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Your solution to “What’s for Dinner?” Free Mini-Session sample 2011 Thanks for looking at our free mini-session sampling of what is to come in your subscriptions. Our subscription is designed to make freezer cooking more convenient and easier than it already is. Each month we choose some of our favorite recipes and do all the time consuming research and planning for you! We have a plethora of recipes and the knowledge of what freezes well and what doesn’t. At the end of your assembly day, you will have at least 18 dishes, possibly more depending on how you decide to package them! What does your monthly subscription include? 

     

6 main dish entrees, usually 1 seafood, 2 chicken, 1 or 2 beef, and 1 or 2 pork recipes. We will include a bonus recipe of a side dish, dessert, or snack. We will also be offering special editions featuring lunch ideas, soups, desserts, holiday meals, etc. An overview of the steps. Grocery list, including a list of needed containers. Prep work instructions. Cooking/Assembly day flow chart Complete recipes, including packaging, freezing, and thawing instructions. Label templates

How does the subscription work? Subscribe to our email list and each month we will send you an invoice through PayPal. You may cancel at any time, purchase back issues, skip a month, and even send a gift subscription.

Please note that this is a free mini-session and contains 3 entrée recipes. Recipes in this issue:  Chicken Manicotti  Taco Filled Pasta Shells (an all time favorite!)  Marinated Grilled Pork Tenderloin  (Bonus!) Mexican Cornbread


Before you begin, please read all of these instructions thoroughly! Contents:  Overview of Steps for shopping, prep work and assembly day  Grocery List  Prep Work Assignments  Cooking Day Flow Chart  Recipes with Complete Instructions  Label Templates Overview of Steps 1. Read everything! 2. Look over the prep work assignments and set aside the time to get it done. Some like to complete these steps the night before cooking day, others the morning of. 3. Go shopping. 4. Do the prep work. 5. Assemble your entrees. 6. Sit back and relax, your freezer is stocked! Shopping tips Before shopping, clean out your refrigerator and freezer. Use up those pizzas and eat that ice cream! You are going to need the room and trust me, these entrees are better than those corn dogs, so make the room! If you belong to a warehouse club like Sam’s, you can get great prices on meat. You will obviously have to purchase larger quantities at these clubs which is perfect since we triple our recipes! Keep your receipts! You’ll want to see your savings over time! You’ll no longer have to “run in to get something for dinner tonight” and come out spending $150! It will take a couple of months to get a good assortment of dishes in the freezer but you are well on your way! Prep Work Tips If you can get these assignments done before you start assembling your recipes, it will save you sooo much time! Trust me! I learned this the hard way! Reading the Grocery List and The Recipes All the math is done for you! Just look at the box at the top of the table for each recipe and decide how many you are going to make. Do the same with the grocery lists.


If you are making a triple batch then mix everything triple for that recipe at one time. It’s best to make sure you have at least 1 really large bowl. An 8 quart bowl is usually large enough to triple any recipe. It’s much more efficient to triple a recipe once than to make it 3 separate times! Assembly Day Tips If you have small children at home, plan something to entertain them. You will, at times, have a mess in the kitchen and won’t want to stop what you are doing every 5 minutes. Plan their meals and snacks, as well as your family’s dinner tonight. Setting up a self—serve snack area for the kiddos is a great idea! If they are very young, make their lunch the night before...they’ll love eating out of a lunchbox at home! Line your work areas with newspapers. Pull out all needed utensils, measuring spoons and cups, mixing bowls, etc. Make sure your garbage can has been emptied and has a new bag...you’ll fill it up. I like to also use Rachel Ray’s “garbage bowl” method. Have a bowl by your work stations to use for small garbage and empty it to the can when full. Don’t forget to get out any spices and canned goods. If I work with a friend, I set up at least 2 areas according to the protein. I do all chicken recipes and then completely clean the area before starting another. Be safety conscious! Any meat you are not using needs to be in the refrigerator or a cooler. Do not leave food on the counter to cool for very long, the time limit is 2 hours. Bacterial growth can occur after this time. Do not package steaming hot foods. Wait until they are at least lukewarm. If you are packaging a recipe and it has several separate bags, you can use 2 gallon bags to keep it all together or simply tape them to one another. 2 gallon bags can get expensive so I usually opt for tape. Freezer tape works great but masking tape will work also.


