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Homemade Tomato Soup

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So, I try to have “meatless” night once a week.  When we would have grilled cheese, I always got a can of condensed tomato soup for my hubby to dip his sandwich in.  I didn’t care for the soup all that much.  Then, someone introduced us to this recipe.  Now, the entire family dips grilled cheese sandwiches in this delicious soup!  We love it.

**I haven’t tried freezing it yet.**

http://www.theprairiehomestead.com/2012/12/thick-creamy-tomato-soup.html

Butternut Squash Soup

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We started making this soup last fall when we had over 20 butternut squash growing voluntarily in our garden!  I say voluntarily because the butternut squash we threw out the year before in our compost bin starting growing out of the compost bin!  We had only tried this veggie once or twice so we had to figure out what to make with it.  This soup is meatless and full of veggies.  My husband thinks it needs some seasonings/spices, but I’m not an adventurous cook and I’m not sure what would go with the flavors.  We top it with salt and cheddar cheese because the potato flavor in this is strong.  Since we like cheese on potato soup, too, it just seems to go with this!  The soup freezes great and reheats well.

Enjoy!

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/77981/butternut-squash-soup-ii/

 

Homemade Granola

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Homemade Granola

(from Family Fun Magazine)
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1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup brown sugar
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1/2 tsp. salt
4 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
1/3 cup wheat germ
1 bag of dried mixed fruit bits
 
-Preheat oven to 300 F.  Line two cookie sheets with aluminum foil.
-In large bowl, combine the honey, brown sugar, butter, and salt.  Add the oats and wheat germ, then stir the mixture until it’s evenly blended.
-Spread the granola onto the prepared cookie sheets and bake for 20 minutes, sirring once halfway through to keep it from burning and encourage even baking.
-Remove pans from the oven and stir the granola again.  Bake 10 minutes more…keep an eye on the granola during this period and stir it occasionally so that it doesn’t burn.
-Remove the granola from the oven and stir it one last time.  Allow it to cool completely on the pans, about 15 minutes.  When it has cooled, stir in the dried fruit.  
-For freezing, I don’t add the dried fruit.  I just freeze the oat mixture by itself.  I allow to cool and then place in Ziploc freezer bags and stick it in the freezer.

5 things I’m loving this week

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5 things I’m loving this week:

1. A date with my oldest son!  Sometimes, trying to spend time one on one with each of your four kids can be difficult.  It was a blast squeezing in some time this morning with W.  He dressed up a little bit and was such a gentleman!  He says his dad taught him and I’m glad he’s taking it to heart.  <3   What did we do?  Breakfast at Dunkin Donuts and window shopping for a hamster.  He’s hoping for one for Christmas.  What a delightful kid!

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2. My twelve year old daughter telling me that I “have to read” a book she’s enjoying.  Its the fifth installment in the Land of Stories series and we both are loving this series!  (If you are looking for good chapter books, our family also cannot recommend enough the Penderwicks series.)



3. Getting TWO dinners in my freezer!  I made a triple batch of beef stroganoff this week and was able to put two meals worth in the freezer!  I love stocking the freezer!

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4. Snickers bars.  Really.  It is not a good idea to keep chocolate in our house.  I will eat it super fast!

5. Fun with friends and family.  We celebrated our youngest turning 3, our 7 year old making the dance team, spent Monday night with relatives and Friday night with friends, and tonight is DATE NIGHT!  It was a full, exhausting week, but so so good.  God is good!

 

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Sept. 9, 2016 Menu Plan

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To keep things simple around my house, I typically loosely follow these guidelines for meal planning:

1 Tex/Mex dish

1 pasta dish

1 meatless dish

1 night for leftovers

Sometimes these guidelines overlap.  Like this week the Tex/Mex dish is also the meatless dish.

I also try to use my slow cooker at least one meal per week and if it is good weather, I also try to ask my husband to grill at least once per week.

To keep it easy, I repeat meals every 4-6 weeks.

