Posts Tagged ‘freezer meals’

Three Meat Stuffed Italian Banana Peppers

Fall is here in the ‘Burgh which means we have an abundance of banana peppers! Today I’m taking the classic stuffed banana pepper and putting an Italian spin on the meat filling and using my Spicy Banana Pepper sauce as well! Perfect for dinner now and dinner later (freezer-friendly!)

Oh Fall how I love you. The cooler weather, hoodies, farmer’s markets with Fall fruits and vegetables and comfort food. For me I’m all about “stocking up” for the winter food-wise. I’ll make huge batches of soups  or chili for both dinner and the freezer. Pans of lasagna or stuffed shells make great freezer meals and then stuffed “stuff”. Growing up this time of year, early October was our “busy” season in the house. Mom was a canning madwoman between apple sauce, apple chutney, 87 million stuffed cabbages and pretty much everything else she could stuff. She’d regular stuffed green peppers (which I HATED – still do actually) for the family and my one brother she’d make stuffed banana peppers.

First, I cannot stand green peppers. They taste complete different from red/orange/yellow peppers.. they are more bitter. And of course Mom never grew the ‘fancy’ peppers. LOL And for the banana peppers my brother would get those from a neighbor and only he would eat them. I never had them as I was a wuss and thought they were hot. Yeah I know, idiot. LOL

Italian Meat Stuffed Banana Peppers

It wasn’t until years later did I try one at a restaurant and was like “Whoa!  These are awesome!”. Now it did take me a few tries to get the heat level right as I will tell you this, the first time I made them they were so hot that I actually had a blister form in the roof of my mouth!

That is not these. *smile*
These have just a hint of heat with amazing Italian flavors!

Mom’s Classic Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

No summer cookout is complete without a tray of stuffed cabbages! Tender cabbage leaves stuffed with rice, seasoned ground meats and a rich tomato sauce make this the perfect summer comfort food. Plus these freeze beautifully!’

This dish, God this dish brings back so many childhood memories that I literally sat here for 30 minutes in a daze just remembering some of them. Like there was the time we were harvesting cabbages from our garden and we each got to pick a single plant that we were in charge of to take care of. Whoever grew the biggest cabbage won. The prize was Mom would cook our favorite dessert to go with her famous stuffed cabbages. That summer I ended up winning. This cabbage was so huge that I couldn’t lift it. I know I have a picture of me trying to hold it on my lap. I’ll dig it out to share the pic once my arm is better.

Then there are the countless memories where our kitchen was soooooooooooooo hot (we didn’t have AC growing up and we only had window fans) and Mom had 3 large canning pots on the stove with boiling water making hundreds of stuffed cabbages. I can still remember that hot cabbage smell and hot/wet air in the kitchen. Dad would use the tongs to pull out the leaves, put them in the colander and my Mom, sister and I would each trim the stems.

When Mom made stuffed cabbages it was never just a pan for dinner or just enough for a single meal. Oh no, not in my house. You made enough for dinner, leftovers, enough for company to take some home and enough for the freezer. Mom’s kitchen and cooking style are you cook in bulk and never, ever waste anything.

Summer means cookouts, gatherings and stuffed cabbages!

Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer – New Year Kitchen Tips

Okay it’s the new year so let’s start with a new, clean slate.   On today’s Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer  I’m sharing with you some of my favorite kitchen tips to kick start the new year off on the right foot!

No resolutions, no wish lists – just small, ATTAINABLE goals that you can meet with simple dedication and perseverance.  Perhaps you want to lose some weight or manage your time better. Maybe you want to take a vacation this year so start now on saving.  These are things that I do and honestly, for me, work.  Maybe they’ll work for you too.

Time Management – so how can a recipe site help you out with time management?  Easy!  When you make a recipe, double it or triple it.  When it’s done simply divide the leftover into freezer meals.  So on those nights when you’re pressed for time and you’re fretting about dinner.  Don’t fret and don’t order out.  Just reach in your freezer for a home cooked meal and relax. You got this!

These kitchen tips have helped me out for years. Hopefully they help you out too!

Weekly Menu

Happy Sunday TKW Family! This week’s menu is pretty straight forward and simplistic as I’m laid up recuperating from shoulder surgery and this week Mr. Fantabulous will pretty much be fending for himself food-wise.  Most of these dishes can be prepared ahead of time and either frozen in containers just to be reheated and assembled when he’s ready to eat. The only one that has to be made fresh are the mushroom crusted pizzas.  But I think by Friday I’ll be up and moving about as I’m not exactly the greatest of patients.  I’m not one to sit still or let someone wait on me.

