How To Freezer Cook Without Doing Any Work?!

by Katie on January 22, 2015

Are y’all busy?  Do you feel like freezer cooking is just too time consuming for you?

I feel ya! I used to big freezer cooking days regularly, and while I benefited so much from them, I just don’t always make the time to do a big cooking day.  Sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t – and that’s okay!

One way I have been stocking my freezer lately is by making extra when I’m cooking dinner. Last week I cooked Spaghetti Sauce in the crock pot and BBQ Pulled Pork in the crock pot and made a ton for the purpose of having leftovers.  Did you read what I just said…I made both freezer meals in the crock pot!!

No time for freezer cooking?  Let your crock pot do the work for you!! - www.cuttingbackkitchen.com

 Both of those dinners were super easy to make (ummm…who doesn’t love the convenience of a crock pot) on the night we ate them, but we ALSO got freezer meals out of them. That’s no-work freezer cooking for you. It doesn’t get any easier than that, friends!

If you find yourself crazy busy and just don’t have the time to do the traditional freezer cooking, just know that you can STILL freezer cook (er…actually your crock pot is doing it for you). It may take a little longer to get a nice stockpile of meals tucked away, but that’s okay.  We can’t do everything all of the time. :)

Throw some of Mamaw’s Spaghetti Sauce in the crock pot and give yourself a pat on the back – you just started dinner for tonight and will have some to freeze for the future!  You go girl (or man, on the off chance a man reads this blog)!!

How do you freezer cook?

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Each of us have our cake of choice. I love all things chocolate and peanut butter, but I will never turn down a good carrot cake with cream cheese icing if it’s an option.

Unless it has nuts. Or raisins. Ick – gag me. If you are weirdo that likes nuts and raisins in your carrot cake go ahead and toss them in – you weirdo, you.

My Dad is a carrot cake fan, like me. Or – I guess it would be I’m a fan, like him, right? Since he’s older than me and all?  No need to get technical, I guess.  Bottom line is we like us some carrot cake.

Gluten Free Carrot  Cake - a great cake that nobody will know is gluten free! - www.cuttingbackkitchen.com

My mom always made it for us for Easter and special events and then she stopped making it because everyone developed food allergies and everything went to pot in the dessert world.

But since I’m the happiness-bringer (aka – allergy friendly dessert maker) I brought it back this year.

I made a nut free, soy free, gluten free carrot cake. And guess what? You couldn’t tell at all that it was anything-free – and we were all happy, happy, happy!

My sister loved it so much that she insisted that I make it for the family Thanksgiving. And because I’m the happiness-bringer I made it for her. When she asked for it at Christmas I had to draw the line…we can’t have it at EVERY party?!

Good news – now she and you can make it yourself because I finally got around to sharing it! If you aren’t gluten-free just make it as directed but use all-purpose flour (and if you’re a weirdo toss those nuts and raisins in).

Gluten Free Carrot  Cake - a great cake that nobody will know is gluten free! - www.cuttingbackkitchen.com

Gluten Free Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Icing {Can be made regular too}

Ingredients

  • Cake
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil (I use canola to make soy-free)
  • 4 whole eggs
  • 2 cups gluten-free all purpose flour (I use Better Batter)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups grated carrots
  • butter, for greasing
  • Icing
  • 1 stick of butter, softened
  • 1 (8 oz.) package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 pound powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the sugar, oil, and eggs in a large bowl. In another bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and combine. Add the carrots and mix.
  2. Pour batter into pan of choice that has been greased and floured. I normally use a 9x13 and bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and bounces back in the middle when you gently push it. You can also use a sheet cake pan (25 minutes) or bundt pan (50 minutes).
  3. Cool cake and make icing. Mix the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add in the sugar and vanilla and mix until smooth. Spread on the cooled cake.
  4. Mix together the granulated sugar, oil and eggs in a large bowl. In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and combine. Then add the carrots and mix well. Pour the batter into a greased and floured Bundt pan and bake until done, about 50 minutes. Leave to cool completely.
http://www.cuttingbackkitchen.com/2015/01/20/carrot-cake-with-cream-cheese-icing-gluten-free-or-regular/

Slightly adapted from The Pioneer Woman

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Menu Plan Monday and My Newest Addiction

by Katie on January 19, 2015

I tell ya, these Monday’s sneak up on me. I’m not sure how that happens.

I just sat down to plan out my menu and I’m keeping things pretty healthy this week. I planned to stop snacking and eating dessert every night (don’t judge) in the New Year and I’ve pretty much gone on with life as normal. It’s bad, friends. I need an intervention.  I need to make HEALTHIER CHOICES.

One way I’ve gotten healthier is with Young Living essential oils. I’m new(ish) to the whole oil thing and I’m in love. Every once in a while I find something I love so much that I can’t shut up about. First it was saving money in the kitchen {saving money, coupons, freezer cooking} and that fire, friends, is what started this blog. This is the newest passion of mine so I can’t help but share.

