Monday, December 31, 2012

January Meal Plan and monthly shopping trip

I worked up January's monthly meal plan. Since I am due this month I wanted to get everything in place before I go into labor. My mother is coming into town on the 22nd so I only meal planned up till that point since when she is here we tend to go out to eat while we are out and about with the kids.

31  Wild rice soup with bread
1 Taco's
2 leftovers
3 Chicken Parmesan
4 Italian sausage and bean soup with bread
5 Sour cream chicken enchiladas
6 Spaghetti
7 Leftovers
8 Ham quick bean soup with bread
9 Grilled chicken and spinach quesadillas
10 Cream crockpot chicken
11 Grilled chicken stirfry noodle bowl
12 leftovers
13 Taco soup with bread
14 Chicken pot pie
15 Mexican chicken casserole
16 Bow ties and smoked sausage
17 leftovers
18 Pork wontons
19 Poverty meal (homemade hamburger helper)
20 BBQ Brisket
21 Leftovers
22 Buffalo chicken chili

Finished my monthly grocery shop this afternoon and I am beat. I am glad I got it done! I think even a few more days along and I would not have made it. As it was I was stopping random men and asking them to get me things off the bottom shelves and stopping to sit down every few aisles.

Total for this months meals: $299

We will need 4 more gallons of milk on the 13th when the milk I bought today expires since  I don't have enough room in my freezers to store any extra gallons. Luckily though I can trust my husband to get a few gallons of milk. I figure another $50 towards milk and fruit in the middle of the month and we should be go to go till February. Of course February starts our "eating out of the freezer season" as we adjust to life with a newborn. I will enjoy no cooking and minimal shopping for the three months it will take to empty our large freezer!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Meatball Sub Bites!

I know somewhere someone else has come up with this idea but it was a totally new idea to me tonight and I think I am in love.

My husband and I both love meatball subs but hate how messy they are when feeding toddlers. Enter my newest creation.....the meatball sub BITE!

I started with this French Bread Recipe

and this Meatball Recipe

and my homemade Pizza Sauce (1 cup tomato sauce, 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1/2 tsp salt).

I rolled out the dough pretty thin and added a spoonful of sauce, a sprinkle of cheese, and a meatball. I cut out the dough and folded it over to make a little meatball packet.

Place seam side down in a greased glass baking dish.  Make sure the pan is sprayed really well with cooking spray....I forgot this step and mine stuck like crazy.

Bake 400 for 25min till the bread is lightly browned.

I served mine with some more pizza sauce on the side for dipping.

They were a big hit here! The only thing we would have changed would be to add more cheese.....we like our cheese around here!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Homemade Bread in your dutch oven!

I love homemade bread. I however HATE having to "fuss" with the dough. I want a nice easy recipe that doesn't take 5 hours to rise. Enter my homemade bread in your dutch oven! I was seriously skeptical about this recipe. I mean from mixing the four to done in 60min, 50 of those in the oven? Hey I was game to give it a try though.

Yummy Dutch Oven Bread

5-6cups flour
2 Tbsp dry yeast
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp salt
2 cups hot water

Mix 4 cups of flour with the yeast, sugar, and salt. Add the hot water and mix till combined. Once the water is mixed in add addition flour as needed till the dough is no longer sticky. Knead for 8 min.

Once the dough is finished kneading coat your dutch oven with cooking spray, I used my Pampered Chef deep covered baker. Cut a half inch deep line down the middle of the dough and then smaller cuts on the sides as shown.

Next up put the lid on you dish and place it in a COLD oven. I had to keep stopping myself from preheating the oven. Just felt so wrong to put it in cold.
Turn the oven on to 400 degrees and set your timer for 50min. No peaking!

 I was as I said skeptical of this whole process.... but when I took the lid off......
Doesn't it look good?! And so simple! This is a new go to recipe in our house for sure!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Rotisserie Chicken....the chicken that just keeps giving.

The grocery store rotisserie chicken....the savior of many busy people all over the country. I have to admit it is one of my favorite things to buy. Every time  I go to the grocery store I pick one up for dinner that night. It is cheap, healthy, and quick. Gotta love it!

It also happens to be a great deal. I just picked up a chicken yesterday for $5.99. We had half the chicken last night for dinner and will turn the other half into chicken fajita's tonight. That breaks down to $2.99 per dinner....but wait I am not done with that poor chicken yet. I am all about getting my money's worth (in case you couldn't tell!). Can't let those bones go to waste!  Homemade bone broth is a must, but I am busy and don't have time to keep checking a pot all the time.

Here is how I do it.......

