Thursday, August 29, 2013

More Freezer Foods



Okay, here is the list I keep on my fridge of all the dinners for one and a half to two months (we eat with my husband's family once a week, we eat out once a week, and maybe with my family every other week). I fill in the little bubbles as we eat them. There are two bubbles, because I have two of everything made (or on hand). 


list hanging on fridge

August-September Cooking List
O O Sloppy Joes: French Fries, Fruit Salad
O O Spaghetti: Bread, Salad
O O Nachos: Chips, Taco meat, Queso, and the fixins
O O Meatloaf muffins: Corn on the Cob, Baked Beans
O O Beef Fajitas: Tortillas, Sour Cream, Queso, Chips Salsa
O O Frito Pie: Chili, Fritos, and the fixins
O O Hamburger(Grilled): French Fries, Fruit Salad
O O Steak(Grilled): Corn, Baked Beans
O O Hot Dogs(Grilled): Chips, Fruit Salad
O O Lasagna: Bread, Salad
O O Sweet BBQ Chicken: Mac and Cheese, Fruit Salad
O O Teriyaki Chicken: Couscous, Stirfry veggies
O O Creamy Italian Chicken: Salad, Bread
O O Honey Garlic Chicken: Rolls, Green Beans, Fruit Salad
O O Balsamic Glazed Drumsticks: Couscous, Broccoli
O O Applesauce BBQ Chicken: Mac and Cheese, Fruit Salad

 Here is my freezer. Top shelf (you can't see) has my steaks and hamburger meat. The next shelf has one of each frozen meal (at least the ones we haven't eaten). The third shelf also has one of each meal. The bottom shelf is Adam's lunch shelf. I also like to by those long french loaves of bread from the bakery and split them in thirds and freeze them. They defrost super quick and easy to turn into a side.The door and bottom bin has my frozen veggies.


Easy frozen beef dishes:

Spaghetti: Nothing fancy here just spaghetti packet, ground beef, and tomato sauce and stuff.... Adam doesn't care for the jarred stuff as much.

Taco meat: same thing pretty basic, just seasonings and beef.

Beef fajitas: This is my only beef recipe where the meat is not cooked ahead of time. Cut the beef (skirt or flank steak) into strips, some fajita seasoning(I split my recipes in two so I put 1/2 packet in each bag, 1/2 to 3/4 cup water (per freezer meal), slice up a couple bell peppers (I like two use to different colors) and toss them in the bag(s), and slice up an onion and toss that in too. That's it!  Super Easy!


Chili for Frito Pie:
  • 2 pounds Ground Beef
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Minced (optional)
  • 1 can Tomato Sauce
  • 1 can Ro-tel
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Ground Oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon Ground Cumin
  • 2 Tablespoons Chili Powder
  • 1 can (14-ounce) Kidney Beans, Drained And Rinsed
  • 1/4 cup Masa (corn Flour) Or Regular Corn Meal
  • 1/2 cup Warm Water

Preparation Instructions

Brown ground beef with garlic in a pot over medium-high heat. Add tomato sauce, Rotel, salt, oregano, cumin, and chili powder. Cover and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Add drained and rinsed beans. Stir to combine, then cover and simmer for another 20 minutes.
Mix masa with water, then add to the chili. Stir to combine and simmer for a final 10 to 15 minutes.

Let cool, bag, and the freeze. Took reheat, I left mine thaw out on the counter, run under warm water, or overnight it in the fridge till dinner time the next day and then pour it into a pot and warm it up.


Sloppy Joes:
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 2-1/2 pounds Ground Beef
  • 1/2 whole Large Onion, Diced
  • 1 whole Large Green Bell Pepper, Diced
  • 5 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1-1/2 cup Ketchup
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 2 teaspoons Chili Powder
  • 1 teaspoon Dry Mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • Worcestershire Sauce, To Taste
  • Salt To Taste
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper, To Taste

Preparation Instructions

Add butter to a large skillet or dutch oven over medium high heat. Add ground beef and cook until brown. Drain most of the fat and discard.
Add onions, green pepper, and garlic. Cook for a few minutes, or until vegetables begin to get soft.
Add ketchup, brown sugar, chili pepper, dry mustard, and water. Stir to combine and simmer for 15 minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste. Also add Worcestershire.

