DIY Freezer Meals: Blueberry Muffins

Filed under: Food/Drink — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:28 am on Monday, May 18, 2015

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For this week’s freezer meal to Save Time In The Kitchen, I made muffins. Blueberry muffins because I had frozen blueberries in the freezer. The great thing about this recipe is that you can use frozen berries and the muffins work even better.

I adapted Alton Brown’s muffin recipe. I like this recipe because the yogurt and the addition of wheat flour makes the muffins a bit more nutritious than they’d normally be. (Let’s face it, often muffins are just an excuse to eat cake in the morning.)

To make the muffins into a freezer meal, I made a double batch of the recipe, which ended up being 24 muffins. I left some out for the boys to eat and froze the rest.

Before putting the muffins in a freezer-safe bag, I wrapped each one in wax paper. This does two things: 1. It helps protect the muffins from freezer burn and 2. It keeps them from freezing together in a big clump, making it easy to pull individual muffins out of the bag when needed.

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DIY Freezer Meals: Blueberry Muffins

Ingredients

    1 cup wheat flour
    2 cups white flour
    2 teaspoons baking soda
    1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    2 cups sugar
    1 cup vegetable oil
    2 eggs
    2 cups plain yogurt
    2-3 cups blueberries

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In another bowl, whisk together the sugar, oil, eggs, and yogurt. Don’t over-stir the mixture. You want it to be a shaggy ball. Add blueberries to mixture and stir 3 more times.

Grease 2 muffin pans. Fill each muffin indentation with 1/3 cup batter. Place in the oven and bake 18-20 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. Remove when a knife inserted in the center muffin comes out clean.

To Freeze: Wrap each muffin in wax or parchment paper. Store in a freezer-safe container. To eat, remove a muffin from freezer, let defrost, and enjoy.

More Whole Grains, Less Coronary Heart Disease

Filed under: Food/Drink — Savvy Housekeeper at 9:04 am on Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Whole-Grains

A study found that eating more whole grains can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

Data from three case-control studies involving 14,427 patients with CHD and 400,492 participants found that people who ate more whole grains were “significantly associated with reduced risk of coronary heart disease.”

What are whole grains? Here’s a partial list from the whole grains council.

    Amaranth
    Barley
    Buckwheat
    Corn, including whole cornmeal and popcorn
    Millet
    Oats, including oatmeal
    Quinoa
    Rice, both brown rice and colored rice
    Rye
    Sorghum (also called milo)
    Teff
    Triticale
    Wheat, including varieties such as spelt, emmer, farro, einkorn, Kamut®, durum and forms such as bulgur, cracked wheat and wheatberries
    Wild rice

So convincing, I just ate some oatmeal.

DIY Freezer Meals: Cheese Ravioli

Filed under: Food/Drink — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:03 am on Monday, May 11, 2015

cheese ravioli

I’m still filling my freezer with extra meals to Save Time In The Kitchen. Last week it was Turkey Meatloaf and Toaster Waffles. This week it’s Cheese Ravioli.

As with the other meals, my method is to double a batch of whatever it is, serve some for dinner, and put the rest in the freezer.

I’ll admit this time was extra labor intensive because I had to form all the raviolis. However, since homemade ravioli tastes infinitely better, it was worth the work in my book.

Having a couple of dinner’s worth of homemade ravioli in the freezer feels like having gourmet food available that you can pull out any time.

To serve the frozen ravioli, all you have to do is drop them in boiling, salted water and serve with your favorite sauce.

I ended up with about 50 extra ravioli, or three meals worth, plus whatever we ate the first night (about 10?). With ravioli, a few go a long way.

DIY Freezer Meals: Cheese Ravioli

Ingredients:

For the Dough:

    4 eggs + 1 egg for sealing the ravioli
    4 cups flour
    6 Tablespoons water
    1/2 cup olive oil

For the Filling:

    24 ounces ricotta, preferably whole milk
    1/4 cup olive oil
    1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
    1 teaspoon Kosher salt
    1 cup Parmesan
    1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions:

Make the Dough:

In a separate bowl, crack four eggs and muddle with a fork. Add the olive oil and water.

