Freezing Single Servings for Teenage Boys and Other Hungry People

Freezing Single servings

 

A reader asked the other day about what types of foods are good for freezing in single servings.  She’s got a hungry teenage boy to fill up. (I can relate to that!)

Short of keeping the kitchen open all the time, with a cook waiting on hand, filling the freezer with single serving foods is the best way to keep those boys filled up.  And it works for others in the family too, who need to eat at off hours.

If you’re trying to feed boys, there are a few things to keep in mind:

1.  Include protein.  They like foods that will stick with them.

2.  Make it easy.  Hand-held is good.

3.  Keep a list on the freezer so they know what’s in there and where to find it. Or is it just my boys who forget what I’ve told them?

Here’s a list of recipes that will keep all kinds of  hungry people happy:   [Read more…]

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Slow Cooker Peach Chutney You Can Store in the Freezer

Slow Cooker Peach Chutney

 

 

Chutney is not a food that we eat often in my family.  In fact, this may be the first time most of the kids had tried it.  I was inspired by a sandwich we ate in Epcot Norway to try making my own chutney.

Since we’re in the middle of a Summer Slow Cooker Series, it seemed appropriate to use a slow cooker to make this.  I also wanted to be able to freeze it for future use.  For most recipes, you don’t need very much chutney and it’s nice to have it stashed away for when you need it.

Instead of the normal mango, I used canned peaches.  The fruit pairs up with red bell pepper, onion, jalepeno, golden raisins and spices for a sweet condiment with a hint of heat.

And in case you’re wondering what on earth you would actually do with chutney, I’ve got three recipes coming up for you!  I’ll be sharing those on the blog soon.

I know I took a photo of the ingredients, but somehow those photos have gone missing.  Thankfully, even though chutney itself may be a bit unusual, the ingredients are not.  Chances are you have most of these in your kitchen right now.  And the few you don’t have can be picked up on your next trip to the grocery.  Don’t forget plastic freezer bags to store the extra!   [Read more…]

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Pepperoni Pizza Stuffed Meatloaf – a Freezer Friendly Meal

Pepperoni Pizza Stuffed Meatloaf sliced1

 

I am so excited to be partnering with ALDI this year.  On a recent trip to ALDI, I picked up all the ingredients for this Pepperoni Pizza Stuffed Meatloaf.

It looks impressive, but it’s so easy to put together.  And it freezes great too, so you can assemble it ahead of time, but wait to bake until you’re ready.

Fresh mozzarella, pepperoni and marinara sauce bring a twist to the traditional meatloaf.  And because all the ingredients are found at ALDI, it makes it affordable too.

Click here to see the recipe and more photos of the assembly process on the ALDI Simply Smarter Living Blog.

Pepperoni Pizza Stuffed Meatloaf whole baked1

 

Disclosure:  I am partnering with ALDI and have been compensated, but all opinions are my own.

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Healthy Whole Grain Waffles – Freezer Friendly

Back-to-school time is upon us once again. The hustle and bustle of getting the kids out the door, looking presentable, with everything signed and packed, and a nutritious breakfast in their bellies is no easy task. Even if your kids don’t have to leave the house, or if you don’t have kids at all…breakfast is the most important meal of the day! Your body needs it to jump start the metabolism and get needed fuel to those brain cells. With that being said, it’s sometimes so much easier to grab a bowl of cereal, or a granola bar as we are running out the door. That’s where these freezer friendly waffles come in!

freezer waffles EAH

A healthy breakfast is just a few minutes away when you have a freezer stocked with homemade, whole grain waffles, that only need to be popped in the toaster. In just minutes you have a hot, filling breakfast.  The kids will enjoy deciding what toppings to put on their waffles, while moms will love knowing they are getting whole grains, along with energy from natural sugars.  Some topping ideas may be bananas and peanut butter, blueberries and walnuts (my favorite), chocolate chips (my kids’ favorite)…the possibilities are endless! You can even fold them and carry them with you for breakfast on the go. If your kids do like them plain, you could always add in some extra cinnamon, pumpkin or apple pie spice, or whatever they like. I like to think of waffles, pancakes, and muffins as a sort of “blank canvas” that you can design however you want!

