Tuesday, September 30, 2014

20 Freezer Meals in One Afternoon!

Late summer into fall means one thing in our household - Football Season!  Our 9 year old son plays travel football, and our schedule pretty much revolves around his practices and games.  We're with the team 5 days a week.  Add that to my busy school schedule (I'm in my second semester of nursing school) and that equals not much time for cooking.  Unfortunately that means we've been eating out way more than we should, and our budget (and waistlines!) are suffering.  

So I decided to make a bunch of freezer meals (mostly for the crockpot) that will be ready and waiting for us when we get home from practice at 7:30pm.  I scoured a ton of links on Pinterest and came up with this selection that fits our family's tastes pretty well!

A quick note - we don't have any particular dietary preferences and I've got no problems with canned cream soups/powdered seasoning mixes and the like.  So you'll find that sort of stuff in these recipes.  I'm sure if you don't want to use them you can find alternatives on Pinterest.  :)

From Mommy's Fabulous Finds: 

From New Leaf Wellness

From Creme de la Crumb
Cream Cheese Taquitos

From Give Me Some Oven
Teriyaki Chicken

From Growing to Four
Creamy Ranch Pork Chops

From The Crockin' Girls
Sausage Vegetable Casserole

My own recipes
Sweet and Sour Meatballs
Chicken Enchiladas (only non-slow cooker recipe!)

I doubled all the recipes, so that's 20 dinners total!  Not bad for a couple hours' work and around $200!  Here's my grocery list - I probably could have lowered my bill if I'd shopped around a bit more.

34 chicken breasts (approx. 10 lbs. - I bought a big bag of frozen breasts from Costco)
Rotisserie chicken
2 pork tenderloins, 1-2 lbs. each
2 bags meatballs
2 kielbasa or other smoked sausages
6-8 pork chops (approx. 3 lbs.)

5 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes (or whatever potato you prefer)
4 red bell peppers
2 onions (I used Vidalia)
3" ginger root
2 bags frozen mixed veg
2 limes
2 cans pineapple chunks
1 jar (16ish oz.) chunky applesauce
10 cloves garlic

4 pkg. cream cheese
5 c. shredded cheddar cheese

2 packets dry Italian dressing mix
2 packets dry Ranch dressing mix
chili powder
garlic powder

4 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cans cream of celery soup
2 cans cheddar cheese soup
8 oz. peanut butter
1 can vegetable broth
13 oz. soy sauce
2 bottles sweet and sour sauce (I use Kikkoman)
16 oz. bottle BBQ sauce
2 - 10 ct. packages 8" flour tortillas
2 large or 4 small cans red enchilada sauce
16 oz. honey
4 oz. rice wine vinegar
16 oz. peach jam

As far as workflow, I started with the enchiladas start to finish, and then did all of the bagged meals.  I made the sauces first, then diced the potatoes/peppers/onions and added to bags, and finally added the meat.  Start to finish, with a short break to pick the kids up from school, it took me around 3 hours to make everything.  Pretty simple process, really!

I'm really looking forward to trying these meals - some we've had before, some are new to us.  And I'm definitely looking forward to less stressful dinner times!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Garlic Asiago Cream Sauce

I made this sauce to go with lobster ravioli.  It turned out amazing!  The kids were raving about it all night.  :)

1 stick butter
6 cloves (1T) minced garlic
4T flour
2 c. Chicken stock
1 pint heavy cream
1/2 c. White wine
1/2 c. Shredded asiago cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter in saucepan, sauté garlic for a few minutes.  Whisk in flour and cook for 3-4 minutes.  Add chicken stock and cook until slightly thickened.  Add cream and wine and reduce for 15-20 min. Stir in Asiago and season with salt/pepper to taste.