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Fresh from the Freezer

Fresh from the Freezer

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Fresh from the Freezer

545 pagine
4 ore
Sep 6, 2016


Unlock the frozen asset in your kitchen with these quick and easy make-ahead recipes the whole family will love.

Freezing is the easy way to guarantee that fresh, must-have recipes are always ready when you are. From freeze-ahead smoothie cubes to Monkey Bread, Chicken Pot Pie and mug cakes, this handy book lets you cook when you can, and eat when you want. 150 fully tested recipes give you the best ideas for cooking and freezing—prepare do-ahead dishes to freeze, cook foods to be the base of multiple meals, make slow cooker dinners, and more.

Included is everything for Freezing 101—complete freezing, thawing and heating information, tips on storage options and advice on how long to freeze foods. The book covers the rules of the thaw, how to host a Freezer Meal Party, and how to use ice cube trays to freeze herbs, chocolate-dipped fruit—and even wine. This is the complete guide to turning the freezer into a make-ahead star.
Sep 6, 2016

Informazioni sull'autore

With more than 75 million cookbooks sold since 1950, Betty Crocker is the name readers trust for reliable recipes and great ideas. For over 75 years, Betty Crocker has provided advice to millions of Americans through cookbooks, magazines and the internet.

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Fresh from the Freezer - Betty Crocker

Copyright © 2016 by General Mills, Minneapolis, Minnesota. All rights reserved.

For information about permission to reproduce selections from this book, write to or to Permissions, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 3 Park Avenue, 19th Floor, New York, New York 10016.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is available.

ISBN 978-0-544-81624-4

Cover photos: Fresh Fruit Frozen Yogurt Pops; Cheesy Turkey-Spinach Lasagna Roll-Ups


Owned Media and Publishing Director: Amy Halford

Owned Media and Publishing Manager: Audra Carson

Senior Editor: Grace Wells and Cathy Swanson

Recipe Development and Testing: Betty Crocker Kitchens

Photography: General Mills Photography Studios and Image Library


Publisher: Natalie Chapman

Editorial Director: Cindy Kitchel

Executive Editor: Anne Ficklen

Editorial Associate: Molly Aronica

Managing Editor: Marina Padakis

Production Editor: Helen Seachrist

Cover Design: Tai Blanche

Interior Design and Layout: Tai Blanche

Senior Production Coordinator: Kimberly Kiefer

eISBN 978-0-544-81625-1


Hello Friends,

We get it—lives are busy and time is short. Just when there’s no time for making a home-cooked meal, you know you’re going to get that dreaded question . . . what’s for dinner? Prepare yourselves for days like these with meals or ingredients you’ve prepped and thrown in the freezer, making homemade possible—even on your busiest days. This book is filled with recipes for delicious make-ahead meals and great tips that make it simple to do.

From breakfast to dinner (and not forgetting dessert) you’ll find yummy recipes that will excite taste buds and satisfy like no frozen boxed pizza can do. Quick Freezer Ideas, will not only help you make meals in advance, but also to take advantage of sales at the grocery store and freeze foods so they won’t go to waste. And check out the feature on Slow-Cooker-Ready Freezer Bags. We’ll show how to make meals you prep and freeze—all ready to dump in your slow cooker, turn it on . . . and go!

Host a Freezer Meal Party, gives you everything you’ll need to throw one of these popular get-togethers. Who wouldn’t love to be at a party where you get to chat, nibble and sip wine . . . all while preparing meals that everyone can take home to put in their freezers? We’ll also show you how to turn it into a party with a purpose—making meals that can help out those in need in your community!

So dive in, get started and stock your freezer. Homemade meals will be at your fingertips whenever you’re hungry and short on time.

Look for these helpful icons:

[ QUICK PREP ] (15 minutes or less)


Let’s get chopping!


Make-It-Easy Freezer Meals


1 Breakfast & Brunch

2 Beef & Pork

3 Chicken & Turkey

4 Fish & Seafood

5 Meatless

6 Desserts


Metric Conversion Guide


Make-It-Easy Freezer Meals

Making meals ahead doesn’t mean you need to be uber-organized or in the kitchen all day. Consider this book your one-stop cheat sheet—giving you all the tips and tricks you’ll need to easily make meals in advance. Just think how good it will feel to have delicious meals on-hand—ready to pull out and cook or reheat with little effort. Never be caught by the what’s for dinner? question again!

