Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Pseudo Mom's Lasagna

1 pkg lasagna noodles (cooked)
1 pkg turkey sausage(cases removed and cooked)
2 cups ricotta
2 cups cottage cheese
Fresh basil, oregano, parsley
2 eggs
handful of Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp garlic powder
6 cups marinara sauce
1 pkg mozzarella cheese

In a bowl, combine ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, eggs, herbs, garlic powder and parm cheese.
In 2 pans, layer the lasagna. Noodles, cheese mixture, sauce, then handful of mozzarella cheese. Repeat....voila! Cover and freeze!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Bock N Bird and Barley, Corn, and Provolone Bake


Freezing casseroles is all well and good, but lets face it, it isn't always summer food. However, after having a baby in the summer, I learned you can freeze meat in marniade. Then all you need to do is thaw, grill, add a side, then eat. I found this recipe for a chicken marniade on my cooking light message board. It made a ton of marniade, and I marniaded 6 breasts.


Unfortuately, the weather didn't cooperate so I had to bake instead. I paired it with a Barley, Corn, and Provolone Bake that I also hopes freeze well. Although I feel Mark suspected this was a healthy food item sent here to torture him, he actually enjoyed the entire meal quite a bit. Good thing because once I find room in a freezer, we will be able to enjoy the whole meal at a later date.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Kathy's Chicken Tetrazzini

1 1/2 C cooked spaghetti

1 1/2 C cooked shredded chicken

1 jar mushrooms

1 jar pimentos

1 can Rotel

1/4 C butter

1/4 C flour

2 C milk

1 C shredded cheese

handful of bread crumbs
Melt butter in a saute pan. Add flour and cook for 1 minute. Add milk stirring constantly until sauce is thick and bubbly. In a casserole dish combine cooked spaghetti, shredded chicken, mushrooms, pimentos, Rotel, cheese and sauce. Still until thoroughly combined. Top with bread crumbs and pats of butter. Bake at 325 for 25 minutes.
This is like the 2nd time I posted a recipe I had to type in...I really prefer to just link :)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Low country casserole


This was another one I received as a new mom meal. I finally got the recipe and was able to make it myself. Mark REALLY liked this one. I think it is because of the sausage.

Low Country Casserole
1 lb sausage - cooked and drained
1 package Uncle Ben's rice
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 onion chopped
1 can mushrooms
1 cup shredded chedder cheese

Combine first 5 ingredients and top with cheese. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes. The person I got this from notes that sometimes she adds some cooked chicken.


My notes: I didn't have uncle Ben's rice, so I added about 2 cups brown rice from the freezer and 1 cup wild rice then 2T of greek seasoning. I also didn't have any mushrooms so I added 1 can of undrained fire roasted tomatoes. I would do that again with the mushrooms. That blue dish was enough for 1 meal for Mark, James and I. To freeze it again, I would add some chicken like it was mentioned and more rice to get a little more for both meals.


Turkey and Artichoke Stuffed Shells with Arrabbiata Sauce

I found this recipe for Turkey and Artichoke Stuffed Shells with Arrabbiata Sauce on Food Network. I have never made any stuffed shells before, but have made manicotti. They are pretty similar, just on a smaller scale. I forgot to take a picture until after we had almost eaten all of it. I had a TON of the filling left over and not enough shells...I always thought of myself as an over-stuffer. The dish was good, but we haven't tried it post-freezing yet. We'll see!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup

The original recipe was found on a can of chicken - we've since modified it to our tastes a little more. Since canned items tend to have a lot of salt, I suggest buying reduced sodium versions where possible and you could also substitue fresh chicken as well.

We've made this soup several times and always had lots of leftovers. Kevin and I can eat supper at least twice with him having leftovers for lunch at least twice. So the last time I made it, I tried freezing some. It still tasted great!

2 cans (13oz each) cooked chicken breast (drained - I also break up with a potato masher to make the pieces smaller)
2 cans (10oz each) enchilada sauce
1 can (12oz) evaporated milk
1 can (15oz) pinto beans (I drain and rinse)
1 can (10.5oz) cream of chicken soup
1 can (10.75oz) nacho cheese soup
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1 can (15.25oz) whole kernal corn (drained - I also rinse)

Combine all ingredients into a large saucepan. Heat on medium until hot, stirring occasionally.

I also sometimes add a little tabasco sauce. We thought it a little bland, but add whatever you like to spice it up a little.

We serve with shredded cheese, sour cream and crushed tortilla chips.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Broccoli Mac and Cheese Gratin

Now this one is a good one to freeze.


