Tag Archives: recipes

Freezer Meals: Week 12!

I can’t believe it’s already Wednesday! This calls for a freezer meal roundup! This week I thought it’d be fun to focus on desserts. There’s a VAST amount of recipes for all of your favorite sweet treats that freeze perfectly. They are prime freezer candidates! I pulled some recipes from around the internet that looked especially delicious to me. Let me know what you think! I can’t wait to try them myself.

Best-Ever Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies

Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies

Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies [http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/2014/09/22/oatmeal-butterscotch-cookies/]

Ruth Soukup is a freezer-friendly queen. This is far from the first recipe I’ve tried of hers, and I imagine it’ll be far from the last! My husband and I are both huge supporters of oatmeal cookies, and this looks like a fantastic spin on such a classic cookie. She claims that they ‘freeze beautifully’ and are just as good straight out of the freezer as they do straight out of the oven. Sounds good to me!

This recipe makes about 4 dozen cookies. Preheat the oven to 350, and get to work mixing together butter and sugars. Add in eggs and vanilla and mix well. Then flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt, and mix well. Add in oats and chips, and mix well. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto an ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes or until light golden brown – cool + enjoy! Freeze if desired.

Freezer Friendly Brownie Bites

Brownie Bites

Brownie Bites [http://happymoneysaver.com/brownie-bites/#_a5y_p=3742288]

These little brownie bites are perfect for a small dessert or a snack. They’re such an easy, quick recipe! Melt butter and chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl. After melted, add cocoa powder and stir well. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and add in sugar, vanilla, and salt. Add in the chocolate mixture and stir until well combined. Lastly, add in flour and mix until smooth.

Grease a mini muffin pan and fill cups 2/3 full. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes and let cook before removing from pan. Let them cool completely and enjoy or place in a freezer safe bag. To reheat, just pop them in the microwave!

Reese’s Oatmeal Cookies

Reese's Oatmeal Cookies

Reese’s Oatmeal Cookies [http://www.momontimeout.com/2013/01/reeses-freezer-friendly-oatmeal-cookies/]

Can you tell I  love oatmeal cookies? Have I mentioned my affinity for anything peanut butter? This recipe looks so good that it needs to be shared!

The beauty of this recipe is that it highlights two things: 1) these cookies are great to freeze and equally delicious this way and 2) how easy it is to freeze cookie dough balls (if you’d prefer to eat them fresh and make the dough ahead of time!).

Simply cream butter and sugars together until light and fluffy, beat in eggs one at a time, add vanilla and mix together. In a separate bowl, combine oats, flour, salt and baking soda, and add to the already creamed mixture. Stir in Reese’s Pieces and Reese’s Peanut Butter Chips.

Refrigerate for one hour and preheat the oven to 350. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto parchment lined baking sheets. Bake for 10-12 minutes until light brown and cool.

FREE Diabetes Self-Management Magazine Subscription

It seems like more and more people I know are being affected by Diabetes, varying by severity. I can only imagine how difficult this is to manage when cooking for a family and trying to keep life on a budget.

I found this offer for a free subscription to Diabetes Self-Management magazine – check it out.

All you need to do is simply fill out the fields. Depending on how you answer the questions, you may qualify for other relevant magazine subscriptions as well!

Allow 6-8 weeks for delivery. Hope this helps all in need!

#WorldEggDay How-To

In honor of #worldeggday, I wanted to take this opportunity to teach everyone the easiest way ever to boil an egg. For the longest time, I’d forget, wing it, and either have wildly over or under cooked eggs.

Here’s the simple rundown:

  1. Put the amount of eggs you want in a pot
  2. Cover with water – you only need enough to cover the entirety of the eggs
  3. Bring to a boil
  4. Upon boil, shut off the heat and cover with a lid
  5. Wait 12 minutes and drain

That is seriously all there is to it! I promise perfectly cooked hard boiled eggs every time.

