Monday, December 29, 2008

Tiger Butter

This recipe is very easy and is a lot like the homemade peanut butter cups, but it's just nice and smooth and creamy. We handed this out as neighbor gifts at Christmas time and took it to family celebrations.

Tiger Butter

Categories: Cookies & Candy

11 ounces white chocolate chips
1 1/3 cups crunchy peanut butter
11 ounces milk chocolate chips

Line a 8x12 inch pan with parchment or saran wrap. Set aside.

Melt white chocolate and peanut butter together (I usually do it in the microwave). Spread into the prepared pan.

Melt milk chocolate and pour over top. Swirl through with a knife, to create a marble pattern. Chill until firm. Cut into pieces.

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JEN'S NOTES: The original recipe calls for 1 lb white chocolate, 1 lb semisweet chocolate, and 1 1/3 cups crunchy peanut butter.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Winger's World Famous Freaking Amazing Sauce (Jen's Version)

This spicy sweet barbecue sauce is the key to Winger's World Famous Wings (see my version of these wings). And it's very easy to duplicate and very yummy. My brother-in-law, Eric, has been asking for this recipe for a while, so here it is!

Jen's Version of Winger's World Famous Freaking Amazing Sauce

Recipe By: Jen
Categories: Grilled & Barbecued, Marinades, Seasonings, & Rubs, Soups, Sandwiches, & Sauces

1/2 cup brown sugar (I prefer dark brown sugar)
1/4 cup Frank's Red Hot Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce
1/3 cup Louisiana Cayenne Pepper Sauce

Mix the brown sugar and pepper sauce. Microwave 10-20 seconds just until sugar dissolves easily. Enjoy!

Ratings: 9 - Excellent 9
Serving Ideas : Serve this sauce with any kind of barbecued meat. It's especially good on chicken wings!

NOTES : JEN'S NOTES: Frank's Red Hot and Louisiana are the same except Frank's is thicker and more concentrated, so you don't need as much.

Winger's World Famous Wings

We LOVE the tasty chicken wings from Winger's Grill & Bar. The key to this recipe is Winger's Freaking Amazing Sauce. At Winger's Grill & Bar they probably fry the wings before tossing them in sauce. In my version, I bake the wings to cut out some of the fat, but they are still extremely tasty and really taste like the real thing.

Jen's Version of Winger's World Famous Wings

Recipe By: Jen
Serving Size: 5 wings
Servings: 2
Categories: Appetizers & Beverages, Chicken, Marinades, Seasonings, & Rubs, Soups, Sandwiches, & Sauces

10 each chicken wings -- rinsed and patted dry
Winger's Freaking Amazing Sauce (see recipe)

1/2 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 dashes cayenne pepper

OPTIONAL BREADING: Combine breading ingredients. Toss wings in breading to coat. Refrigerate for 60-90 minutes before cooking.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray. Place wings on the baking sheet, skin side up, making sure they don't touch. Spray wings with cooking spray, if desired. Cook wings at 350 degrees F for 30-40 minutes until wings are cooked through. Increase heat to 450 degrees F and cook wings 5-20 minutes until crispy.

Meanwhile, make the sauce if you don't have any on hand. When the wings come out of the oven, place them in a bowl. Pour the sauce over the top of the wings and mix to coat. If you would like the wings to be sticky, you could place the wings back on the baking sheet and cook another 2-5 minutes at 450 degrees F or until the sauce is bubbly.

Ratings: 9 - Excellent 9 (Scott gives these wings a 9 1/2!)

Serving Ideas : Serve with Ranch or Blue Cheese dressing and celery sticks.

NOTES : JEN'S NOTES: You may have to increase the cooking time in order to get these cooked and crispy, especially if you're making more than 10 wings. These are so good! Scott prefers them without breading because they seem to be saucier, and the sauce is the best part (the breading seems to absorb the sauce). I wonder if you could cook them until crispy, then toss them in a slow cooker with the sauce. This might be a good idea for a party, but they disappear so quickly it might not be worth the effort!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Frosting (Wendy's)

My sister, Wendy, gave me this recipe along with her sugar cookie recipe. Didn't have the time or energy to make the cookies, so I used some cookie dough in a tube and frosted them with this frosting - they were delicious! This frosting is just so smooth and creamy. Wendy's recipe calls for 2 Tblsp milk, but I had seen something on TV where they said you could use corn syrup instead, so that's what I did and I really liked the results. Oh, and it freezes well, also. Thanks for the great recipe, Wendy!

Frosting (Wendy's)

1/2 cup shortening -- softened
1/2 cup butter -- softened
2 tablespoons milk or corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 1/2 cups powdered sugar

Cream shortening and butter together. Add the milk (or corn syrup) and vanilla. Beat the powdered sugar in until smooth. Add more milk if too stiff, or more powdered sugar if too runny.

GLUTEN and SOY FREE DIRECTIONS: Use gluten-free and soy-free shortening, butter, corn syrup, and vanilla. Often times gluten and/or soy can hide in natural flavorings, so make sure your butter and shortening is free of natural flavoring.

DAIRY FREE DIRECTIONS: Use a non-dairy butter substitute (Soy-Free Earth Balance is good) and corn syrup instead of milk.

