Winter is Coming… Preparing your Pantry

The purpose of home canning and meal prepping is to prepare for times when fruits and vegetables and meats are not as abundant naturally.  When an item is in season, it is more abundant and less expensive, this is the time to prepare for winter, especially when you live in the northern and Midwest areas.  Winter can be harsh.  We believe in canning what is in season, naturally, to help with budget costs, health benefits and being more ‘God sufficient’ than man sufficient.  The other side point to preparing and budgeting your food storage is to better understand what a REAL portion of food is.  America has gotten really bad at ‘super sizing’ and over convenience everything.  We’ve gotten into the mindset of “getting our money’s worth” instead of planning and looking at what our body needs.  The sugar and preservative addictions are just as bad as the “bad addictions”.  Look at the rise of obesity, health issues, enabling etc.  If we are stressed, we head strait for the candy jar, if a child is crying we hand them a sweet treat.  I could go on and on about this subject, because I myself suffer from stress eating and weight issues.  I come from a long line of Southern Cooks.  I love my butter, gravy and I melt with Shrimp and Grits.  Which is all fine, IN MODERATION.

But, back to preparing your pantry.  Each year it is essential to take stock of what your family will need for the upcoming year until the next season arrives with more goodies.  Also knowing crop rotation years help too.  One year may be a great corn year, the next nothing.

Now the big thing I want you to really take notice of is the PORTION of each item.  If we ate this way, I’m willing to bet, the weight loss programs out there would loose a lot of money and we would have more in our savings!

The Canner’s Pantry Planner:
Food Times/Week Serving Jars/Person Jars/Family(4)
Meats, Poultry, Fish 4x week, 36 weeks 1/2 cup 36 Pints 144 Pints
Soups 2x week, 36 weeks 1 cup 18 quarts 72 quarts
Jams, Jellies, Preserves 6x week, 52 weeks 2 tablespoons 40 1/2 pints 160 1/2 pints
Relishes 3x week, 52 weeks 1 tablespoon 5 pints 20 pints
Greens, carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squash 4x week, 36 weeks 1/2 cup 18 quarts 72 quarts
Pickled vegetables 2x week, 52 weeks 2 1/2 tablespoons 13 pints 52 pints
Juices and Tomatoes 7x week, 36 weeks 1 cup 63 quarts 252 quarts
All Other Fruits and Vegetables 14x week, 36 weeks 1/2 cup 76 quarts 304 quarts
Pickled Fruits, Pickled Eggs 2x week, 52 weeks 2 1/2 tablespoons/ 1 egg 13 quarts 52 quarts

Did you slightly freak out over the portions? Puts things into perspective doesn’t it? Here is the thing I have discovered, when you utilize the mentality of using what you have on hand, you waste less, you eat less, and you have that pride of providing. It’s amazing how the world’s perspectives dissolve when you start living like this.

There are other items to consider as well, the meat covers what you should have in your freezer as well as canning, but there are dry goods to consider:  Flour, Sugar, Baking Soda/powder, yeast, dried beans, rice, powders.  Then your wet goods such as honey, syrups, molasses.  Also your perishables, eggs & milk.  There is also cellar storage to consider, potatoes, sweet potatoes, hard squash, apples.  But all in all the portions stay the same.  Now my favorite:  Cheeses.  I love real cheese, love it!  But a portion is only 2 ounces.  That’s the size of 2 dice.

I credit the knowledge of this from my Grandma Inez and my go to book “The Encyclopedia of Country Living” by Carla Emery.

So learn to enjoy and appreciate what you have and you will find that your body and your savings will thank you!

Enjoy and let me know of your thoughts.

Until Next Time,

Mrs. Kay L. Rice

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Meal-Prepping: Chicken or Eggplant Parmesan Casserole

The month of July has been a very busy month.  Our class unfortunately was cancelled due to everyones schedules. But I wanted to make sure these very simple and yummy recipes got in your hands.

The same ingredients can be used for both the chicken or the eggplant parmesan. Substitute one for the other.

