Fried Rice
 Skip Navigation LinksHome > Archives > 2007 > Monthly Newsletter
Chewin' the News from 30 Day Gourmet
Kitchen Fun with Carol
Bonus Recipes
Freezer Cook of the Month
Closing Comments from Carol
Cookin' at the Keyboard with Shelley
Recipe Section
Software Suggestions
Closing Comments from Shelley

Kitchen Fun with Carol



Hello everyone! It is the middle of July and summer is in full swing at our house. It is hard to believe that there is only a little over four weeks until school starts. Time flies by so quickly! 

We have been doing a lot of cooking on the grill. Our grill is getting older and things are starting to go wrong. The igniter went out. I am terrible when it comes to lighting the grill manually. Actually I am scared to death of it! There really is no good spot to light it underneath so you have to light it with a lighter or with matches. One night I just gave up and my husband came home to find the pile of matches that I had used in my attempt to light the grill. It certainly was comical. Little did I know that all it took to fix it was a new AA battery. Who would ever think that a grill uses a battery!

I then discovered that my vegetable grilling tray rusted out over the winter. What a disappointment that was! I just happened to have two cast iron skillets on hand that we used to take on camping trips when the kids were smaller. I pulled those out of storage and tried them on the grill. They work great! Our favorite use for the skillet is Grill Fries using the Grill Fries Seasoning Mix. I think these have become my kids favorite side dish. When ever I tell them that we are having fries for dinner they always ask if they are the seasoned fries. It makes you feel good when a recipe is a hit with the family. 

Another thing I use on the grill is a cookie try. This works great for cooking regular French fries or tator tots. My sister-in-law has been experimenting with cooking pizzas on the grill. Most recipes will just recommend that you place the crust directly on the grill. Sometimes the dough can sag and get caught on the grill. You could use a regular pizza pan on the grill but I am going to try to use a pizza stone. Just place it on the grill as you preheat it and cook the pizza as you would do with an oven. I will give it a try and let you know how it works.

Kandy submitted a question about using leftover marinade to baste the meat while you are grilling. You can do this as long as you stop basting at within the last five minutes of cooking. This gives the marinade the chance to heat up and cook all the juices from the meat. Here are some great grilling safety tips from zy-sauce.com/Facts2.htm:

 

Safety Warning!

 

  • To prevent bacterial growth, always marinate your seafood or meat in the
    refrigerator and never at room temperature.   

  • When cooking meat or fish, any leftover marinade should be discarded and not used as a sauce for your grilled meal. Meat and fish contain raw meat juices which may contain harmful bacteria.  

  • When basting your grilled or baked dish with marinade which has made contact with raw meat or fish, stop basting with the marinade the last 5 minutes of cooking. This final amount of time is important for the raw meat juices in the marinade to thoroughly cook.   

  • Never put cooked meat or seafood in the same pan or dish that held it when it was raw. Raw meat or seafood juices can contaminate cooked food with harmful bacteria. Use a different dish or wash the dish with hot soapy water before placing the cooked meat back in the dish.



Return to Table of Contents

Bonus Recipes



Fajita Marinade

We came up with this recipe while attempting to duplicate the taste of the fajitas that you get in Tex-Mex restaurants such as Chili's or Don Pablos. I love it when they bring the fajitas out to you on sizzling cast iron platter. It always smells wonderful. You can either grill the chicken or cook it in a skillet. You could also try this marinade with steak or shrimp.

 

Click here to view/print this recipe!

 

 

Julie's Easy Freezer Cheesecake

This recipe is from my good friend Julie. This is an easy cheesecake to make that is perfect for the freezer. The first time we had this cheesecake was a couple of years ago at my daughter's graduation party. Julie made three of these for the party. What a great friend! These are great with cherries or strawberries on top.

 

Click here to view/print this recipe!



Return to Table of Contents

Freezer Cook of the Month



Our winner this month is Eryn. Eryn talks about how the 30 Day Gourmet manual inspired her to start freezer cooking. This inspiration lead her to cook with a group of people from her church every month with the help of the Advantage Cooking Software.

