Swidget 1.0

Saturday, July 11, 2009

my favorite waffles!

this is a tweaked version of the recipe we discovered in our "america's test kitchen baking cookbook"...and i must tell you that i HIGHLY recommend that particular cookbook. we LOVE it! the batter has a few steps and is more time-consuming than some...but i think the result is WELL worth it. (this recipe is for a double batch--around 30+ 4 inch square waffles)

4 cups flour--i use half white, half whole wheat
4 Tbsp. cornmeal (odd...but it adds some crispiness...leave it out if you think its too strange!)
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
3 1/2 cups buttermilk (i use milk and add a couple Tbsp. of vinegar to "curdle" it)
1 stick butter--melted and cooled to room temp
4 eggs, separated
pinch of cream of tartar
finely chopped fruit of your choice (i've been known to use frozen mixed berries...today i finely chopped fresh strawberries and blackberries with my food chopper)kroger this week!)

*Heat your waffle iron while you are mixing the batter...this ensure it will be plenty hot!
1. Melt the butter and let it sit to cool.
2. In a large bowl whisk together flour, cornmeal, salt, and baking soda--set to side.
3. In a medium bowl whisk together buttermilk, cooled butter, and egg yolks (put egg whites the side, you will use them in the next step!)
4. In another medium bowl (trust me...use a medium sized bowl...otherwise you will have egg whites everywhere--ask me how i know this!) beat egg whites and pinch of cream of tartar with an electric mixer on medium low speed until frothy. Then beat on high speed for another couple of minutes until stiff peaks form.
5. Whisk buttermilk mixture into dry ingredients until moist but still lumpy--don't overmix...lumps are our friends! Then fold in egg whites with a rubber spatula...and finally, fold in the fruit.
6. Cook according to waffle iron instructions. We leave ours a bit "soft" when we are planning to freeze them...they crisp up in the toaster when you reheat them.
7. Cool on wire racks until completely cool to the touch. Bag in ziploc freezer bags...and voila, a quick, inexpensive breakfast--and much healthier than Eggos--not to mention tastier!

pigs in a blanket

click here for a super tasty recipe for pigs in a blanket...i used hebrew national kosher beef hotdogs (because we're kind of hotdog snobs around our house...and because our costco stocks these and we can get a great deal!) and replaced half of the flour in the recipe with whole wheat flour. YUM! i made them this morning to stock up the freezer for quick lunches after the baby's arrival...and they came out of the oven right around lunchtime, so we ended up scarfing some down for lunch. the whole family approved.

i would make one suggestion. on my second batch i divided the dough into three balls instead of two, and it made for a more proportional pig to blanket ratio! :) the first batch was a bit over-breaded in our opinion.

i also made a variation and tried putting lil' smokies in some....hoping they might make a quick grab-n-go breakfast for VBS this week (and for mike in the mornings as he rushes out the door to work!)...and they worked great. i put two smokies (kind of staggered them) per "blanket"...you could surely use links as well. i just had picked up the lil' smokies on a whim since i had coupons that made them less than fifty cents a package! (and since elizabeth might have LOVED them during our boat-in pancake breakfast last week--we obviously don't buy them regularly, as that was the first time she had ever tasted a smoky link!--poor deprived girl...)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

chicken teriyaki

6 lbs. (about 8-12 breasts) chicken--I chopped these into "tender" size pieces
24 oz. pineapple juice
1 cup soy sauce
4 1/2 T sugar
1 1/2 T ground ginger
3 T canola oil
4 1/2 T molasses

Assembly: Mix all ingredients. Bag and freeze.

