Six Weeks to a Stocked Freezer.

Instead of a marathon cooking day, take a more gradual approach to freezer meals by doubling your favorite recipes and stocking your freezer in six weeks!

Are you into freezer meals? Maybe you’ve seen that pin on Pinterest about how to make 30 meals in 30 minutes for $30 (or something only slightly less crazy sounding)? This is not that post – but I do think freezer meals are wonderful, delicious presents you give your future self. Future Self, you seem stressed. You look like you’re about to roll up to the drive-thru (again) or feed everyone pinto beans + croutons + raisins, aka the pitiful contents of your pantry. Here: this is an Actual Meal you can have instead. I don’t mind a thrown-together dinner every so often, and I really, really like takeout…but I don’t like to eat that way for days on end. Eating a real meal with my family is something I love, and stocking my freezer helps me have that luxury even during crazy, busy seasons! Continue reading “Six Weeks to a Stocked Freezer.”

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Simple Basil Marinara Sauce.

This simple basil marinara has just a few ingredients, takes about 20 minutes to make, and is the perfect thing to stash in the freezer!

I’m successfully growing basil! (By this I mean I haven’t killed the lone basil plant I bought a few weeks ago. Because my mom waters it for me.) I needed to cut it back a bit, and it was the perfect excuse to make a batch of this simple basil marinara sauce. It’s just a few ingredients, it only takes about 20 minutes, and it’s the perfect thing to stash in the freezer if you don’t need it right away. It’s got a good garlicky kick without being overwhelming, sweetness and acidity from the tomatoes, and that irreplaceable bright, green basil flavor. Continue reading “Simple Basil Marinara Sauce.”

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Bacon in the Oven.

When I was in college, I ate a lot of things that I thought were amazing that I can’t eat today, because gross. On this list: chicken fettuccine alfredo from a box (every.thing was included, people), a “milkshake” that involved fat-free, sugar-free chocolate pudding mix, skim milk, and a lot of ice cubes, and turkey bacon that I cooked in the microwave. (For the record, I also ate a lot of things that I can’t eat today because of metabolism issues, such as midnight $5 chicken parmesan pizzas, lots and lots of cookie dough, and two Panera cinnamon crunch bagels + an icy mocha…as a snack.) My philosophy of food has changed a lot since those days, and I would rather occasionally eat the “real thing” than fake milkshakes and turkey bacon. Continue reading “Bacon in the Oven.”

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Veggie-Packed Baked Burritos (for the freezer).

Veggie-packed baked burritos are stuffed with a hearty filling and baked to crispy perfection - and make an awesome freezer meal!

I’m just going to say it: I love a chimichanga in a painful, star-crossed-lovers kind of way. I know in my head that stuffing a big tortilla with stuff cheese and deep-frying it isn’t, y’know, exactly sensible, in a caring-about-your-health kind of way, but in a crispy, cheesy, delicious way – in my heart, in other words – it not only makes perfect sense but is basically essential. Fortunately/unfortunately, I don’t eat out a lot and so my opportunities to order chimichangas don’t come around all that often. And deep-frying things at home isn’t an adventure I’ve embarked on.

But the good news is, there is a compromise for my taste buds, and it comes in the form of veggie-packed baked burritos. Even more exciting, the burritos are a perfect freezer meal, and (since you bake them after they’re thawed) they’re just as crispy, melty-cheesy, spicy-meaty as they are if you bake them immediately! Continue reading “Veggie-Packed Baked Burritos (for the freezer).”

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Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup (with crunchy baked tortilla strips).

a loaded bowl of crockpot chicken tortilla soup with crunchy baked tortilla strips

I’ve been wanting to add some more crockpot recipes to my repertoire…and according to the survey, that would help a lot of you, too! (Thank you so much for your feedback! If you haven’t responded yet, it would be a huge help!) To be honest, I tend to feel a little uninspired in my crockpotting. I haven’t found many recipes that I want to make over and over, which is my main barometer for a successful recipe.  (A notable exception is this bbq beef, which is delicious and only has three ingredients!) Continue reading “Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup (with crunchy baked tortilla strips).”

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Homemade Pizza Part 3 – Homemade FROZEN Pizza.

homemade frozen pizza

Being able to make pizza dough at home (and pile on glorious amounts of whatever toppings you want) doesn’t necessarily diminish a person’s need for takeout and frozen pizzas. (Or…delivery. Delivery is, like, the unicorn of pizza options.) Because sometimes you don’t have the time…or the energy…or the relevant ingredients. Your people need dinner stat! You’re going out of town/just got back in town and you only have old celery and Cheerios but no milk! It’s time for second dinner and Netflix! (Wait, what?) This is why we must maximize our pizza-making effort by making our own frozen pizzas. Continue reading “Homemade Pizza Part 3 – Homemade FROZEN Pizza.”

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Crusty No-Knead Bread (with salty honey butter).

Crusty no-knead bread is easy to make but incredibly satisfying with its crackling crust and soft, chewy inside - perfect with a swipe of salty honey butter!

I can’t even count how many times I’ve made this no-knead bread…because it’s that easy. Four ingredients (if we’re even counting water as an ingredient), one bowl, no kneading – and the end result is piping hot, crusty-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside bread that also happens to be beautiful. And then you slather it with honey butter with a hint of salt and sweet-salty-soft-crusty magic happens. Continue reading “Crusty No-Knead Bread (with salty honey butter).”

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Crockpot BBQ Beef.

crockpot bbq beef sandwich

I just love it when dinner cooks itself!! This is the best, best kind of crockpot meal – absolutely minimal prep, and at the end you have a pot of saucy, tender shredded bbq beef that makes a deliciously messy sandwich (or the perfect topping to a baked potato or rice – anything that will soak up all that flavor)! Continue reading “Crockpot BBQ Beef.”

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Glenn’s Chili.

This hearty chili is full of celery, peppers, and onions, with lots of layers of flavor!

When I was in college, my roommate Rachel’s family moved several states away. Sweet family friends, Glenn and Trish, became her Florida family and by extension, an extra family for me! We would arrive at their house in Rach’s Camry, wearing our thrift store t-shirts and worn out from exams and a few too many tubes of cookie dough and $5 Pizza Masters pizzas. They would welcome us with open arms, and curling up under the corduroy duvet cover in their guest room was like being in a peaceful oasis.

…That is, until Glenn decided to wake us up for breakfast. With an air horn. Continue reading “Glenn’s Chili.”

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