Let's hear from Eryn:

I just read your newsletter and I was hit with the sudden desire to write and tell you how much 30 Day Gourmet has meant to me lately.

I have done several bouts of OAMC, but never got into a routine. We have 4 children under the age of 6, (and number 5 on the way), we own a small business, and we are very active in our church. I love to cook, but I hate throwing stuff in a pot and calling it dinner. (My family isn't very fond of that either!) I knew that for the sake of money, and the sake of my sanity I had to discipline myself and just start doing it...but I still wouldn't do it. Then...
I found your book, (used, on the internet) so I purchased it on a whim. Then I checked out your website. Hmmm... the wheels started turning. Behold, I came across the free 30 day trial for the advantage cooking software... Ding. Ding Ding Ding I swear my husband saw smoke billowing out of my head. So I downloaded the FREE trial. I mean really, who can say no to free?

That was all it took. I still will not discipline myself to do it. So, I enlisted ladies at my church. I decided that I would do it if other people were counting on me. So now, at the beginning of the month I put out "menus" of about 6 recipes to choose from. Each person can pick up to 2 of each recipe. And they MUST have their choices into me 1 1/2 weeks before the scheduled cooking date. I do the shopping, and deliver some ingredients to some ladies to do prep work, and do some myself. Then on the set day, we gather to read our bibles, pray, and cook, cook, cook! No one really gets a whole months worth of food, but we have a lovely day that is so well organized thanks to the Advantage cooking software.

Everyone has loved the recipes, and now we are looking forward to having to divide the groups because there is so much interest!

I just had to say thank you. I never would have gotten myself going, and now not only am I completely blessed by having meals that I can serve my family, (and enjoy because no one is complaining) but other women that I love and care about are being blessed as well.

Oh, and we have decided to make extra meals to keep for our meal ministry (we typically do a weeks worth of dinners when a baby is born, someone has surgery etc.) So now we will be able to help out even more when those hard times in life come up.

Thank you so much,
Eryn

Thanks for the sharing this great story with us!

So, how do you make 30 Day Gourmet work for you? How do you use it to help you deal with a challenge in your life? How do you use it to help others? Do you have a funny cooking story to share? Email me at carol@30daygourmet.com or post your story on the Cook's Corner message board to be entered in our contest.



Return to Table of Contents

Closing Comments from Carol



I received an email from Pat asking for suggestions on how to handling feeding your family while at sporting events.

My biggest challenge is dealing with sports events. I think you covered this a while ago (and it is possible I could find it if I scoured the archives) but my son was still a couch potato and it never occurred to me that I'd be the mother of a three-season jock. I'm looking for portable meals that you can eat in the stands. Come fall (and winter and spring) we tend to race from work to a game (and this year, it will be both JV and Varsity football) and I just can't face hamburgers and hot dogs with relish as the only "green" food.

I know what Pat means. It can be hard when you have practice every day and games every week. Do you have any creative suggestions for Pat? Or can you share with us how your family handles this situation? Send me an email at carol@30daygourmet.com and I will share your comments with everyone next month.

Do you have any other topics that you would like to cover? Do you have any nagging questions that need to be answered? Email me at carol@30daygourmet.com. I enjoy hearing from you!

Carol

Return to Table of Contents

Cookin' at the Keyboard with Shelley



Our family at Sarah's high school graduation
Aundra-11, Shelley, Gaylen, Megan-5, Sarah-18, Lauren-15, Anicia-11

I started freezer cooking when Sarah was nine years old, and now she's a high school graduate. The last few months have been packed with all the activity and emotions of this significant milestone. Many times I found myself in the middle of a task, yet lost in thought as I recalled the memories of my little girl, and the only thing that brought me back to the task at hand was my need for a tissue.

