Garlic Lime Chicken
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Chewin' the News from 30 Day Gourmet
Kitchen Fun with Carol
Bonus Recipes
Contest Winners
Closing Comments from Carol
Freezer Cooking News from Nanci
Company and Website News
Emails from Happy Customer
Customer Question
Consultant News
Closing Comments

Kitchen Fun with Carol



Hello everyone! It's good to be back. I appreciate your support in my leave of absence. My family has spent the last two months in crisis mode trying to deal with some hard issues. It is hard to believe how grief and sadness can take away your ability to function. I always thought that I would be able to cook from scratch no matter what the circumstances. It is second nature, right? I was wrong. It took all of my efforts just to keep going every day. It was such a blessing to have food in the freezer that I could just quickly heat and serve. It was also a blessing to have friends and family that supported and encouraged us. I have helped other people in need in the past with meals; family members, church members, a friend of a friend. Little did I realize how much of a difference this makes in the lives of the people we serve until I was on the other end of the situation. If you ever have the opportunity to help someone in need, do it. It will make all the difference in the world.

I know that summer has not officially started but it sure feels like it! We have gone from 70 degree days to 90 degree days in just a couple of weeks. It was such a dramatic shift for me that I went ahead and planned my summer menu. We switched into grilling mode two weeks early. Of course this also meant a whirl wind cooking day had to be planned to make the switch. With this done we are now fully stocked for the summer grilling season!

Summer menu planning is fun! There are so many great recipes to make this time of the year. We make a lot of marinades, barbecue, burgers, and grill packets. (You can read about grill packets in the August 2005 issue of Chewin' the News.) We like to experiment with cooking different vegetables on the grill. One of my favorites is grilled zucchini. This summer we are going to experiment with different types of shish kabobs. I will keep you posted on the results. I love being able to cook outside, eating dinner together with my family on the deck, and sitting on the swing with my husband reading a good book. That is when you know that life is good. Below are some tips on summer menu planning.

 

  1. Recipes are usually categorized by main ingredient or recipe type such as beef, poultry, pork, soup, sandwich, main entree, etc. When I am planning for my summer menu I sort my recipes by cooking appliance instead. I am looking for recipes that can be grilled, cooked in the slow cooker, or microwave. I do consider an occasional recipe that is cooked on the stovetop but only if it has a relative short cooking time.
  2. For dinner I like to have a couple of recipes each week that scale up easily. This allows for sporadic entertaining! I always have extra pork chops, chicken breasts, hamburgers, and hot dogs on hand. You never know when you might be preparing food for a crowd.
  3. Take advantage of the great produce prices during the summer months. When fruits are in season, add them to you menu and freeze some extras for later in the year. We always buy extra berries, peaches and apples. We use them later in cobblers, pies, muffins or fruit smoothies. We also grow our own green peppers. I chop them up as they ripen and store them in freezer bags and use them over the winter when produce prices are high.
  4. Remember grills aren't just for meats. Try grilling some vegetables as a side dish. Our current favorite combination is fresh sliced mushrooms, zucchini and green or red bell pepper. After cooking toss with a little fat free Italian dressing and some Parmesan cheese. It's wonderful. We also like to grill pizza, corn on the cob, potato wedges, and baked potatoes. Try grilling pineapple slices for dessert. Grilling pineapple intensifies the sweetness of the fruit. Sometimes we add them to hamburgers or we just eat them plain. They are such a treat.
  5. I like to keep a lot of precooked meats on hand for easy summer dinner. This saves so much time in the kitchen when you want to grab a bite and go. I brown hamburger and package in 2-1/2 cup packages. I use this in chili and soft tacos. I cook pounds of chicken breasts on the grill. I slice some to use for sandwiches, fajitas, or to put on top of salad greens. I also cube the chicken to use in chicken salad sandwiches, Chicken Fried Rice, or I mix it in left over pasta salad to make a main dish.

 

Here are some of recipes that I included on my summer menu:

Lunches

 

Dinners



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Bonus Recipes



Iced Oatmeal Cookies

My family has become addicted to these cookies. I picked some up at the local grocery store one week when I knew that I would not have time to make cookies. Everyone loves them. I then set out to make my own version of the cookie. These are not as crisp but have great flavor. The easiest way to ice the cookies is to hold the cookie upside over the icing bowl. Take the cookie and just barely touch the top to the icing. This gives the icing that rippled effect just like the store bought kind. Give it a try!

Click here to view/print this recipe!

Oatmeal Scotchie Bars

My husband loved Oatmeal Scotchies as a kid. It was his favorite cookie that his mom made. Here is a bar version of the cookie that is great to pack for lunches. If I keep these around and don't put them way in the freezer, they will just disappear.

Click here to view/print this recipe!



