Thursday, October 27, 2011

Beef Stroganoff


This has to be the BEST Stroganoff I have EVER tasted. Wow! I absolutely love it! The Hubby has been getting free lunch from his company this week, so guess who gets to eat most of the leftovers? ME!!! and I totally don’t care because it is so delicious. I’m kind of glad that I don’t have to share. :0)

I’m sure I’ll be using this one a lot in the future. Having the powdered sour cream makes it so easy to have everything on hand too. I normally would have to plan on making something like this because I don’t often keep sour cream without already having planned something for it. Anyway, without further ado, here you go.

1 lb ground beef, cooked
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 cup dehydrated sour cream, reconstituted
1 soup can of milk
Egg noodles (I used about 2/3 of a bag. So around 10 oz.)
1 can of Mushrooms, drained

1. In a medium pot, boil water for your noodles. Most egg noodles will probably need about 10 minutes in boiling water to cook.


(Side note: I have heard that if you place a wooden spoon over a pot of boiling water it won’t boil over. My pot didn’t boil enough to show me if it worked, but I’ll keep testing it.)

2. Meanwhile, reconstitute your sour cream. 1 cup of powder + 1/2 cup of water. Whip well and stick in your fridge.

3. In the same pan that you cook your beef in (or a large skillet), mix in your cans of soup and the one can of milk. Let it heat on medium-low stirring frequently. Once your sauce starts to bubble add your mushrooms and sour cream. Mix in well and keep heating.


4. Drain your cooked noodles and add to your sauce. Stir well and serve.


I thought about adding some spices (like garlic) to it for fun, but when I tasted it it was perfect. I didn’t even add any salt or pepper. Make sure to taste test it and see what you think before you play around with more flavors.

I think I may need to go reheat me a bowl right now. Just typing this up and looking at the pictures has made me hungry. That’s another good thing about this dish. It’s been just as delicious for leftovers.

*You could easily use freeze dried mushrooms as well as powdered milk. If you use powdered milk it will be one cup of powdered milk and one cup of water mixed well. You could also just as easily use fresh mushrooms and sour cream.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Cordon Bleu Casserole


One of my favorite things to order when I go to a nice restaurant is Chicken Cordon Bleu. There are many different kinds, and yet they are all delicious. There have been a few times that I’ve been tempted to try it myself at home, but it seems like there are too many steps. Maybe I just need to toughen up and actually try it… I’ll think about it.

In the meantime, this recipe was extremely easy and quick and tasted just as good! It might not be as pretty or as impressive, but sometimes that doesn’t need to matter.

4 cups of turkey or chicken, chopped or shredded
3 cups of ham, cubed
1 cup freeze dried shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup chopped freeze dried onion (I think I will omit the onion next time)
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup flour
2 cups cream or half-and-half
1 tsp dillweed
1/8 tsp dry mustard
1/8 tsp nutmeg

1 cup bread crumbs
2 tbsp butter, melted
1/4 tsp dillweed
1/4 cup freeze dried shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup walnut (I didn’t use)

1. Reconstitute your cheese and onions by pouring water over the top and letting it sit for 5 minutes. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, combine your meat and cheese. Set aside.


3. In a saucepan, sauté your onion in butter until tender. Add your flour and stir until it is coated. Add your cream, stir and bring to a boil until it thickens. Add your spices then remove from heat.


4. Pour over your meat mixture, mix well, spoon into a 9x13 pan.005

5. In another bowl combine your bread crumbs, butter and dillweed. Stir in your cheese and walnuts.

6. Sprinkle over the top of your casserole and bake uncovered for 30 minutes.


*Tip*: One way to save money on bread crumbs is to save the heels of your bread (no one likes to eat them anyway). Have a plastic bag set aside that you keep in your freezer for just this sort of occasion. I would crumble the bread before putting it in the bag. That way it is all prepared and ready for you when you need it in a pinch.

The 1 cup of onions was a little much for me. Next time I think I will probably cut it to at least 1/2 cup, maybe 1/4. I will also be trying some broccoli in there. Despite my problem with the onions it was still amazingly good. If you really like onions then you would probably like it with the measurement listed originally.

Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

Do you ever find yourself an hour away from dinner (or closer) and you still have no clue as to what you should make? I know that occurs way to often at my house. This recipe went together very smoothly. Not only was it easy, but it was good. The left-overs didn’t stick around for very long.