As our family has changed through the years, so has my approach to freezer cooking. In the April issue of Carol's newsletter, she replied to Danielle's questions:

"I'd like to know how often you use your freezer meals! Do you eat from the freezer every night, just 5 times a week, or for some lunches and dinners? Do you incorporate one fresh from scratch meal a week or a leftover night? Do you ever get tired of the same meals during your menu session and just never get to them?"

In addition to answering these questions, I will also described how I've made use of the Advantage Cooking software.

Situation: Starting to home school; Sarah in 3rd grade; Lauren in 1st grade; the twins were 18 months; cooked 30 meals at a time.
Freezer meals: 5-6 dinners/week and 3-4 lunches/week
Scratch recipes: absolutely not!
Leftovers: the kids looked forward to "clean out the frig" night once a week; I would make fresh muffins to fill in the gaps.
Tired of meals? life demanded that we not ask that question; just eat it!
Advantage Cooking: I didn't need it yet because I used the recipes and grocery lists from the cooking plans that I selected.

....................................................

Situation: Freezer cooking was working so well, I started to cook for 4 months at a time, using my own recipes. I also developed the SANE approach (Some Assembly Needed Eventually). By freezing only the time-consuming portion of each recipe, I could put dinner on the table, save on freezer space, and reduce the initial cash investment at the grocery store.
Scratch recipes: only to test new recipes that I wanted to add to the rotation.
Tired of meals? Over time, the girls' tastes did change. This required me to drop some of the meals from my cooking plan. Although I resisted retiring these recipes, it wasn't worth making 4x the recipe and convincing them to eat it.
Advantage Cooking: I desperately needed help of some kind. It was taking a minimum of 4 hours to select recipes and consolidate all of the ingredients into one grocery list. I used a spreadsheet program on my computer to help, but it was easy to mess up the formulas, which made me uncertain of my totals. This is when my husband, Gaylen, developed the Advantage Cooking program. What a relief!

....................................................

Situation: We started to purchase locally raised beef and chicken from friends. The meat was already frozen when it arrived at my house, which made it difficult for me to decide to thaw, cook, and refreeze just to have freezer meals available.
Freezer meals: down to 4 meals from the freezer a week.
Advantage Cooking: I discovered how useful the software is for all my cooking and grocery shopping, whether or not I'll be freezing it.

....................................................

Situation: I wanted to train our older daughters to cook from scratch and to put a hot meal (main dish, salad, and vegetable) on the table at dinner.
Freezer meals: we used as little as 2 meals a week.
Scratch recipes: new recipes were a great way to teach them to cook. We used a lot of the recipes from the newsletter.
Advantage Cooking: The "import" feature of the software was a life saver! Even though we were trying new scratch recipes, I could easily add them to my database and include the ingredients in my grocery report.

....................................................

Situation: My husband went on a low-carb diet.
Advantage Cooking: The new "recipe category" filter in the software make it easy to cook for him. I was able to separate all the low-carb recipes and freezer cook what I could.

....................................................

Situation: Our family has been busy for long seasons of time in the last couple of years. It's been difficult to carve out even a couple of days to stock the freezer like I used to, even though the busy schedule creates the need for freezer meals. My latest approach has been to do mini-cooking sessions when I have a window of time and to stock the freezer with the building blocks for a meal, e.g. cooked ground beef and diced chicken, shredded beef, marinades, grated cheese, and meals for ministry and hospitality.
Advantage Cooking: I have to say it again. Making a grocery list with the software is so easy!

....................................................

Situation: Cousin Camp is at our house this summer. We're going to spend a week camping out in the backyard, pretending we are pioneers on the Oregon Trail, charting our travels from Independence, Missouri to Oregon City, Oregon (where we live). I don't expect to have much time to cook, so I'm planning a cooking day to freeze breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner, and desserts for the week.



Return to Table of Contents

Recipe Section



Our family will be camping next weekend. I don't get too creative when it comes to food at camp. We repeat the same basic meals every time. All the meals are planned out and entered in Advantage Cooking. All I do is create a cooking day and select all my camp meals and my grocery list is ready to go! Note: even though these files look like recipes, they're actually meal plans. Examine them more closely and you'll get the idea.

