Nanci Slagle

Nanci Slagle

Jul 252016
 

Here’s a recipe I’m trying to perfect. Since we went gluten free, it’s been hard to make a crust that tastes like anything but a piece of cardboard holding up whatever is on top of it. So I thought I would try a quinoa crust. It turned out really great but I want to play with the crust recipe a bit more before I publish it. Stay tuned!

Ingredients for my gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian quiche.

Ingredients for my gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian quiche.

Here's my quinoa crust. Nice eh?

Here’s my quinoa crust. Nice eh?

I added the filling and it's ready for the oven.

I added the filling and it’s ready for the oven.

Just out of the oven.

Just out of the oven.

The crust was good. Not quite as flavorful as I would like. I'm going to try it again and cook the quinoa in vegetable broth instead of water. I might add a few spices as well.

The crust was good. Not quite as flavorful as I would like. I’m going to try it again and cook the quinoa in vegetable broth instead of water. I might add a few spices as well.

The finished product. Yum. I added some dairy free sour cream to the top of mine.

The finished product. Yum. I added some dairy free sour cream to the top of mine.

Oct 262014
 

Since my husband was diagnosed with Parkinson’s almost 2 years ago, we have made some major changes to our diets. We visited a naturopath and had blood work done that told us Bob has intolerances to gluten, dairy and yeast. So I’ve been on a mission to change our eating habits. I’ve found, though, that I am able to use lots of our 30 Day Gourmet recipes. I just have to make some ingredient substitutions here and there.

A few days ago, I made the Stuffed Bell Peppers from our Big Book of Freezer Cooking. This is one of my husband’s favorites and was easy to adapt. I used organic ground beef, organic brown rice, organic diced tomatoes, Daiya cheddar cheese (dairy free), and organic tomato sauce. It was awesome!

Jun 182014
 

In our quest to eat more fresh fruits, I bought a mango the other day. Then I realized that I had no idea how to cut it. I just started slicing it up but hit a really hard section. Also, had a heckuva time trying to peel the skin off. (I know some of you are just shaking your heads right now. Just bein’ real.) So needless to say, I found this video very enlightening. Anyone else have suggestions for mangos? They have been .99/each at our stores this week. Great to freeze.

http://www.mango.org/how-to-cut-a-mango

Aug 172010
 

Freezer Cooking News from Nanci

Nanci 2009More “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.

1. FRUITS, VEGGIES and WHOLE GRAINS

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

bowl of fruit*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.

bagelthins*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

2. COOKING PLAN FOR THIS SCHOOL YEAR

fullfreezerIf 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)

3. HEALTHIER SNACKS

100caloriesnacksThis 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.

 

PeanutOatBars1. Peanut Oat Bars – my kids love Honey Nut Cheerios so these seem “familiar” to them.

 

 

 

Snackin' Mix

Snackin’ Mix

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

 

 

 

Quaker granola bars3. 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.

 

 

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

ChocolateMeltdownWe 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.

 

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

 

Jun 222010
 

Freezer Cooking News from Nanci

Nanci 2009Big Changes at 30 Day Gourmet
Whew! What a year it has been for 30 Day Gourmet already. We have:

Of course, when I list them as little bullet points it’s hard to see the hours and hours (not to mention $$ and $$) that these 3 changes represent. Thanks for your patience and a HUGE thanks to:

  • Carol, who has done a ton of work on each of these tasks.
  • Curtis, who has fielded hundreds of emails and phone calls from Carol and me about the new website.
  • Gaylen and Shelley, who have worked so hard to update the software and make it the best (and only!) freezer cooking software.

Thanks so much to those of you who have purchased the new products. It really does help “keep the lights on” at 30 Day Gourmet, Inc. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that I have been doing this for 15 years now.

Slagle Family Update

Slaglefamily1993Many of you have been following our family’s ups and downs for most of those 15 years. Wow! 17 years ago when I first began freezer cooking, I had an 8 year old, a 4 year old, a 3 year old, and a 6 month old.

My kids have great memories of watching me doing my “freezer cooking thing” for all of those years. I know I’ve said this before to you “young moms” out there but it’s as true as ever. Cherish the time. It goes by so quickly. I know that there are days when you feel like they will never grow up but they will. One of the joys of talking with them as adults is hearing how much they remember and talk about the food that we ate together. Now – no guilt trips here. We did plenty of fast food drive-thru’s and hot dog/boxed mac & cheese dinners. But it’s great when one of your kids brings a friend home and says “Hey, I was telling Sarah about that chicken and broccoli thing you make and she’s never had that. Can you make that? And that chocolate pie?”

