Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Laundry Soap

As a frugal Mama, I'm willing to cut a lot of financial corners.  One area of saving that I hadn't leaped into, however, was homemade laundry soap.  And considering how much laundry we do (as show on my infamous laundry pictures ) I know it could save a lot of money.

But have you read the instructions for some of these laundry recipes?  Boiling up vats of soap?  Finding room to store a 5 gallon bucket?  It sounded like too much effort and storage space.

Then through the miracle of the Internet, I found an easy powder recipe that works just as well as the stuff I was shelling out so much money for.

Here's the 3-ingredient instructions.

 1.  Purchase Fels Naptha soap, Borax and washing soda.  Washing soda is NOT the same as baking soda!  I get all my supplies in the laundry aisle at Cub Foods.

The ingredients

1.  Grate one bar of Fels Naptha soap.  I bought a hand grater at the dollar store for this so that I don't end up with soapy tasting cheese later on.

Small gratings of soap

3.  Mix 1 cup Borax, 1 cup washing soda and one grated bar soap together.  I double the recipe.

The finished product

Yup.  Its that easy.  It is inexpensive, easy to store, quick to make and works well.  For a good size, kid dirt-encrusted load I use a 2 Tbs. scoop worth in the load.  With small enough soap shavings, you can use this soap in all temperature water, including cold.  It is also suppose to work well in a HE washer because it is low-sudsing, but I don't have a HE and can't personally vouch for it.

Have you heard about the cheap fabric softener trick yet?  Put a few drops of fabric softener on a designated clean rag.  Toss it into the dryer like a dryer sheet.  You can use this for a few loads before you need to add more fabric softener.  The clothes smell good, and it reduces the static from a dry winter house for pennies.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Name That Chore

Every weekend we are home it seems, Ben and I participate in a sick sort of showdown for time.  Each of us has pet projects we would like to have time to work on.  These can range from fun things like watching a football game with friends or scrapbooking to more time-sucking work projects like organizing photos that have been shoved in a box for over a decade or installing new tile in the bathroom.  The common denominator in all of the activities, though, is that the participation in them necessitates the other parent to be on kid patrol for an extended period of time.

The way we maneuver the schedule is like a game of high-stakes poker or an episode of the long-gone television game show Name That Tune.  You remember how that goes, right?  Before hearing a snippet of a song, each participant bets on how few notes are needed to successfully name that tune.  "I can name it in 8 notes."  "Well I can name it in 6 notes" till the gauntlet is thrown and whoever thinks they can name it in the fewest amount of notes must do it or lose.

This is often how we negotiate our free weekend time - a version like Name That Chore.  It starts innocently enough with one of us asking, "What did you have planned for the weekend."  Don't be fooled.  This is not a casual conversation starter about leisure time, it is the beginning of bidding.  To win, you really need to plan your strategy.

To open, you don't want to be honest and say, I was hoping to take a few naps, read for several hours while nibbling on popcorn.  That is the sorriest excuse for an opening bid ever.   Instead, you have to find some type of project that is worthwhile and make it seem imperative that it is done within the next 48 hours, even if you have been procrastinating on it for months.  But, careful.  You don't want to immediately commit yourself to 48 solid hours of work, either.  For example, you would never open with, "I'm going to clean out the garage all by myself this weekend, including sorting through all the tubs of storage in there."  That's just crazy talk.

A good bet is to start with something necessary, but just long enough to get you a little free time from the kids to cross some nagging project off the list.  Ben might open with "I was hoping to change the oil in the car."  I might up the ante with "I was going to iron the clothes and return all the library books before we have a fine bigger than a year of college tuition."

Do you see how each of these would only take an hour or two?  We might have another round or two of small-potato projects that we each want to get done.  This could be the end of discussion - we rotate child care duties so each of us gets a bit done.

But, sometimes the pot gets big - usually when Ben has a "big idea" project involving copious amounts of power tools or I need a long break from a particularly whiny week at home with the kids.  That happened last weekend.  I decided I need to clean up and sort the kids toys, donating what we didn't use and throwing away broken toys.  Ben let me take on that challenge.  Poor choice, Kristin.  It took me many, many hours to finish up because everything was everywhere.  It was a royal mess.  Miniature Polly Pocket silverware co-mingling with spare train tracks, mixed with rubber balls, Legos and Candyland markers.

