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Chewin' the News from 30 Day Gourmet
Kitchen Fun with Carol
Bonus Recipes
Recipe of the Month Contest Winner
Freezer Cook of the Month Contest Winner
Closing Comments from Carol
Cookin' at the Keyboard with Shelley
Holiday Recipe
Software Suggestions
Closing Comments from Shelley
Notes from Tammy
Bonus Recipes from Tammy
Message Board Updates
Final Thoughts

Kitchen Fun with Carol



Happy Thanksgiving everyone! The rush is on as we approach the holiday season. I don't know about you but this time of the year seems to go by so fast. The thing I treasure the most each holiday  is spending time with family and friends. I think the older you get the more you realize just what is really important in life. Planning and cooking ahead can give you what you need to get out of the kitchen and spend that precious time with your family and  friends.

 

If this is your first time hosting a large gathering I recommend the Holiday Freezer Cookbook. It has lots of tips on how to plan your gathering, special worksheets just for the special occasion, and lots of wonderful recipes for you to try. Some of my favorites are the vegetable and side dish recipes. That's the hard part - trying to figure out what to serve with the turkey or ham. 

 

Everything about this holiday season revolves around our family traditions. A lot of the traditions revolve around what food is served; especially those special recipes that have been passed on from generation to generation. Remember Grandma's special cranberry salad and Dad's famous stuffing mix? They remind us of the time spent with our loved ones. 

 

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.

 

This issue of "Chewin' the News" brings you two recipes that are great for family gatherings. Read more about them below in the bonus recipes section.

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Bonus Recipes



Brown Sugar Cinnamon Coffee Cake

This recipe is a family tradition for us. We make this coffee cake to have on hand the day after Thanksgiving or Christmas morning. It's great to come home after a long morning shopping for gifts and have coffee cake ready. I also take it to small group meetings and to brunch for our church women's group.

 

Click here to view/print this recipe!

 


I love giving gifts from the kitchen. This recipe also makes a great gift that you can give as a mix. If you are staying with someone over the holidays this year, this makes a wonderful thank you gift. Or if you are looking for a fun and easy teacher appreciation gift that you and your kids can make together, this is a winner! It is very easy to make and we have included the instruction card for you to print to give along with the mix.

 

Click here to view/print the gift instructions!

 




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Recipe of the Month Contest Winner



October Recipe of the Month Update

 

I heard from Corie after sending out the newsletter. She recognized the October winning recipe, Potato Stuffed Meatloaf, as her own and sent us an update! Let's hear from Corie:

"I am a stay at home Mom of 2 girls, ages 3 and almost 2 (one month away, wow that went fast). I realized I needed some help in the kitchen after I had my second daughter and became a stay at home Mom. It was difficult to work in the kitchen with one in my arms and one at my feet. I found 30 Day Gourmet on-line after reading about freezer cooking in the Family Fun Magazine. I haven't yet attempted 30 days of meals but have had success with smaller sessions that cover about 2 weeks worth of meals. Also, a friend of mine just opened Dinners Galore, a meal assembly facility in town, and between my own sessions at home and 1 session a month there I seem to be making out pretty well. Plus eating a wider variety of yummy food. It's so much easier just shopping weekly for snacks and side dishes than it was before trying to get everything for the entrees too."

Click here to view/print the October Recipe of the Month!


 

 

You too can get in on the winning! Just post your favorite freeze-able recipe on the message boards.



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Freezer Cook of the Month Contest Winner



How many of you can remember your first full cooking day? I sure can! What a sense of accomplishment to have a freezer full of food and know that you no longer had to wonder what's for dinner when coming home from a long day at work. Our winner this month is Shannon from Eagan, MN, who has a great story about her first real 30 day cooking session.

 

Shannon says:  

"I finally feel like I've done it for real this time!

I've been nervous about cooking up too much because of our small apartment freezer. Granted, 30 dinners for 2 people takes up less than for a family of 4. However, with a busy afternoon and evening today I've filled up the freezer. And yes, I'm officially a freezer-cooking dork...I keep peeking back in there to admire the piles of vacuum-sealed entrees! I still need to do a batch of make-ahead mashed potatoes, but then I'm DONE!

I've been doing small sessions on and off for a few years. But, I've been off my usual mini-sessions for a couple of months and have noticed a significant increase in our grocery and dining out bills! After a busy day at work when neither of us wants to cook, we keep going out or ordering in. That never happens when I've stocked the freezer. It's much less hassle to just throw something in the oven when all the work is done already! We're still experimenting with one new recipe each session. (We tried the chicken stuffed shells tonight...YUM!...even the skeptical spouse was happy!) We are definitely 30DayGourmet-adicts for life.

My one desire is to get another freezer when we buy our own place. Yes, I can fit 30 entrees in the little freezer, but I'd love to get a little more variety...be able to carry over dinners from the previous session. Or be able to really stock up when there's a great sale.