healthy whole grain waffles, freezer friendly

Healthy Whole Grain Waffles – Freezer Friendly
Ingredients
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups milk (cow's milk, almond milk, etc.)
  • 2 tablespoons oil*
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons honey (could also use maple syrup)
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
  • *I like to use a combination of olive oil and canola oil, or coconut oil.
Instructions
  1. Whisk all of the ingredients together.
  2. Pour onto a greased waffle iron.
  3. Cook until steam is no longer coming from waffle iron.
  4. Eat immediately or cool and freeze.
  5. This made about 6 six-inch round waffles.
  6. To prepare from frozen: These can be microwaved, but for best texture I recommend cutting them in half (or fourths) and placing in the toaster until warm and crisp.

This recipe does not contain eggs, and could easily be made vegan.

 

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Chocolate Dipped Banana Pudding Pops

Welcome to new contributing writer, Angie from Big Bear’s Wife!  I got to meet Angie in person at the Food Blog Forum conference in Disney World, where we chatted over Monsters Inc. cupcakes.  I’m excited to have Angie sharing recipes with us here.  And these Chocolate Dipped Banana Pudding Pops look right up my alley!

These Chocolate Dipped Banana Pudding Pops have become one of my recent “go-to” snacks and they’re so easy to make. I’ve always been a fan of popsicles.  I remember having the molds as a kid and making popsicles with anything I could get my hands on.

EAH1

Kool-aid pops, fruit juice pops and pudding pops where stuffed into every section of our freezer. Banana pops were one of my favorite flavors growing up! Do you remember those? The banana pops with the two sticks that broke apart in the middle. I think they were made like that so that you could share, but I’m not sure if I ever wanted to share my banana pops. They where the “King” of all popsicles in my eyes.

I love banana pudding and the combination of chocolate and banana is just the perfect match, so it was only a matter of time before I combined them together into this frozen treat! These come together in a flash with the longest part of the whole process being the wait for them to come out of the freezer. Plus, you only need 4 ingredients to make these beauties happen: Banana Pudding Mix, Milk, Chocolate Magic Shell and Crushed Vanilla Wafers.

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The banana pudding freezes but still remains pretty creamy, the chocolate shell hardens in seconds and the crushed vanilla wafers add the perfect “banana pudding touch”! Where I’m from, banana pudding isn’t banana pudding without vanilla wafers!

EAH3

 

Chocolate Dipped Banana Pudding Pops

Serves: 4-8 (depending on size of molds)

Ingredients
  • 1 large box banana creme pudding mix
  • 3 cups cold milk
  • 1 cup chocolate magic shell
  • 10 vanilla wafers, crushed
  • Popsicle Molds
Instructions
  1. In a large bowl, mix together the pudding mix and cold milk. Whisk the pudding mix for about 5 minutes, until it starts to thicken.
  2. Carefully pour the banana pudding into the popsicle molds and insert popsicle sticks.
  3. Place into the freezer for 3-4 hours or until frozen)
  4. Once frozen, remove pops from freezer.
  5. Working one at a time, carefully run the mold under warm water to loosen the pop. Remove the pop from the mold.
  6. Dip the pudding pop into the chocolate magic shell.
  7. Immediately sprinkle with crushed vanilla wafers.
  8. Repeat until all pops are complete.

Looking for more recipe packed with banana flavor? Check out Ingredient Spotlight : Bananas (2012)

Angie is a contributing writer for Eat at Home. She lives in VA with her husband (BigBear) and their 4 dogs (who might as well be their children)!  She blogs over at BigBearsWife.com about her favorite recipes, love of travel and she even throws in a few crafts here and there.You can also find her on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest

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Easy Peanut Butter and Jelly Ice Cream Cake

I am a huge fan of anything peanut butter and jelly.

