Getting Ready for fall

It is Labor Day weekend which means fall is around the corner and I will need to have freezer space for venison. So I spent yesterday attempting to make space in the freezer!

I started earlier in the week by pulling out a turkey to thaw. Friday night I put it in the counter top roasting oven with some Grill Mates Montreal Chicken Seasoning and a couple of onion quarters set the temp to 325 and went to bed. I woke up around 6:20 to the smell of roasted turkey.

I then got busy. I pulled everything out of my kitchen freezer to see what I had to work with. (I still need to thoroughly go through the BIG freezer, but I did use up several things from there yesterday too.) I then washed out the freezer, did a bit of reorganizing. And then got to work cooking.

My plan was to make as many dishes as I could and put them in the freezer so later when I was busy I could easily just throw them in the oven and Walla! a homemade meal. I was attempting to use up as many items from the freezer and garden as I could as well. Many of the dishes would still be great without the extras so I noted when I added something just because it was there. 🙂 Here is what I made

Ham & Cheese Hashbrowns
1 pkg shredded hashbrown potatoes
1 Can cream of celery soup
1 can of half and half milk (use the empty soup can to measure)
8oz of Sour Cream
1 tsp kosher Salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
1 medium yellow onion (white would work I just had yellow from the garden)
1 lb fully cooked ham – cubed
4 oz Mozzarella Cheese
4 oz Cheddar Cheese

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Pour into 9×13 pan. Cover with foil (I use 2 layers of regular foil or 1 layer of heavy duty)

Cinnamon Rolls
Layer the following items in order in your Bread Machine (all items should be room temperature)
1 Cup water
2 Tbsp Butter
3 Cups flour
1/4 Cup sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
2 1/2 tsp of bread machine yeast or 1 packet of quick yeast
Set machine to Large, Sweet, Dough and came back when it beeped.
Roll out dough on lightly floured surface to approx 9×9
   -Spread with Butter
   -Sprinkle with 1/3 Cup of sugar and 2 tsp. cinnamon
Roll into tight roll, and pick edge to seal
Cut into 1 inch slices
Place on tray in freezer to ‘flash freeze’ for a couple hours.
Store in airtight Freezer bag
When you are ready to bake, pull out of freezer and let rise (overnight) make 375 for 25-30 min
Combine 1 cup confectioners sugar, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1-2 tbsp milk for glaze.

Roasted Bread Cubes/Bread crumbs
I had SEVERAL packages of hot dog buns in the freezer from an event earlier in the summer. I cubed them and placed them on a baking sheet. Placed in the oven set oven to 350. When the oven reached temp. I turned it off and let the crumbs dry out. I made 3 batches.
I used 1 batch in the next recipe, and put the rest in my food processor and made bread crumbs.

Pheasant with CranApple dressing
2 Pheasant Breasts
5 1/2 Cups cubed/roasted bread (would be good with some corn bread mixed in)
1 medium union chopped
4 Tbsp Butter
1/4 Cup chopped Cranberries
1/2 Cup chopped Apples
1 tsp. Rosemary
1 tsp. Thyme
1 1/2 tsp. Sage
2 Cups Turkey Stock (You could use chicken broth)
Kosher Salt and Fresh Pepper to taste.
Combine all dry ingredients add Broth until moist. Place in 9×9 pan lay Pheasant Breasts over dressing and Cover with foil. (When you heat, bake covered at 350. Approx 1 hour. use meat thermometer if meat is done all is done.)

I had to thaw some apples for CranApple dressing so decided to use the remainder and make a cobbler.

Apple Cobbler
8 Cups of slice Apples (mostly thawed)
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Tbsp Cinnamon
Toss all together in 9×13 Pan
Cover with Struessel topping:
    1 Cup flour
    1 stick butter
    1 Cup sugar
    Blend in food Processor. (Can make extra and store in Freezer for quick dutch apple pies later.)

