Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Oven Fried Potato Wedges for the Freezer

 
There are so many great sales on potatoes this time of year, and so I stocked up when there was a great sale on 5 pound bags of potatoes. I set aside one bag for preparing meals for the freezer. I used half of the bag for Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes, and other half to add another side dish to our freezer.


The verdict?
I made these in a late afternoon, so they were still cooling on the counter when my husband came home. He was so disappointed we wouldn't be eating them for dinner that night, so I know these will be a hit! I struggle to find potato side dishes that aren't mashed potatoes, because those really aren't our family's favorite, so I'm pleased with the variety in my freezer! 


This recipe is now included in my Creatively Domestic's Freezer Meals ebook for sale on Amazon. To view this recipe and many others, please visit (and buy if you're interested) from that site.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Flashback Saturday for Nov 27, 2010

 Flashback Saturday is a way to introduce some posts
that might be lost in the shuffle of years' past!

A year ago this week I posted some great recipes for:





Creatively Domestic

Simple Cooking | Easy Cooking

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Uses for Leftover Turkey

What to do with all those leftovers from the big turkey day? I know we rarely have leftovers of the sides that last more than a day, but always have massive amount of cooked turkey hanging around for a few weeks after.

I usually like to stay away from the "Thanksgiving flavors" when I'm reinventing leftovers. Here are some recipes to use up that leftover turkey, and while most of these recipes use cooked chicken, it's an easy swap for turkey:

Turkey Stock

Mexican Chicken Casserole

Chicken 'n Spinach Pasta Bake

Almond Chicken & Rice Casserole

There is always the typical sliced turkey sandwich or turkey salad to whip up, also!

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!

Creatively Domestic
Simple Cooking | Easy Cooking

Monday, November 22, 2010

Baked Chicken Thighs on Rice


So I bought a large amount of marked down meat like Chicken Wings, Chicken Thighs, and Chicken Drumsticks a few months ago, and I'm starting to work our way through it. We've eaten one pack of chicken wings, and this week I decided to find a new recipe for Chicken Thighs.

I was drawn to this recipe because it seemed like an almost one-dish meal: throw it all in the oven and come back in an hour!

Baked Chicken Thighs on Rice
adapted from allrecipes.com

1 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup diced onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon (leave out if using canned stock)
1 cup white rice
2 cups chicken stock (I used homemade)
6 chicken thighs, skinned if desired
Salt and pepper (or Mrs. Dash)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9 x 13 inch pan with cooking spray. Heat oil in a pan, saute the onion and garlic until softened. Add thyme, salt, and rice. Stir to combine and coat the rice. Add the chicken stock, then turn off heat. Pour into the 9 x 13 pan, and spread out the rice. Add the chicken to the dish, placing them evenly on the pan. Season the chicken with Mrs. Dash (or salt and pepper). Cover the pan with foil. Bake for 30 mins.


Remove from oven, and stir as best you can around the chicken. (I was too lazy to remove the chicken to stir the rice and it turned out fine) Recover with foil and return to the oven for 20 mins or until chicken is thoroughly cooked. If there is still too much liquid in rice, remove foil for the last 5 to 10 minutes.


The verdict?
This reminded me most of my Grandma's Chicken with Wild Rice dish that has a cut-up bone-in chicken, wild and white rice, and three (count 'em! Three!) cans of condensed cream of soup. Obviously, this one didn't have any condensed soup, but it had a similar style and texture to her casserole, so it made me happy to get an "almost-like" dish to rival that.


I used bone-in chicken thighs, as that's what I had, and my husband repeatably pointed out - he didn't like eating it off the bone, he would have preferred boneless. I agreed, but thanked him for being flexible. (See? He is a good sport!) Next time I would remove the skin off the chicken, as the rice was a little too greasy, although it had good flavor.

Next time I try this (which I will because it's very easy to throw in the oven) the addition of frozen peas, or another vegetable would make this a true one-dish meal.
 

Creatively Domestic

Simple Cooking | Easy Cooking

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Flashback Saturday for Nov 20, 2010

 Flashback Saturday is a way to introduce some posts
that might be lost in the shuffle of years' past!

A year ago this week I posted some great recipes for:



Creatively Domestic

Simple Cooking | Easy Cooking

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Preparing for Baby: Freezer Cooking Plan


I have started really cranking through my Freezer Cooking Plan, as our baby is to arrive sometime mid-January. I am trying to keep our Thanksgiving and Christmas as "normal" as possible, but still getting prepared for that crazy time when a baby is welcomed into your family!

Here is my formal plan of what I would like to have in freezer:

Pizza Dough Balls (10 crusts) + 10 - 8 oz bags shredded mozzarella cheese


Manicotti  (2 meals) (2 8 x 8 pans) with 2 loaves garlic bread (already in freezer)


Sweet & Sour Chicken (3 meals)with 3 bags white rice (already in freezer)

Lime Pepper Dump Chicken (2 meals)

Jenna’s Chili with stew meat (2 meals)

Comfort Meatballs (2 meals) (2 8 x8 pans)


Baked Oatmeal breakfast (24 indiv servings)

Cookie Dough Balls dessert

This brings the grand total of dishes created to 10 pizzas, 11 meals, 24 individual breakfasts, and 1 dessert.

I have experiemented with Freezer Cooking while working with Dinner is Ready, and my friend Lindsay has also guest posted about her experiences with Freezer Cooking.  I'm hoping to draw on all the tips mentioned in those posts, plus some things I've picked up along the way.

