What, oh what would I do without my freezer? I’ve said it before, but my freezer is my best friend…well, you know what I mean.
It’s there for me!
It has supper waiting!
It has gifts inside, both for me and many other friends!
Isn’t that a great friend?!
I’ve always put leftovers in my freezer, but I’ve not always stored them in the best way, or in a way that was easy to reheat them. But I have two new tricks using frozen leftovers that have worked for me and I want to pass them along to you!
Slow-Cook leftovers from a frozen state. Last Sunday I went to the freezer before heading to church and I pulled out a container with a yummy casserole, Countryside Chicken Bake, full of great things, aside from the chicken, like Cream of Mushroom Soup, sour cream, rice, and carrots (or peas, if you prefer). I had marked the container saying, Countryside Chicken Bake, Two Servings. Knowing that would be perfect for our Sunday dinner, I took it in its frozen state and put it directly into my slow cooker, adding about 1 1/2 cups of chicken broth to keep it moist . I put the crock pot on High for one hour, low for 3 hours. I think going slow and making sure there is plenty of liquid is the best way to reheat so you’ll have a good outcome. When we came home from church, it was hot, juicy, tender and ready to eat! That is a freezer win!!
Does this look like leftovers to you? I don’t think so!!
Put small amounts of chili, soups or stew into muffins tins for individual servings.
I love this so much! You know how the last half of the chili doesn’t look too appealing after eating it two days in a row? This makes it a cinch to store and reheat for dinner another day when you’ll be glad to see it again!
I had leftover Taco Soup last week with just a little left over. I used the large muffin tins, but regular sized one will work, too. Fill them up, cover with syran wrap and freeze for a couple hours or overnight until frozen solid.
Then run warm water on the bottom of the tin and then pop them onto a tray.
Store the frozen soup “pucks” in freezer bags, labeled with the soup name.
When you need lunch or supper, pop the frozen soup into a microwave container and warm it up! You could do one serving or six, depending on your needs (and the amount of leftovers, of course!). At one time this winter I had three different soups in the freezer. It made for a really easy lunch, which seems to be the hardest meal for me!
Leftovers don’t have to have a bad name! They can be reused at a later time and used in a way that will make a busy day much less stressful if you store and reheat properly.
If you try these tips I bet your freezer will become your best friend, too!
One more thing that I love about my freezer is freezing breads that are ready to bake, like these rolls or these muffins! They’re super good and so handy to have on hand!
If you included weight loss in any of your New Year Goals, you will be really happy to try this recipe! This Deconstructed Pizza Casserole is low carb but highly delicious! If you’re hungry for pizza, but don’t want all the calories and carbohydrates, this will come in a close second to the real thing! I added a green salad and it was a perfect Saturday night supper that almost felt like, “Pizza Night!”
Here’s the easy recipe and my tweaks:
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes (do not use petite dice)
5 links (19.5 oz.) uncooked turkey Italian sausage
2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
salt and fresh-ground pepper to taste
8-12 oz. fresh mushrooms, washed and cut into thick slices (I used brown Cremini mushrooms.) To wash, wet a paper towel and wipe the mushrooms. Don’t rinse under water!
1/2 Red onion, sliced
1 1/2 cups grated Mozzarella cheese (I used part-skim mozzarella)
Pepperoni slices (I used Turkey Pepperoni, but you can use regular, if you prefer.)
Preheat oven to 400°. Spray an 8 inch x 11 inch glass casserole dish with non-stick spray or olive oil.
Pour the diced tomatoes into a colander placed in the sink and rinse with cold water. Let tomatoes drain a minute or two, then spread them out on paper towels to dry (or blot dry with another paper towel on top.)
Remove the sausage out of the casing, and cook over medium-high heat until it’s nicely browned, breaking it apart as it cooks.
While sausage cooks, clean mushrooms and slice into thick slices.
When the sausage is done make a layer of sausage in the bottom of the casserole dish and top with the drained tomatoes and red onions, spreading out over the top of the sausage. Season with dried oregano, salt, and fresh-ground black pepper.
Rinse out the pan if needed, then heat 2 tsp. of olive oil over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot add the mushrooms and cook, stirring a few times, until all the liquid is released and the mushrooms are starting to brown. Layer the mushrooms over the sausage-tomato mixture.
Sprinkle the grated Mozzarella over the top of the casserole and lay the pepperoni pieces on top of the cheese, spacing them evenly so the whole top is covered with pepperoni.
Bake about 25 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and starting to brown. Serve hot.
With yummy dishes like this, you could cut carbs and not feel like you’re missing your favorite pizza!
You’re probably up to your eyeballs in sugar cookie dough and all things sweet right now, but you still have to have supper, right?! I’m going to help you with an old family recipe I remember having as a child, fixing for my girls when they were home, and I still enjoy today.
I love a recipe that doesn’t call for special ingredients. I know I can open my pantry and find just what I need and pull supper together in a flash. I recently made a casserole that’s an old recipe that falls right into that category! It’s called, Pork Chop, Peas and Potato Casserole. I loved it as a child, and I love it today. The pork chops get so tender while cooking in the tomato soup mixture, and the soup makes a great sauce for the vegetables. I love these kinds of recipes where you pile everything in the dish, cover it, and you’re done!