Source: Wendy
Ratings: 7 - Very Good 7

NOTES : The original recipe calls for milk, not corn syrup.
JEN'S NOTES: I prefer a little more vanilla, maybe 1 1/2 teaspoons total. I always use corn syrup and I always start with 3 cups of powdered sugar, then add more if I want a thicker consistency.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Chicken Taco Chili

This is one of my latest favorite recipes. It has such good flavor, it's so easy, and both Scott and I really like it. This is different than my sister-in-law's (Jodi's) Chicken Tortilla Soup (also on this site). It's more like a chili and hers is more of a soup. We really like both recipes.

Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Chili

Servings: 8
Categories: Chicken, Crock Pot, Freezer Recipes, Pasta, Grains, & Legumes, Quick & Easy, Soups, Sandwiches, & Sauces

1/2 medium onion -- chopped
16 ounces chili beans
16 ounces black beans, canned -- drained
15 ounces whole kernel corn (or frozen corn) -- drained
8 ounces tomato sauce
1 cup chicken broth
10 ounces Rotel mild diced tomatoes and green chilies
2 teaspoons cumin -- to taste
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt -- to taste (be careful not to get it too salty)
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder -- to taste
3/4 teaspoon onion powder -- to taste
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 rounded teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Mexican oregano
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 large chicken breasts, no skin, no bone

Place the onion, chili beans, black beans, corn, tomato sauce, chicken broth, and diced tomatoes in a slow cooker. Add seasoning and stir to blend. Lay chicken breasts on top of the mixture, pressing down slightly until just covered by the other ingredients (Jen's Note: I prefer to cut the chicken into bite-sized pieces before placing in the slow cooker.). Set slow cooker for low heat, cover, and cook for 5 hours.

Remove chicken breasts from the soup, and allow to cool long enough to be handled. Shred then stir the shredded chicken back into the soup, and continue cooking for 2 hours. Serve topped with shredded Cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips, if desired.

ADVANCED PREP: Cut up onion. Cut up the chicken into bite-sized pieces.
PREPARATION: Combine everything in a labelled gallon freezer bag. Lay flat to freeze. If you would like to save room in your freezer, you can wait to add the canned ingredients until you dump it all in the crock pot.
TO SERVE: Thaw. Cook in a slow cooker until done. For my 3.5-qt slow cooker it takes 1 hour on High plus 3 hours on Low.

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Ratings: 7 - Very Good 7
Serving Ideas : Serve topped with Fritos, cheese, sour cream, green onions, tomatoes, olives, etc.

NOTES : The original recipe calls for 12 oz beer instead of chicken broth, 2 cans Rotel, 1 package taco seasoning instead of seasonings, and 3 chicken breasts.
JEN'S NOTES: It completely filled my 3.5 quart slow cooker. Used low-salt or no-salt ingredients, so may want to be careful and leave the salt out until the end if using full-salt ingredients (actually used 2 tsp salt, but you have to be careful not to overdo it). Used the Scoops Fritos because they are thicker and don't get soggy as quickly. Scott really liked it - we both ate more than we should have.

Italian Meatball Subs

This is such an easy freezer recipe - I LOVE it! This is another freezer meal Scott's sister shared with us as I was recovering from surgery. If you buy pre-made frozen Italian meatballs it makes for very easy prep, but also can be very high in fat. If you wanted to make your own meatballs you would have better control over the fat content.

Italian Meatball Subs

Servings: 6
Categories: Crock Pot, Freezer Recipe, Ground Beef & Turkey, Quick & Easy, Soups, Sandwiches, & Sauces, Vegetables

24 medium Italian meatballs -- cooked and frozen
15 ounces tomato sauce
15 ounces stewed Italian tomatoes
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese -- grated
1 envelope spaghetti sauce seasoning
6 each hoagie rolls
1 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese -- shredded

PREPARATION: Place meatballs, tomato sauce, Italian tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, and seasoning in a labelled gallon freezer bag. You can freeze the rolls and cheese with the meatballs or buy them at serving time. If desired, place hoagie rolls and cheese in separate labelled freezer bags, and bag together with the meatballs. (Jen: I usually freeze the cheese and rolls with the meatballs, but usually don't bag the rolls with the rest because I don't want them to get smashed.)

TO SERVE: Thaw. Heat meatballs and sauce until cooked through. Serve on hoagie rolls topped with cheese. (Jen: I usually just pop the frozen meatballs and sauce into my little 2-quart slow cooker and cook on high for a few of hours.)

Source: Jodi
Ratings: 7 - Very Good 6
Serving Ideas : Serve with veggies and a green salad.

NOTES : The original recipe calls for only 5 hoagie rolls and 20 meatballs - 6 sandwiches just works better for me. The original recipe also calls for you to make homemade Italian meatballs.
JEN'S NOTES: If you don't have a spaghetti sauce seasoning mix on hand, it's not hard to find a recipe online. There are enough for 4 meatballs per sandwich. Scott has figured out that he likes to load up his sandwich with meatballs, so I have been adding extra meatballs just for him. Scott and I can't eat 6 sandwiches at once, so I usually cut the recipe in half. One sub is usually pretty filling, especially on a whole wheat hoagie roll.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cranberry Pear Salad

This delicious Fall salad is what I'm bringing to Thanksgiving dinner.

