Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My mini cooking adventure

1/20/2010. I thought I'd write some reviews on how my life has been since the freezer cooking days. I have pretty much used up everything I have made. There is one more bag of beef stew, some sauce for spagetti or something like that....and a few calzones left. I can't believe it lasted this long. It was an awesome experience. Of course, we didn't eat from the foods I made every day. During the holidays, we ate at relatives houses, ate out a few times, and many nights I cooked other things that were not on the list (example, roasted a chicken, steak dinner ect.). But it gave us a LOT of meals. I made mexican pizza's and mexican lasagna's with the mexican mixes. Had rolls with dinner. I made spagetti and meatballs, had meatball subs, beef stew dinners, a few bbq chicken dinners (had to make sides). My husband and enjoyed having the breakfast sandwiches for breakfast a bunch of times and I could go on. I'm very satisfied with how this turned out. I will definitely do it again. Just not sure when LOL. Oh and I loved the blackbean mushroom burgers, will be making those again for sure. My husband didn't like them though. Oh and the pancake mix lasted awhile, myself, husband and kids got a bunch of pancake mornings from it.

12/25 5:30pm. Well today I extended some of my freezer cooking. Made chicken noodle soup, some pasta sauce and meatballs. This is the final end!! LOL. Can't really fit anymore in the freezer anyways, as there was stuff in there before I started this project. Took out one of the Chicken Mexican mixes today and just put together a little tortilla lasagna dish (layers of the torn flour tortillas, the mix and cheese. It's in the oven now. Yum. Kids had some of the chicken noodle soup for supper. Before freezing the meatballs and sauce, husband and I had a meatball sub for lunch. I'm going to sit back and enjoy now. Curious to see how much money it might save (might not have to spend as much the next food shopping trip or two) and curious to see how nice it will feel to not have to cook supper some nights or minimal cooking such as making sides. I should of taking pictures of my chicken soup, sauce and meatballs today, but I didn't. Wasn't even thinking of the camara and had 2 kids to take care of too. Luckily they stayed fairly busy playing with new Christmas toys.

12/24 9:20pm. I'm actually thinking I might extend my freezer cooking a little this weekend. Depending on how the kids are. I may try to sneak in some pasta sauce and meatballs, as well as homemade chicken soup. I have some bones and chicken in the freezer that I keep forgetting about. I'm also thinking some Individual Quiche Muffin freezable recipe that I found. We'll see. It really will depend on how the kids are. Today we ate at my dads house since we spent Christmas Eve over there and tomorrow we are eating at my mother and fatherinlaws and my mothers house for Christmas, so nothing I have put into the freezer has been eating yet, except the breakfast burritos. : ). I doubt I'll do it this weekend, but I found what looks to be a VERY nice recipe for freezable homemade pizza pockets or ham and cheese pockets.

12/24 9:05pm. OK Recipe links:

Beef Stew: I already posted before, see Stew

MeatLoaf Muffins: I also already posted before, see Meatloaf Muffins

Dough for pizza or rolls: I posted before, see Dough

Black Bean Mushroom Burgers. I haven't tried them yet, so I can't give a review yet.
See Black Bean Burgers
Thanks Michele over at browneyedbaker.

Mexican Chicken Black Bean Filling: See Mex Chicken
Thanks kate from stolenmomentscooking.com

Sausage and Egg Breakfast Burritos. Click here.

Zesty Slow Cooker Chicken. See Zesty Chicken

Will get the pancake mix recipe posted later. Thanks to my friend Kelly for giving it to me.

12/23 3:09pm. After a long needed rest, as I got up at 5:30am this morning, I cleaned most of the kitchen and ahhh I'm all done. Final result. Although, I will learn more as I serve if I figured out the servings correctly. Finally, recipe links will be provided later when I have some time after the kids are in bed.

3 servings of bbq chicken
2 pizza doughs
2 sets of rolls
will figure out how much beef stew servings after I serve dinner
12 breakfast burritos
3 mexican chicken fillings
4 blackbean mushroom burgers
4 servings of meatloaf muffins (it actually makes 12, but there small and hubby ate 5 the first night we had them, I had 2 and for lunch one day had 3 of them).
pancake mix enough to last quite awhile
a nice big chocolate log that I will cut and split up for the grandparents Christmas Eve and Christmas.

