Rachel Adams

The weather here at Fort Lewis, Washington has been anything but delightful, but gives me the best excuse in the world to bust out them comfort dishes we love so much.

This is a meal on it's own but feel free to add a small side salad, or some nice crusty rolls. 

1 bag of home style turkey meatballs 
1 onion, diced or 1 tsp. dried minced onion
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper 
10 3/4 oz. can cream of mushroom soup
16 oz. container sour cream
cooked egg noodles about 1 bag

In med. skillet cook the meatballs till done, remove from skillet and keep warm on a plate. Add remaining ingredients except for noodles. Stir until warm then add meatballs back into the skillet. Stir until all the meatballs are covered. Serve over noodles with side salad or crusty roll. 

Gooseberry Patch 5-ingeredient dishes in minutes.    Page 33

*Note: I tweaked this recipe as it called for 1lb. ground beef. I use more turkey products because of the lower fat content.*



Rachel Adams

Left over Halloween pumpkins what do we do??? Why we make pumpkin puree and then turn them into super yummy pumpkin cheesecake muffins, pumpkin butter and bread....oh how I love the flavors of fall.

So without further ado here is the recipe:

1 C. pumpkin
2/3 C. brown sugar, packed
1 C. milk
1/2 C. vegetable oil
2 eggs
3 C. all purpose flour
1/2 C. sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. cloves
1/2 C. chopped walnuts or pecans

Filling Ingredients

1 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unbleached flour
1 eggs
1/4 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla



Mix all filling ingredients in a bowl. Set aside while making muffin mix. Works easier if you refrigerate while preparing muffin batter. Heat oven to 400ºF. Grease 24 muffin cups, or line with paper baking cups. Beat pumpkin, brown sugar, milk, oil and eggs in a large bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients, except walnuts, just until flour is moistened. Fold in walnuts. Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Fill a piping bag with the cream cheese mixture, and using a wide tip, push the piping tip into the muffin batter. Gently squeeze the cream cheese mixture out of the piping bag. Then lift the piping bag out and repeat for all 24 muffins. Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Immediately remove from pan.
Rachel Adams



With the economy being so bad I figured it's time that we all try to help each other with budget friendly meals that won't break the bank. The problem is you can scour the internet for recipes that look super yummy but are chock full of fat and salt, which is not good for you.

I have checked the sites out myself and love how some of them break down the ingredients to show you the cost, which can vary from state to state and grocery store to grocery store. Remember buy what you need and make the rest if you can. There are some really good sites to make your own seasoning mixes and more which I will also provide the link for that site as well.

So here the links are for budget friendly meals:

http://family.go.com/food/pkg-budget-recipes/cheap-dinner-recipes-pg/

http://www.allyou.com/food/budget-meal-planning-00411000067202/


http://www.delish.com/recipes/cooking-recipes/quick-cheap-healthy-meals-recipes

 http://www.simpleanddelicious.com/index.jsp

http://www.cookinglight.com/food/everyday-menus/healthy-budget-recipes-00400000056656/

http://www.hearthealthyonline.com/healthy-recipes/main-dish-recipes/cheap-dinner-ideas_ss1.html

http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Budget-Recipes

http://cheapbudgetmeals.com/

Make your own mixes:

http://www.budget101.com/frugal/mix-recipes-166/
 Has every kind of mix you can think of, soups, drinks, seasonings, cakes in a mug and more!
Rachel Adams

I made this dish and served it over pasta. My son loved this dish minus the eggplant which I left out and the mushrooms I didn't give him. I think that the sauce could of used something but I couldn't quite figure it out maybe next time.

Fix it and Forget it Big Book
Page: 540
5-6 quart slow cooker

1 Tbsp. olive oil   1 shallot, chopped   6 cloves garlic, minced
1 green pepper, cut into strips 1 red pepper, cut into strips  2 C. mushrooms thickly sliced
4 tomatoes, cubed  1 C. low sodium tomato puree 1/4 C. red wine  1 Tbsp. lemon juice
2 tsp. dried thyme  1 tsp. dried oregano  1 tsp. ground cumin  1/2-1 tsp. salt
1/4-1/2 tsp. black pepper  1 Tbsp. basil 

Directions:

Turn the slow cooker on High for 2 min. Pour oil into slow cooker and add remaining ingredients except parsley and basil. Cover and cook for 2 hours on High, then low 4-5 hours. Stir in basil. Sprinkle with parsley. Serve over pasta.
Rachel Adams

Hit another one out the park for our son with the vegetarian meals...he loved this dish! I would not suggest eating this if you have a sore throat or your sick. Hubby found out the hard way.