I should clarify  that we rotate toys in our house.  Without rotating tubs of toys in and out of play, the toys get everywhere and the kids don't have the joy of, "Wow!  I haven't seen this for a long time!  How fun!".  I find that they really enjoy what they have and end up playing with them all instead of being neglected at the bottom of a heap.

In our furnace room, we have about a 4'x4' area where we store the toys that are not in rotation.  Other than books, which they always have access to and their special stuffed animals in their rooms, there are only about 3 or 4 tubs of toys accessible at any given time.  Here's the result of my hard work.

Please, please, please stay organized, toys.

For the last two to three weeks, Ben has had many commitments in the evenings and on the weekends, resulting in many, many extra evenings of solo parenting by me.  While bracing myself for this weekend's round of Name That Chore, he stopped the bidding before it started.  He said that he was so grateful for taking over so much recently that I had the day off to do whatever I chose - he would happily be on kid patrol, whatever I chose to do.

So far I have napped and read for hours.  I am heading into a stretch of scrapbooking to be followed by eating a supper I have not prepared.  The evening might end with watching a TIVO'd show while eating popcorn with the best hubby ever - no bidding required.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Infestation of Second Graders

My sweet boy Riley just turned eight and we gave in to the common custom to spend the day celebrating him, although I secretly (or not so secretly) think the mom should get the adoration and songs on their child's birthday with a few obligatory "Happy Birthdays" thrown in for the kid.

Me and My Birthday Boy

Birthday Boy Riley with Brother Connor

Birthday Boy Riley with Brother Sawyer

But, we celebrated his actual birthday and then had a party for him this past weekend.  My son is still at the stage where he hasn't really designated his "best" friends yet so we threw him a birthday party inviting all the second graders in his school.  Thankfully he has a small class of only 14 children counting my boy.  Ten (8 of them were boys) of them showed up on my doorstep in a noisy, sugar-hyped horde for an afternoon of tacos, games, cake, prizes and mayhem.

I am sharing this post to encourage the faint-of-heart that you can, in fact, survive this.  Here was is the party plan, should you choose to take on this adventure yourself.

1.  I suggest fortifying yourself with a mixture of copious amounts of Diet Dr. Pepper and a handful of ibuprofen before the event.  Okay, I am in no way suggesting you OD on over the counter pain reliever.  That was a hyperbole.  But you may want to reach really deep in the back of your medicine cabinet for that spare Percocet you have been saving from your last C-section or wisdom teeth surgery to prepare.  No, I didn't mean that, either.  Not totally anyway.

2.  Fortunately, preparatory cleaning is at a minimum.  You will end up with spilled food, drinks and mud everywhere.  Parents practically bolt before their kids reach the front door, so they won't know if your home was clean before the party and will assume the destruction took place during the festivities.

3.  Start with food.  We served make-your-own tacos.  You don't want kids whining on an empty stomach.  Feed those kids, preferably with some junk food so they will like you, think you are a cool parent and hopefully listen to what you have to say.  No.  I didn't mean that either.  I am never going to be the cool parent.  I was hoping at least to be the "not too lame" parent.

Eating Tacos With Guests

4.  Games come next.  You better have everything prepared ahead of time because at the mention of competition for prizes, those kids are like hyenas on a water buffalo carcass.  They practically foam at the mouth in anticipation.  We had a balloon game, a relay race involving Life Saver candies, a mummy game where they frantically wrap their friends up in discount toilet paper and a penny toss ("Yes, you can keep ALL the pennies you get into your cup.  Here are your 25 pennies.  Good luck!  Wow!  You got five pennies in, and you get to keep ALL of them!) and a music/dancing game where everyone got a prize.

My Hero Husband Entertaining Kids With Balloon Games

Making Mummies in the Living Room

5.  While they are on a high from winning prizes conveniently purchased at 75% off the already cheap clearance prices, usher them back to the kitchen table for cake, ice cream and singing "Happy Birthday"  Your ears will probably be ringing at this point from the supersonic decibels of game time so you won't hear about how one kid doesn't like cake and the other only likes chocolate ice cream.

