July 2006 "Chewin' the News" from Carol
July 2006 - Summer Grab and Go Recipes, Freezer Contest Winners and More!
by Carol Santee
To read the complete newsletter on our website, click here.
If the links in this newsletter don't work, please see the "NOTE:" at the bottom.
KITCHEN FUN WITH CAROL
Recipe of the Month Contest
Freezer Cook of the Month
CLOSING COMMENTS FROM CAROL
Hello everyone! It is just amazing how fast the summer flies by when you are busy. My sons have just completed their second year of summer physical education classes. Can you imagine having four hours of gym every day for three weeks? Sounds exhausting, huh! Oh how good it is to be young and to have so much energy. They have also completed the classroom portion of driver's education. That's another 3 hours of class a couple times a week. Add in two or three physical therapy sessions each week and you have lots of time running from here to there!
All of this summer activity can really put your menu planning skills to the test! I read recently that 40 percent of the cooks out there decide what they'll have for dinner just by looking what they have in the fridge. Aren't you glad that you know there is a better way! I have my menus planned for the month. I keep a calendar (also known as Monthly Menu Planner - Worksheet G in The Freezer Cooking Manual) posted in the kitchen with lunches and dinners planned for each day of the week. Knowing what we had planned for the week made it so much easier. I was able to rearrange my menu so that I could have simple meals the days the boys had to have dinner early before driver's ed. I could make more complex meals when everyone was eating at the same time.
If you are not into full menu planning, it is still a good to idea keep an updated copy of the Meal Inventory Checklist - Worksheet F (from The Freezer Cooking Manual). This worksheet helps you keep tabs on what you have left from your last cooking session. It also helps you plan for those on hand items you need to complete recipes (such as buns, tortillas, fresh vegetables, etc.). This worksheet is also helpful when putting together your weekly grocery shopping list.
I hope you had a wonderful 4th of July. It is great spending time with family and friends. We had lots of cookouts, saw a couple of firework displays, spent time swimming at the pool and at a local water park, and went to see a lighthouse on Lake Erie. We learned quickly that it is great to have snacks on hand that you can just "grab and go" to all the different group activities. Here are some recipes that are great to have in the freezer so you can just grab them when you are on the run:
- Butterscotch Bars
- Carolyn's Chocolate Chips Cookies
- Chocolate Cheerio Bars
- Double Chocolate Muffins
- Fruit and Oat Bars
- Good-For-You Granola (members can access online)
- Grandma Petrini's Gingersnaps
- Granola Bars
- Iced Oatmeal Cookies
- Oatmeal Scotchie Bars
- Pecan Pie Muffins
- Snackin' Mix
- Tara's Favorite Muffins (with chocolate chips!)
- Teddy Bear Snack Mix
It's also great to have a frozen dessert ready to serve to cool off with after a day in the sun. Here are some great recipes:
- Birdie's Banana Split Dessert
- Buster Bar Dessert
- Candy Bar Pie
- Chocolate Smoothies
- Crunchy Peanut Butter Ice Cream Bars
- Dreamsicle Pie
- Frozen Candy Bars
- Frozen Fruit Bars
- Frozen Peanut Butter Bars
- Frozen Peanut Butter Pie
- Ice Cream Sundae Squares
- Orange Apricot Freeze
- Orange Fruit Freeze
- Pudding Pops
- SNICKERS® Pie
As I mentioned in the June newsletter, one of my goals for the summer was to try some shish kabob recipes. This recipe is my first (hopefully of many!). My family and I believe that it is a winner. Feel free to substitute any vegetables for ones that you like. You can use the traditional wooden skewers. Just make sure you soak them in water for a half an hour before grilling. This will help prevent the skewers from burning. This recipe is also a great marinade for chicken breasts if you are not interested in doing kabobs. Or you could do a mix if you have a picky eater in the house.
Click here to view/print this recipe!
This is one of our favorite side dish recipes and it freezes very well. We make this recipe as a "filler" when we are having Chicken Fajitas for dinner. You can also use it in Taco Salad. It can be spicy or mild. You can reduce the amount of chili powder to control the heat. One recipe is enough for two meals for a family of five or six when used as filler for Fajitas.
Click here to view/print this recipe!