Fix it & Forget It Big Book
Page: 510

1 shallot, chopped   1/2 C. green bell pepper, chopped  2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. parsley, minced  3 16 oz. cans red beans, drained and rinsed  3/4 C. water
1/2 tsp. salt  1 tsp. ground cumin  1/4 tsp. black pepper

Directions:

In large skillet, saute shallot, green pepper and garlic in oil until tender. Or wilt onion, pepper, and garlic in the microwave for 2 min. on high. Add parsley. Stir in beans, water, salt, cumin, and pepper. Transfer to slow cooker. Cover and cook on low 5-6 hours. Once done serve over rice.
Rachel Adams


So I made this dish and found that it needs some tweaking but other than that it was pretty good. As we all know I love a good tweaking...when it comes to cooking :)

Fix it and Forget it Big Book
Pg. 520
Crock-pot Size: 4-5 quart

16 oz. pg. baby carrots   3 med. potatoes ( change this to a acorn/butternut squash)
1 lb. fresh/frozen green beans, cut in 2in. pieces   1 green pepper, chopped
1 shallot, chopped  1-2 cloves garlic, minced   15oz. can chick peas, drained
28 oz. can tomatoes crushed   3 Tbsp. minute tapioca   1-2 Tbsp. curry  
1 3/4 C. boiling water   2 tsp. chicken bouillon

Directions:

Combine the first 8 ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in tapioca & curry powder by taste. Dissolve bouillon in boiling water. Pour over vegetables. Mix well. Spoon into large cooker, cover and cook on low 8-10 hours or high 3-4 hours. Serve with rice.
Rachel Adams

Yes, YES I did it...I found a new vegetarian meal that my son will eat willingly and it's pretty tasty too!

This done in the crock-pot which is awesome for us cos we all know I LOVE my crock-pots :)

1 16oz. can pinto beans, drained and rinsed   1 16 oz. can kidney beans, drained
28 oz. can stewed tomatoes   1 Tbsp. oil  1 green pepper, chopped  1 shallot, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced  1 tsp. salt  1 tsp. dried oregano  1 tsp. dried basil  Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Combine beans & tomatoes in slow cooker. Saute green pepper and shallot for 1 min. in olive oil until shallots become translucent. Add garlic and cook 1 min more and then transfer to slow cooker. Stir in seasonings. Cover and cook on low 7-9 hours or on high for 1-2 hours till beans are tender. To serve, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Rachel Adams

So lately we are doing a lot of vegetarian meals to help expand our 5 year old's eating palate. I have notice alot of issues in trying to help him with him being a vegetarian by choice. There are not lot of options that appeal to children his age or most meals are beyond his food palate.

Why is so hard to make meals that are appealing to children that are vegetarian? I understand that most vegetarians are adults but 60% of vegetarians in the United States are children and I also found out that his new school doesn't provide adequate vegetarian meals except a salad bar...a SALAD BAR??? Where's the protein they need??? Doesn't the school understand that children ages 5-8 years of age need 20-30 grams of protein a DAY, more if they are very active.

So with that said and done our menu for the past 3 weeks have been vegetarian and to my surprise some of them have been very good and some could use some tweaking. I hope that the few recipes I can remember to post will help other parents who have a vegetarian child when they might not be vegetarian themselves.
Rachel Adams
Don't it look so pretty?

I must thank Fort Lewis for the FREE crabapples that are 100% organic. If wasn't for you I couldn't make this jam nor could my neighbor that I have been teaching canning and preserving too. I love free fruit and veggies to process and can up for the winter :)

7 1/4 lbs. crabapples stems removed quartered
equal sugar to juice made
1 evelope liquid pectin

Directions:

In a big pot place washed and quarted crabapples without peeling them. Place in a preserving pan, just cover with cold water, and simmer gently until soft and tender.Drain through a jelly bag or a metal sieve. Shift the pulp occassiaonally to keep juice flowing ; do not force the juice as this will make the juice cloudy which in turn will make cloudy jelly. Measure out juice to ensure equal parts of sugar and bring to boil. Once to a rolling boil that can not be stirred down add the liquid pectin and continue to boil till dropped on a cold plate until it jells on the plate (plate test) . Fill jars ( I got 4 pints) seal and process for 10-20 min. min.

This would be best served on a nice brown cinnamon bread or a cinnamon swirl bread to bring out that nice apple taste taste. Surprisingly it's not tart at all and has very nice lemon undertone considering that I never put lemon juice in it.




Rachel Adams


I so love it when hubby grills for me. Now Don't be put off by the recipe...I myself am not a huge a lime fan but these came out awesome! I served a nice salad that picked from the garden and a twice baked potatoes that he also grilled...tee hee I'm so spoiled.