When I get home from the store I put the chicken and any drippings from the bag into my crockpot. I turn it on low and keep it warm till dinner. At dinner time I take it out and strip all the meat off and return the bones and skin to the crockpot. I then fill the crockpot up with HOT water (you will crack your crockpot stone if you use cold water). And heat on high all night long.

In the morning strain your stock into a separate bowl and discard your bones and skin.

Your broth should be a nice dark carmel color. At this point you can either leave it on your counter to reach room temp before you bag it or put it in your fridge to cool off. If you put it in your fridge you will need to skim the fat off of the top of your broth before packaging (thus giving you a reduced fat broth).

 When you are ready to bag the bone broth I suggest doing 1c. portions in small sandwich bags. They are much easier to defrost and use as needed in cooking.
 Once you have all your broth bagged up I put the small sandwich bags into one large ziplock freezer bag.Just pop your bag in the freezer and you have homemade bone broth anytime a recipe calls for it!
There you go done!

So one rotisserie chicken for $5.99 gives you 2 meals and 12 cups of chicken bone broth! That is a pretty good bargain!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Banoffee Pie!

I am all about some dessert these days! I am also all about EASY and CHEAP desserts.

I had to share this one!

Banoffee Pie

1 graham cracker pie crust (0.69)
3 Banana's ($0.43)
1 container whipped cream ($0.79)
1 can sweetened condensed milk ($1.20)

First up remove the label from your sweetened condensed milk and place it in boiling water. Make sure the top is covered with water and boil for 2.5 hours. Yes I know it is a long time! I put the lid on my pot and checked it every 20-30min adding water as needed to keep the can covered. Allow to cool before you try and open it, if you don't it will explode out of the can....ask me how I know!

 Guess just made toffee!

When your toffee is ready to go slice up your banana's and layer them in the bottom of your crust.

Spread your toffee on top.

Top with your whipped cream....


You are DONE. Come on how easy is that? Just chill your pie for a bit and you are ready to eat!

Total cost for the pie: $3.11

Think they liked it??

End of the month challenge....Grocery shopping

Well the grocery shopping for the rest of the year is done.....well almost....I will have to go back one more time for milk since my freezers are too full to add any gallon jugs in.

How did I do? Well I splurged on somethings that were wants not needs but did pretty well....

Texas toast (4 loafs) $6.28
Hot Dog buns and hot dogs $5.42  **Splurge**
Bread (3 loafs)  $3.81
2lbs Bacon $5.78
2lbs Sausage  $3.98
2 bags frozen mixed vegetables $3.58
Shrimp $6.99
Whipped topping $0.79
3 lbs Mozzarella Cheese $5.37
Sour Cream $1.59 **Splurge**
Cocoa $2.10 **Splurge**
Garlic $1.58
Vanilla $3.19
Applesauce $7.96
2 Frozen Pizzas $7.00 **Splurge**
Honey glazed ham $16.45 (!)
2 cans Green beans $1.30
2 can cinnamon rolls $2.98 **Splurge**
Unflavored gelatin  $2.24 **Splurge**
Rotisserie chicken $5.99
4 dozen eggs $4.84
Cereal $2.50
Graham cracker crust $0.69
2 gallons skim milk $5.42
2 gallons whole milk $6.26
3 cartons almond milk $8.07
Baby carrots $1.19
Romain lettuce $1.98
6lbs Red delicious apples $5.98
4.5lbs banana's $2.59
Sprites $3.99 **Splurge**

*Surcharge: $6.89
Total spent: $144.78

Budgeted amount $250
Amt remaining: $105.22

The remaining balance will have to cover our dinner out on Christmas Eve as well as my grocery run on the 22nd for more milk. If there is anything leftover I will use to to restock our meat surplus in the freezer.

End of the month grocery challenge

It is the last two weeks of December and after all the holiday shopping, meal stockpiling for before the baby comes, and getting the last of the needed baby items in place we are in a self imposed budget lock down.

We have $250 to spend on food for 7 people for the next 19 days. Think we can do it? Of course we can! The main principle of our meal planning is to use items we have on hand to plan our meals, with only minimal additional items added in as needed. Then at the end of the month I am able to grab some deals to stock back up with any money leftover.

Sooo...... here we go!