To Serve:
Cover and cook on low in crock pot for 1-2 hours...serve over hot rice. (Or bake for 30 minutes in oven at 350).

polynesian barbeque pork marinade

3 lbs. pork (tenderloin, chops, whatever you desire)
3/4 cup bbq sauce
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 T olive oil
1 T ginger
1/4 cup brown sugar

Place marinade in freezer bags with desired amount and cut of meat. To serve, thaw and grill (or bake or pan fry).

honey mustard marinade

1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 cloves garlic, crushed (i use jarred minced garlic)

Place marinade in freezer bag with chicken (or desired meat). Thaw and grill (or bake) to serve.

cremy chicken breast casserole

this recipe makes 2 8x8's--multiply as desired

6 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup (or whatever cream of soup you desire)
1/4 cup white cooking wine
2 cups herb stuffing mix
1/2 cup butter--for serving day

Before Cooking Day:
1. Dice raw chicken into bite size pieces and package to take to cooking day.

On Cooking Day:
1. Place chicken in baking dish and cover with cheese.
2. Combine cooking wine with soup and spread over chicken and cheese.
3. Place stuffing mix in plastic baggy with butter and tape to baking dish. (or just keep in your pantry!)

To Serve:
1. Thaw completely.
2. Melt butter in skillet. Stir in stuffing mix to moisten. Spread stuffing on top of casserole.
3. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.

burrito casserole

this is the recipe for 2 8x8 servings...multiply as desired.

1 lb. ground beef
2/3 cup chopped onion
2 cloves minced garlic
2-4 tsp. chili powder
12 flour tortillas
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 tsp salt
1 tsp oregano
1 can refried beans
1/2 cup flour
4 cups hot water

Before Cooking Day:
1. Brown ground beef with onion, garlic, chili powder, salt, and oregano.
2. Package to take with you on cooking day.

Cooking Day:
1. Combine ground beef, beans, flour, and water in a large skillet...let simmer to thicken.
2. Spray pans with PAM.
3. Layer tortillas, meat mix, and cheese...top with layer of tortillas and cheese.
4. Label and freeze!

1. Thaw completely. Bake at 325 for 20 minutes. Serve with lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, etc.

breaded ranch chicken

this recipe yields 8 chicken breasts...scale as desired!

3/4 cups crushed cornflakes
3/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 envelope ranch salad dressing mix
8 boneless chicken breasts (i tend to cut these into smaller strips or pieces...just my preference)
1 stick butter

1. Combine cornflakes, cheese, and ranch dressing mix.
2. Divide into small ziploc bags--I divide this into 4 bags...and use 2 chicken breasts per meal.
3. Place chicken breasts in a quart sized freezer bag...then place chicken, cornflake mix, and butter (divided depending on how many servings you made) in a large freezer bag.

To Serve:
1. Thaw mix and chicken breasts.
2. Dip chicken in melted butter and roll in cornflake mixture to coat.
3. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes.

Monday, June 15, 2009

parsley parmesan chicken

2-3 lbs. fresh fryer parts (or boneless chicken tenders)
1/4 cup italian dressing
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/3 cup dry bread crumbs
2 T parsley flakes
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. salt

Before day of cooking....
1. Package chicken into freezer bags in desired portions. I like to cut up chicken breasts into smaller pieces.

Day of cooking...
1. Place chicken parts and salad dressing in a bag to marinade.
2. Combine the parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, parsley flakes, paprika, salt, and pepper into a separate ziploc baggie.
3. Place all into a larger freezer bag. Label and freeze.

Baking day....
1. Roll chicken one piece at a time in the crumbs (or just put it all in a bag and shake!). Then place the chicken in a greased 9x13 (or 8x8 for smaller portions) pan or on a cookie sheet. (If desired spoon excess dressing over chicken--I don't do this step, but others have told me it is good.) Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes to 1 hour or until the thickest part is done.

We enjoy this with a salad or green beans...and perhaps some mashed sweet potatoes.

Sausage Calzones

Recipe yields 4 calzones. The hubby and I usually split one and then freeze the rest to reheat later.

1 1/3 lb. italian sausage
2 cups ricotta cheese
handful parsley
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
handful parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 Tbsp. chopped pimento
2 tubes of prepared refrigerated pizza dough (I usually use two bags of Trader Joes whole wheat dough...you could also make your own)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
tomato, marinara or pizza sauce for dipping

Before day of cooking....
1. Brown sausage. Package and take to cooking day.