Lake Superior Salmon Patties (My husband had great luck on a fishing trip this summer!)
1lb cooked salmon- Remove bones/skin (I just baked it)
1 small yellow onion chopped (White would work too)
1/4 tsp dill weed
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp lemon Juice
1/4 Cup finely chopped summer squash (I had a TON in my garden to use up)
2 eggs slightly beaten
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
1/2 tsp each of kosher salt and ground pepper

Form into patties, coat in corn meal and flash freeze. Store in Freezer Bag (Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet, cook patties in oil until both sides are golden brown. I like to serve with Hollandaise or a Bearnaise sauce)

Turkey Pot Pie
1 15oz can of potatoes – sliced
1 lb pkg of mixed Veggies
1 Turkey breast – cubed
3 cups of turkey gravy – cooled
-combine in a 9×13 pan
1 pkg refrigerated Crescent Rolls
 – top with crescent dough rolled into a sheet.
Cover with foil. Bake covered at 350. (I would thaw in fridge over night before baking)

Turkey Tetrazzini
I added
3 Cups cubed summer squash
3 Tbsp of Turkey Gravy

Turkey Sandwiches
The kids got hungry for lunch so I buttered some whole wheat bread put some cool turkey, salt and pepper and cut in half. (I like to cut on the diagonal, how about you?)

BBQ Turkey Soup
 4 cups Turkey stock (Could use chicken)
1 1/4 Cup Turkey diced (Could use chicken or leftover BBQ Chicken or pork)
1/2 Green pepper, diced
1/2 Cup Corn
2 Cup Tomatoes diced
1/2 med. Onion diced
1 tsp minced garlic
8oz can black beans
1/2 Cup BBQ sauce
1/2 Tbsp. Hot sauce
1/2 Tbsp. Molasses
Salt and Pepper to taste

You could combine all in a crockpot over low heat for 6 hours. I mixed mine and then placed in 4, 1 Quart canning jars and canned at 11 lbs pressure for 85 minutes.

1 Very Large summer squash – cubed
1 Very Large yellow squash – cubed
1 large eggplant
1 medium yellow onion – chopped
1 red onion – chopped
1 Red bell pepper – chopped
1 Yellow bell pepper – chopped
1 Green bell pepper – chopped
4 Cups diced Tomatoes
4 Cups sliced Carrots (Not traditionally in ratatouille, but in my garden)
1 jar of spaghetti sauce
1/2 bottle of red wine
(This was a GIANT batch, because my veggies had grown so big. If you are better at tending your garden or you are getting your squash from the store, I would cut all remaining ingredients in half)

You could combine all in a crockpot to simmer on low for 6 hours. I combined all and placed in 7, 1 Quart canning jars placed a dash of *kosher salt and ground pepper in each jar and canned at 11 lbs of pressure for 85 minutes.
*Kosher salt is important when canning DO NOT use iodized table salt when canning. If you are new to canning I HIGHLY recommend my favorite canning book Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving. Canning is a science and can produce deadly results if done incorrectly.

Rhubarb Crisp
8 Cups Rhubarb – chopped
1 tsp Vanilla
1 1/2 Cups Sugar
3 Tbsp Corn Starch
Combine in 9×13 pan and stir thoroughly
crunch topping:
1 Cup Butter – melted
1 1/2 Cup flour
1 1/2 Cup Oatmeal (I like regular oats not quick oats for this)
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp. Cinnamon
Mix in bowl and crumble over filling.
Cover with foil and *freeze. (Bake 350 for 1 hour)
*Freezing helps to break down the rhubarb, If you are going to skip the freezing. Than add 1 Cup of water and cook over the stove until it thickens, pour into 9×13 pan, crumble topping and Bake.

Turkey and Rice
Remaining Turkey breast – cubed (4-5 cups)
Remaining Turkey Gravy (3 cups)
Combine and serve over 3 cups prepared Rice.

Butternut Squash (could do the same with acorn squash)
2 Butternut Squash – Cubed
1/4 Cup of Butter.
1/4 Cup Brown Sugar

Remove skin from Squash before cubing, (either with a peeler or slice it like you would a melon).  Place in a baking dish (since I was freezing it I used a 9×13 aluminum pan again.) Cut small pads of butter and place on top of the squash. Sprinkle brown sugar over top. Cover. Bake Covered for approx. 1 hour

I didn’t get as many dishes prepared as I had hoped. But I was able to clear off 1 entire shelf in the Big freezer. (Since Freezers run more efficiently when full though, I HAD to go to Coborn’s and pick up a couple of the Kemps Vanilla Ice Cream pails that were on sale for $3.99 each. I will just have to force the family to eat it before the first deer comes!)


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