Hot Pizza Dip
 Skip Navigation LinksHome > Archives > 2010 > Monthly Newsletter
Chewin' the News from 30 Day Gourmet
Freezer Cooking News from Nanci
1. FRUITS, VEGGIES and WHOLE GRAINS
2. COOKING PLAN FOR THIS SCHOOL YEAR
3. HEALTHIER SNACKS
August Recipe
Closing Comments from Nanci
Kitchen Fun with Carol
Facebook® Questions
Contest Winner
Bonus Recipes
Closing Comments from Carol

Freezer Cooking News from Nanci



More “New School Year” Resolutions  

For teachers, mid-August is a bigger deal than January 1st. We live by a school year calendar rather than the lunar calendar. I suspect those of you who have children in school might know what I’m talking about. We tend to evaluate our past year and think about what went well and what we want to change for the next year. So here are my “new year’s” food resolutions:

1. Add fruits, veggies and whole grains to our diet on an EVERYDAY basis.

2. Do one mini-session per month so we can eat dinner from the freezer at least 5 nights a week.

3. Figure out how to work healthier snacks into our lives.



Return to Table of Contents

1. FRUITS, VEGGIES and WHOLE GRAINS



Here are some easy things that I have done to start making this happen:

*It seems like a “duh” thing but I made a list of the fruits and veggies that each person in our family likes. Then I put them on my grocery list each week. I also look for good deals on ones that I can buy and freeze for later use. Click here for some great tips on freezing fruits and veggies when they are in season.

*I mix up a large bowl of fruit (for us it’s apples, grapes, strawberries, blueberries and pineapple) and leave it in the refrigerator for the week. We’re all a lot more likely to eat fruit when it is already washed (and cold!). (We put bananas in just before eating since they brown easily.)

*Instead of eating big bowls of ice cream a few times a week, I’m making smoothies using frozen fruit, yogurt and fat free/low fat ice cream. I also make milkshakes using skim or Almond milk, flavored yogurt, and fat free/low fat ice cream or frozen yogurt.

Click here for good info and recipes for healthy smoothies.

Click here for some healthy milkshake recipes.

*Whole grains are (for me) just a matter of spending more money. Instead of buying cheaper bread, buns, and cereal I have started buying 100% whole grain sandwich bread, 100% whole grain thin bagels (have you tried these? They’re really good!), and more expensive whole grain, high fiber cereal that the family will eat. I’m also trying to use ½ brown rice and ½ white rice until I get the family used to it and then I’ll go 100% brown.

We have several great freezer recipes for healthy, whole grain foods as well. Check out:

Zucchini Carrot Muffins

Whole Wheat Apple Crunch Muffins from BBOFC

Whole Wheat Bread Dough Crust from Vegetarian Freezer Cooking

Breakfast Cookies from BBOFC



Return to Table of Contents

2. COOKING PLAN FOR THIS SCHOOL YEAR



If you didn’t follow my “summer cooking marathon” on the 30 Day Gourmet Facebook® fan page, you can still read all about it at www.facebook.com/30DayGourmetFreezerCooking. Scroll back to July 4th and 5th. I did 45 entrees for 4 of us and 10 entrees for 1 (my college son). Here’s a pix of my full freezer.

Life sure changes, though, when school starts. I looked at my personal and school schedules and decided that “come heck or high water” I’m going to cook on these breaks/weekends:

  • September 4-6 (Labor Day weekend)
  • October 1-3 (Fall Break)
  • November 25-28 (Thanksgiving Break)
  • December 17-January 3 (Christmas Break – I will put enough food in the freezer during one BIG cooking session to last until after the school play that I direct in mid-March)
  • March 25-April 2 (Spring Break)


Return to Table of Contents

3. HEALTHIER SNACKS



This is a big problem in the Slagle family. We just love our snacks and most of them are of the “unhealthy” variety. Changing what we eat for “meals” is one thing but taking away our snacks and handing us a handful of celery and a 100 calorie pack of Doritos is a declaration of war. My husband and kids are all thin but they need to be getting their “energy” from good calories. I, on the other hand, need to lose some weight so my calories need to count in lots of ways. Here are some ideas I’m trying:

  • Stop eating whole tubes of Pringles in one sitting but forget buying the 100 calorie packages. I’m sure you’ve realized that you are just paying someone else a lot of money to put high calorie snacks into little bags for you. If only they would send a skinny lady along to slap my hand every time I reach for another 100 calorie bag of Oreos.