**I do not use original recipes very often.  I frequently borrow recipes and am happy to link to the original or give credit where due.**

***I only planned 6 nights as we usually have enough food leftover for another day of leftovers or we are at an event or go out to eat.  I suspect you are the same way.***

I am trying to design the meals so you could prep everything on Sunday for your entire week.  A printable version of the plan is at the bottom of this post.

 

#1-Hawaiian pizza pasta, salad, bread (rolls, garlic bread, etc…)     –This is an easy pasta dish to double and freeze.

#2-taco dip, yellow rice, corn     –This is a favorite every time I take it to an event.

#3-GRILL-garlic balsamic pork chops, zucchini boats, baked potatoes    –We get so many compliments whenever we make these pork chops.  The flavor is amazing!  The zucchini boats are super easy.  Cut small zucchini in half and brush with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.  Then grill.

#4-SLOW COOKER–cream cheese chicken, rice, green beans    –A great comfort food and super kid friendly.  I have made it several times with homemade cream of chicken soup if you don’t like canned.  Our favorite way to make fresh green beans….wash and snap the beans, saute in olive oil and sprinkle with seasoned salt while cooking.

#5-Breakfast for dinner–french toast, fruit, bacon     –Use your favorite basic or fancy french toast recipe.  I like Better Homes and Gardens for classics like this.

#6-Leftovers    –Our kids love leftovers when they can choose what they have for dinner.

 

TO PREP ON SUNDAY:

1.  Assemble the Hawaiian pizza pasta according to the recipe except do not bake.

2.  Assemble the taco dip’s 3 layers…bean, cheese/sour cream mixture, and cheddar cheese.  Chop tomatoes, olives, green onions and put in containers for the fridge.

3.  Mix up the marinade for the pork chops and place both in a container or freezer bag in the refrigerator.

4.  Mix up the cream cheese mixture for the cream cheese chicken and place both in a container or freezer bag in the refrigerator.

5.  Now you are ready for a week of dinners!

 

Printable version:  sept-9-2016-meal-plan

Check out the last meal plan HERE!

*This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for supporting Fearless Freezer Cooking!*

Touchdown Taco Dip

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This recipe is one of our favorite meals.  It makes a great meatless meal addition to any menu plan.  I serve it as a main dish and serve prepackaged yellow rice and frozen corn as sides.

It is from my time years ago as a Pampered Chef Consultant.  Whenever I take this dip to small groups, folks go crazy.  It is super tasty!

Pampered Chef’s Touchdown Taco Dip

You can make your own refried beans for use in this recipe for just pennies.  I have followed these instructions several times for delicious refried beans.  You can freeze the homemade beans in pint or quart size Ziploc freezer bags.

Super easy and delicious!

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Pita Chips

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I hope you have a good hummus recipe you enjoy.   I have tried several, but still go back to my old store bought favorite…Sabra plain/original hummus.  Anyway, you are going to want some hummus to go with these, though they taste great without it, too.

PITA CHIPS

–Take a package of pita bread.  I buy Tofuyan Whole Wheat Pita Bread.  Cut each “loaf” of pita bread into wedges.  I use a pizza cutter for this.  Then separate the sides of each wedge into 2 triangles.  Lay these out on a cookie sheet.  I use my Pampered Chef bar pans, so your cooking time/temp might need to be adjusted for metal pans.

–Then I take some olive oil and sprinkle or brush it onto each pita chip.  Then I sprinkle some coarse salt like kosher or sea salt on each pita chip.

–Then pop the cookie sheets/bar pans into the preheated oven.  Cook at 400 for around 10 minutes give or take a few.  I like the pita chips to get golden in color.  If they get brown, they are too done for me.

 

I’ll be honest, I could eat the whole pan of these with or without hummus.  They are just what I need to satisfy that craving for salty and crunchy snacks.  Plus, they have to be better for you than potato chips, right?

I have frozen them with success, but honestly, we eat them up within a day or two of making them.  And to package them so that they won’t break takes up a lot of room in the freezer.

ENJOY!

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