Ingredients:

  • 2-4 frozen lg boneless skinless chicken breasts or 1 medium eggplant sliced thick.
  • 1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp dried or fresh basil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (Optional)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (OR 2 cups of rice krispies)
  •  1 gallon bag
  •   1 quart bags

Directions:

  1. Write the name of your recipe on the gallon bag as well as cook 8 hrs low.
  2. On the small bag write ‘Toppings’.
  3. Put your bread crumbs or crushed rice crispies in the small bag, add your Parmesan cheese and squish it through. If you want mozzarella cheese add it in this bag as well.
  4. Seal pushing out all air and set aside.
  5. Put your frozen chicken 🐔 or sliced eggplant in the big bag.
  6. I also will sprinkle fruit fresh or a little lemon juice on the eggplant to prevent Browning.
  7. Now add in your basil, garlic, pepper, olive oil and tomatoes over your chicken.
  8. Carefully add your topping bag on top.
  9. Seal pushing out the air.
  10. Put in the freezer.

Day before cooking, that in the refrigerator.

Day of cooking. 

  1. Carefully remove topping bag, set aside.
  2. Dump contents of the large bag into your Crock-Pot. I use my casserole Crock-Pot for this recipe.
  3. Evenly spread everything out.
  4. Sprinkle the contents of the topping bag over top.
  5. Cook on low for 7-8 hrs.
  6. NOTE: You can also wait to put your toppings on about an hour before serving.
  7. Serve over pasta if you like.

Enjoy!

Until next time,

Mrs. Kay L Rice

Meal-Prepping: Maple Glazed Chicken

Crock-Pot cooking and meal prepping doesn’t need to be tedious and boring.  The idea is to plan ahead so you can enjoy meal time.  Here is a very quick and delicious meal.

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup of Dijon or Spicy brown mustard
  • 1/2 Cup of REAL Maple Syrup
  • 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic thin sliced
  • 1 gallon freezer bag

Directions:

  1. Write on the bag Maple Glazed Chicken with your date. Also write 8 hours low.
  2. Put your frozen chicken 🐔in your bag.
  3. Add in all of your ingredients and squish the bag to cover the chicken.
  4. Seal bag pushing out as much air as possible.

Day before cooking that in the refrigerator.

Day of cooking put contents of the bag in your Crock-Pot.  I use my shallow casserole Crock-Pot for this recipe.  Cook for 8 hours on low.

Enjoy!

Until next time,

Mrs. Kay L Rice

Homemade Biscuit & Dumpling Mix

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As by now you all know, I do not like to rely on boxed items for any reason to feed my family.  Nearly every thing that is mass produced can be made from scratch easier and less expensive at home.  One of the more common items in the kitchen is a box of “Bisquick” or biscuit mix.

As many of you know this is an awesome concoction which can be used for anything from biscuits or dumplings to pancakes or waffles…. yea, you get the idea.  For me we love dumplings.  My husband and I have this ongoing discussion on what a “dumpling” is.  For me there are 2 kinds flat dumplings and drop dumplings.  To him there are only one drop dumplings (the other are short noodles).  Drop dumplings are the fluffy dumplings primarily made from Bisquick type mixes.

Now, here is how you can leave that yellow (or white) box at the grocery store and always have this mix on hand!

INGREDIANTS:

  • 2 Cups flour (sifted)
  • 4 teaspoons of Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 4 tablespoons of butter (or shortening)
  • 3/4 cup milk

DUMPLING DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large bowl sift your flour and your baking powder together.
  2. Add in your salt
  3. Add in your butter (or shortening) softened
  4. Add in your milk
  5. Knead together until nice and firm
  6. If too sticky add in a tad of flour
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  8. Now roll into balls and drop it into your boiling soup
  9. Turn the heat of your soup down
  10. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes on low
  11. Finally enjoy!

Sometimes I will keep this on hand for quick grabs.  To do this find an air-tight bag, container of your choosing.  Sift in all of your dry ingredients together and label your container ‘Baking mix’.  Then make sure you make note of the wet ingredients to add later.

 

Until next time,

Mrs. Kay L. Rice

 

Meal-Prep 101: Crockpot Cilantro Lime Chicken

Meal-Prep 101: Crockpot Cilantro Lime Chicken

THIS CLASS WILL BE HELD ON APRIL 20, 2017 at Quest Community Church (Westerville, Ohio) in the back kitchen area at 6:30 PM Quest Meal-Prep Class

The following recipe is for our class on 04/20/2017 at Quest Church.  This versatile recipe is is great to have as a go to in the freezer.  It can be used as a main dish served over rice, as burrito filling, soft taco filling, added to a casserole or soup, pretty much anything you can imagine.  Even if you can’t join us in person, I hope you enjoy this recipe.

