Sunday, August 12, 2018

Large Family BULK COOKING 🍕🥔🍲🧀 Pizza Dough, Tater Tot Casserole, Mashed Potatoes, Chicken Salad

I recently had another 3 day bulk cooking session where I cook for about 3-4 hours with plenty of large family distractions each day.  In the end I stock up the fridge and freezer with food that'll last 3 weeks or more.

In the video I shared the following recipes:

➡️Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad 
➡️Pizza Burger Mix 
➡️Cinnamon Roll Dough 
➡️Soft Italian Breadsticks   (I do not make individual breadsticks.  I roll the dough into a large 1/2 sheet pan, bake for 15 minutes, then top with butter and mozzarella cheese and bake until completely done, about 10 more minutes.
➡️Cream of Anything Soup  (very peppery)

A few recipes I haven't ever shared at my blog so below you'll find the recipes for:

Tater Tot Casserole
Savory Chicken
Chicken and Rice Hotdish
Pizza Crust (thin style)

Tater Tot Casserole (makes 3 large family size casseroles)
6 pounds ground venison (or beef or turkey, whatever floats your boat)
2 onions, diced
6 cans cream of anything soup or use the link above and make your own.
6 cans Veg-all, drained slightly
4-6 bags tater tots (depends on how many tots your family likes)

Brown meat and onion.  Drain grease if necessary.  Mix in large bowl:  meat, soups, veggies.  Divide into 3 greased foil casserole pans or 3 gallon freezer bags. 

If freezing in foil pans, top with tater tots, saran wrap and then foil wrap.  Freeze for up to 3 months.  To bake:  remove casserole from freezer in the morning, set on counter to thaw throughout the day, bake at 400 for 40-60 minutes depending on how thawed the casserole was and how crispy you like your tater tots.  Sometimes kids like this served with ketchup.

If freezing in bags do not add tater tots.  To bake:  thaw casserole mixture thoroughly in fridge, squeeze into greased casserole dish, top with tater tots and bake at 400 for 35-55 minutes depending on how crispy you like your tots.

Savory Chicken Sandwiches (I only made a single recipe of this - double or triple if desired)
3 pound bag of boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup italian dressing
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
2 Tbsp. minced dried onion
2 tsp. powdered bouillon or creamy soup base - chicken, beef or vegetable

Place all ingredients in crock-pot.  Cook on high for 4 hours.  Shred chicken and place back into liquid.  Keep warm and serve on a bed of lettuce or buns.  My kids like to add BBQ sauce to their sandwiches.

Chicken & Rice Hotdish
6 pounds boneless skinless chicken, breasts and thighs
3 cans cream of mush
3 cans cream of chick
3 cans cream of celery
4 1/2 cups Minute rice
6 cups shredded cheddar cheese
9 cups milk

Cube raw meat into bite sized pieces.  Combine soup and milk in large bowl.  Grease 3 large casserole pans - 10 x 13 OR extra deep foil pans.  Add about 2 cups of soup/milk mix to each pan.  Add 1 1/2 cups rice to each pan, add about 2 cups of soup/milk mix.  Sprinkle 1 cup cheese, add 1/3 of the cubed chicken, pour over remaining soup/milk mix (2 cups/casserole), dot with a couple Tbsp. butter and sprinkle with remaining cheese about 1 cup/casserole.  Saran wrap and foil wrap each pan.  Freeze flat; this will be quite soupy.  I froze mine on a cookie sheet for stability.

**Be sure all the rice is "tucked in"; if it's out of the liquid it will get hard and not soften all the way.

**Since I'm freezing raw meat I like to buy fresh, unfrozen chicken so that I'm not refreezing raw meat.  Doing so increases the chance of freezer burn.

To bake:  Thaw completely in fridge (1-2 days); remove foil and saran wrap and bake at 275 for 2 1/2 - 3 hours.  Stir once early on and then no more stirring.  Check to be sure meat is cooked thoroughly.

