Sunday, February 1, 2009

I'm Just A Dump Cook

I thought I'd share one of my strategies for taming the take-out monster. Like everyone, I have days where I either don't feel like cooking or I'm too tired to cook. Ordering two large pizzas can cost us $20 even if you have coupons and eating out in a restaurant like Applebees will cost us over that even if we order water with our meals. So one of the things I try to do is to have something ready in the freezer that won't take long to cook. That's why I'm a dump cook!

Dump cooking just means that you Dump your mix into a gallon freezer bag with your chicken (I'll do one for meatballs another day) and freeze it. Then when you want it you Dump it into and pan and cook it! Bake at 350 for for about 25 mins if defrosted. I double the time when it's frozen. You don't have to fuss with it all.

I like boneless skinless chicken breast because they're quick and low fat. Kroger had them on sale last week and I always stock up when the price is at the most $1.99 a pound. But this will work with everything - wings, legs, thighs, bone-in breast - just adjust your cooking time. For defrosted boneless skinless chicken breast it's about 25 minutes depending on how hot your oven runs. For chicken pieces it can run closer to an hour. You can also use your crock pot too.


Teriyaki Dump Chicken

  • 1 clove crushed garlic
  • 1.5 tbls. minced ginger
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 1.5 tbls. cider vinegar
  • 1.5 tbls rice wine vinegar or sherry

Citrus Ginger Chicken

  • 1/4 cup orange marmalade
  • 1 tbls. honey-mustard
  • 3/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper (optional)

Cranberry Chicken

  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 cup cranberry sauce
  • 2 tbls. melted butter
  • 1 tbls. soy sauce

Garlic Dijon Chicken

  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 4 tbls. dijon mustard
  • 2 tbls. lime juice

Herb-wine Chicken

  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1/2 lemon sliced thinly
  • 2 tbls. minced parsley
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper

Russian Chicken

  • 16 oz Russian salad dressing
  • 2 pkgs. dry onion soup mix
  • 2/3 cup apricot preserves

I often double the recipe because we like our chicken with a bit of sauce. Also this is for 4 chicken breasts so adjust if you're making more. They're very forgiving recipes. Even if you dump a 1/2 bottle of barbecue sauce in a baggie with some chicken and then freeze it for later use you're ahead of the game! Or maybe you have your own favorite marinade recipe - try that as a dump recipe.

We have fruit trees and berry bushes and one of the things I do is freeze some berries for use in cobblers in the winter. Even if you don't have berry bushes you can freeze berries when they're on sale in the summer. All I do is lay them on a cookie sheet and freeze. Once they're frozen solid I put them in a freezer baggie. That way they don't stick to each other. I don't wash them before freezing. I wash them before using them.

Fruit crisp is always a tastey thing to eat at any time of the year. But it seems so much more special in winter when most of us can't get fresh blueberries or blackberries! I made this for breakfast this morning - yummy and good for you (I use oats and flaxseed for the topping)!

I think it's time for some Valentine decorating as it's in two weeks. I don't do a whole lot for that day but I do like to mark the occasion for my family. I started working on a few simple Valentine projects that I'll share next week.

I hope you all are having a wonderful weekend. As always, thank you so much for stopping by!

Go Steelers!!


Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

What a clever idea! And thank you for the marinade recipes. I am always stuck in a rut when it comes to chicken.

This Little Hen said...

Thanks so much for the recipes!!! And what a great idea. I normally make things up and then freeze them, but I think I may like this idea better!

Heather said...

thank you for sharing the recipes and technique! i think i may have to try your ideas!

southerninspiration said...

Some great ideas, Manuela!! We all need some inspiration to mix things up a bit! Thanks!


Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

What great recipes! I plan to try them soon.

I watched Nigella yesterday morning and she did something similar for a make ahead meal (although in the frig and not the freezer).

Anonymous said...

Great recipes! This goes wonderfully with my "Chicken Post" from Friday. :)

Hope you have a fabulous week!

Tracey McBride ~ Frugal Luxuries® said...

Good morning Manuela! I love your dump recipes (and the name is so fun). I am looking forward to trying them out--they sound amazing! I love the concept of pre preparing them uncooked. I always do extra freezer recipes with cooked foods such as slow roasted beef and meat loaf (including a gravy packet) and, of course, marinara sauces and lasagna, but hadn't thought to freeze uncooked and pre-marinated recipes! So clever of you. Thanks so much for sharing all your great ideas. You are such a kind kindred spirit.
P.S. We do the frozen berries on the cookie sheet too!! Fruit crumbles/crisps make great breakfasts as well as desserts (Yum). I often bake fruit crumbles in a vintage pie or tart plate (garnered from a tag sale, thrift shop or flea market) and give them as gifts--pie plate/tin included. I call them "deliciously easy gifts." ;)

AJ said...

I really need to start doing this! I've seriously been lacking in the dinner department lately! I really don't enjoy cooking so that doesn't help:)

Anonymous said...

Saturday usually is my cooking day. After my groceries shopping in the morning, I start to make pre-cooked meals and froze them for the week. At least I try to make three meals this way. Being out of home 10 hours a day forges you to be practila, I guess.

GlorV1 said...

Manuela you are definitely my kind of dumper when it comes to blackberries. That is one of my favorite things. We have mulberry tree that bears so many blackberries that it is impossible to get them all. The bluejays love them too. I too at times do what you do as it saves time. Thank you so much for sharing your always good info. Take care, have a great Sunday.

