Welcome to the Favorite Freezer Foods Ezine Issue #9: Ready For Spring?

April 5, 2010

What’s New This Month?
Foodie Versus Food Snob
Are You Ready For Spring?

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What‘s New This Month?

On the home front: Hope you all had a happy Easter. I'm glad to say that my kitchen renovation has progressed so the walls are primed, almost all the lower cabinets are in and we have a dishwasher.

Unfortunately we can't hook up and use the dishwasher until the sink is in which is dependant on the countertops which have been not been cut yet. In the meantime we used only the stovetop for cooking and basics like coffee.

This month I had one of the biggest kitchen catastrophes I've had in a long time: I melted the coffee pot. (Quick cleaning tip: melted plastic on a flattop stove can be cleaned up easily by turning off the burner, cooling the plastic with cold water and immediately scraping up with a metal spatula) But worse, while cleaning up the melted coffee pot I overcooked my 8 pound wild Alaskan salmon.

On www.FavoriteFreezerFoods.com: Despite the lack of a normal kitchen I tested some new recipes. Coming soon you'll see an awesome salmon patty recipe which was forgiving enough to use my seriously overcooked salmon.

I've also been sharing some great recipes from others like the Freezable Lemon Bars I tried last week on Facebook. I never got those lemon bars in the freezer because my husband and brother in law liked them too much but they sure do cut cleaner when they are cold. They also require some discipline, if you top them out of the oven too fast you'll melt the whipped cream.

Foodie Versus Food Snob

A lot of people confuse a foodies and food snobs. It's sad really because to me there is a huge difference between the two.

Obviously you love good food and the idea of freezing ahead or you wouldn't be reading this. Freezing gets a bad rap because a lot of people don't know how to do it right, for example they use the wrong freezer containers or attempt stuff that doesn't freeze well. Then there are those who are so stuck up they think that eating something that's been frozen makes you a second class citizen.

I saw a TV show with people like that just last week. It was Anthony Burdain's No Reservation Special. I'm not sure which episode but was it was certainly shot in the US.

We were channel surfing and missed the beginning. By the time we saw it Anthony was talking about a great hamburger and how to cook it with someone who is beyond a doubt a food snob.

When Anthony tastes it he asks, "This is a good burger but isn't $26 a little steep?" The interviewee replied "It's a great burger. And if you can't afford $26 for greatness you should slit your throat."

Yeah, I typed that right. And believe you me I was so outraged I was yelling at the TV so I'm not sure what Anthony said after that. Wonder if that guy would have told me to slit my throat for overcooking a wild Alaskan salmon too?

I mean $26 for a burger before a drink, tax and tip? We're talking $30 for one meal for one person here. That ain't cheap, not for some ground beef on a flat griddle with a bun and some condiments.

My current budget is $400 a month for food and I'm always stocking the freezer so we don't even eat everything that budget buys. Let's do some math. $400 divided by 30 days is $13.33 dollars a day. Divide that by 2 people is $6.66 per person per day. And divide that by 3 is $2.22 per person per meal. I've been feeding my brother in one to two meals a day as well and have not spend more on food. And I don't even have a sink in my kitchen at the moment.

What about all those people who are low income or get food stamps/nutrition assistance? Should they all die because they lost their job because of the economy? The people in Haiti who couldn't get food after the earthquake? The people starving in Africa or China? And this guy thinks everyone should pay $30 per person per meal or die if they can't afford that. If I was an editor or producer of that show I'd be embarrassed to up that comment on the air.

Rant paused, now back to the show. A little later Anthony was talking to another food blogger/ restaurant critic. They guy says to Anthony, in essence, "I hate getting served bad food. I quit my $400,000 a year job as a lawyer for Leman Brothers to be a restaurant critic. I deserve better than to be served bad food."

Again I was yelling at the TV, standing up, punching the air this time. "Excuse me? Leman Brothers? The Leman Brothers than went f***ing bankrupt? Man oh man if that was me I sure as heck wouldn't be bragging about being overpaid by a company so shitty it went bankrupt, let alone using that as a reason that I deserve to be treated better than others!"

I was so outraged by the two of them that I couldn't finish the show, but I can't stop thinking about it either.

So the difference is simple. A foodie loves to share with everyone and a food snob thinks they deserve better food than everyone else.

Are You Ready For Spring?

It's time for one of my favorite seasons. I love the fresh air, green surrounds and pulling out the grill. Baking late at night or in the early morning is alright but I try to avoid having the oven on for dinner.

Here's three ways your freezer can help you enjoy the weather and keep your kitchen cool.

Make the oven do double duty.
When your baking a dish that can freeze bake two or more while the oven is already hot. Making large batches is great for breads, casseroles, desserts and dishes that can be thawed or reheated without turning on the oven again.

I love to make large batches of meatballs, baked potatoes, pies, muffins and calzones.

Freeze meats in marinade for the grill or crock pot.
Beef, pork or chicken are great candidates for marinating. Stock up when the prices are good and throw the meat in a freezer bag with your favorite sauce or marinade.

Avoid flavors that are highly acidic, like vinegar, or cut them down because they get stronger in the freezer.

For grilling and the crock pot you should thaw your meats before cooking. Thawing for a day or two in the fridge really gives the marinade time to penetrate the meat. Also thawed meat doesn't take as long to cook making it easier to cook through on the grill and safer to slowly cook in the crock pot.

Precook meats in bulk for quick dishes.
One of my favorite things to have in the freezer is pre-cooked chicken cut into strips. They can be thawed and reheated in a heartbeat to top a leafy green salad or a fresh pasta dish. Dice them down smaller and they're ready for a creamy chicken salad.

Strips of steak are also nice to have on hand. Just like the chicken you can throw them on a salad or pasta dish. The strips are perfect for tacos, Quesadillas or to top a grilled pizza too.

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Eat Well!
Michelle (and Trent) Zack


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