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Friday, September 26, 2014

Freezing French Toast


This is one of those posts that I actually feel a little strange posting. I mean, it seems so simple; who would need a blog post about it? Well, you know, sometimes, the simplest things are the ones you overlook the longest. I freeze my waffles and favorite pancakes for a super fast, toaster ready breakfast, but I was never sure whether it would work for French toast. I suspected it would, but I never seemed to get around to giving it a test drive.

But just like with waffles and pancakes, which are - in my mind - absolutely horrible when bought at the store, store bought frozen French toast makes me cringe. Yes, I've actually tried it. Bleck! So, a couple of weeks ago, I had two leftover slices of French toast, and I thought, "What the heck!?!" I put them in a bag in the freezer, and about a week later, I pulled them out, stuck them straight in the toaster, and enjoyed French toast that tasted fresh made with absolutely no work!!!! I'm hooked now! This morning, I made made an ten extra slices to put in the freezer. I love a wholesome, filling breakfast out of the toaster. It just makes me day.

And just in case you're curious, here's how I make French toast: I basically mix one egg with about a tablespoon of (preferably whole) milk for each slice I plan on cooking. Be sure to whisk the eggs a bit before adding the milk; they're a lot easier to break up that way. Add a dash of salt, a dash of cinnamon, and a tiny dash of nutmeg. That's it! I dip each slice for about 10-20 seconds on each side. Cook over medium heat on a non-stick griddle with just the barest hint of butter. I melt a little butter on the griddle and then wipe the whole thing down with a paper towel. I don't like fried French toast any more than I like fried pancakes! Be sure to cool the slices completely before bagging and sticking in the freezer. Whola! Freezer french toast that actually tastes good.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Chicken Meatballs


Necessity is definitely the mother of invention... especially when it comes to recipe development! I started making these about a year ago when my boy started eating solid foods. I wanted a soft meatball that was mild and yet flavorful, low in salt, froze well, and was quick and easy to make. I initially only made them for him; I would make a batch and immediately freeze them, pulling a couple out as needed. But as time went on, I found I was snacking on them so much when I made them that maybe I should try making them for our dinner as a family. They are certainly tasty enough for anyone to enjoy! As I said, they are quick and easy to make and they freeze very well, so you can make a big batch and store them in the freezer for those days when you've forgotten to make a dinner plan.

Chicken Meatballs
Yield: 24 meatballs (using #40 disher)

1 lb ground chicken
3 slices fresh wheat bread crumbs (prepare in food processor)
1 bunch green onions (green tops only), sliced
      OR 1/4 cup dried minced onions and 2 TBS dried parsley
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp ground thyme
1/8 tsp ground sage
1/8 tsp ground rosemary
1/3 cup milk
1 whole egg
1/2 tsp salt (optional)
2-3 cups unsalted or reduced sodium chicken broth or stock

Mix all ingredients except the broth together in a bowl. Pour the stock into a shallow saute pan. Heat to a boil. Using a #40 disher, drop meatballs into the hot broth. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for ten minutes. Remove from the broth and let cool before freezing or serve immediately.


Saturday, September 13, 2014

My Favorite Five Minute Dessert


It may not look like much, but this simple, humble, quick dessert is just fabulous! It seriously takes only five minutes to put together, and you can easily enjoy it's super fresh fruit flavor all year round. It uses frozen blueberries and raspberry freezer jam, both of which taste like they were just picked (especially if you freeze your own blueberries during the summer season).

Basically, you mix about a tablespoon of raspberry freezer jam with around one cup of frozen blueberries. Stir to ensure each berry is covered with the jam. In a separate bowl, beat about two tablespoons of heavy whipping cream with a teaspoon of sugar and a few drops of vanilla until it is thickened but not whipped. It should still pour. Pour the thickened cream over the frozen berries and top with a little lemon zest. That's it! Serve immediately.

My favorite part of this dish is that the cream starts to freeze a little bit from the cold berries, invoking images of ice cream. It's really quite delicious... and did I mention it takes less than five minutes?


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