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couponqueen
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Joined: 14 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 3:51 pm    Post subject: MMMM - Homemade Freezer Meals! Reply with quote

I LOVE knowing that my freezer has already prepared meals & the best part...they're homemade & much less than store prices. I am new to this, but am having a ball!

PS: While it's not necessary to own any freezer foods books, it's definitely helpful. Many of your questions will be answered, plus you'll find several menu plans complete with shopping lists and instructions.

Cook Once a Week, Eat Well Every Day: Make-Ahead Meals that Transform Your Suppertime Circus into Relaxing Family Time
http://amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1569243395/stockpilesrus-20

Frozen Assets: How to Cook for a Day and Eat for a Month
http://amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1891400614/stockpilesrus-20

Month of Meals : One Day to a Freezerful of Entrees
http://amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0965952800/stockpilesrus-20

Don't Panic-dinner's in the Freezer: Great-tasting Meals You Can Make Ahead
http://amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0800730550/stockpilesrus-20

Mix and Match Recipes: Creative Ideas for Busy Kitchens
http://amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/189140007X/stockpilesrus-20
How to take "nothing in the pantry" and turn it into a meal! Don’t stare at your sparsely stocked pantry in horror--simply get creative with these Mix and Match solutions. You’ll also find creative kitchen crafts, quick tips, grocery savings and much more.

The Everything Meals For A Month Cookbook: Smart Recipes To Help You Plan Ahead, Save Time, And Stay On Budget (Everything: Cooking)
http://amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1593373236/stockpilesrus-20

Dream Dinners: Turn Dinnertime into Family Time with 100 Assemble-and-Freeze Meals
http://amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0060784229/stockpilesrus-20

Real Food Daily Cookbook: Really Fresh, Really Good, Really Vegetarian
http://amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1580086187/stockpilesrus-20

Too Broke to Shop and Cant Cook Anyhow: A How to Guide to Frugal Cooking
http://amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1591134285/stockpilesrus-20

Beating the High Cost of Eating: The Essential Guide to Supermarket Survival
http://amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0882907867/stockpilesrus-20

Dining on a Dime: 1000 Money Saving Recipes and Tips
http://amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0974255211/stockpilesrus-20

Please add your 'Freezer Foods' Recipes...
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Last edited by couponqueen on Wed Aug 16, 2006 4:39 pm; edited 7 times in total
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Site Admin: secret sales exposed!


Joined: 14 Mar 2006
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Location: Utah

PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why do you need a Food Saver?
Because it will save you money. I was skeptical, this isn't a cheap product, nor are the needed special Foodsaver bags as inexpensive as regular food storage bags. That said, the Foodsaver has saved us lots of money in the past 3 months.

How does the Foodsaver save you money?
It makes your food last much longer, which in turn means less thrown out spoiled food. For true foodies this is a huge boon. For instance, right now I have no less than eight different varieties of cheese in my fridge, I'm ready for just about any recipe I want to make. I could have never afforded to do this pre-Foodsaver. We could never eat that much cheese before it spoiled.

Cheese is just the beginning. The Foodsaver gives all your food drastically longer shelf lives, whether the food in question is stored in the refrigerator, freezer or at room temperature. The Foodsaver is not a substitute for refrigeration, foods that need refrigeration without the Foodsaver need refrigerating with the Foodsaver. But they will last much longer.

The patented Foodsaver bags can go from freezer to boiling water. You can also get Foodsaver Canisters and a Foodsaver Bottle Stopper, making this a highly versatile countertop appliance.

Besides storing ingredients, the Foodsaver is also a great way to store leftovers. I regularly use my Foodsaver to store chili, soups, stews and pastas. All these dishes go from the freezer to a pot of boiling water to reheat (or you could remove from the bag and use your oven). Cook once, store the leftovers and you'll have a freezer full of ultra quick, effortless meals at your disposal.

The Foodsaver is relatively quick and easy to use, but may take a little getting used to. For instance, in order to create a vacuum seal the edges of the bag must be COMPLETELY clean and grease free. The machine is sensitive, sometimes it just won't seal until you get a fresh, clean bag. Most times, however, you can reseal the same bag (handy for frequently used items like cheese). The sealing process takes seconds.

The Foodsaver is a worthwhile appliance that lets everyone (even singles and couples) take advantage of the savings offered by buying in bulk. Your grocery dollars will stretch farther as you'll actually be able to use everything you buy. While we reviewed one of Tilia's high-end models be aware they have a full line of products ranging from $79.00 to $274.00 to suit a variety of consumer preferences, needs and budgets.

Check out these statistics compiled by Dr. George K. York of the University of California at Davis' Department of Food Science and technology.

http://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=stockpilesrus-20&l=st1&search=tilia%20foodsaver&mode=kitchen&p=10&o=1&bg1=FF9966&fc1=CC0033&lc1=000000&f=ifr
Food Without Foodsaver - With Foodsaver
Frozen Fish 6 months - 2 years
Frozen Cuts of Meat 6 months - 2 & 1/2 years
Frozen Ground Meat 4 months - 1 year
Refrigerated Fresh Strawberries, Raspberries or Blackberries 1-3 days - 1 week
Refrigerated Cranberries, Huckleberries or Blueberries 3-6 days - 2 weeks
Refrigerated Cheese 1-2 weeks - 4 to 8 months
Cookies and Crackers 1-2 weeks - 3 to 6 weeks
Flour, Sugar, Rice 6 months - 1 to 2 years
Refrigerated Lettuce 3-6 days 2 weeks
Nuts 6 months - 2 years
Oils 5-6 months - 1 to 1 & 1/2 years
Wine 1-3 weeks - 2 to 4 months
Coffee Beans 3 months - 1 year
Ground Coffee 1 month - 5 to 6 months

This is the one seen on TV!
With FoodSaver, you will extend the freshness of food, eliminate freezer burn, marinate meat and fish in minutes, protect collectibles and other non-food items from aging and corrosion - and more!
The Less Air, the Longer You Can Save
Remove oxygen around food and you radically slow down spoilage and deterioration. FoodSaver home vacuum packaging systems offer a two-step process of removing air and sealing it out, so that your food stays fresh up to five times longer than conventional storage methods.