INGREDIENTS (for each meal bag):

  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken breast (or thighs)
  • 4 tablespoons of lime juice
  • 1 fresh bunch of cilantro, chopped with the stems
  • 1 (16 ounce) bag of frozen corn
  • 1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 can of jalapeno and tomatoes diced.
  • 1 can of green peppers or 2 jalapeno peppers diced (optional)
  • 1 tsp of cumin.

Other items you will need:

  • Cutting boards (two, 1 for produce, 1 for the chicken)
  • Latex gloves (2 pair, 1 pr for the chicken 1 pr for the jalapeno peppers if you are chopping)
  • Knives (1 for chicken, 1 for produce)
  • Can opener
  • teaspoons and tablespoons
  • garlic press or a use your produce knife
  • 1 large gallon freezer bag
  • 1 quart freezer bag
  • marker to label your bag.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Before we get started, Write on your Gallon freezer bag, Cilantro Lime chicken, thaw over night.  Crockpot cook for 6-8 hrs low.
  2. Prepare your chicken on your chicken cutting board, put on your latex gloves.
  3. Cut your chicken in half then in half again and then in quarters.
  4. Place the chicken in your quart freezer bag.

  5. Remove your “chicken gloves” & discard.
  6. Add in two tablespoons of lime juice in with your chicken.
  7. Remove the air from your “chicken bag” and seal, place to the side.  Now, clean off your chicken cutting board with hot soapy water and keep away from your produce.
  8. On your produce cutting board, chop your fresh cilantro.  make sure you use the stems, this is where most of your flavor comes from!
  9. Place in your gallon freezer bag.
  10. Dice your onion and place in your gallon freezer bag.
  11. Add in your frozen corn and rinsed black beans to your gallon freezer bag.
  12. Add in your small can of jalapeno/diced tomatoes.
  13. IF YOU WANT FRESH DICED JALAPENO PEPPERS, PUT ON YOUR LATEX GLOVES FOR PRODUCE.  You WILL thank me later.
  14. When you cut fresh peppers, keep in mind the heat is in the seeds, more heat, leave the seeds, less heat, makes sure you leave out the seeds.
  15. Add your Peppers to the gallon bag. (removing your gloves after working with your peppers.)
  16. Add in your cumin.
  17. Add in 2 tablespoons of lime juice.
  18. Gently roll and place your chicken bag on the top of your produce.
  19. Push out the extra air and seal the gallon bag.  (I like to double bag my items.)
  20. Flatten bag and freeze.

Day be before preparing instructions:

  • Set upright in the refrigerator (in a bowl in case it leaks) to thaw.

Cooking day instructions:

  • Open bag carefully and pull out your chicken bag.
  • Put the chicken in your crock-pot first.
  • Dump in the remaining ingredients from the gallon bag on top of the chicken.
  • Set crock-pot on low and cook for 6-8 hours.
  • Before serving, shred with a fork the chicken and stir into the cooked ingredients.
  • Serve over rice, with corn tortillas as soft tacos, in large flour tortillas as burritos, over corn chips as nachos anything your heart desires.
  • The shredded left overs are also great to freeze and have on hand for soups!

Enjoy!

Until Next Time,

Mrs. Kay L. Rice

 

 

 

Meal-Prepping 101: Beef Stew

Beef (or any meat) Stew

On February 16, 2017 at Quest Community Church, Westerville, Ohio, we will once again be joining together to work on our meal-prepping skills.  The second recipe for this class is a traditional Beef Stew (The first recipe, is Cranberry Chicken posted on 2/11/17 on this site).  Stew is a traditional standby in the Rice Household.  It is perfect for meal-prep as a freezer meal before and after being cooked.  If you enjoy canning, it can also be prepped in individual and family servings by using a PRESSURE CANNER (please see the post on this site for Turkey/Chicken Stew, under the canning and preserving page).  But I digress.  The nice thing about stew is that it can be made with pretty much anything you have on hand as well as tweaks here and there for what you like and what you don’t like.  Example: Some people my love parsnips, others may not, some people think you are weird putting in peas in a stew, some say oh that’s a must have.  My Grandma and Mom would refer to their stews as “refrigerator stew”, that meant anything left over from previous meals got thrown in a pot and cooked as soup/stew.  In short the “waste not want not” method of country cooking.

For our class on 2/16/17, I will be outlining the meal prep freezer way to put up stew before cooking, although here and there I will also outline other methods.  Ready?  Here we go!

