Despite the fact that as I write this we haven't been on vacation yet (Friday's coming!), I've started planning for my Back to School cooking extravaganza.
Three years ago, I discovered the genius of freezer meals. After buying a Taste of Home freezer magazine, I tried cooking and freezing meals that would make my life easier upon my return to work. It totally does make my life easier. We eat at home during a stressful time with the startup of school and being away weekends for football. I've started my lists and my inventory of the deep freeze so that we have some more healthy choices than the nearest restaurant.
To that end, I'm stocking not only dinners but breakfasts as well. I need something that can be quick, or on the go; but not just peanut butter toast when I can't think of anything else. My Christmas present from last year has been a help: a Hamilton Beach breakfast sandwich maker that we pull out maybe once a week. I also try and stock bagels, and often have cooked breakfast sausage links so I can make quick scrambled egg wraps. I also enjoy muffins from time to time.
My mother makes lots of different muffins that are delicious, and if you look at my index I make lots of different flavours too, Muffins freeze well, are portable, and can use up things that are lurking in your produce drawer.
Speaking of produce, if you and I are friends on Facebook, I've been posting pictures of my Good Food Boxes this summer from The Stand in Burford. J and I have eaten more fresh fruits and vegetables for an incredible price because of these boxes! We've had things like this:
I've been freezing what we can't eat (mainly strawberries and beans), and knowing that in winter we will have lots of things to choose from out of the excess of our bounty from the summer.
When I saw this recipe in my Taste of Home freezer magazine, it was like it was meant to be.
I present to you now Harriet Stichter from Milford, Illinois' Walnut Zucchini Muffins:
From Taste of Home (I have Ultimate Meals from the Freezer)
2 c all purpose flour
2/3 c packed brown sugar
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 c milk
1/2 c butter, melted
1 medium zucchini, shredded
1 c walnuts, chopped
1/2 c raisins
1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.
2. In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients. In a second bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and butter. Stir wet ingredients into dry until just combined. Fold in zucchini, walnuts and raisins.
3. Fill paper liners three quarters full. Bake at 375F for 20 minutes, until an inserted tester comes out clean. Let cool 5 minutes in the pan before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.