Beautiful Work

Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands…. Psalm 90:17a

Freezer Cooking Potpourri November 13, 2009

Filed under: Recipes — Leah @ 5:38 pm

(disclaimer: this is NOT my freezer...but it is an inspiration, isn't it?! How organized and tidy!)

I admit I’m not a freezer cooker.  I love to cook, therefore freezing entire entrees/dinners doesn’t really appeal to me….that’s the honest truth!  I know it saves time (and sometimes money!) but I just like to cook it – then eat it!  :-)

BUT, there are some things that I DO prepare ahead of time and store in the freezer to make dinner prep easier.  Here is a potpourri of items you might find in my freezer:
  • Breads/Muffins (Banana, Zucchini, Zucchini-Pineapple)
  • Breakfast Items (Buttermilk Pancakes -recipe below, Waffles)
  • Meats (Cooked and shredded Chicken, Cooked Ground Beef, Turkey Burgers Mixture, Meatball Burgers Mixture)
  • Meatballs (Italian Sausage Meatballs -recipe below, Ham Balls)
  • Fruit (Rhubarb, Strawberries, Blueberries, Blackberries, Bananas, Peaches -ready for Waffle toppings, Smoothies, Coffee Cakes, Freezer Jam, or a Dessert)
  • Shredded Zucchini (portioned out in 2 cups bags for quick breads)
  • Potatoes (cooked and diced to be tossed with Lipton Onion Soup Mix and baked)

Buttermilk Pancakes

2 cups flour

2 t. baking powder

1 t. baking soda

1/2 t. salt

3 T. sugar

2 eggs

3 cups buttermilk

1/2 t. vanilla

Combine, let sit 5 minutes and cook on greased skillet!  Super fluffy and YUMMY! (I’m not a pancake girl and I LOVE these!!!)


Italian Sausage Meatballs

2 lbs ground beef

1 T. course ground fennel seeds (I don’t grind mine…too lazy….)

2 bay leaves, crushed

1 T. dried parsley

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 t. salt

1/4 t. pepper

4 T. water

1/8 t. red pepper flakes, optional

Mix, then let stand in fridge for 1 hour.  Mix again and form into balls.  Place on foiled and greased cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees approximately 20 minutes, or until done.  Meatballs may be frozen pre-cooked or raw.  If you choose to freeze them raw be sure to freeze them completely on the cookie sheet first, THEN put them into a freezer bag for storage.  (Otherwise you will just have a big frozen lump of meat rather than individual balls….).

Enjoy with Spaghetti, in a crock pot with sauce as an appetizer, or with marinara and mozzarella on a stadium/hoagie roll for a Meatball Sandwich.



Meatballs November 11, 2009

Filed under: Recipes — Gretchen @ 5:23 pm

Here is a recipe for meatballs that my family likes.  I usually double it so I have a really easy dinner!

2 egss, beaten

3/4 cup Italian style bread crumbs

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon garlic powder (I use a little more)

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1 lb ground sausage

1 lb ground turkey or beef

In a large bowl combine all ingredients.  Form into balls and bake in an oven at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.


Bulk Cooking Recipes November 10, 2009

Filed under: Recipes,Uncategorized — Andie @ 2:45 pm

Our topic this week is to share recipes that freeze well for making in bulk. I just had a crazy cooking day on Friday, so I will share my chili recipe. We also really recommend the link on the bottom right of the blog for This site explains bulk cooking and group cooking basics. It also has some great recipes. I just joined their group on Facebook.

Flatlander Chili

2 pounds lean ground beef (or ground turkey)

4 cans stewed tomato pureed (can be less if you don’t have enough)

3 cups spaghetti sauce

1 1/2 cups chopped onion

1/2 cup chopped celery

1/4 cup chili powder

2 tsp ground cumin

1 1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1/2 tsp oregano

1/2 tsp white sugar

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

2 cans red beans, drained & rinsed

1. Place ground beef in deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble, and set aside. 2. Add all ingredients to large kettle. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Also works well in crock pot.


Peanut Butter Dip October 23, 2009

Filed under: Meal Planning,Recipes — Leah @ 8:00 pm

I totally should have posted this when we were talking about healthy snacks for our kiddos….but alas, I didn’t think if it until now.  :-)

This recipe came from a good friend of mine, she graciously sent it on after our kids devoured it at a swim party this summer.  It’s super easy, and I’m sure would taste just as good with cashew or almond butter substituted in for the peanut butter (if your child has allergies…).