19  Dinners (also used as lunch for the next day)
*Rotisserie Chicken with veggies
*Chicken Fajita's
*Sheppard's Pie
*Meatball subs
*Wild rice soup with bread
*Beer Cheese soup with bread
*Spicy shrimp with rice noodles
*Homemade pizza
*Christmas Eve dinner out!
*Christmas Day Ham, green beans, and mashed potatoes
*Chicken Alfredo with garlic bread
*Baked teriyaki chicken with veggies
*Chicken parmesan
 *Cream of chicken with rice

*Baked oatmeal
*French toast bake
*Eggs and toast

Grocery list:
*4 dozen Eggs
*4 gallons Whole Milk
*4 gallons Skim milk
*6 containers almond milk
*2 loafs of Bread
*5 LARGE containers Apple sauce
*3 loafs Texas toast
*2 lbs Bacon
*2lbs Sausage
*Cereal (for my husband)
*3 bags Mozzarella
*Green beans
*Small bag of carrots
*Graham cracker crust
*Rotisserie chicken
*Frozen bags of vegetables

There we go....Now on to the grocery store!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Baked Oatmeal

My children and I do NOT like oatmeal. Bleck!  In an effort to get more wholesome whole grains in my kids we tried baked oatmeal a few years ago and it was a major hit! I thought that it was a common thing and everyone knew about it but my mother had never heard of it so I thought I would share the recipe with you all. My secret to get even my husband to eat it? Add a small amount of chocolate chips on top!

Baked Oatmeal

3c Rolled Oats
1c brown sugar
2 tsp sugar
1tsp Baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 c milk
2 eggs
1 stick of butter
2 tsp vanilla

Mix all the above and pour into a 9x13 pan. Top with a sprinkle with a small handful of mini chocolate chips. Bake at 375 for  40 min.

I like to make this the night before so it is done and cool by morning when my hungry little people invade the kitchen.

Here is what my three toddlers can do to a 9x13 pan at breakfast time!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Lasagna Roll ups!

In my effort to clean out my freezers and organize my pantry before the baby comes I have been making some creative dinners. I found several containers of cottage cheese in my freezer that I needed to use up. However when you freeze cottage cheese it changes the consistency. It comes out more like ricotta then cottage cheese. So eating it straight out of the carton with a spoon like I normally do was out.  A friend shared a recipe for Lasagna roll ups that looked good in theory but as soon as I read the recipe I was out. Way to many ingredients. When you get more than 5 or so ingredients in a recipe I get ADD and can't focus. Not only is it too fussy for me, it gets too expensive when you are feeding 7 people.

My family however likes lasagna and I had some noodles left in my pantry so I decided to try making my own version.

These were a major hit in my house and by bedtime the entire 9x13 pan was empty and I was bummed there were none left for lunch the next day.

I decided to give the recipe another go tonight (I still had noodles in my pantry and cottage cheese in my freezer). Since they were such a hit in my house I decided to take some pics and share the recipe with you all.

Lasagna Roll ups

1/2 box lasagna noodles
1 container cottage cheese (or ricotta)
1 jar or can spaghetti sauce (I used a basil flavored one)
1 lb mozzarella cheese

*Cook lasagna noodles according to directions

*Mix cottage cheese or ricotta with a handful of mozzarella cheese.

*Spread a spoonful of spaghetti sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 pan

*Cut cooked lasagna noodles in half and spread a spoonful of cheese mixture on top.

*Roll up the noodles (I sort of folded versus rolling so as to not squish out all the cheese mixture)

*Place seam side down in the baking dish

*Once your pan is full you can layer any broken noodles on top. Also if you happen to have any leftover cheese mixture throw it on top as well.

*Next up top with the remaining spaghetti sauce and the rest of the mozzarella cheese.

**If you are making this to freeze stop here and cover with plastic wrap and tinfoil. When ready to eat just let thaw and follow the directions below**

*Bake at 350 for about 20min till it is heated through and your cheese is melted.

* Let sit for a minute or two and then go to town!

This must be good because my husband didn't even notice that it didn't have meat in it, and he hates to eat anything that doesn't contain meat.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Preparing for baby: Home Management Binder!

I have been toying with the idea of a home management binder since the birth of my 5th child. At the time I was so overwhelmed that the thought of the binder was amazing, but not something I was up to doing at that point. Once he got a bit older we had a major move and the binder got pushed back even further.

With the birth of our 6th child looming (6-8 weeks!) it is again on my mind. I took the time today during nap time to get everything together and organized. It took me less then 2 hours to find everything I needed, find the printables I wanted to use, and assemble the binder.

First things first. I strongly recommend reading the book Large Family Logistics regardless of the size of your family. It is a wonderful book and really helps to break down the monster "to do" list that we as mothers find ourselves with. She approaches family life from a biblical point of view and helps the reader find joy in their work. The middle of the book breaks down each day of the week into specific tasks. Laundry day, Kitchen day, Cleaning day, Office day, Travel day, Garden day, Lord's day. Each day has specific tasks and specific goals to accomplish. I love that it is broken down and you are not expected to do everything everyday.

