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.

 

Recipes

Cocktails to Ring in the New Year

It’s hard to believe that 2017 will be over in just a few days.  With 2018 on our doorstep, it’s time to think about how it will be our best year yet and making resolutions to get there.  Are you looking for a fun way to ring the New Year?  Perhaps one of these cocktails is the perfect way to bring in the New Year.  So whether you like your cocktails with a fruity kick or with hint of chocolate, this list of cocktails is perfect for you.

 The Pomegranate Wine Spritzer from Chaos Is Bliss

 

Slow Cooker Spiced Mulled Wine from Wander Spice

 

The Absolutely Essential Espresso Martini by Mamagourmand

 

Game of Thrones Inspired Frozen Hot Chocolate with Baileys Irish Creme by Merlot Mommy

 

Bourbon Pecan Pie Cocktail by Basil & Bubbly

 

The Grinch Cocktail by Mom on the Side

 

Easy Cranberry Orange Daiquiris by Small Town Woman

Strawberry Cream Mimosa by Swanky Recipes

Cranberry Mint Cocktail by Fancy Shanty

Cinnamon Coffee Martini by The Anthony Kitchen

 

Recipes

Easy Crockpot/Slow Cooker Recipes

With the cold weather upon us, there is nothing better than to have something warm to fill up your belly.  It’s this time of year that I have my crockpot going all the time.  There are so many great and easy recipes out there to help you warm up and feel full.  And the recipes aren’t just for the typical stew that you automatically think about.  There are recipes for pastas, soups, meat dishes and even desserts. Here is a round up of a few of my favorites recipes to add to your collection.

Crockpot LasagnaSlow Cooker Lasagna by Living Sweet Moments

 

Crockpot Mac and CheeseCrockpot Mac and Cheese by Sunshine and Hurricanes 

 

CrockPot Bacon ChowderHearty Bacon and Corn Chowder Soup by Honey& Lime

 

Crockpot VerdeSlow Cooker Creamy Verde Chicken Chili by This Mama Cooks!

 

Crockpot TurkeyHomemade Turkey Sweet Potato Green Bean Soup by Bunny’s Warm Oven

 

Crockpot StewHearty Harvest Stew by A Boy and His Mom

 

Crockpot AprcotSlow Cooker Apricot Chicken by Dinner at the Zoo

 

Crockpot Salsa ChickenCreamy Salsa Chicken by Joy Filled Eats

 

Crockpot beef Slow Cooker Beef and Broccoli by Savory Tooth

 

Crockpot CherryCrockpot Cherry Pudding Cake by Bunny’s Warm Oven

 

Crockpot breadCrockpot Panettone Bread

Parenting/Life · Recipes

Fall – The Very Best of Food, Fun & Fashion

Fall is such a great time of year so I’ve gotten together with some of my favorite bloggers to put together the ultimate list of fall fun!  Make sure to check out all of the awesome posts below and get inspired for fall fun!

fall

Warm up to a Hearty Harvest Stew- A Boy and his Mom

https://aboyandhismom.com/recipe/warm-hearty-harvest-stew/

 One of my favorite things about fall is the abundance of fresh harvest vegetables that are now in prime season.  With the cooler weather, it is time for me to break out the crockpot and make this delicious hearty Harvest Stew.  So easy to make and perfect to come home to after a long day.

 
Pumpkin Pie Energy Bites (Great For Breastfeeding Moms)- My Momtastic Life

http://mymomtasticlife.com/pumpkin-pie-energy-bites-great-for-breastfeeding-moms/

It’s officially Fall, which means – you guessed it – Pumpkin Spice Everything! These Pumpkin Pie Energy Bites are delicious, and the oats and flax seed make them great for breastfeeding moms. You can even add a little bit of brewer’s yeast for an extra boost in your milk supply! Breastfeeding or not, these are delicious, super easy to make and will surely get you in the Fall mood.

 

DIY Pumpkin Playdough- This Mama Needs Chocolate

http://thismamaneedschocolate.com/2017/09/29/diy-pumpkin-playdough/

Who doesn’t love an easy DIY project to do with the kids? This homemade pumpkin playdough has the sweet smell of the fall season.

Fall Fun for Little Ones – Travels with Tots

https://travelswithtotsblog.com/2017/09/26/fall-fun-for-little-ones/

Fall is such a great time of year to go on family adventures with your little ones. Here are some of our fav fall time activities to help you get the most out of the season!

