Weekly Food for Thought with tips on cooking for one, how to freeze berries, "The Mom 100 Cookbook" and more.

With a little planning and some freezer space, you can create great meals for yourself in no time.

Buy in bulk. Breads, meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds all store well in the freezer. Purchasing these ingredients in bulk and freezing them in small quantities will allow you to grab and thaw what you need, when you need it.

Batch cook. Cooking several options at once is a great way to save time throughout the week. Spend a weekend afternoon cooking, then divide food into single-serving portions and freeze. Write the date and contents on each package.

Buy versatile ingredients. Sometimes all you need for a week's worth of great food are a few key items. Chicken and other lean meats store great in the freezer, and frozen mixed vegetables can be included in pot pies, stews and as a side dish.

Plan for spontaneity. Having a well-stocked freezer and pantry lets you create a delicious recipe whenever the mood strikes. Keep a variety of pastas and rice on hand, along with canned tomatoes, beans, broth, cheeses, herbs and spices. You'll become a weeknight gourmet cook in no time.

-- Family Features

Tip of the Week: How to freeze berries

You can freeze fresh berries to use year-round, and sometimes you don't even have to thaw them out first. For example, add frozen berries straight to cake or bread batters. To freeze, cut off any leaves or stems, wash and let dry thoroughly. Spread out on a baking sheet, and freeze for an hour. Then pack berries into plastic bags, and store in the freezer for up to six months.

-- CookingLight.com

Easy recipe: Patriot's Peanut Butter Popcorn

1 bag (3.2 ounces) butter flavored microwave popcorn

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/4 cup firmly-packed brown sugar

1 bottle (3 ounces) Patriotic Nonpareils or other sprinkles

1 package (12 ounces) Red Candy Melts Candy

Make popcorn according to package directions. In large bowl, microwave peanut butter and brown sugar for 1 minute; stir to combine. Add popcorn and stir until well coated. Sprinkle liberally with nonpareils, stirring to distribute. Spread onto parchment-lined sheet pan.

Melt Candy Melts Candy according to package directions. Drizzle over popcorn. Let set at least 10 minutes before serving. Makes about 8 cups.

-- Family Features

Did You Know?

April is Cranberries and Gooseberries Month, Grilled Cheese Month, National Pecan Month and Soy Foods Month.

Food Quiz

No Australian barbecue would be complete without snags or snaggers. What are these delicacies?

A. sausages

B. steaks

C. chicken wings

D. jumbo prawns

-- funtrivia.com

Answer is at bottom of column

Wise to the Word: Taleggio cheese

[tahl-EH-zhee-oh] Hailing from Italy's Lombardy region, this rich (48 percent fat), semi-soft cheese is made from whole cow's milk. Its flavor can range from mild to pungent, depending on its age. Taleggio is sold in flat blocks or cylinders and is covered either with a wax coating or a thin mold. It's excellent with salad greens or served with fruit for dessert.

-- epicurious.com

Number to Know

340: One Whopper Sandwich, Jr. from Burger King is 340 calories.

 -- calorieking.com

The Dish On …

"The Mom 100 Cookbook: 100 Recipes Every Mom Needs in Her Back Pocket" by Katie Workman

Katie Workman, founding editor in chief of Cookstr.com and mother of two school-age kids, offers recipes, tips, techniques, attitude, and wisdom for staying happy in the kitchen while proudly keeping it homemade—because homemade not only tastes best, but is also better (and most economical) for you.

-- Workman Publishing Company, Inc.

Food Quiz Answer

A. sausages

GateHouse News Service