Meatballs M2F

Meatballs!!!

I Love love love this recipe… It freezes amazing… It’s SUPER easy to make, but it does require getting your hands a bit messy with raw meat, so it that’s not your thing maybe plan for gloves!

I love Meatballs with Sweet and Sour sauce (see our favorite recipe for this here! psst.. it’s also a GF and DF recipe!) Or with your Favorite Strogonoff recipe! (our favorite one will be on here soon)

Meatballs

1lb Hamburger

2 Eggs Beaten

½ C milk* (see DF sub below)

½ C Parmasean Cheese* (see DF sub below)

1C Panko Bread crumbs * (see GF sub below)

1 Onion minced

2 Garlic cloves (or 2 tsp jarred minced garlic in oil)

½ t oregano

1 t salt

¼ t pepper

Put ALL ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix together with a wooden spoon or (my fav) your Hands! Mix until everything is well incorporated form meat into Pingpong sized meat balls

Bake on cookie sheet at 350 for 20-25min till internal temp is 165. No need to turn meatballs.

For easier clean up, place a piece of parchment paper on the cookie sheet before putting meatballs on it.

*For GF option use GF Bread crumbs, or in place of breadcrumbs you can crush up GF rice cripies!

*For Dariy Free ( DF ) Sub parm cheese for for extra breadcrumbs (use half the amount so 1/2c = 1/4c subbed in breadcrumbs) and use your fav UNFLAVORED dairy substitute for milk

For an extra level of flavor especially if you are using the meatballs with gravy or stroganoff, add 1 packet of Ranch Dressing powdered seasoning… you’ll never go back!

Once they are fully cooked, allow them to cool and place in ziplock bags to freeze.

I often portion them into full meals along with Rice or Noodles and either gravy or Sweet and Sour sauce too and freeze it altogether for a quick and easy dinner that just needs to be heated up!

 

Enjoy!

-A-

 

 

Sweet and Sour Sauce M2F

So here is the first segment in our Meals to Freeze ( M2F ) series

Maybe your looking at this title thinking “How on earth is sweet and sour sauce a meal”… well I’ll tell you… it just is.

My favorite way to eat it is over rice, or with meatballs, or to use it as dip for your Frozen Asian appy package you picked up at Costco on a whim but used all the good sauce it came with in the first day (not that I’ve ever done that)

So needless to say I LOOOOOOoooooooove sweet and sour sauce… But I’m picky about it!

It’s got to be just the perfect amount of sweet and a bit of sour… and has to be thick enough to stick to everything!

My mom makes THE BEST sweet and sour sauce growing up, though I’m probably slightly bias.

So I called my mom today before writing this up, figuring I should ask the source of the recipe before I spread it into the world wide interweb. This originated from an elderly Chinese Lady my Uncle knew… who gave it to my Aunt, who gave it to my mom… (which makes sense why it’s so good!)

It is SO simple.. basically if you can cook KD (or even if you can’t) you can cook this.

Sweet and Sour Sauce

¾ C sugar

1/3 C White vinegar

2 Tablespoon cornstarch

1C water

¾ C Ketchup

1 Small can of pineapple chunks (optional)

In small saucepan add all ingredients other then pineapple and cook on Med heat stirring while it cooks and cook until it turns translucent

Add pineapple and simmer till pineapple is heated through

That’s it, and I promise you won’t regret this one!

it’s Gluten Free and Dairy Free, super cost effective to make in large quantities, and Freezes like a dream. It can be served over almost anything, or used as just a straight dipping sauce!

Enjoy!

-A-

 

 

 

 

Meals to Freeze (M2F)

So it’s been over a year since I added anything here!

As it seems to go with my grand plans, I last posted about “2015” from scratch… that night.. literally after I posted, I was in a car accident… and that kinda kiboshed any of my grand plans on sharing recipes!

So here we are in 2016… School is just starting for my kids and I’m hoping to have more time to plug into here a bit!

Onward….!

I Love to cook for others… it’s probably one of my favorite ways to serve others in my church and community. I am so thankful that I had the blessing of growing up in the family I did (my Miller and Nicolaye family) that knew how to take care of others well… and FEED others well!

I often get asked for the recipes I use to make freezer meals. Things that are easy and Cheap.. er.. “cost effective” to make (especially when you are trying to stretch ingredients for helping others out with meals) but still taste great! Not all of the Meals I’m going to be listing are huge cost savers but some of them definitely will be and I’ll make a note of it.

So I’m going to start a series here called “Meals to freeze” I’ll tag each title with M2F so they are easy to find!

