Why and How to Freeze Cooked Meats

One of my secrets to quick meals is having cooked meat in the freezer.  This is by far the biggest time saver you can do for your meal prep.

 

Ground Beef

You can cook ground beef (or ground chicken, pork, sausage etc) on the stove-top.  Or use this trick to do it in the slow cooker.

Grilled Chicken

If it’s nice out, fire up the grill and cook the chicken outside.  Slice and freeze. The smokey flavor will bring summer to your winter meals.

Rotisserie Chicken

3 Costco Rotisserie Chickens yield 5-6 meals. 13 possible recipes

 

If you’re not in the mood to cook it yourself, grab several rotisserie chickens.  Pull the meat off the bones and freeze it.  You can find meal possibilities here and 10 more meal ideas here.

Whole Chicken 

Or bake a chicken yourself.  Use the slow cooker or do several at once in the oven.

Freezer Friendly Meatballs

how to stretch ground beef

 

Meatballs are so versatile for quick meals.  I have this recipe that includes rice to stretch the ground beef and make it go further.  Or try this more classic meatball recipe that still makes a bunch.

Turkey Breast

turkey breast in slow cooker

 

You can get a lot of meat off a turkey breast.  It’s a great deal if you find a sale.

Pulled Pork

Pulled Pork is always good to have stashed away in the freezer for quick meals.  Serve it as sandwiches.  Add pineapple and cheese for a Hawaiian version.  Serve it over rice, like haystacks.  Lots of possibilities.

Virtual Freezer Cooking Party

 In case you’d like to have grocery lists and plans done for you, we’re running a sale on 12 Slow Cooker Freezer Meal Plans.  Click the image  below to find out more and use the code PARTY to save $2.

200 lp12 slow cooker freezer meal plans

 

Dessert Recipes to Freeze

Desserts may not be the first thing you think of stocking your freezer with, but there are a lot of great reasons to do just that.

Having something sweet stashed away can help you avoid running to the grocery at night to grab a snack (or are we the only people who do that?).  Kids and teens especially like having cookies in the freezer to grab.

And prepping a dessert for company before the occasion arrives is a great time saver.

No matter what your reason, here are some dessert recipes to consider making and freezing.

peanut butter fluff pie done

Peanut Butter Fluff Pie

cappuccino pie

No Bake Cappuccino Pie

Frozen Fruit Cups

Frozen Mocha Marble Loaf

Candy Cane Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

Candy Cane Fudge Ice Cream Sandwich Cake

Amish Oatmeal Cookies

Chocolate Dipped Banana Pudding Pops

Black Forest Cherry Ice Cream Dessert

Black Forest Cherry Ice Cream Dessert

coffee toffee ice cream pie done

Coffee Toffee Ice Cream Pie with a Ribbon of Fudge

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream Cake

Easy Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream Cake

Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies

 

Jello Popsicles 

buster bar inside

Buster Bars

Pumpkin Chip Cookies

10 homemade ice creams

Ice Cream of all Kinds!

Virtual Freezer Cooking Party

 In case you’d like to have grocery lists and plans done for you, we’re running a sale on 12 Slow Cooker Freezer Meal Plans.  Click the image  below to find out more and use the code PARTY to save $2.

200 lp12 slow cooker freezer meal plans

 

Main Dish Recipes to Freeze

There are so many main dish recipes that will work for freezing.  In fact, nearly any recipe will work (although there are some exceptions).

Instead of listing every possibility, we’ve pulled together a short list for you.  Let these get you started, but know that there are lots of other options as well!

minideepdishpizzas

Mini Deep Dish Pizzas

chicken lettuce wraps done

Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Hamburger Vegetable Soup

Honey Pork Chops

 

Smothered Steak with Onion and Mushrooms

stromboli done sliced2

Stromboli

Mel’s Diner Chili

Reuben Calzone

50’s Primetime Meatloaf

baked-spaghetti-done-this-one

Baked Spaghetti

freezerburritosdone_thumb.jpg

Black Beans & Rice Freezer Burritos

Chinese Cheater Chicken

Thai Chili Chicken Egg Rolls

Smoked Sausage & Sauerkraut Soup

Chicken and Dressing Casserole

Stuffed Shells

BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

Virtual Freezer Cooking Party

In case you’d like to have grocery lists and plans done for you, we’re running a sale on 12 Slow Cooker Freezer Meal Plans.  Click the image  below to find out more and use the code PARTY to save $2.

