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Archive for the ‘Freezer Food Fest’ Category

Freezer Food Fest #12

Posted by Caveman Cooking on February 17, 2010

It’s official! We’re moving!! So, I have been given a “request” by the Cavewoman to empty the freezer before we hit the road. The pressure is on!

Freezer Food Fest #12No, I haven’t forgotten about this icy quest. Between the Super Bowl, Valentines Day, house-buying (40 miles away), packing, and all the other daily endeavors we all face it has just been put on hold. But, with D-day now less than three weeks away it was definitely time to get busy on creating complete vacancy in the ice box.
So, it was with great delight, that I found the leftovers from the Holiday dinner Cavemom had made for us almost two months ago (where does the time go?!?). While there was no Chopped Liver, homemade Apple Sauce, Cole Slaw, and other festive dishes were nowhere to be found in the oversized plastic bag, there was enough of her traditional Hanukkah faire of Beef Brisket and Potato Pancakes to feed the Cavekids and me one more time.
My mom has always given her brisket a double dose of flavor by first dry rubbing it before cooking it, and then adding a special slightly sweet yet tangy sauce to go over it after slicing. It is always a hit with family and friends. However, as good as the meat is, it is her Latkas that are the chef d’oeuvre everyone clamors for. They’re made with shredded spuds, onions, apples and a host of other ingredients that combine to make a delectable tuber disk that you just can’t get enough of. The good news is that when Cavemom made this batch, I helped, took pics and jotted down the recipe … so, I’ll be sharing it in the next day or so. Freezer Food Fest #12
But, for this redux of this fabulous meal, all I had to do was throw the foil wrapped packets of meat and potatoes into a 375° oven for 25 minutes and zap the sauce for a minute. I have to admit, I am not a big fan of frozen/reheated brisket because it tends to dry out a bit. Such was the case here, though it was still very flavorful. The potato pancakes, on the other hand, came out almost as delicious as the day we made them. Topped with a little apple sauce, they were MmmmMMMM gooood!!!
Now, back to the home-purchase insanity and the house-packing lunacy! 😮 If my head spontaneously combusts, you’ll understand!!

©2010 Caution: Caveman Cooking/UHearMe, Inc. All rights reserved. This originally appeared on the Caution: Caveman Cooking blog at http://cavemancooking.net authored by Caveman. This may be shared and reprinted as long as this entire copyright message accompanies it.

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Freezer Food Fest #11

Posted by Caveman Cooking on January 25, 2010

It’s official! We’re moving!! So, I have been given a “request” by the Cavewoman to empty the freezer before we hit the road. The pressure is on!

After being down for the count for nearly a week with a nice little bug passed on from one of my walking petri dishes, also known as my daughter, I was itchin’ to get back in the kitchen. Plus, I was long overdue for making another dent in this icy odyssey that only has a few weeks to go. As I was digging through the freezer, I found something I had bought for my Veggie wife to try after her obvious pangs of jealousy over not being able to indulge the last time I made my Easy Chicken Parm. Though, as I pulled it from it’s chilly sanctuary, I realized I had bought the wrong variety. Instead of the plain original MorningStar Chik Patties I had inadvertently picked up the Parmesan Ranch. I was afraid they might be too seasoned … But, these would have to do.
I whipped up a batch of Italian Sauce, dressed up the chicken breasts for the Parm, and got ready to prepare the faux-chicken using the “Oven Method” described on the box. My plan was to get them ready to get sauced and cheesed when I did the same to the real chicken the Cavekids and I would be eating. Surprisingly, everything went perfectly! About 5 minutes after completing the last steps I pulled it all out of the oven, served it all up with some spaghetti, and a nice salad the Cavewoman put together.

Vegetarian Chicken Parm

As usual, the short-people devoured their plates with the sounds of chewing being almost the only thing audible from their sauce-covered faces. The best sound, however, was my wife getting her first taste of Chicken Parm since before her 12th birthday and absolutely loving it. Though, after several bites she did note that the Parmesan Ranch Chik Patties were a bit salty. Ahhhhhh … bummer! My purchasing faux pas had ended up coming back to haunt me after all. I was quickly heartened, though, when my wife said she’d be eager to try it again with the original version of the product. She still somehow managed to “muddle” her way through the salty version.
Regardless, we all had a great dinner together (the first time this week we all sat together for dinner), and I was able to score another notch in my ice pick. Best of all, I also managed to make a couple extra “real” chicken breasts that will be perfect for leftover Chicken Parm Sandwiches. Guess what I’m having for lunch today?!?! 😉

©2010 Caution: Caveman Cooking/UHearMe, Inc. All rights reserved. This originally appeared on the Caution: Caveman Cooking blog at http://cavemancooking.net authored by Caveman. This may be shared and reprinted as long as this entire copyright message accompanies it.

