filling the freezer

the calm before the storm… the week before harvest is in full swing and farm wives everywhere are trying to sober up from the summer (you know who you are) and begin filling their freezers with meals and baking for the coming harvest…

a few friends of mine use this “The Big Cook 2” cookbook to stock their freezer with easy, go to meals when they are in a pinch…  and I decided to cook up a few… mainly because I realized that I will be running with three kids for 6 different sporting teams they are on…  so life might get a touch busy…

this cookbook allows you to apparently prepare 200 meals in 1 day…  I call that false advertising…  I was able to get together 5 yesterday and am hoping for 3 today…  although beginning at 10 am after I roll out of bed might be the reason for my lagging production…

for harvest, I need meals that serve the 12 farmers I am taking meals to plus the 4 of us here at home… (the kids apparently want to get fed)…  so if you are using the recipes I post, adjust accordingly to what your harvest demands are!

which leads me to introduce you to Odell Beckham Jr…  or should I say the remains of OBJ…  my middle son goes to school with a boy that is in 4H… for those of you that are not familiar with 4H, google it because I am not familiar with it either…

all I know, is this boy raised a cow, named him Odell Beckham Jr and now we are eating his cow…

so the recipes I used for this batch of freezer meals were:

– marinated round steak for steak sandwiches

– dijon peppered roast

– bbq beef stew

– swedish meatballs

-carrot and cheese meatloaf

let’s begin!  with the easiest… marinated round (or flank) steak which I plan on using for steak sandwiches or fajitas…

what I failed to show was that I dumped a large portion of the marinade on my foot

marinated round steak

  • Servings: 12-16 people
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Ingredients:

  • 3 (2 lb) round steaks
  • 3 cups canola oil
  • 1 1/2 cups soya sauce
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 cup worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 bulb garlic, minced

Directions:

  • label three large ziploc bags “marinated round steak”
  • place each round steak in a bag
  • combine the remaining ingredients
  • pour an even amount into each bag
  • remove air, seal and freeze
  • when ready to use, bbq on high heat for 5-8 minutes per side
  • boil marinade for 3 minutes or until it thickens in a saucepan
  • slice steak and pour marinade over it
  • serve on crusty break as a steak sandwich or use as a filling for fajitas

 

next, dijon peppered cross rib roasts…  I am not a huge fan of roast but when you have your freezer full of your sons friend’s cow you need to cook roasts!

dijon peppered roast

  • Servings: 2 roasts or 12-16 people
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Ingredients:

  • 2 (4 lb) cross rib beef roasts
  • 1 bulb garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp old style prepared mustard
  • 1/3 cup HP steak sauce
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp lemon pepper (or ground black pepper)
  • 2 tbsp rosemary leaves (or 1 tbsp ground rosemary)

Directions:

  • label 2 large ziploc bags “dijon peppered roast”
  • place each roast into a ziploc bag
  • combine remaining ingredients and divide evenly between the two bags
  • remove air from bag, seal and freeze
  • when ready to use, place in slow cooker for 4-5 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low
  • serve with potatoes, vegetable and crusty buns

 

on to stew…  which we did not get any of Odell Beckham Jr cut up into so I took the rump roasts and cut two of them up into stew meat…  which actually was fine because in the past I have found I have to cut the store bought stew meat into smaller chunks anyways… plus my dogs got the fatty pieces so win/win…

I used kohlrabi instead of celery in this recipe…  two reasons…  first reason – I forgot to buy celery… second reason – I had a lot of kohlrabi in my garden… so it is a bit of an experiment…  I’m thinking it will either taste similar to a turnip or celery… we’ll see…

bbq beef stew with kohlrabi

  • Servings: 3 large bags or 12-16 people
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Ingredients:

  • 12 lbs beef stew meat (I used 2 (3-4lb) rump roasts and cut into stew sized chunks)
  • 12 cups cubed kohlrabi (or diced celery)
  • 4 cups ketchup
  • 2 cups bbq sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup powdered beef bouillon
  • 1 cup dried onion flakes
  • 2 tbsp onion powder
  • 3/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp prepared mustard
  • 1 1/2 cups vinegar