Why FoodSaver?
By keeping food fresh you eliminate freezer burn. Meat, chicken, fish, vegetables and fruit will stay fresh in the freezer for months, even years. Make an entire plate of food or vacuum package last night's pizza to eat months later. The taste difference between just-cooked meals and leftovers will be indistinguishable when you vacuum package and freeze.

Cheese stays fresh in the refrigerator for months and produce will stay fresh for weeks. Dry goods and snacks won't become stale or tasteless when you vacuum package and store in the pantry. A full range of FoodSaver accessories let you keep almost all foods fresh longer in the freezer, refrigerator and pantry.
Since food lasts longer, you can lower your food bill by buying in bulk or when your favorite foods are in season, and not worry about throwing out wasted food. You can even shop less frequently and still always have fresh food on hand.

With FoodSaver, you will:
• Extend the freshness of food.
• Eliminate freezer burn.
• Keep moist foods from drying out.
• Protect dry foods like brown sugar from getting hard.
• Keep foods high in fats and oils from going rancid.
• Marinate meat and fish in minutes.
• Protect collectibles and other non-food items from aging and corrosion.

FoodSaver Sale - Bag & Roll Blowout. Shop Now:
http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=fH4cmPxuNNs&offerid=81361.10000110&type=4&subid=0

& Here's another great FoodSaver deal through Amazon if you prefer this store instead...

http://www.amazon.com/gp/redirect.html?link_code=ur2&tag=stockpilesrus-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&location=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2Fgp%2Fproduct%2FB00004Y2RO%2Fref%3Dpd_cp_e_title%3F%255Fencoding%3DUTF8%26v%3Dglance%26n%3D172282

_________________________________________________________
There's also the $25 off $125 or more deal you can combine with this order if you'd like
It's good on Kitchen & Housewares http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?link_code=ur2&tag=stockpilesrus-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&path=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2Fgp%2Fbrowse.html%3Fnode%3D284507
or
Bed & Bath products http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/redirect?link_code=ur2&tag=stockpilesrus-20&camp=1789&creative=9325&path=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2Fgp%2Fbrowse.html%2Fref%3Damb_link_1184872_2%3F%255Fencoding%3DUTF8%26node%3D1057792
Remember
• The items MUST be from Amazon & not one of its affiliated stores.
The way I can tell is by scrolling down each item just a little & if it shows a promotion under the item, then I know it will qualify.
(Look for the orange wording similar to the one listed above)
_________________
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https://tinyurl.com/yywut3t9
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https://www.facebook.com/belowprices


Last edited by couponqueen on Thu Oct 09, 2008 7:56 pm; edited 7 times in total
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 10, 2006 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Things that freeze great
Berries
Bread
Butter
Cheese (shredded & slices)
Cilantro
Coffee Creamer (flavored)
Cookie dough
Cookies
Hummus
Margarine
Orange Juice
Parsley
Pasta
Rice
Tortillas
Yogurt

Things that freeze ok, but not always real well
Bananas - comes out discolored & extremely squishy, but is fine to use
Cheese (block) - sometimes it will be crumbly, but is fine to use
Cottage Cheese
Cream Cheese - sometimes it will be a little watery and grainy, can be whipped & is fine to use
Green Peppers (chopped) - sometimes it will come out very soft & is fine to use
Jalepeno's (whole) - sometimes it will come out very soft & is fine to use
Lemons (whole)
Milk (any) - sometimes it will seperate, can be whipped & is fine to use
Milk (soy) - sometimes it will seperate, can be whipped & is fine to use
Onions (chopped) - sometimes it will come out very soft & is fine to use
Ricotta Cheese
Pillsbury Crescents & Flaky Layers - not as flaky and layer-y as the MFR intended

Things that will not freeze well at all
Sour Cream

---------------------------------------------------------------------
Now onto some quick tips

Baked Goods - In general, the lower the moisture level in your baked goods, the more successfully they will freeze. Well wrapped bread will keep for about five months in a freezer. You can also freeze bread dough for a month or two before baking. The same goes for pizza or other yeast doughs. If you know you are making yeast dough to freeze, add a little extra yeast to your recipe.

Unbaked pie crusts freeze well as do unbaked fruit and meat filled pies, so you might want to stock up and get ahead when making these. Add a little extra thickening agent to fruit pies destined for the freezer.
Unfrosted cakes will keep for months -- again well wrapped is the key. You can freeze a butter cream frosted cake as well, although other types of icing tend to separate, especially those made with egg whites and/or brown sugar.
In all cases, cool baked goods completely before freezing or they will end up soggy.

Prepared Foods - Soups, stews, many sauces (spaghetti sauce comes immediately to mind), unbaked pies (see baked goods), casseroles, lasagna etc. freeze well. Freezing may affect some spices, so it's a good idea to check and re-season, if necessary, when cooking previously frozen food. As always, wrap and cover well before freezing.