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Freezer Food Fest #10

Posted by Caveman Cooking on January 18, 2010

It’s official! We’re moving!! So, I have been given a “request” by the Cavewoman to empty the freezer before we hit the road. The pressure is on!

No, I haven’t forgotten about my quest for a food-free freezer. I’ve just been a bit under the weather the last couple of days. But, that hasn’t stopped this ongoing crusade that now has slightly under 30 days left.
The Cavewoman decided to make some of her delicious Cheese Enchiladas for the family, which I often add some chicken to for the carnivore crowd. But, I didn’t think I had enough time to defrost and then prepare the chicken properly to go into this dish before they got rolled up and placed into the oven. Though, I did spot a couple of NY Strip Steaks in the freezer that would make an excellent Carne Asada to go along side the Enchiladas.
We had also just received a box full of fresh picked Avocados from the Cave-in-laws who have a couple of very prolific trees in their backyard. So, while the steaks defrosted, I whipped up some fresh Guac (recipe to come this week, along with the Enchilada recipe). Of course, we had to nibble on some of it while we cooked, and even had to force ourselves to stop before none was left for the meal. I’d like to think that it was my recipe that made it so good, but those Avocados were so creamy, buttery, and full of flavor that I probably could have added absolutely nothing and still found it as delicious! 😉
As for the Carne Asada, many recipes call for different kinds of marinades and spices. However, being the Caveman that I am, I try to keep it very simple. I just squeezed a little fresh lime juice onto the steaks and then dusted them with some World Spice Merchants Yucatan Rojo Rub – both sides. Covered them up and refrigerated for a couple of hours, and then grilled as usual. When done, I just sliced them across the grain and served them up with the Enchiladas and Guacamole. We also chopped up some of the Serrano Chili Peppers we grow in our backyard and sprinkled them on top of the cheese-filled tortilla yumminess.
Needless to say, this was a big hit with the family. Everything melded so well together. Even my veggie wife was intrigued by the allure of the Asada and, again, the Cavekids devoured their meal meal like a T-rex on a sheep farm. Plus, we had enough leftover for a full second tasty meal for everyone. Yet, another successful stop on the Freezer Food Fest sojourn!

©2010 Caution: Caveman Cooking/UHearMe, Inc. All rights reserved. This originally appeared on the Caution: Caveman Cooking blog at http://cavemancooking.net authored by Caveman. This may be shared and reprinted as long as this entire copyright message accompanies it.

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Freezer Food Fest #8 & #9

Posted by Caveman Cooking on January 11, 2010

It’s official! We’re moving!! So, I have been given a “request” by the Cavewoman to empty the freezer before we hit the road. The pressure is on!

Freezer Food Fest #8


Some folks may call this cheating. I call it full disclosure. I was forced, by overwhelming Cave-family demand, to use the same recipe on two consecutive editions of Freezer Food Fest. That’s right! The Garlic Shrimp in Creamy Tomato Sauce used on the Florentyna’s linguini in F3 #8 was such a hit, it was brought out for an encore performance in the 9th installment on some of their Ravioli. The family even wanted a do-over of the Sauteed Yellow Squash that went so well next to the Black Linguini.
I admit it, I “caved” under the pressure. But, who am I to deny my family their deepest desires. Besides, shrimp and yellow squash were on major sale at our local Vons. 😉 So, just two nights removed from one version of this meal, we went for another go of it. Though, I just had to throw in a twist. Instead of the linguini from our first rendition, I went with a pair of Ravioli choices: Black & White Striped Lobster Ravioli and some Portobello Mushroom Raviloli.

Freezer Food Fest #9


At first, the Cavekids were a bit uncertain about the shroom version. However, after their hesitant beginnings, they were mowing them down almost as fast at the Lobster filled versions they were annihilating like a fryer chicken in a Piranha tank.
While I was quite pleased about their love for this dish, it was their reaction to the squash that has blown me away. The Cavegirl was heard to say, “I looooooove squash!”. Caveboy was too busy chewing to say anything intelligible.
I guess I kind of killed two proverbial birds with one stone here. Two different pasta genres with the same gravy. I am not aware of any Freezer Food Fest rules that prevent me from using the same recipe on more than one dish. I wasn’t cheating, being lazy (though, that is my nature ;)), or forcing my family into a redux. Just responding to popular demand, and happy to be taking two more steps in this icy odyssey.

