Weekly Menu 2/27-3/5

What’s Thawing?   

Nearly every meal I prepare consists of foods I have doubled and frozen. I thaw items in a plastic shoe box to prevent condensation dripping onto my shelves (I’ve learned from experience). I shop my freezer to see what goodies I can thaw and serve to my family. I write these items down on a seven-day menu plan and post it on my refrigerator as a reminder to thaw my food 24 hours ahead of time. Typically right after dinner, I will glance at my menu plan and put new items into my thawing box. Here’s what I’m thawing this week…

Plugged into the Powersource

Car Alternator

I had a new alternator in my trunk.  Every gauge on my dashboard registered zero and my battery was less than a quarter full before the lights went off. I began to pray for the remaining three miles home. Fearing the worst, I turned onto our street and drove up the hill. It died just before I reached the driveway.  God answered my prayers as I put the vehicle in neutral and coasted backward into our yard.

I learned something new about cars. The alternator is the source of power for the battery and it keeps my Suburban running. When the warning sign alerts-battery not charging-you should check on the alternator-right away-not the next day.

I am much like an alternator. To be an effective, Godly wife and mother, my battery needs to be charged, too.   In the past three years, I’ve had two babies. Sleepless nights and motherhood have taken a toll on my quiet time, but as my babies grew into a sleeping pattern, my patterns changed as well. I enjoyed the extra sleep and as a result, I stopped meeting with God. The hour set aside for God had dwindled into a five minute devotion.

My relationship with God wasn’t the same. I wasn’t reading my Bible enough and my actions reflected it. Recently, God has reminded me the importance of spending time in His Word. The more time I spend with Him, I yearn for Him. It’s just like old times waking up to savor the intimate moments with Him, and not being interrupted by five others in the household.

God is what helps us operate effectively. Whether at work or at home, spending enough time with the Lord is vital. The next time you catch yourself thinking or doing something you’re not proud of, ask yourself, “Have I been plugged into God long enough?”  “Have I taken time to allow His Word to speak?” Perhaps like me, you need a gentle reminder. Without an alternator, you’ll be stranded on the side of the road. You can also be high and dry without God’s Word.

Last Freezer Cooking Class-Week 6



This is our last freezer cooking class together. We have a bonus class with freebies sponsored by Philly Cooking cream: bamboo wooden spoon, magnetic grocery pad, refrigerator magnet and a coupon for free philly cooking cream. You don’t want to miss this fun class, (we’ll have nachos with philly cream) and we’ll make a freezer casserole or two, but you have to RSVP this week by commenting below. I only have about 5 confirmations and I have 16 philly cream coupons and I can’t make 16 casseroles by myself–or can I? Seriously, I’d love for you to come and join us even if you haven’t been coming to all the classes or you just want to try out one to see if you’d like to take it next semester.

For this week’s class you will need the following supplies: hand mixer, bowl, spoon and cookie scoop to make whole wheat chocolate chip cookies. Choose Eagle Mills whole wheat blend or white wheat flour and unbleached all purpose flour. Make sure you bring all the cookie ingredients to make these in class and scoop into our 9×13 pans for you to take home and freeze.

We’re also making Artisan dough with olive oil or canola oil. Again, you choose your flour and bring along a plastic shoe box. Last, but definitely not the least, I will be giving away my favorite cookbook, I’ve been blogging about for months–Healthy Bread In 5 minutes.

We’ll be discussing how to freeze purees and dry goods and demonstrating how use your Artisan dough you made in class. I hope to see everyone here for our final class and our bonus class. Don’t forget to comment below if you are coming to the bonus class.  Have a blessed weekend.

Fantasy Fudge is freezer friendly

 

Just in case you love fudge or chocolate like my husband does, it’s beneficial to know fudge can be wrapped tightly in foil and frozen for a good while. I secretly saved a third of the fantasy fudge and stowed it away. Tonight, I unwrapped the large chunk of fudge and cut it into bite size portions, like the ones pictured above. It was still frozen while I chopped a small portion with a chef knife and this allowed it  to come to room temperature quicker. We were indulging in homemade fudge within ten minutes. My daughter was indulging within one minute and didn’t care if it was cold.

Items made with milk and butter, marshmallow creme and other goodies do indeed freeze well. Have you checked out the prices for fudge at speciality shops? A whopping $10 to $15 a pound.  Save yourself a bundle and make your own. You could make goodie bags in a flash  for others by having homemade fudge in your freezer. Cut small squares and place in cellophane bags tied with a grosgrain ribbon for any holiday or appreciation gift.  Or you could just save it for yourself and eat it all;)– that’s my husband’s vote right now.

Recipe for Fantasy Fudge

What’s your favorite freezer item to give away?

Healthy homemade Popsicles

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The sound of the icecream truck is a familiar tune to adults and children on a summer day. How many of you recall the astropop when you were a kid? It is a red, white and blue novelty  re-introduced in the grocery store. This mold reminds me of the familar shape of an astropop. I remember the cost was close to a dollar or right under. A popsicle is 90% water with added food dye and high fructose corn syrup. Juice bars are made from concentrated juice and water. Fudgesicles and creamsicles are made from dairy.