Eggs - Many people don't know you can freeze eggs. You can store whole eggs in plastic containers (cracked open and with the whites and yolks stirred together) or store egg whites and yolks separately. Raw egg yolks will need to be broken and stirred with either 1/4 teaspoon salt or 3/4 teaspoon sugar for each 1/2 cup of egg yolks or else they will turn to a "gummy" consistency. Cooked egg yolks, on the other hand, freeze beautifully. The reverse is true of egg whites: raw are just fine (freeze in ice cube trays, one per cube), but cooked egg whites will change texture so much they will not be at all appealing.

Vegetables - Most vegetables will need to be blanched before freezing them for any amount of time (if you're going to use the vegetables in question within a week or so, you can often get away without blanching). After blanching, plunge the vegetables into cold water and wrap and freeze. Vegetables will keep in the freezer for about nine months.

Fruits - While frozen fruits do retain their flavor, be aware that the texture of many frozen fruits will become softer --think of frozen strawberries as opposed to fresh. Add some sugar (to fruit that will be served uncooked after freezing) or simple syrup (for fruits that will be cooked after being thawed) as this helps to retain the fruit's texture when freezing. Fruit will keep in your freezer for about a year.

Meat - Trim any excess fat from meat before freezing, as the amount of time meat will stay fresh in a freezer directly correlates to the amount of fat in it. Less fat equals longer freezer times. Also, the more saturated the fat (for instance beef has much higher saturated fat than fish) the longer it will keep). Wrap meat well. If you're going to use the meat within a week you can get away with freezing it in the Styrofoam, plastic wrapped grocery tray it came in. Any more than that, re-wrap it to prevent freezer burn. Beef and lamb chops, steaks and roasts safely keep for about a year. The exception to this rule comes if the meat is ground, as in hamburger, in which case plan to use it within about 4 months. Pork will last about six to eight months and sausage can go for about three months.

Poultry - It's a good idea to remove poultry innards before freezing (although they can be frozen together). Never stuff and freeze raw poultry, as you risk salmonella contamination. Whole chicken and turkeys will keep for about a year. Chicken and turkey parts, ground poultry, as well as whole duck and goose will last about six months.

Fish - Scale and clean fish before freezing (this step is probably done for you if you got your fish at a grocery store). As with meat, the higher the fat content in your fish, the shorter the time it will keep well in the freezer. Oily fish will keep for about three months and leaner fish will keep about six.

Dairy Products - The higher the fat content in dairy products, the better they freeze. Milk products that are under 40% butterfat will separate, but heavy cream does well. You can freeze butter with no texture changes, but remember, fat can go rancid even in a freezer, so never keep it for more than two months.

Cheese - Freezing does change the consistency of most cheeses, making it more mealy and crumbly, although the flavor remains intact. If you plan to grate or melt your cheese, this textural change won't matter much. If you plan to slice your cheese, it's best not to freeze it. Softer cheeses such as cream or cottage cheese do not freeze well at all, although surprisingly, most cheesecakes will do fine in the freezer. Blue cheese, Roquefort and gorgonzola are usually served crumbled so they freeze well and should keep for about six months. A little of these strong cheeses goes a long way, so they're handy to have in the freezer for quick "flavor pick ups" to add to recipes. Well wrapped firm cheeses such as cheddar, gouda, Swiss etc., should keep for about six months in your freezer. Hard cheeses like parmesan and romano will keep for about a year.
If you have a large block of cheese (why does the Albert Brooks movie Mother come to mind?), cut it into manageable chunks, before freezing in order to cut down on thawing time.
I like to freeze bags of shredded mozzarella so that I can remove the amount I like at a moment's notice. Shredded cheddar or other firm cheeses are also handy, and they are a lot cheaper to buy in bulk. "Mother" was right about that, Albert, although I only keep this cheese for use in cooking. Otherwise, fresh is always better.

Sauces - Tomato sauces and the like do very well in the freezer. Mayonnaise and mayonnaise based sauces, however, will separate. Sauces (or even custards) thickened with flour or cornstarch don't freeze well, but those thickened with arrowroot or tapioca do.

Herbs - Don't throw away leftover fresh herbs. Wrap them in Ziplock® bags and freeze them. Be sure to blanch leafier herbs like basil. Sturdier herbs like rosemary freeze exceedingly well.

What Not To Freeze
Some foods just don't do well in the freezer. Vegetables with high moisture contents like lettuces, celery and cucumbers will thaw limper than a rag doll. Some dairy products like cream cheese or cottage cheese, cream, milk, mayonnaise, custards, cream fillings or meringues will not freeze well because they will separate or curdle. Ditto for food made with gelatin. Fried foods will likely turn soggy or rancid when frozen.