Grocery List The grocery list is easy to read and sorted by store aisles. We have also given you columns with amounts so you can choose how many recipes to shop for. Simply subtract whatever you have in your pantry. It is definitely recommended that you make 3 of each recipe. It’s a more efficient use of your time and money! 1 recipe

2 recipes

3 recipes

Baking Goods Cornmeal mix

1 cup

2 cups

3 cups

Brown sugar

1 Tbsp

2 Tbsp

3 Tbsp

Honey

1 Tbsp

2 Tbsp

3 Tbsp

Brown sugar

1 Tbsp

2 Tbsp

3 Tbsp

Cinnamon

1/2 tsp

1 tsp

1 1/2 tsp

Oil, veg. or canola

1/4 cup

1/2 cup

3/4 cup

Pasta sauce, 24 oz

1 jar

2 jars

3 jars

Creamed corn, 15 oz

1 can

2 cans

3 cans

Sliced black olives

1/2 cup

1 cup

1 1/2 cups

Cheddar, shredded

2 cups

4 cups

6 cups

Mozzarella, shredded

3 cups

6 cups

9 cups

Sour cream

1 cup

2 cups

3 cups

Milk or buttermilk

1 cup

2 cups

3 cups

Eggs

2

4

6

Cream cheese, 8 oz pkg

1/2 pkg

1 pkg

1 1/2 pkgs

Butter

2 Tbsp

4 Tbsp

6 Tbsp

1 1/2 cups

3 cups

4 1/2 cups

Canned Goods

Dairy

Misc Tortilla chips, crushed


1 recipe

2 recipes

3 recipes

Condiments Salsa

1 cup

2 cups

3 cups

Taco sauce

1 cup

2 cups

3 cups

Soy sauce

1/4 cup

1/2 cup

3/4 cup

Red wine

2 Tbsp

4 Tbsp

6 Tbsp

Chicken breasts

3, about 1 1/2 lb

6, about 3 lbs

9, about 4 1/2 lbs

Pork tenderloin

2, (1 package)

4, (2 packages)

6, (3 packages)

Ground beef

1 lb

2 lbs

3 lbs

Manicotti shells

14

28

42

Jumbo pasta shells

12

24

36

Meat

Pasta

Produce Garlic cloves, minced

2 or 2 tsp, jarred

4 or 4 tsp, jarred

6 or 6 tsp, jarred

Green onions

2

4

6

Onion, diced

3/4 cup

1 1/2 cups

2 1/4 cups

Bell pepper, diced

1/4 cup

1/2 cup

3/4 cup

Taco seasoning

1 envelope

2 envelopes

3 envelopes

Salt

1/4 tsp

1/2 tsp

3/4 tsp

Pepper

1/4 tsp

1/2 tsp

3/4 tsp

Garlic powder

1/4 tsp

1/2 tsp

3/4 tsp

Basil

1/4 tsp

1/2 tsp

3/4 tsp

Oregano

1/4 tsp

1/2 tsp

3/4 tsp

Dried ginger

tsp

tsp

tsp

Spice


Packaging I use Ziploc bags whenever possible. Please, buy name brand freezer bags. Nothing is worse than leaking marinade because of generic bags. I learned this the hard way! I also use foil pans. I hate to be looking for a casserole dish that I need to use ,only to remember that it’s in the freezer! These amounts are per recipe so you may need to triple. Don’t forget these on shopping day! Chicken Manicotti: packaging needed for 3 recipes (3) 9x13 foil pans Foil for covering You will also need either (3) 2 gallon freezer bags or additional foil and freezer paper. Taco Filled Pasta Shells: packaging needed for 3 recipes (3) 9 inch square foil pans (6) 2 quart freezer bags (3) 1 gallon freezer bag Marinated Pork Tenderloin: packaging needed for 3 recipes (3) 1 gallon freezer bags Mexican Cornbread: packaging needed for 3 recipes Foil to wrap (3) 1 gallon freezer bags Prep Work Assignments Finish these tasks sometime before your cooking day. I like to use small zipper storage bags to hold the chopped ingredients. Generic bags are fine, usually sandwich or snack size will work. Using these bags cuts down on dishes to wash. Just label each bag with the amount and the recipe it is for and you can just dump the pre-measured ingredients into the recipe! I also like to use latex gloves to cut down on hand washing. It will also help when we chop jalapenos, or Serrano peppers Garlic—for each recipe of Marinated Grilled Pork Tenderloin mince 2 cloves if you did not buy the jarred minced garlic. I use 1 fresh minced clove where recipes call for 1 tsp. For each recipe place in a small bag labeled “Pork tenderloin—2 cloves.” It’s best to separate these per recipe. Green onions—chop 2 per recipe of Marinated Grilled Pork Tenderloin. Can be added to the bags of garlic, 2 onions per bag. Just add “2 green onions” to the bag. Onion—Dice 1/2 cup for each recipe of Mexican Cornbread you are making and 1/4 cup for each recipe of Chicken Manicotti. Can be bagged together, all manicotti onions in one bag and all cornbread onions in another. Divide and label 2 small bags, “cornbread—1 1/2 cups” and “3/4 cup manicotti.”


