Tuesday, April 3, 2012

April Menu

We staked out the kitchen for a few minutes at the end of Rachel's birthday party to fit in our swap. It's bountiful, for sure! With 2 meals from Kim coming a bit late, and the addition of Stefanie (and Chris) to the group we'll have 12 this month. Whoa! The ice cream and cold packs are going to have to make room. Here's what's on the menu.

Potato Soup
Mexican Casserole with Beef
Breakfast Casserole
Mac 'N Cheese with Chicken and Broccoli
Chicken Ole
Tater Tot Casserole
Chinese Honey Ginger Chicken
Ham and Cheese Ziti
Mandarin Orange Chicken
BBQ Sandwiches

I'll edit this when I get the recipes for the first two, and Bridget is able to swap and we find out what she and Chris made. I'm sure it will be delicious! Sunday, May 6th should be the next swap. Does that sound like a problem for anyone? Feel free to post your ideas for next month in the comments here, or send an email so we don't end up with duplicates.

Breakfast Casserole

From Stefanie (from Anita Moore (Stefanie's mom)
serves: 10-12
Softened Butter or Margarine (there isn't an amount listed sorry)
14-15 slices of bread
3 c diced meat (sausage or ham)
2 c (1/2 lb.) shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
6 eggs
3 c milk

Cooking Day:
Spread butter on both sides of bread slices. Cut buttered bread into small cubes. Combine bread cubes, meat, cheese, salt and pepper; stir well. 
In separate bowl: beat eggs until foamy. Stir in milk. 
Add egg mixture to meat mixture, stirring weel. Pour into a lightly greased 13x9x2 inch baking pan. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bake uncovered at 350 for 1 hour or until golden brown. 

Serving Day:
Heat in 350 degree oven until hot. 

Mac 'n Cheese with Chicken and Broccoli

From Stefanie (from Southern Living Magazine)
1 lb. Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 pkg. (12oz) Velveeta Shells and Cheese
1 c Milk
1 c Water
1 c Broccoli
1 c Sliced Carrots
(I substitute 1 bag of frozen Broccoli Normandy: broccoli, cauliflower and carrots the veggies listed above)

Cooking Day:
Cook chicken in large skillet on medium heat until done. 
Add macaroni, milk, and water; stir. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer 10 minutes. Add veggies and cover. Continue cooking until veggies are done. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese packet until well blended. Freeze.

Serving Day: 
Thaw completely, heat in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. 

Chicken Ole

From Kim (from Fabulessly Frugal)
2 cans of Cream of Chicken soup (can also use 1 can of Cream of chicken and 1 can
of cream of mushroom if preferred, tastes great both ways)
1 7oz can green Chile salsa
1 cup sour cream
2 Tbs grated onion
4 cups boiled, shredded chicken
12 corn tortillas cut into 6 strips each (large tortillas)
1 1/2 cup cheddar cheese

Freezing Day:
Combine 1st 5 ingredients and place in freezer bag with stack of tortillas on top.
Serving Day:
Lightly grease crock-pot. Arrange alternating layers of tortillas & mixture, finishing w/ chicken mixture on top (do not leave any of the tortilla pieces exposed because they dry out)
Cover and cook on low 5 hours. Sprinkle w/ cheese and cook for 10 more minutes.

Tater Tot Casserole

from Kim (from Fabulessly Frugal
1 ½ lbs. ground beef
1 1/2 cans cream of chicken soup
About 1/2 c. milk
1 package Tater Tots
About 3 c. shredded cheddar cheese
Cooking Day:
1. Brown the beef.
2. In a microwaveable bowl, mix 1 1/2 cans of soup and fill the empty can 1/3 full of milk. Mix the milk, soup, and 2 handfuls of shredded cheese. Microwave about 2 min. and stir.
3. Put the beef mixture in a freezer bag. In a separate bag, put 1 c. of cheese. You will also have 1 bag of frozen tater tots you won’t open until you’re ready to cook it.
You can either put all three bags in a grocery sack and mark it as Tater Tot Casserole or you can mark each one separately.
Serving Day:
Remove the beef mixture and cheese from the freezer and let thaw. Pour into a 9×13 glass pan and then cover with frozen tater tots. Cook at 400 for 30 min, or until hot in the center. Remove from oven and sprinkle the top with shredded cheese. Return to oven for about 5 min., or until cheese is melted.