Don't Panic Dinner is in the Freezer       pg. 141

Ingredients:

4 boneless chicken breast 
1/2 C. lime juice
1/2 C. olive oil
1/4 C. honey
1/4C fresh cilantro, finely chopped or 3 Tbsp. dried cilantro
2 cloves garlic, mined ( I used more we LOVE garlic)
2 tsp. chopped jalapeno pepper ( omited, can't do spicy)

Directions:

Mix togther lime juice, olive oil, honey, cilantro, garlic and pepper ( if using). Place chicken breast in marinade. Keep in the fridge for 30 min or till the grill is ready.  Grill over med. heat until chicken is tender and juices run clear. You can use left over chicken in a southwest wrap or salad. The joys of lefts over is they can be turned into many other dishes.          
Rachel Adams

With all the cold weather here in Washington, which is rainy. This meal hit the spot and with it being made in the slow cooker it was even better! This meal was deffinately a KEEPER!


Gooseberry Patch Cookbook: Slow cookers, Casseroles & Skillets
Page: 68

2 lb. stew beef, cubed
2-3 Tbsp. oil (canola is what used)
10 3/4 oz. can tomato soup
10.5 oz. beef broth
1/4 C. red wine or less
2 16oz. cans cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
14.5 oz. can italian style diced tomatoes
3 carrots, cut into 1-in. pieces
1 tsp. italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. garlic powder


In large skillet over med.-high heat, brown beef in oil; drain. Transfer beef to slow cooker; add remaining ingredients and stir to mix. Cover and cook on low setting for 8-9 hours. I had to do low setting for 4-5 hours becuase my crock pot cooks a little faster. So by the time 4:30pm rolled around I had to put my crock pot to keep warm.

I would suggest some nice crusty rolls to go with this dish.

We gave this recipe: *****


If you wish buy the cookbook mentioned you can order it here: http://www1.gooseberrypatch.com/gooseberry/products.nsf/v.weball/m265?editdocument&lid=is_m265&cartprocess=pimgsr
Rachel Adams


I was suprised at how well they tatsed given the fact that I can't really eat anything spicy. These were juicy, slightly spicy and hot! I served mixed veggies with mashed sweet potatoes. The mashed sweet potatoes were good but after awhile you can't eat them any more or at least that is case for us.

5$ Dinner Mom Cookbook      Pg. 183

Ingredients:

3 sweet potatoes    2 Tbsp. canola oil
4 pork chops (1.25 lb.) ( I used a roast and thinly sliced )   1-2 tsp. cajun seasoning
2 C. mixed veggies
salt and pepper

Directions:

*Sweet potatoes*
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Make a few slits in the potatoes using a small sharp knife. Place sweet potatoes in a baking dish with 1/4 in. water and cover with foil. Bake potatoes in the preheated oven for 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool about 10 min. Peel off the skins and mash the pulp.

~ What I did~  Cut slits in the potatoes and put them in a 400 dgeree toaster oven and cooked for about 1 hr. or until mushy to the touch. Pull out the oven let sit for 10 min. and then peel off the skins and mash the pulp with salt and pepper to taste with a little milk and butter.

*Meat* 
Heat oil in large skillet, and add pork chops. Sprinkle pork chops with seasoning. Saute pork chops for 4-5 min. on each side, or until no longer pink in the middle. Cooking time will vary based on the thickness of the pork chops.

Cook mixed veggies according to package directions. Season with salt and pepper or veggie seasoning.
Rachel Adams


A little spicy to me but well worth it! Didn't last long in the house...seems that Uncle Billy really likes this dish...ALOT!

More Don't Panic Dinner is in the Freezer     Pg. 208

Ingredients:

1lb. uncooked penne pasta
1lb. hot Italian sausage
1 C. chopped shallots
2 garlic cloves, minced
8oz. tomato paste
8 oz. tomato sauce
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. peper
2 14oz. cans diced tomatoes, undrained
2 tsp. Mrs. Dash italian medley
1 C. mozzarella shredded
1C. parmesan, grated
1 C. asgio, shredded

Directions:

Cook pasta according to directions ommiting salt and oil. Drain pasta and set aside. Remove casting if there are casting ( I usually buy mine preground without castings). Cook sausage. onion and garlic in a large non-stick skillet over med. heat until browned, stirring to crumble. Drain. Add tomato paste and sauce, salt, pepper and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat ad simmer for 10 min.stirring occasionally. Combine sausage and pasta together and Mrs. Dash seasoning. Place half the pasta mixture in alined 9X13 baking dish. Top with half the cheese mixture. Repeat layers. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 min. or until bubbly.

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Rachel Adams

Another nice and comfort meal that's so easy to do. Even I was surprised how easy it was. Enjoy!