Bell Pepper—Dice 1/4 cup per Chicken Manicotti you are making and place in a small bag labeled “3/4 cup—manicotti” or you can add this to the onion bag for the manicotti. Cheeses—Shred if you did not buy pre—shredded. Mozzarella—9 cups if making 3 of each recipe, Taco Filled Pasta Shells and Chicken Manicotti. Label and place in 3 small bags as “1 cup mozz—taco shells” Label and place remaining mozzarella in a larger storage bag “6 cups mozz for 3 manicottis.” Cheddar—6 cups if you are making 3 batches each of Mexican Cornbread and Taco Filled Pasta Shells. Label and place in 3 small bags “1 cup cheddar—taco shells” or add 1 cup each to mozzarella bags for taco shells and label as “2 cups cheese—taco shells.” Put remaining 3 cups of cheddar in a single bag labeled “3 cups cheddar— cornbread.” Chicken—Thinly slice 3 breasts, about 1 1/2 lbs, into thin strips for each batch of Chicken Manicotti. Put all together into one gallon storage bag labeled “manicotti.” Tortilla chips—Crush 1 1/2 cups of chips per Taco Filled Pasta Shells you are making. Label and place in a separate small bag “1 1/2 cups—Taco Pasta.” You will have 1, 2, or 3 bags.

Cooking Day Flowchart Recipe

Special items needed

Containers

Comments

Taco Filled Pasta Shells

Stove, large deep skillet, and large pot. May have to cook meat or pasta shells in batches if you do not have cookware large enough

(3) 9x9 foil pans, foil, (3) Cook ground beef, gallon freezer bags, (6) drain and finish followsmaller Ziploc bags ing directions. Cook pasta shells while meat is cooking. Meat and shells will need to cool. While cooling move to next recipe.

Marinated Grilled Pork Tenderloin

3 of the largest plastic cups you have

(3) Gallon freezer bags

Mexican Cornbread

Oven, (can make in 9x9s, (3) Gallon freezer bags muffin tins, or 9x13s), and foil large bowl

Chicken Manicotti

Assemble as per the recipe. Bake the cornbread and allow to cool before wrapping.

(3) 9x13 foil pans, foil, Assemble as per the (3) 2 gallon freezer bags recipe or freezer paper and tape