Cranberry Pear Salad

Categories: Salads & Dressings, Vegetables

1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons onion (can use dehydrated) -- chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1/3 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup oil

2 large romaine lettuce (fresh or bagged)
1/2 cup Craisins
1 medium pear -- cubed
1 cup Swiss cheese -- shredded
1 cup cashews
1 medium apple -- cubed

Mix the dressing and chill. Mix the salad together and pour needed amount of dressing over the top.

Source: Good Things Utah
Ratings: 6 - Pretty Good 6

JEN'S NOTES : The original recipe calls for 2/3 cup olive oil, but I just didn't think it needed that much and I prefer safflower oil instead. You probably don't really need a whole cup of Swiss cheese and a whole cup of cashews, I just add things until it looks good.

Amy's Salsa

This salsa is so tasty and so easy we make it all the time. It's become a favorite in our home and for a lot of people we've shared it with. Thanks, Amy!

Amy's Salsa

Categories: Appetizers & Beverages, Healthy & Light, Low Iodine Diet, Quick & Easy, Vegetables

28 ounces canned tomatoes
2 each garlic cloves (2 to 4)
1/2 each jalapeno (1/2 to 1 1/2), seeded
3 handfuls fresh cilantro (2 to 3)
1/4 small onion (1/4 to 1/2)
1 teaspoon black pepper -- to taste
1 teaspoon salt -- to taste

Blend all ingredients in the blender until chopped and mixed well. It's best if you refrigerate several hours before eating. Keep leftovers refrigerated.

LOW IODINE DIET DIRECTIONS: Make sure to use no-salt canned tomatoes and iodine-free salt.

Source: Amy from an internet chat group for adoptive parents
Yield: 4 cups

JEN'S NOTES:  I almost always make this with regular Hunt's Fire Roasted canned tomatoes (NOT the garlic flavor) and it is delicious.  Amy said she adds a little more black pepper, which is good.  Usually I combine what the recipe says (being careful not to get too much jalapeno, onion, and cilantro), mix it up, taste, then add more of anything I think it needs (usually salt, black pepper, garlic, and/or jalapeno), remembering as the flavors develop some will get stronger.  I add jalapeno just until there is just a hint of spice.  Be careful not to overdo the onion or jalapeno because everything gets pulverized and the flavor can get way too strong very quickly.  Also, I've noticed that if I overdo the cilantro it doesn't taste as good.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Gingerbread Pancakes

The author of these pancakes calls himself a "pancake purist" and his directions are detailed and picky, but the results are some tasty pancakes. Top these pancakes with whipped cream and maple syrup and you have a breakfast fit for the Holidays. During Christmas time I like to make extra and keep them on hand in the freezer.

Gingerbread Pancakes

Recipe By: Yee-Fan Sun
Categories: Breads, Breakfast, Freezer Recipes, Holiday Favorites

1 1/4 cup flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. molasses
1 Tbsp. cooking oil or melted butter
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/4 cup sour cream or yogurt

Combine all the dry ingredients and stir until evenly mixed. Combine all the wet ingredients in another bowl; give all that a good stir as well. Gently mix the wet ingredients into the dry, stirring until just combined. Don't get too zealous with the mixing at this point, as you want to avoid overdeveloping the gluten in the flour, unless tough and rubbery are qualities you like in your pancakes.

At this point, give the baking powder a little time to do its thing (if you look at the batter, you should start to see little bubbles forming). Resist the urge to stir your batter after it's gotten nice and bubbly -- you'll only release all that air, and your pancakes won't end up as airy.

Meanwhile, heat up a smidgen of cooking oil in a skillet or griddle. When a drop of batter immediately starts to come together when it hits the pan, the oil's ready. Use a ladle to spoon some batter into the pan - I generally make the first pancake small, as it's a guinea pig pancake that I use to decide whether the heat needs to be raised or lowered. When the top of the pancake is covered in tiny air holes, flip that baby. If you find that the bottom has burned by the time it reaches that stage, you'll want to turn down the heat to cook up your next batch.

Keep your pancakes toasty by placing them in a warmed oven until you've finished all the cooking and they're ready to be served (alternatively, if formality's not an issue, eat those pancakes as they come out of the pan -- they really do taste best that way). Serve with lemon curd (or maple syrup if your prefer) and fresh blueberries.

JEN'S FREEZER DIRECTIONS: You can make these pancakes ahead of time and freeze them. I freeze them in a labelled gallon freezer bag, separated by wax paper so they don't stick together.
TO SERVE: Thaw or warm up in the microwave or toast in the toaster. These pancakes are delicious when they are a little crispy and toasty, and they make they house wonderful.

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Yield: 9 pancakes

Serving Ideas : Serve with topped with whipped cream and maple syrup.

JEN'S NOTES: These were really good, perfect for Christmas time, but you have to be careful if you use melted butter - it gets solid when it hits the other wet ingredients because they are still cold. So maybe use cooking oil instead, or maybe wait to add the melted butter with the dry ingredients.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Teriyaki Chicken

This barbecued teriyaki chicken is delicious along side the Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed dressing.

Teriyaki Chicken (Grilled)

Serving Sizes: 4
Categories: Chicken, Freezer Recipes, Grilled & Barbecued, Healthy & Light, Low Iodine Diet, Marinades, Seasonings, & Rubs

2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons white vinegar
2 tablespoons onion -- chopped
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger

Mix all ingredients in a non-metal bowl container or Ziploc bag. Marinate in the refrigerator overnight, turning occasionally.

Remove chicken from container and grill.