©2010 Caution: Caveman Cooking/UHearMe, Inc. All rights reserved. This originally appeared on the Caution: Caveman Cooking blog at http://cavemancooking.net authored by Caveman. This may be shared and reprinted as long as this entire copyright message accompanies it.

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Freezer Food Fest #7

Posted by Caveman Cooking on January 7, 2010

It’s official! We’re moving!! So, I have been given a “request” by the Cavewoman to empty the freezer before we hit the road. The pressure is on!

After spending the afternoon in Rancho Cucamonga with the Caveboy and Cavemom cashing in my Holiday gift from my mother, a Bass Pro Shops shopping spree, there wasn’t much time to cook when we got home. Plus, my son and I were still pretty full from our lunch at the Yard House.
By the way, if you haven’t stopped by one of the Yard House locations around the country, you might want to try it. Besides hundreds of on-tap beer selections, available in yard and half yard glasses of course, there is a wide ranging food menu filled with some very delectable choices. While I opted for a very tasty Shrimp & Vegetable Rice Bowl for my main course, we decided to start things out by splitting a Hawaiian Tuna Poke Stack – marinated fresh ahi stacked with crispy wontons, carrots, bean sprouts, avocado and wasabi soy sauce. Unfortunately, my phone camera doesn’t really do this dish justice. But, suffice it to say, I will definitely order this appetizer again … SOON! 😉
Eventually, though, we all started jonesing for some din-din. After a quick search and rescue mission into the icy hold I came up with a few Poppa Mike’s Gnarly Burgers that had previously been tossed into frigid the chamber for a later date. That date was today!
I just threw them, frozen solid, onto a hot grill. About 12 minutes later we were munching some tasty burgers adorned with some left over bacon from Freezer Food Fest #6, some incredibly creamy avocado fresh from my in-laws tree, and some store bought lettuce, tomato, and onion. And, it was gooooood!
I’m starting to feel like this frozen food quest is starting to make a dent in the load of frigid edibles we have amassed. I can actually see to the back of the freezer in some spots! Perhaps I will indeed accomplish this challenge … we’ll see. 😉

©2010 Caution: Caveman Cooking/UHearMe, Inc. All rights reserved. This originally appeared on the Caution: Caveman Cooking blog at http://cavemancooking.net authored by Caveman. This may be shared and reprinted as long as this entire copyright message accompanies it.

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Freezer Food Fest #6

Posted by Caveman Cooking on January 6, 2010

It’s official! We’re moving!! So, I have been given a “request” by the Cavewoman to empty the freezer before we hit the road. The pressure is on!

It’s done! Our house has officially closed escrow, and we are officially squatters. Actually, part of the sale allows us to stay in the house for a month and a half gratis. This gives me about 40 days to attempt to complete my glacial gastronomic quest. Plenty of time … uh, huh! 😐
Fortunately, when I was pulling the Tri-tip out of the box for Freezer Food Fest #5, I came across some cold-hardened bacon. Sure, it wasn’t the biggest thing in there, and didn’t clear out much room. But, it was better than having to cannonball my way in there to find something to further the goal … because a clean freezer is a happy freezer.
Plus, it didn’t hurt that the Cavekids have recently discovered the joys of bacon. In fact, their bacon-celebration is somewhat akin to the dog in the “Beggen’ Strips” commercial. So it was, as the pig belly hit the griddle, began sizzling, and sent heavenly vapors wafting through the Cavehold that the short people came running into the kitchen and, upon discovering this meaty delight was destined for their gullet, launched into a victory dance that still has me rolling.
However, man, pre-historic or modern, can’t live by pork products alone. So, I whipped up a Cave Scramble and some Cavetaters, sliced up some oranges from the backyard tree we will dearly miss, and had a beautiful breakfast feast.
Now, though, I have to face the Arctic Beast again and continue my ice-chilled crusade. Unfortunately, there is no more bacon in sight! You think frozen peas will get the same rousing reception???