Easy and Fun Fall Leaf Tree Craft for Toddlers- Fab Working Mom Life

https://www.fabworkingmomlife.com/2017/09/easy-fun-fall-leaf-tree-craft-toddlers/

Fall is such an exciting time, and Pinterest is overflowing with cute toddler crafts. You just have to create this fun fall leaf tree craft with your toddler with leaves you can collect together on a nature walk through your backyard.

8 things to do outside this fall – Mamablabs

https://mamablabs.com/2017/09/01/8-things-outside-fall/

Looking for new ideas for how to get the kids outside this fall? Read on for 8 fun things to do outdoors as a family that everyone will love!

Fall bucket lists (for moms and toddlers)- Motherhood in the Mountains

https://motherhoodinthemountains.wordpress.com/2017/08/23/fall-bucket-lists-for-moms-and-toddlers/

It’s finally fall!! That means tons of fall themed activities for you and your little one. Check out these bucket lists for toddlers and moms!

Fendi inspired fall fashion- Viva La Dolce

http://www.vivaladolce.com/2017/09/fendi-inspired-fall-fashion.html?m=1

Want to look like you just stepped off the runway? Check out these Fendi inspired fall fashion pieces!

 

Parenting/Life

Back to School – Saving Your Sanity

Back to School

Get your back to school season started right with our amazing round-up of back to school posts! Here you’ll find everything from meal planning to travel safety and so much more!

 

A Boy and His Mom | Meal Planning and Why It’s So Important

Link: https://aboyandhismom.com/meal-planning/

This time of year is a busy time for everyone.  Getting back into routines, extra-curricular activities, making lunches, and homework can all take up time in your day.  Having a meal plan in place and having the right foods in your home can reduce the stress of feeding all the hungry members of your family and give you more time for your other daily activities.

Back to School

Mama Indulgences | Back to School—Breakfast 3 Ways

Link: http://www.mamaindulgences.wixsite.com/mysite/single-post/2017/08/04/Back-to-School–Breakfast-3-ways

Is it just me or did this summer fly by? With “back to school” slowly creeping up on us, I am sharing easy 3-in-1 breakfast recipes. That’s right: 1 base 3 different ways!

 

Travels With Tots | Kid Friendly Overnight Oats

Link: https://travelswithtotsblog.com/2017/06/16/toddler-friendly-overnight-oats/

A healthy breakfast is so important to make sure your kids start their school day on the right foot. Here’s my recipe for fast, easy, nutritious, and delicious overnight oats that your kiddos (and you) will love!

Live Love Learn Gracefully | Back to School Books to Prepare for that First Day

Link: http://livelovelearngracefully.com/back-school-books-prepare-first-day/

It’s back to school time. There is no better way to prepare (other than shopping) than by reading a few back to school books. Whether to help prepare or ease the jitters this list is perfect!

Fab Working Mom Life | Back to School Driving Safety Tips

Link: http://www.fabworkingmomlife.com/2017/08/back-school-driving-safety-tips/

The back to school season means more traffic for us commuters and more opportunities for not-so-safe situations on the road. Let’s take a moment to think about back to school safety and specifically driving safety.​

Little Bit of Learning | DIY Rose Gold Mamma’s Toolbox

Link: http://www.littlebitoflearning.com/mammas-tool-box-free-printable-labels/

Back to School is about getting the kids organized… But it also means time for you to get yourself organized for the new school year. Learn how to make a DIY Mamma’s Toolbox! Now you can organize your mom cave or office, because who doesn’t want to look at a beautiful chalkboard floral designed toolbox while they work? Pick and choose the labels that fit what YOU need this back to school season.

Viva La Dolce | 5 Language Learning Tips for Your Everyday

Link: http://www.vivaladolce.com/2017/07/5-language-learning-tips-for-your.html?m=1

Back to school means back to class and back to homework! Check out this post for a few fun ways to help out with any language homework that may come your way! The best part is these suggestions don’t need to be done sitting at a desk! Have fun with language learning and incorporate it into your everyday!

 

A Life With A Little | A Letter to My Future Self as School Starts Back

Link: http://www.alifewithalittle.com/2017/08/14/letter_to_future_self_for_school/

It’s time for the kids to go back to school, but around here we aren’t going back to school just yet. This letter to myself is all about giving yourself permission to say no during the school year. As moms, we need to give ourselves a little grace in the midst of school bag packing, carpooling, sports schedules, homework helping, and everything else we do regularly. Take a moment to relax, read up, and give yourself permission to say no sometimes.