Welcome to the Favorite Freezer Foods Ezine Issue #19: Simple Valentine's Treats

Feburary 4, 2010

What’s New This Month?
Simple Valentine's Treats
Slip sheeting: The art of freezing things together with freezing them together.

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What‘s New This Month?

On the home front: January was brutal. Trent got a pinched nerve in his back and now the doctors think it's from an auto-immune disease called ankylosing spondylitis. Of course we live in Canada, where there is a shortage of doctors so we won't even be able to see someone to confirm the diagonsis until March 1st, 7 weeks after his pinched nerve.

And what does someone with a pinched nerve eat? If you've never had to ask yourself that question you're lucky. He lost nearly 20 pounds in a month. Forget anything that requires a fork, spoon or two hands. With his pain at the worse we resorted to grilled cheese and veggie sticks.

On www.FavoriteFreezerFoods.com: In case you weren't sure after last month the best place to get freezer containers is Amazon. They have everything; freezer bags, glass containers, foil pans, paper containers, plastics including some that can go in the oven, even ceramics.

With my husbands unexpected injuries I didn't get up as much info as I wanted on containers so expect more of that.

And I've started putting together an e-course with all the freezer cooking basics you need to know in one place. Now if I can figure out how to get my auto-responder to actually auto respond it'll be ready soon.

Simple Valentine's Treats

What's not to love about deserts that that you can make ahead? Homemade Brownie Recipe

Here's some really simple desserts you can throw together in no time if you've got your freezer stocked. If it's not then no worries, you can freeze these after they're prepared too.

Got a tray of brownies? Thaw brownies and cut into hearts, sprinkle with powdered sugar. A sifter (you know, the thing your grandma used to sift flour) does a nice job of getting a thin even layer.

Going all out? Ice cupcakes with buttercream frosting and top with small heart shaped brownies.

You can freeze the cupcake and frosting ahead and assemble later or prepare it all and freeze for a week or two, thaw overnight in the fridge or covered on the counter. They'll be fresher if you freeze the components because you can wrap them tighter.

Decorate sugar cookies with buttercream frosting in heart shapes.

Frozen pie crust? Make homemade heart shaped pop tarts. Cut the pie crust into large heart shapes; you might have to cut yourself a guide like cutting out a heart from the plastic lid of am empty coffee can.

Smitten kitchen has a great homemade pop tart recipe you can modify, she even has freezing directions under the bolded headline "Do Ahead."

Got kids? How about cooking together Sunday night for an early Valentines?

Use a heart shaped cookie cutter to makepancakes for a simple breakfast. If the only one you can find is small that's ok. You could also make free hand hearts with the batter.

And pizza dough can be shaped like a heart and par-baked (500F for 5 minutes) then topped with anything you like. Bake at 375 until cheese is melted and edges of crust are golden brown.

Simple Buttercream Frosting Recipe: Equal parts room temperature butter and shortening, a splash of vanilla and enough powdered sugar to sweeten to your taste, a pinch of salt is optional to balance the sweetness and some people use a splash of milk to make it thinner.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups powdered sugar

Beat it butter and shortening together, add extract and powdered sugar beating again. Spread over cooled baked goods. Freezes great.

Slip sheeting: The art of freezing things together with freezing them together.

What's slip sheeting? A brilliantly simple technique for freezing a bunch of stuff at the same time in the same freezer container so you can still take out as much or as little as you want instead of thawing the whole container.

I love flash freezing, a technique where you use a cookie sheet to freeze a single layer of food in individual pieces then transfer it to another container in an hour or two.

But occassionally time is of the essence and you can't get back to your freezer to repackage something right away.

Instead of risking freezer burn try slip sheeting.

Here's how: Take a single layer of food, cover it with waxed paper, put down another layer of food, cover with waxed paper. Repeat.

Freezer paper, plastic wrap, aluminum foil all work too.

This technique is great for things that keep their shape.

For example bone in pork chops slip sheet well where as chicken breast isn't as easy to slip sheet because it's not as rigid.

Freezing isnt' the problem, the hard part is pulling the frozen food apart.

Another example would be cookies which freeze fine in layers compared to fresh fruit which doesn't create such an even layer and needs to be flash frozen for individual pieces.

Slip-sheeting is a great card to hide up your sleeve for time crunched nights.

Contact me:
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Eat Well!
Michelle Zack


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