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Chewin' the News from 30 Day Gourmet
Notes from Tammy
Bonus Recipes from Kim Heideman
Message Board Updates
Recipe of the Month Contest Winner
Freezer Cook of the Month Contest Winner
Cookin' at the Keyboard with Shelley
Final Thoughts

Notes from Tammy



Hi everybody! Hope you're keeping warm this winter! We've had a pretty mild winter here... at least as far as snow is concerned! It sure has been cold though! But my tulips are starting to come up, so I know spring is getting closer!

Life has been busy at my house so far this year. School projects, sick kids, teacher conferences, sick mother-in-law, church activities, doctor appointments and all the "normal" stuff of life. I sure am glad to have my 30 Day Gourmet recipes in the freezer! Especially those soups! yummmmm!

My husband and I are involved in a ministry at church called Alpha. We meet every Monday night for 10 weeks, and start the evening off with a meal. I've been helping an experienced cook serve the meals the last few sessions. But he's taking a break this session. So I'm cooking every Monday night for about 60 people. And once again, I sure am thankful for 30 Day Gourmet!

Because I'm used to making 3 and 4 times a recipe, cooking those large amounts of food doesn't bother me at all. It's great having delicious tried and true recipes with the ingredients already multiplied out, so I can easily put my shopping list together. It's also wonderful to know I can make the recipes ahead of time when it fits my schedule, instead of spending all day Monday cooking, cleaning, serving and cleaning up some more.

And our guests have loved the recipes! We've had Lazy Day Lasagna, Loaded Baked Potato Soup, Pizzaburgers, Taco Chili, Super Easy Best Ever Crescent Rolls, Garlic Toast, Cheater's Chocolate Chip Cheesecake, and Cherry Delight so far. After the third week, one woman suggested I open a restaurant. (I said "No thanks! Too much stress!!") A man told my husband that he was surprised Rob didn't weigh 400 pounds, eating my cooking all the time. Then he told me I could cook him dinner anytime. Which I'm sure his wife was glad to hear!

Once again, 30 Day Gourmet comes through! I keep referring people to the website when they ask for my recipes. I'm thinking about taking some manuals along to sell, and donate the profits to the ministry. What a better group to sell to than one that's been eating your cooking for the last few weeks?!?!!

This issue of “Chewin’ the News” brings you four new recipes from Kim Heideman, a consultant from Texas. Read more about it below, in the Bonus Recipes section.

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Bonus Recipes from Kim Heideman



Interest in freezer cooking is definitely on the rise in our fast-paced, pre-packaged 21st century. Moms (and dads) everywhere are searching for fast, easy ways to deliver tasty, healthy meals to their family. The concept is definitely an appealing one: cook only once a month and have savory, nutritious dishes at your fingertips for the next few weeks. But because time is already of the essence, the whole appeal of bulk and freezer cooking quickly wanes once the schedule crunching kicks in and kids have to be toted to and fro, job deadlines have to be met, along with many other demands we all encounter each day. Many first-time freezer cooks and veterans alike hit a brick wall when it comes to actually PLANNING an assembly day and organizing how it will run. Don’t you find it true that the cooking is the easy part…it’s the planning that uses up our precious commodity of time and often can prove to be a stumbling block as well. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to find a service that could do ALL the planning of an assembly day for you at a reasonable price that wouldn’t leave your budget just as crunched as your time?

My name is Kim Heideman, and I am the co-owner of Freezer Pleasers. Last summer we launched our new “What’s For Dinner?” service product line, providing freezer cooking sessions so detailed and planned out that you have absolutely NO planning to do whatsoever! All you have to do is print, check off ingredients you already have at home, and then head to the grocery store! It really can’t get much simpler than that, unless you have somebody do your shopping and cooking for you! J

Each WFD issue offers you six (or more) delicious entrée recipes, unique to Freezer Pleasers, and taste-tested by our families prior to its release, yielding a minimum of 18 dishes. Each recipe format indicates the ingredient amounts for single, double, and triple batches, with each batch serving a minimum of four to six people, often times more! Assembly, freezing and serving instructions are easy to follow, as well as listing the containers needed to store each dish. To top it off, we have included nutritional data for each and every recipe you receive, even listing point equivalents for those of you who do Weight Watchers ®. A grocery list is included with each ingredient and amount needed for a triple batch of each recipe. There is even a section on the grocery list for your containers (i.e. freezer bags, tape, pie pans, etc.) and how many of each size you will need. If you wish to work with a partner, then double this list and have a freezer cooking day with a partner.

