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October 25, 2013
| Everyday Recipes
Hundreds of easy and delicious TNT recipes from our recipe
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October 25, 2013 | Messages and Recipes
Cooking for Your Freezer
We see three reasons to cook for your freezer: It saves time, it
saves money, and it puts food away in case of an emergency. In this
article, we'll give you helpful directions for getting the most from
If your home is like ours, we routinely put
leftovers in the refrigerator. Than we forget about them and in a few
days, throw them out. How much better to wrap them, freeze them, label
them and use them at a later date. And when you're cooking that favorite
casserole, why not double the batch, make two, and freeze the second? If
we have a selection of favorite family foods in the freezer, we can bail
ourselves out on those busy days when we just don't have time to cook.
Your freezer can save you money in a number of ways. On those
busy days when there is no time to cook—and for most of us, there are
too many of those days—we either reach for a store-bought prepared food,
call out to the restaurant for delivery, or jump in the car and go out
to eat. All three solutions are expensive. Grabbing a casserole, some
frozen rolls, and a dessert from the freezer is quicker, better, and
will save money. And in an emergency, it's nice to have food put by.
Tips for Getting the Most from Your Freezer
Avoid freezer burn:
Freezer burn is actually dehydration. It destroys cell structures and
affects both flavor and texture. Plastic is not an adequate oxygen
barrier. Use wrapping paper designed for freezing. If you do use
plastic, it should be the heavier “freezer” bags designed for the
freezer and the food should not be stored long.
Mark and date everything. Group foods by type with all meats going in
one area of the freezer and baked goods in another. Meats should be
stored on the lowest shelf so that in the event of an outage, melting
juices will not drip on other foods. Keeping a pad on the freezer to jot
down inventory items and dates is a good idea.
Rotate: If you
don't rotate the food in your freezer--use it--you'll throw it out. Know
what's in your freezer and use it often. Don't wait until the food is
Freeze only best-quality foods: Freezing never improves
Do not overcook foods: Food will continue cooking when
Practice safety: Do not let lukewarm foods sit on the
counter before freezing. Remember that bacteria will grow below 140
degrees and freezing does not kill them--they only go dormant to grow
again when removed from the freezer. If you need to cool foods quickly
before freezing, consider placing them in ice. Do not put so much food
in your freezer at one time that the freezer cannot freeze the food
solid within 24 hours.
Some Commonly Prepared Foods and How
to Freeze Them
Casseroles: Undercook casseroles when practical. To
freeze, wrap the casserole tightly in foil to avoid air pockets. Use
within four to six months. Reheat in an oven at 400 degrees for 30 to 45
Meatloaf: You can freeze your meatloaf baked or unbaked.
Use within three or four months. If unbaked, cook the meatloaf for 1 1/2
hours at 350 degrees or reheat a baked meatloaf for one hour.
Other cooked meats: Remove as much fat from the meat as possible before
freezing. Keep the pieces large and cover with gravy or broth if
possible. Use within two to four months. Thaw in the refrigerator and
reheat for 20 minutes in a hot oven.
Potatoes: Store mashed
potatoes in a covered container. Twice baked potatoes store well.
Consider cutting baked potatoes lengthwise, mashing the contents, and
refilling the shell before freezing. French fries can be frozen. Reheat
them on a baking sheet at 400 degrees.
Quick breads: Wrap the
bread in aluminum foil to freeze. Use within two or three months. Thaw
it at room temperature or reheat it in a warm oven (325 degrees).
Yeast breads: Consider slicing the bread before freezing. Place the
bread in plastic bags and then wrap the loaves tightly in foil. Thaw the
bread at room temperature or reheat it at 300 degrees for fifteen to
twenty minutes. Consider toasting individual slices to thaw.
Cakes: Unfrosted cakes such as fruit cakes and angel food cakes freeze
well. Consider slicing them before freezing so that you can get our just
what you need. Wrap the entire cake in foil or wrap individual slices to
freeze. Cakes with shortening or butter should be used within four
months. Many types of icing do not freeze well.
baked cookies in heavy plastic bags and use within two months. If stored
in foil in rigid, airtight containers, the cookies may be stored for up
to six months.