Freezing Vegetables
Here are some simple guidelines for freezing a variety of vegetables commonly grown in home gardens.
Artichoke, Globe
Remove outer leaves. Wash and trim stalks. Remove "chokes" and blanch, a few at a time, for 7 minutes. Cool in iced water for 7 minutes. Drain. Pack in freezer bags, seal and label. Keeps up to 6 months.
Artichoke, Jerusalem
Peel and slice. Place in cold water with the juice of a lemon to prevent discoloration. Blanch for 2 minutes in boiling water. Cool in iced water for 2 minutes. Drain and place on tray in a single layer. Freeze for 30 minutes. Transfer to freezer bags, remove air, label and seal. Keeps for 6 months.
Asparagus
Wash and remove woody portions and scales of spears. Cut into 6 inch lengths and blanch in boiling water for 3 minutes. Cool in iced water for 3 minutes. Drain. Place on trays in a single layer and freeze for 30 minutes. Pack into suitable containers, seal and label. Keeps up to 6 months.
Beans, Broad
Shell and wash. Blanch in boiling water for 1 minutes. Cool in iced water for 1-2 minutes. Place on tray in a single layer and freeze for 30 minutes. Pack into freezer bags, remove air, seal and label. Keeps up to 6 months.
Beets
Only freeze young tender beets, not more than 2-3 inches across. Cook until tender and slice. Cool and transfer to plastic containers. Label. Freeze up to 6 months.
Broccoli
Choose tender young heads with no flowers and tender stalks. Wash well and divide into sprigs. Blanch 3 minutes in boiling water. Cool in iced water for 3 minutes. Drain. Spread on tray in single layer. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent the smell from permeating the freezer. Freeze 30 minutes. Pack in freezer bags, remove air, seal and label. Keeps up to 6 months.
Brussels Sprouts
Remove outer leaves and cut a cross at the stem end of sprout. Wash thoroughly and blanch for 3 minutes. Cool in iced water for 3 minutes. Drain and spread on tray in a single layer. Cover with plastic wrap to prevent the smell from permeating the freezer. Freeze 30 minutes, remove from tray and pack into plastic bags. Remove air, label and seal. Keeps up to 6 months.
Cabbage
Remove outer leaves and wash the remainder. Cut into thin wedges or shred. Blanch 1˝ minutes if shredded or 2 minutes if cut into wedges. Chill in iced water 1-2 minutes. Drain well. Pack in freezer bags, label and seal. Keeps up to 6 months.
Carrots
Wash and scrub carrots and cut large carrots into pieces. Blanch 3 minutes in boiling water. Chill in iced water 3 minutes. Drain. Spread on a tray in a single layer and freeze 30 minutes. Pack in freezer bags, remove air, label and seal. Keeps up to 6 months.
Cauliflower
Divide into florets and wash. Blanch for 3 minutes in boiling water. Chill in iced water for 3 minutes. Drain and place on a tray in a single layer. Cover with plastic wrap. Freeze for 30 minutes. Transfer to freezer bags, remove air, label and seal. Keeps for 6 months.
Celery
Use young, tender stalks. Wash and cut into 1 inch pieces. Blanch for 2 minutes in boiling water. Chill in iced water for 2 minutes. Drain and place on tray in a single layer. Freeze for 30 minutes. Transfer to freezer bags, remove air, label and seal. Keeps for 6 months.
Chayote
Cook sliced chayote until tender in boiling water. Drain well, mash and cool. Pack into plastic containers with well fitting lids, leaving space at the top for expansion. Freeze up to 6 months.
Chilies
Remove seeds, wash and dry. Drain and place on tray in a single layer. Freeze for 30 minutes. Transfer to freezer bags, remove air, label and seal. Keeps for 6 months.
Chinese Broccoli
Remove coarse leaves and thick stems. Wash and blanch in boiling water 2 minutes. Chill in iced water for 2 minutes. Drain and place on tray in a single layer. Freeze for 30 minutes. Transfer to freezer bags, remove air, label and seal. Keeps for 6 months.
Chinese Cabbage
Only freeze crisp and young cabbage. Wash and shred finely. Blanch for 1 minutes. Chill in iced water for 1-2 minutes. Drain and place in freezer bags, label and seal. Keeps up to 6 months.
Chinese Spinach
Wash and trim leaves off stalks. Blanch 1 minute. Chill in iced water 1 minute. Drain, pack into freezer bags and remove air from bags. Seal and label. Keeps up to 6 months.
Cucumber
Peel and chop in food processor. Pack into plastic containers with tight fitting lids. Label and freeze. Keeps up to 6 months.
Eggplant
Cut into slices, sprinkle with salt and allow to stand 30 minutes. Drain off excess liquid and fry gently in butter or margarine until just tender. Cool and pack into ]plastic containers. Seal and label. Keeps up to 3 months.
Fennel
Use fresh young stalks. Wash thoroughly. Blanch 3 minutes. Chill in iced water 3 minutes. Drain, pack in freezer bags and remove air. Keeps up to 6 months.
Garlic
Place separated bulbs in freezer bags. Remove excess air from bags, seal and label. Keeps up to 3 months.
Ginger
Separate ginger into convenient sized knobs. Place in freezer bags. Remove excess air from bags, seal and label. Freeze up to 6 months.
Kohlrabi
Wash well, peel and cut into pieces. Blanch for 3 minutes. Chill in iced water 3 minutes. Drain and place on tray in a single layer. Freeze for 30 minutes. Transfer to freezer bags, remove air, label and seal. Keeps for 6 months.