You could put this together the night before and store it in the fridge until it’s time to bake it for dinner (just make sure the potatoes are all under the sauce so they don’t turn brown). This is hearty and so good! Add a salad and bread and the meal is complete!
Pork Chop, Peas and Potato Casserole
4 Pork Chops
3-4 potatoes, peeled and sliced
1/2 Cup onion, diced
1 can Tomato Soup
1 Can Milk
Salt and Pepper
Layer potatoes and onions in the bottom of a casserole dish. Add peas – as many as you think you’ll need. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Mix soup and milk. Pour over top of vegetables. Place pork chops on top and spoon some of the soup over the chops. Add salt and pepper to chops. Cover and bake 1 hour.
The pork will be super tender and the potatoes and peas will have absorbed the sauce. Yum!
Have you been cooking any old family recipes? Is there one you haven’t made in a while you need to pull out? Sometimes those are the best!
I’m not sure what it is about fall and winter that bring a variety of foods to our mind, but aren’t we all thinking about comforting casseroles, warm soups, and pumpkin everything? I thought I’d gather together some of my favorites in those categories and highlight them all in one post for you today! My recipe index here on my blog could be overwhelming, so maybe this list of a few favorites will help your October to be delicious!
If you’ll be hosting any fall event, having guests over, or cooking supper for your own family and want to try something new and delicious, here’s a great list to pull from! These are some of my favorite fall foods that are tried and true!
If you need suggestions for other categories – salad, easy bread, breakfast, etc.) just leave a comment. I’ll be happy to help you!
A part of every day life is eating a meal. So, too, is the need to set the table. I’ve heard many women say they don’t really know how to properly put the silverware and tableware out. Is it just being too fussy to set the table? No! But if you don’t know what to do, fear not; it’s not something that requires lifted pinkies or tea cups!
My video today will show how to set a simple table, making it pretty enough for company, but also perfect for your family. Don’t let them have your leftovers (no pun intended!). Make them feel special by making mealtime an event. It’s really up to us to make the table pretty, and this simple video will give you a few ideas to show how.
What centerpiece do you have on your table right now?
This has been another busy week, full of helping with a move, entertaining our daughter, son-in-law and grandsons for two nights (who were the ones moving), church, cooking, cleaning, and lots of baby snuggles. Those are some of my favorite things from this week, but there’s more, and they’re on my camera, so let’s let the pictures roll…
Whenever my husband has to be away, he tucks notes around the house for me to find. It absolutely melts my heart to think he goes to so much trouble to show his love! I found these and other notes this week while he had to be gone.
I am honestly the most blessed woman to be married to someone so thoughtful and loving. He is my favorite of all favorites!!! I don’t take him for granted – he’s a gift from God that I am more grateful for him with each passing day!!
I trust you had a some highlights in your week, even if you’re going through some hard things, and I know so many people are right now! Sometimes we have to choose to look for the little blessings God allows and focus on those in the midst of the difficulties.
What is a highlight from your week? Have you tried the Katie Brown Chicken?
The meal I’m sharing today reminds me of childhood, only we’re going to take something simple and make it a little more special!
I love fish, but I especially love a fish sandwich! I recently tried a Cooking Light recipe for…
It was as amazing as it sounds! I used frozen catfish filets and we grilled them. That alone added a great flavor to the fish, and of course it cooked up in no time. This peanut sauce takes it up a whole new notch, adding great flavors to the sandwich!
Also, I don’t often make dessert for us on a weeknight, but for this meal, I wanted a little something sweet afterwards. So, I did a flashback dessert, making a pudding parfait. Again, it was bumped up a whole notch by doing two things:
I used the new natural flavored Jell-O Pudding mix. Have you tried them? The Vanilla and chocolate have both been really, really good, and I’m not usually a fan of the instant varieties!
I made fresh whipping cream instead of Cool Whip! Yum. The end.
Let’s get on with the recipes!
Catfish Po’boy with Hoisin-Peanut Sauce
1 teaspoon dark sesame oil
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced peeled fresh ginger
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup Thai chile sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 (6-ounce) farm-raised catfish fillets
4 (2 1/2-ounce) hoagie rolls, split and lightly toasted
2 cups shredded napa (Chinese) cabbage
To prepare sauce, heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and ginger; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Reduce heat to low. Add hoisin sauce, peanut butter, lime juice, and sugar; cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; set aside.
Prepare grill or broiler.
To prepare catfish, combine chile sauce and garlic in a large zip-top plastic bag. Add catfish; seal and marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes, turning bag occasionally.
Remove fish from marinade; discard marinade. Place fish on a grill rack or broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Cook 10 minutes or until fish flakes easily when tested with a fork.
Spread 1 tablespoon sauce over bottom half of each hoagie roll; top each serving with 1/2 cup cabbage, 1 catfish fillet, and top half of roll. Serve immediately.
Sometimes we overthink dessert. Why not do a simple dish like pudding and make it a little more special with fresh whipping cream and a berry!
Mix up a package of Jell-O pudding. Let set until firm (about 5 minutes). Then you can either layer the pudding and the whipping cream, or you can line the dish with the cream and put the pudding over the top…Pudding in a Cloud!
I add a little powdered sugar to the whipping cream to sweeten it.
Top with a strawberry!
A fish sandwich and Pudding…it doesn’t get any more reminiscent or delicious than that!