6.  Next, birthday boy gets to open gifts.  We take a picture of him individually with each child and the gift they gave.  This makes our son's task of writing out thank you notes much easier and a copy of the picture is tucked into each thank you note for the guest.  Thank you notes are non-negotiable.

7.  Give out final prizes to the guest for points accumulated in all the previous games.  It's handy to have one extra prize so that the last child still gets to pick something and isn't just stuck with whatever is left.  I worry that parents will mind the whoopie cushion that their little sweetheart just won.

8.  Finally, its outside time.  Send hubby outside with the kids whose veins are practically gelled with sugar and let them frolic.  Mentally double check that home owner's insurance is paid up when one child decides to sled down the terraced steps in the backyard.  While near saint husband is monitoring children to avoid any potential emergency room worthy injuries, do a quick clean up of abandoned juice boxes and cupcakes with just one finger swipe of icing off of them.

9.  Parents come to get their little darlings.  Profusely assure them that their special child was a delight and that an extra ten kids was really no big deal.  Listen to them laugh and say that we could continue to adopt more children and have this many at our house all the time.

10.  Once all the children all gone, revel in the sweet, sweet near silence of only five children.  Grab a glass of wine from a box - or for you fancy pants parents, uncork a real bottle - and smile at my dear son who was the cause of the preceding hours of mayhem.  See his joyful smile and listen to him tell you how much fun he had.  And realize that the party was so worth it.  Honestly, you won't realize it at that exact moment, but after a few more hours and potentially another glass of wine, you might.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Freezer Recipes

Following my previous posts about why I stock my freezer and tips for stocking your freezer, I had several requests for specific recipes.  I have included just a few recipes that freeze well.  Hopefully these will give you ideas of recipes you normally make that you hadn't considered freezing before.  I'll post again with some more freezer recipes that I often use.

Please note that I freeze these in zip-top freezer bags.

Main Dishes

Spinach Frittata

6 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup milk
1 pkg. frozen spinach, thawed
1 onion, chopped
½ cup grated cheddar
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbs. finely chopped parsley
Pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients.  Freeze.

Serving Day:  Thaw frittata.  Pour in greased pie tin.  Bake for 30 minutes or till set and golden.

Mom’s Beef Stroganoff

2 lbs. beef strips
6 Tbs. butter
1 ½ cups water
3 Tbs. ketchup
1 tsp. minced garlic
3 cans sliced mushrooms, drained
1 finely chopped onion
3 beef bullion cubes
½ tsp. salt

Melt butter in an 8” skillet.  Cook and stir mushrooms and onions in butter till onions are tender. Remove from skillet.  In same skillet, brown meat.  Stir in water, bullion cubes, ketchup, garlic and salt.  Reduce heat.  Cover and simmer 45 minutes.  Mix mushroom mixture with beef mixture.  Freeze.

Serving Day:  Heat stroganoff to simmer.  Mix ¾ cup water and 3 Tbs. flour in a small bowl.  Add to stroganoff.  Heat to boiling, stirring constantly.  Boil and stir 1 minute.  Stir in 1 ½ cup sour cream.  Serve over rice.

Farmers Overnight Casserole

3 cups frozen, shredded hash browns
¾ cup shredded Monterey jack
1 cup diced ham
¼ cup chopped green onions
4 eggs
12 oz. evaporated milk
¼ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper

Combine all ingredients.  Freeze.

Serving Day:  Thaw.  Bake uncovered at 350 for 1 hour or till knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Baked Potato Soup

2 lb. potatoes, scrubbed, pierced and baked
1 Tbs. butter
¾ cup finely chopped onions
1 Tbs. minced garlic
7 oz. chicken broth
½ cup milk
½ tsp. salt
Dash pepper

Peel potatoes when cool enough to handle.  Melt butter in a 4 quart pot over medium-low heat.  Sir in onions and garlic.  Cover and cook 10 minutes until soft but not brown.  Add 2/3 of potatoes and mash.  Add broth, milk, salt and pepper.  Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally.  Cut remaining potatoes into small cubes.  Add to soup.  Freeze.

