Frugal Me Fridays~ The Stand Alone Freezer

It’s been quite awhile since I did a Frugal Me Fridays post.

Between health stuff and outright laziness, I have not been keeping up with this blog like I should.

I have talked in the past about buying in bulk to save money and on freezing fruit for the same.

You need a place for that and if you want to really put stuff up, you are most likely going to need a freezer.

An upright usually costs more upfront, but it is more cost efficient to run. I find an upright to be easier when it comes to finding things.

You don’t need to buy new. Lots of times you can look in the want ads and find one. Other good places are garage sales and auctions.

Some stores have room dedicated to appliances that have been dinged or returned without the box for whatever reason. These can be a real bargain.

Even if you live in an apartment, you can have a freezer. If you have an extra bedroom(or room in yours) you can get a bigger one.  Even a small freezer can save money in the long run.

I have a smaller upright. It is 4 cubic feet so not tiny, but not full size. I can fit a lot of meat and veggies in it.

If you have a lot of leftovers, freeze them for another time. My husband’s grandmother used to grill a lot of meat at a time and freeze some of it for other meals.

I like to keep the broth from when I roast chicken. I freeze it and I have chicken broth when I need it.

When bananas are on sale cause they are turning brown, I buy them for the freezer. Great for smoothies or bread. My town’s store used to give their brown bananas away free. Those were they days. I always had bananas in the freezer.

Basically if you think of it, you can freeze it. There are guidelines like freezing yeast dough means adding more yeast before freezing because some will die off. But, otherwise go for it.

Enjoy your Friday!



Extreme Cocoa Meringues


Have you ever had meringue cookies? They are cookies made with egg whites and no flour. These are a bit simpler because you don’t need to beat the egg whites with cream of tartar. If you would like a recipe for cocoa meringues, I have that too.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit/ 177 Celsius.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or lightly grease the pan.



3 Egg whites

2- 1/4 cups Powdered sugar

1 cup Cocoa powder

2 teaspoons Vanilla or Chocolate extract


Add the egg whites to a large mixing bowl. Beat slightly with a whisk or large spoon, just until frothy.

Add the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and vanilla extract and beat until smooth.

Use a tablespoon size cookie scoop to droop the cookie dough onto the baking sheet.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until the cookie tops become shiny and crackly.

Take out of the oven and let cool on the sheet before removing.


This will make 14-16 cookies.

Using parchment paper makes the cookies almost fat free. The only fat being in the cocoa fat in the cocoa powder.

Beating the egg whites is not completely necessary, but it does make the cookies a little lighter in texture.

How dark the cookies turn out has to do with the brand of cocoa powder.


Chicken Tetrazzini


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Chicken Tetrazzini is a nice change of pace from spaghetti and tomato based sauces.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit/177 Celsius.

You will need a 2 quart baking dish and a pan for cooking the spaghetti and sauce.



8 Ounces spaghetti

2 Cups sliced fresh mushrooms

1/2 Cup chopped onion

2 Tablespoons butter

1/4 Cup flour

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1 Cup chicken broth

1 Cup milk

2 Cups chopped chicken or turkey

2 Tablespoons sherry OR add an additional 2 Tablespoons chicken broth

1/4 Cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


In a large pot, cook the spaghetti according to package directions. I like to break the dry spaghetti into three or four pieces before throwing it into the water. It makes it easier to eat the finished dish.

Using the same pan, cook the mushrooms and onion in the butter over medium/low heat until tender.

Stir in the flour, pepper, and nutmeg.

Add the milk and chicken broth and cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.

Stir in the chicken, sherry or extra chicken broth, and half of the cheese.

Add the spaghetti and mix up well.

Put the mixture into the baking dish and sprinkle with the rest of the cheese.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.

Sprinkle with parsley.


This dish will serve 4-6 people.





Oregano Pesto


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IMGP6194I love pesto! It is simple to make and a great compliment to pasta.

Pesto can be made with different herbs. Basil is the most commonly thought of pesto.Oregano goes very well in the garden. If you grow it, you are probably trying to figure out ways to use it all before it takes over the garden.

You will need a food processor  or, in a pinch, a blender.


1 cup fresh oregano leaves

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1 clove garlic OR 1 teaspoon dried garlic powder

1/2 cups nuts of your choice

1/2 cup olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Add the oregano, Parmesan cheese, garlic, and nuts  to a food processor.

Turn on and let the ingredients come together.

Slowly, add the olive oil until it is all mixed in.

Put the pesto into a bowl and taste. Season with salt and pepper as you like.

This will make enough to coat 3 cups of cooked pasta.

It is also good for pasta salad or as a topping. or dip for homemade bread.

The Whole Gluten Free Thing

Well, it  is official.

My primary doctor has stated that I should not have gluten anymore. I go to see a GI doctor in a couple weeks to discuss it. Whether anything will be figured out for sure is up in the air.

Either way, I am gluten intolerant.

I do not plan to turn this blog into a gluten free recipe blog.

If you find a good cup for cup gluten free all purpose flour, you can still make the recipes on here.

Certain things, such as cinnamon rolls probably won’t turn out right.

That is one thing I may need to experiment with.

Gluten is in wheat, barley, rye, and oats may be contaminated unless they are labeled GF. There is also the reading of the labels and knowing what certain terms mean. Tocopherols, or vitamin E, may come from wheat germ oil and that gets added to chapstick sometimes. Brewer’s yeast is a by-product of making beer and may be grown on wheat or barley.

