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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

What’s Cookin’, Good Lookin’?

The moms’ group I belong to asked me to give a little talk on whatever I wanted to, so of course I chose cooking. A few years ago, I did a presentation at the Fort Lewis Women’s Conference on quick cooking, so I used those recipes, plus a few more freezer meals.

That presentation was the start of this blog, technically.  I needed a way to distribute all the recipes, so I jumped into the blogosphere and made my first post on “Chaos Served Daily.”  Then I didn’t blog for two and half years, but that’s a discussion for another day.

Here’s this week’s version of my talk, in brief.

My Ten Favorite Quick Recipe Meals (not those meals you can put together without a recipe, in your sleep…if you ever got any sleep)

  • Salisbury Steak with Mashed Potatoes and Country Green Beans
  • Mozzarella Chicken with Linguine and Chopped Salad
  • Chicken Pot Pie with Fruit Salad
  • Chicken Enchiladas with Black Bean and Corn Salad
  • Pierogies with Bacon and Green Peas
  • Chicken Penne Caesar Salad with Dinner Rolls
  • Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Pork Chops with Cider Gravy, Sauteed Apples and Onions
  • Chicken Yakisoba with Cucumber Salad
  • Lazy Day Lasagna with Green Salad
  • Sweet Potato-Sausage Hash with Waldorf Salad 
  • These recipes can be found on my blog post from 2009 or you can print them here.

    Ten Amazing Crockpot Meals (you’ll just need to add a freshly made side)

  • Taco Soup with Corn Pudding
  • Shredded Beef Sandwiches with Coleslaw and Alessi Frozen Fries
  • Pork with Sauerkraut and Apples with Steamed Broccoli
  • Jambalaya with Sourdough Rolls and Fruit Salad
  • Old-Fashioned Beef Stew Serve over couscous
  • Cola Pot Roast and Vegetables with Biscuits
  • BBQ Shortribs with Roasted Vegetables and Cornbread or Quick Grits
  • Black Bean Chili with Cornbread & Raw Veggies
  • Vegetable Curry Serve over rice or with flatbread
  • Roast Chicken Mashed Potatoes and Asparagus with Browned Butter Sauce 
  • These recipes can also be found on that same blog post, or you can print them right here.


  • For the moms’ group, I added a menu of ten freezer meals, with a grocery list, game plan detailing how to make the ten meals in four hours or less, and recipes.  Here’s the menu:

    Meals to Make for the Freezer
    • Pepper Steak with freshly made rice
    • Lime Cilantro Chicken to use in wraps, over salad, or with Mexican Rice
    • Huevos Rancheros with fresh fruit salad
    • Sausage and Peppers to use for sandwiches or with pasta and a salad
    • Vegetable Beef Soup
    • Cider Braised Pork Loin with Apples and Potatoes
    • Big Greek Pasta
    • Lasagna Ruffles
    • Butter Chicken with freshly made rice and cucumber strips with rice wine vinegar
    • Cottage Pie with fresh Waldorf Salad (apples, celery, craisins, almonds, and vanilla yogurt)

  • Here’s where to print them:
    Menu, Tips, and Schedule
    Grocery List
    Freezer Meal Recipes
    Once you do a round of freezer meal prep, I think you’ll love how easy it makes the daily “What’s for dinner?” answer.  I try to cook for the freezer about every six weeks, and making ten meals is perfect for us.
    I don’t use freezer meals every night, but they sure are nice on busy weeknights. In our home, we eat two or three freezer meals a week, I cook fresh a couple of nights, and we eat out once or twice a week.  We always have at least one night a week that’s leftovers, either reinvented or everyone can “order” off the leftovers menu.
    When I cook a fresh meal, I try to double it, so I can freeze a meal for later.  It really doesn’t take more than a few extra minutes to make a double recipe, yet saves me an hour in the future when I can use a freezer meal!
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