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Not Your Mother's Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook (NYM Series) [Kindle Edition]

Jessica Fisher
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (137 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Our mothers—and grandmothers—put up food in the freezer to economize on time and money.  In a recessionary environment and in a world of dual-job families, there’s even more reason to do so today. But we don’t have the same tastes as our moms. We eat a wider range of foods, drawing on a variety of ethnic and global cuisines, we include more produce and grains in our diets, and we use fewer processed and fatty foods. Jessica Fisher’s Not Your Mother’s Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook is the perfect guide for economical home cooks with any or all of these new tastes in foods that take well to freezing.
 
Competing books on freezing sell strongly and steadily.  Typically, they are based on a very specific plan—cooking for a family of four for a month ahead in an afternoon of work in the kitchen, for example.  They offer orderly plans with decent, if largely unimaginative, food.  Not Your Mother’s Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook offers two advantages over these books. First, Fisher lays out lots of easy-to-follow guidelines for diverse families with varying needs and desires, taking into account how long you want to spend in the kitchen—there are 2-hour, 4-hour, and daylong plans—as well as how far out ahead you want to cook for, the size of your household, the size of your freezer, your budget, and even your taste for one-dish meals versus multi-course meals.  The emphasis is on facilitating flexibility without sacrificing clarity and ease-of-use.
 
Second, Fisher’s 200 recipes deliver flavorful and healthy food in abundance. She takes readers beyond mom’s beef-pork-chicken triumvirate, with lots of ideas for lamb, fish, shellfish, and vegetarian main courses. There are homey and family-friendly dishes, like Cheddar Cheese Soup with Zucchini, Broccoli, and Carrots, or Crumb-Topped Cod Fillets, fancy dishes for company, like Seasoned Steak with Gorgonzola Herb Butter, and lots of globally inspired creations like Salsa Verde Beef, Red Lentil Dahl, and Hoisin-Glazed Salmon. While the emphasis is on dinner, there are breakfast and brunch recipes, too, and plenty of ideas for breads, quick breads, and desserts that freeze well.  Ample sidebars address such matters as finding good freezer bags and containers, labeling frozen food, whether to invest in a new freezer, and how to thaw safely.
 
The author’s story—cooking for a family of eight, including six home-schooled children under ten, and serving as the creator and writer of the popular blogs Life as Mom and Good Cheap Eats—fits the topic and the book perfectly.  Fisher is a woman who knows all about budgeting time and money efficiently, at the same time serving up delicious food with warmth, love, and an appreciation for the pleasures of the table.


Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Jessica Fisher is a busy mom of six young children, aged toddler to teen. Homeschool mom by day, freelance writer and blogger by night, she writes two popular blogs, LifeasMom.com and GoodCheapEats.com and contributes to both SimpleHomeschool.net and Food.YourWay.net. She also writes for various parenting publications in the U.S. and Canada. She lives with her husband and children in San Diego, California and is an avid home cook. Not Your Mother's Make-Ahead and Freeze is her first book.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Introduction: This is Not Your Mothers Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook

Dinner time. The phrase can evoke memories of lively voices, cozy suppers, and candlelight; images of forks chasing the last morsels of this or that on the plate; flavors blending in a happy symphony; satisfied hearts and tummies. Contentment.

But the notion of dinner time can also bring to mind that frantic feeling when you come home tired, the dog is barking, the phone is ringing, and the entire household is clamoring, "Whats for dinner?" Stress.

You grope for an answer. Fast food? TV dinners? Canned soup? These are all quick fixes, but at what cost? All have excess sodium and additives, dubiously sourced ingredients, and questionable taste. What can you do to make mealtimes more enjoyable without resorting to less-than-best menu options? How can you make contentment, not stress, the norm at dinner time?

Turn to your freezer -- what Alton Brown calls "the most potent food-preservation device ever devised. That precious appliance can save your bacon when it comes to putting healthy, wholesome meals on the table in record time. Ive been preparing make-ahead and freeze meals for 15 years now, since I was a young high-school teacher with no one to feed but my husband and myself. Today I cook for a small army of eight: me, my husband, and our six children, aged tot to teen. And while I have my fair share of "Calgon, take me away" moments, mealtimes are usually pleasurable at our house.

