Freezer Cooking Bonus Pack

Once upon a time (a little over a year ago), my friend Rachel and I started writing a cookbook. We cooked. We froze food. We tested. We wrote. We edited. And then we did all those things over and over again until we got it right. And now our cookbook, From Freezer to Table, is available for pre-order on Amazon and other online booksellers!

One of the things we’ve learned on our publishing journey so far is that pre-orders are a big deal in the book industry to both you and us (more on that in a sec). Because we want the momentum of pre-orders on our side, we are offering a few gifts to those who do so. Today, I wanted to highlight one of those gifts, The Freezer Cooking Bonus Pack.

But first, why all the fuss about pre-order numbers? Well friend, so glad you asked. Here a few reasons why pre-orders matter to both you and us:

  • The more people order a book, the more Amazon will discount it. (Cha-ching…savings for you!) No matter when you pre-order, you WILL get the lowest price it goes down to when the book comes out.
  • Secondly, pre-order data gives publishers an early indication as to whether a book has a lot of excitement behind it and whether they might need to increase the print run to meet anticipated demand.
  • Bookstores purchase book quantities based on pre-orders. The bigger their stock is, the more they will push the book and the more it sells.
  • The more pre-orders we get, the more PR the book gets. Media outlets sit up and take notice when they see a movement. The more PR the book receives, the more it will sell.
  • Pre-orders also count towards the first week of sales and make it easier to hit bestseller lists!

So you can probably understand why authors push the pre-order agenda pretty hard, right?

That’s why, when you pre-order our book, we want to offer you some fun bonuses to sweeten the deal. Not only will you get a set of our freezer meal labels

…but you also get all of the downloads below in our Freezer Cooking Bonus Pack!

Weekly Menu Plan + Top 5 “Stock Up and Save”

Real Food Menu Plan for May 29-June 3: Easy and delicious meal ideas that the whole family will love. Posted every Friday at Thriving Home.

Sponsored by Hy-Vee (Columbia)

With a holiday weekend coming up, you’ll notice several things on the menu plan that will feed a crowd. Not planning on feeding a crowd?? You can still eat real food and freeze some for later. With mouth-watering dishes like Slow Cooker Pulled Pork and Grilled Pork Tenderloin, you just can’t go wrong. Using the grill and the slow cooker are great ways to welcome summer!

P.S. Are you needing a cute way to kick off this holiday weekend? Try this Handprint Flag shirt. After all, the recipes this week are so easy, you’ll want something to fill the time. Wink.

P.P.S. Did you know you can have these menu plans emailed to you to weekly? All you have to do is sign up here.

Pan-Fried Catfish

Pan-Fried Catfish is cheap, kid-friendly, and so tasty.

Believe it or not, this main dish cost me just under $5 to put together and my whole family loved it. Let’s just say that catfish in mid-Missouri is not hard to come by. I don’t fry foods very often, so this Pan-Fried Catfish was quite the treat for my crew. I served it with some Roasted Vegetables and berries.

Pan-Fried Catfish is cheap, kid-friendly, and so tasty.

The cornmeal and whole wheat flour mix creates a delicious (and fiber-rich!) crust that is kicked up with Old Bay Seasoning, giving it that bayou flavor. There are a few other keys to making this pan-fried catfish a smash:

1 – Add flavor at every step. Season the catfish well with salt and pepper and then season each part of the dredging/breading process.

2 – Make sure the oil is the right temperature and keep it there. If it’s not hot enough you’ll have mushy, oily fish. If it’s too hot, you’ll burn the outside before the inside is done. I highly suggest using Avocado Oil for frying, because it has a high smoke point and is healthier than vegetable oil.

3 – Serve with a squeeze of lemon on top and with your favorite dipping sauce. We have the perfect sauce recipe for this catfish called Creamy Herb Dipping Sauce in our cookbook (releases September 12 but available for pre-order now). My kids just prefer plain ole ketchup.

4. Make sure all the skin and the dark fatty tissue under the skin is removed. I bet if you ask nicely, the butcher in your grocery store would do this nasty little job for you. 🙂

I haven’t tested these in the freezer yet, but from prior fish-freezing experience, I think you could certainly bread these, flash freeze them (set on a sheet pan and freeze until solid), and store in a freezer container. Then, you would just thaw them on a baking rack over a sheet pan in the fridge overnight (covered with plastic wrap). If anyone tries this, let me know if you have any other freezing tips.

Pan-Fried Catfish is cheap, kid-friendly, and so tasty.

Onward to the recipe!

Killer Homemade BBQ Sauce

Easy homemade BBQ Sauce. With just a few pantry ingredients you can make your own sweet-smokey-tangy bar-b-que sauce in minutes!

I could have really used this recipe the other day when we put drumsticks on the grill and realized we were out of BBQ sauce. Luckily one of our neighbors had about 1/2 cup left that they graciously let us finish off. BUT, growing up in a food-industrialized world (is that even a term?), I have been shaped to think I need to go to the store to buy a condiment rather than make it on my own.

Would I have been thinking clearly, I would have whipped up this Homemade BBQ Sauce and not have had to mooch of my neighbors!

Anyway, this sauce is the bomb. It’s a combination of sweet-smokey-tangy flavors that are brought out even better on the grill. 

Weekly Menu Plan + Top 5 “Stock Up and Save”

Real Food Menu Plan for May 22-28: Easy and delicious meal ideas that the whole family will love. Posted every Friday at Thriving Home.

Sponsored by Hy-Vee (Columbia)

Fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, frozen vegetables, and frozen fruit…do you know what these four things have in common?? They are all featured on this week’s menu plan that is full of real food, freezer-friendly, kid-approved, healthy menu ideas. From Baked Nachos topped with shredded lettuce, tomatoes, and sliced avocados to Whole Wheat Spinach Lasagna (that’s made in the slow cooker!!) you’ll find it all!

P.S. Did you know you can have these menu plans emailed to you to weekly? All you have to do is sign up here.