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Chewin' the News from 30 Day Gourmet
Freezer Cooking News From Nanci
Appletime In Indiana
Bonus Recipes
Closing Comments From Nanci
Kitchen Fun With Carol
Bonus Recipes From Carol
Closing Comments From Carol

Freezer Cooking News From Nanci



Where did the fall go? Ours was beautiful here in Indiana though it may be coming to a close soon. Most of the leaves are down but we still had temps in the 60’s today and the Colts went 8-0 on Sunday. Great fall to be a Hoosier!

Things have been busy as usual at the Slagle house. It’s a little strange adjusting to life with just one child at home. Kaytee moved to Los Angeles on August 1st to hopefully work for the LAPD but the terrible economy out there has her still filling out applications and sending out resumes. Becky is almost finished with her 6.5 month internship in DC and is more than ready to head back to the Midwest for her last semester of college. Adam is enjoying the Engineering program at Purdue and the house that he is renting with two friends from high school. Jenna is 7 months post-op now and is doing great. We ride into school together every day and she’s enjoying being a sophomore.

Big Changes Coming for 30 Day Gourmet

A few of you have emailed wondering if we are dialing things back here at 30 Day Gourmet since you haven’t heard from us for awhile. Quite the contrary!

We’ve been working on some big changes here at 30 Day Gourmet but I have hesitated to tell you about them too soon since it always seems to take me 3 times as long to get something done as I think it will? But here goes!

New Website
Carol and I have been working with our webmaster, Curtis, for several months now to update the website. Of course, it was a much bigger project than we all had anticipated. We hope to launch the site by 1/1/2010. You’ll love it!

New Cookbook
Yes, we’re also working on a new cookbook. Carol and I have been talking for quite awhile about the need for a more comprehensive book that will offer several needed features:



  • layflat binding (hardcover with a spiral inside binding)
  • process info including pictures and meal planning tips
  • color photos (pictures of EVERY recipe and all in COLOR)
  • more recipes (150 total!)
  • healthier ingredients
  • more ethnic recipes


New Software

Gaylen and Shelley are working on a new version of the software that will be compatible with the new book as well as the Vista and Windows 7 platforms. It will be available sometime after the new manual is available. We will keep you posted!

Meanwhile . . .

We will be selling the current version of The Freezer Cooking Manual from 30 Day Gourmet until our supply runs out. I have about 200 new books here in the office ($15 each) and also about 150 “slightly damaged” books that have a few scratches on the cover from shipping. I’ll be selling these for $10 each on our website.

Holidays are Coming Up Soon!

Are you panicking about hosting Thanksgiving dinner and wondering how you will get everything cooked in the right quantity at the right time? Relieve some of the stress by making all or some of the meal ahead of time.

Our Holiday ebook is only $6.95 and can be downloaded immediately. You can access the recipe list and download the free sampler now.



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Appletime In Indiana



It’s that time of year again! The apple harvest is plentiful here in Indiana. The Slagles have always had this family tradition of going to our local Beasley’s Apple Orchard once in the fall and buying 2-3 pecks of apples along with some sticks of old-fashioned candy that they keep on a shelf in jars behind the counter. I realized that my October 2002 newsletter featured that very event along with a pix of 9 year old Jenna posing in the apple store. Of course, being the nostalgic mom that I am, Jenna and I drove (actually Jenna drove!) there today after school for a reenactment.



 

Here she is 7 years ago. And. . . .


 

Here she is now!

Back in 2002 I paid $6 for a peck of apples. Today, I paid $9.50 which equals about .95 a pound. That’s the same price that the chain grocery stores charge for cooking apples. Why not support your local orchards?!

Click here for a great list of apples varieties and their uses. The best apples for freezing are Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, and Honey Crisp.

Here are a few quick tips for buying apples in season and freezing them:

1. Always put apples in the refrigerator as soon as you can. They will keep MUCH longer that way.

2. To freeze apples whole (yes, you can do that!) wash the apples thoroughly. Then, freeze whole and unpeeled on a tray. Transfer to freezer bags once frozen.

3. Don’t plan to freeze apples, thaw, and then slice and eat. The texture changes and you won’t like them. They are fine to use for apple butter, apple sauce, pies, cakes, baked apples and other baked dishes.


4. I never peel my apples before freezing. I just wash them and then cut them up according to my purpose. I slice some for pie filling and chop others in small pieces for muffins and cakes. This article gives some great info about the nutritional benefits (more than just the added fiber!) of apple peels.

5. If you’re worried about the apples turning brown before they freeze, you can always dip them in lemon juice first.

 

Here are some fast facts about apples:

 

  • 1 peck = 10-12 pounds = 30-36 medium apples
  • 1 pound of apples = 4 small OR 3 medium OR 2 large
  • 1 pound of apples = 3 C. diced
  • 1 medium apple = 1 C. chopped apple

 



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Bonus Recipes



Apple Bundt Cake

I decided to tackle one of my cooking “mountains” and make a bundt cake. I can’t remember how many years it had been since I blew the dust off my pan, but I’m happy to say that this cake turned out great!

Try this Apple Bundt Cake for yourself.




Another great new apple recipe I made is Apple Cider Cupcakes. These cupcakes are super moist and really taste great. They actually taste good without the butter cream frosting too so if you want to save some calories, try them “plain” or with a dusting of powdered sugar on top.