I’ve share on social media a tiny bit, but I just got a page up on the blog where I shared how those crazy oils have changed my life for the better (email me if you want more details on my experience) Since pages don’t come through like posts do I thought I would let you know or you may never know it existed. Check it out here.

menu planning

Breakfasts: hard boiled eggs or Spinach Sausage Scramble with fruit

Lunch: leftovers or chickpea salad in a jar

Dinners:
Monday- Leftovers
Tuesday- Chicken Taco Bowls over Quinoa (Crock Pot – didn’t get to this last week!)
Wednesday- Guiltless Fajita Chicken with Salad
Thursday- Grilled Hake, Roasted Broccoli and Atomic Fireball Applesauce
Friday- Mexican Chicken Soup and Salad
Saturday- Out to eat
Sunday- Out to eat

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Chicken Fried Rice

by Katie on January 14, 2015

Every good cook has an arsenal of tried and true recipes – the old faithfuls.

For me, it’s Fried Rice. Today it’s Chicken Fried Rice!

I’ve made it a thousand times.  It’s my husband’s favorite dinner and it never fails that I get one of two answers when I ask him if he has suggestions for the weekly menu.  The most common is, #1. I don’t care.  If it’s not that it is always, and I mean always, #2. Fried Rice.

Each and every time I make it a little different and that’s a-okay – Fried Rice is not a precision recipe.  You just heat up your wok and add rice, soy sauce, and a combination of things in the fridge and you have a delicious dinner that will serve the masses.  It always turns out delicious.

(Oh, and gluten-free friends – don’t use soy sauce. Find a gluten-free soy sauce or my personal fave – liquid aminos.)

Chicken Fried Rice - A quick and easy meal!  - www.cuttingbackkitchen.com
A lot of times I make Ham Fried Rice because I can just buy a package of diced ham, but this Chicken Fried Rice is perfect when you have extra cooked chicken on hand.  If you make Slow Cooker Chicken Breasts for dinner you can plan ahead and make double for Chicken Fried Rice – let that slow cooker cook both meals for you!  I also like to prep in advance by cooking my rice the night before or morning of…it just saves time at dinner time.

This is also a great budget meal! In case you didn’t know it…rice is CHEAP and FILLING! Like a seriously cheap dinner for the amount of people it feeds. We eat off of this for days!

One of my biggest budget tips is to have cheap dinner nights a few times a week.

Things like this Chicken Fried Rice, Ham Fried Rice, Morning Mix-Up (breakfast for dinner) and Easy Taco Soup are a few examples of lower dollar meals!  They don’t taste cheap and aren’t made with bad-for-you cheap foods, but they sure are inexpensive when you are trying to stretch a dollar.

Chicken Fried Rice - A quick and easy meal!  - www.cuttingbackkitchen.com

Chicken Fried Rice

Ingredients

  • 2 cups uncooked white rice (prepare according to package directions)
  • 2-3 cups cooked, diced chicken
  • 2 frozen packages of peas and carrots (cooked according to package directions
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 Tablespoon butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 3 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 3 Tablespoons soy sauce (liquid aminos for GF)
  • crushed red pepper, to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • green onions, if desired

Instructions

  1. Melt butter in a wok or large skillet. Add onions and sauté until softened. Move the onions to the side and scramble the eggs in the wok. Toss in the cooked veggies, chicken and cooked rice. Add rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, red pepper, salt and pepper. Toss until heated through.
  2. Top with diced green onions (if desired) and additional soy sauce.
http://www.cuttingbackkitchen.com/2015/01/14/chicken-fried-rice/

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Menu Plan Monday

January 13, 2015

Good morning! I’m a little late sitting down to plan my menu, but I guess it’s better late than never, right? I’m trying out a few new recipes – the Quinoa Chili listed below and an idea for Chicken Taco Bowls that I have in my head (here’s to hoping it’s as good as I’m […]

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Easy Taco Soup

January 7, 2015

Are you looking for a way to stay warm? If you live anywhere near me I’m sure you are. It’s downright frigid this week in Cincinnati. I mean frigid. The best way to combat it is to stay inside and fill yourself up with some nice hot soup. This Easy Taco Soup is a great […]

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Menu Plan Monday

January 5, 2015

I sure hope all of you had a great Christmas!  This time is always bittersweet.  Daniel went back to work after two weeks of being home and all of the Christmas decorations came down and it’s just a boring time of year. While it’s sad, I also kind of love the fresh start that the […]

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Got Christmas Money? Here 10 of My Favorite Things of 2014!

January 1, 2015

I love sharing things!  Of course you know I love sharing recipes, but I like sharing other things, too!  Sometimes there are just certain products that I just can’t get enough of and wonder, “How did I live without this?”. I decided to share my favorites again this year because I just couldn’t help myself. […]

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Candy Cane Fudge

December 19, 2014

This easy recipe for Candy Cane Fudge is a must-make for this time of year! During the Christmas season my love for minty and candy cane treats goes wild! Maybe you can tell that already because this is the second minty recipe this week – Minty Hot Chocolate.  In all fairness, one is creme de […]

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Minty Hot Chocolate Mix and Free Printable Chalkboard Gift Labels

December 14, 2014

The only thing better than Hot Chocolate Mix is Minty Hot Chocolate Mix. I have a Hot Chocolate Mix and a Peppermint Hot Chocolate Mix on the blog, and both are really popular, but I realized this year that I needed to make and add an Andes Mint version to the hot chocolate recipe collection. […]

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