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March 2000 Issue
Making Your Own Frozen Foods
by Ronda L. Halpin
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In honor of National Frozen Food Day -- which is celebrated on March 6 -- I'm taking on the challenge of making your own frozen foods. When someone asks you to imagine frozen foods, images of pizzas wrapped in cellophane, mixed vegetables piled into plastic bags and tubs of frozen yogurt often come to mind. While these are all perfectly acceptable options, preparing your own frozen foods gives you something that these other options do not: control.

This month, I'm offering you the choice of what toppings you want on your pizza, what veggies you want in your stir-fry and how those tasty morsels of chicken you pop on your salads are marinated. Now, it's likely that once you start making these tasty treats you'll want to dig in right away. That's why every recipe gives you two options. You can enjoy the fruits of your labors right away and hide away some leftovers in the freezer to be enjoyed another day.

Keeping your own frozen foods on hand for busy days saves you time, money and often extra calories as well. In most cases, you can take what you want to eat out of the freezer and thaw it in the refrigerator overnight or even pop it directly into the trusty microwave. You can warm them on the stove or in the oven. The key to it all is the fact that the lion's share of the work is already done. Your time and energy are freed up to put together simple side dishes, get a little housework done, or -- more importantly -- spend a little quality time with your loved ones.

When you put together your own frozen foods, you have the opportunity to take advantage of great deals on special ingredients, fresh and seasonal fruits and vegetables and your favorite cuts of meat prepared the way you like them. If you spend a little time planning, you'll be ready for the mid-week rush or company at a moment's notice. To start you out on your frozen food adventure, I'm presenting a few of my favorite frozen food options.

From my kitchen to yours, enjoy!
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