Anyway, just posting to say thanks again guys for the great book, website, and the great advice here! I ordered the software yesterday and I'm really looking forward to incorporating that into my next session!"

 

Congratulations Shannon on your first real 30 day session! It's a big step and well worth the effort. 

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 to be entered in our contest.

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Closing Comments from Carol



I hope you enjoy the family gathering recipes! Next month we'll focus on desserts for the holiday. I'm looking for your favorite recipes so post them on our message board, the Cook's Corner. I look forward to hearing what you have to share! 

 

Email me at carol@30daygourmet.com with any questions, ideas, suggestions or problems. I enjoy hearing from you!


Have a great month!


          Carol



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Cookin' at the Keyboard with Shelley



A Mother's Heart

It was eight years ago, in November 1997, that my oldest daughter, Sarah, and I played a duet at her piano recital. The program in her scrapbook indicates that we played a piece entitled, "Long, Long Ago." Ironically, this mother's heart remembers it being just yesterday.

 

But it was yesterday that I listened to Sarah perform the 1st movement of Sonata in c. Hob. XVI:34  by J. Haydn at the Classical Period Piano Competition. She played beautifully, and she no longer needed me on the bench next to her to fill out the bass notes and add some rhythm.

Time passes quickly. My mind can hardly grasp the fact that it has been an entire year since I saw a turkey in every cart as I walked the aisles at the grocery store. But the pictures in my camera remind me that my daughters truly are a year older.

The Thanksgiving season bids me to reflect on my blessings. I could list dozens of things, but if I were to prioritize them, I would have to put the relationships at the top. It's the people that are really important.

As an adult, I can appreciate the value of relationship. Looking through the eyes of my daughters, I become aware of their dependence on relationship. They need a mother, and no one else can fill that role as well as I can. Some days they need me to keep them on a steady beat, and some days they need me to sit back and applaud. But they need me. And I delight in being needed.

As we make our holiday plans, and plan our holiday menus, let's celebrate the opportunity we have to invest our time and energy in the many relationships that are depending on us to make them meaningful.



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Holiday Recipe



Pumpkin Cheesecake

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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Software Suggestions



I received this email last summer from a fellow 30 Day Gourmet cook.

"Hey Shelley! Just a quick note...we're doing a pig roast Friday night. (Actually, we're not roasting the pig ourselves, we hired someone to do that for us.) I'm in charge of the food, and we currently have 83 adults/teens and 20 kids coming. So I'm sitting down tonight to start putting my grocery list together, and figuring I need to make 4x my brownie recipe, and 2x my cookie recipe and 10x my baked bean recipe. As I sit there with pen and paper, at 10:30 pm, after a long day, trying to double my 5x column in my head, a light bulb goes off and I say "DUH!!! THIS is what my software is for!!" = ) Slowly but surely, I'm going to get this down to use my software all the time!! Thought you would appreciate my DUH moment! = ) Have a great day!!!"

I love it when people discover how versatile the software is. You don't have to be freezer cooking at the moment in order to make it useful. So, if you're putting your Thanksgiving menu together at the last minute, let the software make your grocery list for you! I have a fast and furious method for entering new recipes that will have you braving the lines at the grocery store in no time.

 

  1. Enter the recipe name and category.

  2. Enter the recipe ingredients (but not the instructions!)

  3. Print the recipe and slip it into a page protector.

  4. Drop the recipe card with the cooking instructions into the page protector with the printed recipe. (Photocopy any recipes used from cookbooks.)

  5. Create a cooking day in the software and add the recipes on your menu. Don't forget to change the recipe quantities to reflect the number of people you're feeding.

  6. Print the grocery report.

  7. Detour through the kitchen for a quick inventory. Eliminate any items on the grocery list that are already stocked in your kitchen.

 

At some point, you might need to go back and add the instructions to the recipe. (But then again, maybe not!) If you leave the Thanksgiving Cooking Day in your database, you'll have a head start for next year's dinner, as well as a reminder of what you served this year!

 

Click here to download a free trial version of the software!


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Closing Comments from Shelley



Last month I mentioned that my daughters and I made several loaves of Pear Bread on our cooking day. After sending my recipe to her, Amy Duranto emailed to say, "This Pear Bread is AWESOME!! Can it be frozen? I have five loaves and would love to freeze some after I share a few. Thanks again!"

 

Some baked goods are better after they're frozen, and I think this recipe is one of them. Click here to view/print/import the recipe for Pear Bread.

 

If you have comments, suggestions, or stories to tell, please email me at shelley@30daygourmet.com. It's fun to hear from other freezer families.

 

Looking back, may you be thankful;

Looking ahead, may you be hopeful;

Looking upward, may you find strength;

Looking inward, may you find peace.

 

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

 

         Shelley



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Notes from Tammy



Happy Thanksgiving!  Hope you all had an enjoyable holiday with your friends and family, and took time to reflect on what you have to be thankful for.  