Directions:

  • label 3 large ziploc bags “bbq beef stew”
  • distribute evenly the stew meat and kohlrabi into the three bags
  • combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl and distribute evenly into the bags
  • remove excess air, seal and freeze
  • when ready to use, cook in slow cooker for 4-5 hours on high or 6-7 hours on low
  • serve over rice or mashed potatoes with steamed broccoli or corn on the cob

Swedish meatballs… the first time I have ever made meatballs with cream of wheat cereal and let me tell you – delicious…  I sampled a few and loved them…  and I’m not even that Swedish… mostly Norwegian which shares many native dishes such as Lutefisk and Pult with Sweden…  so maybe it came naturally to me to make Swedish meatballs?

(that being said… hamburger helper and pizza pops were a common occurrence growing up so perhaps I was raised a touch American… and yes, I am trying to insult American’s and my mother all with the same joke… )

swedish meatballs

  • Servings: 4 large bags or 12 people
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Ingredients:

  • 6 lbs beef (lean, ground, raw)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 cups cream of wheat cereal (dry, uncooked)
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 3 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 3 cans cream of mushroom soup
  • 3 cans evaporated milk

Directions:

  • label 4 large ziploc bags “swedish meatballs”
  • preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • in a large bowl, whisk together eggs and milk
  • add the raw beef, cream of wheat cereal and onions
  • mix very well with hands until well combined
  • using a medium ice cream scoop, scoop out and form 1 1/2” balls and place on parchment lined cookie sheets
  • bake in oven for 25 minutes
  • place in a bowl with paper towel to cool and collect the excess fat drippings
  • while meatballs are cooking, mix in a large bowl the cream of chicken, cream of mushroom and evaporated milk
  • when meatballs are cool, evenly divide amoung the four large ziploc bags
  • pour the soup mixture into each bag
  • remove any air from the bags and seal
  • place in freezer
  • when ready to use, place in slow cooker at high for 4 hours or low for 5-7 hours
  • serve with steamed rice and a vegetable

lastly, meatloaf…  and let me tell you… by this point of the day I had seen enough of Odell Beckham Jr…

this is a huge recipe and it ended up making 7 loaves for me…  which felt like a tonne of packed meat…  but we had one of the loaves for supper and it was really good the kids said…  I could not eat it…

I chose not to freeze these with the ketchup, brown sugar and mustard topping…  when I go to cook them I’ll put the glaze on then…

carrot and cheese meatloaf

  • Servings: 7-8 loaves
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Ingredients:

  • 12 eggs
  • 4 cups milk
  • 4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 4 1/2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
  • 6 cups chopped onion
  • 3 cups grated carrot (or more)
  • 6 cups grated cheddar cheese
  • 9 lbs beef (lean, ground, raw)
  • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 1/3 cup prepared mustard

Directions:

  • in a very large bowl combine eggs, milk, salt, pepper and bread crumbs until well mixed
  • add onion, carrot, cheese and beef
  • mix with hands until very well combined
  • pack an even amount of mixture into the 7-8 loaf pans
  • cover each pan with tin foil and label
  • place into freezer
  • when ready to cook, defrost overnight and all day
  • combine brown sugar, ketchup and mustard and spread on top of each meatloaf
  • bake at 350 for 1 hour
  • let stand for 10 mintues before serving
  • serve with baked potato, corn on the cob and a tossed salad

and there you have it…  freezer getting stocked… and on to day two now…  the baking will come later… as I have some giant zucchini’s just waiting to get grated and made into loaves, muffins and cakes…

it also is moments when I write stuff like that where I realize what I have become and never thought I would…  a person that talks about zucchini… non-stop… it has become one of my favourite google searches and topics…

not exactly sure what that says about me… actually I do know what it says about me… I’ve accepted it…