Really there are so many things that you could freeze (soups, stews, casseroles, enchiladas, just browned meat, or grilled chicken patties...). This are just some of the meals that my pretty picky family enjoys.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Easy Chicken Freezer Meals

So I started freezing meals a couple months back now and it has been a HUGE hit in my house.

Pros:
1). We end up saving money. I always had a bad habit of food spoiling before I ever cooked it... now that is not a problem anymore. We also don't end up eating out as often, because there is delicious easily made food at home.
2). It makes dinner so easy. I am not a big fan of cooking, so I never looked forward to cooking dinner, but now I can honestly say I kind of enjoy it. Super easy to throw a freezer meal in the oven and whip up a few easy sides and wait for Adam to get home and mmmm over how delicious it is.



Tips:
For all of these recipes I split them in half to make two meals out of them. 

I like to label all of the bags first. Then open them up by rolling the lip of the bag outwards so the bags sit open on the counter (I hope that made sense). Next, I fill the bags with all the ingredients except meat. I save the meat for last because it saves on clean up time. Seal bags, pressing the air out, and then freeze laying flat.

When ready to cook I listed both the traditional crock-pot method and my method. I am not a huge fan of chicken in the crock-pot, so I cook mine in the oven. I thaw the meat out enough to pour it in a pyrex dish and then cook at 400 degrees till cooked (I use a meat thermometer to check doneness). To thaw the meat you can set it out for awhile, run it under warm water, or set it in the fridge the night before.

Here are the chicken dishes I made today:



Chicken Dishes
Teriyaki Chicken:
Ingredients:
   6-8 Bonesless, Skinless Chicken Thighs
   1 Cup Teriyaki Sauce
   1 Cup Water
   2/3 Cup Brown Sugar
   3 Cloves Garlic
   A few slices of of Ginger (I just use Ginger a la McCormick) 
Preparation Instructions:
Add all ingredients to a Freezer Gallon Ziplock Bag!  Don’t stress about trimming up the Chicken Thighs too much, it’s really not needed!  One of the reasons I love crockpotting Chicken Thighs is because the fat melts and only adds to the taste!!  Once bag is closed with all the air out use your hands to mix all the ingredients and make sure the Thighs are sitting in a good sauce!!
To cook:
Take the Freezer Meal out of the Freezer and hour before starting OR run it under some room temperature water for about 30 seconds.  Dump meal in the Crockpot and cook on Low for 4-6 hours!
OR
My preferred method is to thaw the meal enough to pour contents of the bag into the a pyrex dish and then bake at 400 till done (time varies on how thawed the chicken was … yay for meat thermometers).

Creamy Italian Chicken(Just made this one haven't tried it):
Ingredients:
   4-6 Chicken Breasts
   8 oz Cream Cheese
   1 Can of Cream of Chicken
   1 Dry Packet of Italian Seasoning
Preparation Instructions:
Take softened Cream Cheese, Cream of Chicken and Italian Seasoning and mix together in a bowl.  Take cleaned chicken and place in a Freezer Gallon Ziplock Bag and top with the mixture.  After Ziplock bag is closed, take your hands and push wet mixture to cover chicken.
To cook: Take the Freezer Meal out of the Freezer and hour before starting OR run it under some room temperature water for about 30 seconds.  Dump meal in the a Crockpot and cook on Low for 4-6 hours!
OR
My preferred method is to thaw the meal enough to pour contents of the bag into the a pyrex dish and then bake at 400 till done (time varies on how thawed the chicken was … yay for meat thermometers).