It was the ideas in the book that helped me to get a game plan for my home management binder. For the cover I wanted something pretty so I took the time to go through Microsoft's online templates of flyers and find one that I thought was cute. I decided to add a motivational quote to the front as well.

"What you do in your home is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, bit on account of the word of faith from which the obedience and work flow." Martin Luther

 First up before you even get to category in my binder I have some specific pages. First is my "Running to do list" page. I used page protectors throughout the binder so that I can write on the page with dry erase markers, wipe off things that are finished and not have to be constantly reprinting pages. After my running to do list is a neighborhood phone list, and an exercise log.

The first actual category in my binder is my meal planning category. At the beginning of this category, and all the categories, I added a pocket binder page. A good place to put receipts, lists, etc.

I printed out several weekly meal plan pages and again used page protectors. Since I meal plan for a month at a time I needed several meal plan sheets, I added 7 just to be sure I had enough!

This section also contains my freezer inventory sheets and grocery list.

Next up are the pages dedicated to the breakdown of days in Large Family Logistics. In the book the author has each day assigned to a specific day of the week. So every Monday is Laundry day that sort of thing. This however doesn't work for me. I don't need a travel day every week since I only do my grocery shopping and errands 1-2 times a month. Instead of leaving the days assigned to a specific day of the week I printed out a blank calender sheet and using my page protector and dry erase marker I  assigned the days as I needed them.

For each specific day I did a page with the specific tasks I want completed on those days.  Here we have my page for Laundry day. On the left we have a section for "the agenda" where I can write down my specific attack plan on the morning of each day. On the right I have the specific tasks that must be completed that day.

The tasks I assigned to my laundry day are:
*4 loads of laundry by 4pm (this is the #1 task on all of my pages)
*Complete any mending that needs to be done
*Empty all hampers
*Change all bedding
*All clean clothes put away

Under that section there is a section for what scriptures were read and another for scripture memory. Lastly at the bottom is a section for notes.

The next section is our financial category. Here we have our budget, a page with our wants and needs, and a section with our financial goals for the entire year.

Part of each office day is to balance the budget, pay bills, and do any paperwork that is needed. On each office day once I am done balancing our budget out using the You Need A Budget software I print out where we are at on that day and add it to the front of the category. With the date printed so I know where we are for the next week. I just have to glance at this page to know that I have $313 left in our grocery budget for this month, or that I have $100 for gas left for the month. It is a lot easier for me to keep up with the totals if I don't have to sign on to the computer every time.

Next up....the to do lists! Errands to run, goals for the week, honey do lists, people to call, notes to write, ongoing problems with contact numbers and resolutions.

Lastly we have a medical section. My oldest daughter has epilepsy and autism. She has a lot of doctors and tests to keep up with. I also have 4 other children (soon to be 5 other children) who I need to keep up with. Who needs a check up? When was the last time they went to the dentist? What was that specialists number? I didn't get a picture of this section as it has some pretty personal information for my children. You however get the idea.

Where did I get my printables? Well there are SO many out there! Here is the pinterest board I set up with the actual templates I used. There are however so many more out there. A simple search for "home binder" will bring up tons for you to chose from.

Hope you find this helpful! Please let me know if you have any questions of suggestions :)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Preparing for baby: Household items

Now that my freezer meals are in the freezer and ready to go I am on to other "before baby" planning! I am currently planning my dry good storage (dry soup mixes in jars, dry baking mixes, etc) as I plan these items I thought I would catch you all up on the non food items I bought as part of my stock-up.

Life with a on demand nurser in the first three months can be a handful. With this in mind I want to have 3mths of basics on hand before she gets here. Nothing worse then being in the middle of the grocery store with a tiny hungry baby and no where to go sit and nurse.

So in preparation I stocked up some non food essentials while I was at costco. Remember this photo? I talked about the food items that were on the cart but not the non food items. As you can see I stocked up on a lot while I was there!

Here is my 3mth list of must have household items to stock up on before baby:
Body Wash
Contact solution
Razors if you husband needs them
Aftershave if your husband needs it
Toilet paper
Laundry soap
Dryer sheets if you use them (I don't)
Dishwasher soap (both hand and machine)
Pads for pospartum mom's
Disposable diapers (we normally cloth diaper but I find those first few weeks it is nice to use disposables instead)
Baby Wipes
Medications for older children...I stocked up on both infant and children's motrin and since my baby is due right in the middle of cold and flu season I made sure to have plenty of cold medicine for my older children as well. 