12/23 1:pm. Chocolate Logs or the real name Chocolate Salami is done and in the freezor. It has to freeze for awhile, before I can cut it into pieces. Chicken BBQ portioned out for 2 meals, cooling down so I can put it in the freezer. Beef stew still on the stove. Will serve some for supper tonight. Dough portioned out and in the freezer. I'm so tired right now LOL. I will have to rest a little before cleaning the kitchen.

12/23 12:30am. Ok now at this point I'm wondering how people do this for 2 days straight (I've read blogs about people spending 2 days on freezer cooking). OK...Beef Stew is cooking on the stove. That will take a few hours, but all the work is done. Pancake mix has been made. Water is boiling so I can melt the butter and chocolate for the chocolate logs. Getting ready to take the BBQ chicken out of the crockpot and let it cool off, than I'll put at least 2 to 3 servings into separate freezer bags. I'm almost coming to the end of my project, in the kitchen that is. Of course Kitchen is a mess again. Here are some updated pictures.
The ones wrapped in tin foil are the breakfast tortillas I made last night when I got a head start on the project.

12/23 11:30am. I'm back from the store. I'm thinking I might not make the pasta sauce. I have to make 3 chocolate logs for the Christmas visiting I will be doing (moms, dads, mother/father inlaws. I'm still going to make beef stew and the dry pancake mix.

12/23 11:00am. Dough is made, rising now. Everything else so far has been stored in the freezer except the crock pot bbq chicken. I will post links to recipes later. I cleaned a little, had something to eat. I realized I'm missing quick oats for my pancake recipe. I also decided since all has gone well especially with timing, that I will make some beef stew and a small batch of pasta sauce. So I'm heading to the store real quick to pick up a few things. My second bad news of the day for this project is the meatloaf muffins stuck to the pan and appear to be a little dry : (. I'm thinking when the day comes to eat some, I'll moisten it with something "like bbq sauce for example", and reform them somehow before reheating.

12/23 9:30am
Update: Wow, I'm very pleased. I can't believe what I got done in 45 minutes. First the bad news. My food processor broke : (. I couldn't believe it. Had to use my mini choppers and chop things in batches. Arg.
However, the following is done.
1. Meat Loaf Muffins are cooking in the oven.
2. Mexican Chicken & Black Bean filing has been completed.
3. Black Bean Mushroom burgers are done.

I'm feeling a little tired. I need to clean up a little, and take a break. I will make the dough and pancake mix next. I might even tackle some pasta sauce and beef stew. Here are some pictures so far.

12/23 7:30am
Update: Tried the breakfast sandwich. They are WONDERFUL!!!
Got the BBQ Chicken in the crock pot cooking. Two down.
Will start the rest of the adventure around 9am this morning.


Part I:

Over the course of the last month or so I've been reading some blogs about freezer cooking. They will spend about 1-2 days cooking all day so that they basically don't have to cook for a month. Some of the recipes that seem to be popular for freezer cooking just don't appeal to me. The time involved can be very long and exhausting. I'm pretty busy with Chaunda who is 2 and Chayse who is 3 1/2. Making supper or doing anything can be twice as long if not impossible at times. After further research - I'm starting to realize that the possibilities are endless and I'm finding blogs and recipe sites for freezer cooking that look very delicious. Of course I found these after I came up with what I'm going to make for my mini cooking session.

So about a week ago, I decided I was going to try a mini freezer cooking session. I did some super extra cleaning of the house last week and since Christmas Eve and Christmas is this coming Thursday/Friday - I did my food shopping today instead of toward the end of the week. I will have the house to myself for awhile tomorrow and will make the following.

1. Freezer Breakfast Burritos. (OK...last minute decision tonight, I made these tonight to get them out of the way and to get ahead start)
2. Mexican Chicken & Black Bean filing. Good for 3 meals. Great for taco filliing, served over rice, mexican pizza topping ect.
3. Zesty Slow Cooker Chicken Barbecue

4. Pumpkin Turkey Meatloaf muffins
5. Black Bean Mushroom Burgers
6. Homemade dough for pizza's and rolls
7. Pancake Mix

I was thinking, I would love to make some beef stew and my simple pasta sauce for 2-4 people as well - but feel I should stick to the 7 items above first and than see where I stand. My mini freezer cooking session won't be so mini anymore. I know I have to be careful, because I have read people spending all morning, all afternoon and half the night finishing there cooking sessions.