Sorry that the picture is a little fuzzy, but the camera battery was dying as I took these.

I can't remember if it was right before or after I had Andy that was looking for something different. Some sort of casserole that did not call for tons of processed indregients. Something that I as an adult would enjoy, but something that James could eat as well. I came across this recipe for Broccoli Mac and Cheese Gratin from the Nerd family blog and this was just what I was looking for. I think the original poster uses it more for a side dish, but I like to add some organic chicken sausage to make it a full meal. Don't be shy with the salt or the red pepper, it needs it! Instead of making it in a 9x13 pan (I never make anything in a 9x13 pan), I always break it up into 2 smaller pans. Half of the one I made here is going to a new mom from my Monday playgroup. It works well with my best fruit salad.


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Egg and Chili Casserole

I am not sure if this one really counts. I am not sure how freezable it is, but egg casseroles usually reheat well.


I have all these hatch chili peppers and have been trying to find ways to use them. I found the recipe for egg and chili casserole on a blog that was link to my sisters. Now, this person claims to be able to stick to a $200 a MONTH grocery budget, so I was wary, but like I said, I have all these peppers...

It was ok. I made a half recipe and baked it in a smaller pan. I also added 5 strips of bacon and called it a fritatta to appease you-know-who. It turned out a little thin, so I might add more eggs next time. The flavor of the peppers were completely overwhelmed, but a little more salt or pepper might help that. James LOVED having eggs for dinner so I will probably make some variation of this again. We didn't end up with much leftover, but if I did, I was going to use that to make breakfast tacos.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Individual Freezer Chicken Pot Pies

This is a recipe I remembered seeing in a Cook's Country magazine and found the recipe posted online. I haven't tried these yet because they are supposed to be completely frozen when you cook them. The filling is quite runny so they don't suggest baking a pie before freezing it. I can tell you, though, that this was completely labor intensive and had me questioning why I was going to so much trouble preparing a freezer meal ... I definitely could have had a nice fresh meal prepared in the amount of time these took to prepare. Catch the actual taste review later this month!

Update: We made these from frozen last week. I have mixed feelings. The taste was incredible but the filling was still pretty runny even though it said the freezing would make it firm up. Also I had some issues with the crust sticking to the tin foil and the crust (which is my favorite part) turned out to be a disaster. However, i didn't follow the crust directions exactly. If you are going to follow the directions they give and double up the crust then you need to buy 2 (15 oz) Pillsbury Ready made crust boxes (total of 4 ready made crusts) not just one. I think this is an error in the recipe.

Second Update: We tried these again this week and it worked a lot better for the crust to flip/flop the baking instructions. I, first, removed the plastic and foil and baked it uncovered for 35 minutes. Next, I covered it with foil and baked it for 40 minutes longer. The crust stayed intact. Also, I didn't bother doing the egg wash on the crust before baking this time.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Baked Spaghetti

This is a recipe from Paula Deen's cookbook. It's one that I love even though it is a little time intensive. I usually double or triple the recipe. I put one in the fridge for us, one in the freezer for us and give others away when we have friends sick or with a new baby.

I don't usually use fresh garlic, I use it out of a jar. And I have substituted dried parsley flakes for the fresh (the jar tells you substitution amounts). I also don't have multiple layers of pasta. I usually put a little sauce in the bottom of the pan, then cover with a layer of pasta, then cover the pasta with cheese and then add a layer of sauce. I do put more cheese on the top once cooked. Her house seasoning is a blend of salt, pepper and garlic powder. Just use 1 tsp of salt, and a 1/4 tsp each pepper and garlic powder. Instead of her brand of Italian seasoning, I use the Italian seasoning blend in my pantry.

I use the rule of thumb that it can be refrigerated for a week or frozen for a month. If frozen, it should be defrosted overnight in the fridge and then allowed to sit on the counter to be as close to room temp. as possible for cooking. It does take longer to cook if it's been frozen.

No pictures this time, because I made this a few weeks ago and forgot to take any.


(You'll have to cut and paste because I couldn't get the link to work - Sorry!)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

March Challenge - Freezes/Reheats Well

I love to cook, but with two young children, it can be hard during the week. So my new thing has been to cook several things over the weekend, and then reheat and/or cook in the oven on a weeknight. I usually make extra and freeze some too. That way we get home cooked meals without all the effort during the week.

So - the challenge for March are recipes that can be made ahead of time and either refrigerated or frozen to cook later.