Recipes

Seriously Good Freezer Meals – a review

For me, meal planning is the only way to go.  Not only does it keep me on track with my eating but it also keeps me on track with my budget.  And some evenings, scheduling doesn’t allow me an hour or so to prep a meal so having a few ready to go freezer meals on hand is really, really helpful.  I often scour the internet for new and delicious recipes but I have to admit I am a sucker for a good old fashion cookbook.

I love flipping through pages of recipes especially when they have lots of photos of the finished products.  I am usually more drawn to recipes that I can see what I am going to be eating in the end.  When I got my copy of “Seriously Good Freezer Meals” by Karrie Truman, it had everything I wanted all in one book.  This is Karrie’s first cookbook is the proud owner of the blog Happy MoneySaver.

Cover Freezer Meals
Courtesy of Seriously Good Freezer Meals: 150 Easy Recipes to Save Your Time, Money & Sanity by Karrie Truman © 2017 http://www.robertrose.ca Available where books are sold.
Image credit: Charity Burggraaf

What I really liked about this book is not only does it include the instructions on how to prepare meals for you to eat immediately but it also includes the instructions on how to prepare it in advance and put it in the freezer to use in the future.  It’s not just cooking it and throwing the leftovers in the freezer.

If you wanted to prepare a bunch of freezer meals all in one batch, it has instructions/menus for 7, 30 and even 50 meals including shopping lists and time saving tips.  It is a meal preppers dream.  And for someone like myself who has never done batch meal preps for the freezer there is so much amazing information about how to freeze, what you can freeze and tips about thawing and preparing frozen foods that until now I had no idea about.

There is a wide range of recipes from breakfasts, appetizers, desserts and of course, main dishes.  There are so many of the recipes that I want to try and it has definitely given me the push to buy a standalone freezer as my current freezer is much to small to hold a lot of freezer meals.  And I definitely want to take a day and make a bunch of meals at once to make meal time much easier for myself in the months ahead.  This recipe book is a must-have for busy families!

Here’s a taste of a few of the amazing recipes you will find in this book.  (All recipes are courtesy of Seriously Good Freezer Meals: 150 Easy Recipes to Save Your Time, Money & Sanity by Karrie Truman © 2017 www.robertrose.ca Available where books are sold.)

Lemon Dill Tilapia Tacos

Tacos Freezer Meals
Courtesy of Seriously Good Freezer Meals: 150 Easy Recipes to Save Your Time, Money & Sanity by Karrie Truman © 2017 http://www.robertrose.ca Available where books are sold.
Image credit: Charity Burggraaf

Makes 6 servings.

1/4 cup (60 mL) melted butter

1/4 cup (60 mL) chicken broth

Grated zest and juice of 2 large lemons

11/2 tsp (7 mL) dried dill

1/2 tsp (2 mL) minced garlic

2 lbs (1 kg) skinless tilapia fillets (about six 6 oz/175 g pieces)

To serve

2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil

12 6-inch (15 cm) corn tortillas, warmed

Toppings

1 cup (250 mL) shredded lettuce

1 cup (250 mL) canned or cooked black beans, drained and rinsed (optional)

1/4 cup (60 mL) salsa or pico de gallo (optional)

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together melted butter, chicken broth, lemon zest, lemon juice, dill and garlic.
  2. Place marinade mixture and tilapia fillets in a gallon-size (4 L) freezer bag or bowl. (Label the bag if freezing for later.) Seal bag, removing as much air as possible, or cover bowl. Transfer to refrigerator to marinate for 15 minutes.

Make It Now Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Drizzle olive oil over a rimmed baking sheet. Transfer baking sheet to oven while it preheats. Once oven is preheated, remove baking sheet from oven, add fillets and return it to oven. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until fish is flaky and lightly crisped on the edges. Remove from oven and chop into chunks. Arrange tortillas on a work surface. Evenly divide fish and lettuce, plus beans and salsa (if using), among tortillas. Serve.

Make It a Freezer Meal Freeze bag.

Thaw and Cook Place bag in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours to thaw. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Drizzle olive oil over a rimmed baking sheet. Transfer baking sheet to oven while it preheats. Once oven is preheated, remove baking sheet from oven, add fillets and return it to oven. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until fish is flaky and lightly crisped on the edges. Remove from oven and chop into chunks. Arrange tortillas on a work surface. Evenly divide fish and lettuce, plus beans and salsa, if using, among tortillas. Serve.

Tip: You can also make a dilly sauce, if desired. In a small saucepan, combine 2 tsp (10 mL) cornstarch and the marinade from the bag. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Build your tacos and then drizzle a little lemon dill sauce overtop.