This product line would already be a time-saving jewel even if that were all it offered, but there is still so much more you will receive in each WFD time-saving issue. Each issue offers complete instructions for prep work that will make your assembly day fly more smoothly. We not only tell you how much of a veggie to chop, but we go further and explain what amount to place in a storage zip bag for assembly day with the recipe name and amount written on the outside of the bag, making it easy to just dump in later on.

Is that all? Absolutely not! Each issue gives you an assembly day flow chart as well. Meticulous time is spent on our end planning out what order you should do each recipe. We explicitly spell out when to start the crock pot, when to cook the noodles, when to mix this recipe or that, when to bake something so that you don’t have to think about any of it and absolutely no time gets wasted. It ensures that your freezer cooking day runs more smoothly and more efficiently. You simply follow the chart and in no time at all, you will have anywhere from 18 to 24 mouth-watering meals for your family!

Finally, in each issue we send you templates for freezer labels that you can then copy and paste and then print on your own computer at home. Simply use computer address labels and print them off, stick them to your freezer bag or container, and place it in your freezer. Each label includes the recipe name, a line for you to write the date, and serving/cooking instructions. It’s especially helpful when my husband or one of my daughters decides to prepare one of these meals. Recently, I coordinated a freezer shower for a family from my church that is facing medical challenges with one of their little children. With the directions printed right on the bag, she was able to easily prepare the dishes without me needing to spend her precious time explaining how to prepare them or giving her the recipe sheets she may not have easily been able to keep up with.

If you are interested in finding out more, just visit our website at www.freezerpleasers.com and click on “What’s for Dinner?” subscription service. You may print out our free sample of “What’s for Dinner?” or order any of the WFD issues available today! Better yet, order them all! There is a wide variety of recipes represented in each issue. Although we are no longer compiling subscription issues each month, we have many back issues ready for you to order today and have in your inbox within 5 working days, or less! Be sure to check back every quarter to find new products ready for you to enjoy and help make your freezing cooking experience a breeze! To receive updates, new product information and new WFD releases, please email me at info@freezerpleasers.com and ask to be added to our free, quarterly newsletter.

I’m glad to be a part of the 30 Day Gourmet team! What a difference they made in my life and the way I look at cooking. I no longer feel chained to the kitchen. And becoming a consultant has allowed me to share this freezer cooking plan with others and spread my own wings a bit further to help those struggling with the concept—veterans and beginners alike!

 

Enjoy the bonus recipes!

 


 

Stuffed Bell Peppers

This dish is a wonderful recipe for unexpected company!  In only 35 minutes, you can present your guests a unique, flavorful dish that looks like you spent so much time in the kitchen just for them!

 

Click here to view/print this recipe!

 

 

Chicken Tetrazzini

This recipe is adapted from the Luby's Cafeteria 50th Anniversary Recipe Collection, which is now out of print.

You may want to add chopped celery and sauté it with the onions. You can also mix in some sliced or chopped black olives with the mushrooms. After baking, this dish looks very pretty with some sliced green onions sprinkled over the top.
 

Click here to view/print this recipe!

 


Fiesta Soup

This is a wonderfully simple dish that can be served in a variety of ways. It makes a great meal on a cool day and is easily served in 20 minutes, or even less if reheated in a microwave!

 

Click here to view/print this recipe!

 

 

Dijon Chicken

Wow! What a easily-prepared recipe yielding so much flavor! This simple and economic dish is also a healthy alternative, being low in fat and sodium and worth only 3 Weight Watcher points.

 

Click here to view/print this recipe!



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Message Board Updates



The message boards continue to be popular!
 