And I’m an even bigger fan of anything involving ice cream.

So this dessert was right up my alley.  I guess that explains why I thought it up.

It’s really easy to make too.  You start with a package of ice cream sandwiches.  These get layered with peanut butter and raspberry jam.  Then frost the whole thing in Cool Whip.  I love a recipe that’s assembly-only.

If you need to make a dessert ahead of time, this one is perfect.  It gets stored in the freezer and tastes even better after a few days frozen.

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

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Freezer Cooking – Ground Beef in the Crock Pot

One thing I like to do to help cut down on meal prep time is have pre-cooked meats in the freezer. I will usually buy chicken, ground turkey, and ground beef in bulk. I often use my crock pot to cook my chicken, that I will shred and freeze for use in recipes/casseroles/soup. However, I have always cooked my ground beef and turkey on the stove top, usually only a pound or two at a time. It never occurred to me that I could use my slow cooker, until I saw it on Pinterest! (Pin source) One of the many reasons I am addicted to pinning :-)

This is not a recipe per se, just a shortcut for cooking in bulk.  The above picture is 3 lbs of 90/10 lean ground beef, with seasonings (salt, pepper, McCormick Grill Mates Hamburger Seasoning, and dried onion) and about half of a large chopped onion.  You could easily add taco seasoning, Italian seasonings, or leave it plain.  My crock pot could have held much more ground beef too, but this is what I had on hand.  I cooked this on high for 4 hours (this may vary depending on your cooker and the amount of beef used, and if it was fresh or frozen), giving it a stir once an hour.  You may not need to stir it that often, but it will need to be stirred on occasion and the clumps broken up.  After the meat was cooked, I drained the meat (which was pretty lean and didn’t produce a lot of grease) and allowed it too cool.  Then I divided it into 3 equal amounts (since I used 3 lbs.) and placed it in freezer bags.  SO much simpler than standing over a stove top!

I hope you find this little tip as helpful as I did.  {Looking for ideas to use all that ground beef?  Check out Eat at Home Ingredient Spotlight: Ground Beef!}

KimM is a contributing writer for Eat at Home. See more from her at her blog Makin’ it Mo’Betta, and follow along on Pinterest, Facebook and Twitter!

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How to Freeze Wine the Easy Way

I love to cook with wine, but I don’t love drinking it.  I’ve tried to like it.  Pairing wine and with food (especially chocolate!) sounds like foodie fun.  But I just can’t seem to acquire a taste for it.

That means when I buy wine to cook with, I have a lot left.  I’ve been in the habit of freezing wine for several years, but I’ve never found the perfect container for freezing.  Ice cube trays are too tedious.  Zip top bags sometimes leak.

I’m not sure why I never thought to just pour it into a plastic container before.  The wine doesn’t freeze solid.  You can scoop it out with a spoon and pop the container back in the freezer.  Perfect!

Do you like cooking with wine?

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Cheater Chinese Chicken

I have been craving Chinese food, specifically General Tso’s or Sesame Chicken. You know the ones….deep fried then coated in a thick sauce. Unfortunately, my waistline nor family history of heart disease allow me to eat deep fried foods whenever I want! Boo! So, I was on a mission to make a healthier Chinese meal at home. HOWEVER, my craving for Chinese food happened during a very busy week. My kids had tons of projects and homework, my husband was working late, my 4 y/o was tired and cranky…any of this sound familiar?!

With all this going on, I had to get dinner on the table, like…STAT. No time to fuss over a lot of steps, mixing of a bunch of ingredients, etc. Thank goodness I have a few little tricks up my sleeve. First, as we’ve said here before, a great time-saver is to keep cooked chicken in the freezer. I buy bulk packages of chicken breasts from Sam’s Club, then freeze individual portions. Some I freeze raw, some I freeze in marinade, and some I will go ahead and cook (I will either boil or cook in the slow cooker) then freeze. On this particular evening, I had boiled chicken already prepared (a lot of times I will take chicken out of the freezer in the morning, with no idea what I am actually going to do with it!).  The second little trick I have is to keep a couple of prepared sauces in the pantry.  I would love to make everything my family eats from scratch, but sometimes, it just doesn’t happen around here.  My kids love Sweet Baby Ray’s bbq sauce, so I try to keep that on hand, and recently, I found this at Target…

Perfect for curing my I-need-Chinese-Food-Now-Craving!  I also picked up a head of Chinese cabbage and green onions.  I may not have had a recipe, but I had a plan!

