Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Days 21 and 22

Turns out I DID get a picture of Day 20 (hamburgers...we had a cookout with friends).
Notice Salinger salivating over the idea of a nice juicy burger accidentally being dropped!

I'm using the same pic for days 21 and 22 because Holden and I took off for a little roadtrip (Marengo Cave and Holiday World) and we left Kevin home with these leftovers!!!

I hear they were delicious!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Day 20

I didn't get any pics of tonight's dinner...but I used about 2 pounds of ground sirloin that was frozen to make burgers for our dinner with friends Rob and Camie.

WHOOHOO! Things aren't falling out with as much force anymore!

Day 19

Day 19 (Friday) was a nice surprise for Kevin...PASTIES (pronounced PASS-tees) a classic Michigan dish!!! I made some a few months ago and froze them and forgot all about them.

You can read all about pasties by CLICKING HERE

I made mine the traditional way that my grandma used to...beef (leftover roast), onions, potatoes, carrots and rutabega all kind of chopped up into a stew and then baked inside a pie crust like dough. SO good!

I would have loved to have eaten one...but knew I'd pay with ucky consequences...so I stuck to a Laura Staple...a bruchetta Boca patty topped with peppers, onion, cheese and some pizza sauce. Not quite a pasty, but still pretty good (AND I got rid of the Boca box!)!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Day 18


This is a family favorite...I call it "The Chicken". My best friend Susan gave me this recipe years ago and I've made it for parties and always make it when mom and dad come to visit. It's STUPID easy, but everyone loves it....and it was a great way to use up the rest of those chicken breasts I pulled out the other day for the Wellingtons!

Remember these?

I dunked them in beaten egg and then gave them a quick toss in some bread crumbs and then thew them into a hot skillet sprayed with cooking spray (NO oil)
Brown them up just on the outside then throw into the oven with enough BEEF (yes, BEEF) broth to cover the bottom of the pan. Bake about 1/2 hour or so, then flip and add more broth if you need it. Throw some fresh sliced mushrooms on top and then sprinkle with a nice layer of mozzarella cheese and stick back in the oven for another 15 minutes or so.
The result of this is on the right...voila! THE CHICKEN!

I kept a piece out for me away from the toppings and just sliced it on salad. Kevin's chicken was paired with parmesean mashed potatoes and some steamed carrots.


Day 17

Wednesday LAME-O ALERT!!!

Wednesdays, Kevin usually has dinner with Will and Lizz so it was just me again. Here was the freezer offering tonight...

Ok...it's been YEARS since I've eaten one of these things and now I remember why....OMG...IT WAS VILE!!!!


I ate the Salisbury steak (which was ok with a gallon of ketchup on it) and picked out the green beans, but that apple dessert thing was really starchy tasting like baby food with chewy oatmeal on top of it. I didn't even try the potatoes, so they might have been good, but I'll never know.

At least another box is history!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Day 16

Today sounds really fancy schmancy...but couldn't be easier...
CHICKEN WELLINGTON (yes...Beef Wellington's low budget cousin!)

I found some boneless, skinless chicken breasts in the freezer...

Found a package of Puff Pastry dough (jeez...no CLUE how old it was...I don't remember buying it!)

I made a quickie duxelles by chopping up some mushrooms and onion and sauteed with a tiny bit of butter, salt, pepper and white wine (Chardonnay)

Piled the shrooms and onion on the dough, topped with a chicken breast and then wrapped it up...egg washed it and threw it in the oven.
Here's the result about 40 minutes later!

Dinner is served! Kevin's on the left (Wellington with our staple Caesar salad) and I made myself a ham and cheese salad with radicchio on the right.

Day 15

Monday...back to the freezer cleanout after a break from yesterday!

Today...RIBS! I had a pack of 3 country style ribs in the freezer. I defrosted them and rubbed them with a dry rub (made of everything but the kitchen sink...just dumped in everything from the spice cabinet!) and put them on an upside down steamer basket in the crock pot. This steamer trick is great because all the fat drips away and leaves you with yummy, crispy coated ribs!

I tossed a partial bag of frozen hash browns that I found with some chopped onion for Kevin and then steamed up some green beans on the side for both of us.

Served with my FAVORITE...Bessengers BBQ sauce from Columbia, SC (traditional Carolina mustard based sauce...so good, even this Yankee girl was moved by it!)

Day 14

We're on hiatus today.

It was Father's Day and took Kevin out for Mexican.