PREPARATION: Combine all ingredients in a labelled freezer bag. Double-bag and freeze flat.
TO SERVE: Thaw and marinate. Grill.

LOW IODINE DIRECTIONS: Use an LID-safe soy sauce substitute (see recipe).

Source: Lynelle
Ratings: 7 - Very Good 8
Serving Ideas : Serve with Spinach Salad and Poppy Seed Dressing.

JEN'S NOTES: I usually replace the oil with 1/4 cup of water. I have made this with fresh garlic and fresh ginger before and it was really good. I usually use dried onion flakes. We like to make this for our Chinese food dinner on Conference Sunday (family tradition), and I cut the chicken into chunks and make kabobs out of it with onion, green peppers, mushrooms, and pineapple.

Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

Mary, my sister-in-law requested this recipe. She actually wanted the recipe for Poppy Seed Dressing, but the salad that goes with the dressing is so good I wanted to post it, too. I got this recipe years ago from our neighbor, Lynelle, and it is one of my favorite salads to make. We like to have this salad with grilled Teriyaki Chicken, also Lynelle's recipe

Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing

Servings: 4
Categories: Healthy & Light, Salads & Dressings

1 head red leaf lettuce -- torn
1 bunch spinach -- torn
1 pound bacon -- cooked and drained
OR 1/2 bottle real bacon bits
4 ounces swiss cheese -- grated
3 each mushrooms -- sliced
1/4 small purple onion -- chopped

1 1/2 cup canola oil
3/4 cup white vinegar
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons grated onion
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons poppy seeds
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard

Mix dressing and chill.

Toss lettuce and spinach in a bowl. Toss with remaining ingredients. Just before serving, top with dressing then toss the salad.

Source: Lynelle
Ratings: 7 - Very Good 7
Serving Ideas : Serve with Grilled Teriyaki Chicken.

JEN'S NOTES : I usually throw in some slivered almonds also for the crunch. This recipe makes A LOT of dressing. Usually 1/ 3 to 1/2 of the dressing is sufficient for the amount of salad in the recipe. I also add about 1-2 teaspoon mayonnaise and that keeps the dressing from separating immediately after you shake it up. Usually I dissolve the sugar in the vinegar and water before adding anything else. Also, I usually use dried onions - it's much faster. You can also use romaine or green leaf lettuce if you prefer. I've never used the regular cooked bacon before - I always use bacon bits. To me, a whole pound of regular cooked bacon seems like an awful lot.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Crock Pot Fajitas

I got this recipe from, my favorite nutrition website. I have used chicken and steak in this recipe, but it's a great recipe because you can use either chicken, beef, or pork and for beans you can use black, pinto, or kidney beans. Scott really likes these fajitas, and they are so easy.

Crock Pot Fajitas

Categories: Beef, Chicken, Crock Pot, Freezer Recipes, Healthy & Light, Low Iodine Diet, Pork & Ham, Quick & Easy, Vegetables

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, pork, or beef
1/2 large onion -- sliced
1 medium green bell pepper -- sliced
1 tsp garlic (2 cloves) -- minced
1 tsp ground cumin
15 ounces black beans, pinto beans, or kidney beans -- drained and rinsed
1 packet fajita seasoning mix (If you would like to make your own fajita seasoning you can find a recipe at or
flour tortillas
ripe tomatoes -- chopped
lettuce -- shredded
light sour cream
low-fat cheddar cheese -- shredded

4 to 8 hours before serving: Trim meat well of fat and cut into 6 portions. Place in slow cooker. Cut vegetables into strips and place in slow cooker. Add to slow cooker and mix well. Cook on HIGH 4 to 5 hours or on LOW 7 to 8 hours.

Just before serving: Remove meat from slow cooker and shred. Return shredded meat to pot and mix well. Warm tortillas in microwave. Use a slotted spoon to remove contents from slow cooker. Assemble fajitas with toppings of your choice.

ADVANCED PREP:  Slice onions and green pepper (or use frozen onions and peppers, then they are already washed and sliced). Prep garlic.
PREPARATION:  Place meat and seasonings in a labelled freezer bag. Place veggies in separate labelled freezer bag. Bag these together in another labelled freezer bag. Make sure to reserve a can of beans in the pantry (or just throw them in with the chicken and freeze). Place tortillas in another labelled freezer bag and freeze with meat, if desired (I usually roll them up and wrap with foil to freeze).
TO SERVE:  Thaw meat (leave veggies in the freezer until you are ready to cook). Prepare as directed above. Probably could cook from frozen if you wanted.

GLUTEN FREE and SOY FREE DIRECTIONS:  Use gluten and soy free beans, fajita seasoning mix, tortillas, sour cream, and cheese.  You could also use corn tortillas.

DAIRY FREE DIRECTIONS:  Use a dairy free fajita seasoning mix.  Omit sour cream and cheese.

LOW IODINE DIRECTIONS:  Some doctors do not allow green peppers, so make sure to follow your doctor's instructions. Use homemade beans. Make your own fajita seasoning. Use corn tortillas or make your own LID-approved flour tortillas. No sour cream or cheese.