Our kids are 25, 22, 20 and 17 now. Kaytee is in Charlotte, NC working as a security guard. Becky graduated from college in May and is working at a golf course in Ft. Wayne while she hunts for a “real” job. Adam is living at home this summer and lifeguarding at an IndyParks pool. Jenna will be a junior this year. Only a few more years and I will be “cooking for two”. Can’t imagine. Our last “all of us” family pix was taken a year ago on our last “all of us” vacation.

Life changes, doesn’t it? Kids grow up. People we love become ill. Hours on the job are increased or cut back. Neighbors come and go. We move. We stay. We lose weight. We put some of it back on.

fam pix 6-09I’ve found, though, that through all of these changes I can still make freezer cooking work for me and it always makes life easier. Sometimes I do it mostly because of crazy schedules, sometimes so that I can help others out, and sometimes for health issues. But it always works.

As your life changes, let your freezer cooking change too. It might mean using a different method (for me that meant switching from huge cooking marathons to 4 hour mini-sessions). It might mean using different recipes (I’ve discovered that skinny people can be unhealthy too so I’m putting us all on a “heavy on the fruit, veggies and whole grains” diet very soon). It might mean using different packaging (very few big family meals around here anymore but lots of individually packaged foods that can be pulled out on a moment’s notice). Whatever it means for you, just keep hanging in there.

And now it’s almost July. July spells doom for teachers J. For me, July 4th is the halfway point. I start school on August 11th.

Summer Cooking Marathon

I have started to plan my annual summer cooking day marathon!! J As most of you know, I only cook BIG once or twice a year (summer and Christmas break) and then fill in with mini-sessions every 3-4 weeks. My summer cooking marathon, though, usually involves a few weeks of these steps:

1. eat up what we can that is in the fridge and freezer.
2. do a “pantry” challenge and use what I already have to make freezer foods.
3. plan the week before the 4th of July.
4. buy meats that are on sale right before the 4th (now!) and bag them for marinades.
5. buy meats that are on super sales during the weekend of the 4th.
6. do my Cooking Day Marathon around the 4th but before Jenna’s birthday on the 6th and my anniversary on the 7th.
So – I’m on steps 2-4 right now. Using what I had, I recently made:

1. Cheese-Filled Shells (from BIG Book of Freezer Cooking)
2. Parmesan Crusted Tilapia (from BIG Book of Freezer Cooking)
3. Chicken Alfredo (from newsletter)
4. Creamy Ranch Potatoes (from newsletter)
5. Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls (from newsletter)
6. Oreo Truffles (from BIG Book of Freezer Cooking)
Then I checked my ads ending 6/30 and purchased:

1. boneless pork loin for $1.88 (Bourbon Mustard Pork Tenderloin)
2. boneless, skinless chicken breast for $1.79 (Lemonade Chicken and Elegant Chicken in Marinade)
3. chuck roast for $2.48 (Cranberry Chuck Roast)

These meats are in the fridge. I will buy more tomorrow and then do my Cooking Marathon on Friday/Saturday. Watch next month’s newsletter for my recipe list and marathon tips. I will try to post pictures through the day on the 30 Day Gourmet Facebook® Fan page also.

June Recipes

Here are some great recipes to help you enjoy these summer months to the fullest.

ChickenBaconSaladChicken Bacon Salad
Where did we get the idea that you can’t freeze Chicken Salad? I think it’s because of the mayonnaise but really the mayo freezes and thaws fine. It might be a tad runny when it thaws but you can always cut down on the amount of mayo a bit and then add some right before serving. I like crunchy things in my Chicken Salad hence the addition of bacon, grapes and almonds. yum!

 

 

PatrioticPiePatriotic Pie
I was looking for a red, white and blue dessert and came across this pie. It’s rich and dense and super filling but fruity. I chose to use a regular pie crust but it could also be made with a graham cracker crust. If you go with a graham cracker crust, though, I think it would probably fill two pies. Bob gave it a big “thumbs up”! (He knows that I’m taking most of his refined sugar away next week.)

 

 

 

Str-WatermelonSlushyStrawberry-Watermelon Slushies
Have you noticed that slushies and smoothies are everywhere? For years, Burger King, Dairy Queen and the gas stations were the only places that you could get a slushy but now Taco Bell and McDonald’s have jumped onto the slushy/smoothie bandwagon. If you watch the Taco Bell advertisement for the slushies, they even say at the end “contains no real fruit juice”. Bummer, eh?