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Contest Winners



As we gear up and get the newsletter going again I thought I would take this opportunity to explain the contests that we offer at 30 Day Gourmet. We want this newsletter to be about the topics that are important to you. One of the ways that we do this is to share other cooks experiences when cooking the 30 Day Gourmet way and these contests let us do just that. But for these contests to be successful we need you to participate. This means posting your recipes and stories in the message board area of the web site. Winners of both contests receive either $25 cash or $25 merchandise from the 30 Day Gourmet Store so enter your winning recipes and stories!

 

Recipe of the Month - We use this contest to honor a cook who has submitted a great freezer recipe. To have your recipe considered for the Recipe of the Month contest, just post it under the appropriate category on the message boards. Be sure to include freezing directions! All recipes posted under the recipe categories will be considered for the contest. If you have tried a recipe on the message board and you think it should be considered for this contest, email me at carol@30daygourmet.com. I'll be glad to test the recipe and consider it for the contest.

 

Freezer Cook of the Month - This contest honors freezer cooks who have a funny cooking story to tell, cooks who have used freezer cooking to help someone in need,  can really relate the benefits of freezer cooking, or just have an inspirational cooking story to share with all of us. You can submit your story by e-mail or on the message boards. It’s okay to nominate someone else, too. Click here to post your story on the Cook's Corner Message Boards under the "My Cooking Story Contest" category or click here to email us your story.

 

If you are chosen as a winner for either contest you will be notified by email. It is a very important that you include your email address in your Cook's Corner User Profile. You can choose whether you want it publicly displayed. Just make sure it is entered so that 30 Day Gourmet can contact you.

 

Good luck to everyone and thanks for your submissions.



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Closing Comments from Carol



I learned an awesome kitchen tip from my sister-in-law, Lori. I always have a hard time opening jars. I've tried lots of methods to help me open them easier. I have one of those lid grips. I have tried tapping on the edge of the lid. I have tried try to "pop" the seal by prying the bottom of the lid with a butter knife. Lori showed me the easiest way to open a jar. You just hold it upside down with one hand and hit the bottom of the jar with the palm of your other hand. You'll hear a hollow sound when you hit the jar. Turn it over and magically it opens with hardly any effort! Thanks Lori for sharing this.

 

I hope this issue of summer menu planning hints was helpful! 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



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Freezer Cooking News from Nanci



Happy summer everyone! Summers are especially great when you're a teacher! After a full school year of getting up at the crack of dawn and grading papers until I fall asleep with a red pen in my hand, it only takes me about 1 week to slide right into that "stay up late, get up late" mode. Of course, that wouldn't work if my kids were still little but since mine are older it works GREAT! I read for about 3 hours every night - ahhhhhh. Now that's what I call a vacation!

Of course, there are a million other things happening in my house (just like at yours). Kaytee, our oldest, just finished up summer classes at IU and will head back to Ball State U. in August. She'll be home to live with us for a few weeks before classes start up again. Becky, our 18 year old, graduated on June 3rd. We had her open house the next day. Last weekend she registered for fall classes at Huntington University (about 2 hours north) to major in missions. Adam, our 16 year old, is in Morocco on vacation with his best friend. Jenna, our youngest, turns 13 in a few days. Bob and I will celebrate our 27th anniversary next week.

Whew! The summer is already flying by and I haven't had a big cooking day yet. I really want to stockpile my freezer before school starts. Eating a decent breakfast, packing lunches and eating supper at home saves so much money! I have meats in marinade and a few salads and some desserts in "frozen storage" but it's really time for a marathon cooking spree. I'll start planning one and tell you all about it next time.

I'm an "old pro" at this planning bit but If you don't know where to start, you're not alone. Many cooks know that they should plan ahead and freeze foods but they just don't know where to begin. We have a mini tutorial on our website. Our manual walks you straight through the process and our message boards have some great info and ideas to help you. Click here to read a conversation on the boards about menu planning help. When you see a great sale on chicken or pork or beef just clear an afternoon and buy several pounds. Cook some and freeze in portions to use for quick meals (sloppy joes, tacos, pork barbecue, etc.) and use the rest to make a few tried and true freezable recipes. You'll be surprised by how quickly you can put 10 entrees into the freezer and by how much money you save.

We do a lot of last minute, drop-in type entertaining in the summer. I've gotten pretty good at always having chicken in marinade and hamburgers in the freezers and desserts are always easy to come up with but salads had me stumped. I never have enough time to do a Jell-O salad and get it into the fridge. Last week I went on the hunt for frozen fruit salads that I could make up and get into the freezer for our drop-in company. Both of the salads below turned out great and were big hits with our friends. One tip for salads: package them in portions that you will eat in one serving. Use the little freezer cups for individual servings. It's a pain to thaw a giant salad so that you can carve off enough for your lunch - ha!

Click here to view/print a recipe for Lemon Fruit Salad!

Click here to view/print a recipe for Strawberry-Banana Frozen Salad.