Internet Address:
Ratings: 7 - Pretty Good 7

NOTES : See for the original recipe.
JEN'S NOTES: The first time I made this it was a little salty, so I might dial down the salt a little. Works well to use frozen, already cut up peppers and onions (in the freezer section at the store), make sure to add them frozen (do not thaw) or they will turn to mush. It filled my 3.5-qt slow cooker pretty well and it was kind of difficult to stir. The chicken was still a little frozen and I cooked it for 3.5 hours on Low, stirring once at 3 hours, and it was perfect. Smelled really good as it cooked. Made enough for 2 dinners for us. Scott said many times that it was pretty good, which means he really liked it.

Slow Cooker Sweet and Tangy Chicken

This recipe calls for chicken breasts, but I bet thighs and drumsticks would be good as well. Also, beef or pork probably would be good, too.

Slow Cooker Sweet and Tangy Chicken

Categories: "Dump" Chicken Recipes, Chicken, Crock Pot, Freezer Recipes, Low Iodine Diet, Quick & Easy

36 ounces barbecue sauce
14 ounces pineapple chunks
1 medium green bell pepper -- sliced
1 medium onion -- sliced
2 cloves garlic -- minced
3 pounds chicken breasts, boneless, skinless

In a large bowl, mix together barbecue sauce, pineapple with juice, green bell pepper, onion, and garlic.

Arrange 4 of the chicken breasts in the bottom of a slow cooker. Pour half of the barbecue sauce over the chicken. Place remaining chicken in slow cooker, and pour remaining sauce over the top.
Cover, and cook on Low for 8 to 9 hours.

ADVANCED PREP: Prepare barbecue sauce if using homemade. Cut up green pepper and onion (or I like to use frozen, then they're already washed and cut up).
PREPARATION: Place barbecue sauce, pineapple, garlic and chicken in a labelled freezer bag. Place green pepper and onion in a separate labelled freezer bag. Bag these two bags together and freeze flat.
TO SERVE: Thaw chicken and sauce, leaving the vegetables frozen until you are ready to cook. Follow the above cooking directions.

LOW IODINE DIET DIRECTIONS: Some doctors don't allow pineapple or green peppers, so make sure to follow your doctor's instructions. Use homemade LID-approved barbecue sauce.

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Ratings: 6 - Pretty Good 6

NOTES: Jen's Notes: I used Famous Dave's barbecue sauce, and it was pretty good, but I think it would have been tastier with Tony Roma's barbecue sauce. Halved the recipe and it worked out well in my 3.5-quart slow cooker, only needing to cook the chicken 1 hour on high and 2 1/2 to 3 hours on low.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Soy Sauce Substitute

This recipe was a lifesaver for me when I was following a special diet for medical reasons. It's not so soy-saucy that you want to eat it on everything, but it's good in recipes. It allowed me to make a lot of my normal recipes without having to leave out the distinctive taste of soy sauce. Thank you to whomever came up with this recipe!

Soy Sauce Substitute

2 tablespoons salt -- (1 to 3)
4 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons dark molasses
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 pinch white pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon Mrs. Dash seasoning
1 dash celery powder (optional)
1 1/2 cups water

In a saucepan over medium heat, stir ingredients together. Boil gently until liquid is reduced to about 1 cup, about 15 minutes.

LOW IODINE DIRECTIONS:  Make sure your salt is non-iodized and your molasses is LID approved.

JEN'S NOTES: You could freeze this in 1 tablespoon cubes if you would like, but I find it keeps well in the fridge for a very long time. I just use clean leftover vinegar bottles and double the recipe every time I make it.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Pineapple Marinated Pork Chops

Scott really likes these pork chops. (He likes anything with pineapple.) And they are so easy.

Pineapple Marinated Pork Chops

Servings: 6
Categories: Crock Pot, Freezer Recipes, Grilled & Barbecued, Marinades, Seasonings, & Rubs, Pork & Ham, Quick & Easy

6 each pork chops
20 ounces pineapple chunks with juice
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons soy sauce


PREPARATION: Season pork chops with salt and pepper (optional- Jen: I think they need a little salt and pepper). Place pork chops in a labelled freezer bag. Mix remaining ingredients and pour over pork chops in bag. Seal bag and freeze.

TO SERVE: Thaw and marinate. Cook in Crock Pot on low for 6 to 8 hours, or until done. These pork chops are also great on the grill.

LOW IODINE DIET DIRECTIONS: Some doctors say pineapple is not allowed on the diet, so make sure to follow your doctor's instructions. Make sure to use REAL brown sugar, not sugar with molasses added to it. Use an LID-safe soy sauce substitute (see recipe).

Internet Address:

NOTES : JEN'S NOTES: In my 3.5-quart slow cooker I only need to cook these pork chops for 3-4 hours. Sometimes I add a little cornstarch at the end to thicken the sauce a bit. Sometimes I even throw these in the slow cooker when they are still mostly frozen and they are just fine.

Yoshida Chicken Rice Bowls

Technically you could make these rice bowls with any kind of meat and any kind of sauce. Yoshida Original Gourmet sauce is what we usually use because it's so easy. This is another one of those recipes that Scott likes, I think, because he can choose what he wants to top his rice with. Sometimes we do add more toppings such as almonds, pineapple (Scott's favorite), mandarin oranges, green onions, crunchy chow mien noodles, etc.

