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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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  • [January 15, 2016] - It's National Soup Month so this month's posts will focus on soups. Yum!
  • [February 1, 2016] - An interesting report on why you should always choose organic tea verses non-organic: Toxic Tea (pdf format)
  • Sticky Post - Warning: 4ever Recap reusable canning lids. The reports are growing daily of these lids losing their seal during storage. Some have lost their entire season's worth of canning to these seal failures!

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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Mini Freezer Session

<i>Bon App├ętit!</i>

<b><i>&nbsp;</i></b><br />
<br />
<b><i>Garden Gnome</i></b><br />
©2006-2012<br />I'm still doing a lot of tomatoes with another batch of tomato soup on the go today. But produce is running in full tilt so that means I have to make hay while the sun shines so I did a mini freezer session while the canning pot was on the go.

Grilled Ancho Peppers

Ancho peppers are hot but not as hot as Hungarian wax. For some reason they seem to be the only peppers that want to grow for me this year. I leave them on the vine until they get a purply green tint then let ripen indoors where they turn a bright red. Anchos are traditionally used in chili powders. While some of mine will be used for salsa sauce, I decided to roast then dry some of the early ones. The grill is my first choice during warm weather. If I can do it on the grill, I will. Roasting peppers takes a little finesse so they do not burn. The skin may split a little but that is ok. Once the peppers are roasted, place into a brown paper bag then slip the skins off. Lay the pepper on its side and cut the top off. Run your knife over the pepper to remove seeds. Stack then cut into strips. Now puree the strips. Spoon the puree into icecube trays and freeze. Vacuum seal.

Fancy Potatoes

I'm still working my way through that 50 lb bag of potatoes so decided to make fancy potatoes. These are easy to make. Simply cook potato pieces with 2 - 3 cloves of garlic and a chopped spanish onion. Drain then mash lightly. Add in cream cheese, sour cream, butter, cream and a little white pepper, Kosher salt and top up the seasonings if necessary. Like a lot of my recipes this is a taste test needed recipe.

Potatoes in Containers

By far, I prefer hard zip loc containers for freezing unless vacuum sealing. Second to that I really like foil pans. The potatoes were transferred into the containers. To serve, the potatoes will be popped out of the container then placed in a baking pan. Once thawed enough to level, bread crumbs, fresh chives and butter will be placed on top. The potatoes will continue baking until the bread crumbs are a golden brown.


I have to admit my meatloaf is seldom the same yet it is close. Vegetables are often added for three reasons. First they add a nutritional component without adding a lot of calories. Second, they add a punch of flavour! Third, the end result is always a moist meatloaf.

I start with extra lean ground beef. This time I had extra zucchini so added shredded zucchini, carrots, mushrooms and onions to the mixture. To that base I added a little steak sauce, a little homemade ketchup, a little prepared mustard along with a couple of eggs. Once that was mixed well I stirred in dry bread crumbs. These meatloaves were destined for the freezer so I spooned the mixture into 1 lb foil loaf pans but instead of cooking in the oven, I decided the grill was the way to go. I thought it would add a nice subtle smokiness.

Ready of Package Meatloaf

Once the meatloaf was cooked through, I removed from the grill and allowed to cool. Normally I will seal right in the foil pan but this time I decided to take it a step further. So I popped the cooled meatloaf out of the pans then vacuum sealed. I figured this would give me the best protection for long term storage.

As a guideline, a one pound finished meatloaf is a comfortable amount for two people with healthy appetities. They are low fat because of the added vegetables and unsing extra lean ground beef. Once cooled the meatloaf will slice nicely for sandwiches and they freeze nicely.

2 food lovers commented:

Kaye Swafford said...

I love the idea of meatloaf with all those vegetables. Would you be able to share the recipe? Also, have you tried cooking it in a crockpot as well, or do you truly prefer baking/grilling. Also, thanks for posting on the frozen assets list.
Kaye Swafford

Garden Gnome said...

Honestly, there is no recipe. I just toss in about a cup of each shredded vegetable along with the ketchup, bbq sauce, mustard and mix it all together then add the eggs and bread crumbs. I prefer grilling during the warm weather as that keeps the heat out of the house but it also adds a distinct flavour. During the cooler months I bake meatloaf. I'm not a big fan of crockpots so can't help you there.