Chicken Manicotti Serves 4—6

Ingredients Chicken breast, sliced into thin strips

1 batch 3 breasts, about 1 1/2 lbs

2 batches

3 batches

6 breasts, about 3 lbs

9 breasts, about 4 1/2 lbs

Pasta sauce, 24 oz jar of 1 jar, about 3 cups your favorite

2 jars, about 6 cups

3 jars, about 9 cups

Manicotti Shells

14

28

42

Your choice of seasonings: salt, pepper, garlic powder, basil, oregano

about 1/4 tsp each

about 1/2 tsp each

about 3/4 tsp each

Onion, diced

1/4 cup

1/2 cup

3/4 cup

Bell pepper, diced

1/4 cup

1/2 cup

3/4 cup

Mozzarella, shredded

2 cups

4 cups

6 cups

Black olives, sliced

1/2 cup

1 cup

1 1/2 cups

Prep Instructions Dice peppers and onions. Slice chicken. Place peppers and onions into small storage bag. Place chicken into a gallon storage bag. Assembly Instructions 1. Spread 1 cup of pasta sauce into each of the foil 9x13 pans. 2. Season the chicken. I like to pour the chicken onto a cutting board, season and mix to distribute seasonings evenly. 3. Stuff the chicken into the manicotti shells, using 14 shells per pan. Place each filled shell into the sauced pans. 4. Pour 2 cups of pasta sauce over each pan of shells. 5. Top each dish with 2 cups of mozzarella. 6. Spread olives, peppers and onions over each dish. 7. Wrap with foil, then freezer paper or place in a 2 gallon bag. Label outer packaging and freeze. Cooking Instructions Cook at 350, covered with foil, 1 1/2 hours if frozen, 1 hour if thawed. Can thaw in the refrigerator. Will need about 2—3 days to thaw.


Taco Filled Pasta Shells Serves 4

Ingredients

1 batch

2 batches

3 batches

Ground beef

1 pound

2 pounds

3 pounds

Taco seasoning

1 envelope

2 envelopes

3 envelopes

Cream cheese

4 oz

8 oz

12 oz

Jumbo pasta shells

12

24

36

Butter

2 Tbsp

4 Tbsp

6 Tbsp

Salsa

1 cup

2 cups

3 cups

Taco sauce

1 cup

2 cups

3 cups

Shredded cheddar

1 cup

2 cups

3 cups

Shredded mozzarella

1 cup

2 cups

3 cups

Tortilla chips, crushed

1 1/2 cups

3 cups

4 1/2 cups

Sour cream

1 cup

2 cups

3 cups

Prep Instructions In a skillet, cook beef until no longer pink; drain. Add taco seasoning; prepare according to package directions. Add cream cheese; cover and simmer for 5 to 10 minutes or until melted. Transfer to a bowl to cool; chill for 1 hour. Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Gently toss with butter. Assembly Instructions 1. Spoon salsa into all 3 greased 9 inch square foil pans. Fill each shell with about 3 Tbsp of meat mixture. Place 12 stuffed shells in each pan and top with taco sauce. Cover with foil. 2. Place the 1 1/2 cups of crushed chips into 3 small Ziplocs. 3. Place the 2 shredded cheeses into 3 more small Ziplocs, 2 cups in each. 4. Place a foil pan along with the 2 bags into a labeled, gallon freezer bag and freeze. Cooking Instructions Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. The shells will still be partially frozen. This is fine. Bake, covered, at 350 for 40 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle with chips and then cheeses. Bake another 10— 15 minutes or until hot throughout. Serve with the sour cream.


Marinated Grilled Pork Tenderloin Serves 6

Ingredients

1 batch

2 batches

3 batches

Pork Tenderloins, comes 2 per package

2 (1 package, 2—2 1/2 pounds total)

4 (2 packages, 4—5 pounds total)

6 (3 packages, 6—7 1/2 pounds total)

Soy sauce

1/4 cup

1/2 cup

3/4 cup

Dry red wine

2 Tbsp

4 Tbsp

6 Tbsp

Honey

1 Tbsp

2 Tbsp

3 Tbsp

Brown sugar

1 Tbsp

2 Tbsp

3 Tbsp

Garlic, minced

2 cloves or 2 tsp jarred

4 cloves or 4 tsp jarred

6 cloves or 6 tsp jarred

Ginger, ground

1/2 tsp

1 tsp

1 1/2 tsp

Cinnamon

1/2 tsp

1 tsp

1 1/2 tsp

Green onions, chopped

2

4

6

Prep Instructions Mince 6 cloves individually if you did not buy the jarred, minced garlic. Place in 3 small bags labeled “Pork tenderloin—2 cloves” Chop 6 green onions. Can be added to the bags of garlic, 2 onions per bag. Just add “2 green onions” to the bag. Assembly Instructions 1. Place 3 labeled gallon Ziploc bags inside 3 large plastic cups, folding the sides of the bags over the cups. 2. Add all ingredients except the meat to each bag. Remove the bags, seal, and mix the marinade by squishing the bags. 3. Add 2 rinsed tenderloins to each bag. Remove excess air, seal, and freeze. Cooking Instructions Thaw the pork tenderloins in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Preheat oven to 350 or the grill. Remove the tenderloin and reserve the marinade. Grill over medium heat, turning often for 30—40 minutes, until done or roast for 45 minutes in the oven. While the meat is cooking, simmer the reserved marinade in a small sauce pan until it is reduced to about 2 Tbsp, stirring occasionally. Let rest for 10 minutes and then slice diagonally. Serve with the sauce.