 

  • Make your OWN 100 (or whatever) calorie packs of snacks. Use the nutritional info that our recipes all provide to package your snacks ahead of time. Here are some great recipes that I have started using in place of some of the “not so healthy” snacks that we eat.

1. Peanut Oat Bars – my kids love Honey Nut Cheerios so these seem “familiar” to them.

2. Snackin’ Mix from BBOFC – Freezer great and is much cheaper and healthier than the store bought version.



3. Chewy Granola Bars – We seem to eat a lot of granola bars at our house now. This recipe has lots of healthy ingredients that can “tide us over” until mealtime.



Return to Table of Contents

August Recipe



Well, just in case you think that the Slagles may be giving up sickeningly sweet snacks forever, trust me – we haven’t. They just taste so much better when they are a “treat” rather than a 10 pm ritual.

Triple Chocolate Meltdown Copycat

We usually take our kids out to a restaurant for their birthdays but wow – is that ever getting expensive now that they don’t order from the kids’ menu. And if you add desserts for everyone (can you really deny them dessert on their birthday) the bill goes up another $25. Our family loves Applebee’s Triple Chocolate Meltdown but at $5 each with no volunteers to share, it’s a bit spendy. This year, I went looking for a recipe and found several. The one below was adapted from a recipe I found on www.thepioneerwoman.com. She uses a whipped cream topping but my family wanted the rich, chocolate topping just like Applebee’s.

I’m guessing that these would freeze easily although I have to admit that someone ate the extra before I could put it in the freezer and test my theory.

Click here to view/print this recipe!



Return to Table of Contents

Closing Comments from Nanci



That’s it for now. Next month I’ll show you some pix and recipes geared toward “College Student Cooking” or “Cooking for One”. I bought our son a small George Foreman grill this summer and we’re learning how to use it together. He’s also learning about packing healthy lunches.

On a final note, I want to congratulate Christine Bowman from Austin, Texas who recently won a $25 gift card for Olive Garden/Red Lobster when her review of the Big Book of Freezer Cooking was chosen on the 30 Day Gourmet Facebook® fan page. If you aren’t a 30 Day Gourmet Facebook® follower, join us now. It’s great fun!

If you haven’t purchased one of our new books yet . . . . well, you really should! The recipes are pretty amazing and with the layflat binding and a photo of each. . . It’s just a great book for freezer cooks! Here’s a reminder of our products:

Keep sending us your recipes, suggestions and comments. We love hearing from you!

Nanci

office@30daygourmet.com



Return to Table of Contents

Kitchen Fun with Carol



Hello everyone! Wow! The summer has just flown by. It's hard to believe that it is almost September. Everyone is talking about going back to school and the change of the seasons. My boys start their second year of college in just a couple weeks. We are so proud of them!

 

The change of the season always prompts me to do a cooking session. This summer I decided to stock up on meats as they went on sale all summer long. I stocked up on boneless skinless chicken breast (1.60 a pound), salmon (3.69 a pound), tilapia (2.99 a pound), and pork loin chops (1.49 a pound). I also got an incredible on day deal on ground beef. I always check the meat department when I stop into the grocery store - even if I am going there to purchase something totally different. You never know when you will run into a manager's sale that is not advertised.

 

I shared my recipe lists on the 30 Day Gourmet Facebook® fan page as I had each cooking day. I also used the new version of the Advantage Cooking Software for this cooking day. I love the grocery list. It's great to take the list and go through your pantry to eliminate the items that you already have on hand. This can really save a lot of money on your cooking day. I also like the option of saving the grocery list as an Excel spreadsheet. Once you save it, it is very convenient to edit it before you go shopping.