Yoshida Chicken Rice Bowls

Recipe By: Jen
Categories: Chicken, Freezer Recipes, Pasta, Grains, & Legumes, Quick & Easy, Vegetables

chicken breasts, no skin, no bone
Mr. Yoshida's Original Gourmet Sweet & Savory Sauce
frozen stir-fry vegetables
At Serving Time:


PREPARATION: Rinse ice off of chicken if frozen, but do not thaw. Place chicken in a labeled gallon freezer bag. Pour Yoshida sauce over the chicken. Squeeze all of the air out of the freezer bag and seal. Place frozen vegetables and chicken into another labeled freezer bag and lay flat to freeze.

TO SERVE: Remove frozen vegetables from the bag and leave in the freezer while you thaw and marinate the chicken in the fridge for 2-3 days. Preheat oven to 350 degreesF. Pour chicken and sauce into a baking dish and bake for 35 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from oven and let rest 5-10 minutes. Cut up chicken into chunks and return to the baking dish. Meanwhile, cook rice and stir-fry frozen vegetables until done. Serve chicken and vegetables over rice.

(Of course, you don't have to do this as a freezer meal. Just let the chicken marinate overnight in the sauce and serve as directed above.)

LOW IODINE DIET DIRECTIONS: You could make this recipe LID by using your own homemade sauce (any LID-approved Asian-type sauce would do) and using basmati rice. Try this copycat recipe of Mr. Yoshida's Original Gourmet Sweet & Savory Sauce.

Ratings: 6 - Pretty Good 7.
Serving Ideas : This is fun to eat Hawaiian Haystack-style with lots of toppings like sliced almonds, crispy chow mien noodles, green onions, pineapple, mandarin oranges, etc.

NOTES : JEN'S NOTES: You can cook the rice before hand and freeze it with the chicken or cook it at serving time. Whenever I cook rice, I always make extra and freeze it in pint freezer Ziploc bags. You can make rice bowls with just about any kind of chicken and/or sauce. For company once we barbecued chicken seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder, and served it with 2 different kinds of Asian sauces. Everybody loved it. Make sure to buy the Mr. Yoshida's ORIGINAL GOURMET sauce - the Yoshida Teriyaki sauce is not as good IMO. We usually buy it in big bottles from Costco. You can go to for more info and recipes.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Sassy Chicken Enchilada Dip

Since football season is here and the holidays are just around the corner, I decided to post a few favorite recipes for get togethers. This Chicken Enchilada Dip is ALWAYS a hit at gatherings. It's probably my most requested recipe. The key to this recipe is the chipotle chile powder - it just wouldn't be the same without it.

Sassy Chicken Enchilada Dip

Categories: Appetizers & Beverages, Chicken

16 ounces light cream cheese -- softened
10 ounces canned diced tomatoes with green chile peppers (like Rotel, mild) -- undrained
4 each green onions -- chopped
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro -- chopped
1 teaspoon garlic clove -- minced
1 1/2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder (1 to 2 tsp depending on how much heat you want)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano (Mexican oregano if you have it)
1 teaspoon paprika
1 cup cheddar cheese -- grated, divided
1 pound chicken breast -- cooked and shredded or diced small

With a mixer, combine the light cream cheese, diced tomatoes with green chile peppers, green onions, cilantro, garlic, and seasonings in a bowl. Add 3/4 cup cheddar cheese and chicken and stir with a spoon until combined. (Jen: Don't stir too much or the chicken will completely fall apart.) Chill for at least 2 hours.

Serve hot or cold with tortilla chips. Top with remaining 1/4 cup cheddar cheese. To heat use the microwave, crock pot, or oven (at 350 degrees for 30 minutes).

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Ratings: 7 - Very Good 8
Serving Ideas : Serve with tortilla chips.

NOTES : The original recipe calls for 3 chicken breasts, 1 tsp cilantro, 1 Tblsp chili powder instead of chipotle chile powder, and no cheddar cheese.
Jen's Notes: I usually use leftover rotisserie chicken for this recipe. The chipotle chile powder is what makes this recipe. I use McCormick's chipotle chile powder. It is usually found in the "gourmet" section of spices, and I can usually find it at Smith's.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Here's another great dip for get togethers.

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Categories: Appetizers & Beverages, Chicken

2 cans chunk chicken -- (10 ounce) drained
OR 2 cups cooked chicken -- diced
2 8-ounce packages cream cheese -- softened
1 cup Ranch dressing
3/4 cup pepper sauce -- such as Franks® Red Hot® (the stuff for Buffalo wings)
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese -- divided
1 bunch celery -- cleaned and cut into 4 inch pieces
tortilla chips

Mix hot sauce, cream cheese, dressing, and half the cheese in a bowl. Add chicken and mix lightly. To serve, sprinkle remaining cheese over the top and serve cold or heat in the microwave, slow cooker, or in the oven (Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spread into a 9x13 inch baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes. If oil collects on the top, dab it off using a paper towel.) Serve with tortilla chips.

Description: "This tangy, creamy dip tastes just like buffalo chicken wings. It's best served hot with crackers and Celery sticks. Everyone loves the results!"

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Ratings : 7 - Very Good 7

NOTES: The original recipe calls for chicken flavored crackers, but we always use tortilla chips.
Jen's Notes: Be careful not to stir too much after adding the chicken so it stays chunky. I usually use leftover rotisserie chicken for this recipe.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Chicken Tortilla Soup (Jodi's)

Got this recipe from my sister-in-law, Jodi, when I was having surgery and she made us some freezer meals. It freezes beautifully and it's delicious topped with chips, cheese, onions, tomatoes, sour cream, or whatever you want. Scott really likes this soup (even though he'll tell you that he doesn't like soup).