Leeks
Remove tough outer leaves, wash remainder. Cut away green part of stem, slice white flesh or cut in half lengthwise. Blanch 2 minutes if sliced and 3 minutes if cut lengthwise. Chill in iced water 2-3 minutes. Drain and place on tray in a single layer. Freeze for 30 minutes. Transfer to freezer bags, remove air, label and seal. Keeps for 6 months.
Mushrooms
Cultivated mushrooms need no preparation. Pack clean mushrooms in freezer bags. Remove air, seal and label. Freeze up to 6 months.
Okra
Wash and trim off stems. Blanch in boiling water 3-4 minutes. Cool in iced water 3-4 minutes. Drain and pack in freezer bags. Remove air from bags, seal and label. Freeze up to 6 months.
Onion
Peel, chop or cut into rings. Wrap in layers of plastic wrap, place in a plastic container. Label and freeze up to 3 months.
Parsnips
Peel and dice. Blanch 2 minutes, chill in iced water for 2 minutes, spread on a tray and freeze for 30 minutes. Pack into freezer bags, remove air, label and seal. Keeps up to 6 months.
Peas
Shell, wash and blanch 1 minute. Chill in iced water 1 minute. Drain and place on tray in a single layer. Freeze for 30 minutes. Transfer to freezer bags, remove air, label and seal. Keeps for 6 months.
Peppers
Wash, remove seeds and cut into slices or leave whole. Place on a tray in a single layer. Freeze for 30 minutes. Pack in freezer bags, remove air, label and seal. Freeze up to 6 months.
Potatoes
Scrub new potatoes. Cook in boiling water until almost done. Drain, cool, pack in freezer bags. Seal, label and freeze for up to 6 months. Slice and deep fry 4 minutes. They should be tender but not browned. Drain and cool on paper towels. Place on a tray in a single layer and freeze 30 minutes. Pack in freezer bags, remove air, label and seal. Freeze up to 3 months. Prepare mashed potatoes and freeze up to 3 months.
Pumpkin
Peel and cook in boiling salted water until tender. Mash, cool and pack into plastic containers leaving head space. Freeze up to 3 months. Alternatively, peel and cut into pieces. Bake until almost done. Pack into freezer bags when cool, remove the air, seal and label. Keeps up to 3 months.
Rutabaga
Only use tender young rutabaga. Cut to required size and blanch 3 minutes. Chill in iced water 3 minutes. Drain and place on tray in a single layer. Freeze for 30 minutes. Transfer to freezer bags, remove air, label and seal. Keeps for 6 months.
Shallots
Separate cloves and place in freezer bags. Remove excess air. Keeps up to 3 months. Snow Peas Use tender leaves. Wash and trim. Blanch 30 seconds. Chill in iced water 30 seconds. Drain and place on tray in a single layer. Freeze for 30 minutes. Transfer to freezer bags, remove air, label and seal. Keeps for 6 months.
Spinach
Wash well and trim leaves from stalks. Blanch in small quantities of boiling water for 1 minute. Chill in iced water for 1 minute. Drain and place on tray in a single layer. Freeze for 30 minutes. Transfer to freezer bags, remove air, label and seal. Keeps for 6 months.
Summer Squash
Peel and cook in boiling salted water until tender. Mash, cool and pack into freezer containers leaving room for expansion. Seal and label. Freeze up to 3 months.
Sugar Snap Pea
Remove pods, wash and blanch for 1 minute. Chill, drain and spread on a tray. Freeze of 30 minutes, pack in plastic bags, remove air, seal and label. Will keep up to 6 months.
Sweet Corn
Clean well and remove all silk. Cut off top of cob. Wash, blanch a few cobs at a time for 5-7 minutes, depending on size. Chill in iced water 5-7 minutes. Drain and wrap each cob in plastic wrap. Pack in freezer bags, remove air, label and seal. Freeze up to 6 months.
Sweet Potatoes
Peel and cut into pieces. Blanch 3 minutes in boiling water, chill in iced water 3 minutes. Drain and place on tray in a single layer. Freeze for 30 minutes. Transfer to freezer bags, remove air, label and seal. Keeps for 6 months.
Tomatoes
Wash, remove stems, cut into halves or quarters or leave whole. Dry and pack into freezer bags. Remove air, label and seal. Keeps 6 months. Dip into boiling water 1 minute. Remove and peel. Place on a tray and freeze for 30 minutes. Place in plastic bags, remove air, seal and label. Keeps up to 6 months. Simmer chopped tomatoes in a pan for 5 minutes or until soft. Push through a sieve or food mill to remove skins and seeds. Cool and pack in plastic containers, leaving head space. Keeps 6 months.
Turnip
Peel and trim young, tender turnips. Cut to required size and blanch 3 minutes.Chill in iced water for 3 minutes. Drain and place on tray in a single layer. Freeze for 30 minutes. Transfer to freezer bags, remove air, label and seal. Keeps for 6 months.
Water Chestnuts
Bring chestnuts to a boil. Drain and peel off shells. Pack in freezer bags or plastic containers, remove air, seal and label. Freeze up to 6 months.
Winter Squash
Peel, cut into pieces and cook in boiling water until just cooked. Cool and place in freezer bags, remove air, seal and label. Keeps up to 3 months.
Zucchini
Slice into 1 inch pieces without peeling. Sauté gently in a little melted butter until barely tender. Cool, pack into plastic containers leaving head space at the top. Freeze up to 3 months.

