How to have your cake and freeze it too

How to have your cake and freeze it too
Seriously Good Freezing Tips

Featuring two recipes: Lemon Dill Tilapia Tacos & Mascarpone Key Lime Mini Pies
By: Guest Blogger Roberta (Bobbie) Kitto

We have all gone down the road of, “I am going to get organized and make my life easier.  I will be the top dog at the office and the wonder woman at home.  House will be sparkling and dinner will be on the table on time and be fabulous.”

Then reality sets in (for me it took about two days for that to happen). There just isn’t enough time to do it all or is there?  I just finished reading a cookbook called Seriously Good Freezing by Karrie Truman which makes me think I am on the right path to organizational success.

Karrie Truman

 

Seriously Good Freezing caught my attention because I was looking for something to help my camping and boating friends make their time on vacation just that… a vacation and not a stressful experience of half cooked meals and soggy sandwiches.  We all want memories of our trips, but not those.

People want and expect good food on vacation.  As I read the book, I realized this is a book for all times whether you are chief cook at home, vacation or cooking for the holidays.  The recipes (150 plus) cover every kind of food you would want from soup to dessert.

For a quick lunch or dinner on a weekend try French Dip Sandwiches (page 235).  If you are feeling a little adventurous look on page 245 for Lemon Dill Tilapia Tacos (recipe below).  Dessert can be had with a quick trip to your freezer for Mascarpone Key Lime Mini Pies (page 308) (recipe below)  . Another show stopper dessert is the Molten Hot Fudge Lava Cake on page 315.

French Dip Sandwiches

 

The author, Karrie Truman, is the owner of Happy Money Saver, a blog that is ranked number one on Google’s search engine for the term “freezer meals.” Her blog regularly receives 1 million page reviews a month.

In this book, Karrie explains step by step how you can spend just a day or two a month and have 30 or more meals already to go for the next 30 days. Karrie suggests you might grab a friend and have them join in the fun of preparing the meals and you can split the profits (meals) and have some good bonding time.

The author provides a complete list of all ingredients we would need so we only have to shop once. She shows how to organize your time and has charts galore to show you everything from how long foods can be frozen and still be yummy, what containers work best to keep the freshness of your masterpieces, and how to organize and label your frozen treasures.

She has also divided the recipes into beginner, intermediate, and advance cooking.  Step by step instructions teach you how to prepare each meal so that you can either eat it then, or freeze it for later.  She also has a killer, meal changing tip that covers how to defrost your food so that it is as good as when you first made it.

In addition to all of this, Karrie shows you how to organize your freezer. Nothing becomes that forgotten frozen food puzzle (you know the mystery meat game) you find at the bottom of the freezer when emptying it for cleaning.

For all the reasons I have just listed above this book is a winner.  One of the best reasons for purchasing this book is it shows you how to cook using healthy non processed foods while saving money on your food bill.

Give this book a taste spin via these two recipes.

Lemon Dill Tilapia Tacos

“Girl, what have you done?” Those were my husband’s first words after he laid eyes on these tacos the first night I made them. With all their delightful flavors of garlic, lively lemon and dill, I’m certain you too will swoon over these, especially when you realize how fast they are to make!

Makes 6 servings.

1/4 cup (60 mL) melted butter

1/4 cup (60 mL) chicken broth

Grated zest and juice of 2 large lemons

11/2 tsp (7 mL) dried dill

1/2 tsp (2 mL) minced garlic

2 lbs (1 kg) skinless tilapia fillets (about six 6 oz/175 g pieces)

To serve

2 tbsp (30 mL) olive oil

12 6-inch (15 cm) corn tortillas, warmed

Toppings

1 cup (250 mL) shredded lettuce

1 cup (250 mL) canned or cooked black beans, drained and rinsed (optional)

1/4 cup (60 mL) salsa or pico de gallo (optional)

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together melted butter, chicken broth, lemon zest, lemon juice, dill and garlic.
  2. Place marinade mixture and tilapia fillets in a gallon-size (4 L) freezer bag or bowl. (Label the bag if freezing for later.) Seal bag, removing as much air as possible, or cover bowl. Transfer to refrigerator to marinate for 15 minutes.