Chicken Tortellini Soup

ChickenTortellini Freezer Meals
Courtesy of Seriously Good Freezer Meals: 150 Easy Recipes to Save Your Time, Money & Sanity by Karrie Truman © 2017 http://www.robertrose.ca Available where books are sold.
Image credit: Charity Burggraaf

Makes 6 servings.

6 cups (1.5 L) chicken broth

1 celery stalk, diced

11/2 cups (375 mL) frozen diced carrots or sliced fresh carrots, blanched

1/4 tsp (1 mL) dried rosemary

1 tbsp (15 mL) dried parsley

2 cups (500 mL) chopped cooked chicken breast

2 cups (500 mL) fresh or frozen cheese tortellini (about 71/2 oz/215 g)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Garnishes

Minced freshly parsley (optional)

Fresh thyme leaves (optional)

 

Make it Now In a large pot, combine chicken broth, celery, carrots, rosemary and parsley. Bring to a boil over high heat. Immediately reduce heat to medium-high and boil for 5 minutes, until carrots and celery are tender. Add chicken and tortellini; season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer, stirring often, for 3 to 4 minutes (7 to 8 minutes for frozen tortellini), until tortellini are tender and filling is hot. Remove from heat. Ladle into bowls. Sprinkle with pepper and parsley and thyme, if using.

Make It a Freezer Meal In a labeled gallon-size (4 L) freezer bag, combine chicken broth, celery, carrots, rosemary and parsley. Seal, removing as much air as possible. Place chicken and tortellini in another labeled gallon-size freezer bag. Seal, removing as much air as possible. Place both bags together as a kit, seal and freeze.

Thaw and Cook Place bags in the refrigerator for at least 12 hours or up to 24 hours to thaw. Pour contents of broth bag into a large pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Immediately reduce heat to medium-high and boil for 5 minutes, until carrots and celery are tender. Add chicken and tortellini; season to taste with salt and pepper. Simmer, stirring, for 3 to 4 minutes, until tortellini are tender and filling is hot. Remove from heat. Ladle into bowls. Sprinkle with pepper and parsley and thyme, if using.

 

Molten Hot Fudge Lava Cakes

Lava Cakes Freezer Meals
Courtesy of Seriously Good Freezer Meals: 150 Easy Recipes to Save Your Time, Money & Sanity by Karrie Truman © 2017 http://www.robertrose.ca Available where books are sold.
Image credit: Charity Burggraaf

Cakes

1/2 cup (125 mL) water

1/4 cup (60 mL) butter

1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour

1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar

1/4 cup (60 mL) unsweetened cocoa powder

3/4 tsp (3 mL) baking powder

3/4 tsp (3 mL) baking soda

1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt

1 large egg, beaten

1/2 cup (125 mL) milk

11/2 tsp (7 mL) vanilla extract

Additional unsweetened cocoa powder for dusting

Ganache Filling

1/4 cup (60 mL) heavy or whipping (35%) cream

1/2 cup (125 mL) milk chocolate chips

1/2 cup (125 mL) bittersweet (dark) chocolate chips

 

  1. Cakes: Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. In a small saucepan over high heat, bring water to a boil. Remove from heat. Add butter and stir until melted. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. In bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the wire whisk attachment (or in a large bowl, using an electric hand mixer), combine flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt; beat together on Low for about 30 seconds, just until combined. With the motor running, add eggs, milk and vanilla, then slowly add butter mixture. Increase speed to Medium and beat for about 1 minute, until combined (batter will be thin).
  4. Grease 6 cavities of 2 silicone 4-cavity fluted mini cake pans (1 cup/250 mL capacity per cavity) and lightly dust with cocoa powder. Place prepared pans on a baking sheet. Pour batter into prepared cavities until half full (leave the other two empty).
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 22 to 30 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 10 minutes, then transfer cakes to a wire rack to cool.
  6. Ganache Filling: In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring cream almost to a boil. Remove from heat. Add milk chocolate chips and bittersweet chocolate chips; stir until melted. Let cool for 5 minutes.
  7. Using a spoon, drizzle half the chocolate mixture over cakes. Set aside remaining mixture to cool until thick and smooth, about 30 minutes.
  8. Using a piping bag, pipe chocolate mixture into insides of cakes, leaving a dollop of chocolate on top. (You can also do this with a spoon.)

Make It Now Place each cake on a microwave-safe plate. Microwave, one at a time, on High for 20 to 30 seconds, until chocolate is bubbling out the top. Serve hot.