2 cups of chicken (I used canned)
1/4 cup chopped freeze dried onion
4 cups freeze dried shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup dehydrated sour cream
8 flour tortillas
1 1/2 cups chopped freeze dried tomatoes
1 can black olives


1. Reconstitute your sour cream by mixing 1 cup of the powder with 1/2 cup of water. Whip together until everything is mixed in. Stick in the refrigerator to help it set up a little more.

2. Reconstitute you onions, cheese, and tomatoes by covering in water and letting sit for 5 minutes. Slice your olives.

3. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

4. In a medium bowl, mix your chicken, onion, 1 cup cheddar cheese, half of your olives, and 3/4 cup sour cream.

5. Spread mixture onto your tortillas. Roll into enchiladas, arrange in a 9x13 baking dish.

6. Pour your remaining 3 cups of cheese and the rest of your sour cream into a saucepan. Melt the cheese/sour cream over low heat.

*I skipped the melting step with mine. I spread the remainder of the sour cream over my enchiladas and then sprinkled the cheese evenly over the top

7. Top with tomatoes and the rest of your olives.


8. Bake 20-30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.


The next time I make this I will probably try melting the cheese and see how it turns out. If I don’t have time for that I would probably double the amount of sour cream that I use and cut at least one cup of cheese out. It did turn out really well though. It would be easy to tweak a little here and there, but is good how it’s written too. Think about adding some more vegetables. Corn would be very good in it or on the side along with some rice.


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Raisin Pudding


Growing up I always knew that anytime we had a meal that included rice there was a high likelihood that we would be having some rice pudding soon after. It’s one of my mothers childhood memories, and therefore it became one of mine.

Recently I was over visiting my parents when they offered me some pudding. My mom mentioned that she was trying a new recipe out. Then she told me that she has forever been on a quest to find just the right rice pudding. She has not yet been able to find it. This made me think that maybe I was ready to join in the hunt for her.


Here is my take on a Rice Pudding recipe with a twist of freeze-dried mixed in.

2 cups cooked rice, cooled
1 1/3 cup whole milk
Pinch of salt
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp softened butter (I completely melted mine in the microwave)
1 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs, beaten
1 tsp lemon juice
1/2 cup Freeze Dried Raisins
1 cup Freeze Dried Apples (mine were with cinnamon)
Sprinkle of nutmeg

1. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees. Put your apples and raisins in a bowl covered in water to reconstitute.

2. Grease a 2 quart glass baking dish with butter. In the baking dish mix the rice, milk, salt, sugar, butter, vanilla, eggs, and lemon juice.

3. Once that is mixed thoroughly, drain the water off of your raisins and apples and add to your baking dish and combine. Sprinkle with the nutmeg and place in your oven.

4. Bake for 1 hour or until set.


Rice pudding is great by itself or you can pour a little milk over the top of it. I ended up sprinkling a little more sugar on top of mine. So add it to taste. You could also serve with a little ice cream on top.

Also, feel free to omit the raisins or the apples. It’s your rice pudding.

*It would be very easy to substitute powdered eggs, butter, and milk in this recipe. Just reconstitute as instructed.
For the powdered eggs: 6 Tbsp powder + 12 Tbsp (or 3/4 cup) of water.
For the powdered butter: 1 Tbsp of powder + 1 Tbsp of water. If you want a little more butter flavor then use oil instead.
For the powdered milk: 7 Tbsp and 2 tsp of powder + 1 1/3 cup water


The pudding on the plate is straight out of the pan with a little sugar sprinkled on top. The pudding in the bowl has a little milk poured over it, is mixed, and has a little cinnamon/sugar sprinkled on top.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies


This is one of the easiest recipes that I have found for these cookies and they are SOOOO good! Love them!

1 can of Pumpkin
2 boxes of Spice Cake mix
6 eggs
1 package of Chocolate Chip Cookies

1. Mix everything together really well.

2. Spoon onto your cookie sheet.

3. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

If you are planning to store them make sure to let them cool completely before sealing them up. Otherwise they sweat and get pretty sticky. If this happens you can let them sit out for a bit when you are ready to eat them and they will go back to normal. This recipe makes 5-6 dozen depending on the size of your cookie scoop.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fruit Medley Snack


I have the HARDEST time getting my three year old boy to eat anything that is ‘good’ for him. He even balks at all of the normal foods that most kids like. As I’ve been embarking on this Freeze Dried food journey he has seemed a little interested in it all. He’s even loved trying a lot of the foods *gasp*!