Between a stockpile of the above items, a freezer stockpile, and dry storage stockpile (post about this to come soon) you are set on the majority of items you will need for the first three months post baby. All you need to add is fresh fruit and veg, milk, sandwich fixings, eggs, and any special snack items your family loves. That is my kind of post baby shopping!

Did I forget something? Let me know what you like to stock up on before the birth of your babies! 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Freezer meals: The Notes

Now that all the freezer cooking is over I thought I would add a few notes.

There should have been 2 more recipes made based on my planning. The Pork Roast with Veggies had to be removed from the plan when I opened the package of pork roasts and got hit in the face with the smell of rot. They were so bad! They got thrown straight into the trash and the meal removed from the plan.

There also should have been a cilantro lime chicken tacos prepared...but I forgot to buy the cilantro for the pesto. I am  too tired to go back to the store for a 4th time so I took the chicken dish off the list as well.

Here are the recipes for those who would like to make them:
Pork Roast and Veggies
1 lb Pork Roast, cut into 1/2 inch strips
1 Onion, chopped
1 Green Bell Pepper, sliced
4 Carrots, sliced
½ pound Fresh Mushrooms, sliced
1 8oz can Tomato Sauce
1.5 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tsp Salt
2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
Combine ingredients in a large ziptop bag, freeze. Serve with rice

Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos
cooking spray for sauteing
2-3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in bite sized pieces
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup cilantro lime pesto (recipe follows)
flour or corn tortillas
preferred taco garnishes (salsa, sour cream, cheese, etc)

Season chicken with salt, pepper and garlic powder. In a skillet sprayed with cooking spray, saute chicken over medium high heat and cooked through. Toss cooked, seasoned chicken with the pesto. Fill tortillas with chicken and top with preferred garnishes.
* To make ahead/freezer meal - Cook chicken as directed as above and cool. Place chicken in freezer bag. Prepare cilantro lime pesto as directed below. Place a 1/2 cup of pesto in a small storage bag then place inside the freezer bag with the chicken. Freeze. When ready to prepare, defrost and heat chicken. Toss chicken with defrosted pesto. If desired, heat chicken and pesto together before filling tacos.

Cilantro Lime Pesto
1 cup fresh cilantro leaves (do not include stems)
2 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons sliced, toasted almonds
3 tablespoons chopped, fresh garlic
1 1/2 teaspoon lime juice
1/2 cup shredded asiago (Parmesan or Romano can be substituted too)
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup chicken broth

Using a blender, mix together the cilantro, olive oil, almonds, garlic, lime juice, asiago, salt and chicken broth on low speed for 2 minutes.

Also there were several recipes that I felt were not in proportion for the meal. Like 5 bell peppers for 1 lb of BBQ chicken...just a little much! I altered the recipes as I went and published the altered recipes here. However the grocery list has NOT been altered. So if you are planning on making the same recipes I suggest making your own grocery list off of the recipes not what I have listed on my grocery list. 

Once I had all of my food cooked I went through all of my remaining vegetables and chopped them up for the freezer. They will be good for soups, stews, stir fry's, and such. I also froze all of the remaining cheeses to have for toppings for the meals as I prepare them. 

Here is my 8 cubic foot freezer. It was totally empty three days ago now it is full to the very top! Makes me happy! The power better not go out is all I have to say!

Cooking Day 3

 ***All recipes are for ONE meal. I tripled each recipe for my 3mth stockpile**

Alfredo Wraps

1 T shortening
2 T sugar
1 T salt
1 C hot boiling water
1 C cold water
1/3 C lukewarm water
1 T yeast
4-5 C flour

3 cooked chicken breasts cut into 1 inch pieces
1 jar Alfredo Sauce
2 C Shredded Parmesan or Mozzarella Cheese 

1 egg whisked until frothy
McCormick’s “Italian Herb Seasoning Grinder”

To make the dough, fill a Pyrex measuring cup with 1 C hot water from the tap, then place it in the microwave and heat it for 2 minutes. This will get it boiling. In a separate cup dissolve the yeast in 1/3 C warm water. It doesn’t need to start to bubble up here, just to dissolve. In your stand mixer (or large mixing bowl) mash the sugar, salt and shortening together with a fork. You want it to be well incorporated. Pour the hot water over the shortening mixture. Then pour the cold water over it. Finally, pour the yeast/water mixture in. Add the flour 1 C at a time, while mixing. 
Let it mix for about 8 minutes. The dough should have a nice elasticity to it. After the dough has mixed enough, separate it into 6 equal parts and let it rest for 5 minutes on a sprayed cookie sheet. 
Spread each piece of dough out into a rectangle. With a spoon spread about 1/4 C of Alfredo sauce on to each piece of dough, leaving 1 inch around the edges uncovered. Layer some chicken and about 1/3 C of cheese over the sauce. Roll the dough up and over the filling. Press the edges under and place seam side down on a sprayed cookie sheet. Be sure there is no sauce peeking out anywhere. Whisk the egg until frothy and then brush it over the top of the dough.