Deviled eggs?

Egg salad?

Quick breakfast on the go?

The world is your oyster.

Freezer Meals: Week 11

Back to basics here, everyone! I have three VERY different, but VERY delicious freezer-friendly meals today to make your life just that much easier. Don’t forget that when you try these out, give us your feedback! Did you add extra ingredients, leave some out? Do you think the cooking time should be increased, decreased? Do you have different ideas on how to allow this to keep for longer in the freezer? We want to hear everything, big or small! Comment section is there for YOU.

First things first, I wanted to talk about frozen pizza. We’ve all been down this road. They’re easy, they’re good, and they’re terrible for you. The ingredients in these if you check out the box are truly brutal, and it’s tough to feed your family something that seems so unhealthy and chemically-laden. Solution is here! Make your OWN frozen pizzas, recipe courtesy of IntentionalByGrace.com. Here’s how she does it:

Frozen Pizza

Frozen Pizza [http://intentionalbygrace.com/homemade-frozen-pizzas/#_a5y_p=3296016]

  1. She makes her own pizza dough. You could store buy (I know that a lot of grocery stores sell raw pizza dough), but this is more cost efficient, and you’ll know exactly what you’re putting into it, which is only 8 ingredients, and nothing funky: water, yeast, honey, olive oil, salt, flour, italian seasoning, and garlic powder.
  2. Once you’re all set with mixing and letting the dough rise, preheat the oven and cook the pizza dough WITHOUT toppings for about 7-8 minutes to allow for a good base to build on.
  3. She makes her own sauce too! Who’s shocked?! You can, of course, use store-bought, but I love love love the idea of knowing all of the ingredients you and your family are eating. She simply uses tomato paste, sauce, water, garlic powder, basil, parsley, organo, thyme, salt, papper, olive oil, honey, and Parmesan cheese. The full recipe is in here and can be made in a stockpot or crockpot. Once done – this sauce is totally freezable – simply put in a tightly sealed plastic bag.
  4. Pizza topping ideas: since we’re freezing, use things that will freeze well. She recommends cheese, pepperoni, pineapple, onion, chicken, ground beef or turkey, green onions, olives – most things do freeze well, so go with your standard toppings!
  5. Once your pizza is assembled, wrap each pizza with plastic wrap and finish with foil. The foil allows easy writing to label which toppings are on which pizza – love it!
  6. To cook, preheat your oven to 425, remove all the wrap, place pizza on a pan, and cook for about 15 minutes. Simple!

Next up…Slow Cooker Tuscan Stew from Sweet Peas and Saffron. With the weather getting a bit cooler, I crave soup, and it’s one of my absolute favorite things to make since it’s easy, inexpensive, and I can eat it for days. It’s one of the only foods where I can say with all confidence that the leftovers are better than fresh! That overnight in the fridge or freezer really just must enhance all the flavors – blows my mind every time. Here’s a new recipe that I found that looks so comforting and delicious – cannot wait to try. Sometimes a beef stew is almost TOO hearty, so I love this chicken-based spin.

Slow Cooker Tuscan Stew

Slow Cooker Tuscan Stew [http://sweetpeasandsaffron.com/2014/09/slow-cooker-tuscan-chicken-stew.html]

Simply add boneless chicken thighs, carrots, celery, onion, garlic, tomatoes, potatoes, chicken stock, tomato paste, white wine, and fennel seeds into the slow cooker and cook for 4-6 hours. Just before serving, mix cornstarch and water together, and add in balsamic vinegar, rosemary, and salt – throw combination into the soup. Serve with crusty bread or a side salad! This sounds soooo good. If you want to freeze this prior to putting in the slow cooker – easy! Just get your ingredients together, defrost, and dump.

I’m dying to use my slow cooker more (she notes that she uses a 5 quart one) and this sounds like a great, easy opportunity to play around a little bit.

This stew looks chunky and hearty and perfect to fill up my family on a cold, cozy night! Enjoy!