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Recipe Source: Jodi
Serving Size: 12
Categories: Chicken, Crock Pot, Food Storage Recipe, Freezer Recipes, Pasta, Grains, & Legumes, Quick & Easy, Soups, Sandwiches, & Sauces
Rating: 7 - Very Good (out of 10)

4 large chicken breasts, no skin, no bone
2 - 15 oz Mexican stewed tomatoes
4 ounces green chiles -- chopped
2 - 15 oz black beans -- undrained
1 cup salsa
14 ounces tomato sauce
tortilla chips

Combine all ingredients except chips and cheese in a large slow cooker. Cover. Cook on low 8 hours. Just before serving remove chicken breasts and slice into bite sized pieces. Stir into soup.

To serve, put a handful of chips in each individual soup bowl. Ladle soup over chips and top with cheese.

PREPARATION: Place everything except chips and cheese in a labelled freezer bag and freeze flat. (Alternately, you could leave out the canned ingredients and add them when you cook, but it is always good to have at least some liquid in with the meat which helps keep the meat from getting freezer burned.) Or you could even cook the soup and then freeze it.

TO SERVE: Thaw. Follow above cooking instructions.

Serving Ideas : Top with tortilla chips or Fritos, cheese, onions, tomatoes, sour cream, etc.

NOTES : Jen's Notes: Half of this recipe is just the perfect size for my 3.5-quart slow cooker. I don't usually need to cook meals in my slow cooker as long as the recipes call for, so I cook this for about 4 hours.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Pasta with Meat Sauce Bake

I made up this recipe myself. It's really easy and Scott always likes it!

Pasta with Meat Sauce Bake

Recipe By: Jennifer Gabbert
Serving Size: 6
Categories: Casseroles, Food Storage Recipe, Freezer Recipes, Gound Beef or Turkey, Pasta, Grains, & Legumes, Quick & Easy

6 ounces rotini pasta (I love Ronzoni Smart Taste) -- uncooked
18 ounces spaghetti sauce -- to taste
2/3 pound lean ground beef -- cooked and drained
1 1/2 cups warm water (1 1/2 to 2 cups)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese -- to taste
3 ounces mozzarella cheese -- shredded

Preheat oven to 375 degreesF. In a bowl, mix sauce, hamburger, water, and parmesan cheese. Spray an 8x8 pan with cooking spray. Place pasta in the bottom of the pan and pour sauce mixture over the pasta. Mix a little to make sure to coat the pasta, adding more water if pasta is not covered well with sauce. Top with cheese.

Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake at 375 degreesF for 50-60 minutes or until pasta is cooked and tender. Cool for 5 minutes, covered.

ADVANCED PREP: Cook ground beef. Grate cheese.
PREPARATION: Place uncooked pasta in a labelled quart freezer bag. Place sauce, cooked ground beef, and parmesan cheese in a labelled gallon freezer bag; you can also add the water at this point or wait until you cook the casserole. Place the mozzarella cheese in a pint labelled freezer bag. Bag these all together and freeze flat.
TO SERVE: Thaw. Add water to sauce mixture and mix well if you didn't add water when you froze it. Follow the above cooking instructions starting with preheating the oven to 375 degreesF.

Serving Ideas : Serve with a green salad and french bread.

NOTES : Cooking time may vary. Every time you look under the aluminum foil to check to see if it's done, you let all the steam out that cooks the pasta, so don't check it until it is almost done.
Jen's Notes: I usually use All Purpose Ground Meat Mix from the Make-A-Mix cookbook by Eliason, Harward, and Westover.
3/19/08 Made this recipe up and Scott really liked it. Tasted kind of lasagna-ie, but was way easier.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Brooke's Best Bombshell Brownies

These brownies are so good and rich, and they're easy, too. I first found this recipe while I was on a special diet for medical reasons, and I was chomping at the bit for something satisfying. These brownies fit the bill and I had all the ingredients in my pantry.

Brooke's Best Bombshell Brownies

Brooke's Description: "These brownies are the bomb! I've found the perfect combination of ingredients to make the fudgiest brownies yet... Enjoy!"

Servings: 24
Categories: Cookies and Candy, Low Iodine Diet

1 cup butter -- melted
3 cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish. Combine the melted butter, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each, until thoroughly blended.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Gradually stir the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture until blended. Stir in the chocolate morsels. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared baking dish.

Bake in preheated oven until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove, and cool pan on wire rack before cutting.

LOW IODINE DIET DIRECTIONS: Use oil (I use safflower oil) instead of butter. Use egg whites instead of whole eggs. Use non-iodized salt. No chocolate chips.

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NOTES : Received 4.5 stars out of 5, with 235 reviews on Some people used some brown sugar instead of granulated.
JEN'S NOTES: 5/06/08 Halved the recipe. Used the LID Directions and they were really good, in fact, so good that I have never tried the original recipe. The top and bottom were crispy with the middle chewy. They were VERY rich and I cut them into brownie bites and froze them - perfect size for a small snack.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Chicken and Rice Bake

This recipe is one of my favorite freezer recipes just because it is so easy.