Sift 4 cups of flour into a mixer or bowl. Pour the egg mixture into the flour. Mix together for 1 minute on medium speed, or with a spoon or spatula, until you have a shaggy ball.

Knead the dough. I used a dough hook for my mixer and let it run for 3 minutes on medium until the dough became a shiny ball. Alternately, you can turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead by hand.

Let the dough sit for an hour.

For the Filling:

Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Taste for seasoning.

Make the raviolis by running the dough through a pasta machine, filling, and forming the ravioli. I go over my method in detail in this post.

If cooking right away: Heat a pot of boiling water. Add salt. Drop in the raviolis and wait until they float to the surface, about 2-3 minutes. Serve with your favorite sauces, like this simple Butter-Sage Sauce.

If freezing for later use: Put the raw raviolis on a cookie sheet and freeze until hard. Transfer to a freezer-safe container or bag. Label and freeze. On serving day, simply cook the ravioli in boiling salted water, as I mentioned above. Enjoy!

DIY Bigfoot Bundt Cake

Filed under: Food/Drink — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:56 am on Friday, May 8, 2015

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Check it out, a Bigfoot Bundt Cake!

To make it, you cut out the Bigfoots out of chocolate cake with a Bigfoot cookie cutter. Then you place the Bigfoots periodically in the batter.

From the site: “Placing pre-made cake into the center of this bundt doesn’t change the texture, since the batter serves as a protective layer.”

When you cut into the cake, someone occasionally spots the Yeti.

Click here for the full recipe.

Celebrate Cinco De Mayo With A Limoncello Margarita

Filed under: Food/Drink — Savvy Housekeeper at 9:08 am on Tuesday, May 5, 2015

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Happy Cinco de Mayo. DIY Cocktails and I celebrated by making a margarita with my homemade limoncello. Lemony, sweet, and refreshing. Perfect for spring.

Limoncello Margarita

Ingredients:

    1 1/2 ounce tequila
    1 ounce limoncello
    1/4 ounce triple sec
    1 ounce orange juice

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake thoroughly. Strain into a glass. Enjoy!

Freezer Meals: Turkey Meatloaf

Filed under: Food/Drink — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:13 am on Monday, May 4, 2015

turkey loaf

I’m continuing my quest to fill my freezer with meals to Save Time In The Kitchen. This time around, I made turkey meatloaf.

Turkey meatloaf is made with ground turkey instead of ground beef. Since it’s lower in fat and calories, it’s a healthy option to have in the freezer on nights when you don’t feel like cooking.

As with the waffles I made last week, I made a double batch of the recipe, served half for dinner and put half away in the freezer.

Since I didn’t want to tie up my loaf pans by putting them in the freezer, I bought foil loaf pans from the Dollar Store. That is the place to get foil cooking containers, by the way. A single foil loaf pan costs $2.99 in my grocery store, but the Dollar Store sold three for $1.

To freeze, I covered the turkey meatloaf with plastic wrap and tinfoil, then I wrote the date, what it is, and brief cooking instructions on the outside. Come serving day, I’ll remove it from the freezer, defrost it, and cook like normal.

Freezer Turkey Meatloaf

Note: This recipe makes 2 turkey meatloafs.


Ingredients:

    2 1/2 pounds ground turkey
    3 cups minced onion
    2 Tablespoons minced garlic
    1 teaspoon paprika
    1 Tablespoon olive oil
    2 carrots, minced
    2 teaspoons salt
    1 teaspoon black pepper
    1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
    2/3 cups chopped parsley
    1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons ketchup
    2 cups bread crumbs
    2/3 cup milk
    2 eggs, lightly beaten
    2 egg whites, lightly beaten

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Pour milk and bread crumbs in a bowl and let soak. Stir in eggs.

Heat oil and garlic in a frying pan. Add onions and cook until soft. Add carrots and cook until soft. Add half the salt and half the pepper and cook, stirring. Stir in parsley and cook until soft.