Chinese Honey Ginger Chicken

from Kim (from www.momsbudget.com)
6 chicken breasts
4 tsp chopped yellow onion
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp fresh minced ginger
2 tbsp sherry (alcoholic or cooking)
1/4 c chives
Combine all ingredients in a freezer container or Ziploc bag. Freeze.
Instructions from Freezer:
Allow to thaw. Pour Chinese style honey ginger chicken into a casserole dish. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and bake for 20-30 minutes. Serve. Great with rice!

Serve with Knorr Chicken fried rice packet Kim provided 

Ham and Cheese Ziti

from Kim from www.momsbudget.com
2 16oz packages ziti noodles
1 cup butter/margarine
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup flour
2 tsp salt
8 cups milk
2 tsp Dijon mustard
8 cups Colby cheese, shredded
16oz cooked ham (deli style), cut into thin strips
1 1/2 cups Parmesan cheese, grated

This recipe makes 2 13x9 casseroles.
Cook and drain pasta according to instructions (you may need to do it in two batches if your largest pot isn't large enough.
In large saucepan or deep skillet, melt butter on low heat. Add garlic and sauté for about 30-40 seconds, stirring the entire time. Next add flour and salt, using a whisk to ensure no lumps remain. Continue cooking over medium heat, stirring the entire time, until there are no lumps and the mixture begins to bubble.
Slowly add milk, stirring the whole time, while you bring it to a boil. Once boiling, allow to continue to boil for 1 minute, and then add mustard and Colby cheese. Continue stirring until cheese is melted. Add ham and pasta, stirring well. Pour into 2 13x9 casserole dishes. Cool and freeze.
On cooking day:
Thaw overnight in refrigerator. Preheat oven to 350F. Place casserole dish (uncovered) into oven and bake 30-45 minutes or until heated through and bubbly. Serve. 

Mandarin Orange Chicken

From Erin (Once a Month Cooking)

1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups fresh sliced mushrooms
1 tbsp flour
1/2 cup sliced green onions
1 cup chicken broth
3 oz frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1 lb boneless chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
1 can mandarin oranges

Cooking Day
In a large sauce pan, saute the mushrooms in the olive oil over medium heat. Sprinkle the flour over thema nd stir. Add the green onions, chicken broth, orange juice. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes. Stir in chicken and continue to cook for a few more minutes. Package to freeze.

Serving Day
Thaw chicken in sauce. Heat in a sauce pan until bubbly. Cook some rice. Drain the can of mandarin oranges.  Stir the oranges in then serve everything over the rice.

BBQ Sandwiches

From Erin (from Don't Panic More Dinner's in the Freezer)
1 medium onion, halved
1 1/2 lbs beef roast, cubed
1/2 lb. pork roast, cubed

Barbeque sauce
1 26oz bottle ketchup
2 tbsp dry mustard
2 tbsp white vinegar
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp whole pickling spice in a tea ball or tied in a cloth bag

Serving day

yields 9-12 sandwiches
Meat: Place onion halves, beef, and pork in the crockpot with about a cup of water on low 4-6 hours. Remove cooked meat from liquid and shred or chop in food processor.
Sauce: Combine all sauce ingredients in large saucepan; simmer for 30 minutes. Add shredded meat to sauce. Simmer an additional 20 minutes. Remove pickling spice bag. Cool completely and freeze in a freezer bag.

Serving Day
Thaw bbq to a slushy consistency and reheat in saucepan. Serve on warm rolls or buns.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Giant Beef and Bean Burritos

From Erin (via Freezer Meals for Us)

This is enough for 4 8x8 pans
2 lbs ground beef
1 diced onion
taco seasonings
6 cups refried beans (I just used homemade mashed pinto beans)
at least 3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
4 cups cooked white rice
package of burrito sized tortillas cut in half

Brown the hamburger with onion. Season with cumin, salt and pepper, and chili powder.
Spray the pans with cooking spray then line them with tortilla halves that cover the bottom and drape over the sides.