200 lp12 slow cooker freezer meal plans

Breakfast Recipes to Freeze

We’re going to be gearing up for our Virtual Freezer Cooking Party all week.  I’ll be sharing different freezable recipes for you, so you can decide what you want to stock your freezer with on Saturday. And even if you can’t join us for the party, you still may want to set aside a time to fill your freezer.

Here are some ideas for breakfast foods:

What breakfast foods do you like freezing?

Virtual Freezer Cooking Party

In case you’d like to have grocery lists and plans done for you, we’re running a sale on 12 Slow Cooker Freezer Meal Plans.  Click the image  below to find out more and use the code PARTY to save $2.

200 lp12 slow cooker freezer meal plans

 

 

3 Things That Work in the Kitchen This Week – February 16

3 Things that work in the kitchen

 

1.  Using things I tend to save for a special occasion.

Our Sunday lunch was a big skillet of Migas.  The first time I ever tried Migas, I had an apple cider with it.  A bit of an odd combo, but it was really good.

Thinking of that reminded me that I had some mulled cider spices I’d bought before Christmas.  We served it once during the holidays and it was so good!  I decided that instead of saving them for some unknown, special occasion, I would add the spices to some apple juice and serve it with Sunday lunch.

We all enjoyed it and it made me glad to use something nice instead of saving it.  That one treat made our ordinary lunch a little more special.

Is there anything you’re saving for a special time that you could be using now?

2.  New slow cooker recipe coming – Korean Tacos

I tried out an idea for Korean Taco meat in the slow cooker and it turned out great!  It’s very similar to this Sweet Korean BBQ, but it’s a homemade sauce instead of the package.  I’ll be sharing it in the next few weeks.

3. Homemade pizza.

I ran across a free pizza making class on Craftsy a few weeks ago and finally took the time to watch it.  It’s full of tips for making great pizza at home.

As I write this, I’ve got a batch of pizza dough resting on the counter.  I can’t wait to try it tonight!  I did forget to add the oil to the dough, so my dough is going to be a cross between the American-Style “Neapolitan” recipe and the Naples-Style “Napoletana” recipe.  We’ll see how it turns out.

What’s working in your kitchen this week?

Virtual Freezer Cooking Party on Facebook

Virtual Freezer Cooking Party

 

We’re having a party!  It’s the best kind of party too.  You don’t have to leave your house and you can join in while wearing pj’s.

Or maybe it’s just me that likes that kind of party.

The other thing about this party is that it gives you a chance to stock your freezer with all kinds of food to make dinner, breakfast, dessert and snacks easier.

Here are the important details:

  • When – February 21 Eastern.  I’ll be popping in and out all day.
  • Where – On the Eat at Home Facebook Event page and in your own kitchen.
  • What – Freezer cooking!  You choose any recipes you’d like to prep.  I’ll have plenty of ideas for you in posts next week.

We did this together several years ago and it was a lot of fun.  Everyone shared what they were making, asked questions, visited etc.

Look for posts next week on all things freezer cooking.  I’ll be sharing lots of freezable recipes.

In case you’d like to have grocery lists and plans done for you, we’re running a sale on 12 Slow Cooker Freezer Meal Plans.  Click the image  below to find out more and use the code PARTY to save $2.

200 lp12 slow cooker freezer meal plans

 

And here’s the link to the Facebook event page.  Hope to see you there!

 

 

 

 

Quick White Chicken Chili

Quick White Chicken Chili

 

The other night I really wanted to have White Chicken Chili for dinner.  The problem was that my recipe for White Chicken Chili is a slow cooker recipe.

And it was already 5:30 when I decided we really needed hearty, hot bowls of this soup.

Thankfully, it’s possible to turn a slow cooker recipe into a stove-top recipe with a few quick changes.

In this case, I used rotisserie chicken I had in the freezer.  I also used canned beans, instead of dry, making adjustments in the amount of liquid the recipe called for.

This recipe was on the table in under 30 minutes.