Grind the seasoning on top of the dough. Cook at 400 for 10 minutes. Turn the oven down to 350 and cook for 5 minutes more. Let the loafs sit for about 5 minutes. Once they are cool to the touch package them for the freezer. When ready to prepare them let thaw and then cook at 350 for 15-20min till warmed through.

Chicken Taco Soup

1 onion, chopped
2 cans black beans
1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, drained
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (12 fluid ounce) broth
2 (10 ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green chilies, undrained
1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning
4 whole skinless, boneless chicken breasts
shredded Cheddar cheese (optional garnish after cooking)
sour cream (optional garnish after cooking)
crushed tortilla chips (optional garnish after cooking)

Combine all ingredients into a Ziploc bag. Freeze. Thaw and cook on low for 6-8 hours. Serve topped with shredded Cheddar cheese, a dollop of sour cream, and crushed tortilla chips, if desired.

**watch your bags on this one! It is REALLY soupy and I had a bag tumble over! I only lost a few ounces of liquid but it was a big mess to clean up**

Healthy BBQ Chicken

3 Red Pepper Cut into Slices
1 Zucchini Chopped
1 Onion Chopped
4 Garlic Cloves Chopped
4 Chicken Breasts
15 oz can of Tomato Sauce
2 TBSP of Brown Sugar
2 TBSP Worcestershire
2 TBSP Mustard
1/2 tsp Salt

Add all ingredients to your bag and freeze. When ready to prepare cook from frozen on high for 8 hours till chicken is cooked through. Serve over Rice or Egg Noodles.

Cincinnati Skyline Chili

1 pounds ground beef (80% lean)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large onion
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 cups tomato sauce
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 cups water
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons dark brown sugar
1 15oz can red kidney beans (rinsed, drained, warmed)

1 pound spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
2 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
1 medium sweet vidalia onion, minced

Brown the ground beef with the onions..

Once the beef has browned and is broken up, add the garlic, followed by the spices - chili powder, cayenne, dried oregano, cocoa powder, ground allspice, ground cinnamon, ground cloves, ground black pepper and one teaspoon of salt. Stir to combine and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

Stir in the tomato sauce, broth, water, vinegar, sugar, and drained beans scraping the pan bottom to remove any browned bits. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium low and simmer. Stir occasionally until the chili is deep red in color and has thickened slightly, roughly an hour. Season with salt and hot sauce to taste.

To serve, plate up spaghetti and top with chili. Garnish with cheese and onions if desired.

* To make ahead/freezer meal
- Prepare the chili as directed above and allow to cool completely. Place in a freezer safe container and freeze. When ready to enjoy add frozen chili to crock pot and cook on low all day till warmed through.

Chicken Enchilada Filling

4 chicken breasts
1 fajita seasoning packet
2 cans cream of chicken soup
2 small cans green chillies
2 C cheddar cheese
1 10 count package flour tortillas

Add the chicken breasts, fajita seasoning, cream of chicken soup, and green chilies to bag and freeze. When ready to prepare add the frozen chicken mixture to your crockpot and cook on high all day till the chicken is cooked through and shreds easily.

Once shredded add your cheddar cheese.  You may want to add a little splash of milk at this point. The chicken mixture should be quite saucy. The texture should resemble gravy. Spray a 9×13 pan and spoon about 1/2 a cup of the chicken mixture over the bottom of it. Layer 4 tortillas along the bottom of the pan. Pour just less than half the chicken mixture over the tortillas. Layer another 3 tortillas on top of the chicken mixture. Pour all but about 1/2 a cup of the chicken mixture over the tortillas. Layer the last three tortillas on, and cover with the remaining chicken mixture. Sprinkle with a bit of cheese. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes.


Hot Ham and Cheese Pinwheels

1 1/2 C warm water
2 T sugar
1 T yeast
1/2 t salt
4-4 1/2 C flour
1 pound deli ham, sliced thin
2 C cheddar cheese, shredded

Pour 1 1/2 C warm water into your stand mixer and preheat your oven to 170 degrees. (You read it right…170 degrees is all you need.) Add 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon yeast. Turn the mixer on low for about 30 seconds allowing the ingredients to combine. Let it rest for 5 minutes, or until it gets all bubbly. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 2 cups flour. Turn the mixer on to low and let the flour mix in. Add the rest of the flour (2 1/2 cups worth) one cup at a time. When the dough pulls itself away from the side of the bowl, you have enough flour. Turn the mixer to medium speed and allow it to mix for 5 minutes.
Spray your counter with cooking spray, divide the dough into two equal parts and allow them to rest on the counter for 5 minutes. 

