Homemade Hot Pockets: Meatball Mozzarella

These pockets are time consuming, but they can easily be frozen and reheated. It took me about 3 hours to make and bake these pockets, but I’ve tried the make the instructions best for time management, so it would hopefully only take about 2 hours. The biggest problem we faced was making sure to put deep enough vent holes in the dough, because we had 2 break out the side as a result. The dough should be tacky, but not sticky, so make sure you add enough flour before the first rise. Otherwise, these pockets taste just like Hot pockets, and the dough became fluffy and full. We made 9 pockets, but many had extra dough, so 10 would have been better.

  1. In a bowl, mix together 3 cups flour, 2 tsp active dried yeast, 1 cup of warm water, and 1 1/2 Tbsp oil. Mix until dough comes together. Oil a bowl, turn the dough in the oil, then cover and let rise till double, about 1 hour.
  2. Heat oven to 400 F.
  3. Take one pound of ground burger and place it in a large mixing bowl. Add 2 slices of bread crumbled, 1 Tbsp A1, and 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce. Mix together with your hands. Roll about 2 Tbsp of meat into a balls. Place the balls on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes.
  4. Open a jar of tomato sauce, season as if for a pizza (onion and garlic powder, parsley, oregano, etc.). Mix together.
  5. Once dough is doubled, and meat balls done, grease 2 large baking sheets. Divide the dough into 10 pieces.
  6. Take your dough and roll it into a round. Add a spoon full of sauce and spread it down one side of the round. Add 3-4 mini meatballs, and about 1/3 cup of shredded mozzarella. Seal, add vent holes, and place onto greased baking sheet.
  7. Repeat step 6 for all balls of dough. Bake in the oven at 400 F for 20-30 minutes till the top is crisp when tapped.
  8. Let cool for 5 minutes then eat. You can also freeze leftovers, reheat by microwaving those refrigerated for 1 minute, or those frozen for 2minutes and 30 seconds.

Frozen Chicken Cordon Bleu Review

Walking through the frozen food aisle during this pandemic, we saw this fun little meal. We usually buy one frozen meal whenever we travel to the store because everyone has a day when they don’t want to cook. When we were split between frozen pizza, frozen burgers, and frozen chicken, Josh chose this and we ate it later that night.

The chicken did burst, however the cheese volcano far from emptied these stuffed chicken breasts. The chicken was deliciously juicy and the breading was very tasty. The cheese was a full sauce that wasn’t too thin or too thick. The ham was tasty, thick, and needing a knife to cut it. These chickens were very small though. These were small potatoes, and the chicken was nearly the same size. Each chicken was only about 4 inches long and 2 inches wide.

What Food Can You Freeze? What about Canning?

Freezing is a great way to preserve food if you have an excess and you don’t want it to go bad. Freezing some food will change their texture and consistency, but many things you freeze will act completely normal in your choice of meal. I mention in passing in many of my recipes that I freeze certain things, but I think it would be helpful to have this list made for those who are curious what you can preserve in a freezer. The only thing about a freezer that you need to be aware of before you stock it is how often you lose power, and how long it us usually out for. A freezer can last 2 days unopened without power. If you lose power often or for longer periods, you may want to consider getting a generator.

What can you store in the freezer?

  • Bread – store bought in original package, or homemade wrapped or vacuum sealed to eliminate air and freezer burn
  • Meats – wrapped or vacuum sealed to eliminate air and freezer burn
  • Cheese – shredded lasts fine, blocks can have texture changes and hard cheeses preserve best
  • Prepackaged meats – this means hotdogs, sausages, hams, chicken, or turkey in vacuum. You can also freeze lunch meat as you get it from the store
  • Anything already frozen – prepared foods, frozen meals, frozen fruits or veggies
  • Grains – You can freeze flour, oats, cornmeal, rice, etc, however they tend to have a long shelf life as is. You’ll want to re-bag, label, and freeze to eliminate water exposure
  • Leftover cooked meats – extra turkey, ham, lamb, or pork from a holiday or event can be frozen and easily reheated. Meat prepared with sauces can also be frozen, however keep in mind dairy doesn’t freeze well
  • Stock – in a container that allows for slight expansion
  • Soup – you can freeze soups that are broth or stock based. Somethings in soup don’t freeze well like potatoes, and grains like noodles and rice will become mushy if you overcook them before freezing. Also don’t freeze a dairy based soup, dairy separates and becomes grainy
  • Diced fruits/veggies – Fruits and veggies can be frozen, however they will lose their crispness. This means things like lettuce wilt and become floppy, and whole carrots become gummy. However onions and peppers can be diced or sliced for stirfry or other sauteed recipes. Fruits can also be frozen and taste great in smoothies