This is one hastily put together dinner that came out deliciously! The best part, there is no real recipe, so it is completely adaptable to whatever your family likes.

Cheater Chinese Chicken
Ingredients
  • boneless, skinless chicken breast (I'm sure thighs would work well too) - cooked and cut into bite-size chunks
  • onion - chopped
  • broccoli (any veggies you have on hand!)
  • garlic - minced (to taste - I used one clove)
  • Chinese cabbage (Napa or your preference)
  • Sauce (I used the above pictured, but you could use your fave)
  • Olive Oil
  • toasted sesame seeds (optional)
  • green onions (for serving)
Instructions
  1. Place a little olive oil in your skillet. Heat on medium heat.
  2. Add onion to pan and saute until translucent.
  3. Add garlic & broccoli. Give it a good stir.
  4. Add cooked chicken and sauce. Bring to a simmer.
  5. When sauce begins to thicken, add Chinese cabbage - go ahead and fill the pan, b/c the cabbage will wilt and reduce in size (a lot!)
  6. Carefully mix cabbage into the sauce/chicken/veggies and your done! It only takes a few minutes for the cabbage to begin to wilt, and I like mine to still have a little crunch to it.
  7. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds and green onions if desired.
  8. Serve over brown rice (or white, or fried, or noodles....)

A delicious dinner, and no one will know that it was so quick and easy to prepare!

 When not writing for Eat at HomeKim can be found blogging about her crazy kids and kitchen adventures over at Mo’Betta!

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Cheddar Chive Freezer Biscuits

Cheddar Chive Freezer Biscuits

Cheesy biscuits in the freezer, ready to bake for dinner?  Now, that’s a great short cut for cheaters!

These Cheddar Chive Freezer Biscuits are simple to make and freeze really well. I serve them with so many dishes: chili, soups, chicken pot pie, pork and ham. My family loves it when I bake up enough that I have leftovers the next day. I cut the leftover biscuits in half and use them for bread in ham sandwiches. Quite delicious!

To form the biscuits, I drop them on cookie sheets using a soup spoon out of my silverware set. Using this method, I tend to get 18 biscuits out of the recipe. I usually bake 9 right away, then freeze the other 9. I love it because I can serve hot biscuits for two different dinners but only have to wash the dishes once!

To freeze these biscuits, line a baking sheet with waxed paper. Then drop the biscuits onto the waxed paper. Freeze for one hour. Remove frozen biscuits from the baking sheet and store in a freezer bag, making sure to squeeze out as much air as possible.

Helpful hint: I always mark the bag with the temperature and the cooking time. That way, when I pull out the bag, I know I need to bake the biscuits at 425 for 15 – 18 minutes.

Cheddar Chive Freezer Biscuits

Serves: 18 biscuits

Ingredients
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh chives
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ¼ cup butter, cold and cut into pieces
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Whisk together flour, Cheddar, chives, salt, baking soda, and cayenne pepper in a medium bowl. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in the butter.
  3. In a small bowl, stir together the buttermilk and eggs. Stir until flour mixture just until all ingredients are wet.
  4. Drop dough by heaping tablespoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake until golden, between 15 and 18 minutes.

Hot cheddar chive biscuits are comfort food at its best! How will you serve them?

Andrea has been married to Peter for 20 years, and together they have two teenage daughters. Struggling with the reality that soon her girls will be on her own, she is leaving them vlogs at 101 Life Lessons. You can also find her at The Greenbacks Gal where she finds organic deals, green steals and cooks real food meals.

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