Why not try to make your own slushies at home?

Here’s a little comparison:

Taco Bell Mango Strawberry Frutista Freeze 20 oz. 280 calories 70 g carbs/sugar
Taco Bell Mountain Dew 20 oz. 280 calories 73 g carbs/sugar
Dairy Queen Mr. Misty (slushy) 20 oz. 290 calories 74 g carbs/sugar
McDonald’s new Fruit Smoothies 22 oz. 330 calories 77 g carbs/sugar
30 Day Gourmet Straw/Watermelon Slushies 12 oz. 88 calories 19 g carbs/sugar

watermelon bowlInteresting, huh? Not to say that we should all quit slurping down our favorite fast food slushy. Just know that there are tons of recipes out there for ones made at home with “real” fruit and (obviously) they all freeze great! Here’s a link to some great recipes and tips at allrecipes.com.

By the way, I only used half of my watermelon for the slushies. I made watermelon balls from the other half and will then put them back into the hollowed out melon for serving (don’t freeze this).

 

Closing Comments from Nanci

That’s it for June. I need to get back to planning my Summer Cooking Marathon and working in the 30 Day Gourmet office. 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

PS – Did I mention that I went skydiving last month? If you want to see a pix of that, check out our 30 Day Gourmet Facebook® Fan page.

Jun 222010
 
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Nanci: Have you noticed that slushies and smoothies are everywhere? For years, Burger King, Dairy Queen and the gas stations were the only places that you could get a slushy but now Taco Bell and McDonald’s have jumped onto the slushy/smoothie bandwagon. If you watch the Taco Bell advertisement for the slushies, they even say at the end “contains no real fruit juice”. Bummer, eh?

Str-WatermelonSlushy

Click here to go to a Printer Friendly Page Click here to go to a Printer Friendly Page
Advantage Cooking owners click here to download this recipe.

Recipes

1

2

3

4

5

6

Servings

4

8

12

16

20

24

Ingredients
Frozen strawberries

2 C.

4 C.

6 C.

8 C.

10 C.

12 C.

Watermelon, cubed and seeded

4 C.

8 C.

12 C.

16 C.

20 C.

24 C.

Sugar, Splenda, or honey

1 T.

2 T.

3 T.

1/4 C.

1/4 C. + 1 T.

1/4 C. + 2 T.

 

Assembly Directions:
Put frozen strawberries into a blender. Cover and pulse until crushed. Add watermelon and blend until slushy. Add sugar and blend about 10 seconds. Serve immediately or freeze for later.

Freezing Directions:
There are lots of ways to freeze beverages. You can put the entire recipe into a freezer bag or a freezer container. If you use a bag, try to freeze it flat but don’t let your drink run all over the counter! If you use a freezer container, leave some space at the top for the beverage to expand as it freezes (it’s a science thing – trust me).

You can also purchase foam lidded cups at Costco, GFS or a restaurant supply store and freeze your drinks individually.

Nutritional Info: with sugar
Per Serving: 88 Calories; 1g Fat (6.9% calories from fat); 1g Protein; 21g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 5mg Sodium.
Exchanges: 1 Fruit.

Nutritional Info: with Splenda
Per Serving: 82 Calories; 1g Fat (7.4% calories from fat); 1g Protein; 19g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 11mg Sodium.
Exchanges: 1 Fruit.

Jun 222010
 
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Nanci: I was looking for a red, white and blue dessert and came across this pie. It’s rich and dense and super filling but fruity. I chose to use a regular pie crust but it could also be made with a graham cracker crust. If you go with a graham cracker crust, though, I think it would probably fill two pies. Bob gave it a big “thumbs up”! (He knows that I’m taking most of his refined sugar away next week.)

PatrioticPie

Click here to go to a Printer Friendly Page Click here to go to a Printer Friendly Page
Advantage Cooking owners click here to download this recipe.

Recipes

1

2

3

4

5

6

Servings

8

16

24

32

40

48

Ingredients
Pie crust, unbaked

1

2

3

4

5

6

Blueberry pie filling

21 oz.

42 oz.

63 oz.

84 oz.

105 oz.

126 oz.

Cream cheese

8 oz.

16 oz.

24 oz.

32 oz.

40 oz.

48 oz.

Powdered sugar

1 C.

2 C.

3 C.

4 C.

5 C.

6 C.

Whipped topping, thawed

12 oz.

24 oz.

36 oz.