Make It a Freezer Meal Place filled cakes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and freeze for 1 to 2 hours, until solid. Remove from freezer. Wrap each cake in plastic wrap, then place cakes in 2 labeled gallon-size (4 L) freezer bags. Seal, removing as much air as possible, and freeze.

Reheat Remove cakes from freezer and remove plastic wrap. Place each cake on a microwave-safe plate and, one at a time, microwave on High for 45 seconds, until chocolate is bubbling out the top. Serve hot.

 

DIY

Inspire My Creativity – DIY Floral Crown

What girl doesn’t like feeling like a princess every once in a while?  And the first order of business is to be wearing your crown strong and proud.

It’s time again for our Inspire My Creativity blog hop.  If you haven’t visited us before, you can check out one of our previous hops where we made “Dollar Store” crafts and I made my own monogrammed bag.  Each 2nd Wednesday of the month, we post our latest and greatest creations.  Each month has a predetermined theme and this month’s theme is “Flowers”.

It took me a bit to figure out what I was going to make for this particular craft.  I wanted something different than just a flower arrangement.  And with a winter that never seems to ending, I wanted to think about looking forward to spring.  And what better than thinking about getting back to the flowery dresses and a floral crown as an accessory.

I have seen floral crowns on Etsy, Amazon and Forever 21 and was sure I could come up with something on my own for a fraction of the cost.  And I was able to easily do that with a trip to my local Dollarama.  All I needed was some metal wire and some paper flowers.

Floral Crown Metal Wire

Floral Crown Flowers

The first step is to take the metal wire and measure a length around the circumference of your head.  Add a few extra inches when cutting and then wrapped the ends together to form the circle for your crown.

Make Crown

I then clipped the wires on each of the flowers to about 1/2 an inch in length.  Taking each flower, I began wrapping them on to the wire.  I started around the area where I initially joined it together to cover it up and help ensure it didn’t come apart.  You can use as many or as few flowers as you wish depending on how much of your crown you wish to be visible.

Wrap on Crown

Be sure to wrap as much of the flower wire as you can so that it’s not sticking in to your head when wearing the crown.  The base wire will twist and turn a bit as you add the flowers, so just be sure to straighten it after each flower.

Crown almost done

Once you have added your desired amount of flowers, your crown is ready to wear.  Never has feeling like a princess been so easy.

Crown twins

crown me

Are you looking for more floral themed crafts? Check out the other hostesses for our link party and see what great ideas they came up with

Meg  |  The Kusi Life
Candice  |  She’s Crafty
Jaclyn  |  The Dotted Nest
Victoria  |  Dazzle While Frazzled
Sydney  |  Tastefully Frugal
Lindsay  |  See Lindsay
Julia  |  The Quiet Grove
Do you have a floral themed craft of your own that you would like to share? Be sure to add it to our Link Party below.
Parenting/Life

Has Anyone Seen My Motivation?

I started off the beginning of the year with so much excitement and motivation for 2018, myself and my blog.  And here we are only into March and I have somehow lost my motivation somewhere along the way.  Can’t be sure where I left it,  but I am sure I need to find it and fast!  Why can’t motivation have a tracking system similar to the “Find iPhone” app that I have?

In regards to my fitness and weight loss, I haven’t been doing too badly.  Very slowly but surely pounds are coming off and I am getting to the gym on a regular basis and I am definitely much more careful about what I am eating.  But even with that, I can see myself starting to falter.  I have done so well so far, I don’t want to take any steps backwards with it.

With everything else, the motivation is terrible.  I look at my blog and see how few posts I have done this year.  I have quite a few that need to be done and I know it, but finding it in myself to actually sit down and type something seems to be gone.  I have so many hopes and dreams for it and I know that sitting doing nothing isn’t going to make things happen for me but still things remain undone.

The are projects and things that I want to do around the house and with my son and yet I still find myself binge watching Netflix instead of actually getting things done.  It’s really starting to get to me and I need to find a way to get myself out of this situation I have found myself in.

Perhaps it is the weather and this never ending winter that is getting me down.  Perhaps it’s other things that are going on behind the scenes in my life.  Perhaps I just need a good swift kick in the pants to get this laziness out of me.

Writing this down and making myself accountable to you publicly is hopefully the first step.  I have admitted that I need to get off the couch and push myself to achieve the things that I want for myself and my blog.  April is my birthday month so I am going to make it THE month for me.  By then I want to be back on full track and making things happen.

In the meantime, if you have seen my motivation, can you please return it to me?