Thin Crust Pizza Dough
3 Tbsp. yeast
1 1/8 tsp. sugar
3 1/4 cups + 2 Tbsp. warm water
7 1/2 - 8 cups flour (all-purpose or bread)
2 1/4 tsp. salt

Dissolve yeast and salt in water; allow to rest for 8 minutes.
Combine flour and salt in large bowl.
Pour yeast mixture over flour and stir with a heavy spoon.
Turn dough onto floured surface and knead for 2 minutes.
Divide into 6 pieces.  Wrap in saran or put into quart bags and freeze without letting it rise first.

To bake:  Thaw dough.  Roll out to desired thinness.  We like very thin crust that gets crunchy so I roll it out to the edge of my 14" and 16" pans.  Allow to rise if you like a thicker crust or bake immediately for a thinner crust.

Bake at 500 degrees for 5 minutes.  Then add sauce, cheese and other toppings bake for 3-7 minutes longer until crust is done and cheese is bubbly.

Looking for the video with all these recipes?

Sunday, July 15, 2018


 Do you like devotion books?  I love them.  There's something about a book filled with short and concise essays.  Start them off with scripture and I'm all in.

I think I like devotion books because there's no commitment to finish a whole book in a timely manner so that you can actually remember the beginning when you get to the end.  Can I get an Amen on that one.  If I had a dollar for every book I started, but never finished because I lost interest over time I'd be wealthy, like really wealthy.

That brings me back to devotionals.  I can open one up read the page or two for the day, ponder it for a few minutes and go about my life.

Front Gate Media sent me Never Too Much | Always Enough by Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan to review and they are kind enough to offer a giveaway which I'll link to at the bottom of this post.

From the publisher:  We’ve all been there. We know that sneaking, small voice in our heads all too well—you’re too loud. Too quiet. Too young. Too old. Too unimportant. Too ugly. Too silly. Too serious. You’re not as successful as she is—look at her perfect family, look at her high-powered job, look at her great hair and size 4 skinny jeans. Why can’t you be more like her—be more in general? Why do you expect so much from everyone? Why can’t you take up less space? Ask for less? Be less? The lies track well-worn paths in our minds and our hearts, wearing us down and making us question our role in God’s kingdom.

Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan, bestselling authors of Wild and Free will help you replace those lies with God's truth. This devotional flip-book is designed for you, the woman who feels like she can be both too much and not enough—sometimes in the same day. When you  banish lies and insecurities and find your identity in Jesus, you can embrace these truths: You are always enough. You are never too much.

When I opened the book I dove right in and read "Even When You Make Mistakes" then I took a look around the book and found that it's a flip book.  I was on the Always Enough side.  One look through the tables of content told me that the Never Too Much side was definitely for me.

I'm truly enjoying the style of these essays...Never Too Much....Even When You're Like a Tornado.  Well was this written for me or what?  How about another....Even When You Cry Easily.  These essays are great reminders that we are all created by God for a purpose.  Some of us are meant to be tornadoes and cry easily and that's ok.

You do you and own it is my biggest takeaway from this book.

So if you're a devo junkie like me why not enter the giveaway. You could be the winner.

* indicates required

And if you can't wait you can buy it at Amazon here.

Have you seen my other giveaway?  You could win Paul:  Apostle of Christ DVD or Blu-ray.

PAUL Apostle of Christ | REVIEW & GIVEAWAY #PaulMovie

I have to confess I am not a movie buff, movie fan, movie critic, movie anything.  I find myself getting pretty antsy midway through most movies wanting the storyline to "just get to the point."

So when FrontGate Media offered to send me a review copy I thought twice before responding back with a "yes, please do."  But, you see, my family is full of movie buffs.  The kind of people who watch a movie once and can recite line after line making them even funnier than when said in the movie.  Those are the kind of people who would be all like:

What?  You could've gotten a free movie and you turned it down.  Are you nuts?

As you can tell from the blog post title I did indeed agree to view the film, form an opinion, write about it and offer a giveaway.

Let's get on with this, shall we?

I actually watched this movie at 5:30 a.m. because it's not for young kids and after the kids are in bed I'm tired and there's no way this non-movie girl is going to stay awake at 9:00 p.m. for any movie.