48 oz.

60 oz.

72 oz.

Cherry pie filling

21 oz.

42 oz.

63 oz.

84 oz.

105 oz.

126 oz.

 

Assembly Directions:
Bake 10″ pie pastry; let cool to room temperature. Pour blueberry pie filling into shell; refrigerate for 30 minutes. Beat cream cheese and powdered sugar; beat until smooth. Fold in whipped topping. Spread cheese mixture over blueberry pie filling; refrigerate for 30 minutes. Spread cherry pie filling over cheese mixture. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before serving.

Freezing Directions:
Cover the pie with aluminum foil. Place pie in a gallon freezer bag. Seal, label, and freeze.

Serving Directions:
Thaw and enjoy!

Nutritional Info:
Per Serving: 563 Calories; 24g Fat (39.4% calories from fat); 4g Protein; 80g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 31mg Cholesterol; 295mg Sodium.
Exchanges: 1/2 Grain (Starch); 1/2 Lean Meat; 4-1/2 Fat; 4-1/2 Other Carbohydrates.

Jun 222010
 
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Nanci: Where did we get the idea that you can’t freeze Chicken Salad? I think it’s because of the mayonnaise but really the mayo freezes and thaws fine. It might be a tad runny when it thaws but you can always cut down on the amount of mayo a bit and then add some right before serving. I like crunchy things in my Chicken Salad hence the addition of bacon, grapes and almonds. Yum!

ChickenBaconSalad
Click here to go to a Printer Friendly Page Click here to go to a Printer Friendly Page
Advantage Cooking owners click here to download this recipe.

Recipes

1

2

3

4

5

6

Servings

6

12

18

24

30

36

Ingredients
Chicken, cooked and diced

2-1/2 C.

5 C.

7-1/2 C.

10 C.

12-1/2 C.

15 C.

Bacon strips, cooked and crumbled

4

8

12

16

20

24

Water chestnuts, sliced and drained

8 oz.

16 oz.

24 oz.

32 oz.

40 oz.

48 oz.

Celery, thinly sliced

1/2 C.

1 C.

1-1/2 C.

2 C.

2-1/2 C.

3 C.

Red or green grapes, halved

1 C.

2 C.

3 C.

4 C.

5 C.

6 C.

Almonds, sliced

1/2 C.

1 C.

1-1/2 C.

2 C.

2-1/2 C.

3 C.

Light mayonnaise or salad dressing

3/4 C.

1-1/2 C.

2-1/4 C.

3 C.

3-3/4 C.

4-1/2 C.

Dried parsley flakes

1 T.

2 T.

3 T.

1/4 C.

1/4 C. + 1 T.

1/4 C. + 2 T.

Minced onion

2 t.

1 T. + 1 t.

2 T.

2 T. + 2 t.

3 T. + 1 t.

1/4 C.

Lemon juice

1 t.

2 t.

1 T.

1 T. + 1 t.

1 T. + 2 t.

2 T.

Ground ginger

1/4 t.

1/2 t.

3/4 t.

1 t.

1-1/4 t.

1-1/2 t.

Worcestershire sauce

1 dash

1/8 t.

1/4 t.

3/8 t.

1/2 t.

1/2 t. + 1/8 t.

Assembly Directions:
Combine chicken, bacon, water chestnuts, celery, grapes, and almonds in large bowl. Set aside. In another bowl, whisk together remaining ingredients. Add to salad. Toss to coat.

Freezing Directions:
Put chicken salad in freezer bag or freezer container. Seal, label and freeze.

Serving Directions:
Thaw Chicken Bacon Salad in refrigerator overnight. Stir salad well. If salad is a bit dry, add more mayo.

Nutritional Info:
Per Serving: 264 Calories; 13g Fat (42.5% calories from fat); 23g Protein; 16g Carbohydrate; 2g Dietary Fiber; 66mg Cholesterol; 279mg Sodium.
Exchanges: 3 Lean Meat; 1 Vegetable; 1/2 Fruit; 1-1/2 Fat.

Nov 012009
 

Freezer Cooking News From Nanci

Nanci 2009Where 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 Holiday Freezer Cooking Sampler now.

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. . . .

Jenna & apples

 

Here she is now!

Jenna with apples 2009

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.

Apple freezer bags

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.

freeze chopped apples in quart sized freezer bags

 

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

1 med apple = 1 C. chopped

 

Bonus Recipes

piece of bundt cakeApple 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!

 

 

cupcakes close upApple Cider Cupcakes

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.

 

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