Ingredients for each meal:

  • 1 lb of meat (beef, venison, pork, turkey, chicken…)
  • 1 1/4 cups diced onion (I prefer red onion but its your preference)
  • 2 tsps. (or 4 cloves) garlic, minced
  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons of Thyme
  • 1 cup of carrots diced/sliced (I like lots of carrots, so about 5 carrots sliced)
  • 2 cups of diced/sliced celery
  • 1/2 cups of frozen peas (do not get canned, they get squishy)
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons of parsley (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons of APPLE CIDER Vinegar

Ingredients to be added the day of cooking:

  • 1 tsp of Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
  • 2 Cups of Broth (to match the meat you use)

Freezer Containers needed if freezing:

  • 1 quart freezer bag
  • 1 gallon freezer bag
  • Pen to write contents and cooking additions for day of cooking

BEFORE CLASS DIRECTIONS:

  • Label you large gallon freezer bag with the title of your recipe and date prepared:
    • example:  Beef Stew 2/16/17
  • Keep your quart freezer bag with your large gallon freezer bag.
  • Since we will be working with raw meat, please, make sure you keep your product fresh and sealed and COOL in transport to and from class and put in the freezer as soon as you return from class.  You also may want to prepare the meat and keep in your refrigerator at home and then add to your bag once you return from class.
  • Cube your meat into small pieces.  I will be using venison for my stew.
  • Make sure you trim off any grisly or large fat portions (and skin if poultry).
  • Put in your quart freezer bag and press out any air and keep cool.

Class Instructions:

  • If you brought the meat with you, keep cold in your cooler while we prep the rest of the items.
  • Chop all of your vegetables starting with your onion.  Add each to your gallon bag after you finish with them.
    • Side note here:  I also like to add things like parsnips, sweet potatoes, fresh beets, peppers, potatoes, spinach and frozen lima beans or black eyed peas.  I’ve even been known to throw in butternut squash cubes.
  • Add in your frozen peas (or other frozen veggies) to your bag.
  • Your bag is getting full now. Carefully add all of her herbs and shake so it flakes down over your veggies.
  • Add in your tomato paste and “squish” it through the bag.
  • Add in your Apple Cider Vinegar to your meat.
  • Now, we need to add our meat.  Since we have all these wonderful veggies in here, we do NOT want to taint them with raw meats!!!   Very carefully, put your meat in its bag sealed, in the large gallon bag on top of the veggies.  Meat is in the bag, but not touching your veggies.  If you cook your meats ahead of time, you can add them directly in the bag, however, your meat will be very shredded when you cook the stew (which is fine, its a texture thing).

NIGHT BEFORE COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Take out of the freezer and stand upright and thaw over night IN the refrigerator.

DAY OF COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Very carefully open your gallon bag and retrieve the meat bag.
  • Open the meat bag and dump the contents in the crock pot.
  • Dump the veggie/seasoning contents over the meat in the crockpot.
  • Add in your 2 cups of broth (to match the meat) to the crock pot.
  • Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
  • Add your salt and pepper before serving to retain flavor and not needing to re-add.

FREEZING AFTER COOKING:

Stews and soups are great for freezing left overs for other meal preps.  Put in a large gallon bag or in individual sized freezer safe containers and place level in your freezer.  You can reheat later in the microwave or stove top quickly because everything is already cooked.

CANNING AFTER COOKING:

I enjoy canning left over soups and stews in half pint jars individual servings that I can grab and go for work or for a quick lunch and dinner.  ALL SOUP and STEWS must be PRESSURE CANNED.  The rule of thumb is the amount of time for the longest pressure cooking standard ingredient.  Example:  Meat and beans must be canned (half pint or pint) for 75 minutes and quarts need to be canned for 90 minutes at a pressure of 11 lbs.  If you are unfamiliar with a pressure canner don’t make soup your trial run.

I look forward to seeing you all in class and for those who can not attend, I hope you enjoy this recipe, and let me know what you think.

Until Next Time,

Mrs. Kay Rice

 

 

Meal Prepping 101 Class: Cranberry Chicken

One of our freezer meal recipes for our class on February 16, 2017 will be Cranberry Chicken.  This recipe is also very easy to make in a casserole crock pot fresh that day as well, as with any of our freezer meals.  This recipe is also great with pork or turkey as well as Chicken.  This is one of our freezer meals that we will be working with raw meat so it is very necessary to prepare and take precautions for food safety.

