With the holidays literally just around the corner, I hope you are getting lots of gift ideas from the cookbook reviews I have been doing. Or maybe you are making a list for what you want to add to your own cookbook library. Either way, here is another book that you may want to put on that list. The author, Jessica Fisher, is a fellow blogger and frugal mama whose busy life has led her to budgeting her time and utilizing her freezer. In fact, I used to link up to her “ultimate recipe swap” year ago at Life As Mom.Have you ever looked at a dish and wondered if you could freeze it? Not Your Mother’s Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook (NYM Series)
is your answer. Not only does the author spend almost sixty pages helping you learn what and how to freeze, she has filled her cookbook with easy to follow, easy on your budget recipes from seasoned meat to vegetarian fare, from cookies to soup. Throughout the book, tucked in between the recipes, are blue boxes with extra tips on making your freezing adventure a success. I especially appreciated the two page box that listed all of the naturally gluten free recipes in the book. That will save me a bunch of time when looking for a meal to make for the whole family.
Also included in the book are grocery lists, blank time lines and cooking day plans. If you are new to bulk cooking, she has a great system outlined for you. If you simply want to make one or two meals for the freezer, that isn’t a problem. Each recipe tells you how to package it, how to freeze it and how to thaw and serve it. All of them can be made and served immediately, too. It is filled with family friendly meals and can be used as a regular cookbook, if you desire. My only complaint is that there are no photos in the book.
I marked a lot of recipes in this cookbook. Wholesome Energy Bars, Creamy Chicken Enchiladas, Pork Chile Verde with Hominy and Carrots, and Roasted Vegetable Quiche are just a few. However, there were two recipes I had to make immediately: Jaime’s Spice Mix and Make Ahead Garlic Bread. I have been making a lot of spice mixes lately and wanted to see how that one held up. The verdict: It’s a good solid all-purpose season salt, but you will have to get the book to find that recipe. This post is all about the garlic bread.The make ahead garlic bread is the recipe that will get me more brownie points that any other. My husband and children are serious garlic bread fiends. Their biggest complaint is that I don’t make it nearly enough. Once in a blue moon, I buy those pre-made loaves at the grocery store, but I find that solid mass of fat a little off putting. I am not sure that it would even qualify as margarine, let alone butter. I had never thought to pick up a bunch of marked down plain loaves, bring them home, fill them with seasoned butter and freeze them! What a concept! What a great way to make my family happy!
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (I used 1 tsp garlic powder)
- 1 tsp dried basil or oregano or both
- ½ tsp dried parsley
- 1 loaf French or Italian bread, sliced lengthwise
- Combine the butter, garlic and herbs in a small bowl.
- Spread evenly onto both halves of the bread.
- Put the two halves back together and wrap tightly with heavy duty foil.
- To Use: Thaw the bread in the refrigerator and bake, still wrapped at 375 for 25 minutes.
- Bake frozen at 375 for 35-40 minutes.