Some chocolates are made with barley malt as a sweetener. Corn flakes and Rice Krispies also contain barley malt.

I also have to watch cross contamination. If it is something with no gluten but uses shared equipment, it could be a problem.

This is going to take awhile to get it all sorted out.

All of this has taken a toll on my energy level.

Between that and the holidays, I just have not gotten much accomplished on here.

Ham Hash


This started out as one of my dishes named hodge podge. If I like what I came up with, it gets a name. So, this is now known as Ham Hash.

I am sure you have probably heard of Skillet Hash or Corned Beef Hash. Basically fried potatoes and roast beef. I thought that I’d try ham and see what happened.

You will need a large skillet with a lid.


2 medium size potatoes, scrubbed and cubed

1 small sweet potato, peeled and chopped

1 small/medium onion, chopped

1/2 of a small red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1/2 of a small green bell pepper, seeded and chopped

1 – 2 cups chopped ham

salt to season

pepper to season

1/2 teaspoon paprika powder

2 Tablespoons oil for coating the skillet


Add the oil to the skillet and heat up over medium/high heat.

Add everything to the skillet, but the ham and seasonings.

Season with the salt, pepper, and paprika. Stir til everything is mixed well.

Cover with lid and check once in a while to prevent burning or sticking.

After 5 or 10 minutes, lower the heat and continue to cook until the potatoes are tender.

Dump in the ham and mix in.

Cover and let the ham heat up with the rest of the food.

Let that go for a few minutes.

Time to serve!

This will serve 4-6 depending on if you eat it alone or with something else.

For the Holidays

Things have been busy for me lately.

I’ve been trying to get everything done and some things get a bit neglected.

I had hoped to be publishing my second Yummy Stuff book about now, but I am still waiting to see if my old hard drive can be recovered.

This is what I get for not having everything moved onto my portable drive.

Beyond that, I have been getting out decorations and figuring out things for gifts.

I have been posting links on my Facebook page for goodies that I have posted in the past.

I do need to get some new recipes up and I promise to get that done soon. I have some pics done, Just have to get them up.

Creamy Kale Dip


This dip will work with chips, but even better with vegetables.

Kale, like most greens, is pretty healthy. You can do a lot with it. Use it in salads, steam it, saute it, add it into soups and casseroles, or add to a smoothie. It really is quite versatile.

It is also very easy to grow. I had never tried before this year, but my daughter requested it.

I grew it from seed. A ton of seeds come in a packet so I still have plenty left for next season. The leaves will keep coming back as long as you leave the middle part alone. It will keep going through a frost and even a light freeze.

So, if you want to try growing kale, make sure you have plenty of recipes to use it up.

I came across this while looking for ways to use my kale. The original recipe was for using both spinach and kale. But, I put my own spin on it.


2 cups plain Greek yogurt

3 Tablespoons mayonaise

2 Tablespoons honey

2 cups finely chopped kale

2 cloves minced garlic OR 2 teaspoons garlic powder

3 – 4 Tablespoons finely chopped red onion

1/3 cup finely chopped red bell pepper

1/3 cup finely chopped carrot

1-1/2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt (I use pink Himalayan)

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon paprika


Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and stir. Cover and refrigerate for at least a few hours before serving. I think it tastes best if made a day ahead.

After 3 days, it will get watery. It will still taste good, just thinner.

Makes about 4 cups of dip.

Serve with your favorite raw veggies or chips.

Tip~ If using table salt, use about half the amount.

Cream of Squash Soup




This is a great and simple to make soup.

Use winter squash or pumpkin and you will have a savory treat in no time.

You will need a medium sized saucepan.


1-1/2 cups pureed winter squash or pumpkin

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1-1/2 cups chicken broth

1 Tablespoon butter

1 Tablespoon flour ( gluten free, all purpose, oat will all work fine)

a couple pinches salt

dash pepper

1 cup milk


In a large bowl mix the broth and squash puree together. Set aside.

Melt the butter in your saucepan. Stir in the salt, pepper, nutmeg, ginger, and flour.

Stir until bubbly.

Add the milk and over medium high heat, stir continuously, until the mixture is thickened and bubbly.

Cook for another minute and keep stirring.

Add in the broth and squash.

Cook and stir until it is heated through or a little longer if you it a bit thicker.


If you have to bake a squash for this, you will need one that is about 1-1/4 pounds. If you use pumpkin, a 15 oz. can of pureed pumpkin will give you 1-3/4 cups.

For chicken broth use bouillon and water, store bought, or some already made that you have in the freezer.

I like the mix of ginger and nutmeg, but using either one alone will work great too.

Serves 3-4.

Cooking Up One of the Big Boys


This is one of my larger long neck pumpkins. Not the largest I have, but it is pretty close.

You can call it a long neck pumpkin, brown neck, or Pennsylvania Dutch crook neck squash. Or, you can just call it tasty.

Last year a friend gave us one to try and bake things with it and report back to her on the flavor. Her and her family have a pumpkin patch and grow squashes and gourds and they were given seeds.

So, I kept some seeds and grew some of my own this year.

They went nuts and we have given away several, but I still have a lot left.

It is time to cook and puree.

They make great tasting pie and bars and muffins.

Since these are thinner skinned than actual pumpkins, I peel them first, chop them up, and bake until soft. That is usually for about an hour  to an hour and a half at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

But, you can cook them however you like.

Make pumpkin or squash soup. Use it in place of butternut squash in a recipe. Make pumpkin butter.

I think my neck long neck project will be trying to make pumpkin flour.

It sounds intriguing.