Recipe of the Month... Yogurt Fruit Salad
Our winner this month is Yogurt Fruit Salad. I love fruit smoothies and we love trying all different kinds of fruit and yogurt combinations. This fruit salad is great because you make individual servings in lined muffin tins. I made mine with paper liners. They work great just do not overfill the cups. I also microwave them for 15 seconds to soften it up when I take them out of the freezer. It makes a great afternoon snack for the kids. Try it!
I was unable to reach "NancyC", so we'll have to meet the creator of this recipe next month. Cook's Corner member NancyC, if you read this, please contact me at carol@... to claim your prize!
Click here to view/print the July Recipe of the Month.
Calling all cooks! I'm looking for your favorite recipes so post them on our message board, the Cook's Corner. Any recipe posting will be considered for the Recipe of the Month contest and a chance to win $25 cash or merchandise from the 30 Day Gourmet store. Just post it under the appropriate category on the message boards. Be sure to include freezing directions! I look forward to hearing what you have to share.
Our winner this month is Julie. Julie has a great story to share about how her experience cooking the 30 Day Gourmet way has grown into a ministry at her church.
Julie says:"I purchased the 30 Day Gourmet Cooking Manual when I was 8 months pregnant with our second son; we thought it'd be handy to have prepared meals in our freezer for after his birth. Then after doing Freezer Cooking for over a year, I thought it'd be a fun thing to do with a larger group; so I asked a few girlfriends from church to join me at the building and give it a try. The software was incredibly helpful, and continues to be a huge benefit to our ministry, which we call Meals For A Month.
Our trial run was July 2004, and we offered Cooking Sessions for the next year, until we moved into our new church building. During the break of getting settled in, we had 6 months off, during which we tweaked and improved Meals For A Month even more.
Participants contribute $90 for a 10 entrees, serving 6-8 people each. The leadership team buys the groceries and selects the recipes for the month.
Participants come on the designated Cooking Day and, in VERY ORGANIZED team fashion, make 10 meals for each participating family for the month. We have four menus which we rotate over the year; in the winter, we substitute the grilled recipes for more winter-friendly foods.
Beginning in April of this year, we expanded from one Cooking Session to three. Participants reserve their spots for future Cooking Days by registering and paying in advance. Checks are not cashed until the first of the month, and until then, people are free to change their minds about participating.
The foods are all healthy--- we have calculated Weight Watchers Points for each entree; every participant takes home a packet with a refrigerator list- a summary of what non-perishables are needed to cook each entree, how they're prepared/served, some tips on Crock-Pot Cooking, business cards, and information about what we believe at our church.
At the halfway point of each cooking session, we break for brunch and a short Bible study and prayer. MFAM’s mission is to reach out, invite and involve people who might not otherwise come into a church building, and who don’t know Jesus. It provides a non-threatening way to ask someone to come to church. After all, we all eat, enjoy new healthy foods, save money, and like feeling organized. What a fun way to bring along a guest, introduce them to other Christians, and have fun all at the same time! We stress that this is a non-profit ministry. The planners/leadership team do this as a ministry, not a job.
Another thing we do is prepare Sharing Meals at each session. Those are freezer meals which are assembled, and come with all non-perishable ingredients and preparation instructions, to be distributed to someone who could use a pick-me-up. A friend who's feeling blue, a new mom, someone recovering from surgery, a new person who moves to the neighborhood, etc.
*Over 2700 meals prepared so far, plus more than 230 Sharing Meals prepared* Over 160 people have participated, including 62 who aren’t members at our church* 27 Bible studies
Thanks for reading...and thanks even more for all of the help you have provided to our ministry, and to over 160 families in the Northwest Houston area!"
Wow... what a great story! It is amazing how cooking for a month for your own family grew into such a great ministry and opportunity to share your knowledge with others. Thanks for sharing your story with everyone!
So, how do you make 30 Day Gourmet work for you? How do you use it to help you deal with a challenge in your life? How do you use it to help others? Do you have a funny cooking story to share? Email me at carol@... to be entered in our contest.
I hope you enjoy the recipes! Do you have any other topics that you would like to cover? Do you have any nagging questions that need to be answered? Email me at carol@.... I enjoy hearing from you!
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If you still have problems, please let me know at carol@....
30 Day Gourmet
P.O. Box 272
Brownsburg, IN 46112
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