Crock-pot Honey Garlic Chicken:

Ingredients:
   Chicken (I use thighs and drumsticks, but you can use whatever)
   5 garlic cloves chopped
   1 tsp. oregano
   3/4 cup soy sauce
    1/4 cup ketchup
    1/2 cup spicy honey bbq sauce
    1/3 cup honey
    pinch of salt
    dash of pepper
Preparation Instructions:
Add all ingredients to a Freezer Gallon Ziplock Bag!   Once bag is closed with all the air out use your hands to mix all the ingredients and make sure the chicken are sitting in a good sauce!!
To cook: Take the Freezer Meal out of the Freezer and hour before starting OR run it under some room temperature water for about 30 seconds.  Dump meal in the a Crockpot and cook on Low for 4-6 hours!
OR
My preferred method is to thaw the meal enough to pour contents of the bag into the a pyrex dish and then bake at 400 till done (time varies on how thawed the chicken was … yay for meat thermometers).


Crockpot Applesauce BBQ Chicken:
Ingredients:
    4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
    1/2 t ground pepper
    2/3 cup chunky applesauce
    2/3 cup BBQ sauce (I used Brown Sugar/Hickory)
    2 T brown sugar
    1 t chili powder
Preparation Instructions:
Add all ingredients to a Freezer Gallon Ziplock Bag!   Once bag is closed with all the air out use your hands to mix all the ingredients and make sure the chicken are sitting in a good sauce!!
To cook: Take the Freezer Meal out of the Freezer and hour before starting OR run it under some room temperature water for about 30 seconds.  Dump meal in the a Crockpot and cook on Low for 4-6 hours!
OR
My preferred method is to thaw the meal enough to pour contents of the bag into the a pyrex dish and then bake at 400 till done (time varies on how thawed the chicken was … yay for meat thermometers).

  
Crockpot Balsamic Glazed Drumsticks: 
Ingredients:
8 chicken drumsticks
3 tablespoons coconut oil (olive oil would work too!)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons tamari (or soy sauce if you're not GF)
1 tablespoon honey
Preparation Instructions:
Add all ingredients to a Freezer Gallon Ziplock Bag!   Once bag is closed with all the air out use your hands to mix all the ingredients and make sure the chicken are sitting in a good sauce!!
To cook: Take the Freezer Meal out of the Freezer and hour before starting OR run it under some room temperature water for about 30 seconds.  Dump meal in the a Crockpot and cook on Low for 4-6 hours!
OR
My preferred method is to thaw the meal enough to pour contents of the bag into the a pyrex dish and then bake at 400 till done (time varies on how thawed the chicken was … yay for meat thermometers).


Sweet BBQ Chicken:
Ingredients:
   4-6 Chicken Breasts
   12 oz bottle of BBQ Sauce
   1/2 Cup Brown Sugar (I like mine really sweet, so I’ll usually do a little bit more then this)
   1/4 Cup Vinegar
   1/8 teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper
   1 tsp Garlic Powder
Preparation Instructions:
Add all ingredients to a Freezer Gallon Ziplock Bag!   Once bag is closed with all the air out use your hands to mix all the ingredients and make sure the chicken are sitting in a good sauce!!
To cook: Take the Freezer Meal out of the Freezer and hour before starting OR run it under some room temperature water for about 30 seconds.  Dump meal in the a Crockpot and cook on Low for 4-6 hours!
OR
My preferred method is to thaw the meal enough to pour contents of the bag into the a pyrex dish and then bake at 400 till done (time varies on how thawed the chicken was … yay for meat thermometers).


If anyone has any good recipes please share. I'll post my other recipes later. Enjoy! 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

10 month and other updates

MY GOALS FROM LAST WEEK
1) loose a pound (I did!)
2) finish the quilt top (done and I did the quilt back too)
3) work out/break a sweat (I did work out/ I broke a sweat cleaning house :/)
4) caulk, scrub, and overall super clean the girls' bathroom (caulked, scrubbed, touched up grout..)
5) make an eye appointment (made and went to my eye appt., In about a week I'll have to go pick up my trial contacts)
6) not to add more projects to my list (of course I added more projects)


Goals for this week:
1) loose a pound
2) finish the quilt!
3) work out
4) Install cabinets knobs in the guest bath and laundry room
5) Finish super cleaning the entry way
6) not to add more projects to my list

Lilian: 10 Months!



 it is really hard to get a good pic of her these days

Eat: Lilian nurses every morning, before every nap, and maybe twice after she goes to bed at night and anytime in between per her request. The only new food she had this month was a little chicken and some turkey.

