Saturday, Oct 20, 2018

Category: About the Author

Taking the guess work out of dinner.

I was at a party a few months ago and was asked this question in a get-to-know you game:  “How does dinner come together daily in your home?”  I laughed because as much as I love to cook, my routine was not exciting or impressive.  Every night around 5pm  my routine was to look in the freezer, pull something out, defrost it,add fresh ingredients and serve it with a few side dishes in about 15 minutes.  It was the same every night and has worked great for us.  But when our home was hit by lightening and our oven was fried 8 weeks ago, I was unable to bake, and we had to switch things up a little.   I decided we would plan a weekly menu and repeat it weekly using recipes I could make on the stove top. 

Freezer Meal Basic Training


Happy New Year!  I hope you had a wonderful holiday.  I apologize it has been awhile since my last post.  We played until we dropped every day of the vacation.  My girls received a lot of art supplies for Christmas and my husband bought me an electric back massager.  Between making crafts, playing in the snow, eating chocolate and enjoying back rubs, life has been pretty busy around here.

I don’t know about you, but my freezer is EMPTY! It is time to re-stock. I’ve been busy today slicing up marinated steak strips for future meals, and  I hope to continue stocking my freezer with cooked rice, meat balls, pot stickers and Chicken Cordon Bleu.  I had some time to experiment over the break with some new recipes and I can’t wait to share them with you over the next couple of weeks!

A few months ago I presented to a group of women in Logan, UT how to get started with making freezer meals.  Around 60 women attended and with the help of a few other women, the evening was put together with ease and was a huge success.   I’ve had the opportunity to teach freezer meal basic training many times and I’ve  put together a list of  basic tips and recipes I use when I teach. 

 If you are planning on getting started this year with making freezer meals or would like to spread the word about how great it is to have your freezer stocked, feel free to use this Freezer Meal  Basic Training. 

Buy one get one 50% off!

Happy Holidays, I can’t believe Thanksgiving is next week!  Where has the time gone?  My baby is now walking so it has been more difficult to post weekly recipes .   I have a number of posts in the works, one includes how to make Cafe Rio frozen burritos.  Oh, they are amazing and I can’t wait to share.   For now, I am working on stocking my freezer with rolls, cookie dough and cheese ball so I can be ready for next week.

Hopefully I will have some time during the holidays to post a few new freezer meal ideas.  Until then, I am planning on being at the following locations during the next few weeks to sign books if you would like to come say “Hello”.  Also, right now Barnes and Noble is doing a buy one cook book get one 50% off if you are interested in buying a few of my cookbooks for Christmas presents.

Click here to go directly to the Barnes and Noble website.

Thank you!

Upcoming Events

I’ve been invited to be on a new show called Fresh Living on KUTV (Channel 2).

Fresh Living is similar to Good Things Utah, but they claim they have “better content.”……

A review from

Michelle from Favorite Freezer contacted me a few months ago and asked for a copy of my Fabulous Freezer Meal cookbooks so she could try out my ideas and write a review about it on her website.   The review is now live on her website!  She has reviews for just about every freezer meal cookbook out there.  It is wonderful to hear what she thinks about the other cook books.  I’m always on the look out for new recipes.  Some are good, and some are not.


Favorite Freezer Foods is a guide to freezing food, freezer cooking and meal planning with recipes, instructions and community.

Fabulous Freezer Meals Review

Part of Jenny Stangers inspiration for this recipe book comes from disliking once a month cooking.

She tried OAMC and quit, but instead of giving up on freezer cooking she adapted it to fit her lifestyle.

This book teaches you how stock your freezer with some basics made in bulk and with recipes that make enough to feed your family two or three times so you can cook once, have dinner ready tonight and get one or two more freezer meals stocked up for later. Every recipe has the yield at the top so you’ll know exactly how much it makes before you start cooking.

The recipes have a good balance between from scratch and shortcut recipes with timesaving prepared ingredients. My favorite aspect of the book is the Emergency Substitutions in case you run out of something or you are the make-everything-from-scratch type.

There are some recipes that call for prepared ingredients, like cream of soups or cake mix, not listed in the emergency substitutions but, if you’re so inspired, you can just google them and make them from scratch too.

These recipes also make use of your crock pot more than any other freezer recipe book I’ve seen so far. And using the crock pot means you can get other things done while dinner is cooking.

Included in the directions for preparing these fabulous freezer meals Jenny also tells you how to wrap and label the dish. I would suggest including the name of your freezer meal with her label suggestions so you don’t have to guess which meal your pulling out.

There are also call out boxes with great tips that help make life in the kitchen tastier, like always marinating meat before cooking, and easier, like putting onions in the freezer for 15 minutes so they don’t make you cry when cutting them.

The book starts with a chapter on Freezer Recipe Basics, with info on what freezes well and what doesn’t, storage times, packaging, organizing your freezer, supplies and defrosting and refreezing safety.

After that there is a chapter of “bulk recipes” to stock your freezer with which Jenny also uses as building block for meals. Some of these are super simple like cubed ham and chicken, browned ground beef, and cooked rice designed to save time when cooking and others make great sides like Refried Beans, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Onion Rings and Sweet Shredded Pork.

The Muffins and Breads chapter has a Mix-and-Match Muffin Mix Recipe that you can flavor to your hearts desire with directions to freeze them raw and bake them fresh. Other recipes include the gourmet Cherry Cheesecake Muffins and Chocolate-Chunk Pumpkin Bread and staples such as Wheat Bread, White Bread and Pizza Dough.

Fabulous Freezer Meals also has chapters on Drinks and Popsicles and Ice Cream Cakes which leaves me wondering why this info isn’t in every freezer cooking book. Jenny makes it easy to have homemade Fudge Pops and Jelly-Roll Ice Cream Cake instead of running off to the store. On top of that there’s still another chapter devoted to desserts.

You’ll also find recipes for breakfast, main dishes, school lunches, soups, salads and sides.

The index is sorted by both recipe names and ingredients and the book includes Emergency Substitutions and Alcohol Substitutions, both of which are great reference tools.

Don’t clear any space on your bookshelf, this is the kind of cookbook you actually keep in the kitchen.

Cookbook face-off: Cougars vs. Utes

This article was printed today in the Daily Universe.  I will be on campus at BYU on August 19th from 4-6pm to sign books at the BYU Bookstore during Education Week.  Please come stop by and visit with me if you are in the area.

Photo is by Zac Williams from the Brigham Young University Cougars Cookbook reprinted with permission from Gibbs Smith.

Cookbook Faceoff: Cougars vs. Utes

By Amanda Taylor

The rivalry has made it to the kitchen. Thanks to two new cookbooks, Cougars and Utes alike can create themed snacks to support their team for the next big throw-down.