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Closing Comments From Nanci



We already have LOTS of recipes on our site that contain apples. I’ve listed several of them below. Don’t forget – you can always sort our recipes on the site by going to the “recipes” tab and then searching through the categories.



Have a great Thanksgiving! My brother (from Alaska) and my sister (from Maine) are coming to Indy next week to spend some time with our dad who was recently diagnosed with ALS. We will have an early Thanksgiving dinner together – probably the first time that we have done that in at least 30 years. I will pull Sweet Potato Soufflé out of the freezer to bake and take. I’ll buy an extra turkey to cook, slice and freeze (can’t beat the price!).

I’m really hoping to do a cookie/dessert exchange with my female colleagues this year in time for Christmas. I’m also hoping to get at least 9 of them interested in doing a Co-op Cooking session with me too. We did it one other time a few years ago and many of them have told me what a big stress reliever it was to know that they had 10 entrees ready to go in the freezer.

Thanks for hanging in there with us! Many of you have been 30 Day Gourmets for more than 10 years now. Keep sending us your recipes, suggestions and comments. We love hearing from you!

Nanci

office@30daygourmet.com



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Kitchen Fun With Carol



Hello everyone! It is amazing to me how fast time flies by. My twin boys started college this fall. Josh is studying Mechanical Engineering at Marion Technical College and Steven is studying Industrial and Graphic Design at The Ohio State University. We are so proud of them!

As Nanci mentioned in her newsletter, we have been very busy working on the new website, cooking like crazy testing new recipes, and taking lots of pictures for the new manual. Some days it felt like I was living the movie Julie and Julia! (I can relate to the scene where she sat on the kitchen floor and cried. I tried some recipes four or five times before they were just right.) We are in the final stages of putting the recipes together and I think you will enjoy them! I know that we have already added some new favorites to our family's monthly menu.

Family Traditions
This time of the year is so special to me. It is wonderful to spend time with friends and family. There are so many special memories that revolve around food. For example, I love the potluck that our small group always has before the holidays. Sometimes we have a "theme dinner" and have everyone bring a dish that goes with the theme. You never know what you are going to get but it so fun sharing. We have also done a progressive dinner where each person hosts a certain course of the meal. We travel house to house to sample each other's cooking. Some other traditions include making loaves of banana bread and spiced nuts for my Dad at Christmas, my sister-in-law and I competing for bragging rights over who makes the best apple pie, and my mom always making a batch of Cherry Noels just for me every year. My kids always make cinnamon rolls for breakfast on Christmas morning. I also enjoy spending a day with my girlfriends or my kids making all kinds of different cookies. In the past, my kids have invited their friends over to the house to make iced sugar cookies together. I make the dough and they take it from there. It is such a fun activity and even teenagers enjoy decorating sugar cookies. There are so many good memories.

Every family has their favorite recipes that you just can't do without for the holidays. We sat around the table at my mom's house and discussed what everyone was bringing to the meal. It was a fun conversation! It was great to hear what recipes everyone "had" to have to make it Thanksgiving. This year I am in charge of breads and the veggie platter with Grandma's recipe for the dip. I am thinking about bringing Crescent Rolls and Hot Rolls. (I might try making wheat instead of white this year.) They are super easy to make. I am also bringing some Chocolate Pecan Pumpkin Bread (one of the recipes from the new manual) and some Pumpkin Butter. The recipe for the Pumpkin Butter is below.

We always try to plan a craft project for the kids. One of my favorite places for ideas is Family Fun magazine's web site, familyfun.go.com. Take a look at their Thanksgiving craft page, familyfun.go.com/thanksgiving/thanksgiving-craft-decorations. The tabletop luminaries look great! This would be such a great idea for Christmas as well. Just replace the turkey with Christmas trees, ornaments, or snowflakes.


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Bonus Recipes From Carol



Apple Crumble Pie

This is one of my all time favorite pies. I like how it forms the crumbles form a crisp topping and the spice mix is great! Here are three of my secrets that I have learned making this pie:


  • Each apple variety is good for different things so pick a variety good for what you are making. I used Gala apples to make my pie. They are good for both baking and freezing.
  • After you pour the apple mixture into the crust, press it firmly down into the crust. You want the apple mixture to be as compact as possible.
  • Also, make sure you limit the amount of liquid used in the fruit mixture. This helps the pie setup properly during baking.

Good luck baking the perfect Apple Crumble Pie! Click here to view/print this recipe!



Pumpkin Butter
I always make apple butter in the fall. This year I tried pumpkin butter. It is a great change of pace for the fall. This recipe is especially good on toast and on muffins. It is also a quick and easy hostess gift if you are visiting someone else this holiday. One batch will make three pint size gift jars. Look for the decorative pint jars at your local store.


FYI - I just read an article in our local newspaper this morning about a pumpkin shortage. They are reporting that there will not be much pumpkin availability after November. So if you want to make your favorite pumpkin recipes throughout the winter you need to stock up on canned pumpkin now!

Click here to view/print this recipe!


 



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Closing Comments From Carol



Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope you enjoy the recipes and this holiday season. Enjoy this time with your family and friends. I am looking for your favorite holiday recipes. Post your favorite recipes on the Cooks' Corner Message Board or email me at carol@30daygourmet.com.


See you in December.

Carol



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