Here’s what you’ll need:   [Read more…]

Lemon Pepper Parmesan Peas (plus a Pyrex giveaway and ideas for dressing up canned vegetables)

Lemon Pepper Parmesan Peas

 

I’ve shared before that I often forget about side dishes until it’s nearly too late.  I’m a big fan of keeping the sides simple.

Canned veggies are one of my go-to sides, especially if I’m running short on time, which happens often!

Peas are one of our favorites.  I usually serve them with butter, salt and pepper.  But this time I decided to dress them up a bit.

Libbys Lemon Pepper Parmesan Peas ingr

Lemon Pepper Parmesan Peas (plus a Pyrex giveaway and ideas for dressing up canned vegetables)
Ingredients
  • 15 oz can Libby’s Sweet Peas
  • 1 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1 Tbs. shaved Parmesan
Instructions
  1. Heat peas in small bowl in microwave for 1 - 2 minutes.
  2. Sprinkle with lemon pepper seasoning and stir gently to blend.
  3. Top with shaved Parmesan.

 

 

Libbys canned vegetables

 

Libby’s vegetables make wonderful, quick side dishes.  Here are a few ideas for dressing up the veggies, while keeping things quick and simple:

  • Add herb seasoning to any variety of Libby’s vegetables
  • Sweeten Libby’s Sliced Carrots with a bit of honey.  Add a bit of butter too!
  • Top Libby’s Sliced White Potatoes with bacon bits and shredded cheddar cheese.
  • Add a little salsa to Libby’s Sweet Corn and serve with Mexican food.

There are all kinds of possibilities to make your quick side dishes stand out.

Giveaway!

Libby’s is giving away a variety of their vegetables, along with a glass 14 piece Pyrex Storage set to one reader of Eat at Home!

To enter, leave a comment answering this question:

What’s your favorite Libby’s vegetable and how would you season it?

Giveaway will be open until noon EST on February 17.  Winner will be notified by email.

You can find Libby’s on Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook.

 

Screen Shot 2015-02-06 at 4.13.33 PM

 

Libbys_f&v80x80

 

Disclosure:  I have been compensated by Libby’s for my time, however all opinions are my own.

3 Things That Work in the Kitchen This Week – February 9

3 Things that work in the kitchen

 

1.  Quick version of White Chicken Chili

We love this Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili.  But the other night when it was already 5pm, I didn’t have time for slow.

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

Instead, I altered the recipe and had it ready to go in about 30 minutes.  And that included photographing for the upcoming blog post.  I’ll be sharing it with you soon!

2. 5 People. 5 Different dinner times.

This was our Tuesday.  All five of us who would be eating at home, would need to do it at different times.  And I needed to be able to cook early, leave the house and come back to eat later.  But everyone else needed to easily be able to fix their own meal while I was gone.

Tacos are perfect for this.  I made the taco meat and put it in the slow cooker to keep warm.  I also chopped the lettuce and tomatoes and even made some homemade salsa.

3.  Homemade Frothy Coffee

IMG_5494

 

One of my favorite things to make in the Vitamix is frothy coffee.  It tastes like fancy coffee from the coffee shop.  I brew strong coffee and add an equal amount of hot milk.  Caramel syrup sweetens the cup.  Pour it in the Vitamix and blend for a few minutes.

The milk creates a nice foam.  I haven’t tried it, but I think this also might work with a regular blender.  It’s a nice afternoon treat.  But I only indulge once or twice a week.  I’m trying not to pick up and everyday coffee habit in the afternoon.  I sure would like to though!

A peak at what’s coming:

Tomorrow I have some easy side dish ideas to share and a Pyrex giveaway from Libby’s!

What’s working in your kitchen this week?

 

How I’m Trying to Kick My Migraines – 1 Month Update

How

 

 

A month ago I shared with you how I’m trying to kick my migraines this year.  There was a huge response, so I’ve decided that I’ll do periodic updates.

As I said last month, I don’t know if I will be able to get rid of my migraines and headaches.  I don’t know if any of these ideas will work for someone else either. (Read all the way to the end so you don’t miss the irony of this…)

But I’m determined to try this year.

I do a lot of driving during the week.  One of the ways I pass the time is listening to podcasts.  And one of the podcasts I really like is Zig Ziglar.   Mr. Ziglar has passed away, but his son carries on the legacy.  In the podcasts they play an old clip of Zig Ziglar speaking and then discuss it.