Check out these other great salad recipes on our website:
Freezer Cole Slaw
Frozen Cranberry Salad
Frozen Fruit Salad
Frozen Waldorf Salad
Fruit Slush
Celebration Salad
Seafoam Salad


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Company and Website News



Summer is a time for playing "catch up" in the 30 Day Gourmet office. Since Becky will be heading off to college in a few months, we're trying to stockpile ebooks on CD and get a myriad of other things crossed off our office "to do" list. The goal of having our Freezer Cooking Manual available as an ebook is still on the list as well.

I got an unexpected e-mail from Mary Hunt's editor the other day (of Cheapskate Monthly now Debt Proof Living fame) requesting a review copy of the Freezer Cooking Manual. Wow - getting a mention in one of her Woman's Day articles would really be something.

Hearts at Home fans should sign up for Karen Ehman's workshop on hospitality titled A Life That Says Welcome:Simple Ways to Open Your Heart and Home to Others at the fall conferences in Minnesota or Michigan. She mentions 30 Day Gourmet in her new book (by the same title) and gives you lots of great ways to model hospitality for your children.

 

Here's a quick list of our items. Free shipping on orders over $50.
Freezer Cooking Manual
$14.95 (2-9 are $12.95, 10+ are 11.95)
30 Day Gourmet Logo Apron $19.95
Advantage Cooking Software $34.95
Cook's Assistant Notebook $12.95
Kitchen Pro Calculator $34.95
Kitchen Calculator (handheld) $24.95
Freezer Labels $4 for 1 pkg of 50, $3 for 2-3 pkgs., $2.50 for 4+ pkgs.
Holiday Freezer Cooking $6.95 download OR $8.95 CD
Freezer Cooking on a Budget $6.95 download OR $8.95 CD
Freezer Lunches to Go $6.95 download OR $8.95 CD
Freezer Desserts to Die For! $6.95 download OR $8.95 CD
Freezer Cooking for Daycare Providers & Busy Parents $6.95 download OR $8.95 CD
Healthy Freezer Cooking $6.95 download OR $8.95 CD
Vegetarian Freezer Cooking $6.95 download OR $8.95 CD
Co-op Cuisine $6.95 download OR $8.95 CD



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Emails from Happy Customer



I have been a 30 day gourmet fan for many years. I keep buying the freezer manual and friends borrow it and don't return it. I purchased my third book and have yet to get it back. I'm not loaning this book out anymore and friends that ask will just get one for Christmas!!                

Amy S.

Thank you! You are a god send! Our realtor suggested we bake cookies before an open house to get that homey feeling........So I made the mix and put it in my pantry and I figured this would be a cinch to bake a dozen cookies before the open house. But then I realized I had packed your cookbook, I was having a hard time breathing normally! hahahahaha Anyway, I thank you again! We have a few more open houses scheduled! Have a wonderful day!
Marie R.



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Customer Question



QUESTION: I have purchased your Freezer Manual and have a question. If we have 15+ people in our cooking group how do we split the cost of the groceries??? Do we each purchase the groceries for our recipe, cook, divide the recipe by 15 then charge everyone accordingly?? Have thought about getting the Co-Op Cooking Book also. Please help.

NANCI'S ANSWER: Wow - that's a large group. Since everyone is probably purchasing things for the cooking day, I would just have your most mathematical person take charge of receipts and payments. Everyone should turn in their receipts. She writes down all of the expenses and who paid what. Then tally it up and divide by the number of people. That will tell you what each person should be paying for the cooking day. Then look at the list that tells you who already paid what. Let's say the total is $1500. That's $100 per person. Have a central pot (a literal bowl or something) and based on the list have people contribute what they owe. If you bought $75 worth of groceries you would owe $25. Put it in the pot. After everyone who owes money puts it in then the people who paid over $100 for their groceries, etc. take their money out. Obviously, this works better if people bring cash. It gets very messy when Sally owes the pot $25 and Mary is OWED $27 so Sally writes her check to Mary, etc. etc. Just use the pot and make them bring cash.


This is pretty much the method that Jan recommends in the Co-op Cooking ebook. She has some great worksheets in there to help you keep everything straight. Have fun! Hope this helps!

If you have questions about Co-op Cooking or experiences to share please post your comments on our message boards. We have so much to learn from each other!



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Consultant News



Please welcome our new consultants. We will let you know when they have active websites:

Christine Ritter from Salina, Kansas
Katherine Young from Pflugerville, Texas
Allison Mentink from Woodville, Wisconsin



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Closing Comments



Enjoy your summer! E-mail me about how you make freezer cooking work best in the summertime.

Nanci



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Co-op Cuisine
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Freezer Cooking for Daycare Providers and Busy Parents
Freezer Cooking for Daycare Providers and Busy Parents
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Freezer Desserts to Die For!
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