Top Tips for Freezing

Freshness Counts

You get out what you put in. Freezing can be tough on foods—it won’t improve the quality—so start by using ingredients at their freshest: vegetables and herbs at their peak ripeness and fresh meat and poultry with good color and no odor. Set your freezer to 0°F or lower so that foods come through the freezing/thawing process successfully.

Freeze Only Once As Is

To get the best from your meals once they’ve been frozen and avoid potential food safety issues, always follow this rule: Ingredients can be frozen only once in their current condition: once raw (uncooked) and once cooked.

Example: You’ve thawed ground beef to use for a recipe but then realize you don’t have time to make the recipe. Do not refreeze the uncooked ground beef; but you can brown, cool and then freeze it now because it’s cooked. When you’re ready to make your recipe, you’re now one step ahead! Thaw the ground beef and continue as directed.

Dress for Success

Package your meals in wraps that can take the arctic blast of your freezer—freezer plastic wrap, foil or containers specifically designed for freezer use.

Prevent freezer burn by removing as much air from packages as possible.

Freeze food in realistically sized portions. If the recipe you cooked made eight servings and you are a family of three, consider packaging the recipe for the freezer into smaller sizes, so you will use just what you need and save the remaining portion for another meal.

Help foods freeze quickly to retain better quality: allow space between them while freezing, and freeze in shallow containers instead of upright, deeper ones.

Freeze purchased frozen foods in their original packaging.

Label All Packages

You might be tempted to skip this step, thinking that you’ll know what the food is when you go to use it. But given time (out of sight, out of mind) and frosty containers, there’s a good chance that when you pull it from the freezer, you won’t know what the mystery package is!

Always label packages with the date and name of the recipe. If using a freezer bag, write any further directions for completing the recipe (such as bake temp and time) right on the bag so you don’t have to pull out the recipe again when you’re ready to make the dish.

First In, First Out

Use up what you first put in the freezer before using more recently frozen foods. That way, you can keep on top of what’s in there and nothing gets wasted due to being stored too long. If you have a chest-style freezer and hate to dig, keep a list near it that shows what you put in and when. Cross it off the list when you take it out.

How to Freeze and Thaw

Not all foods are great freezer candidates. Know which foods are freezer-worthy and which are not.


These foods get good marks for their freeze-ability. To freeze a dish that’s a combination of ingredients, freeze it for the length of time given for the ingredient that can be frozen for the least amount of time. Use the chart below to know how long you can freeze at 0°F or below.

*See Quick Freezer Ideas for directions on freezing herbs.


These ingredients don’t fare well through the freeze/thaw process because the food becomes mushy, separates or is watery, so you wouldn’t want to eat it. Avoid freezing these foods:

Cream or custard fillings

Dairy products—except for butter and cheese

Eggs—fresh, whole or hard-boiled

Icings made from egg whites

Fruits and veggies (high moisture)—such as celery, lettuce, watermelon


Potatoes, Idaho or russet, raw




If you cook from your freezer on a regular basis, consider moving tomorrow night’s meal from the freezer to the fridge while cleaning up from tonight’s meal. It’s best to thaw frozen food in the refrigerator, never on the counter or it can set you up for food-safety issues. Allow 12 to 24 hours for meals to thaw completely. Bake foods 5 to 10 minutes longer than directed in the recipe to account for the cold ingredients. Some foods, like soup or chili, will thicken during storage. If this is the case, simply add a little broth, water, milk or half-and-half until the soup reaches the desired consistency.


Freezing doesn’t kill bacteria, and improper thawing can cause bacteria to grow. So if you are unsure how long something has been frozen or question whether something was thawed and not used soon enough, don’t take any chances and discard it.

chapter one

Breakfast & Brunch

Chocolate-Cherry Bread

Monkey Bread

Five-Grain Buttermilk-Cranberry Bread

The Ultimate Pancakes

Upside-Down Banana-Walnut French Toast

Apricot-Stuffed French Toast

Caramel Sticky Rolls

Frozen Blueberry Breakfast Bars

Apple Crisp Refrigerator Oatmeal

Make-It-Your-Own Oatmeal

Cheesy Sausage and Egg Bake

Spinach-Pesto Egg Bakes

Impossibly Easy Mini Breakfast Sausage Pies

Ham and Swiss Breakfast Hand Pies

Sausage-Wrapped Stuffed Chiles

Egg and Sausage Breakfast Ring

Smoked Sausage Spinach Pie

Bacon and Hash Brown Egg Bake

Chicken Fajita Strata

Fruity Green Smoothies

Skinny Tropical Smoothies

Chocolate-Cherry Bread


Chocolate-Cherry Bread

1 loaf (12 slices) | Prep Time: 15 Minutes | Start to Finish: 2 Hours 40 Minutes


2 cups all-purpose flour

1½ teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

¾ cup sugar

½ cup butter, softened

2 eggs

1 teaspoon almond extract

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 container (8 oz) sour cream