Categories: "Dump" Chicken, Casseroles, Chicken, Freezer Recipes, Pasta, Grains, & Legumes

1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
1 1/2 cups water or chicken broth
3/4 cup uncooked regular white rice
1/4 tsp. Paprika
2 large chicken breasts, no skin, no bone, cut into pieces
8 ounces frozen veggies (usually California mix) -- optional

TO FREEZE: Dump all ingredients except frozen veggies into 1 gallon Ziploc freezer bag. Place frozen veggies in a separate freezer bag. Bag the two together and lay flat in freezer.

TO SERVE: Thaw rice mixture in refrigerator, leaving the frozen veggies in the freezer. Place all ingredients in a 2 quart shallow baking dish. Cover tightly with foil. Bake at 375 degrees F for 60-75 minutes or until chicken and rice are done in the middle. (It will take less time to cook if you are not using frozen veggies.)

Source: Christy's Once a Month Cooking
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NOTES : Christy's Notes: I also like this one made with cream of chicken and cream of asparagus soup. Add cut up asparagus to the latter for a summer treat! The original recipe calls for 1 cup water and 4 whole chicken breasts, and no frozen veggies.
JEN'S NOTES: Christy's original recipe does not include frozen veggies. Every time I use frozen veggies it takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes to cook through. This recipe is so easy and there are so many ways to vary the recipe. You can use any kind of cream of ??? soup and/or any kind of cheese soup. You can often use any kind of frozen veggies, I really like the California blend with broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots. You can even switch up the type of meat (about 1 lb of meat works well). Omit paprika if it seems like it doesn't fit. Often times I use leftover rotisserie chicken and it is really good. You can use any kind of cooked chicken, but it helps to add a little extra water when you don't have the juices from the uncooked chicken. You can also replace the white rice with instant brown rice, you just have to make the conversion based on how much rice you will need when it's cooked.

FOR HAM, CHEESE, AND CHICKEN BAKE: Use cheddar cheese soup, 1 cup cubed ham, 1/2 lb chicken, 2-4 oz grated cheddar cheese, and California blend frozen veggies. The rest of the recipe is the same. (Scott really likes this one.)
FOR CHEESY CHICKEN BAKE: Use cheddar cheese soup and 2-4 oz grated cheddar cheese.
FOR CHICKEN & BROCCOLI BAKE: Use cheddar cheese soup or cheddar broccoli soup or cream of broccoli. Use frozen broccoli. Maybe throw in 2-4 oz grated cheddar cheese if you want it cheesy.
FOR CHICKEN & MUSHROOM GARLIC BAKE: Use mushroom and roasted garlic soup. Optional: Add 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and/or top with Parmesan.

Apricot or Peach Glazed Chicken


Categories: "Dump" Chicken, Chicken, Freezer Recipes, Low Iodine Diet

1/2 c. Catalina or Italian dressing
1/4 c. apricot or peach preserves or apricot-pineapple preserves
2 1/2 lbs. Chicken pieces -- (2 1/2 to 3)

TO FREEZE: Dump all ingredients into labelled 1 gallon Ziploc freezer bag. Lay flat in freezer.

TO SERVE: Thaw in refrigerator. Bake at 375 degrees for 30 - 45 minutes or until chicken is done. This is also a nice grill recipe.

If you want, you can just dump all of the ingredients in a pan and bake it without freezing.

LOW IODINE DIET DIRECTIONS: Use Italian dressing that you make yourself so you can make it LID (look online for a recipe - I like Make sure the preserves don't have anything in them that aren't on the diet.

Source: Christy's Once A Month Cooking
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Serving Ideas : Serve with rice or potatoes or pasta, and some veggies.

NOTES : The original recipe calls for 2 tsp optional ground ginger.
Christy's Notes: Her husband gave this three stars (out of four).
Jen's Notes: 9/16/05 I used Catalina dressing and apricot preserves w/ no ginger and it was pretty tasty. I usually use low-sugar preserves.

Polynesian Barbecue Pork Chops

This recipe comes from 30 Day Gourmet at It is one of my favorite places to get good freezer recipes.


Description: "This sweet and spicy marinade would go good with just about anything, I suppose."
This is a freezer recipe. Chicken or beef would also be good with this marinade.

Servings: 6

6 pork chops, boneless
3/4 cup barbecue sauce (I usually use Tony Roma's)
1/2 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon water
1 tablespoon ground ginger
1/4 cup brown sugar

ADVANCE PREP: Make Tony Roma's sauce if needed. Cut pork into chops or cube for kabobs.

PREPARATION: Combine marinade ingredients. Put pork into labelled freezer bags or containers. Pour marinade over pork. Seal and freeze.

TO SERVE: Remove pork from freezer at least 2 days in advance so pork can unthaw, then marinate for 24 hours. Grill, broil, bake, or pan fry (or cook in the Crock Pot) until browned on both side and no longer pink in the center. Marinade may be discarded or cooked well and served as a sauce.

LOW IODINE DIET DIRECTIONS: Use homemade LID-approved barbecue sauce. Use soy sauce substitute (see recipe). Use real brown sugar, not sugar with molasses added to it.

Source: 30 Day Gourmet
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Jen's Notes: The original recipe calls for 3 lbs pork tenderloin instead of pork chops - the chops are less expensive and freeze flatter. Mmmmmm, yum! I really like this marinade. These are my freezer recipe directions, but you can just use this as a regular marinade, marinating the meat overnight.