Dennis, the Prepared Pantry
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Just wanted to THANK The Hungry Housewife -- Denise in the Villages, FL
Who sent in the
Pumpkin Oatmeal Recipe. Made it for breakfast this morning
and Yes, it is delicious. Gave recipe to my daughter in Texas, and she
couldn't wait to get to the store for ingredients. It's a winner. We
have a big garden and part of what we grow are the small pie pumpkin and
I just happen to bake some that day for another recipe I want to try. I
am scheduled to furnish dessert for 40 or more Nov. 9th. and wanted to
ask if anyone had something beside cobbler to serve as a second choice.
I will be making a pumpkin bar recipe for one of the desserts. It is
nice having a choice when dinner is finished. Thanks in advance. Nancy
you do so much for all of us. I kinda like the break in it not coming
every day. But I have been really busy right now.
ak from CA
All about Pumpkins - Click
This is a favorite family quiche, as many do not think a pie crust
should be used for anything except pie. They will eat the filling, but
leave the pie crust. Hot soup and quiche is a great lunch, as the
weather turns cold in this part of the country.
1/2 c. long grain rice
1 c. Swiss cheese,
3 egg whites
1/4 lb. crab meat, blend
1 sm. onion, thinly sliced
1/2 box frozen spinach,
thawed and drained well or 1/2 c. chopped fresh spinach
1 c. milk
1/4 tsp. black pepper
Cook rice and let cool. Lightly grease 9
inch pie plate. Mix rice, 2 tablespoons cheese and 1 egg white. Press in
pie plate. Bake 5 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool. Layer crab, shrimp,
spinach, cheese, and onion over rice. Combine 2 egg whites, 1 egg, milk,
and pepper and pour over mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
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You can easily add cooked and crumbled bacon, sausage or ham to this
dish, as well as mushrooms or other vegetables. You can also use other
Olive oil cooking spray
5 thin 10-inch flour tortillas
1/3 C. grated Parmesan cheese
C. sour cream, light or regular
2 extra-large eggs
1 can (7
ounces) green chiles, drained and rinsed
1 jalapeno chile, seeded and
1/4 C. chopped onion
1 T. minced cilantro
1/2 C. grated Monterey jack cheese
Chile powder or paprika
Preheat the oven to 350*F. Mist a 13 x 9 inch baking dish or other
shallow oven-proof dish with the olive oil spray. If the tortillas are
cold and stiff, warm them in a nonstick pan or in the microwave to make
them more pliable. Fit them into the baking dish, overlapping and with
at least 2 inches of the edges sticking up out of the dish. When all the
tortillas are fitted into the dish, mist them with cooking spray.
Sprinkle evenly with
the Parmesan cheese and bake for 5 minutes.
Remove from the oven but leave the oven on.
Put the sour cream,
eggs, 2 of the green chiles, the jalapeno, onion and cilantro into the
bowl of a food processor. Process until well blended. Pour into the
pre-baked tortilla shell. Layer the Monterey jack cheese over the
filling and then sprinkle with a little red chile powder or paprika.
Bake for 18 minutes, or until the filling is set. Remove and cool for at
least 15 minutes. Use a wide spatula to help slide the tortilla quiche
out of the dish, and cut into small pieces. Serves 6 as part of a brunch
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How to Grill Ribs
For the mop sauce:
3 tablespoons unsalted
1 cup apple cider
3 tablespoons bourbon, or 3 more
tablespoons apple cider
3 tablespoons soy sauce
For the rub and
2 tablespoons coarse salt (kosher or sea)
2 tablespoons sweet paprika
1 tablespoon freshly
ground black pepper
2 teaspoons dry mustard (preferably Colman’s)
2 teaspoons garlic powder
½ teaspoon celery seed
baby back pork ribs (4 to 5 pounds total)
Lemon Brown Sugar Barbecue
Sauce or another favorite barbecue sauce
You’ll also need:
1-1/2 cups wood chips or chunks (preferably hickory or apple),
soaked for 1 hour in water to cover, then drained
A barbecue mop
1. Make the mop sauce: Melt the butter in a
nonreactive saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the cider, bourbon, and
soy sauce. Keep warm until ready to use.
2. Make the rub: Place
the salt, brown sugar, paprika, pepper, mustard, garlic powder, and
celery seed in a small bowl and mix with your fingers, breaking up any
lumps in the brown sugar or garlic powder.