I DID eat a sugar free FlaVorIce pop though!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Day 13

I'm posting Day 13 now (in the morning) because I made dinner for Day 13 last night. It's another "Mom recipe" and kid favorite...TACO PIE!

Here's the pile of Mise En Place...freezer items are the rest of the giant tub o' ground beef from day 12, bag of frozen pepper/onion strips.

There really is no precise "recipe" for this...it's more of a method type dish. Warning...it's NOT particularly healthy, so don't expect your scale to love you for this one!

Start with your peppers/onions, ground beef, taco seasoning and refried beans. Cook it up in a big skillet until the meat is browned.

Spread out crescent roll dough in a sprayed pan and then layer up with your meat/veg/bean mixture like this...

Top with a container of sour cream (you can use light), sprinkle on a few handfuls of crushed Doritoes and a bag of shredded cheddar. Top with drained diced tomatoes, Mexicorn or whatever other types of things sound good. I added cilantro from the herb garden.

I always make it in a glass pan because it's pretty to see all the layers (and I'm really easily amused with stuff like that)

It's ALWAYS better the next day, so I baked it last night and Kevin can reheat it for the kids in the microwave.

Stay tuned for a GREAT day 14 salad (which is what I'LL be having tonight!)

Day 12

As promised...Day 12 is a good one. My mom used to make this when it was HOT outside because it doesn't involve heating up the oven. I think she used to make this in an electric skillet and I remember we used to eat it in the basement at the card table where it was cool (this was before central A/C was commonplace!) I think the official name is "Yankee Beef and Vegetables" but I call it "That ground beef veggie thing you eat when it's hot outside"

Takes about a pound of ground beef (normally I buy the lean stuff...but I goofed and got the 80/20 as you can see here...ugh). Throw in a box or two of Birds Eye New England Style veggies...the kind with the little shell pasta mixed in them. Brown it all up together and then add a slurry of about 1/2 cup milk, a teaspoon of flour and a few glugs of Worcestershire sauce. It will thicken up like a gravy and look like this...
Ok...the pics look like something you'd find on the pavement of a carnival, but I PROMISE you that it's good.

Just ask Kevin...

I had a salad, but won't bore you with those pics...especially since it contained NOTHING freezer related.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Day 11

Ok...don't laugh, but day 11 was even MORE LAME than day 10!

I (Laura) had some very minor surgery yesterday (nothing major, but I was still kind of dopey feeling and not hungry at all).

SO...here is Kevin's dinner...
Aw yeah!!! Meijer brand Lean Cuisine.

Here was MY dinner...
Some GENIUS over at the FlaVorIce company got the brilliant idea to make them SUGAR FREE (and only 5 calories each!). BEST. INVENTION. EVER!!!!!
I started with a lemon lime (above) and then followed it up with a strawberry and then had a blue raspberry flavor for dessert.

I PROMISE day 12 will be better!!!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Day 10


Kevin was out with Will and Lizz and I didn't feel like cooking/eating much of anything...BUT...I kept my promise, and I really hate skipping eating because it screws with my metabolism....

I DID get rid of the last Asian Veggie Patty (which tastes just like the inside of an eggroll!)
YAY...another box GONE

Ok...here's the rest of dinner...a few spoonfuls of cottage cheese and a few chunks of honeydew melon.


Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Day 9

Ok...I'm really excited that I was able to rid the freezer of FOUR items tonight!!!
Non-fried homemade chicken tenders...totally easy...boneless skinless chicken breasts cut into strips, dipped in some buttermilk and then rolled in a light coating of seasoned Panko breadcrumbs then FREEZE them like that on a cookie sheet until they're hard as rocks and then stick em in a bag and keep them in there until you decide to start a project like this! I found a partial bag of Trader Joe's fries (also baked) and decided to make this weird veggie side dish recipe similar to something I once saw Nigella Lawson make....

Start with frozen peas
(I had two partial bags)
onion, bacon (or in my case, a piece of lunchmeat ham, and a romaine heart). Chop it all into little bits. Saute the onion and bacon/ham in a tiny drizzle of olive oil until the bacon/ham is crispy and the onion is soft. Add FROZEN PEAS to this and heat through and then throw in your romaine at the end to wilt a bit. Add some salt and voila...veggie.

Here is Kevin's plate...

Here's mine...
I opted for a chicken tender on top of a big ol' salad.

Tomorrow will just be me (like most Wednesdays), so who knows what might happen!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Day 8

Ok...tonight's lucky winner of the Freezer Game was a container of homemade, healthy-ish broccoli cheese soup. I realize it looks like baby vomit in this picture, but I promise you...it's actually really good!
Holden and I made it a few weeks ago and were surprised at what a HUGE batch we wound up with...so it was sent to the freezer.