Do you have some favorite recipes that work great for "breakfast on the go"?  Kid-friendly recipes are even better!  Share them here!

 

What side dishes do you serve with Mexican meals?

 

A child with an allergy to corn syrup needs some ideas for kid-friendly desserts.

 

Need some tips on how to fill your freezer bags without making a mess?


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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Recipe of the Month Contest Winner



Recipe of the Month... Baked French Toast


Our winner this month is Ambia with her recipe for Baked French Toast. Perfect for family breakfast, as well as company.

This recipe is different from other French Toast casseroles in a couple ways. First, the bread is cut into thick slices instead of cubes. And, the egg/milk mixture doesn't drown the bread. Which is nice, if you have a picky kid who objects to the taste of cooked eggs in recipes. The bread cooks up firm, not soggy, with some crisp edges. Most unique of all, the recipe makes it's own syrup!

This recipe goes together in no time at all... I could see making a bunch of the recipe in foil 8"x 8" or 9" x 13" pans (depending on your family size) and stacking them in the freezer to pull out for a hot, comforting breakfast. The leftovers re-heated nicely in the microwave too... my kids were going to fight over them!

I also liked the recipe because most of the ingredients were ones I had at home. The exception to that was a loaf of French Bread, but I can get that at my local Super Center for $1. So it isn't an expensive recipe to make either. Give it a try... I bet you will like it too!

Let's meet Ambia:

"I am wife to Brent and a Homeschool mom of 3 daughters, Alexis - 17, Olyvia - 14 and Taylor - 11.5! I have been using 30 Day since 1997 and have been a consultant for about 1.5 years. I am also the Homeschool Consultant for The AnchorRoom, a locally owned Christian book store in our area. I love to scrapbook, stamp, cross stitch, quilt and our family loves to camp. Cooking ahead really gives me a lot of free time to keep up with the busyness of my growing family and still have time for things I like to do!! My husband is self-employed and the money I save cooking this way really helps the budget. My goal is to cook quarterly. I love what I do and I love talking to people about what I love!!"

Click here to view/print the March Recipe of the Month.

 

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

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Freezer Cook of the Month Contest Winner



This month's winner is Susan Baldwin, with the following email:

I have been freezer cooking for years since my boys were little. I do not know how working Mom's have daily sit down dinners without 30 Day Gourmet! This Christmas I talked my parents to come for a visit for 10 days. My son came home from college which means his girl friend came home from college and was at the house for most meals, so two more for meals. I usually cook meals for four; now I had to cook not only dinner but lunch and breakfast for 8! I took the time off from work but did not want to spend it in the kitchen and did not want my Mom to feel she needed to help me in the kitchen. My Father has had Alzheimers for three years and I wanted my Mom to relax and enjoy the holiday. Thanks to 30 Day Gourmet, I was able to play cards, go shopping, take naps, read and spend time with my family.

However, one thing I did not expect: my Father liked to empty the dishwasher and since I was freezer cooking, there were not as many dirty dishes so I told the boys to use more cups! I received the nicest compliment from my husband last night when he thanked me for the variety of cookies we had during Christmas, I must have made 15 different kinds. The baking and cooking really paid off! This was a holiday with no stress, even with my parents, thanks to 30 Day Gourmet all the meals were planned. I can't wait until next year when they come again!

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? Do you have a funny story about your cooking day? How do you use it to help others? Email me at tammy@30daygourmet.com or post your story on our message boards to be entered in our contest. Congratulation, Susan!!

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Cookin' at the Keyboard with Shelley



The entire month of January, it seems, was consumed with all the things I abandoned weeks ago, in the midst of the holiday frenzy. I was busy tackling those incomplete projects, such as, the last few Christmas cards, the boxes accumulating in the garage, the next page in the scrapbook album, and my intriguing discussion of ingredient conversions. If that last item doesn’t sound familiar, or intriguing, read the article in the December newsletter; it will bring you up to speed. 