Sleep: She is down to two naps a day. Those two naps vary on what time they are, but I am hoping she figure out a routine she likes soon.


Size: Right now she is wearing 12 and 18 month clothes.

Stats: She weighs in at 21 lbs now


Likes: Curious George, playing outside, books, dogs, trying to play in the toilet, getting into the cabinets, unrolling toilet paper, playing with her sister, assisted walking, and jumping on the bed (assisted)

Dislikes: anything involving sleep, diaper changes, and getting dressed

Firsts: getting to take a bath without her seat, getting down to two naps a day, she has taken a couple wobbly steps without help, she started eating a little meat, and she has become very vocal of her likes and dislikes (she will yell "done!" when she is over something).

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Quick update

Oops... Forgot to post this Monday.

MY GOALS FROM LAST WEEK
1) loose a pound.... I lost 4 lbs some how (not eating entire pans of brownies helped)
2) hopefully get my machine back and start quilt blocks.... 21 blocks finished!
3) stop thinking about working out and do something (no more excuses)... Every time I bounce the baby to sleep I do squats and I even did a few reverse crunches (it's a start)
4) get the new album I bought filled with pics.... The pics are all put in the album, but I still need to do some labeling. I also need to figure out what to do with the stuff (ticket stubs and maps and such).
5) make an eye appointment (I can tell my vision has really declined)... Yea I totally forgot to do this.
6) stop adding new projects to my list.... I started thinking about lilian's first birthday party, which led me to add probably half a dozen projects to my list.




MY GOALS FOR THIS WEEK
1) loose a pound
2) finish the quilt top
3) work out/break a sweat
4) caulk, scrub, and overall super clean the girls' bathroom
5) make an eye appointment
6) not to add more projects to my list



Tuesday, January 15, 2013

New stuff and resolutions

First the new stuff.

1) Adam will be taking his last CPA exam in February. I am already anxious and excited for it. It is always hard on me when he studies, because I am with the baby literally all day. Bouncing the baby to sleep 3-4 times a day is giving me a serious workout. I also miss spending the evenings with Adam watching movies and chatting (or him listening to me chat).

2) lilian has started saying new things. She said "done" the other day when she wanted out of her high chair. Whenever she starts smashing her food or throwing it on the floor I would say "done" and take her out, Then she started repeating done after I would say done, now she says it on her own. I love it when they start talking... It makes life a little easier for her and me.

3) We are going with my family (15 of us) to Disney in April and I am constantly adding things on my 'want to do list'. Problem is I am adding things fast than I can finish them.
I want to sew a purse similar to this


I want to have something for the characters to sign (not autograph book)


I want to order Adam and myself at least one disney shirt (the girls already have several)


I want to get something for the baby to wear when the big girls all get to go to the bippity boppity boutique.


I think doing something like this to match Emma's  disney shirts would be fun. I am not a big fan of bows, but these are pretty darn cute.



4) My had two New Years resolutions. The first one is to not take on too many projects. The second was to complete everything on my 'things I want to do before I turn 30' list. So far the things I have done are
-I have gone to the dentist. I survived. I do get to go back because he wants to (for free :D ) see if he can whiten a front tooth of mine that died several years go. I am pretty pumped about that.
-I have finished cutting all the fabric and have them sorted into blocks waiting to be sewn. My sewing machine will hopefully be back from the shop on Wednesday. My goal is to sew a block a day ( not too ambitious, but about all I can do with two little ones around).
-My goal was to loose 60 lbs (baby weight plus some extra) I have lost 53 lbs so far 7 left. I WILL do it. I was on a roll till thanksgiving and Christmas came around.
-I have started putting our pics in albums. I actually had to buy a second one and extra picture sleeve things today.
-I have gotten everything organized and de-cluttered. We had one very successful garage sell.


