Thursday, September 30, 2010

Black & White Cookies

Here's another cookie recipe that freezes just great.  Then when someone calls and says they want to stop by, you can pop a few in the oven.


1 butter flavored Crisco stick
1/2 C white sugar
1 1/2 C packed light brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3 C all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp hot tap water
1/2 tsp salt
1 C semi sweet choc chips
1 C white chocolate chips


Cream together shortening and sugars with a mixer.  Beat in eggs, then stir in vanilla.  Dissolve the baking soda in a small bowl with hot water, then add to the cookie batter along with the salt.  Stir in flour with the mixer until well combined.  Stir in both kinds of chocolate chips by hand.  Roll cookie dough into 1 1/2 inch balls and place on a wax paper lined cookie sheet.  Flash freeze for 1-2 hours. 

Once frozen, gently peal up cookie dough balls and place in a zip lock bag.  Freeze until ready to bake. 

When ready to bake place desired number of cookies on a cookie sheet and bake 350 degrees for 11-12 min.  Let cool on the cookie sheet for 5-10 min.  Then serve. 

These are nice and sweet.  =)  A great mix of chocolates for true connoisseurs. 

Christie aka Keeza

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Steak Pies

This is a meal that can go strait from the freezer to the oven.  These little steak pies are very filling and can be ready when you forget to thaw dinner, or just came back from out of town.


2 Tbsp olive oil          
1 1/2 lbs steak (whatever is on sale,                 8.76
    I used chuck steak)
1 small onion--chopped                                        .30
1 clove garlic--minced                                          .05
1 C frozen peas                                                      .50
2/3 cup shredded carrot                                      .45
1 Tbsp all purpose flour
1 1/2 C beef broth                                                 .35
1 Tbsp Worcestershire
Steak seasoning to taste
2 boxes ready made pie crust                            4.34
1 egg, beaten                                                           .15


Heat oil over med-high heat in a large pan.  Slice the steak thinly across the grain.  This will help make a cheap cut of meat taste more tender.  Add steak slices and steak seasoning to hot pan.  Brown on both sides, remove steak and place on paper towels to drain off excess fat.  Add onion, garlic and carrots to pan and saute 3 min until beginning to soften.  Add flour to pan and mix well to form a roux.  Slowly stir in beef broth.  Once all beef broth has been added, stir in peas and steak and turn off heat.  Allow meat mixture to cool before next step. 

Once the mixture is cool.  Open the pie crusts, roll them out and cut in half. 

Flour your counter top and beat one egg in a small bowl.   Put one large spoonful of steak mixture on half a pie crust moon.  Brush egg on the edges.  

Fold the pie crust over the meat mixture and use a fork to seal the edges.  Brush more egg on the top of your steak pie to help it brown in the oven.

Place a piece of wax paper on a cookie sheet and place your steak pies on the wax paper careful not to let them touch each other.  Then place the sheet in the freezer for 1-2 hours.

Once frozen you can peel up the pies and place them in a gallon zip lock bag or in a large Tupperware container.  When ready to eat, place one pie per person on a cookie sheet and bake 400 degrees for 20-24 min until edges are brown.

If you have any extra steak filling put it in a Tupperware container and freeze it too.  You can eat it over rice for an easy lunch, or you can serve it along side the steak pies to eat with the edges that don't have any filling.  I made 8 pies for $1.86 each, or 4 meals for $3.73 a meal. 

These make a great last minute dinner or Saturday lunch because you do NOT have to thaw them before baking.  Try them as an alternative to TV dinners because you know all the ingredients that went into them.  No surprise additives or fillers! 

Christie aka Keeza

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Peanut Butter M&M Cookies

Although I don't know how much these cookies cost to make, I do know how the dough holds up in the freezer.  Great!  The cookies can bake strait from frozen and the only difference is a little color bleed from the m&m candies.  This creates a halo effect around the candies which does not effect the taste.  Check out this recipe.


1 stick of butter flavored Crisco
(my mother in law always uses these in her cookies.  They help the cookies set up and not spread out flat)
1 C creamy peanut butter
1 C sugar
1 C packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 C all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
8 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
1 medium bag regular M&Ms


Mix Crisco, peanut butter, sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla in a large bowl with a hand mixer.   Sift together flour, baking soda, and salt.  Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients gradually.  Mix well with hand mixer.  Set mixer aside and add chocolate chips.  Stir by hand. 

To Freeze:  Roll into 1 inch balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.  Top each cookie with three M&Ms.   I like to make sure that each cookie has 3 different colored M&Ms. 

Look how cute they are!  Place the pan in the freezer for one hour.  Then you can peel up each cookie and place it in a zip lock bag. 