Ingredients for each meal/bag:

  • 2 pounds of chicken
  • One 14 ounce can of whole cranberry sauce
  • 1 cup of French salad dressing (yup you read that right)
  • 2 tablespoons or 4 fresh cloves of garlic
  • 1 packet of dried French onion soup mix (however, I choose to make my own using a bouillon cube of the type of meat I’m using, boiled with a small onion)
  • It wouldn’t be a “Rice Household” recipe without a kick, so we like 1 tsp of ground chipotle pepper.
  • a 1 gallon bag with the name of the recipe and date you created on it, if you are going to freeze this for later, you will need this for the class as well.
  • You will also need cutting boards, knives, spoon, latex gloves, can opener for the class.

Directions before class:

  • Please label your bag with the recipe name, the date of the class and cooking directions (at the end).  This will be for the bag if you are creating the freezer meal.
  • Please take the time to prepare your chicken before the class and place in a bag to transport, keep this cold and fresh, PLEASE.
  • you will want to cut each chicken breast into quarters, follow the directions below.
  • Prepare and label your final bag.
  • When transporting to and from class, please make sure you have a cooler WITH ice packs.  Now, on with the directions.

Directions:

  • Put on your latex gloves.
  • Prepare your chicken breasts.
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  • Take your large chicken and slice in half by placing it on the side and slicing down the middle (making the breast thinner).
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  • Now slice each of your halves in half.
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  • This will give you 8 pieces of chicken.
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  • If you are attending our class, you will want to put these in a secure freezer bag until you come to our class, if not, carry on.
  • Now, since I prefer NOT to use the French onion soup dry mix, I make my own, to do this I dice one small onion and put in a pan with 1/4 cup of water and a bouillon cube of the meat I’m using (chicken here) and boil until the onions are soft. If prefer to use the dry soup mix, add this to your gallon bag if you are freezing or to a small mixing bowl if you are not.
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  • Open your can of cranberry sauce, and put into your bowl/bag.
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  • Now measure out your French Salad Dressing and stir it in with your onion mix and cranberry sauce.
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  • At this point I add in 1 tsp of crushed Chipotle Pepper.  If you don’t like heat, you don’t need to do this, we like heat.
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  • Stir your mixture together to the point that it looks like a sauce.  If you are putting it directly in a freezer bag, squish the items together until mixed.
  • Now, add your chicken (pork or turkey).
    • If you are doing this fresh: lay your chicken slices in a casserole style crock pot and pour the sauce over top of the chicken.
    • If you are doing this for a freezer meal, add your chicken slices in the bag with your sauce.
      • In your freezer bag, carefully press out extra air and seal.  I normally double seal items with this much liquid.
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Cooking Directions:

  • If you are cooking “FRESH”.
    • Turn your casserole style crock-pot to LOW and cook for 5-6 hours, the chicken will be cooked through and tender.  The sauce cooks into the chicken and is great to put over sides like mashed potatoes.
  • If you are cooking from a freezer meal packet:
    • The night before stand up securely in your refrigerator and thaw.
    • The day of cooking.  Dump the contents of the bag in your casserole style crockpot.
    • Turn on LOW and cook for 5-6 hours.
    • The chicken will be cooked through and tender.
    • The sauce cooks into the chicken and creates a wonderful gravy/sauce to go over sides like mashed potatoes.

I hope you enjoy this recipe.  Please feel free to leave me comments!

Until Next Time,

Mrs. Kay Rice

 

 

Homemade Egg Noodles & Flat Dumplings

On January 19, 2017, I had the wonderful privilege to teach several ladies the art of making egg noodles and flat dumplings.  The old fashioned way, that means from scratch without a fancy pasta maker. We had a wonderful time and oh how wonderful to have these noodles and dumplings ready at a moment notice for a rich broth stew or soup!  So, as promised, here is the recipe and instructions for my Egg Noodles & Flat Dumplings, the way my Grandma Inez and my Mom, Kathy taught me.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Cups of Flour
  • 3 Eggs — you will be using the yokes only
  • a pinch of salt
  • 1/4 tsp of Baking Powder
  • Water

Utensils:

  • 2 butter knives
  • a big bowl
  • a little bowl
  • parchment/wax paper
  • Circular Knife / Pizza Cutter or a pairing knife
  • Rolling Pin
  • Cookie sheets

Directions:

Before you do anything, take off all rings or things off your hands, your going to get messy.  If you like you can put on some latex gloves.  If you want to hurry up the drying process, preheat your oven at 170 degrees F.