I’ll add variations as I can to them to help accommodate Gluten Free meals (search GF ) and Dairy Free (search DF )

So here we go, I hope you enjoy them

-A-

 

Link

Last year I started with a post called “2014 from scratch”

I was extremely successful for the first 2.5 months, making bread every week from scratch, buying relatively nothing in a package, and cutting my grocery budget to around $250 for a family of 3 including diapers and garbage bags…!

Then I got put on Bed rest with my 2nd and all hell broke lose… we ate out… Lots… I bought easy pre-packaged everything… it was horrible. But if my family was going to eat while I was off my feet I needed to.

Then our daughter was born and we had 2 weeks of blissful newborn snuggles, and I had SO MUCH ENERGY after being so restricted and I baked up a storm!…

Then she started screaming…and screaming…and continued to scream till 12 weeks.

SO needless to say, I completed 2.5 months of what was supposed to be a 12 month challenge, so I’m back to it, to try again.

I’ve built an arsenal of ideas off Pintrest (check out my board here!)

I’ve already tested a few new recipes I’m going to post shortly, and I am So excited to try this again!

A few things I did learn last year though:

1) Bagels are 10x better made from scratch (and easy peasy)

2) Lots of make ahead recipes (especially breakfast wraps, and sandwiches etc..) need a toaster oven to remain “convenient” I tried microwaving so many things that ended up being so soggy… and really, who has time to turn on the oven in the morning when you are trying to run out the door! So I have a toaster oven en route from Amazon right now to make sure I’m best equipped this year for success!

3) Sometimes Pintrest sucks… many peoples ideas of “An amazing recipe” is NOT the same as mine… maybe I’m picky… but I can tell you that panko crusted zucchini (and a number of “amazing” recipes) are not worth the effort HA!

I hope you all have fun reading my posts and adding some great, staple recipes to your arsenal of meals!

Thanks for reading!

-A-

Cornbread Mix

Trying to do 2014 from Scratch so far has been fairly successful. I’ve purchased a few “non ingredient” items this month but about 80% less then normal.

I’ve tried a couple of the base Mixes I intended to make so far, and this one will definitely be staple in my kitchen.

I love cornbread, and have an excellent recipe I’ve been using for years… but this one takes 80% less time to make, and tastes just as good. It produces moist cornbread that isn’t too crumbly and you can bake it into muffins or in a pan cut in to squares.

Cornmeal Mix:

4 Cups All Purpose Flour

1 Tablespoon Salt

3/4 Cups Sugar

1/4 Cup baking powder

4 1/2 Cups cornmeal (make sure you get finely ground stuff rather then stone milled med ground our your cornbread will be very crunchy… I’ve made that mistake before)

1 Cup Shortening

Mix all dry ingredients together and stir. Mix shortening in with pastry cutter till it’s evenly distributed and resembles little crumbs.

Makes about 10 1/2 Cups of mix, that will last 10-12 weeks in an airtight container in your cupboard.

 

To use the mix add 2 1/2 Cups cornmeal mix with 1 egg and 1 1/4 Cup Milk. Mix together till smooth. Bake at 425 for 15-20 min

Alternatively to regular muffins or cornbread, you could use this cornmeal mixture poured over tomatoes, hamburger and peppers for a casserole

or add in scrambled eggs (cooked), Cooked bacon pieces, and peppers and make breakfast cornbread muffins… or sausage… or cheese…

Again this is a base mix, so you can be creative and add most anything to the mix to fancy it up.

Enjoy!

-A-

White Sauce Mix

At the beginning of January I posted about doing 2014 from scratch (see post in link)

So far I’ve tested half a dozen new recipes, including 2 “Mixes” from the Make a mix cookbook I linked in that post.

I made one large shopping trip to a grocery store and picked up a long list of dry ingredients for making up most of the recipes…

Side note* Bulk doesn’t always mean cheaper! I made the mistake of purchasing powdered milk in the bulk section and accidentally bought $30 in dried milk, when the prepackaged bag of it was half the cost (thankfully the store let me exchange it). So do your due diligence and check the prepackaged area first (and bring a calculator if you are buying bulk)

The first Mix I tried out is a White Sauce Mix. My Mom Raves about this mix… and from year of listening (and not) to her I figured this would be a good one to start with!

Mix Makes Aprox 8 Cups total dry mix

2 Cups Instant non fat dry milk, or 1 1/2 Cup Regular non fat dry milk

1 Cup All Purpose Flour

2 teaspoons salt

1 Cup butter or margarine

In large bowl combine all dry ingredients, mix together. Add in butter/marg and cut in with a pastry cutter till the mixture resembles little crumbs.