Kevin's is on the right paired up with the big ol' roast beef sammich. Mine is on the left...a salad with some chopped roast beef (we got a big tub of it at Sam's Club yesterday because it looked really good!)
Please note the classic garnish for almost any soup...cheddar Goldfish crackers!

Day 7

Sunday dinner was a VERY nice surprise!

I think I picked these up right after Christmas in the "Manager's Sale" bin.

I threw them in the grill pan for about 3 minutes per side, made a quickie batch of Greek style green beans, some sauteed 'shrooms and voila...PERFECTION!
This is Kevin's plate...he wanted mashed potatoes...they're instant, but don't tell anyone okay?

This is my plate...I made a quickie warm potato salad along with a horseradish chive sour cream sauce for the steak (similar to something I saw Anne Burell make on the Food Network). Potatoes and I really are not friends...but I couldn't resist a tiny taste.

This is Salinger's plate. He was one happy Pug!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Day 6

We spent most of today running around, so it was a quick and easy dinner....

A smashed up box of Trader Joe's Shepherd's Pie for Kevin....

A nice Boca burger patty for Laura, topped with cheese and some red onion with a big ol dill pickle on the side! I swear, I could eat these things every day and never get sick of them!

The plate in the back behind our respective dinners is a yummy Caprese salad I threw together. Caprese is a summer staple in our house...sliced tomatoes topped with fresh mozzarella (NOT the hard bricky kind like you'd use for pizza) a chiffionade of fresh basil (from the herb garden outside) and drizzled with some balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt and fresh cracked pepper. MMMMM.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Day 5

I was sick of grilling whatever I found, so I decided to change gears and make BRUNSWICK STEW today!

I'd never heard of this stuff until Kevin took me "home" to South Carolina and they served this as a side dish practically EVERYWHERE you went! It's a nice comforting stew traditionally made with rabbit (ummm...it wouldn't have surprised me, but I didn't see any bunny in either freezer, so we used chicken), tomatoes, lima beans and corn. It's seasoned up with bay leaf, garlic and a touch of cayenne pepper.

Here is the lineup...

Frozen brick o'chicken

frozen lima beans and "Cajun" mirepoix mix (celery, onion, green pepper)...aka "The Trinity"
I used frozen corn too...but forgot to add it in the pic...you get the idea.

Here it is all simmery and yummy!

...and here is one happy "Southern Boy" with a yummy taste of home!

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Day 4

Yep...pork chops and applesauuuuce (say that like Peter Brady)!

I found a frozen clump of pork chops in the back of the freezer and decided to try the Alton Brown molasses/coffe marinade (which was AMAZING, even though I only used about half of the molasses it called for).

I had some Granny Smith apples that weren't being eaten, so I peeled and chunked a few up and glugged in some Diet Vernors and left it to simmer on low for about an hour until it made applesauce.

I made a quickie batch of spaetzle (noodles) for Kevin, plated up a couple o'salads and it was chowtime!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Day 3

Ok, today's post is kind of on the lame side because it's just me (Laura) here tonight. Kevin has a standing Wednesday dinner date with his kids, so I didn't really plan anything special for me.

Tonight's freezer ingredient is BRUSCHETTA BOCA PATTIES! (there's still 2 left in the box).

First off...I LOVE all varieties of these things because A. They're actually YUMMY and B. They're a perfect portion size (right at 2.5 ounces) of lean protein which is perfect for me and my Post Gastric Bypass way of eating. C. They're FAST and you just zap them in the microwave

The Bruschetta flavor tastes a lot like pizza, so I did some of the pizza topping leftovers from the weekend...homemade pizza sauce with those mushroom/onions/peppers from the steaks last night, a bit of fresh mozzarella and a little torn basil up on top.

SO easy, but so good!

Ugh...I'm FULL!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Day 2

(Day 2)

Found some yummy New York strip steaks! MMMMM
Threw them on the grill for 3 minutes per side (could have been ok with 2). Grilled up some thinly sliced redskin potatoes with onions and chives in a foil pouch for Kevin (potatoes and I are NOT friends!) and sauteed up some leftover mushrooms, onions and peppers with a little red wine to top the steaks.
Caesar salad (homemade dressing...MUCH healthier than the bottled crap) with shaved parm and homemade croutons.

I should mention that I'm happy to share recipes if anyone is interested in anything!