Frozen Assets


Beating the Breakfast Rush Hour

In many families, morning is a hectic and hurried time. Frequently parents feel fortunate just to get everyone out the door fully dressed each day. Serve a hot cooked breakfast every morning? Not a chance. Breakfast (if it’s served at all) often consists of grabbing a toaster pastry and a quick glass of juice as the family runs out the door racing headlong to work and school.

I’ve discovered that taking an hour or two on an occasional weekend to prepare breakfast items for the freezer, takes much of the insanity out of the weekday morning rush. Continue reading



Debi’s Favorite Easter Recipe: Chicken Packets

Before three out of the four of us could no longer eat it due to assorted food allergies and sensitivities, this recipe had become my go-to meal for Easter brunch — they’re actually quite elegant looking and they taste heavenly. Continue reading



Debi’s Baked Ziti

This is one of those recipes my family can never get enough.  I remember my youngest daughter when she was about three, holding out her plate with a huge smile and asking in a sweet little voice, “More yummy noodles, Mommy?”

Always such a pleasure when the kiddos enjoy an easy meal the grown-up folks love, too.

This recipe is reprinted with permission from my book, Frozen Assets: Cook for a Day, Eat for a Month (SourceBooks). Continue reading



“Help! My Freezer’s Too Small!”

One of the most common concerns I hear about preparing meals for the freezer is this: “I only have the small freezer above my refrigerator — how can I still do a full month of cooking ahead?”

 For someone with only a fridge-top freezer, I usually recommend starting with twice-a-month cooking, or just doubling and tripling recipes as you go about your regular cooking during the week. As Continue reading



Debi’s Mix-n-Match Quick Bread Recipe

I’m always on the look out for recipes that are quick, easy, family-friendly, inexpensive and flexible. This quick bread meets all of my criteria for a budget-worthy recipe.  Plus it’s tasty and super-simple, too!  :-)

Quick Bread Tips: When making any quick bread (banana bread, zuchini bread, cornbread, etc.) be careful not to overmix.  Stir mixture until just combined or it may become heavy and too dense.  Also, be sure to bake in the center of the oven where the temperature is the most consistent.

MIX-N-MATCH QUICK BREAD (from Frozen Assets)
(Makes two loaves) Continue reading



Debi’s Spaghetti Pie Recipe

Just for fun, here’s one of my family’s favorite freezer-friendly recipes, Spaghetti Pie (reprinted from my book, Frozen Assets: Cook for Day, Eat for a Month, SourceBooks).This recipe can easily be double or tripled.

My original Spaghetti Pie recipe called for a full pound of ground beef, but now I only use half a pound per pie. I find half a pound to be more than enough. This recipe could also be made with ground turkey, Italian bulk sausage, TVP (texturized vegetable protein), or no meat (or meat substitutes) at all.

SPAGHETTI PIE (from: Frozen Assets)
(6 servings) Continue reading



Debi’s Sweet Potatoes with Pecan Streusel

This is so tasty, I always try to hide a little for breakfast the next day. It’s so delicious, it would almost work as dessert. :-)

Debi’s Sweet Potatoes with Pecan Streusel

Ingredients for Casserole:

  • 5 medium-to-large sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 2 eggs, beaten well
  • 1 stick butter, melted (you can use margarine but it won’t be as yummy)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Ingredients for Streusel Topping:

  • 1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped pecans (or walnuts)

Preparation

  1. Cook the sweet potatoes until soft. You can either bake the sweet potatoes in the oven like baked potatoes, or you can peel them and steam them or boil them. I usually steam them … it just seems to go faster that way.
  2. In a large bowl, mash well. Set aside.
  3. Heat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. Make streusel topping: Blend brown sugar, butter, flour, and chopped pecans together with a pastry blender or fork. Set aside.
  5. Mix mashed sweet potatoes with sugar, eggs, butter, and vanilla. Pour into a 9×9-inch lightly greased casserole dish. Sprinkle sweet potato mixture with the streusel topping. Be generous. I even sometimes poke deep holes with the end of a mixing spoon into the sweet potato mixture so the topping creeps into the sweet potatoes while they’re baking. :-)
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Let sit for a few minutes.
  7. Serve hot.

Note: This casserole can be prepared in advance and frozen. After cooling completely, scoop the prepared sweet potatoes into a large freezer bag, but do not add the topping. Freeze the topping in a separate freezer bag. When ready to bake, thaw completely, pour into the casserole dish, and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Top with streusel and bake as directed.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Deborah Taylor-Hough is the mother of three grown and nearly grown kids still at home, a full-time college student, a displaced homemaker trying to make ends meet on a limited budget, and the author of several older (but still in print) books including the popular Frozen Assets cookbook series. You can visit Debi online at: http://www.SimpleMom.com




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