Serving Day:  Heat soup.  Top with shredded cheese, crumbled bacon, etc.

(I usually make this recipe on a day when our family is having baked potatoes for supper anyway and just add a few more potatoes to the oven.)

Beef BBQ

3 lbs. beef roast, cooked and shredded
½ cup chopped onions
1 Tbs. sugar
2 tsp. dry ground mustard
2 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
2 tsp. paprika
1/3 cup vinegar
2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
1 cup ketchup
1 cup water

Combine all.  Cook in a crock pot on low 6 hours or in an over at 300 for 2 hours.  Freeze.

Serving Day:  Thaw and heat through.  Serve on buns.

Sante Fe Chicken

3 cups cooked, chopped chicken
1 can corn, drained
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can black-eyed peas
1 can pinto beans, drained
1 can tomatoes
15 oz. picante sauce OR salsa
1 Tbs. chili powder
2 Tbs. cumin

Combine all ingredients.  Freeze.

Serving Day:  Thaw.  Pour into a greased 9x13 pan.  Cover with foil and bake 30 min. at 350, or till heated through.  Top with ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese.  Bake 10 more minutes.

Roast Beef Quiche Dinner

1 ¾ cup finely chopped roast beef, cooked
4 eggs, beaten
1 1/2 Tbs. steak sauce
¼ tsp. dill weed
¼ tsp. oregano
¼ tsp. basil
2 cups shredded cheddar
¼ cup chopped green onions, including half of the green tops
1 Tbs. flour
½ cup fat free evaporated milk
½ cup chopped green pepper
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients.  

Serving Day:  Thaw.  Line a pie tin with pie crust.  Cover the crust with aluminum foil.  Bake at 450 for 5 minutes.  Remove foil.  Bake 5 minutes more.  Reduce heat to 375.  Fill shell with quiche.  Bake 25 minutes till crust is set.  Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.   

Baked Chicken Nuggets

2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 eggs
1 cup buttermilk or sour milk
1 1/2 cups Panko crumbs
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/3 cup butter, melted (optional, but makes nuggets crispier)

Cut chicken into nugget-sized chunks.  Combine eggs and buttermilk. Pour into a freezer bag and add chicken.  In a separate bowl, combine Panko, parmesan, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Tape the bags together.  Freeze.

Serving Day:  Thaw chicken.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Dip chicken into crumb mixture.  Toss to coat.  Place nuggets on a lightly greased, rimmed baking sheet.  Drizzle with melted butter if desired.  Bake for 15 minutes or till golden, turning once after about 8 minutes.

Salmon Patties

¼ cup butter
1 medium onion, minced
1 can salmon, bones removed (or 2 cans tuna)
4 eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups crushed seasoned stuffing crumbs like Stove Top (or saltine crumbs)
1 tsp. dry ground mustard
Additional cracker crumbs for coating

Melt butter in skillet.  Add onions and sauté 2-3 minutes.  In a bowl, combine onions, salmon (including liquid) and seasonings.  Mix well.  Stir in eggs and crumbs.  Shape into 8 flat patties.  Roll in crumbs.  Wrap each patty individually in waxed paper and put in a freezer bag. 

Serving Day:  Thaw.  Fry in a small amount of butter to brown and heat through.  Serve on buns.  These are great with lettuce, tomatoes, avocados and a little bit of mayonnaise.

Wendy’s Chimichangas

1 can black beans
1 can fat-free refried beans
1 can green chilies
12 oz. salsa
1 packet taco seasoning
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken meat
35 tortillas
3-4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Bacon drippings, lightly warmed

Combine all filling ingredients.  Bring to a boil while stirring.  Take off heat.  Fold 2 Tbs. filling ingredients and a sprinkling of cheese into tortilla – burrito style.  Place on a cookie sheet seam side down.  Lightly brush chimichangas with bacon drippings.  Bake at 350 for 20 minutes till light brown.  Cool completely before freezing on a cookie sheet.  Transfer from cookie sheet to a freezer bag.

