5 Ways to Make Freezer Cooking Work for You

Written by Jessica Fisher of LifeasMOM.

Some folks turn up their noses at the idea of a frozen entree. And with good reason. The TV dinners of the past as well as modern frozen foods don’t have much going for them in terms of taste or nutrition. Despite the convenience they provide, they leave one a bit turned off.

However, freezer cooking, aka batch cooking, the method of preparing large quantities of foods and freezing them for later use, can be a huge asset to your kitchen prep time. Not only do you get to dictate the taste and quality of your meals, but you also get the handy convenience that comes with having meals ready to go.

There are a number of ways that you can make freezer cooking work for you and your household. [Read more…]

lasagna casserole recipe

Baked Lasagna Casserole

Written by Katie of Good Life Eats

As Aimée mentioned in her post Vegetables In Season: February, I’m pretty much over the whole winter vegetable offerings. I tend to trudge through this time of year through the use of casseroles and soups at our dinner table. This Baked Lasagna Casserole is a current favorite during a time when none of the seasonal offerings really sound good.

I love Italian food. Lasagna has always been a favorite, but sometimes it is fun to take the flavors you love from one recipe and put them together in a different way. Instead of a layered lasagna, here you have a hot, bubbly baked casserole with penne.

Mixed in with the meat sauce are extra vegetables which provide color, nutrients, and texture. Kids will love how the casseroles are served in individual dishes. And because they’re baked in smaller proportions, the recipe cooks faster too. No individual casserole dishes? Just bake it in a large dish. I’ve included instructions for that too.

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Sweet & Sour Turkey Meatballs with Cranberries & Peppers (Slow-Cooker)

If I keep this one really short, you’ll forgive me, right? It’s been a long week, and I’m just ready to put my (puffy) feet up and sink a fork into a bowl of these comforting and totally satisfying sweet and sour turkey meatballs. I managed to freeze a meal’s worth of them for when the baby comes, which, apparently, could be any day now.

The days leading up to baby are both exciting and terrifying. Each evening as I go to bed the thought crosses my mind that this could be the last night of uninterrupted sleep for a while. So I pull the down comforter up to my chin, silence my iPhone, and close my eyes, searching for rest.

As circumstance would have it, the night is never without interruption though. I’m in my ninth month and there’s a string of delightful indicators to prove that, yes indeed, this is the most trying stretch.

At least there are turkey meatballs, studded with cranberries, flavored with orange zest, and served over a bed of rice. Meatballs which you should add to your menu soon. After all, everyone could use a bowl of comfort in February.

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Super Bowl Sandwiches (Recipe: Chicken Parmesan Heroes with Basil)

For all the lentil soups and beet salads I post in this space, you’d never know I have a weakness for sandwiches. Good sandwiches, with crusty bread, moist filling, and crunchy condiments.

Sandwiches reign around here during all seasons. In the spring we tuck thinly sliced radishes and a creamy feta between bread for a delicate, yet filling sandwich. Summertime brings roasted tomatoes and homemade pesto to garnish our pressed sandwiches, and our favorite snack in autumn is a grilled cheese and fresh apple sandwich.

In the winter though, sandwiches get a little more substantial.

In today’s recipe, the delicate baby greens of summer are replaced with panko and Parmesan-crusted chicken filets, a zesty marinara sauce, fresh basil and melted mozzarella. This ‘Hero’ or Italian-style submarine sandwich is messy, filling, and total comfort food.

If you’re looking for something a little different for Game Day, yet still appealing to the boatload of hungry guys, these Chicken Parmesan Heroes will indeed make you the hero.

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How to Prevent a Domestic Disturbance

Written by Danny.

As the loving husband of your favorite Simple Bites Editor (Aimee), I’ve got the inside scoop on what really happens around here and today, I’m going to spill the beans and tell you one of our family secrets. We have a serious problem in our home, one that could very well lead to instability, sharp words, lost sleep and much, much worse.

Usually when there’s a problem in a relationship, both parties are partially responsible, but this time, I confidently accept no blame. It’s all squarely on Aimee’s shoulders.  You see, Aimee alone has a problem.  A serious one.

Her doctor has said that she needs to slow down and stay off her feet, but instead, she’s nesting. [Read more…]