I’ve heard a lot of people mention how freeze dried fruits and veggies make great snacks. I’ve done some additional research and actually learned quite a lot that makes me feel even better about them. All of the nutrients are still there. There are NO added things like preservatives. It’s a super smart way to add to your food storage and to incorporate more healthy options into your child’s, and your, diet.

When you eat the food without reconstituting (rehydrating) it has a crisp and sometimes crunchy texture. They aren’t moist or sticky (Hooray for easier clean-up!). It’s an all natural choice.

I decided that I would take most of the freeze dried fruit that I could get and create a snack mix with it. I’ll probably be doing the same with the veggies. I chopped some of them into smaller bites, mixed together, and divided it into little air-tight bags.

Apple Chunks
Peach Slices

The apple chunks have a little cinnamon on them. The peaches were freeze dried in syrup. An interesting and unexpected texture comes from the freeze dried raisins. They are crunchy, but taste exactly the same! Everything is delicious! And guess what… My little boy loves them all. They are also the perfect snack for my 1 year old girl. Little bite size pieces that reconstitute in her mouth and mush down easily.


Anyway, it’s a great way to get a little added nutrition in without having to go to extremes. Sometimes the best way to get your kids to eat something is to give it to them in as close to their natural form as possible.

The Freeze Drying process is pretty easy to understand. Here is a quote from the website Feel free to check out the website for more info on freeze dried food.

“During the freeze-drying process, fresh or cooked foods are first flash frozen when the food tastes its best. Moisture is then removed in a vacuum chamber, where a low-level heat is applied to evaporate the ice without returning it to a liquid form. Since the product remains frozen during the process, the product’s cell structures do not change, which helps retain the freshness, vitamins, nutrients, colors, and aromas of the fresh foods while offering you the shelf-stable convenience of long-term storage. This freeze-drying process allows for quick re-hydration of the product, making freeze-dried foods ideal for your food storage. Freeze-dried products are light; they typically weigh up to 90 percent less than the product’s original weight. Just add water and they are ready to use!”

Freeze Dried Foods

I have been given the opportunity to write recipes/articles for a local company that sells freeze dried foods and other food storage options. I'm really excited about this new adventure! I will be including most if not all of these recipes here also. Once they have their site up and running I would highly recommend that you go and check it out. Freeze dried foods are becoming more and more popular as an option for food storage.

Anyway, enjoy the posts and feel free to try some new food storage options out. As always, I gladly welcome any suggestions or questions that you might have! We are all learning together.

Potato Broccoli Chowder


Being a newbie at cooking with dehydrated foods can be a little intimidating. All of us have to start somewhere though! This recipe was my first ‘official’ try. I had to make a second batch. Let me explain. The first batch was good, but I knew I could make it better. I learned my lesson. I need to follow the instructions pretty closely until I am a little more comfortable with my media. All in all, it was still extremely easy and convenient.

Let’s start with some basics.

When rehydrating the foods you are going to cook with I found that it was easiest to measure out the amount you need (because of the freeze drying process they stay the same size that they were and will become when they are rehydrated) and then cover with warm water. You may need to stir them a little to make sure that everything has a chance to hydrate. Let them sit for 5 minutes and then drain off your excess water.

Milk can be a little tricky if you don’t think about it (this was my downfall my first time through). When rehydrating something that will stay in a liquid form (or has to have a specific amount of water added to it) remember to work out the proportions. I will try to be pretty clear with my recipes on how much dry ingredient to use, but other recipes might not do that. For example, this recipe calls for 3 cups of dehydrated milk. My first try I dumped 3 cups of dehydrated milk in. It turned out super thick because I didn’t have enough liquid to mix in all of that powder. On my second try I converted my 3 cups of dehydrated milk to mean 3 cups of milk. Your conversion for milk is usually around 3 tablespoons of powder and 8 oz, or 1 cup, of water.

Okay, that’s probably enough for today’s recipe.