Anonymous said...

I love freezing berries also. My youngest came home with five buckets full of blueberries last spring and we're still enjoying them! Thanks for the "dump" recipes. I hadn't thought of adding the sauce to the chicken breasts when I freeze them - can't wait to try them. Have a great week.

Salmagundi said...

Good recipes to try!! I do similar recipes, but have never frozen the meat with the sauce in the bag - must try it. Thanks. Sally

Unknown said...

I will try some of these dump recipes. My daughter and I make a lot of freezer meals for our farmer husbands. We are so busy with our yards and gardens in the spring that these time saving meals are life savers. Right now, we are starting to freeze lunches to take out to the fields when spring planting begins. We also freeze muffins, cupcakes, and cookies which are handy to pack in their lunches too. Thanks for sharing!

Anne said...

Love your stuff, and added you to my blogroll! I too, have many berry trees (mulberry) and about a dozen raspberry bushes. I freeze in the late summer and snack in the winter!

Terri Steffes said...

great ideas I will have to try out. We are always short on time. Can't wait to see your valentine decs. We do the same with blueberries. I froze 20 pounds that I hope will last Bob all winter. Blueberries are horribly expensive this time of year!

A New England Life said...

I've seen other people dump cook too but I have to admit I never think of it myself. What a smart cookie you are!

I'll take a scoop of that cobbler if you don't mind ; )


Screaming Meme said...

Awesome post!...Im using these recipes for sure!!...One thing when we moved in here they had black berries in the garden...We had a time with them...How do you care for them?

Susie Homemaker said...

Cranberry Chicken sounds great for dinner tomorrow...and, I'll freeze an extra batch for one of my "I don't wanna cook" nights...thanks for the recipes and ideas...


Jennifer said...

Thanks for visiting my blog! I love the pink and red toile! It's my favorite! Love the blog!

Karen said...

OH NO! You're a Steeler's fan! When I read your comment on my blog,I thought "oh good, she's a Cardinals fan!" It was SOOOOOOO CLOSE!!!!
But close doesn't count! Congratulations!

Yup, I'm getting quite comfortable on my new sewing machine. But I know I'll be totally intimidated when I take my first class and she ask me to do something and I look at her like a doe in the headlights. "duh, what?" ;) O well. I'll learn! it's never too late, right?

Jen @ said...

Manuela - what a great concept! I have been in a group where we meet and make meals that are frozen, but this concept is so simple. I love it!!!

Thanks so much!


Sue said...

Hi Manuela...thanks for all the ideas for chicken...Al I ever do is buy boneless chicken breasts and I'm always looking for a new way to cook it....I like what you call it maybe someday you can write the Dump cookbook!! Have a good week...

cherry said...

That sounds soooo yummy! Great way to get ahead for meals too. cherry

Vee said...

This is great! I'm snagging them all and I think that I'll become a dump cook, too.

Kathleen Grace said...

Geart idea Manuela! I make a huge batch of meatloaf, freeze in the loaf pans and then take them out and wrap in freezer paper. When I need a good warm meal I put the frozen meatloaf in the pan and bake til done.

Free Art Printables said...

I am going to try the teriyaki recipe. I am all about the dumping!

ShabbyInTheCity said...

We are thinking alike! I grilled (outdoors LOL) a whole lot of chicken because you can use it so many ways...and I made a cherry crisp! Isn't that funny?
Can't wait to see your V decorations!

Beth at Aunties said...

Oh, these look so yummy and so fast and economical. I love ease in the kitchen anymore!
It will be a nice change of ingrdients for this
'dump cook' to try brand new recipes on my family. I too cook that way:)

Havea great week!

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Thanks for sharing. That crisp looks good!

Lady Katherine said...

Great dump cooking ideas! I need to do more of this, All sounds so good. Now where do go get the flax seed? I bought some long ago at a flea market and planted, was going to use it to spin with on the wheel. But life went out of state working. Sure wish I could find some. I go in, again, for testing tomorrow. I will go by the post office, and mail your loofah seeds. Since Christmas, I only left the house 3 times. So I will get them mailed, I promise. Wish the mail lady would just pick it up. I love the country, but when everything is so far, it takes an act of Congress, to get anything done around here. I had a baby goat Jan. 30. So cute. I have blueberry bushes, I am trying to root, Hubby's Aunt gave us a Tree, lol, I went ahead and put the 2 bushes in ground. Never thinking something 3 inches round would live, been a month, and putting on sprouts, and I have a bunch rooting on the porch, and figs rooted! Yeah! When I buy them they die. I have grapes, and muscadines, growing. Now I need a Raspberry bush.

Chrissy said...

All those recipes look extra yummy! We also eat a lot of chicken, much heathier! I am just transitioning from a part time job to full time next week, your post is perfect timing! Hopefully chicken will be on sale this week!

Chrissy said...

P.S. I love your amarylis...mine is very far behind yours. I planted it a few weeks later this year. I may have to place it in a sunnier window to give it a jump start!

Anonymous said...

Yes, thank you for the marinade recipes. We eat mostly chicken and ground turkey, trying to eat red meat only once in awhile. These will definitely come in handy. Thanks again!

Mark and Trisha said...

I love all the chicken recipes and what a great idea to freeze them. I love to use my crockpot so I like the idea of just taking them out of the freezer and dumping them into a crockpot or oven. Thanks!!