 

seeding meal #2 

 

lesson learned…  when you see something on Pintrest or Facebook that looks amazing but doesn’t come with a detailed recipe… keep looking… unless you enjoy wasting your time…

the salad was fine…  basically just added what I had in the fridge to make a carrot salad and the reviews from the 12 and 14 year old were good so I think it was a success…

carrot pistachio salad

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs carrots, peeled and coarsely grated
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 6 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 3/4 cup shelled pistachios
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

Directions:

  • grate the carrots and place in a large bowl
  • in a small mason jar, add dressing ingredients and shake until well mixed
  • add to the carrots
  • add cilantro and using tongs toss the salad
  • top with pistachios and serve cold

and the crockpot Mexican Chicken over rice is an excellent recipe to have kicking around if you have a busy day and want a nutritious supper…  I served it over Basmati Rice which is my favourite type of rice…

crockpot mexican chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
  • 3 (15 oz) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14.4 oz) can chicken broth
  • 1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles
  • 2 yellow onions, diced
  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 chicken breasts, cut into chunks
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped (1/2 a bunch)
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice (or put slices of lime beside the dish)
  • optional toppings: chopped green onion, shredded cheese, avocado, sour cream
  • serve over rice

Directions:

  • in a slow cooker, combine tomatoes, black beans, chicken broth, green chiles, onions and garlic
  • add chicken on the top and season
  • cook on high for 4-6 hours (or on high for 2 hours and then low for 6 hours)
  • when the chicken is cooked, add cilantro and lime juice
  • serve over rice with toppings or also great on tacos or in burritos

but…  if you want to waste about 5 hours of your day wasting your time… try doing this…

first of all, you view a video of someone making something in fast forward on Facebook… many of them are called ‘Tasty’ or ‘Little Things’…

then you look for the recipe only to not be able to find it…

so you pause the video and write down the recipe as it flashes up on the screen…

you go buy all the ingredients and proceed to cook it… only to figure out that it didn’t tell you how many cheesecake cupcakes it was supposed to make… or it left out details about cooking time or temperature… or exactly how to make a caramel sauce…

or you buy 4 packages of cream cheese only to find out that you didn’t need that big of a cheesecake recipe for the little muffin tins you are filling…

and 1/3 of it goes to waste…

when you finally get to the last step which only took 20 seconds on Facebook but has taken you 4 hours to get to…  you realize it might be a bit tricky to make a caramel sauce…

this is after you have burnt sugar onto two pots and ran out of pots and had watched two YouTube videos on making a caramel sauce…

you resort to melting a chocolate bar to pour over the top of the cheesecakes because your supper was running late…

they were delicious… so go for it if you so choose… just don’t expect it to go as quickly as the video you saw on Facebook!

salted pretzel cheesecake cups

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups crushed pretzels
  • 4 tbsp sugar
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, melted (3/4 cup)
  • 4 (8 oz) pkgs cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 tbsp flour
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup pretzels, slightly crushed

Directions:

  • mix the crushed pretzels, sugar and butter
  • press into 24 foil lined muffin trays, around 1 1/2 tbsp per muffin cup
  • bake at 350 for 5 minutes
  • beat cream cheese and sugar until combined
  • add flour and combine
  • add eggs, one at a time, until combined
  • add heavy cream, sour cream and vanilla
  • pour mixture into the muffin cups, filling them to the top
  • there will be left over cheese cake mixture – I greased a pan and poured the mixture into it and baked it separately
  • bake at 350 for 22 minutes
  • chill in fridge for 2 hours
  • to make the caramel sauce, put sugar and water into a pan
  • do not mix with a spoon or whisk, but give the pan a shake occasionally
  • boil until the mixture turns an amber colour
  • using a pastry brush and water, brush down the sides of the pot so the sugar does not crystallize on the sides
  • take off the heat and pour in heavy cream, while standing back as it will react
  • whisk this together and add the butter
  • pour the caramel sauce on the cooled cream cheese cupcakes
  • add some crushed pretzels and serve