Monday, October 18, 2010

All Dolled Up

This weekend Eva got all dolled up to go to her very first wedding ... She was so excited to get her photo taken with the beautiful bride (can't you tell?) Congrats, Carrie Faye! We all love you so much.
Eva loved getting dressed up and wearing her precious headband that was made especially for her, especially for this occasion by Katie. (Be sure to check out her etsy store, like NOW).

My Little Bean Bag and I kind of even matched ...

Eva did SO well at the wedding. She handled getting passed around like a champ and didn't even get fussy. She slept through the entire ceremony but my girl likes to party, so she stayed awake and visited with everyone through the entire reception and dance.

Daddy and his crazy friends dressed her up like a pirate. She thought it was funny.

Daddy-o and his girl

The girls took her on the dance floor and she loved dancing. Girls just wanna have fun!

She also got to meet so many family members including her Great Grandma Shirley.

I have more pictures to share from the rest of our weekend to prove that we survived (and thrived) on our first family trip but Eva and I are visiting Nana and Papa for a few days so those pictures will have to wait!
Congrats Carrie and Brendan on a beautiful day. We wish you only the best in all the years to come!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Cheesy Zucchini Muffins

A few week's ago, E's aunt found this delicious recipe in the local newspaper and graciously passed it on to me. I made them the next day and They are so so so tasty. We quickly polished off the first batch so I made another double batch today and plan on making a few more batches while we have zucchini so I can put a bunch in the freezer. They are so savory and would make a perfect accompaniment to any chili, soup, or stew on a cold winter night! The original recipe is only for zucchini Parmesan muffins but I changed the recipe the first time because I didn't have enough parm, and loved the addition of the cheddar, so I think I will keep it that way always.

Cheesy Zucchini Muffins
2 cups flour
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 T sugar
1 T baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ground sage (or 1 tsp fresh, chopped finely)
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups grated unpeeled zucchini
3/4 cup buttermilk or sour milk**
1/4 cup oil
1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

** To sour milk: Add 1 T white vinegar or lemon juice to a cup of milk and let it sit for 10 minutes.

1. Measure flour, cheese, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, sage, salt and garlic powder into a large bowl. Mix well and make a well in the centre.

2. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, zucchini, milk, oil and Worcestershire sauce.

3. Add wet ingredients to dry. Mix until just moistened.

4. Fill greased muffin cups (or cups lined with silicone liners) with a heaping spoonful of batter.

5. Bake at 375 for about 20 minutes, until toothpick comes out clean. Let stand in pan for 5 minutes and remove to cool.

Makes one dozen (delicious) muffins.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Mexi Chicken

I forgot to take pictures of this meal but it turned out really well. We ate it for dinner once and then I divided the rest into 6 freezer bags for later.

Mexi Chicken
- modified from Frozen Assets
1 large onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups water
2 cups pearl barley
2 16 ounce cans of diced tomatoes, undrained
4 cups tomato sauce
One small can Mexican sauce
3 cups chicken broth
2 cans whole kernel corn, drained
2 T chili powder
1 T cumin
4 cups cooked chicken, chopped
2 cups kidney beans

1. Cook onion, pepper and garlic in a bit of oil until tender in a large stock pot.

2. Add all remaining ingredients except chicken and beans.

3. Bring to a boil.

4. Reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes, stirring often, until barley is tender.

5. Add chicken and beans and simmer an additional 10 minutes until heated through.

6. Cool, spoon into freezer bags, label and freeze.


Thaw in refrigerator. Heat mixture in skillet. Serve over multi-grain tortilla chips or in flour tortillas with a side salad.

Makes 18 servings.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Freezer Breakfast Burritos

Breakfast burritos are something I would have thought to include on my freezer cooking list if I hadn't have seen the idea in Frozen Assets. I decided that they would be a great addition so that we have something on hand that is hearty, quick and easy for breakfasts after the baby arrives.