½ cup chopped dried cherries

½ cup bittersweet or dark chocolate chips

1Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 9x5-inch loaf pan with shortening; lightly flour. In medium bowl, mix flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; set aside.

2In large bowl, beat sugar and butter with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in eggs until well mixed. Beat in almond extract and vanilla. Alternately add flour mixture and sour cream, beating on low speed just until blended after each addition. Stir in cherries and chocolate chips. Spread batter in pan.

3Bake 1 hour 10 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 1 hour. Wrap tightly and store at room temperature up to 4 days, or refrigerate.

4Freeze tightly wrapped up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature.

1 Slice: Calories 310; Total Fat 15g (Saturated Fat 9g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 60mg; Sodium 260mg; Total Carbohydrate 39g (Dietary Fiber 1g); Protein 4g Exchanges: 1½ Starch, 1 Other Carbohydrate, 3 Fat Carbohydrate Choices:

Fresh Idea Gifting alert—this bread makes a perfect present for the holidays, new neighbors, or just about any occasion. You’ll probably want to double the recipe, especially because it freezes beautifully!

Monkey Bread

16 servings | Prep Time: 35 Minutes | Start to Finish: 3 Hours 25 Minutes


3½ to 4 cups all-purpose flour

⅓ cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 package regular active or fast-acting dry yeast (2¼ teaspoons)

1 cup water

⅓ cup butter, softened

1 egg

¾ cup sugar

½ cup finely chopped nuts

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ cup butter, melted

1In large bowl, stir 2 cups of the flour, ⅓ cup sugar, the salt and yeast with wooden spoon until well mixed. In 1-quart saucepan, heat water and ⅓ cup butter over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until very warm and an instant-read thermometer reads 120°F to 130°F. Add water mixture and egg to flour mixture. Beat with whisk or electric mixer on low speed 1 minute, stopping frequently to scrape batter from side and bottom of bowl with rubber spatula, until smooth. Beat on medium speed 1 minute, stopping frequently to scrape bowl. With wooden spoon, stir in enough of the remaining flour, 1 cup at a time, until dough is soft, leaves side of bowl and is easy to handle (dough may be slightly sticky).

2Place dough on lightly floured surface. Knead about 10 minutes, sprinkling surface with more flour if dough starts to stick, until dough is smooth and springy.

3Spray large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning dough to grease all sides. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap; let rise in warm place 1 hour to 1 hour 30 minutes or until dough has doubled in size. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched.

4Spray 10-inch angel food (tube) cake pan or 12-cup fluted tube cake pan with baking spray with flour. (If angel food cake pan has removable bottom, line pan with foil before spraying to help prevent the sugar mixture from dripping in the oven during baking.) In small bowl, mix ¾ cup sugar, the nuts and cinnamon.

5Gently push fist into dough to deflate. Shape dough into about 25 (1½-inch) balls. Dip each ball into melted butter, then into sugar mixture. Place single layer of balls in pan so they just touch. Top with another layer of balls. Cover pan loosely with plastic wrap; let rise in warm place about 40 minutes or until dough has doubled in size.

6Move oven rack to low position so top of pan will be in center of oven. Heat oven to 375°F. Uncover bread. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. (If bread browns too quickly, cover loosely with foil.) Run metal spatula or knife around edge of pan to loosen bread. Place heatproof serving plate upside down on pan; holding plate and pan with pot holders, turn plate and pan over together. Let stand 1 minute so butter-sugar mixture can drizzle over bread; remove pan. Serve bread warm, pulling it apart using 2 forks or your fingers.

7To freeze, cool completely. Wrap tightly (the whole loaf, or divide into halves or quarters). Freeze up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature.

1 Serving: Calories 270; Total Fat 13g (Saturated Fat 6g, Trans Fat 0g); Cholesterol 40mg; Sodium 220mg; Total Carbohydrate 35g (Dietary

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