  1. Place your two cups of flour in the large bowl, and make a “nest” or an indention in the flour.
  2. Now, we are going to separate your eggs.  There are many ways to do this, there are even little “egg separator cups” you can use.  These are used to separate the whites from the yokes.  In this recipe we want only the yokes.  I personally, gently crack the egg as close to half as possible and then pass the yoke back and forth between the shells over the little bowl.  The whites go in the little bowl, the yoke is left in the shell.
  3. Place your yokes in the “nest” in the flour.
  4. Do this for all three eggs, separate, yokes in the flour nest.
  5. Now add in your pinch of salt.
  6. Add in your Baking Powder.
  7. Using your 2 butter knives, one in each hand, cut the yokes into the flour.  This is done by moving the knives back and forth across from each other until the yokes are making tiny “pearls” in the flour.
  8. Add in a little water, continue to ‘cut’ the flour.
  9. Add in a little more water, continue to ‘cut’ the flour.
  10. Add in a little more water, scrape off your knives and now start kneading the dough in the bowl.
  11. Keep adding water until you can make a nice round ball that isn’t “too squishy and isn’t to hard”, I know its hard to explain but you will understand as your work with the texture.  If it is too squishy add some more flour.  Think play-doh consistency.
  12. Place a large sheet of your parchment/wax paper where you are going to work.
  13. Sprinkle some flour on the parchment/wax paper.
  14. The ingredients here make a small batch of four, So you will squeeze your ball and make two balls, now take one of those two and squeeze it into two balls.
  15. Take one ball and roll it in your hand and then flatten it in your hand.
  16. Place on your paper and turn over so both sides of your dough has flour on it.
  17. Using your rolling pin roll out for noodles, thin enough to pick it up but not so thin it tears apart when you do pick it up.  For Flat Dumplings you want the dough a little thicker.
  18. Keep in mind your noodles and flat dumplings will “puff up” when you cook them in your soups and stews, this will help you gauge your size.
  19. When you get the correct thickness you want, using your pizza cutter cut the dough in half (long ways) now cut slices across making the noodles.  IF you want to do flat dumplings, cut in half twice and make them more like squares about the size of shredded wheat or a little big (keep in mind these puff up when cooked).
  20. For the noodles, after you cut the dough, give each a little twist and place them on your cookie sheet.
  21. For dumplings, they will remain flat on your cookie sheet.
  22. The best method is to air dry them over night.  I place them in a safe counter area where they won’t be disturbed, and I place a cloth over top of them so nothing drops on them.
  23. If you want to hurry the drying process, put them in your preheated oven for about 30 minutes, never go above 175 degrees F.  You do not want them to cook only dry.  They should not brown!
  24. Seal up and put in the freezer after they are dried/cooled.
  25. To use, cook in your soup/stew at a slight boil for 20 minutes (or longer).  You don’t want them doughy inside but nice, thick and yummy!

As a note, when you are preparing your dough you can add herbs and seasonings to add flavor (especially the flat dumplings).  I’ve used garlic powder, oregano, paprika and I have even used parmesan cheese.  Its up to your imagination.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I enjoyed teaching this class.

Have a glorious day & always count your blessings.

Until Next Time,

Mrs. Kay L. Rice

Meal Prep Class 101: Moroccan Lentil Soup

On November 17, 2016 at 7pm at Quest Community Church we will be preparing two freezer meals. This is recipe #2. 

These are the instructions we will be following in class. Whether you can join us in person or not I hope you enjoy the recipe. 

Moroccan Lentil Soup (Vegetarian)

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chopped onions
  • 2 cups carrots
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 3 cups chopped cauliflower (can be performed)
  • 1 3/4 cups lentils
  • 1 28 ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 10 ounce pkg frozen chopped spinach
  • 2 tbsp lemon
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 one gallon freezer bag
  • 1 quart freezer bag

Preclass Instructions

  1. On the gallon bag write the name of the recipe & the date prepared.
  2. Write “on day of cooking add 3 cups vegetable stock”
  3. On the quart bag write lentils

Day of class

  1. In your quart bag add your lentils.
  2. Seal and set aside. 
  3. In your gallon bag add: onions, carrots, garlic, oil, cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon, and pepper.
  4. Add cauliflower, tomatoes, spinach.
  5. Add in cilantro & lemon juice.
  6. Carefully add your lentils bag on top of ingredients in gallon bag
  7. Carefully remove air and seal. 
  8. I like to double bag my soups.