5 small potatoes (Could use Freeze Dried*)
1/4 cup chopped onion (Freeze Dried)
3 Tablespoons (Tbsp) Butter
2 cloves of Garlic, minced (or 1 Tbsp Garlic Powder)
3 Tbsp Flour
3 cups of Milk (9 Tbsp powder and 3 cups of water)
1 cup Shredded Cheddar cheese (Freeze Dried)
2 cups of Broccoli (Freeze Dried)

Optional Toppings:
Green Onions

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. While waiting for the water to heat wash and slice your potatoes. The thinner you slice them the faster they will cook, but you don’t want them too thin. You need something to bite into. Once your water is heated and your potatoes are sliced add them to the water and let them cook until tender (easily pierced with a fork). Drain, but reserve 1 cup of cooking liquid.


2. While your potatoes are cooking go ahead and hydrate your other ingredients. Measure out your broccoli, cheese, and onions, cover in warm water, stir a little, then set aside. For your milk measure out 3 cups of hot water, then add your 9 tablespoons of dehydrated milk powder. Stir it well with a whisk to incorporate some air. Let it sit.

3. Drain your broccoli, cheese, and onions.


4. Melt your butter in a frying pan over medium heat; cook onion in butter until translucent and tender. Add your garlic and let it cook for one minute. Add flour to mixture and stir until smooth. Cook for 1 additional minute.

5. Add your onion mixture to your drained potatoes. Return to heat and gradually ad your cooking liquid and milk. Stir well.

6. Add your cheese and broccoli.

7. Simmer you soup over low heat, stirring frequently for about 20 minutes.


The second time around was really an amazing batch. Don’t let freeze dried foods intimidate you. They are really simple to work with. Not to mention that it takes out all of your washing and chopping time!

This recipe would also be very easy to alter. You could add ham, take out the broccoli, etc. Corn might be good in it, or peas. Lots of variations and choices to pick from. You can’t go wrong!

*If you decide to try and use freeze dried potatoes you probably won’t need to reconstitute first. Add them to your boiling water just like you would your raw potatoes. I’m not sure on the cooking time for them yet, but it will also vary depending on their cut size.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Delicious Crockpot Ribs

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I bought some Boneless Pork Ribs the other night on a whim. It was the first time I have ever bought them and planned on doing something with them myself. I wanted to try something new and a little out of the ordinary. I did a bunch of searching online and finally came across a recipe that I felt would turn out good, but had interesting flavors that I was interested in experiencing.

I found the recipe on I believe it was called “Garlic Honey Ribs” or something like that. I did a little tweaking when it came to the cooking style, but I used all of the same ingredients for my sauce. I think it turned out pretty good. Those that tried it told me it was a keeper.

Boneless Pork Ribs (I think I had about 4lbs)
1 c honey
1 c brown sugar
1/3 c soy sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground mustard

1. Mix together all of your sauce ingredients well. Use as a marinade for your pork overnight. Make sure that your ribs are coated well and turn a couple of times (or when you think of it).

2. Pour your ribs and your sauce into a crockpot and let it do all of the work. Heat your crockpot for 1 hour on HIGH (so that everything can get to the correct temp. quickly), then turn to LOW for 4-6 hours. You may need to adjust your cooking time depending on your crockpot.

This pork tastes great on it’s own with a couple of sides, or would work great over rice. It is easily shredded and tastes great as a sandwich, or could work over a salad.

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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Cranberry-Orange Chicken Salad

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Wonderful recipe from “Our Best Bites”!

If you are looking for a great Chicken Salad recipe, or you want something with a nice bright flavor, this is it! The cranberries and orange work wonders together.

This has got to be one of my new favorites! I think I pretty much ate the whole batch. I was nice enough to share a sandwich or two with my sister and husband (they had to taste how wonderful it was), but I ate the left-overs for pretty much every meal until it was gone. Seriously, so good!

1 lb chicken, marinated (I used italian dressing), grilled and cubed
1 c. celery, chopped
1/3 c. green onions, chopped
Zest of 1 medium orange
1/2 c. Craisins (I may have added more)
1/2 c mayonnaise (make sure to use mayo, Miracle Whip might add a weird zing)
1 tsp mustard
1/2 c. pecans, chopped

1. In a medium bowl, combine chicken, celery, green onions, orange zest, and Craisins.

2. In a separate, smaller bowl, whisk together your mayonnaise and mustard (also any salt and pepper you may want to add). Add to the chicken mixture and toss to fully combine. This salad is best if refrigerated for several hours before serving.

3. just before serving, add the toasted pecans. Serve on a croissant or roll with a crisp leaf of lettuce.

The original recipe also suggests adding 2 Tbs of jellied cranberry sauce along with your mayo and mustard. I didn’t try it, but I’m sure it would be great.