3. Prepare the ribs:
Place a rack of ribs meat side down on a baking sheet. Remove the thin,
papery membrane from the back of the rack by inserting a slender
implement, such as a butter knife or the tip of a meat thermometer,
under it. The best place to start is on one of the middle bones. Using a
dishcloth, paper towel, or pliers to gain a secure grip, peel off the
membrane. Repeat with the remaining rack.
4. Set aside 2
tablespoon of rub for serving. Sprinkle the remaining rub over both
sides of the ribs, rubbing it onto the meat. Cover the ribs with plastic
wrap and refrigerate them while you set up the grill.
5. Set up
the grill for indirect grilling (see page 33) and preheat to medium (325
to 350F). Place a large drip pan in the center of the grill under the
grate. (For instructions on smoking on a gas grill see page 36.)
6. When ready to cook, brush and oil the grill grate. Place the ribs
bone side down in the center of the grate, over the drip pan and away
from the head. (If your grill has limited space, stand the racks of ribs
upright in a rib rack; see page 52.) If cooking on a charcoal grill,
toss half of the wood chips on each mound of coals. Cover the grill and
cook the ribs for 45 minutes.
7. Mop the ribs on both sides with
the mop sauce. Re-cover the grill and continue cooking the ribs until
well browned, cooked through, and tender enough to pull apart with your
fingers, 45 minutes to 1 hour longer, 1 ¼ to 1 ½ hours in all. When the
ribs are cooked, the meat will have shrunk back from the ends of the
bones by about ¼ inch. Mop the ribs again every 15 minutes and, if using
a charcoal grill, replenish the coals as needed.
8. Just before
serving, brush the ribs on both sides with some of the Lemon Brown Sugar
Barbecue Sauce and move them directly over the fire. Grill the ribs
until the barbecue sauce is browned and bubbling, 1 to 3 minutes per
9. Transfer the ribs to a large platter or cutting board.
Let the ribs rest for a few minutes, then cut the racks in half or into
individual ribs. Sprinkle a little of the reserved rub over the ribs and
serve at once with the remaining barbecue sauce on the side.
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Makes 2 servings
1/2 pound fresh beets
3 tablespoon water
2 tablespoon strawberry jelly
tablespoon lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
Cook beets, covered in small amount of boiling salted
water until tender (about 35 minutes). Drain, peel and slice beets; set
aside. Combine cornstarch, water, jelly, lemon juice, salt and pumpkin
pie spice. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until mixture is
thickened and bubbly. Stir in beets and butter, stirring gently until
butter melts and beets are thoroughly heated.
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1 C. carrots sliced 1/8-inch
4 c. yellow squash slices, 1/4-inch thick
4 C. zucchini
slices, 1/4-inch thick
1/2 C. chopped onion
1 can (10-1/2 ounces)
condensed cream of chicken soup
1/2 C. sour cream
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2/3 C. crumbled corn bread
2/3 C. torn or chopped
dry white bread in ¼-inch pieces
2 Tbsp. butter or margarine, melted
Heat oven to 350 degrees. In medium saucepan, bring about 4 cups
water to a boil. Add carrots. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 6 minutes.
Add squash, zucchini and onion. Continue simmering uncovered 3-4 minutes
or until carrots are tender crisp. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
In a small bowl whisk together soup, sour cream, salt and pepper until
well blended. Pour over vegetables and mix well. Transfer to a 2?quart
baking dish. Cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes.
In medium bowl
combine corn bread and torn white bread. Drizzle with butter. Toss
lightly to coat evenly. Remove foil. Top vegetable mixture with corn
bread mixture. Continue baking 5 minutes.
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2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 (15 oz) can
1 (15 oz) can lima beans
Melt butter in
saucepan. Add corn and beans. Heat through.
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4 medium zucchini
1 cup long grain rice,
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound lean ground
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 cups canned spaghetti sauce
tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, grated
lengthwise, scoop out seeds. Saute ground beef, onion, garlic, dill, and
parsley in olive oil. Remove from heat. Add cooked rice, beaten egg, 1/4
c bread crumbs and mix well. Fill zucchini with mixture and place in a
baking dish. Cover with spaghetti sauce, sprinkle cheese and remaining
bread crumbs on top. Cover and bake at 350 for approx 45 minutes, until
zucchini is tender but firm.
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How to Bake
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