Next and last…Healthified Kale and Portobello Lasagna. When I think about freezer meals, my mind immediately goes to lasagna, and then I think, ugh, not healthy enough. I always miss a more veggie-laden meal. But the Food Network puts such a healthy, unique spin on freezable lasagna! I can’t wait to try this recipe.

Healthified Kale and Portobello Lasagna

Healthified Kale and Portobello Lasagna [http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-kitchens/healthified-kale-and-portobello-lasagna-recipe.html]

This only takes about 25 minutes of prepwork, and execution of the layers is almost exactly like putting together a more standard lasagna dish. Puree roasted red peppers, oregano, salt, pepper, and sugar in a food processor until smooth. Mix together mozzarella, ricotta, and egg whites in a separate bowl. Heat and saute portobello mushrooms and kale with red pepper flakes and set aside.

In a baking dish, start layering! Sauce, lasagna noodles, cheese mixture, kale and mushroom mixture. At this point, you can freeze if you so please! Plastic wrap + tin foil to make sure this lasts as long as possible. When you’re ready to cook, thaw, cover with aluminum foil only, and bake for about 50 minutes on 350. Then sprinkle with some additional mozzarella and cook uncovered until bubbly. Yum!

Enjoy these! Let us know how they go!

Freezer Meals: Week 8

Can’t even believe it’s already Wednesday! Also can’t believe it’s the 8th week of Freezer Meals here at LCFR! Time really flies.

I’ve found some great recipes this week. The theme this week? Healthy chicken! These are all freezer meals that satisfy even the pickiest of eaters, as well as meals that are essentially guilt-free. Enjoy!

Oven Baked Chicken Strips

Freezer Ready Chicken Strips

Freezer Ready Chicken Strips [http://happymoneysaver.com/oven-baked-chicken-strips/]

HappyMoneySaver promises a crunchy chicken strip with their tried and true recipe. The secret? Italian style panko bread crumbs.

They’re crazy easy – grab 3 bowls and add flour, salt, and pepper to the first, eggs to the second, and Italian-style bread crumbs to the third. Slice up a chicken breast into strips and dip first into the flour mixture, then the egg wash, and then the bread crumbs.

After the chicken is coated in the panko bread crumbs, place the chicken on a parchment covered baking sheet, and place in freezer for 2-3 hours or until frozen solid. Then, transport them into a freezer safe Ziploc bag and freeze for future use.

To bake, simply place the frozen chicken strips on greased or parchment covered baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees or for 30 minutes until cooked through. Serve with the dipping sauce of your choice. Our family loves honey mustard!

Chicken Wrapped Asparagus

Chicken Wrapped Asparagus

Chicken Wrapped Asparagus [http://freezerfriendly.blogspot.com/2013/11/chicken-wrapped-asparagus.html?m=1]

Freezer Friendly blog promises an insanely easy and delicious experience with this recipe. If the promise isn’t enough, you could always refer to the fact that this recipe only requires 4 ingredients! All you need are chicken breasts, 1 head of garlic, 2 bunches of asparagus, salt & pepper.

First, you take the chicken breasts and filet them. Place inside a plastic bag and pound them thin with a mallet (or anything you have handy!). Stick 5-6 sprigs of asparagus into the middle with chopped garlic, salt, and pepper. Tie it up with some kitchen twine. Wrap each individually in foil and freeze!

When you are ready to cook them, unwrap and cook in oven on 350 for 35-45 minutes until golden.

Pretty simple, don’t you think? Can’t wait to try this one!

Easy Greek Chicken

Easy Greek Chicken

Easy Greek Chicken [http://www.livingwellspendingless.com/2015/04/22/easy-greek-chicken/]

LivingWellSpendingLess gives us yet another crazy easy chicken recipe that’s immensely freezer friendly. Here’s what you need: lemons, olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, cracked red pepper, fresh rosemary, boneless chicken breast. Whisk together all the ingredients and divide into freezer bags. Marinate the chicken in bag for 30 minutes or longer (if you want to go straight to cooking), or, if freezing, simply press air out from the bag and toss in the freezer.