Thawing Food
The safest method of thawing food is slowly, in your refrigerator. For this method allow about 8 hours per pound of meat and about 4 hours per pound of poultry, and about 6 hours per pound of fruit or vegetables.
You can speed up the process by about 1/8 the time by submerging the food (still wrapped) in a sink full of COLD water. You can also use the defrost feature on your microwave oven.

Never allow meat or eggs to defrost on the counter top. This is an invitation for bacteria to grow and can result in food poisoning. Baked goods and most fruits, on the other hand, can thaw at room temperature. With the exception of baked goods, most food should not be re-frozen (and even baked good will become drier with repeated freezings).

*Additional Hints*
• You can freeze most of the Pillsbury canned products, just stay away from the flaky ones.
• The "Original" Yogurts will freeze well, however the "Thick & Creamy" kinds will not.
_________________
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Last edited by couponqueen on Thu Oct 09, 2008 7:58 pm; edited 2 times in total
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 1:27 pm    Post subject: Taco Spaghetti Reply with quote

Kids are notoriously hard to please when it comes to eating, but not anymore! This dish combines two childhood (and adult) favorites for sure success anytime!

10 ounces of broken dried spaghetti
2 pound of ground beef or ground raw turkey
2 chopped large onions
1 1/2 cups of water
1- 1 1/4 ounce envelope or 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning mix
2 11-ounce drained can of whole kernel corn with sweet peppers
1 1/2 cups of shredded Colby and Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese
1 cups of sliced and pitted ripe olives
1 cup of salsa
2- 4 1/2 ounce drained cans of diced green Chile peppers
4 c ups of shredded lettuce
1 chopped medium tomato

Cook the pasta according to the package directions and drain. In the meantime, cook the ground meat and onion until the meat is brown then drain off the fat. Stir in water and the taco seasoning mix. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about two minutes stirring occasionally. Stir in the cooked pasta, corn, 1 cup of the shredded cheese, olives, salsa and Chile peppers.

Divide the mixture evenly between two lightly greased 2-quart casseroles. Wrap both in moisture-proof wrap and freeze for up to 3 months.

To serve frozen Taco Spaghetti, thaw in a refrigerator overnight (its okay if the mixture is still a bit icy at baking time). Cover and bake at 375 degrees for about 1 hour or until thoroughly heated, stirring once about halfway through. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and serve with lettuce and tomato.

Taco Spaghetti yields 6 servings per casserole.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 1:29 pm    Post subject: Lamb and Cornmeal Bake Reply with quote

We all crave comfort food on trying days, but often lack the energy to make it for ourselves. Enjoy this frozen casserole whenever you want by preparing it ahead for any occasion!

Ingredients:
1 1/2 pound ground lamb
1 chopped large onion
2 small fennel bulbs- trimmed, cored and chopped
6 minced garlic cloves
2 teaspoons of crushed, dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon of crushed pepper
2-14 1/2 ounce cans of whole Italian-style tomatoes cut up
2- 16 ounce tubes of refrigerated cooked polenta
3/4 cup of crumbled feta cheese
1- 15 ounce can of Italian style tomato sauce

Directions:
In a large skillet, cook the lamb, fennel, onion, garlic oregano and pepper until the lamb is completely brown before draining the excess fat. Add the undrained tomatoes to the skillet and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for 10 to 15 minutes or until most of the liquid is evaporated stirring occasionally. In the meantime, coat 2 1-1/2 quart casserole dishes with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

Slice each polenta tube in half lengthwise 14 inches thick. Press 1/4 of the slices into the bottom of one of the prepared pans and another 1/4 into the bottom of the second pan. Spoon half of the lamb mixture over the polenta in each of the pans. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the cheese evenly over each casserole. Arrange the rest of the polenta slices along the edges of the casseroles. Cover the casseroles with plastic and freeze for up to 3 months.

To serve the frozen Lamb and Cornmeal Bake, allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Bake the thawed casserole at 350 degrees for 50 to 60 minutes or until heated through. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Heat the Italian-style tomato sauce just to boiling to serve over the casserole.

Each Lamb and Cornmeal Bakes yields about 4 servings.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 1:32 pm    Post subject: Peanut Butter Lover's Ice Cream Treat Reply with quote

Peanut butter is one of the most popular flavors when it comes to any type of sweet treat and this dessert is no different! Adults and children alike will enjoy this treat perfect for almost any occasion.

Ingredients:
1 package (15 ounces) of cream-filled chocolate sandwich cookie crumbs
1/2 cup of butter, melted
1/8 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

For the Chocolate Sauce:
2 cups of confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons of malted milk powder
1 can (12 ounces) of evaporated milk
1 cup (6 ounce) of semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup butter, cubed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon orange extract, optional
2 cups of salted peanuts
1/2 gallon of softened peanut butter ice cream with peanut butter cups or peanut butter swirl ice cream

Directions:
In a large bowl, combine the cookie crumbs, butter and cinnamon. Press the mixture into a greased 13 inch x 9 inch x 2 inch dish, cover and freeze until it is set (firm).

In the meantime, combine the confectioners' sugar, malted milk powder, milk, chocolate chips and butter in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, stir and cook for 7 to 8 minutes. Remove the mixture from heat, stir in the vanilla and orange extract if desired. Cool completely.

Sprinkle peanuts over the crust and spread evenly with the ice cream. Freeze dessert before topping with chocolate sauce. Cover and freeze until firm or for up to 3 months.

The Peanut Butter Lover's Ice Cream Treat yields 12 to 15 servings.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 1:34 pm    Post subject: Cherry Coffee Cake Reply with quote

This classic coffee cake adds the right amount of fruit in addition to a hint of cardamom for a truly unique and delicious breakfast treat. The Cherry Coffee Cake is wonderful when served with coffee, tea or alone!

Ingredients:
2/3 cup softened butter
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
4 eggs
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups buttermilk (can also use sour milk)
2 cups dried tart red cherries or cranberries
Crumb topping

Crumb Topping Recipe:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup softened butter

Directions:
Line 2- 8 x 8 x 2 inch baking pans or 9 x 1 1/2 inch round baking pans with foil making sure to extend the foil over the edges. Grease the foil. In a large bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds. Add the sugars and beat until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating thoroughly after adding each one. Combine the flour, baking powder, cardamom, baking soda and salt. Add the flour mixture and buttermilk alternately to the beaten mixture and beat on low after each addition until thoroughly combined. Fold in the dried cherries or cranberries. Divide evenly between the prepared baking pans.