Layer ground beef, beans, rice, then cheese on top of the tortillas. Fold the hanging edges over the top.
Cover with foil and freeze. 

To Serve: Thaw. Bake covered at 350 for 1-1/2 hours. Take off the foil and top with more cheese. Serve with sour cream or salsa.

Sausage and Spinach Barley Soup

From Erin (via Allrecipes)

2 lbs Italian sausage
1 cup diced onion
6 cloves of minced garlic
1 tsp Italian seasoning
3 quarts homemade chicken bone broth
3 carrots peeled and sliced
2 (10 ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach
1 cup uncooked hulled barley

1. In a skillet over medium heat, brown the sausage, onion and garlic. Season with Italian seasoning. Remove from heat and drain.
2. This was enough for all four meals so I split it and cooked half in the crock pot for 7 hours on low, and half simmered on the stove for 1 1/2 hours.

To Serve
Thaw. Reheat over low-medium heat on the stove until hot.

Black Bean Tortilla Casserole

From Brooke (via Martha Stewart)
our version is without mushrooms


  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 8 corn tortillas, warmed and halved
  • 2 cups salsa
  • 1 1/4 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (4 ounces)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add garlic and cayenne; season with salt and pepper. Add black beans and stir to combine. Cook until beans are warmed through, 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
  2. Arrange 5 tortilla halves in a 2-quart baking dish. Top with half the bean mixture and 1/2 cup salsa, then sprinkle with one-third the cheese. Repeat with another layer of tortilla halves, bean mixture, salsa, and cheese. Top with remaining tortilla halves, salsa, and cheese. Cover with foil and bake until center is hot and cheese melts, 10 minutes. Uncover and bake until cheese is bubbling, 5 minutes.

February Menu

Moroccan Hamburgers
Chicken and Stuffing Bake
Chicken Enchiladas
Potato Soup
Oven Fried Parmesan Chicken
Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie

From Bridget

Chicken Pot Pie
2 cans fully cooked Premium Chunk Chicken (Tyson)
1 med. Onion chopped
1 tsp. Garlic Powder
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 cans Cream of Chicken Soup
1/4 cup Chicken broth
1 16oz bag frozen Mixed Veggies
2 Tbsp Butter
1/4 cups Heavy Whipping Cream or Whole Milk
4 9oz Frozen Pie Shells

1. In a 10 or 12 inch Skillet Saute (Stove on medium heat) 1 Tbsp
butter, chicken, onion and garlic with salt and pepper.
2. Add soup and add about 1/4 cup of Chicken broth to thin it out.
3. Add frozen veggies, 1 Tbsp butter and whipping Cream or Milk; salt
and pepper to taste.
4. Turn Stove to low or off
5. Bake 2 9oz  Empty Pie Shell at 400 degrees for 10 minutes.
6. Add the "guts" to the 2 semi-cooked shells.
7.With the other 2  pie shells you can either cut up into strips and
crisscross on top or add the full shell on top of the other.
8. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until crust is golden.
Yeilds 2 9oz Chicken Pot Pie Serves 12

Reheat: After Frozen Bake at 400 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Moroccan Hamburgers


from Erin (from Southern Living)
  • 2 pounds ground beef (or a mix of beef and venison)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped 
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro 
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper


Combine all ingredients throughly; shape into 8 (4-inch) patties.
To prepare: Thaw completely. Grill, covered with grill lid, over medium-high heat (350º to 400º) 6 to 8 minutes on each side or until beef is no longer pink. Or cook in a skillet over medium high heat, browning a couple minutes on each side then cover and continue to cook until no longer pink in the middle.
Serve with any toppings you like on flatbread or hamburger buns.
(I'm going to top with wilted spinach, tomato slices and provalone cheese)