More Don't Panic Dinner is in the Freezer     Pg. 133

Ingredients:

6 boneless chicken breast
1 C. butter, melted and divided
1/2 C. flour
1.5 C. fresh mushrooms, finely sliced
1 1/4 C. marsala wine ( remember it cooks down, but leaves the flavor)
1 C. chicken broth
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 C. mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 C. parmesan cheese, grated

Directions:

Pound chicken to 1/4 in. thickness. Dredge chicken in flour and then saute in 1/2 C. butter, 3-4 min per side. Place chicken breast in in a lined 9X13 in. baking dish, over lapping edges. In seperate sauce pan saute mushrooms in remaining 1/2 C. butter until tender; then spoon over chicken. Stir in wine and chicken broth into the skillet containing the chicken drippings. Simmer 10 min. Add salt and pepper. Spoon sauce over chicken. Bake in a 450 degree oven for 12-15 min. Spinkle mozzarella and parmesan cheeses over chicken and broil on high heat for 1-2 min. until cheese is lightly browned.
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Rachel Adams

Oh how I love the way that hubby grills...and yes ladies that leaves me with no dishes to really cook...WOO HOO!  Sorry he's not for sale...lmao.

Ingredients:

2lb. top sirloin steak
3/4 C. vegetable oil
1/3 C. soy sauce ( is use low sodium)
2 Tbsp. worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. dry mustard ( the spice)
1.5 tsp. pepper
1/4 C. red wine
1/4 tsp. dried parsley
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 clove garlic, minced

Directions:

Place sirloin in a container and mix the remaining ingredients in the container being sure to cover the meat completely. Marinate in the fridge for 1 hr. 

Grill over medium heat until cooked according to taste. Be sure to discard marinade. Serve with your side of veggies and twice baked potatoes.
Rachel Adams


I used my new crock pot for this and well to be honest I am not to happy with it but I will learn it and this is the first meal I made from it. I liked it but hubby really liked it, so here you go hope you enjoy it!

OAMC Cookbook pg. 74

Ingredients:

1 lb. Italian sausage browned and drained
1 26 oz. jar marinara sauce
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained
1 large green pepper, diced
1 shallot, chopped
1 C. water
1 1/2 tsp. fennel seed ( I omited this cos I used spagetti sauce and italian sausage has it too)
1 Tbsp. basil
12 oz. dry extra thick noodles
1 1/2  C. shredded mozzarella

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a crock pot and heat for 5-6 hours on low. Ladel into soup bowls and top with mozzarella cheese.
Rachel Adams


Love when the weather is kinda nice in Washington State. So far there hasn't been many but boy do we take advantage of it when it is and this meal soo worked with the nice warm weather we had. I again served twice baked potatoes and salad with this.







More Don't Panic Dinner is in the Freezer pg. 126






Ingredients:


1.5 lb. fresh tuna steak about 3/4-1in. thick


1 Tbsp. basil


3 cloves, garlic, halved


3 strips lemon juice ( I used 2 Tsp. lemon zest)


1/4 C. lemon juice


1 Tbsp. while wine vinegar


1 C. extra virgin olive oil


1 tsp. sea salt


1 tsp. fresh cracked pepper






Directions:


Rinse tuna under cold water and blot dry with paper towels. Refrigerate until marinade is complete.


In a blender or food processor combine basil, garlic, lemon peel, lemon juice, vinegar, oil, salt and pepper. Puree until smooth. Pour over tuna making sure that all surfaces of the tuna are covered.


Grill tuna over med-high heat if you can regulate the temp. of your grill. Cook until desired taste...1-2 min. per side for rare, 3-4 min. per side for med. rare. Test for doness. Rare will be soft to touch; medium rare will have some resistance to the surface; medium will be quite firm. When cooking tuna medium well or well, lengthen the cooking time to 1-2 min. increments being careful not to overcook the tuna causing it to dry out.
Rachel Adams
                                      



As you all know I love, love garlic and this recipe hit the spot and was even better cos hubby grilled it for us. We had some twice baked potatoes and side salad from our wonderful garden.





More Don't Panic Dinner is in the Freezer Pg. 191




Ingredients:

3lb. boneless pork loin 6 cloves garlic, peeled 2 tsp. salt 1 Tbsp. parsley


1 Tbsp. spanish paprika or regular paprika 1/2 tsp. oregano 1/4 C. olive oil




Directions:


Pound the gasrlic and salt together with a morter and pestle to form a smooth paste ( a food processor works too). Add parsley and mix well. Stir in paprika and oregano, then gradually stir in olive oil to form a thick, oily mixture. Rub all over pork loin then place in the fridge to marinate.



Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place pork in roasting pan and pour over any excess marinade from what ever container you used to marinate the pork. Roast pork for 15 min. then reduce oven temp to 350 degrees. Roast for an additional 45 min. until juices run clear. Transfer to cutting board and let rest 10 min. before slicing to serve.




If grilling hubby uses charcole and he grilled the pork till the jusices run clear at 300 degrees on his grill. 