When you’re ready to cook, thaw if frozen and grill 7-8 minutes per side, basting with additional marinade. Alternatively, you can pour the contents into a slow cooker and cook on low for 4-5 hours or on high for 2-3 hours. And wait – another option! Place in casserole dish and bake at 400 degrees for 30-40 minutes.

We like this served over rice with a side salad. Perfect meal!

There you have it for this weeks freezer recipes! Let us know how you like them!

Freezer Meals: Week 7

It’s Wednesday already! It’s crazy how quickly mid-week creeps up on  you after a holiday weekend. Anyways, what that means is that it’s already time for our 7th week of freezer-friendly meals to help cut costs and prep time for meals for your family!

Brought some really awesome sounding recipes to the surface this week, super excited to try all of them!

Creamy Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna

Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna

Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna [http://damndelicious.net/2015/03/07/creamy-spinach-and-mushroom-lasagna/]

Damn Delicious provides us with a recipe that is just that. Lasagna is a go-to freezer meal, but this recipe puts a fun, veggie-laden spin on the usual. If you’re missing the meat, this is easy enough to add any desired protein to – ground turkey, italian sausage, chicken, what have you. We have all the lasagna basics here: lasagna noodles, ricotta, frozen chopped spinach, shredded mozzarella, fresh Parmesan, chopped fresh parsley.

What’s new and fun here is the homemade mushroom sauce that makes this dish such a winner. The sauce includes butter, garlic, cremini mushrooms (yum!), an onion, flour, milk, dried basil, oregano, nutmeg, and salt and pepper to taste. Without even ever having tried this sauce, I know it’s going to be a complete hit.

To make ahead, cover the lasagna tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate up to 24 hours. Then simply remove the wrap and bake for 40 minutes, covered.

To freeze, cover the lasagna tightly with plastic wrap, and then aluminum foil – this will freeze up to 3 months! To bake, just remove the plastic wrap and bake for 90 minutes, covered.

Pretty easy and worth the effort to make the homemade sauce for this savory, fun lasagna!

Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed Peppers

Stuffed Peppers [http://www.chachingqueen.com/stuffed-peppers-easy-freezable-dinner-meal-recipe/]

I love, love, love stuffed peppers. They’re versatile, easy on the wallet, and incredibly simple to make. This recipe from Cha Ching Queen really capitalizes on this versatility. She breaks stuffed peppers down to 4 parts:

  1. The peppers – she prefers green (and I do too!). Rinse, cut off the tops, rinse out the seeds. Place the peppers face down on a plate and microwave for 5 minutes to soften them  up.
  2. Rice – use any rice. Brown, jasmine – even try other grains like quinoa or farro – it doesn’t ultimately matter and is entirely your preference. 1 cup uncooked and cook to directions.
  3. Veggies – also up to you. She prefers carrots and celery but I go a little bit more crazy. I love portobellos and zucchini in mine, and have even had butternut squash! Depends how much your family likes veggies and what protein you are pairing this with. Which brings us to…
  4. Meat/Onions – She uses ground beef or turkey – brown with the onions and add to the  mixture. I’ve even used tofu, or no meat and simply added some nice feta into the mix for a Greek spin on stuffed peppers. Again – totally up to you!

These freeze really well. Simply go through the motions – tight cling wrap and foil.