I can remember the day I came home from having a rod and pins put into my leg.  That evening I was in the kitchen on crutches trying to bake.  OMG I thought Mr. Fantabulous was going to pick me up, put me over his shoulder and paddle my behind!  LOL  Instead the man “ordered” me back to my room and then actually barricaded me in the bedroom only leaving me a path to the bathroom.  He even went as far as to take my crutches from me so I was forced to call him for help.

So yeah, I’m slightly stubborn.  Just ‘slightly’. LOL


So are you getting ready for the holidays?  Do you have your shopping done?  What’cha get me?  LOL  What about baking?  With my having the surgery I had to stop all order taking this season only because I couldn’t do it.  Sure I could have had Mr. Fantabulous help me but I would have had to make double batches of everything because he would have eaten the cookies when they came out of the oven.  It’s funny as the man does not like raw cookie dough – well sometimes he’ll eat chocolate chip cookie dough but for the most part he wants them straight out of the oven.

Speaking of raw cookie dough one of my favorite holiday baking memories is when I was in my 20’s and was living in my first house.  One of my dearest friends, Pookie as he’ll forever be known, wanted to help me.  Let’s just say I ended up making double batches of almost every cookie dough because he ate so much of the dough.  About half way through the afternoon I look up and my dear sweet Pookie was lying on my couch, groaning and rubbing his stomach.  Apparently *I* ‘forced’ him to eat too much cookie dough.  LOL forced!  So precious!

Hopefully my shoulder will feel well enough that I can bake some cookies for Santa on Christmas eve otherwise, Mr. Fantabulous will have to bake them.  HA!  On second thought, someone want to bake some cookies for Santa for me?  I fear that if Mr. Fantabulous bakes them Santa may put me on the naughty list and forever give me lumps of coal. *wink*

Here’s to you having one amazing week!

♥ Monday –  Pressure Cooker Wings with Bourbon Honey BBQ Sauce
♥ Tuesday – Classic French Beef Stew in the Crock Pot
♥ Wednesday – Hot Sausage Subs
♥ Thursday – Hot Sausage Stuffed Banana Peppers
♥ Friday – Mushroom Crust Pizzas
♥ Saturday –  Asian Chicken Lettuce Cups
♥ Sunday – Mom’s Ground Beef Stroganoff
♥ Dessert of the week – Midnight Chocolate Shortbread Cookies

Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer – Kitchen Shortcuts

Let’s face it, from today until the 2nd week of January we will be more busy than normal.  Why?  The holidays.  Regardless of religion I’ve personally found folks are just busier these next few months than through out the rest of the year.  You have the holidays, ALL THE FOOD, the prep, the shopping, the parties, the cleaning (dear God the cleaning), the chores, the traveling and more food.  It’s non-stop. In this week’s edition of the Tuesday’s Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer, I’m going to share with you some of my favorite Kitchen Shortcuts that will hopefully make these next few months less stressful…and more delicious!

For me, I tend to buy stuff in bulk – no not toilet paper but more like rice, quinoa, meats, chicken however since there is only 2 of us, we can only eat so much.  So what I tend to do is make a lot of stuff up and freeze it or package the meats in portions.  It’s cheaper to buy in bulk and when it’s butt-cold out here in Pittsburgh I don’t have to freeze my booty off by treking to the store for chicken.  Okay I would trek to the store in a blizzard for bacon because well, it’s bacon folks.  Geesh! LOL

Kitchen Shortcut 1
I tend to cook up big pots of rice, quinoa, chili and soups.  I never could master the method of making ‘just for two’.  Growing up we were taught to cook for at least 12-15 people.  It took me years to reduce that however I still cook for 6-8 even though there’s just the two of us.  Now normally I would just portion it out and freeze the containers of it. However what I found was that I wasn’t really effecient in my freezer storage space.  And living in my house, kitchen and freezer space is critical.  So I ditched the plastic freezer containers and opted for heavy duty freezer bags.  I portion out what I want, remove as much air as I can and seal them shut. Then, I lie them flat in the freezer.  By lying them flat you take up less space which means you can freeze a whole lot more! By freezing them flat they thaw out so much faster either in the fridge all day or while still in the bag, in a bowl of warm water.

What’s your kitchen shortcut?

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