Freezer Breakfast Burritos
1 lb sausage, casings removed
12 eggs
1 yellow pepper, diced
3 green onions, chopped
3/4 cup chunky salsa
2 cups colby cheese, shredded
24 small flour tortillas

1. Crumble cook sausage until well cooked. Drain if necessary.

2. Meanwhile, beat together eggs with salt and pepper.

3. Scramble eggs, pepper and onion together in a large skillet.

4. Once eggs are cooked, stir in cooked sausage and salsa. Mix until well combined.

5. Heat tortillas for 25-30 seconds in the microwave.

6. Add 1/8 cup of filling to each tortilla. Sprinkle with cheese. Roll up.

7. Place filled burritos side by side on a large cookie sheet.

8. Flash freeze for 1.5-2 hours.

9. Wrap burritos individually in waxed paper. Place in large freezer bags. Label and freeze.

Take out desired number of burritos. Heat in microwave for 2-3 minutes or thaw burritos, wrap in foil and bake at 350 for 10 minutes.

Makes 2 dozen burritos (I actually had enough filling to make 26 but I just ate the last two for my own breakfast).

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Rice and Lentil Soup

Rice and Lentil Soup - adapted from Frozen Assets
1 12 ounce can tomato paste
2 16 ounce cans diced tomatoes, with juice
12 cups water (original recipe said 8 but this was not enough)
2 cups uncooked lentils
2 cups uncooked rice
2 cups onion, diced
2 cups frozen cut green beans
2 cloves garlic, minced

1. Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot. Heat to boiling. Turn down heat and simmer for one hour until lentils are soft and rice is cooked.

2. Cool. Pour into freezer bags. Seal. Label. Freeze.

Makes 10 servings.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Rice and Beans

Here is another recipe that I made with the intention of placing it in the freezer for post-baby days. Again, it came from the book, Frozen Assets: Cook for a Day, Eat for a Month.

Rice and Beans - modified from Frozen Assets
2 cans beans (or 4 cups dried, cooked) - I used 2 cups black beans, and 2 cups kidney beans
2 1/2 cups frozen corn
1 red onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
2 cups long grain brown rice, uncooked
4 cups chunky salsa (any heat)
3 cups tomato juice
1 T cumin
1 T oregano
2 cups cheddar cheese, grated

1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except cheese.

2. Pour into 3 8x8 freezer safe casserole dishes (I use disposable tin foil dishes).

3. Cover and bake at 375 for 1-1 1/2 hours until the rice is cooked and most of the liquid is absorbed.

4. Let cool. Label and freeze. Optional: you can divide the cheese into small freezer bags now and freeze it attached to the casseroles or you can just grate and add the cheese when you serve the dish, which is what I choose to do.


Thaw in refrigerator. Sprinkle with grated cheddar cheese. Reheat at 350 for 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted and beans and rice is heated through.

Makes 3 8x8 casseroles (about 4-5 servings each).

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Swiss Chard and Bacon Potatoes

As I mentioned on my other blog, I've started doing some freezer cooking to have things stored away for when the baby arrives. Over the next little while, I'll be sharing some of the recipes. I checked the book "Frozen Assets: Cook for a Day, Eat for a Month" out from the library at my midwife clinic and I've been using it from inspiration on some of the recipes to cook.

One of the ideas in there was for 'potato shells' or what I refer to as twice baked potatoes. Twice baked potatoes are a favorite in our home so it was fun to try a different variation.

Swiss Chard and Bacon Potatoes - inspired by Frozen Assets
10-12 large potatoes
1/8 cup butter
1/8 cup milk
1 red onion, chopped
Large bunch of swiss chard, steamed and chopped finely*
6-8 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
2 cups Colby cheese

*You can also use spinach. Fresh or frozen

Bake potatoes for 1 hour at 400 degrees.

Meanwhile, cook bacon and swiss chard and prepare remaining ingredients.

When potatoes are done, although them to cool for about 20 minutes, then slice them in half lengthwise.

Allow them to cool a bit more until they are just cool enough to touch. Scoop the pulp out into a bowl of mixer. (Because I used fresh potatoes from the garden, I needed to leave more pulp in than usual because the skins were so thin - try to scoop out as much as possible while leaving skins in tact).

Mash potatoes with salt, pepper, butter, and milk.

Add remaining ingredients and mix until well combined.

Scoop mixture back into potato shells.

Bake the refilled potatoes at 400 for 20 minutes

OR for freezer cooking ...

Place potatoes on a cookie sheet and flash freeze for 20-30 minutes.

Arrange potatoes in a single layer in a large freezer bag.

Label and freeze.

To serve, remove the number of potatoes you need and allow to thaw in the fridge. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes at 400 until golden brown.

Makes 12 main servings or 24 side servings.

For me, having two halves with a salad would make an excellent meal. But they would also be paired well as a side dish accompanying steak, chicken or any other type of meat.