Put these back into the freezer until needed.  Then when you are expecting a few guests, or want to treat the kids when they get home from school place cookie dough back onto cookie sheets and bake at 350 degrees for 11 min.  When edges just start to brown take cookies out of the oven and let cool on the cookie sheets for 5-10 min so they can finish cooking through.  This will ensure they are cooked, but still soft. 

If you look closely you can see the halos around the M&Ms.  This only happens to the cookies that get frozen before baking.  If you bake immediately there will be no halos. 

I hope you like these cookies as much as we do.  If you don't want to freeze any of the dough you can bake all the cookies for 350 degrees at 11 min. 

Christie aka Keeza

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Tortellini Soup

This is our Sunday Soup.  I love to make this soup after church and the whole house smells fantastic.  The leftovers were not as good as the original because the tortellini get bigger and soggier.  So I divided the soup into 3 meals before I added the tortellini and froze 2/3 of the uncooked tortellini in a zip lock bag to be added to the frozen soups when reheating, just before eating.  So check out this recipe and maybe you can whip up a batch to warm you up on a cool fall Sunday afternoon.


2 packages artichoke and mozzarella chicken sausage                  7.96
(I pick whichever flavor that is lowest in fat)
1 bunch green onions, chopped                                                    .58
2 cloves garlic, minced                                                                 .05
3 carrots, peeled and shredded                                                    .30
8 C chicken broth (I used homemade plus 1 boxed broth)           1.08
1 Tbsp hot sauce
3 C baby spinach leaves                                                             1.00
5 springs cilantro, chopped                                                           .15
9 oz package cheese tortellini                                                     3.48


Slice the chicken sausage into 1/4 inch wide slices and brown in a large saucepan.  Remove and drain off any fat.  Saute green onion, garlic and carrot in 1 tsp olive oil for 3 min.  Add chicken broth and hot sauce and warm through.  Add chicken sausage, cilantro and spinach leaves. 

 Divide into thirds.  I put two containers in the freezer.  Bring the soup to a boil and add 1/3 package of tortellini.  Place the other 2/3 of the uncooked tortellini in a zip lock bag and freeze.   Cover the saucepan and boil soup for 7-9 min to cook tortellini.  This is how our soup looked right before we dug in!

This soup has so much flavor.  It does not need any added salt or pepper because of the hot sauce and the chicken sausage.  Yum!  Yum! Yum!  We also had a salad and it was a great meal.  Now we have two ready in the freezer for a week night treat.  When reheating you need to bring the soup to a boil, add 1/2 the remaining tortellini, cover and boil 7-9 min.  Then serve.  This meal cost me $4.87 each.  (not including the salad)  Enjoy!
Christie aka Keeza

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Greek Chicken

This is a great meal that is full of flavor.  You can serve it with rice, but I prefer angel hair pasta.  I don't care for olives, but they would go great in this sauce if you have a taste for them.   Green peppers can be kinda slimy when you freeze them and reheat them, so I buy frozen chopped green peppers and they hold up a little better.  I love feta cheese and I like to top mine liberally.  My husband prefers mozzarella, so he gets his own version. 


4 lbs chicken, cooked and cubed             3.86
1 1/2 cups chopped green pepper          1.50
1 bunch green onions, sliced                      .60
4 cans Italian diced tomatoes                  2.52
1 14.5 oz can tomato sauce                        .52
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp light brown sugar               
pepper to taste
2 boxes angel hair pasta                                2.00
8 oz feta cheese                                            3.56


Pour tomatoes and sauce into large saucepan on medium heat.  Add onions, brown sugar, chicken and pepper.  Let simmer 5 min so flavors can combine.  Turn off heat and let cool.  Stir in green peppers.
Divide into three 4 cup containers and freeze.  When ready to eat thaw in fridge overnight.  Heat sauce on medium heat until warmed through.  Cook half a box of angel hair pasta according to box directions.  Toss with sauce and serve with feta.  I was able to make three meals for $4.85 each.  Here is what it looks like with the pasta and topped with cheese. 
This is awesome!  I hope you try it.  See if you can beat my price.  =)

Take care,
Christie aka Keeza

Monday, September 13, 2010

White Chicken Chili

I have been searching for years for a white chili recipe.  I have a red chili recipe that's full of veggies that I just love!  But I have found white chili to be bland and boring.  After much searching I found this recipe on the Rachel Ray Show and I have adapted it to my taste and I think we have a winner.  I'm sure it will need a little tweaking in the future, but for now it is petty fabulous.  I froze it, thawed it, and we heated it up for dinner last night and it held up great.  Please give it a try! 


