Monday, December 20, 2010

Freezer Meals

I had a request on one of my YouTube videos for the recipe Jenny used on my TV show. Here it is, along with more info on Jenny and a link to her website.

Most people don't really hate cooking — they just hate the pressure and all the work of coming up with something for dinner every night of the week. Jenny Stanger's solution for the 5 p.m. 'What's for dinner?' panic is to spend spend two hours, every two weeks, preparing two recipes, with each recipe large enough to make three family-size dinners. You can build up a good supply of dinners in your freezer this way. She has a Web site, where you can get more recipes.

Jenny says: "On the nights you feel like cooking, you can. But when you don't feel like it, use those 'frozen assets' in the freezer. Along with more family time, freezer meals also help you save $200-$300 a month. Freezer meals save you time, money and sanity."


Parmesan Crusted Chicken and Broccoli

Yield: 2 (9x13) dinners 6-8 servings each

2 lbs cooked chicken, chopped
2 lbs broccoli steamed (frozen bags usually cost less)
5 C cooked rice


4 cans cream of chicken soup
16 oz sour cream
1 t onion powder (or 1/2 onion chopped)

Topping Per Pan:

2 packages crushed Ritz crackers
4 T butter
4 t garlic salt
4 t parsley
3/4 C grated parmesan cheese


1. Steam broccoli in microwave for 6 minutes, cube chicken (if chicken is uncooked, place in microwave for 6 minutes.)
2. Mix sauce together in a large bowl. Add rice, steamed broccoli and cooked chicken.
3. Spread mixture in bottom of each 9 x 13 aluminum foil pans.
4. Mix together topping in a ziptop bag and poor over the top of both casseroles. Wrap casseroles in plastic wrap and label (350 degrees for 30 minutes, or 1 hour frozen and freeze.

To serve: Bake a frozen casserole at 350 degrees for 1 hour or defrost casserole 24 hours in the refrigerator. Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees and then cook for 30 minutes, or until warmed all the way through .

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Choosing Gratitude

My friend Whitney Johnson always makes me think with her Dare to Dream blog. In her latest post Bitter or Grateful , she writes of how difficult it is, sometimes, to be grateful. She says: "We need to ackowledge the loss...(experience it)... for a time. But then we choose".

The other day I was visiting with a friend who was feeling very down, acting upset, negative. He explained he'd had a lot of disappointments that week.

I wondered what it would feel like to focus on the disappointments in my life (there are disappointments in all our lives). As soon as I made the decision and changed my focus I was shocked by the way I felt. Life felt sad and dark and overwhelming. It was an immediate fall from Grace. I felt removed from Deity. I stayed in that desolate place until the next day, when I realized that if I could make the choice to focus on the disappointments, I could also make the opposite choice and focus on all the good in my life, once again. Like two hand rails on the stairs, I could choose which to hang on to.

This experience helped me see why God says we should give thanks in all things, it is for our sake. Feeling gratitude brings us to a place of grace, where the difficulties and disappointments still exist, but somehow things don't seem so overwhelming.