I hope to find a way to put together a new group in my new hometown. Look out, I may just ask YOU! :)

I love you, chicks! Thanks for making dinner for my family for all these years! :)

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Night at the Improv...

It looks like you have a lot of great recipe posts to read today. Apparently, all the freezerchicks have time to blog! My post includes a recipe, but you really might not want to try it.

Do you ever just improvise and the disaster becomes notorious? Well, I seem to have a streak of these lately. But last night was the ultimate disaster!

My kids love my homemade mac-n-cheese. We are snobby stove top only mac-n-cheese eaters here, so the request comes quite often. I thought I had enough american cheese to pull it off and checked my supply, there wasn't enough. I had already started the elbow mac, so I became desperate, at this point I was craving the mac-n-cheese and like a good addict will tell you - I was going to do anything to get that cheesy fix.


Yup that's right, I had a can of that fancy pants nacho cheese sauce left over from New Years that I thought would work to get that creamy sensation!!! So I added the cheese (is it really cheese?) and some milk to make it creamier. VOILA!

It was horrible. That jalepeno after burn taste just ruined the perfect creamy sensation. My daughter and I thought maybe we could add some SLAP YA MOMMA spice to it (yes that's the name, it came from a friend in Louisiana my daughter loves it on her mac sometimes). It killed the taste for the most part, but the whole dish was just wrong. I may be taken off mac-n-cheese duty for a while.

Dump Honey Sesame Pork Chops

Dump Honey Sesame Pork Chops

½ cup beer
3 Tablespoons sesame seeds
3 Tablespoons honey
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon pepper
2 cloves crushed garlic
about 3 pounds pork chops or pork loin

mix all indgredients and put in a freezer bag. Freeze.

dump into the crockpot and cook on low for 6 hours.

Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti

Chicken Spaghetti
From Diana Rattray, Your Guide to Southern Food. (altered for the freezer)

4 to 6 chicken breasts, cooked, reserve broth
1 bell pepper. green or combination, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can Ro-Tel tomatoes, (with green chiles), I drained the rotel
1 can stewed tomatoes
1 package shredded cheddar cheese, (16 ounces)
1 package spaghetti, (16 ounces) --save for serving day

PREPARATION for freezer:
Place chicken in a crockpot with chicken broth and cook on low for about 6 hours. When chicken is cooked, shred or chop.
In a plastic freezer bag add chicken, onion & green peppers, soups, Ro-Tel, and stewed tomatoes and cheese. I then stirred it with a spoon (in the bag), sealed the bag, and squished it a little more to mix it up.

On serving day: Thaw the sauce. Boil the spaghetti, drain. Mix sauce and spaghetti together and bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes or until the sauce thickens and is bubbly.

This method works great if you have to make a number of batches. If you would just like to make one I suggest you check out the original recipe at:

China in a Pot

China in a Pot

Source: Desperation Dinners (adapted for the freezer!)

2 bonelss skinless chicken breasts halves (about 2/3 pounds total), thawed
1 can fat-free chicken broth (14.5 ounces)
1 can Oriental broth (14.5 ounces) --you can sub chicken broth
1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 cup frozen corn kernels
2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar or distilled white vinegar
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
1 package chicken flavor ramen soup
1 package frozen snow peas --have on hand
3 scallions (for 1/4 cup chopped) -- have on hand

To make for freezer: Pour both cans of broth in a 4.5 quart Dutch oven or soup pot. Cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. slice the chicken in 1/4 inch wide strips. Cut the longest strips in half. When the broth boils, stir in the chicken, mushrooms, corn vinegar, sesame oil, soy sauce, and sugar. Add the flavor packet from the ramon noodles but if you are freezing this recipe, place the ramen noodles in a zipper bag. Place soup base into the freezer containers and freeze.

To serve: Reheat the soup. Add the ramen noodles and the snow peas and bring to a boil. ( if you want the snow peas to be softer, wait to add the noodles). Served with slice scallions on top.

Friday, January 4, 2008

Chicken Cheese Soup

4 chicken breasts
4 1/2 c. water
3/4 c. barley
1/2 c. finely chopped celery
3/4 c. finely chopped peeled carrots
1/2 c. finely chopped onion
4 cubes chicken bouillon
2 (10.5 oz each) cans cream of chicken soup
2 c. finely shredded cheese

Add chicken breasts to water. Simmer until tender.

Reserve water. Shred cooked chicken and return to water.

Add barley, celery, carrots, onion and bouillon to water. Simmer until vegetables are tender.

Add cream of chicken soup and simmer.

Add more water as needed.

Before serving, add cheese.

Serves 8. | Source:

Cordon Bleu Roll

Cordon Bleu Roll

1 egg, slightly beaten
1 onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons chicken bouillon, powder
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup fine breadcrumbs
1 pinch salt, to taste
1 pinch pepper, to taste
1 1/2 lbs lean ground chicken

6 slices swiss cheese
6 slices ham (old fashioned, honey, blackforest, your choice)

Combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl and mix well.

Cover a cookie sheet with foil.

Press chicken mixture into a 8x10 rectangle.

Place cheese slices on chicken mixture, then top with ham slices.

Begin rolling from short side of the rectangle (using the foil will help shape the roll and make it easier to roll up).

Press ends of roll together and place on greased baking sheet with the seam side down. Bake at 350 degrees for 60 -75 minutes or until roll is golden brown and chicken is cooked through.

Slice to serve.

To freeze: wrap baked chicken roll, label and freeze.
To serve: thaw overnight and then bake as above.

6 servings

Apple Butter-Glazed Chicken

Apple Butter-Glazed Chicken

1 cup apple butter
3 tablespoons yellow mustard
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1 medium onion, minced
1 broiler-fryer chicken, cut up or 5 bone-in skin-on chicken breast halves
1 teaspoon salt
fresh ground pepper

Heat the apple butter, mustard, butter, sugar, celery seed and onion to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Remove from heat; cool.

Place the chicken in a food storage bag. Pour half of the apple butter mixture over the chicken; reserve remaining mixture. Seal bag; smush around so the chicken gets thoroughly coated. Refrigerate 1 hour.

Heat a grill pan over high heat. Brush off extra sauce from the chicken and discard. Cook chicken, in batches if necessary, turning occasionally, until browned, about 20 minutes. Continue cooking, brushing with reserved marinade, until chicken is cooked through, 15-25 minutes longer.

Serves 5.

Krabby Patties

Big time risk for our families this month - Crab Cakes - of course we have renamed it to Krabby Patties to make them kid friendly!

Here's the recipe from recipezaar:

Crab Cakes
1 lb crabmeat (fresh or canned)
1/3 cup breadcrumbs (I use Italian seasoned)
3 green onions (finely chopped both green & white parts)
1/2 cup red bell peppers (finely chopped)
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 egg
1 teaspoon worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 dash cayenne pepper
flour, for dusting
1/2 cup olive oil

Whole Grain Mustard Remoulade
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon stone ground mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice

For Crab Cakes:.
Mix all ingredients, except flour& oil in a large bowl.
Shape into patties and dust with flour.
NOTE: Can be frozen at this point.
Heat oil in a large skiiet over medium heaat.
When oil is hot, carefully place crab cakes, in batches,& fry until browned.
About 4- 5 minutes.
Carefully flip crab cakes and fry on other side until golden brown, about 4 minutes.
Serve with Whole Grain Mustard Remoulade or favorite sauce.
For Whole Grain Mustard Remoulade:.
Combine all ingredients and serve with cakes.
If cakes were frozen, heat in 350 degree oven until desired warmness is achieved.
(Approximately 15 minutes).