 

December’s discussion focused on conversions as related to weight and volume measures of ingredients. Conversions are also important when it comes to ingredients that aren’t easily purchased at the grocery store. Many of my recipes call for crumbled bacon or cooked and chopped chicken, neither of which I can buy off the shelf. I would prefer that the grocery report would tell me how many pounds of bacon or chicken to buy, instead of how many cups. These conversions take two steps to complete. Let’s start with the bacon. 

 

Locate “Bacon” in the ingredient list.

 

Under the Packaging tab enter “Pound Package”. 

 

Locate “Bacon, crumbled” in the ingredient list. 

 

Under the Conversion tab, enter the following:

 

From Amount  From Measure To Amount To Measure   To Ingredient
Cup   1  Pound   Bacon
16 Slices  1  Pound   Bacon
Pound    1  Pound   Bacon

 

These entries tell the software that if the recipe calls for 1 cup of crumbled bacon, add ½ pound of bacon to my grocery list. If the recipe calls for 8 slices of crumbled bacon, I want to see ½ pound of bacon on my grocery list. If the recipe calls for 1 pound of crumbled bacon, put 1 pound of bacon on my grocery list. No matter how the ingredient appears on my recipe, the software will do all the calculating, and tell me how many pounds of bacon to buy.

 


When it comes to cooked and chopped chicken, I prefer to buy chicken breasts.

Here are the entries to make for the conversion:

Locate “Chicken Breasts” in the ingredient list.

Under the Packaging tab enter “Pound Package”.

Locate “Chicken, cooked and chopped” in the ingredient list.

Under the Conversion tab, enter the following:

 

From Amount  From Measure To Amount To Measure   To Ingredient
Cup 1.5  Pound Chicken Breast
Pound  Pound Chicken Breast

 

If a recipe calls for 2 cups of cooked, chopped chicken, then the grocery report will tell me to buy 1½  pounds of chicken breasts. Otherwise, a pound of cooked chicken will equal a pound of raw chicken.

 


Locate “Onion” in the ingredient list.

 

Under the Packaging tab enter “Each”. 

 

Locate “Onion, chopped” in the ingredient list. 

 

Under the Conversion tab, enter the following:

 

From Amount  From Measure To Amount To Measure   To Ingredient
1 Cup 1 Each Onion
1 Each 1 Each  Onion

 

You can adjust the conversions based on the size of onions that you usually buy. Larger onions might yield more than a cup of chopped onion, while smaller onions might yield less.

 


When it comes to shredded cheese, I prefer to buy the cheese and shred it myself. If you buy cheese already shredded, the following conversion is not necessary.

Locate “Cheddar Cheese” in the ingredient list.

Under the Packaging tab enter as many varieties of packaging as desired,

e.g. “Pound Package”, “2 Pound Package”, “5 Pound Package

Locate “Cheddar Cheese, shredded” in the ingredient list.

Under the Conversion tab, enter the following:
 

From Amount  From Measure To Amount To Measure   To Ingredient
Cup 4 Ounce Cheddar Cheese
1 Pound  1 Pound  Cheddar Cheese

 

Again, you can adjust the conversion based on your preference (e.g. 1 cup of shredded cheese = 3 oz. cheese).

Whenever I find something on my grocery list that makes me stop and think about how much of that ingredient I need to purchase, I take the time to add a conversion. A little bit of “brain work” at the computer saves me the frustration of “guessing” at the grocery store.

Well, I think that’s all I can say about ingredient conversions. It must be time to fix the hem that’s coming out of my black skirt.

If you haven’t tried our Advantage Cooking software, click here for a 30 day free trial or to order your own copy.


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Final Thoughts



Shelley emailed me the other day that she was having spring fever... they had warm temps and she and her daughters were outside working in the yard. I said "Spring fever!?!?!? We've got snow, ice, kids home from school and wind chills in the teens!! What spring?!?" Well, today it's almost 60 here, so we're enjoying a touch of spring too! Hope winter's on it's way out for you too!

Easter is early this year, so check previous March and April issues of our Newsletter for help planning ahead for your Easter dinner, if you need it. My next issue of the News will offer help and ideas for those of you who are cooking for one or two.

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

      Tammy


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