Friday, November 5, 2010

Blessing others with meals

One thing I've always wanted to do on a regular basis is be sure to have an extra meal in the freezer all made up (main dish) that I could take out and use when I heard of a need.  More often than not we eat the meal before I use it, having none when the need arises.  But there's hope!  I wanted to share these two ideas from Molly over at Econobusters for lasagna and choc. chip cookies that can be done and will give you not 1 but 2 pans of lasagna! one for you and one to give away and the cookies can be done the same way!! Now just taking the time to do it and it'll be done!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Box
Pantry Staples Needed
Brown Sugar

Semi-sweet chocolate chips
Butter (kept in the refrigerator)
Eggs (kept in the refrigerator)
Better yet, make cookie dough ahead and place drops on cookie sheet as usual. Then, instead of baking, place the sheet in the freezer and allow the cookie drops to freeze. Once frozen, scrape them into a freezer bag. Now you can grab your bag of dough drops, plop the desired amount on a cookie sheet and bake up fresh cookies on a moment’s notice.
You can also shape your cookie dough into a log and wrap with wax paper and plastic wrap. When you desire fresh cookies, just slice cookies from the end of the log and bake. Yum!

Lasagna (freezer style)
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Ready In: 1 hour (plus thawing time)
Yields: 2 pans of lasagna
2 pkgs. lasagna noodles (DO NOT COOK) 2 (15 oz.) containers Ricotta cheese 3 pkgs. Mozzarella cheese, grated 3 pkgs. sharp cheese, grated 2 c. Parmesan cheese, grated Sugar, to taste 2 pounds of ground beef 2 jars of spaghetti sauce
Cook ground beef until well browned, add spaghetti sauce and sugar. Heat.
In 13 x 9 x 2 inch tin foil baking pan, spoon a little sauce in bottom of pan evenly. Layer noodles, Ricotta, Mozzarella, spaghetti sauce and Parmesan. Repeat until all ingredients are used, ending with sauce and Parmesan.
Cover with tin foil and freeze. Thaw. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Makes 2 lasagnas. These are great to have on hand for impromptu meals and make it easy to invite last minute guests for dinner.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Homemade and Delicious

Just sharing some new recipes and an old one we tried tonight for dinner.

First sharing the no knead bread recipe which was from Family Fun Magazine, I used this to make 3 large loaves of bread, this is perfect sandwich bread.

2 cups lukewarm water
1 1/2 T (2 packets) granulated yeast
1 1/2 T. coarse salt, or 1 T. table salt
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup honey
1/3 c. veg. oil, melted unsalted butter, or olive oil (I use olive oil)
6 c. unbleached all purpose flour
1 c. whole wheat flour

In a lg. bowl or lidded container, stir together the water, yeast, salt, eggs, honey, and oil or melted butter, then mix in the flours. If needed, the last bit of flour can be incorporated with wet hands.

Loosely cover the dough and let it rise at room temp. until it collapses on top, about 2 hrs.

3. Use the dough immediately or refrigerate it in a lidded (not airtight container and use it over the next five days. It can also be frozen in airtight containers or freezer bags for up to one mos. (we recommend freezing the dough in 1 lb. portions for fease of use) Frozen dough can be shaped, rested, and baked after it has defrosted overnight in the refrigerator. To cut a recipe's worth of dough from the bulk batch, dust the surface of the dough with flour, then use kitchen shears or a knife to snip off what you need. 

Sandwich Loaf
Lightly grease a loaf pan, heat oven to 350 deg. brush the top of the loaf with the egg wash, then use a sharp, serrated bread knife to make three cuts across the top. Place the loaf on the oven's center rack and bake until brown and firm, about 45 min. Remove the loaf from the pan and let it cool completely before cutting.

Then to top off the bread my family loves homemade apple butter, here's the recipe I use:

  • 5 1/2 pounds apples - peeled, cored and finely chopped
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Place apples in a slow cooker. Combine sugar, cinnamon, cloves and salt; pour over apples and mix well. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook for 9-11 hours or until thickened and dark brown, stirring occasionally (stir more frequently as it thickens to prevent sticking). Uncover and cook on low 1 hour longer. If desired, stir with a wire whisk until smooth. Spoon into freezer containers, leaving 1/2-in. headspace. Cover and refrigerate or freeze.

Apple Butter

Pumpkin Chili Mexicana   
I just pre-cooked my ground turkey and then threw it all into a crock-pot and mixed as the day went on.
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 c. chopped red bell pepper
1 clover garlic, finely choppped
1 lb. ground turkey
2 cans (14.5oz) no salt added diced tomatoes, undrained (Wal-mart brand)
1 can (15oz) Libby's 100% Pure Pumplin
1 can (15 oz) tomato sauce
1 can (15.25 oz) kidney beans, drained (I rinse to lower the salt by 40%)
1 can (4oz) diced green chilis
1/2 cup frozen corn
1 T. chili powder
1 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. black pepper

I added a T. cheddar cheese and a T. sour cream when serving
French Crust Apple Pie

 For dessert we had french crust, apple pie.  It was not bad but not my favorite crust and pie recipe, definately had better.  So won't be trying this one again.