Peanut Butter Dip

1/3 cup smooth or chunky peanut butter
2 TBS milk
2 TBS honey
1 TBS apple juice or water
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon

Serve with apples, bananas, peaches, grapes, or melons

Place peanut butter in small bowl;  gradually stir in milk and honey until blended.  Stir in apple juice and cinnamon until mixture is smooth.  Makes about 1/2 cup dip. (I spun mine in the mini-food processor.  It worked great!)


Comeback Fall, we miss you! October 14, 2009

Filed under: Activities,Recipes,Uncategorized — Gretchen @ 1:18 pm

This has been a strange fall season thus far.  We went to the apple orchard when it was hot and humid and were building snowmen in October :)  There are many fun fall activities that I hope we get to experience before winter settles in and here are the top ones for us…

1.  Roast and freeze pumpkin for holiday pies, pancakes, soups, etc.

2.  Make applesauce.

3.  Find the perfect apple cider recipe. (if you have a favorite please, please post)

4.  Bake lots of pumpkin stuff.

5.  Decorate pumpkins and search for ways to keep the squirrels from eating them if I put them on my porch. (once again if anyone has tips feel free to comment!)

Here is my favorite pumpkin bread recipe that I have modified from the original…

Pumpkin Ribbon Bread


1 pkg. (8 oz) low fat cream cheese

1/3 Cup sugar

1 T. flour

1 egg

2 t. grated orange peel


1 cup cooked pumpkin

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

1 1/2 cup sugar

1/2 t. salt

1 t cloves

2 t cinnamon

dash of nutmeg

1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour

1 t. baking soda

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

For filling- beat cream cheese, sugar and flour together in a small bowl.  Add egg.  Stir in orange peel and set aside.  Make bread by combining pumpkin, oil and eggs in a mixer.  Add sugar, salt, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, flour, and baking soda.  Pour 1/4 of batter in to 2 greased and floured loaf pans.  Carefully spread the cream cheese mixture over the batter.  Add remaining batter, covering filling.  Bake at 325 degrees for 1 1/2 hours, or until bread tests done with a wooden pick.  Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans.  Store in refrigerator.

Modified from a base recipe in the cookbook Gooseberry Patch – Welcome Home for the Holidays.


Belated Healthy Snack Post! October 5, 2009

Filed under: Products we like,Recipes,Uncategorized — Leah @ 3:10 pm

books_LunchLessons_coverSurprise!  It’s a Healthy Snack Post!  Here’s a book that I found to have some great recipes for afternoon snacks for the kids.  I made 6-8 different bar-style recipies from this book and the kids and I enjoyed every one of them.  Her ingredients are non-processed and therefore easy to find in your local (Winco?) bulk bins.


Healthy Snacks Week September 28, 2009

Filed under: Recipes — Andie @ 12:14 pm

Would you believe that I have been sneaking spinach into my kids snacks?  I know that green smoothies are not a new idea. But, I have just now started making them several times a week so that I can rest assured that my kids are getting the fruits and veggies I want them to. I got my recipe from Passionate Homemaking. I have copied the recipe and her comments from that site and below I make notes for any adaptations I have made.

Green Smoothies


Blend and add a little stevia or honey to sweeten and any additional boosters.

1 1/2 cups of liquids (I usually use a combination of water, coconut milk, and kefir)
3 oz or more fresh greens, which is approximately half a bag or 3 large handfuls (spinach or kale are best!) –start with smaller quantities and work you way up!
2-3 Tbsp orange juice concentrate, optional (this is a more frugal alternative than using pre-mixed juices – it stretches the juice further)

After these ingredients are thoroughly blended, you can add an assortment of fruit.

Here are our favorite additions:

1/2-1 cup Frozen strawberries or raspberries
1 Banana
1/2 cup Frozen Blueberries
1/4 cup Frozen Pineapple
2-3 Frozen Peach slices

I have also used canned pears on occasion as well.

Andie’s notes:

-I make sure to blend the spinach in with the liquids first until the pieces are barely noticeable.  Then, it is safe to add the rest of the ingredients. I almost always use 1 cup kefir from Trader Joes (TJs). It is a little spendy, but I only use a cup per smoothie and then water.  Someday, I will get brave and make my own kefir.

-Kefir is good for digestive health. Multiple probiotics.

-I use frozen spinach when  I don’t have fresh. But, ALDI carries bags of spinach for cheap, so that’s not too spendy. ALDI also has many of the frozen fruits reasonably priced.

-Color of these can vary. If you add a strawberry or blueberry addition, add enough so it doesn’t turn that ugly brown color. :) Though, I have found that my kids will eat it even if it’s ugly!

-You seriously can’t taste the spinach.  The frozen concentrated orange juice really  covers the taste.

-Banana, Pineapple and coconut milk (99 cents cans at TJ’s) blend really yummy and will result in a green colored smoothie.