Baked Ziti

June 22, 2009

This is a good, solid make-ahead meal. It's not so fancy that picky eaters will turn up their noses, but complex enough to move beyond your basic spaghetti and meat sauce. This one is definately kid friendly. Vegetarians can omit the beef or can substitute sauteed crimini or portabella mushrooms for a heartier meal.


2 pounds ground meat
2 cloves (or 2 tsp.) garlic, minced
2 teaspoons salt
4, 8 oz. cans tomato sauce
2, 8oz. pkg cream cheese
2 cups sour cream
12 green onions, including green part, chopped
16 oz. noodles (rotini, macaroni or ziti)
2 cups mozzarella or cheddar cheese, grated

- In a skillet, brown meat. Add garlic, salt and tomato sauce; simmer about 10 minutes.
- Soften cream cheese and blend thoroughly with sour cream. Add green onions and set aside.
- Boil noodles until 3 minutes before packaged directions; drain.
- In 9x13" (or 2, 8x8") aluminum baking pans, layer noodles, cream cheese mixture, and meat sauce. Repeat layers.
- Sprinkle cheese on top.

To Freeze:
- Spray foil with non-stick cooking spray and cover casserole.
- Thaw in refridgerator.

To Serve:
Bake uncovered at 350 for 30 minutes.


Swiss Steak

June 8, 2009

Swiss Steak is a method of preparing beef, by means of rolling or pounding, and then braising in an oven. The name does not refer to Switzerland, but instead to the process of "swissing", which refers to fabric or other materials being pounded or run through rollers in order to soften it.

Swiss steak is typically made from relatively tough cuts of meat, such as the round, which have been pounded with a tenderizing hammer, or run through a set of bladed rollers to produce so-called "cube steak". The meat is typically coated with flour and other seasonings and served with a thick gravy.

This recipe is great for a last minute meal since it goes straight from freezer to oven, with no defrosting time needed.

Make Ahead Swiss Steak

2 lbs round steak, ½" thick cut
¼ cup flour
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
2 tbsp oil
½ cup green pepper, minced
1 ¼ cup onion, minced
1 16-oz can tomatoes
1 tsp salt¼ tsp pepper

To Prepare:

Cut steak into 8 individual pieces, using a fork to pierce each side of each piece. In a small bowl, combine flour, ½ tsp salt and ¼ tsp pepper. Top one side of the steak pieces with half this mixture, then use a meat mallet to pound the flour mixture into the steak. Flip the pieces over and repeat.

In large skillet, heat oil and brown meat for about 15 minutes, turning frequently. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover skillet and allow to simmer for 1 hour, adding small amounts of water as needed.

In a separate bowl, combine green pepper, onion, tomatoes, salt and ¼ tsp pepper, mixing well. Add to skillet, cover and simmer for an additional 15 minutes.

To Freeze:

Divide skillet contents in half (including tomato sauce mixture), and split between two, 8x8 freezer containers - foil is best so you can reheat right in container. Allow to cool, seal and label with cooking instructions.

To Reheat and Serve:

Remove from freezer while oven is preheating to 400F. Remove lid and bake for 30-40 minutes or until steak is tender. Serve with rice or noodles.


Savory Breakfast Muffins

June 1, 2009

I found this recipe online and tried it out. It was fabulous!
It was originally posted by Lightly Toasted on Recipe Zaar.

I love the idea that you have filling and hot breakfast ready in just seconds for those morning when everybody is rushing out the door. I am going to make a bunch of these (with ham instead of sausage) for ballet mornings at my house when I am prone to grab a bagel sandwich at McDonalds.

Savory Breakfast Muffins

makes 10 jumbo muffins

1 lb chorizo sausage or bulk breakfast sausage
2 cups Bisquick
1 cup cornmeal
3 eggs
1 3/4 cups milk
1/4 c. chopped green or red bell pepper
1/2 c. finely minced onion
1/2 tsp. salt
pepper to taste
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

To Prepare

1. Line muffin tins with paper liners, and set aside.
2. Fry, crumble and drain sausage. (omit this step if using ham)
3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
4. Mix together bisquick, cornmeal, eggs, garlic powder and milk.
5. Add drained sausage, diced peppers, onions and cheese. Stir well. (You may choose to saute the peppers and onion with your sausage for a milder taste).
6. Ladle the filling into the prepared muffin tins, filling almost to top.
7. Bake for 11-15 minutes. Allow to cool completely.

To Freeze

- Store in freezer in a large airtight container. Or place each in a sandwich bag, and then place a dozen in a large ziploc bag.

To Serve

- Microwave on high for approx 90 seconds.

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About This Blog

A new recipe will be posted each Monday and, of course, you can always search the archives by category.

The Goal of this blog is not just to give you my recipes, but to teach you which ingredients freeze well, which don't, methods and tips to help you freeze your own recipes...because who knows better what your family likes than you?

Do you only cook organic? Great! Are you a vegetarian? No problem! Make what works for you and save time, money and (let's be honest...stress) while doing it.

The Freeze Happy philosophy has made my life better and I'm pretty sure it can improve yours too.

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