Rachel Adams

This meal was a little arggivating to make because to be honest they don't boil so good so I baked mine in the toaster oven. When I tried boiling them they fell apart. Oh well but they sure were good.

More Don't Panic Dinner's in the Freezer     Pg. 221

Of course it's been tweaked

Ingredients:

24 wonton wrappers (3 1/2 in. size)   6oz. Italian mixed blened cheese shredded
1/2 C. low fat cottage cheese small curd  1 large garlic glove, pressed
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg   1/8 tsp. pepper   1/8 tsp. sea salt

Directions:

In a small bowl combine all the filling ingredients. Place a sheet of wax paper on a baking sheet. Arrange 6 wonton wrappers on the work surface (keep remaining wontons covered with a wet paper towel to keep moist). Spoon 1 Tbsp. of cheese filling into the center of each wonton wrapper. Wet the edges of the wrappers with water (I used a paint brush to do this, it was so much easier). Fold the corners into a triangle. Flatten the area around the cheese filling to get rid of air, pressing to seal. Repeat with remaining wonton wrappers and filling. Freeze ravioli for 1 hour on baking sheets in the freezer ( flash freezing method).

Bring a large pot to boil. Add 1/8 tsp. salt to water. Drop desired amount of wantons, one at time in boiling water. Stir gently to cook. Cook to al dente. Prepare a bkaing dish with non stick cooking spray. Lay the raviolis in layers and use what ever spagetti sauce you like. Sprinkle some extra cheese ontop. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20 min. or until cheese is melted.

Serve with a nice side salad and garlic bread.
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Rachel Adams

 So Gooseberry Patch has a secret ingredient contest using a certain food item. Well the contest this time was using cream cheese. And I shared my creeam cheese taco dip and it won! So I am here to share it with you all.


8-oz. pkg. low-fat cream cheese, softened
3/4 t. low-sodium taco seasoning mix
1/3 c. salsa
8-oz. pkg. shredded Cheddar cheese

In a bowl, blend cream cheese, taco seasoning mix and salsa. Spread mixture into a shallow serving dish or an 8"x8" baking pan. Top with Cheddar cheese. Cover and refrigerate for about one hour before serving.

So if you like recipe there are many more on the facebook page for Gooseberry Patch, go ahead and visit and you want to like them!

Tell them Rengade foodie at large sent ya'll there!
Rachel Adams

Now you all know that I am not a fan of spicy food, but this was AWESOME! The bonus is that this is also a freezer friendly meal also and makes alot! If you don't want to freeze this meal you can make in 30 min. or less too.

Ingredients

1 Tbsp. butter 1 Tbsp. olive oil   2 C. sliced onions ( I used 1 shallot)
2 1/2 tsp. chopped garlic  1 lb. mild Italian sausage  1/2 lb. hot Italian sausage
2/3 C. dry white wine/ cooking wine   1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 C. heavy whipping cream or low fat half and half
1/2 C. chopped fresh parsley or 1 Tbsp. dried parlsey  
salt and pepper to taste  1 C. grated Parmesan cheese  1 lb. mini penne pasta

Directions

Melt the butter w/ oil in large skillet over med. high heat. Add onion (shallot) and garlic and saute until golden brown and tender, about 7 min. Add sausage and saute until golden brown and cooked thoroughly, breaking up the sausage as it cooks, about 7 min. Drain any excess fat from the skillet.

Add wine to the skillet w/ drained meat and boil until liquid has reduced, about 2 min. Add tomatoes w/ liquid and simmer for 3 min. Add cream/ half and half and simmer until sauce thickens slightly, about 5 min. Stir in parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cool, package in labeled 1 gallon freezer container, and freeze with 1 cup Parmesan cheese in a sandwich bag attached.

* If cooking same day while your sauteing the meat go ahead and cook your pasta according to pkg. directions.  Then follow the directions for if you freeze the meal for cooking.

~Cooking meal that is frozen~ To serve, thaw the meat sauce and simmer for 10 min. stirring frequently. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite.  Pour sauce over the pasta and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Serves 6
From OAMC Family Favorites
Page. 220
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Rachel Adams
                                                           Aren't these tooo cute?


   Well it's that time of the holiday season for the month of April, Easter and of course spring break too. So grab the kids and hit the kitchen to make what else of course edible crafts for Easter.


So of course if you follow my household blog you will notice that I also set up links and books to check out....well here we go with the edible Easter craft links to help celebrate.


http://ediblecraftsonline.com/easter_crafts/index.htm lots of good links, but the parents link is a register one.
http://easter.tipjunkie.com/how-to-make-marshmallow-easter-bunnies-edible-gift
http://blogs.babble.com/family-kitchen/2011/03/28/tuxedo-peeps/ if look she other edible crafts to do too
http://astrology.shine.yahoo.com/channel/food/4-edible-crafts-you-and-your-kids-will-love-making-and-eating-2357766


I hope these links help to make Easter Eggtraspecial (hahhah had to do it).
Rachel Adams

Ever needed something for a recipe and realized you didn't have it, or you did and there was enough salt in it to choke a horse...yeah me too. I'm so tired of paying extra for low sodium and to find out that there is nothing but different forms of sodium.

