We’ve been pretty fortunate so far here in Michigan this winter. Not too much snow and a far cry from the arctic temps of two years ago! The weather can change quickly here- so it’s best to always be prepared with food you can cook if you end up being snowed in (or if you just want to stay inside where it’s nice a cozy!). Here are some “twisty” tips I use to keep my kitchen stocked with tasty ingredients all year round! 

Milk, Half & Half, Cream – when I get an overabundance I freeze it flat in ziploc bags and then when ready to use it, I thaw flat bags of milk in a bowl of warm water. Really comes in handy when I want to make something like yummy mac and cheese or a chowder!

Cottage cheese – Have a bunch leftover after making a tray of lasagna? Freeze in ziploc bags and when ready use, thaw and put in a fine mesh strainer for a few minutes before using to strain off extra liquid. Can be used in Terry’s Crustless Vegetable Quiche, stuffed shells or another tray of lasagna! 

Beer – Did you only drink half?  Freeze remaining beer in ziploc bag and use later in Chili, Terry’s Beer Sausage & Cheddar Soup, or her famous Kielbasa Stew!

Green Pepper – Shame to let this tasty vegetable go to waste. Instead- freeze the seeded green pepper and thaw at a later date to throw into spaghetti sauce for increased flavor. You’ll want to toss it before serving your spaghetti, but it really helps to pack a flavorful punch!

Chopped, Halved or Whole Nuts- Store in freezer to keep from turning rancid and use in cookies, cakes, brownies or anything that needs a little nutty crunch!

Lemon Juice –  Lemons never go to waste in the summertime here because ice tea flows like water, but in the winter I have a harder time finding use before the bag of lemons goes bad! Freeze the lemon juice and/or the grated peel and toss into beverages, soups or salad dressings. Did you know that you can freeze a whole lemon, too? Yep! Just thaw in the fridge overnight and microwave on high for 10-20 seconds! Honest- it works! 

Cooked Sausage Patties & Bacon- Why make a mess more than once frying up sausage and bacon. Fry the whole pack and free the extra. This can be easily thawed to accompany an omelette  next weekend or throw on a BLT for lunch the next day (or week!). Sausage is also great in bread stuffing and, of course, in Terry’s Loaded Baked Beans

Ham Bones- Freeze the bone for later use in Terry’s Bean or Pea Soup.

Hungry yet? Check back soon for recipes to accompany all of these great tips! Here’s hoping for a big snowstorm so you have time to try them out!