Serving Day:  Microwave frozen chimichangas for a couple of minutes till hot.

Lathrop’s Red Beans and Rice

1 lb red kidney beans, rinsed
2 med. onions, diced
2-3 fingers garlic, cut up fine
2 bay leaves
2 C ham, cut into cubes
Few strips fried bacon, cut into 1" pieces

Put all but rice into a big pot. Cover with water. Bring to boil and then cook over low heat for hours until a good gravy has formed. May need to add more water from time to time. Cool and freeze.

Serving Day:  Heat through.  Serve over rice.

Chicken Pockets

24 crescent rolls
1/3 cup sour cream
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
½ cup shredded Monterey jack cheese (or Swiss or mozzarella)
2 cups chicken, cooked and diced
1 cup ham, cooked and diced

Remove rolls from the package and connect the triangles to form rectangles.  Preheat the oven to 375.  In a mixing bowl, mix the sour cream, parmesan cheese and Monterey jack cheese.  Add the diced chicken and ham and toss until coated.  Evenly divide the filling between the pockets using about ¼ cup of mixture per pocket.  Fold one side of the pocket over the other side.  Seal the edges by pressing with the tines of a fork. Transfer the pockets to a lightly greased cookie sheet.  Bake at 375 for 12 minutes till golden.  Cool completely before freezing. 

Serving Day:  Thaw in the refrigerator overnight.  Microwave on high for 2-4 minutes or until the pockets are hot.

Breakfast Burritos

12 eggs
¾ cup water
2 cup salsa
2 cups cheddar, shredded
1 lb. sausage
12 flour tortillas, burrito sized
1 12 cup hash browns
1 can mushrooms (optional)
Peppers (optional)

In a skillet, scramble eggs with water.  While eggs are cooing, cook sausage in another pan.  Cool and crumble.  Pour eggs and sausage into a large bowl.  Add salsa, cheese, hash browns and mushrooms and peppers if desired.  Fill each tortilla with the mixture and roll up.  Place rolled burritos seam side down on a cookie sheet.  Freeze till firm.  Transfer to freezer bags. 

Serving Day:  No need to thaw.  Reheat in microwave.

Side Dishes

Cape Cod Cranberry Sauce

1 bag (12 oz) fresh or frozen cranberries
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup raisins
1 Tbs. cider vinegar
1 stick cinnamon
¼ tsp. ground cloves
Pinch of salt
¾ cup water
1 large apple, peeled and diced

In a 3 quart saucepan, heat all ingredients except apple to boiling.  Reduce heat to medium-low.  Cook, uncovered 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add diced apple.  Cook about 4 more minutes.  Discard cinnamon stick.  Freeze.  (This makes 2 meals worth for our family)

Serving Day:  Thaw.

Aunt Jan’s Sweet Potato Supreme

3 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
3 eggs, beaten
½ cup sugar
½ cup fat free evaporated milk
1 ½ tsp. vanilla
½ stick butter, melted
½ cup sugar
1 cup chopped walnuts
½ cup flour
1/3 stick butter, melted
Mix potatoes, eggs, sugar, butter, evaporated milk and vanilla.  Freeze in bag.  Mix topping ingredients.  Freeze in a separate bag and tape to sweet potato bag. 

Serving Day:  Thaw.  Pour potato mixture into a greased 2 quart casserole dish.  Cover with topping.  Bake at 350 for 40 minutes.

Cheesy Mashed Potatoes

1 ½ lb. potatoes
½ small onion, grated
8 oz. sour cream
¼ cup butter, melted
1 cup shredded cheddar
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper

Peel and boil potatoes.  Mash potatoes.  Add onion, sour cream and butter.  Beat until well mixed.  Add all remaining ingredients till well mixed.  Freeze.

Serving Day:  Thaw overnight in refrigerator.  (This tends to get runny, so put freezer bag inside another dish so it doesn’t leak into your fridge.  I learned this the hard way.)  Grease an 8x8 baking dish.  Put potato mixture in.  (It may be runny, but it is absorbed during baking).  May top with additional ½ cup shredded cheddar.  Bake at 350 for 40 minutes till heated through. 

