What’s new you ask? Well, you’ve heard the saying “never a dull moment”. That’s what we’re thinking right now. As if having two jobs (teaching high school English and running 30 Day Gourmet), two kids in college, three cars to keep on the road, one mortgage to pay, and at least 30 items on my “to do” list weren’t enough, our youngest has managed to contract a major illness.
Jenna is 14 and a generally lively kid. This past summer she felt a little fatigued and tried changing her diet and exercising more. Once school started, things seemed to get worse. I took her to a doctor on 9/11 to be tested for mono and instead he found a “significant” heart murmur. An ECHO a week later revealed a leak in her mitral valve. Lots of people have mitral valve prolapse meaning that their valve doesn’t close properly but most of these people don’t have much leakage or any symptoms. Jenna’s heart is “splashing back” 40% of the blood that is trying to flow from her atrium to her ventricle. This is what is causing her extreme fatigue, shortness of breath, heart palpitations and racing pulse. She spent four days in the hospital in mid-September. Next week we are taking her to the Cleveland Clinic to meet with a pediatric cardiac surgeon who will review her ECHO and most likely schedule her for open heart surgery. Jenna will be in ICU for 1-2 days and then a regular room for another 3-4 days. Full recovery will take about 4-5 weeks.
We are hoping to do the surgery the week of Thanksgiving - which brings me to my next two points:
#1 – Holiday Orders – We always sell lots of cookbooks and other cooking “stuff” around the holidays. If at all possible, please order in the next few weeks. I would like to get all of the holiday orders sent out before Thanksgiving. This is the pile of orders (over 200 books) that went out a few days ago! (I ship orders twice a week.)
#2 – Spend Your Shopping Dollars with Us – Shopping with 30 Day Gourmet will really help me to offset some of the expenses of Jenna’s surgery. My husband has great insurance through FedEx but we will still have to pay about $7000 out of pocket before the end of the year. Here are some shopping ideas:
- Print off the page of the items that YOU would like for Christmas and leave it where your significant other can find it OR e-mail him/her the links to the items that you would like (labels & ebooks on CD make great stocking stuffers!)
- Order a 30 Day Gourmet Freezer Cooking Manual for someone who really needs to learn how to freezer cook. Include a coupon for one free day of freezer cooking instruction.
- Make a cooking notebook for a cook in your life. Order one of our notebooks or make your own and then print off or copy the freezer recipes that you know they will use frequently.
- Buy your favorite techie cook the Advantage Cooking Software. It will speed and simplify their freezer cooking so much!
- Give a copy of the Freezer Cooking Manual to a friend along with a homemade gift from the manual. A Freezer Cheesecake or a large container of Cheddar Broccoli Soup would be great!
- Order and print a copy of “Freezer Cooking for Daycare Providers and Busy Parents” for your favorite daycare provider. Put the ebook into a notebook for her and let it be her daycare cooking notebook.
Here's a quick list of our items. Free shipping on orders over $50. Gift wrap only $1.
Ever wanted a quick link to the lists of recipes in our cookbooks? Me too. Enjoy!
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Can you believe that the holidays are almost here? Where does a year go? I was in Walmart last night and they have Christmas items right inside the front door! The center aisle “baking center” has been up for several weeks now.
We all intend to plan ahead for the holidays but few of us succeed. I hear ya! But just because you haven’t been able to make it happen in the past doesn’t mean that you should give up. Set some attainable goals and then try to reach 1/2 of them. Some of you may want to have your entire holiday meal in the freezer ahead of time and others may be thrilled to have just the dressing and a few desserts. Whatever works for you is great! Here are some ideas:
We have been publishing newsletters for 7 years now. There is so much great info and tons of wonderful recipes in those newsletters. When you have a minute (ha!) look through them by clicking here. You can also search the recipes that have been published in the newsletters by clicking here and sorting by “source”.
Here are some great holiday ideas and recipes from past newsletters:
Carol’s holiday ideas & recipes:
Every family has their own traditions. One of ours is having breakfast together Thanksgiving or Christmas morning. For my husband, it's not the holidays unless he has his mom's Breakfast Egg Casserole or Brown Sugar Cinnamon Coffee Cake (recipe below). For the kids, they love having pancakes with different add-ins such as chocolate chips, sausage, bananas, or cinnamon. They also love homemade Cinnamon Rolls (using the Super Easy Best Ever Crescent Roll recipe). My sister-in-law sometime makes French Toast Casserole or Baked Oatmeal. There's something about just hanging out in the kitchen eating breakfast together. It's so casual and comfortable.
The main meal is my favorite. I love the Baked Corn Casserole, Veggie Medley, Mom's cranberry salad and pecan pie. My daughter's favorite is the Crispy Cheesy Potatoes or Scalloped Potatoes (Ham and Potato Casserole without the ham). I also like baking fresh breads or pies to present as a hostess gift. My Dad and father-in-law especially like homemade Banana Bread. It's great to see the smiles on their faces when we walk in the door carrying a fresh loaf.
Tammy’s holiday ideas & recipes:
Our holiday menu was full of family favorites. Besides the turkey and stuffing, we had Cheesy Mashed Potatoes, Sweet Potato Soufflé with Brown Sugar Crumbles, and Broccoli Cheese Casserole. Grandma made homemade rolls. For those pre-dinner munchies, I made a Party Cheeseball and Veggie dip. And for dessert, Mom's Pumpkin Pie filling, and Grammy's Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. And of course, the best ever Freezer Pie Crust recipe for the pies.
Shelley's holiday ideas & recipes:
If you're looking for something different to serve for dessert, this cheesecake adds an elegant flair to the traditional flavors of the holiday.
Click here to view/print/import this recipe!
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Our winner this month is a new freezer cook who e-mailed me these nice comments and funny story. I’ll be sending Toni a check for $25. If you have a funny story or would like to share what cooking the 30 Day Gourmet way means to you, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to be entered into the contest.
I just wanted to let you know that I LOVE YOUR 30 Day Gourmet Cook Book. Yesterday was my first cooking day. I cooked meals for about 3 weeks for a family of 3. I was so exhausted at the end of the 7 hours. I had almost everything and like your book said, I should have planned a little better and it might not have taken so long.
Funny little story. My son saw the goulash and decided to have that for dinner - good thing I didn't freeze it yet. My husband helped me by cooking the chicken on the grill and the potatoes. He cooked Italian sausage for our regular dinner. I was still cooking so he had dinner without me. We locked up the dog so he would not eat my food. At the end of the day when I was getting everything into the fridge and freezer, my husband calls into the kitchen "Is there any food left out that the dog will eat." I look at my stuff and see that everything was out of harm's way. The dog comes running in behind me and he ate the dinner that my husband made for me and by the time I realized what he was doing, he had started on a loaf of bread. I was only thinking of the food that I had worked so hard to make. I can't believe the dog ate my dinner. Gee whiz. So next time, I will be sure to look at the table before the dog comes running.
Thank you for making this cook book. I have been doing double dinners to freeze for awhile before I could plan a good cooking day. I can see how this will save so much time and money.
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I trust that you will all have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Keep our family in your prayers as we face whatever God has for us in this next month. The kids have already started teasing me about getting a better meal in the hospital cafeteria on Thanksgiving than they would at homeJ Actually, Jenna made me promise that when we get home I will make everything that I usually do and we will have a “real” Thanksgiving. Of course, I said “yes” but if that is going to happen I had better get out my Holiday Freezer Cooking ebook and get busy!
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