Day of cooking....
1. Combine sausage with ricotta, parsley, garlic, parmesan cheese, pepper, nutmeg, and pimento. 2. Roll pizza dough out on nonstick cookie sheets in 4 equal pieces. Spread 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese and 1/4 of the sausage mixture on each rectangle. (Work only on one half of rectangle of dough!). Fold other half of dough over filling, pink edges firmly to seal. If your dough tears, remove a bit of filling and repair.
3. Wrap calzone in foil (spray foil with cooking oil before wrapping!) and place in a freezer bag.

Baking day....
1. Thaw and unwrap.
2. Bake 12-15 minutes at 425 or until golden brown. (My hint: spread foil on your cookie sheet before baking...makes for easy clean-up for the cheesy mess that oozes out during baking!)
3. Serve with tomato sauce for dipping. YUM!

Savory Marinade (for any meat)

Whisk together...

1 large clove garlic
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 Tbsp. worchestershire sauce
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/8 cup lemon juice
1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. parsley

To freeze: Place this in freezer bag...add meat of choice (I enjoy using pork loins or chops OR chicken breast). On cooking day, thaw completely and bake or grill.

Chicken Pot Pie

This is one of my all-time favorites. You've gotta love it when all the food groups combine into one dish that even the kiddos enjoy! This recipe came from an old neighbor, from way back when I used to babysit her little ones...to think I now have my own that age!

2 pie crusts (I make my own)--don't need until day you want to eat it!
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken (I love to use rotisserie chicken...gives it an extra kick!)
1 can cream of potato soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup onion, diced
10 oz. frozen pea and carrot blend (or mixed veggies)
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. thyme

Before day of cooking...

1. Cook and shred/dice chicken. I must admit, I almost always just buy a rotisserie chicken at Costco and dice it up...better flavor in my opinion! :)

Day of cooking....

1. Combine all ingredients (except crust, obviously) in a bowl and mix well.

2. Place mixture in ziploc freezer bag (double bag if you want). Label and freeze.

Baking day...

1. Make pie crust (enough for 2 crusts...top and bottom)...or buy crusts.

2. Place bottom crust in pie pan (I tend to use a square 8x8...its deeper and has more room for filling!). Saute the onion and celery in olive oil until soft. Combine all ingredients (including celery and onion), stir to mix well, and pour into pie shell. Cover with top crust, pinch edges together, and prick vents.

Bake at 375 for 50-60 minutes, until deep golden brown. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Creamy Wild Rice Soup

1 1/2 lbs. chicken, cooked and diced
1/4 cup butter
1 large onion, diced
4 carrots, diced (or one 16 oz. bag of baby carrots)
3 celery stalks, diced
12 oz. sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup flour
32 oz. chicken broth
1 1/2 cups wild rice (cooked)
1 Tbsp. salt
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. curry powder
2 cups milk

Before day of cooking....
1. Cook and dice/shred chicken.
2. Cook wild rice.

Day of cooking....
**You will need a LARGE stockpot for each batch!
Add chicken, carrots, mushrooms, celery, onion, butter, and chicken broth to a large stockpot. Heat over medium high heat until veggies are tender. Add dry ingredients (EXCEPT wild rice). Reduce heat and stir in milk...cook through. Stir in wild rice at end.

To freeze: Double bag in ziploc freezer bags OR freezer safe plastic containers. To serve thaw and heat through.

Beef Chimichangas

These are great to make and "feed your freezer" with...pull them out one at a time for a tasty lunch or grab as many as you need for a family dinner. You should be able to easily multiply the ingredients to make batches of 32 or more...depending on what you have room for in your freezer.

1 lb cooked beef

16 oz salsa (as spicy as you like)

16 oz. can refried beans (fat-free work)

Taco seasoning
1t Minced onion
1t Chili powder
1/2 t Garlic powder
1/2 t Cumin
1/2 t Salt
1/2 cup Water

16-8 inch flour tortillas
1 lb. Monterrey Jack cheese or cheddar cheese, shredded

oil, for frying (optional)

Before day of cooking....
1. Brown ground beef with taco seasoning.