AHHHH there has to be a better way...hold up there and I am here to show you how and you can tell McCormick to kiss your spice rack rack goodbye a bit....well as far as a spice blends goes and the bonus part you probably already have everything in your spice rack/cabinet and you can control the salt content too...woo hoo! Plus it's cost cents to the dollars you spend buying the premade mixes in the baking aisle so in the cost effective department I would say YES!!!!

So your wondering how can I make my favorite spice blends without shelling buckets of cash or spending lots of time finding them...Well you've come to the right blog I'm gonna hook you all up with the uber links that I use!

So here we go!!!!
http://www.recipegoldmine.com/mixes/mixes.html This is page 2 but she has alot here!

Books

Goose Berry Patch has the Gifts for giving and More gifts for giving
Gifts in a Bag by Cq Products
Herb Mixtures & Spicy Blends by Balmuth, Deborah , Oster, Maggie
Rachel Adams
So I did try the whole the month worth the meals...the answer I got back was FAILURE! But in a good way. I ran out of room in stand up freezer...hahahh

I had 2 pans of lasagna...which by the way we ate one pan and it was delish :) and one meal actually end up making to meals and there were still meals in the freezer from two weeks ago so I guess I will only be two week sessions and go from there.


There are some good books that have checked out from the library and I actually had bought thanks to one of the Borders books stores going out of business here in Washington.


More Don't Panic Dinner's in the Freezer: This book makes nice dishes that even some picky eaters would eat except my son but we all know that is because he's vegetarian. There are veggie meals too in this book as well. I really like this book that I have copied alot of the recipes and now I own a copy.


Once A Month Cooking & Family Favorites: I got these for a steal at Barnes and Nobles. we love the Smothered Burritos! A must buy for getting involved in freezer meals! They have it split up into two week menus and one month menus. I got mine in the bargain book section for about 5$ each and you can use coupons if you have them, and if you don't have the paper ones on you pull it up on your smart phone and they will scan them there in the store HOW frigging cool

I hope to add more books as I review them and some of the recipes too. I hope this helps us all to become budget friendly cooks and have ready meals without all the salt and preservatives that you find in the freezer section of the food stores.
Rachel Adams

Once a month cooking or OAMC is where you have your menu set and you pretty much prep cook everything, cool then freeze. You thaw what you made and then bam bake, broil, and crock pot cook the meal and all the hard work is done!

Now I just got into this and I must say for just doing 2 weeks I had all but 2 meals done. It took a couple of hours (like 4) to chop, mince, stir, pour and more. Once I had my stuff done I just followed the recipe and now almost my entire menu is made and ready to be thawed out and baked, broiled or what have you.

I am wanting to do a whole month work the meals to see how much money I would be saving besides having to buy all the freezer containers and such. But if it's worth it just imagine all the food that can premake ahead of time from all my favorite cookbooks (granted it's only GBP so far ) that can do this with.

The main rule to understand is what doesn't freeze well and plan to keep those items in the pantry or fridge until you are actually cooking the meal. There are many resources on the web so I will hook you all up with some links to help get you started! I can't leave you all in the dark like that...that would be mean.

http://www.food.com/bb/viewtopic.zsp?t=222392 this site gives a really good break down on OAMC
http://www.once-a-monthcooking.com/ this is the official OAMC site
http://www.dinnersinthefreezer.com/ this site give OAMC recipes and more
http://tipnut.com/once-a-month-cooking-buncha-links/  - This site is the best there is a bunch of links to check out
Rachel Adams
                                          Oh so good, wish I had some icecream

What can I say I was craving apple pie and had some apples that needed to be used up so what did I do...thats right go through my goose berry patch cookbooks and found this recipe in the Farmhouse Kitchen cook book....YEAHHHH I did have to use the pie crust recipe from the Pinch of this A Dash of That.

GooseBerry Patch Cook Book: FarmHouse Kitchen
Page: 213

2/3 C. + 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour divided  1/2 C. brown sugar, packed
1/3 C. butter   6 C. tart cooing apples, cored, peeled and thinly sliced  1 Tbsp. lemon juice
3/4 C. sugar  1 tsp. cinnamon  9-in. pie crust

For crumb topping: combine 2/3 C. flour , brown sugar in med. bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until mixture is the consistency of corse corn meal; chill. Place apple slices in a lrg. bowl; sprinkle with lemon juice and set aside. Combine remaining flour, sugar and cinnamon; mix well and toss lightly with apples. Turn apple mixture into unbaked crust, spreading evenly. Cover with chilled topping. Bake at 400 degrees for 40-45 min. until apples are tender. Makes 6-8 servings.