 

Meal Plans for Camp

This "recipe" includes all the items needed to serve a pancake breakfast for six. The ingredients include pancake mix, blueberries, butter, syrup, eggs, ham, and orange juice.

Import the "Camp Breakfast - Pancakes" recipe/meal plan.

This "recipe" includes all the items for lunch. The ingredients include deli rolls, ham, turkey, cheese, lettuce, cookies, chips, and fruit. Note: the mayo, mustard, and pickles are included in the "Camping Miscellaneous" recipe below.

Import the "Camp Lunch - Deli Sandwiches" recipe/meal plan.

This "recipe" includes all the items for dinner. The ingredients include buns, ground beef patties, worcestershire sauce, steak seasoning, cheese, sweet onion, chips, and fruit.

Import the "Camp Dinner - Burgers" recipe/meal plan.

This "recipe" includes all the food items we consume at camp outside of meals, as well as some of the staples for other meals. The ingredients include graham crackers, chocolate bars, marshmallows, hot chocolate mix, apple cider packets, biscuit dough (for roasting), salt, pepper, ketchup, mustard, pickles, and relish. The recipe serves our family for one day at camp.

Import the "Camping Miscellaneous" recipe/meal plan.

Camp Breakfast Sandwiches
A friend of mine serves these breakfast sandwiches to her family every year when they camp. I'm planning to add them to our menu this summer. Thanks, Jennifer, for the recipe and the picture!

Click here to view/print this recipe!

 



Return to Table of Contents

Software Suggestions



Be Creative!

Import the files above, and use them as examples to create your own meal plans. If your family doesn't camp, you can use them when hosting company for the weekend or entertaining for a holiday.

 

As the seasons of life change in your household, experiment with the software. The hardest thing to do is actually sit down at your computer and get it working for you. Decide to do the hard things. Be creative.You'll feel good when you're done!

  Download a trial version of the software! It's free!



Return to Table of Contents

Closing Comments from Shelley



You will hear from our second daughter, Lauren, in my next newsletter. I'm looking forward to what she has to say!

Happy summer!



Return to Table of Contents


Chewin' the News is an exclusive publication of 30 Day Gourmet, Inc.
Reproduction of the content without the expressed written consent of 30 Day Gourmet, Inc. is prohibited.
All rights reserved.

Share/Save/Bookmark
Search:

Join Us!
Take advantage of all of the great 30DayGourmet.com community benefits:

   Sign up for our FREE newsletters! Free Newsletters
   Participate in our Cooks' Corner Message Boards! Message Boards
    Facebook


Our exclusive eBook Freezer Cooking series
Co-op Cuisine
Co-op Cuisine
Co-op Cuisine introduces a new twist in bulk cooking.
Freezer Cooking for Daycare Providers and Busy Parents
Freezer Cooking for Daycare Providers and Busy Parents
These recipes are not only great for daycare providers but moms, too.
Freezer Cooking on a Budget
Freezer Cooking on a Budget
Learn how to cut your food budget up to $200.00 each month.
Freezer Desserts to Die For!
Freezer Desserts to Die For!
Stock your freezer with delicious desserts - cookies, candies, cakes and salads.
Freezer Lunches to Go
Freezer Lunches to Go
Learn how to safely pack a balanced lunch for your children, spouse or yourself.
Healthy Freezer Cooking
Healthy Freezer Cooking
Learn how to serve a healthy, well-balanced meal without sacrificing taste.
Holiday Freezer Cooking
Holiday Freezer Cooking
Delicious classic Holiday recipes for your freezer.
Slow Cooker Freezer Favorites
Slow Cooker Freezer Favorites
Nothing is easier than using a slow cooker to save time, money, and hassle!
Souper Freezer Soups
Souper Freezer Soups
This book will have you whipping up flavorful soups in no time.
Vegetarian Freezer Cooking
Vegetarian Freezer Cooking
This is your complete guide to getting started with vegetarian freezer cooking.
Get Yours Today!