When you want to cook

  1. The night before you prepare, place in the refrigerator in the bags to thaw (standing up in a bowl).
  2. Place your vegetable stock on the counter so you don’t forget

The morning of cooking

  1. I use a 8 quart oval Crock-Pot.
  2. Take out your lentils bag and set aside.
  3. Dump the ingredients in your Crock-Pot.
  4. Dump in your lentils.
  5. Add your vegetable stock
  6. Place your Crock-Pot on LOW and cook for 7-8 hours (5 hrs on High).
  7. Serve & enjoy!

Until next time,

Mrs. Kay L Rice

Meal Prep Class 101: Crock-Pot Lasagna

On November 17, 2016 at 7PM we will have our next Freezer meal Prep Class at Quest Community Church.  The following is Recipe #1 which we will be working with.  Whether you can physically join us or join us in spirit, I hope you enjoy this recipe.

The instructions are written exactly as well will be doing them in class.

Enjoy!

SLOW COOKER FREEZER MEAL LASAGNA

NOVEMBER 17, 2016 MEAL PREPPING FREEZER MEAL CLASS Recipe #1

SERVES 6

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 ½ lbs. (precook weight) ground beef (OR ground turkey or chicken or venison), browned and drained
  • 8 lasagna noodles, broken into pieces (uncooked regular noodles not the oven baked noodles) you can also use approx. a cup of the “mini lasagna noodles, or pinwheels or any noodle you like”.
  • 1 (24 ounce) can/jar of your favorite pasta sauce
  • ½ cup fresh mushrooms diced (optional)
  • 1 cup fresh onion, diced
  • ½ cup fresh green pepper diced (optional)
  • ¼ cup black olives sliced (optional)
  • 2 – 3 cloves of garlic diced
  • 1 cup of small curd cottage cheese
  • 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tsp ground parsley
  • ½ tsp ground oregano
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt (prefer to not put this in as the flavor cooks out)
  • 1 Gallon freezer bag
  • 2 quart freezer bags
  • PERM MARKER FOR MARKING
  • Cooler and freezer packs to transport your goods to and from class.

PRE-CLASS PREP

  1. PLEASE, cook your ground beef the night (or nights) before class, drain off all grease and cool and place in a small bag and place in the fridge.
  2. On 1 quart bag write “cheese mixture”
  3. On 1 quart bag write “noodles”
  4. On the Gallon Freezer bag write “CROCK POT LASAGNA, the date [November 17, 2016].

CLASS INSTRUCTIONS

  1. DICE YOUR VEGGIES! If you have not already done so.
  2. First we will create our cheese mixture bag.
    1. Add in your cup of cottage cheese
    2. Add in your mozzarella cheese.
    3. “Squish” in bag and seal and set aside.
  3. Now your noodle bag.
    1. If you have not already broken your lasagna noodles do so here.
    2. If you are using a smaller shaped noodle (lots of fun here) you don’t need to break them.
    3. Add to your noodle bag. Seal and set aside.
  4. Now for your gallon freezer bag.
    1. Add in your browned meat.
    2. Add in your veggies.
    3. Add in all of your seasonings.
    4. “SQUISH” your bag to mix everything together.
    5. Add in your pasta sauce. Now it gets messy!
  5. VERY, VERY GENTLY, Add in the sealed noodle and cheese bags inside on top of the Ingredients of the gallon bag!
  6. Very Gently, PUSH out the air in the gallon bag and seal with the other two bags INSIDE the gallon bag.
  7. I like to double bag my gallon bags for a leakage safety net.
  8. Place in your freezer until you want it.

THE DAY BEFORE COOKING INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Take out of the freezer and place standing upright (in a bowl).

THE DAY OF COOKING

  1. Prepare your Large Crockpot (I use our 6 quart oval crockpot) by spraying with some “pam” type spray or use a crock-pot liner for your crockpot size. You will thank yourself later for this!
  2. Carefully remove the two separate bags from the larger bag and set aside.
  3. Dump your ingredients in from your larger bag into the crockpot.
  4. Now dump in your noodles.
  5. Stir the noodles throughout the mixture.
  6. Finally dump the cheese on the top and “spread it out a little”.
  7. Turn your crockpot on LOW and cook for 8 (eight) hours.
  8. Serve and Enjoy!

Until Next time,

Mrs. Kay L. Rice