After the dough has rested roll into a large rectangle. Cover it with half of the ham and sprinkle it with 1 cup of cheddar cheese. Roll the dough up starting at the longer end. Spray a large knife with cooking spray and slice the roll into 12 rounds. 

Place each pinwheel onto a large cookie sheet that has been sprayed with cooking spray.
Repeat with the other half of the dough. Place both pans into your warm 170 degree oven for about 10 minutes, or until they start to rise just a bit. You don’t want them to get super puffy, you just want the dough to have the chance to expand a little.

Turn the oven up to 350 degrees (don’t take the pans out of the oven) and let the pinwheels bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown along the top and bottom. Take the pans out of the oven and let reach room temperature. Once cooled seal in your ziploc bags and freeze.

When ready to prepare thaw out and warm in a 350 oven for 15-20min until warmed through.

I am DONE!

 Total meals: 63/69
What happened to the missing 6 meals? More on that in the next post.

Cooking Day 2

 ***All recipes are for ONE meal. I tripled each recipe for my 3mth stockpile**

Sausage and Bean Supper

1 lb Keilbasa, chunked up
1 Onion Chopped
1 Celery Stalk Chopped
1 Tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1.5 tsp Dry mustard
¼ cup Honey
1 can Tomatoes with Chili Peppers
3 cans Black beans

Add all the above ingredients to the bag and seal. Once ready to cook add frozen to crockpot and cook on low all day (7-8 hours). Everything is already cooked you are just thawing it, and softening the onion and celery.

Serve with shredded cheese and tortilla chips over rice.


Honey & Spice Glazed Pork Chops

Cooking spray
4 (4-ounce) boneless center-cut loin pork chops (about 1/2 inch thick)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves 

 Place all ingredients in to the bag, seal and freeze. When ready to cook add to your crockpot frozen and cook on high 7-8 hours.

 Pizza Casserole

1 lb macaroni, cooked
1 jar or can of spaghetti sauce
1lb mozzarella cheese
1 package of pepperoni

Place cooked macaroni on the bottom of a casserole dish, top with spaghetti sauce. Add a layer of pepperoni, a layer of cheese, and second layer of pepperoni.

To seal I place a layer of plastic wrap on top of the food. Then a layer of tin foil, followed by wrapping plastic wrap all the way around the pan several times to hold the tinfoil in place.

When ready to prepare you have a few options.
1. Take the coverings off and then replace the tin foil. Place the frozen casserole in the oven and  Cook at 325 for 1-2 hours till thawed and warm. Remove the tinfoil and let the cheese get slightly browned.
 2. Thaw completely then cook at 350 for 20-30min until the cheese is melted and brown and the casserole is heated through.

Savory Vegetable Beef Soup

2 lbs Beef Roast
1 Onion, chopped
2 Cloves of Garlic, chopped 
4 carrots chopped
4 celery stalks chopped 
6 Red Potatoes quartered
1 can v8
1 28oz can diced tomatoes
2 cans green beans
1 TBSP Worcestershire 
1 cup Beef Broth 
1 tsp pepper
2 TBSP Sugar 
1 tsp salt

Place all ingredients in bag. Be careful with your potatoes as they will brown if they are allowed to make prolonged contact with air. I put mine in the center of the bag and added the liquids on top of them. When ready to cook place thawed contents into Crockpot with 3 cups of water and 30 oz Beef Broth. Cook on LOW 8 Hours.

 Italian Chicken

1 lb chicken breasts
1 bottle Italian dressing

Okay this one is pretty complicated so hold on to your hat. Put your chicken in the bag.....dump the Italian dressing on top.....seal the bag. Whoosh! Aren't you glad you had me to walk you through that?! Seriously it is good! I serve it with rice :) To cook dump the frozen breasts in the crockpot on high for about 8 hours.

Slow Cooker Buffalo Chicken 

1 lb.frozen chicken breasts
1 bottle Frank's Wings Buffalo Sauce (I used mild since I am cooking for toddlers)
1 packet Ranch Dip Mix
Put it all in your bag and seal it up! When ready to serve put it in your crockpot on high for about 8hours.