 

Here's the final tally of everything I have made for the next 3 months.

 

Beef:

  • Hamburgers (3)

  • Lasagna Rollups (2) from BBOFC

  • Perfect Little Meatballs (2 - enough for 24 meatball sandwiches)

  • Meatloaf (2) from the Members area

 

Pork and Fish:

  • Parmesan Crusted Tilapia (3) from BBOFC

  • Shrimp Carbonara (1) from BBOFC

  • Strawberry Glazed Pork Chops (2)

  • Sweet Apple Pork Chops (2) from the Slow Cooker Freezer Favorites eBook

  • Sweet and Simple Salmon Marinade (2) from BBOFC

  • Tilapia and Mango Salsa (3) from BBOFC

 

Poultry:

 

Soups and Sandwiches:

 

 

One of the best features of the software is the Recipe Inventory Worksheet that it creates for you. Just print it off after your cooking day and hang it on your freezer. As you remove recipes from the freezer check off the recipe on the list. Then you know exactly what you have on hand in the freezer. Click here to see a sample of my list from my last cooking session.

 

My next step in the cooking process is to create my menu. I take the list of recipes from the Recipe Inventory Worksheet and lay out my 4 week rotation. If I only have one or two of a recipe, I pair it up with other recipes to last for three rotations of the menu. Here's what my fall menu looks like:

 

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday
Ravioli Parmesan Crusted Tilapia Sweet Apple or Strawberry Glazed Pork Chops Chicken Cordon Bleu or Broccoli and Cheese Chicken Hamburgers BBQ Chicken Pizza or Chicken Quesadillas Bowtie Soup, Hamburger Soup or BBQ Beef
Turkey and Noodles Salmon Soft Tacos Parsley Parmesan Chicken Lasagna Rollups or Shrimp Carbonara Chicken Cranberry Wreath
Tuscan White Bean Soup Tilapia with Mango Salsa Chicken Fingers Chicken and Broccoli Lo Mein Breakfast Egg Casserole Meatball Subs
Italian Chicken

Sloppy Joes

Grilled Chicken Parmesan Meatloaf Chicken Florentine Lasagna Oriental Sesame Chicken

 

Want to get even more organized? Use the Advantage Cooking Software to create your base grocery shopping list for each week. Create a cooking day for each week in the menu rotation. From that, create a Grocery Report for "Serving Day Ingredients Only" and PRESTO you have a grocery list for the week. Cross off what you don't need and add additional items not from the menu. It's a great way to get organized!



Return to Table of Contents

Facebook® Questions




If you have been following us on the 30 Day Gourmet Facebook® fan page, you have seen some of the great questions that have been posted about 30 Day Gourmet, our recipes, and our new book, the Big Book of Freezer Cooking. I thought it would be great to share some of these questions with you.

Q: I have the older "manual" that I bought about 10 yrs ago or so, does the new book have new recipes, or is it the same basic stuff. I have a few of the ebooks, so wondering if it's worth the $.

A: The new book is totally different from the old book. Here are some of the changes that were made in the Big Book of Freezer Cooking:

  • The book uses concealed ring binding so it lies flat and is easier to use.

  • The cooking and assembly processes have been updated. We've added all new color photos of this process.

  • The Tally Sheet has been completely redone to make it easier to copy and use at home.

  • The book contains over 150 recipes - more than twice as many than were included in the Freezer Cooking Manual.

  • The majority of the recipes are new and have never been published in a prior version of our manual or on our website.

  • Every recipe includes a color photograph of the final product.

  • We also include nutritional analysis for every recipe.


Q:
Thighs and drumsticks are on sale for .99 a pound. I need help with some recipes to use for these. Cooking is something that doesn't "click" with me, so I don't know if I could use these instead of breasts in recipes. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.