©2010 Caution: Caveman Cooking/UHearMe, Inc. All rights reserved. This originally appeared on the Caution: Caveman Cooking blog at http://cavemancooking.net authored by Caveman. This may be shared and reprinted as long as this entire copyright message accompanies it.

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Freezer Food Fest #5

Posted by Caveman Cooking on January 3, 2010

It’s official! We’re moving!! So, I have been given a “request” by the Cavewoman to empty the freezer before we hit the road. The pressure is on!

So, after my horror filled journey into the nether regions of the ice box in Freezer Food Fest #4, I just had to find something good for this installment. Or, at the very least, something edible! I didn’t have to search far to achieve both goals … Barbequed Tri-tip that had been marinated in Teriyamic Marinade. I had just made it a week or so ago, but had to freeze the leftovers when I realized they wouldn’t have a chance to be eaten before turning to the “darkside”. Now, though, I figured it would make great sandwiches! I threw the zip-lock bag into the fridge and gave it 24 hours to defrost.
Skip ahead to lunchtime today. I asked who would be up for a Tri-tip sammy, but six year-old Caveboy was adamant about his dire “need” for a Peanut Butter sandwich, no jelly. But, 4 year-old Cavegirl, the more gastronomically adventurous of the two, was pumped about the prospect of Freezer Food Fest Tri-tip. Much like her dad, she is a true American … we will eat anything as long as it is between two pieces of bread! 😉
However, plain mayo or mustard just wasn’t sounding like the right condiment for these puppies. Something needed to be tweeked … hmmmmmm. A quick perusal of the spice cabinet brought the answer: Chipotle Mayonnaise! Fast, easy, and gooooooood! Just grabbed the bottle of World Spice Merchants Chipotle Chili Powder and added a full 1/4 teaspoon to 2 tablespoons of mayo and did a brisk whisk … BOOM! Mayo done!!
Sliced a couple of bakery fresh sandwich rolls open, slathered on the spiced up mayo, and served them with some Harvest Cheddar SunChips. I took that first bite and was immediately pleased by the flavor combinations … delicious! Cavegirl, who is usually the last one to finish her meal, was the first one done. I guess she liked it, too. Even the Caveboy was intrigued and asked for a bite. He ended up being quite bummed he opted for PB, no J.
I’m just glad we were able to get something good out of the freezer this time. I was beginning to worry that we might already have found all that was edible in that ice-cold encasement. Things are looking up, though. When I found the Tri-tip, I also found some bacon! Breakfast is going to rock tomorrow!! 🙂

©2010 Caution: Caveman Cooking/UHearMe, Inc. All rights reserved. This originally appeared on the Caution: Caveman Cooking blog at http://cavemancooking.net authored by Caveman. This may be shared and reprinted as long as this entire copyright message accompanies it.

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Freezer Food Fest #4

Posted by Caveman Cooking on January 1, 2010

It’s official! We’re moving!! So, I have been given a “request” by the Cavewoman to empty the freezer before we hit the road. The pressure is on!

Well, I finally did it! I hitched up my chonies, gathered my courage, collected myself and headed into the bowels of the freezer to see what I would find. Oh … the horror!! It’s amazing how every freezer seems to have a little “Bermuda Triangle” area where food products go in, never to be seen again. At least, not seen again before they are freezer-burned beyond all recognition and are covered by that “protective layer of ice”, as the Cavemom likes to call it.
Speaking of which, if you haven’t seen Albert Brooks’ “Mother”, with Debbie Reynolds as his Mom, do yourself a favor and rent it. It is one of the funniest mother/son dynamic movies I’ve ever laughed my way through. Her devotion to her freezer is only exceeded by my mom’s conviction that anything can and should be frozen. But, I digress.
I somehow managed to navigate to that seldom seen nook where frozen foods go to fade into the frosty sunset. What I found flabbergasted me! No less than two Tri-tips and one brisket, along with 20 of the Cavemom’s Potato Latkes, several ears of corn and a package of Hebrew National Hot Dogs all had fallen victim to the insidious effect of their frozen environment.
It pained me to toss all of these previously edible items into the dumpster and I wondered how it was that these family favorites had escaped our attention until it was too late. Wasting food is one of my personal pet peeves, which made all this seem even more morose. However this travesty occurred, I have pledged to make sure it never happens again. Never again will our frozen food products disappear from our culinary radar. Never again will they find their way to the trash can before finding their way to the dining table. Never again will they fall prey to the freezer’s fickle finger of frozen fate. NEVER AGAIN!