Good eating has always been part of our family culture, from enjoying upscale Santa Barbara restaurants during our dating years to laughing as our first-born, at 10 months, devoured peach salsa from a spoon to grilling pizzas today on the backyard barbecue for a pack of famished children. For us, mealtimes are an event.

And while I love to cook, as a work-at-home mom, I also like to enjoy time with my family. Making many meals ahead of time allows me to have the best of both worlds. I regularly spend focused time in the kitchen, cooking up a storm and stashing the results away in the freezer for later use. The outcome? Perfect homemade convenience foods that serve us well, without undue stress.

In as little as an hour a week, you, too, can stock your freezer with make-ahead meals and meal components that are tasty, filling, healthy, and budget-friendly.

But don’t worry: These are not your mother’s—or your grandmother’s—frozen casseroles. Drawing on modern technology and a global food market full of diverse ingredients, the recipes that follow feature a wide variety of flavor profiles and cooking methods. They appeal to modern taste buds, and they can all be prepared in bulk to help you save time in the kitchen. These meals will put the lively voices and cozy suppers back into your dinner times.


Product Details

  • File Size: 832 KB
  • Print Length: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Common Press (November 6, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008LQ1T5K
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #58,037 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
234 of 251 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed November 15, 2012
By JS
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Based on the other reviews, I had high hopes for this book. I own or have checked out most every freezer book out there. This one is pretty basic. There are a lot of recipes for marinades, which isn't what I was looking for. I have a whole other book of marinades and sauces. Unfortunately, each of these recipes only gives directions for "grilling over a hot fire", not oven directions, which is limiting.
The remaining recipes are pretty basic/mix and match. For example, there will be recipes for different kinds of pizza using the same crust, enchiladas, etc. There are also recipes for meat that you cook in the crockpot and shred for later. There are about 49 recipes for breads/desserts. The main reason I use freezer cooking is for dinnertime, but perhaps other families are different. While chopping and freezing ingredients ahead of time saves some time in the kitchen, a lot of the recipes need a lot of prep after thawing. That defeats the purpose for me. And though it claims not to use condensed soup like our mothers cooked with, there are recipes using a homemade cream of celery soup. There are maybe two recipes in here that I would use, and if it didn't cost half as much as the book to send back I would. The cookbooks I really like for freezing are Fix, Freeze, Feast and You've Got It Made. The health content of the recipes is similar and there is a lot more variety to work with.
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70 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even better than I'd expected October 11, 2012
By Joy M
Format:Paperback
I thought this was just going to be a cookbook of recipes you can freeze. But instead it's a complete how-to!

The recipes look delicious and realistic (not a bunch of weird ingredients), and instructions are spelled out very clearly. But my favorite part of the cookbook is the cooking plans. For each cooking plan, Jessica compiles several of the recipes based on type (breakfasts, meatless, beef, etc.), then includes a complete grocery list for all those recipes, packaging guidelines, gadgets/appliances needed, prep list, and a detailed cooking plan. For instance, if I want to make some breakfasts for the freezer, I can just refer to one of the Breakfast cooking plans and the planning's already done for me. All I have to do is shop and cook, and Jessica holds my hand the whole way.