Today’s post gives you ideas how to make your own healthy homemade popsicles and frozen treats. For healthy juicesicles, you need one ingredient–100% juice and you pour it into a mold like the one above, which came from the dollar tree or dollar general. Do you prefer a dairy frozen treat? Try freezing your leftover smoothie made with milk or yogurt, like the Tinkerbell or Incredible Hulk, for an easy treat. Oh your love is chocolate? Then make chocolate milk and freeze it. Using a blender is a great way to create new popscicle treats and pour them directly into the molds (so grab a few at the store).  It’s fun for kids to watch you make their popsicle and a few hours later enjoy a healthy treat. You know exactly what went into your treat and it’s low-calorie enough to enjoy two if they are small like mine.

Be creative with your popsicles and have fun. We actually pour the leftover smoothie which contains spinach. I bet you’ve never heard of that. My kids are eating frozen spinach!

TIP: Turn the entire mold upside down and run warm water over them first, and then gently pull down on the sticks to remove them easily. You can also use small bath cups for thicker mixtures, such as smoothies, and insert craft sticks in them prior to freezing.

Tell us your favorite popsicle creation or store-bought popsicle so we can get our wheels turning.

Freezing Homemade Biscuits made with Sour Cream

FWD: David Brown  :)

I know we all love a hot, delicious Cracker Barrel biscuit, but we can’t have one everyday. Or can we? Take your favorite biscuit recipe and double your next batch like I do. I used light sour cream in this recipe and baked them, cooled them completely and bagged them for my next breakfast or breakfast for dinner meal. These are just like Pillsbury frozen biscuits only better because they are made without preservatives.

Stick with your own family recipe or try mine. This is the only recipe that I use white flour because hubbie gets biscuits infrequently and I like to treat him with the REAL thing. Sometimes I’ll use butter instead of shortening. I have friends who use Palm shortening and coconut oil, but like I said, go with what your family is used to and double and freeze extra like I do. It’s a convenience biscuit to make your own bacon, egg and cheese or sausage and egg biscuit in a flash. Or try wrapping some of these individually for your own Jimmy Dean convenience biscuit.

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I use White Lily unbleached flou for this recipe. A savings tip is to wait until the sour cream goes BOGOF and use a coupon to get it for loose change and then try this recipe;) They taste much better knowing you only paid pennies for a tub of sour cream, you’re using in biscuits.  Google Breakstones for a coupon link or try their facebook.

You can reheat the thawed biscuits in the microwave for a soft texture or in the oven wrapped in foil. I like to save my energy and only reheat breads if I have a casserole baking. Plus it saves time reheating them in the microwave.

Sour Cream Biscuits

4 cups White Lily Unbleached Self-Rising flour

1-16oz. container sour cream, I use light sour cream

Heat oven to 450. Blend in enough sour cream with a fork or your hands until the dough leaves sides of bowl.  Add a splash of milk if it is too dry.  Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Gently knead 2 to 3 times. Roll out dough to 1/2 or 3/4 inch (if you like it Cracker Barrel style). Cut using a floured 2 or 3-inch biscuit cutter. I’m really professional and use my kid’s plastic drinking cup. Place on a baking sheet with sides touching for soft and 1-inch apart for crisp sides. Bake about 8-10 minutes depending on whether you doubled this recipe, 10-12 minutes if you make a double batch like I do.

P.S. I learned how to make my first homemade biscuits when I was 5 or 6, sitting on a stool, with my mom. Thanks for teaching me, Mom! Do you have a childhood memory when you learned to make something in the kitchen?

Helping Others In Need

We’ve all had a crisis in our family at some time and we’ve needed help. Mom on a mission is partnering with BBC (our local church) to help a family who needs help. A mom with four children under the age of 8 (one set of 4 year-old twins), is left behind. Her husband passed away due to flu complications and we would like to shower this family with God’s Love.

How can you help if you are a mom, single, or male or female? You can help by donating a frozen meal to this family. We’re accepting donations for several weeks to pack as much love as we can into their freezer. We will have the drop off times and dates as soon as we get more information, but pray for this family and pray how your food can impact others. Contact st.king@hotmail.com if you would like to donate a frozen main dish casserole or food gift cards.

**If you’re preparing a casserole, please wrap unbaked casserole tightly in heavy-duty foil or double wrap in regular foil. Label the following on the foil with a sharpie marker-

Your casserole name, Directions: Thaw 24 hours, your baking time (please add 15 minutes to the original recipe time)

TIP: If you are making more than one casserole for your freezer, what I like to call double bubble, you need to maximize your space. If you’re not using prex lidded baking dishes to freeze, then you need a method for keeping those precious casseroles from collapsing. I use either a small cooling rack (dollar store racks work great) or a flexible chopping board in between the aluminum pans. This allows them to freeze solid without a lid and you can slide it out once it’s frozen. Just make sure your foil is heavy-duty or you’ve double wrapped with regular foil.

Use this method if you are freezer cooking with a group and you’re transporting your casseroles home. Hey, what a great idea, cook and have a play date with one or two friends and make food for your family and others. Did you know we also serve the Steadfast home in Asheville, a women and children’s shelter once a month. We’d love to have your help this month.

Have you ever cook and played?

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