©2010 Caution: Caveman Cooking/UHearMe, Inc. All rights reserved. This originally appeared on the Caution: Caveman Cooking blog at http://cavemancooking.net authored by Caveman. This may be shared and reprinted as long as this entire copyright message accompanies it.

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Freezer Food Fest #3

Posted by Caveman Cooking on December 31, 2009

It’s official! We’re moving!! So, I have been given a “request” by the Cavewoman to empty the freezer before we hit the road. The pressure is on!

As I’m rummaging through the freezer to find some skinless, boneless breasts to make Chicken Panang (Thai Red Curry in Coconut Milk) I come across a bag of frozen French Green Beans from Trader Joe’s, and the light bulb over my head goes on, singeing a bald spot onto the top of my head (okay, so the bald spot was already there :(). I figure these would probably go great in a Panang and I could “kill two frozen birds with one wok”. So, I decided to forego my usual ingredients of peas and red bell peppers for the beans-with-an-accent and went to work on a meal that is one of my favorites, but hadn’t yet been tried by the Cavekids nor was it (curry) on the Cavewoman’s list of faves. But, in being true to my stubborn Taurus lineage, I trudged forward.

Chicken Panang

I sauteed the curry paste, browned the tofu for the veggie-version I would make for my herbivore wife, cooked the chicken and added the rest of the ingredients including the Haricot Verts. The smells emanating from the kitchen definitely piqued everyone’s curiosity. But, upon first glance the Caveboy’s reaction was “What’s that sauce???”, said with a keen feeling of dread. But when the first bites were taken, all reservations were replaced by comments like “Wow, dad! That’s good!!”. Even the Tofu version met with sincere approval from the Cavewoman who found it “Absolutely delicious!”.

Tofu Panang

While I’m really happy that everyone ended up loving this round of Freezer Food Fest, I am slightly bummed. Now, that the whole family likes Panang with French Green Beans there won’t be much in the way of leftovers for moi! 😉 That’s okay, though, because we will be having this dish more often, now that it has received the Cavehold Seal of Approval.

©2009 Caution: Caveman Cooking/UHearMe, Inc. All rights reserved. This originally appeared on the Caution: Caveman Cooking blog at http://cavemancooking.net authored by Caveman. This may be shared and reprinted as long as this entire copyright message accompanies it.

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Freezer Food Fest #2

Posted by Caveman Cooking on December 30, 2009

It’s official! We’re moving!! So, I have been given a “request” by the Cavewoman to empty the freezer before we hit the road. The pressure is on!

After the huge success of the first installment of this challenge, or “Shalanje” as we like to pronounce it in the Cavehold, I didn’t want to attempt anything too ambitious for F3 #2. My prayers were answered when I stumbled upon this collection of Costco mini quiches that we had bought, and apparently forgotten about, for a party a few months back. Of course, making all 60 would have been overkill for the four humble Cavepeople I thought would be chowing on these. So, I put 10 of those little puppies on a baking sheet. However, I was immediately faced with severe doubt about their delectability by the Cavewoman, “Why are you making so many? They’re not going to be any good, and the kids won’t eat them.”
I proceeded, undaunted. Popped them into the 375° oven for 14 minutes (probably could have gotten away with 13), pulled the little cups of cheesy goo out for a 5 minute cool down, and readily volunteered for the Guinea Pig role. YUMMMMMM!
Caveboy stepped up to the plate next and hadn’t even swallowed his first bite when the “MMMMMMmmmmm’s” started. Next, Cavegirl was game and downed one before I could even ask her how she liked it. After three rave reviews, the Cavewoman finally relented. I didn’t react to her positive response other than to put on that self-satisfied smile that drives her nuts. By the way, I won’t give out the actual count but, apparently, the Cavewoman liked them the best. 😉
We still have 50 more of these babies to go. So, I expect us to have mini quiches for hors d’oeuvres a few more times before D-day.
On a side note, after seeing the first picture above, I’ve decided that if my voice over career ever hits the skids I might be able to make it as a hand model … don’t ya think?!?

©2009 Caution: Caveman Cooking/UHearMe, Inc. All rights reserved. This originally appeared on the Caution: Caveman Cooking blog at http://cavemancooking.net authored by Caveman. This may be shared and reprinted as long as this entire copyright message accompanies it.

Posted in Appetizers, Freezer Food Fest | Tagged: , , , , , | 9 Comments »