Stars: Bright Star
Rachel Adams
Looks good right?


 So we are trying new meatless meals because our BuddyBooBoo is a 4yr. old self proclaimed vegetarian. Which is fine with us but does make menu planning a little hard at times, because I have to hope he will eat what I cook. With this recipe I did have to add some additional seasonings and that was it.

I'm not a fan of honey mustard and well this recipe called for it and to be honest it was a welcoming taste of flavor. It made the meal sweet and it was very light yet filling. I was shocked! So without further ado here's the recipe.

Gooseberry Patch Cook Book: Meals in Minutes
Page: 54

1 C. zucchini, peeled and chopped   1 C. red pepper, chopped ( I added mini sweet peppers)
1 C. yellow squash, peeled and chopped  1 C. carrots, peeled and chopped (I use baby)
1 C. eggplant, peeled and chopped   6 Tbsp. honey mustard, divided  3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 Tbsp. cider vinegar  1 Tbsp. basil  8 oz. pkg, penne pasta, cooked  *1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder  1/2 tsp. onion powder

* Seasonings I added to the meal*

Toss veggies with 4 Tbsp. mustard; broil until tender and set aside. Whisk remaining mustard, vinegar, oil and seasonings in a large serving bowl; add pasta, stirring gently. Fold in veggies tossing lightly until well coated.

Stars: 3 Stars


Rachel Adams
                                                           Tada Meals in Minutes!

As you all have noticed that I have been blessed with 60 Gooseberry Patch cookbooks. I try to use one cook book per two weeks o f my menu. Sometimes it works out but sometimes it doesn't.

I do tend to tweak the recipes to suit my family. I use also of low-no fat items and add garlic to almost everything! If your like me and you want dinner done fast this one of the many speedy cookbooks they have. I can't wait to share the recipes for the next two weeks.

I am also trying to add more meatless meals to my menu because my son is a vegetarian and well it helps expand his food options for dinner. So excited to share this week's cookbook with you all. If you would like to order the cook book I am enclosing a link to Gooseberry Patch's website. Enjoy!


  < Your way to Gooseberry Patch!
Rachel Adams

As it's snowing my house smells like a villa in mexico. The warm spices, mixed with the black beans and green chillies made this a super star in my house. I loved this soup and it gets creamer with garnish of sour cream and cheese!

Gooseberry Patch Cookbook: Church Suppers
Page: 148

1lb. ground turkey  1 onion, diced (shallot)  1 clove garlic, minced
12 oz. green taco sauce  4 oz. green chilies
2-3 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed 15 1/4 oz. can corn drained
15 oz. can tomato sauce  2 C. water  1 1/4 oz. pkg, taco seasoning (low sodium)
Garnish: Sour cream, cheddar cheese shredded, corn chips

Brown turkey, onion (shallot), garlic in a large skillet over med. heat; drain. In a slow cooker all remaining ingredients except for garnish. Cover and cook on high setting for 1 hour. Serve with sour cream, cheese and chips.

Stars: Bright Star
Rachel Adams

I try to do seafood on friday's. I don't know why considering that some religions do seafood on friday's. Oh well It's something to look foward to and this soup hit the spot. Now I will say that if your blessed...which I'm not you can find she crab soup in a can. I not being blessed with that option had to make that from scatch. But it was sooo worth it!

Gooseberry Patch Cookbook: Speedy Suppers
Page: 130

1/2 C. butter  1lb. large shrimp, peeled and cleaned  3 6.5 oz. can chopped clams
2 10.5 oz. can she crab soup ( made mine from scratch) 
2 18.8 oz. cans chunky clam chowder   1/4 tsp. pepper  1/2 C. white grape juice

Heat butter in large soup pot over med. heat. Add shrimp; saute until opaque. Stir in remaining ingredients; reduce heat and simmer until heated through, about 10-15 min.

Serves 6-8---- this actually serves more when you have to make the she crap soup :)

Stars: 3 1/2 *
Rachel Adams

Ahh this soup was a very warm welcome from a cold day. It was done as quick as a wink and warmed the whole family even the nurses. It was very light and filling. I will so be making this again. Thank you Gooseberry Patch and Karen Perry for submitting this recipe!

Gooseberry Patch Cookbook: Speedy Suppers
Page: 126

2 Tbsp. olive oil   1/2 onion, diced ( I used a whole shallot) 4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp. thyme    1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes ( I would use a little then work up to this)
6 cup chicken broth   8oz. pkg. refrigerated cheese tortellini  9 oz. pkg. spinach
15 oz. can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained  1/2 C. grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oil in a large soup pot over med.-high heat; add onion (shallot), garlic, thyme and red pepper flakes. Cook until onion (shallot) is soft, about 3 min.

