Filling the Freezer—Winter Squash

Butternut squash is one vegetable that transfers beautifully from the freezer to the table. About the time my local farmer’s market is winding down for the season, I purchase more squash than I can possibly carry in one load. And when I have a little bit of time at home, I load my oven with split, seeded, unpeeled squash and roast. After cooling, it’s easy to scoop the flesh and purée. I later use the puréed squash as a delicious side (season on the fly with maple syrup and cinnamon, or orange zest and ginger), or as the star ingredient in soup or risotto.   Read More >>

Filling the Freezer—Apple Crisp

It’s that time of year! The apples are plentiful and begging to be popped into your freezer. One of our favorite frozen stockpiles is apple crisp. Last year, Becki converted an entire bushel of Ida Reds into about 25 4-cup apple crisps. Her husband, Randy, helped by cranking away on an apple-corer-peeler-slicer. She tried to keep up, coating apple slices with sugar and spices, and covering them with a crisp topping. Her stash lasted well into the winter. And she was able to give away a number of them as Thanksgiving gifts for teachers and school bus drivers.

One Cooking Among Friends® devotee hosts an annual apple crisp party. She has everyone bring a pound of butter and six pounds of apples. She provides the dry goods and spices for the topping and filling. Friends peel and slice the apples, someone processes the topping, and everyone goes home with five or six 4-cup tins of apple crisp. Brunch is served before the crisps are made . . . and of course a large one is baked to eat after clean-up!

Whether you plan to fill your freezer on your own, or enjoy doing so among friends, we hope you enjoy our recipe.
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Filling the Freezer—Flavored Butters

Sometimes the little things offer the biggest dazzle. Flavored sweet butters (easy to whip up and easier to freeze) take a pancake, muffin, or toast from ho-hum to wow. Savory butters atop steak, fish, or vegetables add drama and flavor. Next food swap consider a flavored butter swap. Your frozen stash will be sure to dazzle.   Read More >>

Honey Mustard and Bacon Smothered Chicken Breasts

We think you'll find this to be a genuine crowd-pleaser! Optimize flavor by assembling and freezing fresh chicken breasts, to be defrosted and baked right before serving. If your cooking club prefers minimal reheating times, precook the chicken breasts for quick future reheats!

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Turkey Wrap Kits with Pear, Blue Cheese, Walnuts & Balsamic Vinaigrette

Yum. And did we mention that this wrap kit is a snap to prepare for your cooking club? We also like how this recipe can be switched up to a salad for anyone who would like to nix the wrap!   Read More >>

Triple Chocolate Marble Fudge

One of our favorite holiday exchanges of all time is Christmas candy. Individually preparing a large batch of a single recipe or two streamlines holiday preparations, and exchanging within a cooking club brings the variety you’ll want to have on hand for entertaining and homemade gift giving. Our favorites have included truffles, turtles, peppermint bark, candied nuts, chocolate-dipped pretzels, and the most decadent fudge I have ever tasted. Carol’s Triple Chocolate Marble Fudge recipe has become such a favorite that it’s a regular at our holiday gatherings. This recipe is too good to keep to ourselves. It is nearly foolproof to prepare. Beware that it sets up quickly, and have your containers prepared and ready to fill!   Read More >>

White Chicken Chili

This year’s Super Bowl is just around the corner. And what’s a Super Bowl party without a great bowl of chili? Here’s a Cooking Among Friends® all-time favorite recipe. It’s been lightened up without sabotaging flavor. Pop this in the freezer and your Super Bowl guests will be delighted . . . New Year’s resolutions intact.   Read More >>

Nuts!  A Great Holiday Exchange Item

Looking for a festive holiday exchange item for entertaining and gift-giving? This year we’re nuts about nuts! They disappear quickly at holiday gatherings, and make a delightful gift (package in decorative tins or embellished cello bags). Savory nuts we’ve squirreled away in the freezer will be turning some ho-hum salads into something special in the weeks ahead. Check out three of our favorite recipes—two savory and one sweet.

On a practical note, now is the time to purchase promotional holiday-priced nuts and freeze them for future baking. Transfer nuts to freezer bags and place in the freezer. They will stay fresh for at least several months and perhaps up to one year.
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Garlic & Herb Cheese Spread

It’s a great time to do a holiday appetizer exchange! Consider preparing cream cheese based spreads, dips, and cheese balls. They freeze beautifully and are always a party favorite. We savored this spread over the weekend and our frozen stash will do double-duty as a cost-effective substitute for Boursin®, Rondele®, or Alouette® cheese (check out the Garlic Mashed Potatoes recipe in Forums).   Read More >>

Thai Yellow Chicken Curry

This curry tastes like it’s straight from your favorite Thai restaurant! Few ingredients and a simplified process make it a snap to prepare.   Read More >>

Chicken in a Sour Cream and Mushroom Sauce

Chicken breasts smothered in a silky mushroom cream sauce . . . a crowd-pleasing topper for your favorite pasta or rice.   Read More >>

Pulled Turkey Barbeque

Oh-so-healthy turkey breast meat smothered in a savory barbecue sauce. Ideal to stuff buns or baked potatoes!   Read More >>

About

Capture a plan for make-ahead entrées that is doable and fun! Without devouring the grocery budget, or ravaging your schedule, you and your lucky friends can plan, prepare, and swap fabulous food items. Prepare? At your utmost convenience. Plan and swap? Now you’re talking fun. Get together to chill, connect, swap, and plan for next time. We'll help you get started!



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