Here's proof

Computer, DVD, coffee, and in bed

Paul  Apostle of Christ
Affirm Films

The basic premise of the movie is Paul has been imprisoned by the Romans for apparently contributing to the devastating and city destroying fire because of his belief in Jesus Christ.  Nero is in charge and is clearly not a Christian for he believes in multiple Roman gods and wants Christians to be persecuted.
Luke visits Paul in prison to write another book.  They have thoughtful conversations about staying true to their faith despite the difficulties.

Then all kinds of things happen.  I know that's very vague, but I don't want to spoil it for you all.

This book that Luke writes is the Acts of the Apostles.  I loved how I recognized many scripture passages and watching the events unfold helped to solidify the meaning of the scripture in my mind.

Movie checklist

thought provoking ☑
elicit intense emotions ☑
provide education ☑
high interest ☑
quality acting ☑

There's definitely a risk in sharing my takeaways from the movie.  We are all different.  Many people can watch the same movie, but what they actually see can vary greatly. 

My Main Takeaways

1.  Evil must be fought with love.

2.  We bring others to Christ not by convincing them of Christ's love, but through our witness to Christ's love.

3.  Being a Christian is hard - often isolating, uncomfortable, and confusing to others, yet we forge on in faith.

I also found myself asking a few questions:

Who can I love more?

Who needs more of my love?

Have you seen Paul Apostle of Christ yet?  Why not?

Now for the details of the giveaway.

Fill out the form below and you could win 1 of 5 copies of Paul Apostle of Christ on DVD or Blu-ray.

* indicates required

Giveaway form also found here.

Don't want to wait for the giveaway?  Paul Apostle of Christ can be found at Amazon in PrimeVideo ($5.99), DVD ($14.96) and Blu-ray ($22.79).

Find Paul Apostle of Christ on social media:

Watch my YouTube channel for the video version + a Sunday family vlog. C O M I N G  S O O N


Saturday, July 14, 2018

BULK COOKING Large Family Style {June Edition}

Bulk Cooking is totally my style especially when summer takes over and we have so many activities pulling us in multiple directions.  Rarely are all nine of us sitting down to supper at once which makes having multiple meals in the fridge and freezer a godsend.

In this edition of BULK COOKING Large Family Style I make:

x5 Pancake Mix  Click here for this old-fashioned recipe
x3 BBQ  Click here for the cookbook

x4 Taco Meat  Click here for a video of my homemade seasoning mix

x2 Pepper Steak  Click here for the Stove top version

x2 Beef Short Rib Soup  Click here for the cookbook
x2 Ham, Bean & Potato Soup  Click here for this giant batch soup recipe

24 Hamburger Patties  Click here for the hamburger press I use & patty papers

10 pounds Twice Baked Potatoes  Click here for the recipe

All these recipes can be seen in video format, too.

Large Family BULK COOKING🌮🥔🥞🥩 Soup, BBQ, Taco Meat, Twice Baked Potato, Pepper Steak, Pancake Mix

A Country Life - My YouTube channel

Slow Cooker Ham, Bean & Potato Soup

Making food in large quantities makes me happy.  If it makes you happy grab a giant Nesco and let's make some soup. 

If you like smaller quantities then cut the recipe in half and it'll fit nicely in a 7 quart Crock-Pot.

Slow Cooker Ham, Bean & Potato Soup

2 pounds dry navy OR great northern beans, rinsed
2 large onions, diced
6 celery stalks, diced
8 potatoes, cut into bite size pieces
8 cloves garlic, minced OR 4 tsp. jarred minced garlic
4 large carrots, sliced
2 ham hocks OR 1 ham bone
4 bay leaves
2 T. oregano
16 cups chicken broth (I use water and Knorr seasoning powder)
4 cups chopped ham (I use Sugardale Diced Ham for ease)
Salt & Pepper to taste (usually doesn't need much salt)

Place ingredients except diced ham in Nesco.  Cook on medium high for 6 hours or until beans are soft.  Stir often.  Remove ham hock or bone.  Pick meat from bone.  Use immersion blender to cream the soup a bit leaving plenty of vegetable chunks.  Add all ham to soup, season with salt and pepper, serve warm.  This soup really holds its heat.

Serve this up on a cold and snowy evening or do what I do and annoy my family with soup in the summer.  Any time of year it tastes great.