Chicken and Wild Rice Bake

Chicken and Wild Rice Bake

Chicken and Wild Rice Bake [http://www.thekitchn.com/recipe-chicken-and-wild-rice-bake-freezerfriendly-recipes-from-the-kitchn-216431]

Cooking time for this recipe is a tad long, but don’t be intimidated by it, says The Kitchn – it’s worth it! Ingredient list isn’t long here – chopped onion, sliced mushrooms, celery, 2 pounds of skin-on, bone-in chicken thighs, vinaigrette, uncooked long grain brown rice, wild rice, smoked paprika, dried thyme, salt, pepper, and chicken broth. It’s really just a lot of prep:

Prep your bags: Label a 2-gallon freezer bag “Chicken and Wild Rice Bake” and include baking instructions. You will also need a gallon-sized bag, a quart-sized bag, and a sandwich bag. (If you prefer not to use bags you can use glass freezer containers instead.)

Prep the vegetables: Spread the onion, mushrooms, and celery in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze for about 20 minutes. After they are frozen, remove them from the freezer, place them in the sandwich bag, and seal.

Prep the chicken: Combine the chicken thighs and vinaigrette in a gallon-size freezer bag. Seal and massage the bag to coat the chicken.

Prep the rice: Combine the brown rice, wild rice, paprika, thyme, salt, and pepper in the quart-size freezer bag.

To freeze: Place all three bags in the labeled 2-gallon bag. Freeze for up to 3 months.

To thaw: Remove the bag containing the marinade and chicken from the larger bag. Place in a dish and thaw overnight in fridge or until thawed. Remaining ingredients can stay in the freezer

Baking Instructions: When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 375°F. Grease a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

Combine the rice mixture and the vegetables in the baking dish. Stir in the broth. Remove the thawed chicken pieces from the marinade and place them atop the rice. Discard the marinade.

Cover the pan with foil and bake for 1 hour. Uncover the pan and bake for an additional 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the rice absorbs most of the liquid and the chicken is cooked through and the juices run clear. Serve immediately.

So there you have it! 3 freezer meals. Let us know if you try these and how they turn out!

Adventures in Apple Picking

As I alluded to earlier, we had an absolutely fantastic time apple picking this weekend. I was shocked that the trees were so fully in bloom when it was still 80+ degrees outside and feeling very much like summer still! We had an incredible time picking ‘the perfect apples’ and got a tad overzealous. I have about 50 apples waiting for my in the kitchen to use to our family’s delight! The apples we picked are a tart, yellow apple, which  means they are perfect for baking purposes.

I’ve decided on two recipes to make tonight that look easy, cost-efficient, and delicious! Luckily, I have most of these  ingredients already, so this couldn’t be much more convenient for a quick baking sesh.

Cinnamon Apple Pie

Cinnamon Apple Pie

Cinnamon Apple Pie [http://www.momsconfession.com/cinnamon-apple-pie-recipe/]

Classic apple pie. This recipe calls for very few ingredients and uses a prepared pie crust –  makes life soooo much easier, and in my opinion, just as good as homemade (debate as you will!).

Simply toss about 8 cups of apples with flour, sugar, and cinnamon and let them sit while preparing the crust. Spoon the mixture on top of the crust, and place some cut up butter on top of the mixture. Place the top of the crust on – but be sure to cut some slits into it to allow the steam to escape. Brush the top with an egg wash and sprinkle the top with some cinnamon sugar. Bake for about 30 minutes, allow to cool, and wait about 20 minutes to cut into it.

Guaranteed to make your house smell AMAZING! Tip – make ahead and freeze for a dinner party or Thanksgiving!

Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp

Apple Crisp [http://tastesbetterfromscratch.com/2014/10/apple-crisp.html]

Just as easy, just as delicious…this recipe is awesome! First, combine the crumb toppings: flour, old fashioned oats, brown sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and butter. Then, in a small bowl, combine melted butter and flour until blended, add in lemon juice, milk, and vanilla and stir well. Then stir in brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Pour over apples and toss to coat. Pour into a baking dish and spread the crumb topping evenly over the apples. Bake for 35 minutes. That’s all!

Really can’t get over how easy both of these recipes seem and how amazing they look in the pictures! It may still be hot outside, but bring on fall!