The Fix Freeze Feast Story

"Fix, Freeze, Feast helps busy families fill their freezers at an affordable price using fresh ingredients wherever possible," says author Kati Neville. "Our recipes are designed to use products found at their local warehouse club. For example, the meat departments offer the best deals day in and day out. Many people buy these large packs but still need ideas for what to do with it once they get it home. Fix, Freeze, Feast, as well as our kits, are an answer."

"We're adventurous cooks that aren't afraid to mix new flavors," says author Lindsay Tkacsik (pronounced Ta-sic). "But we're also practical because whatever we cook has to pass the kid test. And it's because of our kids that natural flavor and nutrition are primary goals."

Indeed, the authors of Fix, Freeze, Feast are always reviewing other cookbooks, tools, and resources and incorporating new knowledge into their own. The two keep good notes and offer a blog, the Forklift, on their website to give you a glimpse of what they're up to and learning.

History

The two authors founded Warehouse Gourmet Inc. in 2004. Each separately owned and operated small meal assembly services. Realizing that assembly services are beyond the budgets of many families and noting that consumers were craving more control over ingredients, they decided to collaborate on a self-published cookbook, The Warehouse Gourmet. The book was first published in November 2005 and sold out within 3 months. It was a huge hit!

With the urging of dedicated customers and friends, Kati and Lindsay sought a publishing relationship. In November 2006, they secured a deal with Storey Publishing LLC. The original work was revised, expanded, and renamed Fix, Freeze, Feast. It contains many of the favorites customers enjoyed in The Warehouse Gourmet PLUS entirely new sections for meatless soups and entrees, sides, snacks, and sweets. It was released in November 2007 and is available at Amazon, Powells, and local bookstores.

In addition to active work, volunteer, and family lives, Lindsay and Kati teach cooking classes via local community education programs, food ministry series at church, and speak to groups in Western Washington and Oregon. You can arrange to have Kati or Lindsay speak to your group in these areas.

Learn more about Kati and Lindsay.

Meet Kati Neville

Kati Neville, © Lynn Woodward

Q. Where did you grow up? And, how did that influence your cooking?

A. I grew up in Iowa and wasn't exposed to very much culinary adventuring. I was a picky eater too, which only reinforced my lack of exposure to new flavors. I only began cooking and exploring new flavors after moving to the west coast. I'm enjoying making up for lost time.

Q. How do you develop your recipes?

A. That's changed over the years as I've become more experienced as a cook. I used to follow recipes to the "T." But now I'm much more free form. For example, I have a new spice blend in my cupboard right now. I really want to try it. Since I read so many cookbooks and magazines, I'll start collecting recipes to see what others are doing with this particular ingredient and begin experimenting on my own until I've perfected a recipe for the freezer and my family's tastes.

Q. What can cooks learn from Fix, Freeze, Feast?

A. Our primary goal is to offer cooks an updated, refreshed look at freezer cooking (the process of making meals ahead for the freezer). I own a couple of cookbooks from the 1950s that have specific chapters on these methods, so it's not a new concept at all.

What IS new from Fix, Freeze, Feast, is that we're going beyond casseroles. Whenever someone talks about freezer cooking, they think of casseroles and clumpy white sauces. We're offering cooks more modern recipes.

And finally, we present our recipes on the most common products and package sizing offered at warehouse clubs. The majority of people we know who are members at warehouse clubs, purchase many groceries there. To our knowledge, there is no other resource like ours that tells people specifically how to divide those large packages so they maximize their card savings.

Meet Lindsay Tkacsik

Q. Where did you grow up? And, how did that influence your cooking?

A. I grew up in a small coastal city in northern British Columbia. Although a small city, it is home to many different racial and ethnic groups, including First Nations, Italian, Portuguese, Greek, Vietnamese, and East Indian. You can find your favorite ethnic cuisine in its restaurants and a wide variety of exotic ingredients in its grocery stores. Fishing is a major industry, and that means there is an abundance of freshly caught – and often free - seafood to enjoy. I have learned to appreciate a wide range of foods and flavors.

Q. Do you love to cook?

A. I do love to cook! Sometimes the daily grind takes the fun out of getting dinner on the table, though. That's why I love this method so much. Night after night, preparation for dinner is so minimal that time is no longer an issue. I have energy and enthusiasm to spare, and often experiment with new foods.

Q. How do you develop your recipes?

A. As I mention in the book, many of my recipes were developed in an effort to mimic favorite restaurant meals at a time when we had no restaurant budget. I have also worked on having a full repertoire of family friendly, simple recipes that please every member of the family.

Q. What was your worst cooking experience?

A. I can think of many. Along the way to becoming a confident cook, I made numerous mistakes.

Once as a teenager, I wanted to make French fries. I burned the oil so I took the whole pan and set it in the sink – turned on the cold water and…what a disaster! Cold water hitting the hot oil made a huge mess. I had to clean it up quickly before the evidence of my deep frying escapade was discovered (sorry Auntie Darlene).

My worst cooking incident came out of the mistaken notion that I could simply multiply every ingredient in a recipe in order to make a bigger batch of soup. Let me tell you, no matter how large the recipe, you will never need a half a cup of cumin in anything. That huge batch of soup was buried in a hole in the backyard.


Photo credit of authors together and of Kati: Bennington Photography.
Photo credit of Lindsay: Rosemary Ryan Photography