A: When I buy thighs and drumsticks on sale, I usually end up cooking them in bulk in the crock pot. When they are done, I pull the meat off the bone and use it in any recipe that calls for cooked chicken such as Chicken Tetrazzini, Chicken/Turkey Patties, Chicken Noodle Soup, Chicken and Noodles, Chicken Quesadillas, etc. I just put 1/2 to 1 C. of water to the crock pot and sprinkle some seasonings on top - maybe garlic powder and either poultry seasoning or Italian Seasoning. I cook them with the skins on. Cook them until they are tender and the meat is falling off the bone (3 or 4 hours on high). Once they are done, take them out and remove the meat from the bone. I strain, defat and save the stock that is left in the bottom of the crock pot. This is great for soup.

Keep asking questions! We love helping everyone!



Return to Table of Contents

Contest Winner



I know from experience that packing lunches and having homemade snacks on hand for after school can save you a lot of money. For the August Freezer Cook of the Month contest, we asked you to post your favorite lunch recipes, snack recipes, or back to school cooking day stories on the 30 Day Gourmet Facebook® fan page or on the Cook's Corner Message Board. The contest winner will receive a free copy of 30 Day Gourmet's Big Book of Freezer Cooking!

And our Freezer Cook of the Month Contest winner for August is Lou! She had a great posting on the 30 Day Gourmet Facebook® fan page about her back to school cooking day. Let's hear from Lou:

I just finished a back to school session making: Ham/turkey w/ cheese, peanut butter and choc spread sandwiches (cut out with a fun sandwich cutter), half a huge loaf of whole wheat bread for each flavor. I have also done 2 dozen bread roll sandwiches (freezer sandwiches from the web site for DH), 1 batch of whole wheat granola bars w/ choc chips and nuts double cut so the kids don't just eat that at lunch. I also made a double batch of zucchini bread and baked it in my mini loaf tray pans. It made 13 loaves which I then sliced into mini slices; they then went 3 to a snack size bag and in the freezer - 76 slices in total! The fruit dip has been made and portioned into dip containers and frozen and 4 rolls of different cookie dough will be taken out the freezer today and made into mini cookies. Also 8 bags of macaroni and cheese either to be put into a thermos or for a quick after school dinner.

I find mini 'tasters' of sweet stuff for lunch are best, that way they can have variety without filling up on dessert.

Great ideas! Thanks for sharing, Lou.

For some more helpful information on packing lunches, read the September 2004 newsletter, the September 2005 newsletter, the September 2008 newsletter, the Do's and Don'ts of Packed Lunches and my ebook Freezer Lunches To Go. Good luck this school year!

You too can get in on the winning by posting your funny story, good deed, cooking tip, assembly day story, favorite recipe, etc. on the Cook's Corner Message Board under the appropriate category, on the 30 Day Gourmet Facebook® fan page, or email it to me at carol@30daygourmet.com to be entered in our contest. Next month we are looking for your favorite back to school recipes!

Good luck, everyone!



Return to Table of Contents

Bonus Recipes



  

Perfect Little Meatballs

Just like the recipe title says, these are the perfect little meatballs! I love how they stay together even after reheating on serving day. It's a very versatile recipe. I especially like to use them for meatball sandwiches. They are great for packing for lunch. Send them in a warmed thermos with some spaghetti sauce. Include a hotdog bun or a pita pocket and some shredded mozzarella cheese and you have a wonderful lunch!

 

 

Click here to view/print this recipe!

   
     
  

Strawberry Glazed Pork Chops

This recipe makes the moistest pork chops you have ever tasted! I grilled the pork chops and they came out beautiful. The flavor is subtle and sweet. You can also bake them in the oven.

 

 

 

Click here to view/print this recipe!

 

   


Return to Table of Contents

Closing Comments from Carol



I hope you enjoyed my fall cooking session. I would love to hear about yours. Post your stories and recipes on the Cook's Corner Message Board, on the 30 Day Gourmet Facebook fan page, or email me at carol@30daygourmet.com. Or do you have any other topics that you would like me to cover? Email me at carol@30daygourmet.com. I enjoy hearing from you!

See you in August.

Carol



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!