Make It Now Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Drizzle olive oil over a rimmed baking sheet. Transfer baking sheet to oven while it preheats. Once oven is preheated, remove baking sheet from oven, add fillets and return it to oven. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until fish is flaky and lightly crisped on the edges. Remove from oven and chop into chunks. Arrange tortillas on a work surface. Evenly divide fish and lettuce, plus beans and salsa (if using), among tortillas. Serve.

Make It a Freezer Meal Freeze bag.

Thaw and Cook Place bag in the refrigerator for 12 to 24 hours to thaw. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Drizzle olive oil over a rimmed baking sheet. Transfer baking sheet to oven while it preheats. Once oven is preheated, remove baking sheet from oven, add fillets and return it to oven. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until fish is flaky and lightly crisped on the edges. Remove from oven and chop into chunks. Arrange tortillas on a work surface. Evenly divide fish and lettuce, plus beans and salsa, if using, among tortillas. Serve.

Tip: You can also make a dilly sauce, if desired. In a small saucepan, combine 2 tsp (10 mL) cornstarch and the marinade from the bag. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Build your tacos and then drizzle a little lemon dill sauce overtop.

Mascarpone Key Lime Mini Pies

These mini pies are truly my biggest addiction. The refreshing light, sweet flavor of Key limes and the creamy, airy mascarpone are the obvious stars, but the real surprise lies in the unique taste of cardamom in the graham cracker crust. It’s a magical combination! Makes about 12 mini pies.

Filling

8 oz (250 g) mascarpone cheese, softened

1 can (14 oz or 300 mL) sweetened condensed milk

3/4 cup (175 mL) freshly squeezed or bottled Key lime juice

2 cups (500 mL) frozen whipped topping (Cool Whip), about 6 oz/175 g

Crust

11/4 cups (310 mL) graham cracker crumbs (about 41/2 oz/130 g)

1/4 cup (60 mL) butter, melted

1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cardamom or ground cinnamon

Garnishes

Additional frozen whipped topping (Cool Whip), optional

Sliced Key limes (optional)

  1. Filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a medium bowl, using an electric hand mixer), beat mascarpone cheese on High for about 1 minute, until creamy. Add condensed milk and lime juice; beat on Medium for about 1 minute, until smooth. Gently fold in whipped topping, until blended.
  2. Place 12 silicone muffin liners in a 12-cup muffin tin. Scoop mixture into cups until three-quarters full.
  3. Crust: In a medium bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, melted butter and cardamom, stirring well.
  4. Sprinkle crust mixture evenly over each mini pie. Press gently with the back of a spoon to flatten. Freeze for about 2 hours, until firm.

Make It Now Remove from freezer. Gently remove silicone liners and invert mini pies onto a serving plate, crust side down. Top with additional whipped topping and a slice of Key lime, if using. Serve frozen.

Make It a Freezer Meal Remove from freezer. Transfer mini pies, in their silicone liners, to 2 labeled gallon-size (4 L) freezer bags. Seal, removing as much air as possible, and freeze.

Serve Remove from freezer. Gently remove silicone liners and invert mini pies onto a serving plate, crust side down. Top with additional whipped topping and a slice of Key lime, if using. Serve frozen.

Both recipes courtesy of Seriously Good Freezer Meals: 150 Easy Recipes to Save Your Time, Money & Sanity by Karrie Truman © 2017 www.robertrose.ca Available where books are sold.

Image credit: Charity Burggraaf

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Seriously Good Freezer Meals: 150 Easy Recipes to Save Your Time, Money and Sanity
By Karrie Truman
Paperback $25.49
368 pages

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Note: Roberta (Bobbie) Kitto is a freelance writer based out of Laughlin, NV. Her interests include travel, culinary pursuits and gardening. No fee was paid for this article. Her opinions are her own.