Grilled Jalapeno Lime Chicken

September 28, 2009

Summer is almost over and it's you last chance to use that grill before the long Winter hits. You know, the longer a meat sits in marinade the more the flavors seep in. So why not make life even easier by freezing meats in marinades for future grilling? Here's a great recipe for a flavorful and zesty chicken which can thaw in the freezer the day before your bar-b-que and be ready to throw on the grill.

12 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 c. orange juice concentrate
2/3 c. chopped onion
1/2 c. lime juice
1/2 c. honey
1 jalapeno pepper (seeded and diced)
2 tsp. ground cumin
2 tsp. fresh lime peel
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
2 cloves (or 2 tsp.) minced garlic
1 gallon size or 12 sandwich size ziplock freezer bag

To Prepare
- combine all ingredients in gallon size freezer bag. Refrigerate for 4 hours.

To Freeze
- Do NOT cook. Freeze all breasts together or in individual portions.

To Serve
- thaw completely in refrigerator for at least 24 hours before serving.
- grill on bar-b-que, making sure the internal temperature of each breast reaches 165*.
- serve with spanish rice or over a fresh green salad with lime wedges.


Happy Birthday to ME! Cake Freezing.

September 21, 2009

Today is my 32nd birthday.
{pause for applause}

And in honor of that I am going to share a fabulous tip for freezing baked cakes.
Yes, a lot of the bakeries do it and here's how to make it successful.

To Freeze
- Bake a cake as you normally would and cool completely (I always use cakemix, but you can bake from scratch if you prefer).
- Cut into layers if desired.
- Wrap each layer tightly in plastic wrap.
- Then stack layers together and wrap tightly into one cake with plastic wrap.
- Label and freeze for up to 4 months.

To Serve
When you're ready to serve simply remove cakes and allow to thaw slightly on kitchen counter. You have no idea how much easier it is to frost a slightly frozen cake! Add filling and frost and then store in refrigerator or on counter until ready to serve.

Another Tip
For an even easier and tasty alternative, before freezing fill layers with real whipping cream, put cake into layers, wrap and freeze. This is like a huge Whoopie Pie and can be eaten still slightly frozen, cool or completely thawed. You can eat it plain, frost it with regular frosting or you can also top with fresh berries or canned fruit pie filling.

This is such a useful trick for church potlucks, unexpected classroom parties and last minute visitors. So bake up a few cakes today and freeze them for'll be glad that you did!


Vegetable Chowder

September 14, 2009

Autumn is upon us. For many of us school has started, the air is turning cool and the leaves are beginning to change to beautiful hues of orange and crimson. This is the time of year when my dinner table begs for rich and warm soups. Corn, bell peppers, and green beans give this hearty soup its fresh, summery flavor. This is a great dish for vegetarians or to add to your rotation of family meals.

Vegetable Chowder

3 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, diced (about 2 cups)
2 medium red bell peppers, seeds and ribs removed, diced (2 1/2 cups)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
3 cups milk
4 medium baking potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds), peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
8 ears corn, kernels removed (about 4 cups)
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 1/2 pounds green beans, ends trimmed, broken into 1-inch pieces (about 6 cups)

To Prepare
- In a Dutch oven or 5-quart pot, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, bell peppers, and thyme; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add milk, potatoes, and 5 cups water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer, covered, until potatoes are almost tender, about 8 minutes. Stir in corn, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Simmer until corn is tender, about 3 minutes.
- With a slotted spoon, transfer 3 cups of the solids to a blender; puree until smooth. Return to pot; add green beans. Bring to a simmer; cook until beans are not quite tender, 4-5 minutes. Season again with salt.

To Freeze
Cool chowder completely before transferring to airtight plastic containers; leave 1 inch of space at the top. Label and store in refrigerator.

To Serve
Defrost overnight in the refrigerator, then reheat on stove top over low heat (or in microwave).

*recipe & photo from Everyday Foods


Freeze-Ahead Lasagna Primavera

September 7, 2009

Get ready for a completely different take on traditional red-sauce lasagna. Your family will enjoy this slight change of pace and you will to.

Freeze-Ahead Lasagna Primavera

1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for foil
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 garlic cloves, minced
6 cups whole milk
2 packages (10 ounces each) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 package (10 ounces) frozen peas
1/2 pound carrots (4 to 5), halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 container (15 ounces) part-skim ricotta (about 2 cups)
1 large egg
1 package (9 ounces) no-boil lasagna noodles (12 to 16 noodles)
1 pound part-skim mozzarella, shredded
1 cup grated Parmesan

To Prepare
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium; add flour and garlic.
- Cook, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes (do not let flour mixture darken); whisk in milk. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer, and cook, whisking occasionally, until thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add spinach, peas, and carrots; season with salt and pepper. Set sauce aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, egg, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and teaspoon pepper.
- In the bottom of a 9-by-13-inch aluminum baking dish, spread a thin layer of vegetable sauce. Layer noodles, half the remaining vegetable sauce, another noodles, half the ricotta mixture, half the mozzarella, and half the Parmesan; repeat.

To Freeze
- Cover dish with aluminum foil and freeze (do not cook first) .

To Serve
- Thaw completely in refridgerator.
- Bake 45 minutes, uncover, and bake until bubbling and browned, about 20 minutes more. Let cool 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

*photo and recipe from Everyday Foods

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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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