Friday, May 29, 2009

Monthly Cooking Introduction Part I

This past week I was on Facebook and mentioned that I was debating whether or not to do another big cooking day. It's so much work. I love the benefits, but often get overwhelmed by the actual cooking day. Several friends expressed interest in my favorite freezer cookbooks and recipes. So... I'm trying to get around to putting that information out there.

After quite a few big cooking days I've decided that I like my revised system better. (More about that in later posts. So check back if you're interested.)

So, to get you started if you've been interested in stocking your freezer with meals...
The top three cookbook recommendations are easy:

I recommend if you are thinking about trying the monthly cooking method that you get at least one of these books. Read through their how-to chapter(s) and glean all the tips you can first. It will save you grief in the long-run. If you aren't up for that, then I would recommend that you try one recipe at a time. Double it. Eat one that night and freeze the second one. If you don't end up being a fan of the recipe you only have to suffer through it once more. Take copious notes. Keep in mind that if it serves 8 and you have a family of four you can simply make one recipe in two pans, freezing one for another night. If you do this you will start to develop your own little monthly cooking notebook of favorites.

Now for the recipes, which seemed to be the main thing of interest... If I wait until I have all of my favorite recipes compiled to post them I'll never get them posted. So, I'll try and post a favorite recipe every day (or so). Keep checking back. That said, here is my all time favorite freezable recipe. It's easy.

This is a kid favorite, but seems to get polished off by adults as well. Can’t say it is very figure friendly, but it is yummy! Though it calls for peppers and onions I’ve often put in other veggies, like green peas, which my kids like. I learned the hard way that you cannot use freshly grated potatoes or they turn brown and go bad!

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 60 minutes

Serves: 8


  • 10 oz. can condensed reduced fat and sodium cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 1¼ cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 3½ cups frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
  • 1½ cups frozen peppers and onions, thawed
  • 1¼ cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1½ cups crushed potato chips (I use Cornflake crumbs instead)

Advance Prep:

Cook off approximately 2 cups of cubed chicken. Grate cheese,.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine soup, sour cream, milk, chicken and 1-1/4 cups cheese. Spread three-quarters of this mixture in a greased 2-quart baking dish.

Sprinkle hash browns and peppers and onions over the top of the casserole and press down lightly, then top vegetables with remaining soup mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and potato chips.

Bake casserole, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand for 5-10 minutes before serving. 

To freeze:

Assemble casserole as directed, except do not thaw potatoes, peppers, or onions and do not sprinkle with potato chips. Wrap casserole in freezer wrap or heavy-duty foil and freeze. Reserve potato chips in pantry. To thaw and bake, let thaw overnight in refrigerator. Uncover and bake at 350 degrees F for 60-70 minutes until bubbly. Then top with crushed potato chips and bake 5-10 minutes longer.


  1. Sounds wonderful! When you freeze it, do you line the pan with the heavy duty foil first or do you just have a bajillion pans that you freeze?

  2. You can do either. I use the aluminum pans. I usually get three or four uses out of the pans before they get holes and aren't usable again.