Recent Recipes

Brown Bread and Beef Barley Soup


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I have to admit, I'm always skeptical about "health food" looking recipes. Not that I don't like to eat healthy. I'm just not a big fan of crunchy, nutty, healthy breads. But I often approach recipes with skepticism only to be pleasantly surprised. Such was the case with this easy and delicious bread. The buttermilk mixed with the oats, wheat germ and wheat flour created a dense but very moist loaf. The perfect pairing for any hearty soup (we topped the warm bread with butter and drizzled honey.)

I am a big fan of making and freezing meals. With two small children, the time it takes in one afternoon to stock the freezer with several homemade meals is worth the effort. The appreciation comes on those days when making dinner feels like a daunting task. And so I reach for a freezer meal and spend that extra time with the kids instead. I will likely be posting several of my favorite "freezer meals" since this is a hobby that I truly enjoy (I've often envisioned a business where I make and sell frozen homemade meals... a dream come true...) Often the problem is, you have no idea what the end result will taste like and don't want to risk wasting food. I can guarantee you that if my recipes sound like something you would like, you are guaranteed to enjoy them (because I've tried them and wouldn't post them if my tastebuds didn't approve.) So I present to you, Beef Barley Soup... easy to make, freeze, remove when needed and pop in the crockpot!

Beef Barley Soup
(makes 4 entrees, 6-8 servings each)

6 pounds sirloin tip beef or other beef suitable for slow cooking
6 cups sliced carrots (about 12 medium)
6 cups sliced celery (about 12 stalks)
4 cups chopped onion (about 4 medium)
2 large green bell peppers cut into 1-inch pieces
4 (14.5 oz.) cans diced tomatoes with juice
4 cups basic red sauce (recipe follows)
4 tablespoons beef bouillon granules
4 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 cups (1 pound bag) pearl barley
8 one-gallon freezer bags
4 one-quart freezer bags

Rinse and trim beef as desired. Cut into bite sized pieces. Divide beef evenly among 4 of the 1-gallon freezer bags. Into each of those 4 bags measure 1 1/2 cups carrots, 1 1/2 cups celery, 1 cup onion, one-fourth of the bell peppers, 1 can tomatoes with juice, 1 cup red sauce, 1 tablespoon bouillon, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Seal.

Into each of the 1-quart freezer bags measure 1/2 cup barley. Seal. Label the remaining 4 freezer bags with name, date and directions. Place one bag of soup and one bag of barley into each labeled bag. Seal and freeze for up to 6 months.

Directions: Put frozen soup into crockpot (or thaw enough to remove from bag). Add 4 cups water and the bag of barley. Cook on LOW for 8-10 hours or HIGH for 4-5 hours.

Basic Red Sauce (makes about 10 cups)

1 (12 oz.) can tomato paste
2 cups hot water
2 tablespoons dried parsley
2 tablespoons minced onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspon dried thyme
1 (28 oz.) can tomato sauce
1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes with juice
several 1-quart freezer bags

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. DO NOT COOK. Measure into appropriate proportions for immediate use. Divide remaining sauce into 2 cup portions among 1-quart freezer bags for later use. Seal, date and label each bag with amount of sauce inside. Freeze for up to 6 months.

*recipes courtesy of "Fix Freeze and Feast"


I would love for you to post freezer recipes. I dream of stocking my freezer with meals!

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