Next, make the crumb topping by combining the all-purpose flour, brown sugar and softened butter in a medium bowl. Stir with a fork until it is crumbly and top evenly over the prepared cakes. Bake the cakes at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or until they are cooked thoroughly. Cool the two cakes completely before wrapping to be frozen. The cherry coffee cakes can be frozen for up to three months.

To serve the frozen Cherry Coffee Cakes, thaw in the refrigerator overnight.

The Cherry Coffee Cake yields 9 servings each.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 1:35 pm    Post subject: Buttermilk Rolls for the Bread Machine Reply with quote

Sometimes homemade rolls make a meal complete and now you can have them on hand anytime with this quick and easy freezable recipe!

Ingredients:
3/4 cup buttermilk (you can also use sour milk)
1 egg
1/4 cup cut up butter
3 cups of bread flour
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon of active dry yeast or bread machine yeast

Directions:
Add all of the ingredients into your bread machine according to the machine's directions and select the dough cycle. When the cycle is complete, remove the dough from the machine, punch down, cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Shape the dough into 12 basic rolls. Place the rolls in greased 2 1/2 inch muffin cups with the smooth side up. Cover the rolls with plastic wrap and freeze until firm. Transfer the rolls to a permanent freezer container and freeze for up to 1 month.

When ready to use the frozen Buttermilk Rolls, thaw covered overnight in the refrigerator in muffin cups or on a baking sheet.

Cover the rolls and let them rise in a warm place until they double in size. Bake the rolls at 375 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes or until they are golden brown. Cool slightly before serving.

Buttermilk Rolls yields 12 servings.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 1:36 pm    Post subject: Spinach and Ricotta Gnocchi Reply with quote

This garlic-lovers favorite is an elegant vegetarian dish to keep in the freezer for special occasions or a delicious family meal.

Ingredients:
4 slices white bread
1/2 cup milk
1 lb frozen spinach thawed
8 oz ricotta cheese
2 eggs
2 oz parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup plain flour
Parmesan shavings

Garlic Butter Sauce:
3 1/2 oz butter
2 cloves garlic crushed
3 T chopped fresh basil
1 ripe tomato diced
Directions:

Removed the crusts from the bread and soak in milk in a shallow dish for 10 minutes. Squeeze out any excess milk from the bread.
Squeeze out any liquid from the spinach.
Place bread, spinach, ricotta, eggs and Parmesan in a bowl and mix.
Fold in flour.
Refrigerate, covered for 1 hour.
Lightly dust your hands in flour and roll heaped teaspoons of the mixture into dumplings.
Lower batches of the gnocchi into a large saucepan of boiling salted water.
Cook for about 2 minutes, or until the gnocchi rise to the surface. Transfer to serving plate.
Freeze at this point in plastic container.

To make the sauce:
Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat for 3 minutes, or until the butter is nutty brown.

Freeze in plastic container.

Directions for preparing frozen meal:
Drop gnocchi in boiling water again for less than a minute.
Heat sauce in saucepan just until simmering. Stir constantly.
Drizzle sauce over hot gnocchi.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 1:37 pm    Post subject: Stuffed Cabbage Reply with quote

Great as an appetizer or main meal, these beef-filled cabbage rolls are sure to please.

Ingredients:
1 lb lean ground beef (uncooked)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 cup cooked rice
1 head of green cabbage
1 48 oz. can of tomato juice

Directions:
In a large bowl, mix meat and rice together.
Pull individual leaves off cabbage and spread out on parchment paper or large cutting board.
Place 1/4-cup meat mixture in a long meatball shape in the center of each leaf.
Fold in sides and roll ends over meat.
Place carefully in pot, pour tomato juice over rolls and cook on low for 1 hour.
Try to disturb cooking cabbage rolls as little as possible. If you feel you must mix cooking cabbage rolls, do so very carefully.
Freeze entire mixture in plastic container

Directions for preparing frozen meal:
Allow time to defrost on counter or in refrigerator. You may defrost in microwave, but do so very slowly. Carefully transfer defrosted mixture into large pot and bring to a simmer until rolls are cooked all the way through.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 1:39 pm    Post subject: Noodle Pudding Reply with quote

This extraordinary side dish is a favorite item to bring to a big holiday meal. It is the perfect sweet compliment to any savory main menu item like ham or turkey.

Ingredients:
1 lb. egg noodles
2 - 8 oz pkgs. Cream cheese
1 c. milk
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar
6 tbsp. melted butter or margarine
1 c. Frosted flakes
Extra butter or margarine

Directions:
Cook noodles al dente, drain and rinse with cold water. Combine all the other ingredients. Mix into the noodles. Place mixture in buttered casserole. Top with crushed frosted flakes. Dot with butter. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until bubbly on top.

Allow time to cool, cover and freeze.

Directions for preparing the frozen meal:
Same as the original preparation, bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until bubbly on top.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 1:40 pm    Post subject: Easy and Freezable Chicken Marsala Reply with quote

This easy version of a traditional Italian favorite is great to keep in the freezer in the event of unexpected company. Serve over linguini or fettuccini for a delicious and elegant dinner.

Ingredients:
1 - 1 1/2 lbs chicken breast sliced thin
1-cup flour
1 stick butter
2 tbs. olive oil
1/2 cup boiling water
Chicken bullion cube
1 cup Marsala wine
Salt & pepper

Directions:
Place stick of butter in skillet with 2 tbs olive oil
Dip chicken in egg and then coat in flour.
Place in frying pan with oil until golden brown on both sides
Add boiling water with bullion cube, dissolve and place into frying pan
Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes
To freeze, transfer entire contents of skillet to a disposable, aluminum pan with a cover. Allow time to cool and place in freezer.