I've also been doing some other dishes ahead of this structured cooking day, like Pancakes, Egg & Sausage Biscuit Sandwiches, and Mini Egg Casseroles. I also made a double batches of Goulash, and Cinnamon Rolls. I also posted on Facebook that I made Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes and Oven Fried Potato Wedges from an on-sale 5 pound bag of potatoes I picked up.

As you can see, I have done alot of individual breakfasts. We are anticipating on having extra hands starting in mid-morning, so I wanted to take some of the pressure off my husband (heck, myself!) having to whip up breakfast each day. He loves pancakes and baked oatmeal, while I love eggs. My son eats just about anything in the morning, so hopefully we have it all covered. I might try freezing prepared Granola as that is our quick-breakfast backup. I might even have to break down and buy some boxes of cereal *gasp!*

I have another list for more freezer cooking, but I'm going to wait to see how much freezer room we have after the first big cooking day. On the backup list, I have Crockpot Taco Meat, Mexican Rice,  and Refried Beans.

Anyone have any tips for a freezer meal cooking day?

Creatively Domestic

Simple Cooking | Easy Cooking

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Baked Potato Soup




I decided to give this soup a try on a Friday night. We've had some unseasonably cool weather, and it makes me want to eat lots of soup!

I added a few ingredients (garlic powder and hot sauce) to flavor it up, but also forgot to add some ingredients at the end (sour cream & cheddar cheese - whoops!). The soup still turned out great, and we ate every last drop from the pot!

This soup came together really quickly, and would be a great dish to whip up after work. Most of the Potato Soup recipes I've tried have to simmer for a long time to get the potatoes at a falling apart consistency. By microwaving the potatoes, it creates that slow-simmered texture easily and very quickly!

The second time I made this, I did remember to put in the sour cream and cheese, and it was even better, but I don't think it was essential - the soup is pretty substantial without those extras.

Baked Potato Soup
recipe adapted from Our Family Eats

serves 4

4 medium potatoes
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 1/2 cups chicken broth (I used homemade)
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups 1% milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
1/4 cup light sour cream
3/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded, divided
green onions or parsley, optional

Pierce potatoes with a fork.  Microwave for 12 minutes, or until tender.  Cut in half and set aside to cool.

Heat butter in a medium sauce pan over medium high heat.  Add onion and celery and cook 2-3 minutes, until soft.  Add broth.  Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat, and let simmer for at least 5 minutes. In a small bowl, combine flour and 1/2 cup milk by whisking. Add flour mixture to pan, and whisk until the soup thickens. Add remaining milk.  Bring to a boil for one minute, then turn heat down to medium-low to simmer. Add salt and pepper, garlic powder and hot sauce and give it a stir to combine.

Remove peel from potatoes using your hands.  Loosely dice, and add potatoes to soup.  Continue to simmer over low heat.

Once you're ready to eat, remove from heat and stir in sour cream and 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, taste, and reseason with salt and pepper. Scoop into bowls topped with remaining cheese, green onions or parsley.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Fresh Express Salad Winners


Thanks to all who entered for the 10 coupons for FREE salad from Fresh Express! I have emailed all the winners, but have yet to hear back from a few, so check your Spam filter in your email!

Creatively Domestic

Simple Cooking | Easy Cooking

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Flashback Saturday for Nov 13, 2010

 Flashback Saturday is a way to introduce some posts
that might be lost in the shuffle of years' past!

A year ago this week I posted some great recipes for:



Creatively Domestic

Simple Cooking | Easy Cooking

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Flashback Saturday for Nov 6, 2010

 Flashback Saturday is a way to introduce some posts
that might be lost in the shuffle of years' past!

A year ago this week I posted some great recipes for:






Creatively Domestic

Simple Cooking | Easy Cooking

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Freezing Pancakes

I'm starting to freeze food for our baby's arrival in January. (The countdown has begun!) I have a big Freezer Cooking day scheduled for Nov 20th, but the more I can do ahead, the better!

One area that we know will be a struggle in the early months is breakfast, as my mother-in-law won't be over to help until later in the morning and I don't know how functioning I'll be that early! My husband is a totally capable cook, (as long as I'm not trying to "help" him) but by making it easier for him to prepare breakfast for himself and my son to get out the door in the morning, makes me feel more comfortable.

So this week, when my son was begging for pancakes for breakfast, I decided to make a triple batch, then freeze the remainder for January. I was feeling pretty go-get-'em at 7:30 am that day!


I let the pancakes cool completely, then froze them in a single layer on a cookie sheet, which took a few turns. After they were frozen, I placed a square of waxed paper inbetween each pancake (so you can pull out however many you'd like and it's not a huge frozen block!) then stacked them up in a bread bag. The vertical bag works better for me than trying to layer them in a regular gallon freezer bag.

Some of our favorite pancake recipes are:
Sour Cream Pancakes
Edna Mae's Pancakes
Light & Fluffy Pancakes

And don't forget to make some extra Homemade Maple Syrup!

I am also planning to make two batches of Baked Oatmeal on my big Freezer Cooking day and wrap the pieces individually so we can defrost as many as we need each morning. I'm contemplating Freezer Egg Sandwiches (I'm a much bigger egg eater than my husband) or Breakfast Burritos.


This recipe is now included in my Creatively Domestic's Freezer Meals ebook for sale on Amazon. To view this recipe and many others, please visit (and buy if you're interested) from that site.