MY GOAL FOR THIS COMING WEEK
1) loose a pound
2) hopefully get my machine back and start quilt blocks
3) stop thinking about working out and do something (no more excuses)
4) get the new album I bought filled with pics
5) make an eye appointment (I can tell my vision has really declined)
6) stop adding new projects to my list

Thursday, January 3, 2013

9 months

Miss me? I have been gone for a while, but I am back. Adam is now studying to take his LAST CPA exam. He passed his third of four in the fall and then took a little break during the holidays.


I can hardly believe that my little baby is now 9 months old. In just a few short months we will be having a birthday party.

Eat: Lilian nurses every morning, before and after every nap, before bedtime, and then maybe twice during the night. She loves eating solids now. She eats small pieces of fruit and veggies. Most recently we have added full fat yogurt and bits of cheese. She sits in her high chair and feeds herself during all our meals. It is fun watching her eat.... It is not so fun cleaning her mess. :)

Sleep: Lilian wakes (typically) between 7 and 8 then takes a nap at 9:30-10:30, 12:30-2:30, and 4:30-5:30. She usually goes to bed around 8. My big girl sleeps in her crib every night now... Well until she wakes up and Adam brings her to me in bed where she spends the rest of the night (last night she stayed in her crib till 3:30).

Size: Right now she is wearing 12 and 18 month clothes. (she is wearing an 18 month target brand outfit in above pic)


Stats: She weighs right at 20 lbs


Likes: Getting into the cabinets, unrolling toilet paper, playing with her sister, assisted walking, and jumping on the bed (assisted).

Dislikes: diaper changes, getting dressed, when her sister is upset, and having to sleep (she thinks being awake is way more fun).


Firsts: Lilian celebrated her first Christmas. She loved everything about it except Santa. She has gotten good at cruising along the furniture and toys and pushing her walker around. Her biggest new thing is talking. She has started saying mama and dada to the correct people. The only other unprompted things she has said are hi, dog, and monkey (she likes curious George). This past week she started repeating words that we were trying to teach her done, pear, peach, Emma, Nonnie, Babu, Pampam, fish... She is really good at mimicking words. I am curious to see which of the words she will say on her own next.






Monday, October 8, 2012

3 Years Old!!!!!

My baby is turning 3!

October 8, 2009 at 9:08am little Emma Jean was born. She weighed in at 8lbs 11oz and was 20.5in.

Every month I have taken a picture of Emma and now I have turned them into a little movie. Enjoy!


video


Here is a little about Emma at 36 months...

Eat:
Emma loves to eat (as long as she's not too distracted). Her favorites include pizza, cheese, chicken nuggets, strawberries, chocolate milk, and ice cream (frozen yogurt).


Sleep:
Emma still takes a nap in the afternoon from 12:30-2:30. I am praying she we keep this nap for a looong time. Bedtime for Emma is at 7:30. She sleeps in a twin bed with her 6 Mickey friends. Most nights Emma comes and gives her sister and me kisses then Adam tucks her in bed. Once in bed, Emma tells him to please take the monsters away. Until very recently Emma would say that her Mario (doll) took the monsters away. Side note: we finally figured out she doesn't actually thing there are monsters)

Sizes:
She typically wears 4T, but can fit in some 3T stuff. Her shoes are now 8.5s.

Stats:
Weight- 33lbs 2oz (70ish %)
Height- 39.25 inches (90ish %)

Likes:
Dancing (living room dance parties are a favorite), Acting (Sometimes she is a bird in a nest made of blankets, a cat, or a frog trying to catch flies. Other times our floors are a desert, a jungle filled with snakes, or an ocean that we have to swim across), Reading, Hitting baseballs, Mickey and Friends, Danial Tiger, Playing with her sister.

Dislikes:
Monsters, Scarey sounds, Swings, Carousals, When sister cries, and Waiting for food to cool

Firsts:
A lot of this year has been about life skills. She has learned to dress and undress herself. She has learned to brush her teeth and spit her toothpaste out. She has learned to use the potty and to even take herself. She has also learned how to be an awesome big sister.

This year Emma has learned a lot about the world around her. She has learned about sun rises and sunsets, rainbows, butterflies, the weather, days of the week, and so much more.