Friday, May 18, 2012

5 Days of Freezer Cooking (Day 5)

I couldn't end this week without sharing a few of my favorite freezer recipes.  The first is my go to side dish for Thanksgiving the other is my workhorse recipes--it forms the base for 6-7 entrees.

Butternut Squash Casserole (makes 2 qts)

Aprox. 3 lb butternut squash                                     3/4 C sugar      
3/4 C milk                                                                 3 T flour
6 T melted butter                                                       1/2 t cinnamon
3 eggs, beaten                                                           1/8 t ground cloves
1/2 t vanilla extract                                                     1/8 t nutmeg 

Topping (mix & freeze separately or make on serving day)

1/2 C crushed vanilla wafer cookies
1/4 C brown sugar
2 T melted butter

Assembly Directions
Peel squash, remove seeds and cube.  Place squash in large sauce pan and cover with water.  Bring water to a boil, then lower temp, cover and cook 25-30 minutes.  Drain squash and place in mixing bowl.  Beat until smooth (for really smooth pulp use a food processor).  Add milk, butter, eggs and vanilla and mix well.  Combine sugar, flour, and spices and add to squash mixture.  Mix well and transfer to freezer container (you can use a gallon freezer bag).  If you make the topping today, mix wafers and brown sugar and put in a quart size freezer bag and attach to the squash bag.

Cooking directions
Thaw completely overnight.  Pour the squash into a greased 2 qt baking dish.  Cover and bake at 350 for 45 minutes.  Meanwhile melt 2 T of butter and combine with wafer crumbs and brown sugar. Remove the squash, sprinkle with topping.  Return to the oven and bake uncovered for 12-15 minutes.

Big Batch Beef Sauce (makes 6-7 two-cup batches)

4 lbs ground beef                                                 1 T  salt
4 medium onions, chopped                                   2 t oregano
4 garlic cloves, minced                                         2 t basil
84 oz crushed tomatoes                                        1 t pepper
12 oz tomato paste                                               1/2 t crushed red pepper flakes
9 oz mushroom pieces
1 T dried parsley

Assembly Directions
In a large dutch oven (I use a 8 qt) cook beef, onions, garlic over med heat until meat is no longer pink and veggies are tender.  Drain.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 60-90 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Cool and transfer to qt freezer bags (about 2 cups in each). 

Cooking Directions
Thaw 1 bag of beef sauce for use in one of the following recipes.

 Combine beef sauce with 1 envelope taco seasoning and 1/4 C water.  Simmer until heated through.  Serve on soft or hard taco shells.  Top with lettuce, cheese, tomatoes, sour cream, etc.

In a sauce pan combine beef sauce with 8 oz tomato sauce and 2 t Italian seasoning.  Serve over hot, cooked spaghetti.

In a sauce pan combine beef sauce, 1 can kidney beans (drained), 2 T chili powder, and 1/4 crushed red pepper flakes.  Bring to a boil then simmer until heated through.  Garnish with shredded cheese, onions, etc.

Shepherd's Pie
In a bowl combine 1 cup mashed potatoes, 2 grated carrots, 1 can corn, 1 T onion soup mix.  Spread in a greased 2 qt baking dish.  Top with beef sauce and another 2 cups mashed potatoes.  Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.  Bake uncovered at 350 for 40-50 minutes.

Tangy Beef Salad
Heat beef sauce.  In a large bowl shred 6 cups lettuce.  Add diced green pepper, chopped onion, a chopped tomato, 1 can (drained) kidney beans, 1 C shredded cheddar cheese.  Top with beef sauce.  Drizzle Catalina dressing on top and sprinkle with crushed corn chips.

Beefy Vegetable Soup
In a large saucepan combine beef sauce, 3 C tomato juice, 2 cans beef consomme, 2 cubed potatoes, 2 grated carrots, 1 cup peas, 1 t sugar.  Bring to a boil.  Stir in 1/4 C uncooked long grain rice.  Reduce heat, cover and simmer 20-25 minutes or until veggies and rice are tender.

I hope you've enjoyed my 5 Days of Freezer cooking as well as the rest of the Blog Hop.  If you haven't yet, please choose one of the many methods for following Ozark Ramblings.

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1 comment:

Vickie said...

Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us this week. I've really enjoyed reading your posts and I've gleaned some valuable information. Who'd have thought that tomato based products and foil don't mix!!!

For the Taco Salad in this post....we use a combination of salsa and sour cream (heavier on the salsa side) to make our "dressing". I typically stir it all together and add chips to individual bowls :)

I'm going to have to try the Butternut Squash recipe. I wonder how it'll work for yellow crookneck squash as I have that to use up...hmmmmm....

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