4 C cooked chicken, cubed                             4.10
4 C chicken broth (mine is homemade)         .30
2 cans navy beans-undrained                       1.74
1 container fresh salsa medium heat            3.48
3 tsp cumin                                                         .20
1 clove garlic-minced                                        .05
pepper to taste                                          
8oz pepper jack cheese-shredded                 2.00
3/4 C crushed corn chips (blenderize!)        1.00
1/2 fresh cilantro                                               .30


Combine chicken broth, chicken, undrained beans, salsa, cumin, garlic, and pepper in a large sauce pan on medium heat.  Bring to a boil then simmer 5 minutes to let flavors combine.  Slowly stir in cheese and crushed corn chips until heated through.  Turn off heat and stir in cilantro. 

 Divide into 4 C containers.  This soup is ready to eat or freeze.  I was able to make this chili into 3 dinners that cost me $4.39 each!  I like how colorful this chili turned out, and it smells absolutely delicious.   
To reheat, thaw a container in the fridge overnight.  Pour into a medium saucepan and heat on medium until warmed through.  We garnished our chili with green onions, sour cream and left over corn chips.
It was creamy, flavorful and the green onions and corn chips added a great crunch.  If you have a good chicken chili recipe please share it with me at

Take care,
Christie aka Keeza

Friday, September 10, 2010

Stuffed Shells

Hey!  This is a recipe I adapted from my mother in law.  My husband prefers to have a little meat with his we add veggies and Italian sausage to the marinara sauce and the meal is much more hearty.  If you are not a big meat eater you can omit the sausage and it is still tasty!  Spinach, zucchini and summer squash would all be great additions to the chunky marinara. 


8oz cream cheese, softened      2.08
15 oz ricotta cheese                 1.83
3/4 C sour cream                     1.00
12 oz shredded mozzarella         2.20
6 oz shredded Swiss                 1.96
1 bunch green onions, diced       .50
pepper to taste
3 jars/cans marinara sauce        3.00
1 lb Italian sausage                   3.00
3 carrots, peeled and diced         .25
3 stalks celery, diced                   .25
1 green pepper, diced                 .50
1 box large pasta shells             1.12


Boil a large pot of water and cook shells according to box directions.  Drain and cool.
Meanwhile brown the sausage in a medium sauce pan.  Drain off the grease.  Saute green pepper, carrots and celery in the sauce pan for 3-4 min.  (add as many veggies as you like!)  Add sausage back to pan.  Pour a small amount of marinara sauce from jar/can into the bottom of three 8x8 pans or two 9x13 inch pans.  This will keep the shells from sticking.

Pour the remaining sauce into the saucepan with the sausage and veggies.  Turn burner to low and gently simmer until needed. 

In a bowl combine cream cheese, ricotta cheese, sour cream, shredded Swiss, shredded mozzarella and onion.  Season with pepper.

To assemble.  Take a large cooled shell, fill with a spoonful of cheese mixture and arrange in pan.  I was able to make 30 large shells and I divided them into three pans.  Once all the shells are filled, pour chunky marinara sauce over top.  Cover with foil and label.

These are ready to go into the oven, or into the freezer.  Once frozen make sure to thaw in the fridge before cooking.  Then bake 350 degrees for 40 min.  I was able to make 3 pans for $5.90 each not including the aluminum.  I hope you enjoy this meal as much as James and I do.

Take Care!  Christie aka Keeza

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Italian Meatball Soup

This is a very tasty soup.  I have made it many times and there is never any leftovers. 


2 lbs Italian Sausage                    6.00
1 yellow onion-diced                       .25
1 Lg Zucchini-peeled and diced    .25
3 carrots-peeled and shredded    .50
1 clove garlic-minced                     .05
2 quarts beef broth                         .40
2 cans Italian diced tomatoes      2.40
1 1/3 C ditalini                                  .75
2 C baby spinach leaves               1.50
Pepper to taste


Roll sausage into small meatballs, about 1 1/2 inches each.  Brown in a large sauce pan over medium heat.  Once browned, remove and drain grease. 

(this is about half the meatballs)

Saute onion, zucchini, garlic and carrot in same large saucepan in a tsp of oil for about 4 min.  Add meatballs, broth and undrained diced tomatoes to the pan and let it come to a boil.  Continue to boil about 5 min or until meatballs are cooked through.  (I pull out a sample and cut it in half to be sure).   Add pepper to taste. 

Lastly add in spinach to wilt and divide soup into 4 C freezer safe containers.   Put 1/3 C of dry ditalini pasta into zipper sandwich bags to accompany the soup. 

To Serve:

Thaw soup in fridge overnight.  Reheat soup in a small saucepan on med heat.  In another small saucepan boil 3C water and cook ditalini pasta for 10 min.  Drain and add to soup.  Serve hot in bowls.  May sprinkle with Parmesan cheese to finish.  Pasta may be omitted for convenience. 

I was able to make four 4C meals from this one recipe.  At an approximate cost of $3.03 per 4 C of soup.  (not including the cost of containers)

I hope you enjoy!    --Christie aka Keeza