Directions for preparing the frozen meal:
Heat oven to 350 and lightly cover with aluminum foil. Bake for approximately one hour or until sauce is bubbling and chicken is thoroughly cooked. Remove foil for last twenty minutes of baking.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 1:42 pm    Post subject: Barbecue Chicken and Roasted Onions Reply with quote

You can always make extra of this summer favorite to enjoy throughout the year! For variety, try using this recipe to make a delicious topping on homemade pizza!

Recipe for Tangy Apricot Barbecue Sauce:
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
2 teaspoons hot cooking oil
1 cup catsup
1/3 cup apricot preserves
1/3 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
A dash of ground pepper

Recipe for Chicken and Roasted Onions:
2 medium sweet onions cut into thin wedges
1 medium red onion, cut into thin wedges
2 leeks, quartered lengthwise and cut into 2 inch pieces (be sure to use the white part only)
4 green onions sliced into 1 inch pieces
2 thinly sliced garlic cloves
2 teaspoons of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of crushed, dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon of crushed pepper
6 medium boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

Directions:
1. First prepare the Tangy Apricot Barbecue Sauce by heating the onion, ginger and cooking oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until tender. Add the catsup, apricot preserves, orange juice, Worcestershire sauce and pepper. Bring to a boil before reducing heat and simmering for 10 minutes or until slightly thickened.

2. Next, prepare the onions. Fold a 48 x 48 inch piece of heavy foil in half to make a double-thick piece of foil that measures 24 x 48 inches. Coat the foil with non-stick cooking spray. Place the onions, leeks, green onions and garlic in the center of the foil. Drizzle with oil before sprinkling with thyme, salt and pepper. Bring together two opposite edges of foil and seal by folding over twice. Fold the remaining edges to enclose the vegetables being sure to leave space in order for steam to build. Grill the onion mix packet on an uncovered grill over medium coals for about 30 minutes or until the onions are tender. About 15 minutes into the onion's cooking time, add the chicken breast to the grill and cook until the chicken is tender and no longer pink turning once halfway through grilling. You may use some of the Tangy Apricot Barbecue Sauce during the last 5 minutes of cooking time on the chicken as well.

3. To freeze the Tangy Apricot Barbecue Sauce, transfer the sauce to an airtight container or freezer container and freeze for up to three months.

4. To freeze the Barbecue Chicken and Roasted Onions, Place two chicken breasts and portions of the onion mixture into freezer-safe self-sealing plastic bags and freeze for up to three months.

5. To use frozen Tangy Apricot Barbecue Sauce and Barbecue Chicken with Roasted Onions, thaw in the refrigerator overnight.
Barbecued Chicken with Roasted Onions yields 6 servings
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 1:44 pm    Post subject: Nut Lover's Chocolate Bread Machine Loaf Reply with quote

What's more convenient than a bread machine for fresh loaves of bread? Knowing that you can enjoy your favorite nutty treat anytime when you keep an extra loaf tucked away in your freezer!

Ingredients:
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons butter, cut up
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups bread flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast or bread machine yeast
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate pieces
1/4 cup semisweet chocolate pieces
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate pieces
1/2 cup shortening

Directions:
Add milk, eggs, water, butter, vanilla, both flours, sugar, cinnamon, salt, yeast and 1/2 cup of the chocolate pieces to the bread machine according to the machine's directions. Select the 'dough' cycle. When the cycle is complete, remove the dough from the machine, punch it down, cover and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Divide the loaf in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion into a 10 x 7 inch rectangle. Divide the 1/4 cup of chocolate pieces and the walnuts between the separated dough pieces sprinkling them on evenly and lightly pressing them in.

Beginning at a short side, roll up each rectangle into a spiral before sealing the seams and ends. Place the loaves with the seam sides down into 2 greased 8 x 4 x 2 inch loaf pans. Cover the pans and let them rise in a warm place until they are nearly double their original size (usually between 35 to 45 minutes).

Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped. Remove the bread from the pan and cool just a bit on a wire rack.

In a microwaveable bowl, combine 2 tablespoons chocolate pieces and the shortening. Heat on HIGH for 30 to 45 seconds or until the chocolate is soft enough to stir smooth. Drizzle the chocolate mixture over the slightly cooled bread.

To freeze the Nut Lover's Chocolate Bread Machine Loaf, seal and place in the freezer for up to 3 months.

To serve frozen Nut Lover's Chocolate Bread Machine Loaf, thaw at room temperature.
Each loaf yields 16 servings.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 1:45 pm    Post subject: Vegetarian Stuffed Mushrooms Reply with quote

These vegetarian appetizers are as delicious as they are easy. Highly flavorful, your can guarantee your guests will go back for seconds and thirds.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 10 oz package of mushrooms
1 small onion finely diced
1/4 teaspoon of garlic salt
1/4 teaspoon of pepper
1/2 cup of flavored breadcrumbs
1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella
Olive oil cooking spray

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Spray cookie sheet with cooking spray.
Clean mushrooms. Remove and save stems.
Finely chop stems.
In a saucepan, sauté the onions and stems in olive oil until soft.
Add garlic salt and pepper.
Mix in breadcrumbs.
Mix in cheese.
Use a teaspoon to fill mushroom caps with stuffing.
Place stuffed mushrooms on cookie sheet and spray lightly with cooking spray.
Bake for 30 minutes or until brown on top.
Freeze in a single layer in a thin, covered container.

Directions for preparing frozen mushrooms:
Cooked mushrooms can be frozen and heated in a 350-degree oven for about 15 minutes.
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