Mexican Cornbread (BONUS recipe!) Ingredients

1 batch

2 batches

3 batches

Cornmeal mix, NOT plain 1 1/2 cups cornmeal

3 cups

4 1/2 cups

Milk or buttermilk

1 cup

2 cups

3 cups

Eggs

2

4

6

Oil, canola or vegetable

1/4 cup

1/2 cup

3/4 cup

Shredded cheddar

1 cup

2 cups

3 cups

Onion, diced

1/2 cup

1 cup

1 1/2 cups

Corn, cream—style, 15 oz

1 can

2 cans

3 cans

4 Tbsp

6 Tbsp

Jalapenos, jarred, diced 2 Tbsp *optional, can be substituted for the onion

Prep Instruction Dice 1 1/2 cups of onions. Label a small bag, “cornbread—1 1/2 cups” or dice 6 Tbsp of jalapeno and label a small bag “cornbread—6 Tbsp.” Assembly Instructions 1. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Divide and pour into 3 greased pans and bake at 375 until just done. 2. Can use muffin tins, a 9x9 dish, or a 9x13. 3. Cool, wrap and place into a labeled, gallon freezer bag. Serving Instructions Thaw and warm. Can warm in microwave or by wrapping in foil and warming in a low temperature oven.


Chicken Manicotti

Chicken Manicotti

Chicken Manicotti

Can be thawed in refrigerator for 2—3 days. Bake covered at 350 for 1 1/2 hours if frozen or 1 hour if thawed.

Can be thawed in refrigerator for 2—3 days. Bake covered at 350 for 1 1/2 hours if frozen or 1 hour if thawed.

Can be thawed in refrigerator for 2—3 days. Bake covered at 350 for 1 1/2 hours if frozen or 1 hour if thawed.

Taco Meat Pasta Shells

Taco Meat Pasta Shells

Taco Meat Pasta Shells

Thaw for 24 hours in the refrigerator. Bake, covered, at 350 for 40 minutes. Uncover, top with cheeses and chips. Bake 15 minutes longer or until heated through

Thaw for 24 hours in the refrigerator. Bake, covered, at 350 for 40 minutes. Uncover, top with cheeses and chips. Bake 15 minutes longer or until heated through

Thaw for 24 hours in the refrigerator. Bake, covered, at 350 for 40 minutes. Uncover, top with cheeses and chips. Bake 15 minutes longer or until heated through

Marinated Grilled Pork Tenderloin

Marinated Grilled Pork Tenderloin

Marinated Grilled Pork Tenderloin

Preheat a grill. Remove tenderloins and reserve marinade. Grill 30—40 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing diagonally. Simmer and reduce marinade.

Preheat a grill. Remove tenderloins and reserve marinade. Grill 30—40 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing diagonally. Simmer and reduce marinade.

Preheat a grill. Remove tenderloins and reserve marinade. Grill 30—40 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing diagonally. Simmer and reduce marinade.

Marinated Grilled Pork Tenderloin

Marinated Grilled Pork Tenderloin

Marinated Grilled Pork Tenderloin

Preheat oven to 350. Remove tenderloins, reserve marinade. Roast for 45 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing diagonally. Simmer and reduce marinade.

Preheat oven to 350. Remove tenderloins, reserve marinade. Roast for 45 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing diagonally. Simmer and reduce marinade.

Preheat oven to 350. Remove tenderloins, reserve marinade. Roast for 45 minutes. Let rest 10 minutes before slicing diagonally. Simmer and reduce marinade.

Mexican Cornbread

Mexican Cornbread

Mexican Cornbread

Thaw and warm. Can be warmed in microwave or wrap in foil and warm in a 300 degree oven.

Thaw and warm. Can be warmed in microwave or wrap in foil and warm in a 300 degree oven.

Thaw and warm. Can be warmed in microwave or wrap in foil and warm in a 300 degree oven.

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