The better you mix it in (ie the smaller the crumbs) the less chance of lumps you’ll end up with in your sauces.

Store in fridge for up to 2 months, or in your freezer for 6-8. If you decide to store in your freezer I recommend dividing it in to 1/2C or 1 C amounts (depending on family size) so it’s easy to use.

To use your mix simply add 1/2C white Sauce base with 1 C cold water, wisk on med heat till mixture thickens. For a thicker sauce reduce water by 1/4 C or for thinner sauce increase water by 1/4 C.

You can add Anything to this base! I have used it 3 times so far and each time it produced an amazing tasting sauce. I added chicken bouillon cubes, salt, pepper and garlic for a basic cream of chicken soup base, which I poured over perogies and baked.

The second time I did just the base and added salt and garlic and poured over pasta,

The third time I made Potato Corn Chowder with it…which turned out AMAZING! (Potatoes, Bacon, Onions, corn, and then make base out of chicken stock instead of water)

the variations listed in the original recipe are these:

1. Substitute milk, tomato juice or chicken/beef stock for all or part of the water

2. Add 1/2 to 1 Cup Shredded cheddar cheese after mixture has thickened, stir until mixed for Cheese Sauce (for homemade mac n’ cheese)

3. Add 1 teaspoon curry powder to thickened sauce for curry sauce.

So SO SO many more things you could add to this depending on what your taste is.

You will never again have to buy Alfredo or cheese sauce with this base in your arsenal of ingredients!

Have fun creating (and eating!)

Enjoy!

-A-

3 ingredient Sponge Cake!

I Love simple Recipes… Mainly for the reason that I tend to be a spur of the moment baker, so when I get and idea in my head I want to do it now! So many times I’ve gone to make something and been missing an ingredient.

Never again!

I have made this sponge cake probably 50 times and love it more each time I do. You don’t even need measuring cups! You just need Eggs, Flour, and sugar, and you can modify its flavor with whatever your heart desires!

This Recipe is a Finnish Recipe (Original post found here) I found on Pintrest.

Start with 2 identical see through containers. I use Mason jars, but you can use cups or Tupperware.

First crack 3 eggs and put them into the first container, Then in the second container add enough sugar to match the volume of the eggs (hence why you need to be able to see through them)

Dump the sugar in to a mixing bowl, (keeping eggs in the first container) then use the empty second container (that your sugar was in) and match the volume of the eggs again with flour.

Add the eggs to the sugar (keeping the flour separate in it’s container) and beat the eggs and sugar together like there is no tomorrow… so ideally with an electric mixer on high… unless you are like my Amish Aunts who can whip a meringue up solely with arm power!

Your egg/sugar mixture should start creating a frothy goodness, and start to thicken up. Keep mixing until the mixture is thick enough to draw on the top of it with the batter. (you should be able to see the pattern sitting on the top of the batter) This beating is what makes the cake rise. Alternatively if you are freaked out that you didn’t beat it enough you can add 1/4 tsp of baking powder to ensure if rises when you add the flour.

Once your eggs and sugar are beaten together, GENTLY fold* in the flour. if you mix the flour in to vigorously you will loose all the wonderful air bubbles you just frothed into the eggs/sugar mixture.

*by folding in I mean, take a spatula and dump the flour in slowly, gently mixing in starting with your spatula at the bottom of the bowl, bringing the sugar/egg mixture over the flour you added (in a large circular motion), till it’s all incorporated with no lumps

Pour mixture in to a lightly greased bunt pan (the round one with the hole in the center) or any type of pan you want aprox 8″x 8″ in size

Bake at 350 for 12-20 min

I’m sorry for the large variance in time, but it will totally depend on the type of pan you use, and how much you beat the mixture.

Variations:

You can add anything you want to this recipe! It’s such a good base.

for a citrus cake, add 1-2 tsp of lemon (or orange) zest and 1 tsp of lemon (or orange) juice

or

add 1-2 tsp of vanilla

or

add 1 tsp of cinnamon

or anything (just about) you can think of! (Please leave a comment if you tried something and it worked great, I’d love to know!)

My favorite way is to put some fresh or frozen fruit in the bottom of a lightly greased pan and dump the batter over top for the easiest cobbler ever!

you can increase the ratio to as large as you want. I typically do 4-5 eggs if I’m making a dessert for more then just my little family, and just match the volume of sugar and flour to however many eggs you decided to use.

Enjoy experimenting! (and eating!)

-A-