Teriyaki Chicken

2 large Carrots
1 Onion into Large Chunks
Two 20oz can pineapple (undrained)
4 Garlic Cloves chopped
1lb  Chicken Breasts
1 cup teriyaki sauce
Add all ingredients to your bag and seal. When ready to cook put your frozen meal in your crockpot and add 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce to mixture. Cook on high for 8 hours. Serve over Rice.

Creamy Farmhouse Chicken and Garden Soup

1/2 package (16 ounces) frozen pepper stir-fry vegetable mix
1 cup canned corn
1 medium zucchini, sliced
1 lb chicken breasts
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup half-and-half (or non-dairy milk for dairy allergies)
1/2 cup  canned green peas, drained
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1 can (14 ounces) fat-free chicken broth

Put all ingredients in a Ziploc bag except chicken broth. Freeze. Thaw and put in slow cooker and add chicken broth. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Stir in 3 cups prepared noodles.


Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 pound  chicken breasts
1 cup crushed tomatoes
1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chile peppers
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
10oz canned corn, drained
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
7 corn tortillas
vegetable oil
Combine all ingredients into a Ziploc bag. Freeze. Thaw and put into a slow cooker add 2 cups water and one 14 oz can of chicken broth. Cover, and cook on Low setting for 6 to 8 hours or on High setting for 3 to 4 hours.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
Lightly brush both sides of tortillas with oil. Cut tortillas into strips, then spread on a baking sheet.
Bake in preheated oven until crisp, about 10 to 15 minutes. To serve, sprinkle tortilla strips over soup.


Crock Pot Honey Sesame Chicken

1 lb chicken breasts
• salt and pepper
• 1 cup honey
• 1/2 cup soy sauce 

• 1/2 cup diced onion
• 1/4 cup ketchup
• 2 tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
• 4 teaspoons cornstarch dissolved in 6 Tablespoons water
• 1/2 tablespoon (or more) sesame seeds
• 3 scallions, chopped

Add all ingredients to the bag and seal. When ready to cook add to crockpot frozen and cook on high for 8 hours. When done remove chicken from crock pot, leave sauce. Dissolve 4 teaspoons of cornstarch in 6 tablespoons of water and pour into crock pot. Stir to combine with sauce. Replace lid and cook sauce on high for ten more minutes or until slightly thickened. Cut or shred chicken into bite size pieces. Serve over rice.

I am done for the is after midnight and I still have to clean my kitchen!

Total so far: 45/69

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Cooking day 1

***All recipes are for ONE meal. I tripled each recipe for my 3mth stockpile**

Day 1 cooking! First up on my list is to use up all the raw fresh meat. I don't have a ton of room in my fridge and need to get it all processed and in the freezer quickly.

First up:

Whole Roasted Chicken with Veg

1 whole chicken (giblets removed)
1/2 bottle Italian dressing (since I was doing 3 meals I ended up using a bit more than half a bottle since I didn't want to have to store half a bottle of dressing)
veggies (I used carrots, onions and red peppers)

I chopped all the veggies and added all the ingredients to the bags. I sealed them with my foodsaver and added the pre-made labels. Quick and easy. When ready to cook add to crockpot frozen and cook on high for 9ish hours.


Crock Pot Pulled Pork

1 pound boneless pork roast
1 bottle barbecue sauce
1/4 cup of soy sauce
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp of ketchup
1 medium onion, diced
1 package of buns or rolls

I combined all the above ingredients and sealed in my foodsaver bag. To cook add frozen to the crockpot in the morning and cook on high till dinner time (9ish hours).

I also sealed the hamburger buns in my foodsaver bag as well. I used the manual setting to stop the vacuum sealer from squishing the buns.

My Grandmother's Meat Sauce

*Click the title above to get to the recipe*

Since this meal is already fully cooked I put it frozen in my crockpot and cook on low all day till it is warmed through. You could also defrost it on your counter top during the day and warm it at dinner time on the stove top while you are making your spaghetti.

*Remember to buy the spaghetti and store it in your pantry!

Meat Stew

2 lbs Meat (beef, pork, whatever is on sale), cubed *I used Beef*
2 Onions, chopped
5 Carrots, sliced
2 Celery stalks, chopped
2 Red Bell Peppers, chopped
2 tsp Salt
.5 tsp Pepper
2 tsp Minced Garlic
1 14 oz can Canned Tomatoes
1 can Tomato Sauce
Put all ingredients in a large ziploc bag and freeze. Add frozen to crockpot in the morning and cook on high till dinner time.

Serve with warm cornbread.

There you go. Day 1 done! That is 15/69 meals in the freezer right off the bat!

One Mama's Journey Copyright 2008 All Rights Reserved Baby Blog Designed by Ipiet | All Image Presented by Tadpole's Notez