I noticed a local store putting out Christmas candy and decorations a couple of days before Halloween. I sure hope it isn't the start of a trend to "skip" Thanksgiving, because it's important... taking time to be thankful for our blessings, no matter how big or small, is always a good thing!       

We were to have six family members come from OH to visit for Thanksgiving weekend, but they had to cancel... five of them were sick, and we were to get bad weather between here and there.  We called someone we were concerned might be spending the day alone, but he had plans.  We invited my parents down from PA, but the snow and ice between here and there kept them home too.  So we ended up having a quiet day as a family, which was very nice.

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.

We enjoyed the leftovers, especially turkey sandwiches.  I also make Cheesy Chicken ala King, which is my husband's favorite.  I need to experiment with that recipe and see if it's freeze-able, or if the sauce separates and gets watery.  To use up the last bit of turkey, I'm making some Country Chicken Pot Pie filling for in the freezer.  Yummy!

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Bonus Recipes from Tammy



My husband found a great site called Paperbackswap.com.  You register the paperback books you've read and don't want anymore.  Other members can then select your books they want to read.  When they choose one of your books, you print out a mailing wrapper, wrap the book, put 4 stamps on it and drop it in the mail box.  When they receive your book in the mail, you receive a credit.  You also earn credits for listing your books.  Then you use your credits to "buy" books from other members.  They have hundreds of thousands of titles listed, so there's lots to choose from!  It's a great site and we've been very happy with it.  And, it's free!! 

 

I like to make cookie mix in a jar and give as gifts at the holidays.  I've thought about buying a new recipe book for those type of mixes, but was hesitant without being able to see the recipes to know if I'd like them.  But when I saw a Merry Mixes book by Gooseberry Patch at Paperbackswap.com, I figured I couldn't go wrong... it was worth a credit to check out the book, and if I didn't like it, I could re-post it for someone else to get it from me.  

 

When I received the book in the mail, I had the option to email the sender.  I emailed her thanking her for sending the book so quickly, and asked if she had tried any of the recipes from the book, and which ones did or didn't she like.  Carmen emailed me back, with her recommendation of a recipe or two.  My new friend said she lives in Puerto Rico, and can't get all of the ingredients called for in the book, which is why she didn't try more recipes.  She said she was trying to save money for her family by making gifts for the holidays, which is why she requested the book from the swap in the first place.  

 

Of course I had to email her back and tell her to check out 30 Day Gourmet's website!  I suggested she check out the Recipes tab at the top of the page.  I also told her if she can get the ingredients, I'd highly recommend the  Oreo Truffles recipe!  Carmen was so excited when she emailed me back!  She said she is always so surprised how God uses little things to bless her, when she isn't expecting it.  She said me emailing her about 30 Day Gourmet was a definite blessing from God, and she was so thankful.  Not only did she get the gift ideas she needed, but she learned about freezer cooking.  She has a chest freezer, her husband is a vegetarian and she isn't.  So she was really excited about trying freezer cooking.  She said she definitely is making the Oreo Truffles for gifts.  Then she said "I can't wait to continue exploring the site!  It has so much recipes and information, it is like candy for my eyes!!"   

 

If you need "candy" for your friends and family, figuratively and literally, check out our website!  For the figurative candy, go to our online store to buy the manual, software or ebooks.  For candy to tempt your taste buds, in addition to the links above, check out the Peanut Butter Crunch recipe.  Pretzel Turtles are so easy, and White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies are a big hit.  Don't forget to check out the Recipes button at the top of the website... click on Snacks and Desserts for a full list of candy, cookies and snacks sure to please!



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Message Board Updates



The message boards continue to be a great resource!

Do you have a Food Saver?  One of our cooks is looking for opinions to see if you think your food saver is worth the money.  And another cook is having problems with her bags not sealing right.  

Do you have a Rival Smart Pot crock pot?  One of our cooks would like some help from you.

Do you have our Advantage Cooking Software and need reminded how to add your own ingredients?

We had quite a lengthy discussion about cooking eggs in circles for use in breakfast sandwiches.  What's your solution?

Three years ago, MizMolly started a thread on the boards with her "Where's everyone from?" post.  It's still going strong!!  Please join us there if you haven't already!

Check out the rest of the message boards when you get a chance… they are a great source of ideas, recipes, tips, and encouragement! If you have any questions about the message boards, please email me! You can reach me at tammy@30daygourmet.com.



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Final Thoughts



Well, that's it from me this month.  Time to start gearing up for December!  I started my Christmas shopping on Black Friday.  I need to plan my own candy and cookie gifts for my list of teachers, bus drivers and the mail man.  Next time I touch base, it will be after Christmas, so best wishes from my house to yours for a wonderful holiday!  Don't get so wrapped up in all the "stuff" that you forget the real Reason for the season!  Merry Christmas!

 

Feel free to email me at tammy@30daygourmet.com with any questions, ideas, suggestions or problems. I enjoy hearing from you all!

 

 

              Tammy



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