Sunday, May 22, 2011

Mini muffins for the freezer...

I am not handling the freezer cooking like most people do. Since I am new to it, I am testing recipes and making just a few things at a time, instead of a whole month in a day, so that I don't get overwhelmed.

Banana Bread is a big fave in our house. I have a recipe from my old, tattered Better Homes & Garden cookbook. You know the one, red and white checkered, like the one mom used to have. Yep, that one. With a family of 6 we can easily eat 2 bunches of bananas in a matter of days. So, I usually buy at least 2 lg bunches at a time. Sometimes though, we don't get through them all, which is okay because then I can bake! ;)

So the other day I thought I'd make a loaf of Banana Bread for the freezer. Then I rememberd my Christmas present from Seth (my 11 yr old).

A Baby Cakes Mini Cupcake maker! And it's PINK too!! Mini Banana Muffins?! Um, LOVELY!!! I threw them all in a galloz freezer bag and we can pull out as many as we need. And, they only take a few seconds in the microwave to defrost. Yum-O!  Now, it does take more effort to make them this way.  There's eight little cups inside the cupcake maker so you only make 8 at a time and it takes about 6 minutes per batch.  But, I promise you it's worth the effort!  :) 
Here's the Banana Bread recipe I use (with a little tweaking):

1/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 3/4 cup sifted all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup mashed ripe bananas
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

* I usually use two to three lg bananas AND I add some vanilla and nutmeg.  I don't measure but if I had to guess I'd say about 2 tsp vanilla and 1/2 tsp nutmeg. 

Cream together shortening and sugar; add eggs and beat well; stir in vanilla.  Sift together dry ingredients; add to creamed mixture alternately with banana, blending well after each addition.  Stir in nuts.  Pour into well-greased 9x593-inch loaf pan.  Bake in moderate oven (350 degrees) 45 to 50 minutes or till done.  Remove from pan; cool on rack.  Wrap and store overnight.

I have also baked this recipe in a bundt pan and that also works well.  But, for now, the minis from the Baby Cakes are my fave. 

The Baby Cakes comes with a few recipes and you can even make little pie shells in it.  I am eager to try Mini Quiches!!  How fun!  Do you have one?  What have you baked with yours?


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Frozen Pudding Parfaits

Freezer cooking is something that seems to be hot in blogosphere right now.   Also called, Once A Month Cooking, freezer cooking allows you to spend one day and cook multiple meals so that you don't have to cook everday.  Working from home with four kids and summer fast approaching, I became curious and intrigued by the idea.  So, I thought I'd start out small and work on a few things. 

My first, and easiest meal, that went into my freezer was a batch of French Onion Soup.  I made this the other night and had enough left over the freeze for a future meal.  Easy enough, yeah?!  My second was a batch of breakfast burritos.  I browned up some sausage, threw in some onion and green pepper, eggs and cheese then stuffed it into a tortilla, rolled and wrapped 'em individually and boom...12 burritos!

With school letting out next week I started thinking of breakfast items and quick snacks.  Enter my Frozen Pudding Parfaits.  This recipe is a compilation of a few I read online combined with what I actually had on hand.  And, here you go...

2 sm boxes sugar free instant pudding (any flavor, I chose vanilla)
2 1/2 cups cold milk
1 can crushed pineapple
1/2 tub Cool Whip
2 cups diced strawberries
2 med bananas, sliced
5 oz plastic drinking cups
freezer bags

Start by blending the pudding mix and milk together 'til smooth and it begins to thicken.  Fold in Cool Whip then add entire can (including juice) of pineapple.  Spoon a small amount of pudding mix into plastic cups, add 2 banana slices and 2 strawberry chunks, top off with more pudding.  Place cups on cookie sheet in freezer for 4 hours or until frozen through.  Remove from freezer and place cups in freezer bags and put 'em back in the freezer.  Yields 16 cups (minus one, I had to taste it, right?!).  To serve, defrost in fridge or dip bottoms in warm water 'til desired consistency.  Here's what mine looked like before I put them in the freezer...

You could totally play with the added fruit options too.  Think tropical and you could add bananas, nuts and coconut.  Mmmmm! Try these, I promise you won't be disappointed!  And, if you do try them let me know what you think of them!

Thanks for stopping by!  More to come soon on my new freezer cooking ventures.


Friday, May 20, 2011

A little intro...

Hello out there!  My name is Katie.  I am a work-from-home mom of four fabulous kids and wife to one amazing man!  Over the years, I have browsed the internet, scoured cookbooks and begged for new recipes to try.  After many requests for my recipes, I thought perhaps I should start a blog dedicated to my home world.  I have a blog already that is dedicated to my crafty ventures,, for those of you who may like to scrapbook or make cards.  I hope you'll enjoy what you find here.