One of the clips I’ve heard several times goes something like this:  Zig asks the audience if there’s anything they could do right now that would make their life worse in the next few weeks.  Of course, everyone laughs and raises their hand.  We can all think of things we can do that will make our life worse.

But then Zig tells the audience that whether they realize it or not, they just admitted that there are things they can do right now to make their life better.  Things that will make their relationships better.  Their jobs better.  Their health better.

That’s how I’m viewing my attempt at getting rid of my migraines.  I may not kick them forever.  But I can make active choices that will make me feel better.

And it’s working!

As I type this, I’ll tell you that I am fighting a migraine.  I’ve applied several essential oils (more on that below).  I’m hoping to avoid taking the big meds, but get this…

I went a week and a half with no headaches or migraines at all!

That is huge for me!

When I first started my efforts, I continued to battle headaches for several days each week.  But after about two weeks, those headaches were more easily managed.  I even got rid of one entirely just by using essential oils.   And then I was able to have 1 1/2 weeks pain free.

Here are the steps I’ve been taking and an update on how each one is going.  I’ve made a few tweaks to several.

1.  Going to bed on time

I’ve been doing pretty good with this, but I have pushed it the last few nights.  There have also been weekend nights that I stayed up later and it hasn’t caused me a headache.  I think the key is to regularly get enough sleep (and sleeping in to catch up doesn’t seem to work).  Then those occasional later nights aren’t such a problem.

No more pushing the bedtime for me. I think that’s a large reason why I’m battling the head pain now.

2. Yoga

Stay at Home Yoga

 

I’m still doing the poses for healthy neck and jaw that are part of the Stay at Home Yoga program.  (I’ve logged more than 40 days in a row so far.  My goal is at least 90 in a row.) I also do one of the classes or at least a few more poses each morning.  I’m really liking this program.  It’s gentle, but it works.  And I don’t dread it like other exercise programs.

3.  Essential Oils

peppermint and stress away

 

 

Peppermint and Stress Away are still my go-to oils for head pain.  I did order M-Grain, which is a special blend for migraines.  I use it but, I like the peppermint better.

I also ordered Valor to use for TMJ and clenching of my teeth.  I really like this oil.  I use it at night.  And I use it when I start to get a headache.  In fact, the thing that has worked best in using the oils for head pain is to use several of them at once.  Stress Away on my shoulders and neck. Valor on my jaws and back of neck. Peppermint and/or M-Grain behind ears, on temples and at base of skull.  And then reapply frequently.

You can find out more about how I use essential oils here.

4.  Taking vitamins daily

I’m still doing this.  Nothing new or miraculous here.

5.  Magnesium oil cream

I started by making a magnesium oil spray.  That was messy, because it sprayed everywhere, not just on me.

I’ve since tweaked this by making a magnesium oil cream instead.  I apply this to my feet and legs at night before bed.

  • 1/2 cup magnesium flakes
  • 3 Tbs. boiling water
  • about 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • Lavender essential oil
  1. In a metal or glass bowl, whisk boiling water and magnesium flakes together until the flakes dissolve.
  2. Whisk in coconut oil.  Keep whisking until it blends together to form a white cream.  This will take several minutes.
  3. Stir in several drops of lavender oil.

The magnesium cream is much neater than the spray.  It tingles and burns a little more too  when I apply, which means I’m getting more magnesium.  I’ve heard that it will tingle/burn if you’re low on magnesium.  As your levels come up, that will stop.  I have no real reference to site for this though, so I don’t know if that’s true or not.

6. No sweets until after dinner

I’m still abiding by this personal rule.  At least most days.  There have been a couple of exceptions, but not many.

Update – the day after originally writing this post

That headache I told you I was battling?  I lost.  Big time.  I ended up with a doozy of a migraine that wouldn’t respond to my meds.  I think I waited too long in hopes that the oils would work.  Lesson learned.

And I felt stupid that I wrote this post about how “it’s working” and then immediately ended up with a killer migraine.

But I do think it’s working.  I’m learning what works and what doesn’t.  It’s going to take time.  I’m not ready to give up on all of this yet.

In hopes of another pain-free week in the future…Onward…

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