My plan so far for tomorrow:

1. take all ingredients out for all recipes. Open any jars that need to be opened. Preheat oven.
2. Get out my food processor and crockpot
3. Put all ingredients for Chicken BBQ in crockpot and turn on.
4. Make the Mexican Chicken and Black Bean filling
5. Make the Black Bean Mushroom Burgers. Maybe try to do #4 and #5 at the same time on different burners.
6. Make the Pumpkin Turkey Meatloaf muffins and put them in the oven.
7. Prepare the pancake mix and make the dough.

I plan on taking some pictures and hopefully blogging about it tomorrow. Of course recipe information/ links will be included : )

Saturday, December 19, 2009

pumpkin turkey meatloaf muffins with cranberry glaze

Here is another recipe that I tried and loved from Cara over at Cara's Cravings. When I saw her recipe for pumpkin turkey meatloaf muffins and the positive reviews she gave, I had to give it a try.

I really enjoyed them. I will definitely make again.

I'm always looking for new ways to cook and serve ground turkey.

pumpkin turkey meatloaf muffins

Monday, December 14, 2009

Anniversary Chicken

This is a die for dish. My friends used to ask me to make it for them over and over when I would have them over for little dinner party's. For some reason it took me a year to make it for my husband and he couldn't believe it. I remember him saying - it's been a YEAR and you haven't made this yet. He absolutely loves it. I have made it for family members as well. It's just soooo good.

I didn't take any pictures "woops", but will post pics some day when I make it again. I guess I was too hungry and wanted to eat it right away LOL.

The recipe:

I sometimes will omit the scallions - only because I don't have them in the house. I also have used many different types of terriakki sauces from kikkomans terriki baste n glaze to just any ole terriaki sauce I might have in the house. It always turns out fantastic.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Pollo Con Salsa Verde (Chicken with Green Sauce)

I made this a few weeks ago. It's one of my favorites and it's definitely on my rotation list.

It's by Bert's Kitchen Witch and I got it from recipezaar.


Sometimes I don't have the green onions and/or the jalapeno in the house. Usually I just use the jarred jalopeno slices if I have it in the house.

I can usually only find green salsa at Hannaford. Market Basket doesn't always seem to carry it. The last time I looked, they had a really hot one that I didn't want.

  1. Sprinkle the chicken with salt and black pepper to taste.
  2. Dredge both sides of chicken through the flour, shaking off excess.
  3. Melt the butter over med heat in a large heavy bottomed pot.
  4. Add the chicken and cook over med-high heat turning once, until both sides are well browned, but chicken is not quite cooked through (about 6-7 minutes per side).
  5. Remove chicken from the pot and keep warm.
  6. Pour the chicken broth into the pot and scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot.
  7. Place the green salsa, garlic, jalapeƱo, cilantro, and cumin into the pot; bring to a boil.
  8. Just as the sauce begins to boil, reduce the heat to obtain a slow simmer. Add the chicken breasts back into the sauce and spoon sauce over each piece of chicken.
  9. Continue to cook until chicken is cooked through and tender (about 15 minutes).
  10. Taste the sauce and add more salt and pepper if desired.
  11. Place chicken on a serving platter and spoon sauce over each piece.
  12. Top each piece of chicken with a heaping tablespoon of sour cream and sprinkle some chopped green onion over the sour cream.
Served over rice is the best.

Recipe also found here: Pollo Con Salsa Verde

I do have one confession. When I made this a few weeks ago, I think I cup up some tomatoes I needed to use. I can see I added something in the picture, and I can't quite remember LOL. As long as you stick to most of the ingredients, subtracting a few or adding a few isn't going to hurt the recipe. The green salsa is KEY!!!. Oh and sourcream in the end is always a nice touch to the taste. : )

I'm not going to tonight, but debating on posting a Turkey Meatloaf I made the other day. It was very actually very good, but wasn't sure if it was oh so good post worthy. I'm still thinking about it.

Beef Stew

I haven't made beef stew in a long time. I have made many in the past. I don't remember if any really became OH MY I have to make this one again!!. My dad makes a really good one. He uses the McCormicks Beef Stew packets and adds a lot of other stuff.

Today, I found a great homemade one. It is definitely one that I will make again.

The picture is actually when it was half way done. Some or I should say a lot of the sauce evaporates and of course becomes thicker and oh so tasty. I do think next time, I will add a little more broth though. We had plenty of beef stew juices, but the left overs won't have much. Plus leftovers always seem to suck up the juices in the refrigerator.

I got it from