This is so much more than just a cookbook (there's so much fabulous information, the recipes don't even start until page 65). The only downside is now I have no excuse NOT to start freezer cooking!
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent beginning... November 3, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The best part of the book is the first 64 pages, where the author discusses the concept of batch cooking for freezer meals that are healthier and less expensive than take out, fast food and going out for dinner. My intial impression of the book was that it was going to be a very structured menu, shopping, prepping, preparing, storing and heating instruction for a specified period. While there is a lot of structure, there is also a great deal of flexibility. You can take a few hours and prepare dinners for a week (her advice is to make double, even triple, batches of everything since it saves time and money, to use later), or take a whole day and make 25 dinners or more. She even has a section that helps you create your own make ahead and freeze plan to take into consideration your own family's likes, tastes and regional/seasonal offerings. She has plans for breakfasts and meatless options also. I think the idea is to "build" a revolving supply of meals that you continually replenish when the mood (or sale!) strikes. You can start big or small, it's up to you. The author gives you shopping lists and even lists the appliances and storage containers you will need, so not much is left to chance. She also avoids the use of pre-packaged spice mixes and sauce bases, preferring to batch coook her own so as to keep artificial ingredients and preservatives out. The recipes are pretty standard fare, nothing really exotic, but there are over 200 (mostly main dish) to choose from and the ones I've tried have been quite good. What I would liked to have included is the nutritional information for each recipe. Since the author has a large family, her recipes usually feed 8, which will require a little interpolating and planning for fewer mouths to feed. Read more ›
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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Meat, Meat and More Meat December 29, 2012
Format:Paperback
I really like this author's personality. I enjoy her blog, and her methods for simplifying things.

But, I was disappointed to find that the "meals" were nearly all meat-centered - and JUST meat.

No sides, no salads, almost no beans or grains - very little variety.

Those recipes that were vegetarian leaned very heavily on cheese, eggs & butter. Even the breads were generally heavy-laden with and animal fats.

For those who like to eat that way -I'm giving the book 4 stars. It's well-written, well organized and has a lot of great ideas for meats & cheese.

Since this author is trying to produce frugal menus, I expected more beans, grains, and frozen vegetables.

Be aware that there are no pictures.

Recipes are supposed to be doubled or tripled - it would have been much more helpful to have the calculations done for the reader/cook.

All in all, a fine cookbook for those who wish to freezer-cook meat and dairy.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Recipes, Easy Food System!
I loved the easy full of flavor recipes in this cookbook. And the freezer food system is easy to follow, and economical. Will be using this for years to come.
Published 9 days ago by BarbaraS.
5.0 out of 5 stars I waited like a child at Christmas for this to come!
I was so pleased with thus book. The recipes are excellent. It is so helpful for my large family, I have freezer days, fill my freezer and then mealtime are more efficient.
Published 10 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great
Published 17 days ago by Jeanette Newbold
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful time and money saver
I love the concept behind this book and the recipes. The only reason that I haven't given 5 stars is that I'm not in the US so some of the ingredients aren't available to me and... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Claire Berkahn
5.0 out of 5 stars great
a good resource and chuck full of info book. well worth the investment. I have made several recipes and they were all very good
Published 2 months ago by lana smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Resource!
I have been a reader of both of Jessica's blogs for many years and was excited to get my hands on this book when it came out. I must admit, at first I was a bit disappointed. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Sheila Wilson
4.0 out of 5 stars Great first freezer cookbook
I've had this one for about a year now and it's gotten a lot of use in my kitchen. Almost everything I've made has been a hit with my very picky husband and has been given the... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
I just got this book today. I can't wait to start cooking. Lot's of great recipes and ideas. I wish I had this book when my children were little and I was cooking dinner every... Read more
Published 4 months ago by A. Kelly Kuykendall
5.0 out of 5 stars Smarter women smarter cooking
This is a smart way to manage today's stress filled life for mothers. The recipes look wonderful and the system seems simple enough. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Brenda Iden
5.0 out of 5 stars Make-Ahead Awesome!
We love this cookbook! I checked it out from the library before purchasing to see if the recipes were ones we would like. In short, we liked them so much, I purchased the book. Read more
Published 5 months ago by C. Powers
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More About the Author

Jessica Fisher is a busy mom of six children, ranging from kindergarten to high school. Homeschool mom by day, freelance writer and blogger by night, she writes two popular blogs, LifeasMom.com and GoodCheapEats.com.

Jessica has written online for The Kitchn, The Art of Simple, Life Your Way, $5 Dinners and Money Saving Mom, and in print for more than 85 regional parenting publications in the U.S. and Canada. She lives with her husband and children in San Diego, California and is an avid home cook. She is the author of Not Your Mother's Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook and Best 100 Juices for Kids.


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