Day of cooking...
1. Combine ground beef, refried beans, salsa, and cheese in a large bowl.
2. Microwave tortillas briefly to soften.
3. Fill tortilla with ½ cup of meat mixture and top with cheese. Fold in the ends and roll it up.

Freezing and cooking directions:
Bake at 350 for about 30-40 minutes (straight from freezer—no need to thaw) OR heat them in ¼ in. deep oil in skillet for approx. 18 minutes over med-LOW heat (turn them once and watch them carefully). **We’ve also found they work well in the microwave…just unwrap, place on a plate and microwave for 1 minute…then 30 seconds at a time until warmed through. YUM

Chicken Chimichangas

Chicken breast (5-6ish)
Taco seasoning (1-2 packets)
Salsa (1-2 cups)
Cheese--mexican blend or co-jack are my favs (2 cups-ish--or more...I like them cheesy!)
Frozen corn-1 cup
Black beans-1-2 cans (depends how "beany" you want them!)
Sliced olives-1 can--this is optional...we just like olives!
Flour tortillas--30-40 (you want the 8 inch ones)
Aluminum foil and gallon freezer bags for packaging

I am estimating amounts...as this depends on how many you would like to make, and how "stuffed" you want each chimi!

Before day of cooking....
1. Toss chicken breasts (split chicken breasts will work...just take the skin off and toss in without deboning...you can debone when you shred later!) into a crock pot. Cover with taco seasoning and salsa. Let simmer all day on low heat. Remove from crock pot, shred, and package to take with you on cooking day.

Day of cooking....
1. Stir beans (drained and rinsed), cheese, corn and olives into meat mixture in a LARGE bowl.
2. Warm tortillas in micro briefly to soften.
3. Place 1/3-1/2 cup of mixture on each tortilla. Wrap it up (be sure to "tuck in" the ends).
4. Wrap each individual chimi in aluminum foil and place in freezer bag.

Baking instructions...
1. No need to thaw!
2. Unwrap and bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes.
OR for a more authentic (albeit..less healthy!) taste...
2. Place 1/4-1/2 inch of oil in skillet and heat over medium heat. Place chimi in oil and cook for approx. 8 minutes per side or until just golden
OR for a quick meal...or hubby's lunchbox!
3. Microwave on medium power 2-3 minutes. (obviously you should remove the foil first!) :)

Baked Ziti

This recipe makes 4-8x8 pans or 2 9x13 pans of baked ziti. Tweak amounts if necessary! :)

4 cups cottage cheese
8 eggs
8 cups mozarella cheese
1 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
64 oz. spaghetti sauce of your choosing
2 lbs. meat--ground beef, italian sausage or a mixture of these--this is optional!
32 oz. pasta--rotini or penne shape work well

Before day of cooking....
1. Cook pasta according to instructions. Be sure to cook just until "al dente" and not overcook since you are freezing this. Drain and package in ziplocs or whatever container you would like to take to your cooking day.

2. Brown any ground beef or sausage and package to take along for cooking.

Day of cooking...
1. Mix cottage cheese, eggs, and mozarella cheese in a large mixing bowl. Stir pasta into this mixture.
2. In separate large bowl mix spaghetti sauce with meat.
3. Place a layer of sauce on the bottom of each pan (4-8x8s or 2-9x13s--aluminum foil or something like Glad Ovenware (this is my preference...they go straight from freezer to oven and clean SO easily!).
4. Cover sauce layer with 1/4 (or 1/2 if using 9x13) of cheese and pasta mixture.
5. Cover with remaining sauce.
6. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
7. Cover with lid. If using aluminum pans I recommend placing the entire pan into a ziploc freezer bag to prevent leaks! Label...freeze....ENJOY!

Baking instructions....
1. Thaw completely.
2. Cover with foil (if you are using an Ovenbake remove the plastic lid first!) and bake at 350 for 20 minutes...then remove foil and bake an additional 20 minutes.