Aunt Ellen’s Beans

1 lb. hamburger
1 cup onions
1 can kidney beans
½ cup ketchup
1 tsp. dry ground mustard
1 tsp. salt
1 lb. bacon
1 can butter beans
1 lg. can pork and beans
¾ cup brown sugar
2 tsp. vinegar

Cut bacon in squares.   Add hamburger and onion.  Brown and simmer until onions are tender and meat is browned.   Drain.  Add ketchup, mustard, vinegar and salt.  Mix. Freeze.  (This makes several meals for our family)

Serving Day:  Thaw.  Heat in microwave, crock pot, or oven.

Bacon-Onion Biscuits

4 slices bacon, chopped
1 lg. onion, chopped
3 cups flour
1 Tbs baking powder
1 Tbs sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. cream of tartar
3/4 cup butter
1 cup milk

In a skillet, cook bacon and onion till bacon is crisp and onion is tender.  Drain and discard fat.  In a bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, sugar, salt and cream of tartar.  Cut in butter till it forms coarse crumbs.  Combine milk and bacon mixture.  Add to flour mixture.  Stir till just moistened.  On a lightly floured surface, knead dough just till dough holds together, about four to six strokes.  Pat to 3/4 inch thick.  Cut into 2 1/2 inch biscuits.  Place unbaked biscuits on a baking sheet.  Freeze 1 hour.  Transfer biscuits to a freezer bag and freeze. 

Serving Day:  Preheat oven to 350.  Place frozen biscuits 1-inch apart on ungreased baking sheet.  Bake 25 minutes or till golden.

Desserts and Snacks

Apple Pie Filling

1 cup sugar
½ tsp. salt
1 Tbs. cinnamon
½ tsp. nutmeg
1 ½ Tbs. flour
2 Tbs. butter
6 apples
¼ cup lemon juice

Mix sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and flour in a small bowl.  Blend butter into sugar mixture until it is crumbly.  Place lemon juice in a large bowl.  While you peel and slice the apples, place them in the lemon juice and toss to coat well.  When all the apples have been coated with the lemon juice, pour apple slices into a strainer and drain well.  In a large bowl, mix drained apples and sugar mixture.  Put apple mixture into a bag and freeze.

Serving Day:  Thaw.  Pour into a pie shell and cover with top crust.  Bake at 425 for 10 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350.  Bake 30-40 more minutes till browned and bubbly.  Can also use as a base for apple crisp or cobbler.

Easy Made Frozen Desserts

1 can cherry pie filling
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 container cool whip
1 tsp. vanilla
1 can (1 lb.) crushed pineapple, undrained
½ cup coconut
½ cup nuts (optional)
Mix all ingredients except cool whip.  Fold in cool whip.  Freeze in lined cupcake pans.  When frozen, remove from pans (don’t take off cupcake liner) and put in freezer bags.

Serving Day:  Thaw 10 minutes before serving.

Norwegian Fruit Soup

½ cup tapioca
1 cup raisins
1 cup prunes
1 package dried apricots
1 package dried mixed fruit
1 stick cinnamon
4 cups hot water
1 cup grape juice
1 1/2 Tbs. lemon juice
½ cup sugar

Add tapioca, cinnamon and dried fruit to water.  Boil till tapioca is transparent.  Simmer slowly till fruit is tender.  Add remaining ingredients.  Freeze.  (This makes a bunch.  Lots of fiber for when kids need a little extra help in the potty department..)

Serving Day:  Warm slightly. (It will be thick almost like jello until heated.) Thin this soup out with additional juice of any flavor.  Serve with whipped cream or ice cream. 

Hot Pizza Dip

8 oz. softened cream cheese
4 oz. sour cream
¼ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. dried oregano
¾ cup pizza sauce
½ cup diced pepperoni
¼ cup chopped onion
¼ cup chopped green bell pepper
Steam onion and green pepper in a small amount of water in the microwave for 2 minutes.  Mix all ingredients together and freeze.

Serving Day:  Thaw.  Put into a greased pie plate.  Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.  Top with 1 cup shredded mozzarella and bake 8-10 more minutes.  Serve hot with tortilla chips, fresh veggies or breadsticks.