Canning is a great way to preserve what you have and prepare for the future, limiting some of the items you need to buy over the next year or more. At this point I’ve only canned a few items myself, however this summer Josh and I are planting a garden, so I hope to get even more veggies canned this coming summer/fall.

Canning has been tested by the USDA and they have recommended times and methods for all things canning. You can find out more on their website or here. Below are some of the things I have canned. Follow the instructions listed under the USDA’s website for safest food practices.

What can you water-bath can?

  • Tomatoes
  • Pickles
  • Fruits
  • Syrup
  • Jams

Venison Stir fry

This recipe is almost identical to my recipe for Turkey Stir fry except this recipe includes minced garlic and includes a meat that isn’t pre-cooked. I also like to use a little more Worcestershire sauce to my taste, however you can also use soy sauce and get less garlic and onion flavors. I also like how easy it is to make this recipe. I made this meal in less than 20 minutes including making rice. I also made way too much rice for 2 people. I made 4 cups of cooked rice, and that was a bit too much. After we ate, there was enough for both of us to have lunch for the next day, and a cup of plain rice left over.

  1. Start by placing 2 Tbsp of oil into a wok or dutch oven and heat to medium-high.
  2. Carefully add 1/2 to 1 pound of raw cubed venison and cook for 5-7 minutes until mostly to fully cooked.
  3. Add a bag of frozen veggies (stir fry or desired). Add 4 Tbsp of Worcestershire sauce, 1 tsp of ground ginger, and 1 Tbsp of minced garlic. Coat everything in the sauce and cook until veggies are hot.
  4. Serve over rice!

This Weekend: Shower Disaster and, Filling our Freezer

Shower Problems

One thing that happened this weekend was our shower stopped working. When we first moved in, the shower was already not working correctly. The hot water knob would slip and make it very difficult to turn on and off the water, as well as hard to close it enough to prevent a leak. In September or October, Josh pulled apart the hot water knob, and was able to tighten a clamp on the cartridge. But, Sunday morning when I was about to shower, the clamp finally gave again, so Josh pulled apart the mechanism and broke the old clamp, but it needed to be actually fixed this time anyway.
We turned off the water, took out the cartridge, and took it to ACE hardware to find replacement cartridges. We found two, so we could also replace the cold water too, and we also bought new handles that attach directly to the splines on the cartridge. We returned home late, but we still fixed it and with that we finally have water again. What do you think of the new knobs? Have you ever had problems with your shower handles?

Packing our Freezer (Venison)

We are not vegan or vegetarians, but my husband and I are fervently against animal cruelty. We also understand that our meals come from animals. We understand that some are against hunting, however hundreds of deer die every winter from starvation and car accidents in our area, and if hunting will prevent animal suffering and if hunting can provide food for someone, we feel hunting is worth it. We don’t enjoy the action of hunting, but our ecosystem is cruel. We also use as much of the meat as possible, and find that the meat is often healthier than normal grass/corn fed beef, and has a fat content of less than most beefs. Deer usually has a fat content of less that 5%.
With that understood, Josh went hunting this weekend and managed to get a button buck. I had gone hunting with him earlier this year, but this weekend we were fortunate enough to get a small buck. We then took Sunday to process the deer and get it cut and packaged for meals. We are grateful that now we will have 36 meals covered as a result, and it is a blessing that we won’t have to spend as much on groceries in these winter months as a result.
What does this mean? It means I’m going to be making a lot of recipes in the next few months using a mixture of my normal beef, pork, chicken, but now also venison. This will be my first year cooking venison, so bear with me as I try new recipes and give you alternates to Venison if you want to try the same recipe. As you can see my freezer is now mostly meat and frozen meals, so please consider subscribing or following if you want to keep up with everything to come!