Add chicken broth; increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Stir in tortellini; reduce heat to med. and simmer for 4 min.

Add spinach and beans. Simmer until spinach is wilted and tortellini is tender, about 1 min. Ladle soup into bowls; sprinkle with cheese.

Stars: Bright Star
Rachel Adams
                                                            Isn't this soup Beautiful?

I made this soup last night with some slight alterations because well I didn't have spinach but you know what it tasted AWESOME anyway. Even my daughter's nurses were raving about this soup, hubby was pleased with and I loved the way the flavors mingled just right to make such a perfect soup.

Gooseberry Patch Cookbook: Speedy Suppers
Page: 126

2 Tbsp. olive oil  1/2 onion, diced ( I used a shallot)  4 cloves garlic, minced (pressed mine)
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme, chopped (1 tsp. dried thyme) 
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes (I need to cut it back)    6 C. chicken broth (I used low sodium)
8 oz. pkg. refrigerated cheese tortellini ( I used frozen and it worked great)
9 oz. pkg. spinach ( I used 3 handfuls of baby salad mix)
15oz. can cannellini beans, drained & rinsed   1/2 C. Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Heat oil in large soup pot over medium-high heat; add onion, garlic, thyme, and red pepper flakes. Cook until onion is soft, about 3 min. Add chicken broth; increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Stir in tortellini; reduce heat to med. and simmer for 4 min. Add spinach and beans. Simmer until spinach is wilted and tortellini is tender, about 1 min. Ladle into soup bowls; sprinkle with cheese.

Stars: Bright Star
Rachel Adams


I made this dish and was surprised by how well the flavors blended. We really like this dish and I served mine with veggie egg rolls on the side. I'm really enjoying my speedy suppers book from gooseberry patch.

2 boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked & shredded
2/3 C. general tso's sauce  1/4 C. teriyaki sauce  4 10-in. flour tortillas   
10 oz. pkg. romaine & cabbage salad mix 
1/2 C. carrot, peeled &shredded ( used baby carrot and shredded)  4Tbsp. sliced almonds
2 Tbsp. chow mein noddle (optional)

Combine the first 3 ingredients in skillet. Warm over med. heat; set aside. Divide ingredients evenly on each tortilla, beginning with salad mix, carrots, chicken mixture, almonds and noodles if using. Roll up burrito style. Slice on an angle and to make more.

Burrito style= 4 servings   Angled cut= 12 servings

Stars given: 4 Stars
Rachel Adams

I love to try new dishes and this was certainly new and unique to us, and I didn't think it would really work together but it sure did surprise me. The flavors mellowed out and worked great...Who knew :)

Gooserberry Patch Cookbook: Slow Cookers Casseroles & Skillets
Page:158

2 Tbsp. olive oil 14 oz. pkg. smoked pork sausage, thinly sliced
16 oz. pkg. frozen asian veggies 6 Tbsp. sweet and sour sauce
1 small can diced pineapple cooked rice

In a skillet, heat oil over med-high heat. Add sausage; saute for one min. Add veggies; cook and stir for 6-8 min. or until thawed and heated through. Stir in sauce and pineapple for one additional min. until coated. Serve over hot cooked rice

I give this recipe: ***

If you would like to buy the slow cookers casseroles & skillets cookbook you can purchase it from here: http://www1.gooseberrypatch.com/gooseberry/products.nsf/v.weball/m265?editdocument&lid=is_m265&cartprocess=pimgsr
Rachel Adams

Ahhh another great restaurant quality recipe from Gooseberry Patch! This was prefecto with very little tweaking that always do to their recipes....heheh I have usually add extra garlic or something, this was great. Hubby took the leftovers to work to eat for lunch and get this I even got my vegetarian son to eat it too....and that is no small feat!

Gooseberry Patch Cookbook: Slow Cookers Casseroles & Skillets
You can order it here : http://www1.gooseberrypatch.com/gooseberry/products.nsf/v.weball/m265?editdocument&lid=is_m265&cartprocess=pimgsr

Page: 173

1 Tbsp. butter   1 Tbsp. garlic, minced  14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained and 1/4 C. juices reserved
1 tsp. dried basil  salt and pepper to taste  2/3 C. heavy cream/ whipping cream  1 tsp. sugar
8oz. penne pasta, cooked   2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese for garnish

Melt butter in skillet over med. heat. Add garlic and cook for one min. or until golden. Add tomatoes with juice, basil, salt and pepper and sugar; heat to boiling. Reduce heat; simmer for 5 min. or until most the liquid has reduced. Stir in cream. heat through on low heat for one min. or until thickened. Toss sauce with cooked pasta; sprinkle with cheese. Serve immediately.

I give this recipe Bright Star