Add the vegetables to the bread/milk/egg mixture.

Put the ground turkey in a big bowl. Add the bread and vegetables. Add all the other ingredients: Worcestershire sauce, salt, ½ cup ketchup, paprika, salt, and pepper.

Optional: Cook a small amount of the turkey mixture and taste it to make sure it is seasoned to your liking. Adjust accordingly.

Oil two 9X5 loaf pans. Divide turkey meat in half and put into loaf pans. Brush the top with remaining Tablespoons of ketchup.

If cooking right away, put pan in oven and cook 50-55 minutes, until a thermometer inserted into the middle of the turkey meatloaf comes out to 170 degrees.

If freezing: cover raw turkey meatloaf with plastic wrap and tin foil, label, and freeze until ready.

5 Mint Juleps For The Kentucky Derby

Filed under: Food/Drink — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:44 am on Friday, May 1, 2015

Here’s 5 Mint Juleps For The Kentucky Derby. Go, horsie!

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Classic Mint Julep

Peach Mint Julep

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Sweet Tea Mint Juleps

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Blueberry Mint Juleps

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Strawberry Moonshine Julep

10 Different Types Of Pesto Recipes

Filed under: Food/Drink — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:01 am on Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Pesto doesn’t have to be basil and pine nuts. It can be lots of combinations of herbs/vegetables, oil, nuts, and cheese. In fact, pesto is a great way to use extra produce. And it freezes well.

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Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto (Trying this one tonight.)

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Broccoli Pesto

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Parsley Pesto

Arugula Pesto

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Spinach Pesto

Oregano Pesto

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Swiss Chard Pesto Pasta

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Swiss Chard and Rosemary Pesto Pasta

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Pistachio Pesto

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Red Pepper Pesto

DIY Frozen Toaster Waffles

Filed under: Food/Drink — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:48 am on Tuesday, April 28, 2015

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I’m making forays into filling my freezer with frozen meals. The theory is that it’s less work for me overall to do a big batch of something, freeze it, and pull out as needed.

Look at it this way: you’re already making waffles. Why not make extra waffles, then freeze them? That way you’ll have future waffles as well as current waffles, all for a few extra minutes work.

So that’s what I did. On Sunday, I made a double batch of waffles, ate some with my family, and stuck the rest in plastic bags for future breakfasts.

Like with Eggo waffles and other frozen waffles, all you have to do to cook them is stick them in the toaster. That makes them a fast and easy breakfast option.

I used the Joy of Cooking’s waffle recipe. When I made it, I doubled the ingredients, duplicating everything I did in two bowls. (So three eggs went in one bowl, three eggs went in the other bowl, etc.) Then I got out the waffle iron and cooked them.

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The double batch made 16 waffles. We ate a few and the rest went into freezer bags. We now have three extra breakfasts worth of waffles for whenever we want.

DIY Frozen Toaster Waffles

Note: The following recipe from Joy of Cooking has been doubled to make 16 waffles. If that’s too many for you, divide the recipe in half.

Ingredients:

    3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    2 Tbsp baking powder
    2 Tbsp sugar
    1 tsp salt
    6 eggs
    2 cups butter, melted
    3 1/2 cups milk


Directions:

Mix all dry ingredients.

Mix all wet ingredients.

Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredients.

Mix until smooth.

Cook with waffle iron.

Stick extra waffles in a plastic bag. Label and put in the freezer for later.

How To Make Your Own Garlic Powder

Filed under: Food/Drink — Savvy Housekeeper at 8:22 am on Friday, April 17, 2015

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Erin grew too much garlic in her garden, so what did she do? She made her own garlic powder. You slice the garlic, dehydrate the slices, and grind them into a powder.

Garlic powder in the store is cheap, but apparently the DIY version tastes much better. Erin says: “I was amazed at not only how easy it was but also the flavor! It was so fresh and strong, a far cry from the grocery store brand we were used to.”

This is a great way to preserve a bumper garlic crop.

And now that I think about it, I have some sprouting garlic in the back of the fridge…

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