Posts Tagged ‘freezer meals’

Swedish Meatballs

These Swedish meatballs are soft, tender, and deliciously seasoned with a hint of allspice smothered in a rich and decadent beef gravy!

This post is being sponsored by Nordic Ware® featuring their 3 QT Dutch Oven and the “Jul” cookbook. All opinions of these ABSOLUTELY AMAZING products are mine.

Swedish meatballs were something Mom seemed to ALWAYS make when she didn’t know what else to make for dinner in the winter. They were inexpensive, you could feed a huge family fairly inexpensive and they were so filling that you didn’t have to worry about starving later that night. Now full disclosure, I didn’t like Moms. Now don’t get me wrong as I have her recipe and absolutely love them now but when I was little, my tastes were very, VERY immature. If I could have lived on mashed potatoes, corn, butter bread and dippy eggs I would have. I was a ridiculously picky eater. If I even saw the teensiest trace of an onion I was convinced the dish was poisoned and if I ate it horrible things would happen to my body.

Swedish Meatballs

However, one thing my parents didn’t do was cater to us. If we didn’t like what we were served, we either ate it or we went to bed hungry. And you can be certain there was no dessert involved if you didn’t eat your dinner. And let me tell you what folks, you would have eaten a whole raw onion for a slice of my Mom’s blackout cake! HEAVEN! But Mom’s Swedish meatballs recipe I covet and yes I put onions in it like she did. I’ve actually grown to appreciate and dare I say, love them, in foods. Now I won’t go so far to say I’ll eat a raw one but if they are cooked I’m your girl!

Truly a classic, comfort food!

Pumpkin Beef Chili

Add that extra “WOW” to your chili with the addition of pumpkin plus the reveal of two super-secret ingredients that will make your chili fantabulous!

So let me start off by saying the following:

  1. No you do not taste the pumpkin in the chili.
  2. The addition of pumpkin does NOT make the chili sweet.
  3. No your chili does not taste like pumpkin pie – seriously?
  4. Be adventurous.
  5. Is it necessary to add the pumpkin? Do I really have to add it?

Let me address the last one. Yes it’s necessary but no you really don’t have to (wuss). I mean obviously leave it out if you’re allergic to it though that’s new to me. So why add it?  The addition of pumpkin puree adds that umami flavor to the chili.

Pumpkin Beef Chili “Umami? That sounds like some funky fish in the ocean!” So the easiest way to describe it is do you remember growing up you were taught about the 4 tastes – sweet, salty, sour, and bitter. You can easily close your eyes and think of a food for each taste. Well Umami is a Japanese-coined name for a fifth taste.
This chili will quickly be one of your favorite go-to chili dishes!

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!

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