Thursday, March 21, 2013

Storytelling Time

I finally finished my pregnancy album I made for my pregnancy with Bubba!! Hey only took me 11 months.. lol Now I need to get started on his first year album.. I might get that one done by the time he's two! ?

Shutterfly has some really great storytelling albums that make it look like you spend a ton of time on designing them but you really only need to fill in the pictures and text. Shutterfly is a company I love to support because they donate so much money to families in need and who do marvelous things for their community!

Click here to view this photo book larger
Shutterfly allows you to customize your photo book just the way you want.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Freezer Crockpot Meals

Me and a group of my friends got together one weekend day to put together some freezer meals for all of us. We have all seen it done on Pinterest and they make it look so easy!

We decided each of us would pick two recipes, then we would buy enough so each person coming could bring home 20 freezer meals. There was 5 of us coming so each of us had to multiply our recipes by 10!

(The math still gets me all confused.. haha)

Here are the recipes:

Cashew Chicken:
Honey Sesame Chicken:
Penne Pasta:
Creamy Chicken Enchiladas:
Teriyaki chicken:
Black Bean and Corn Salsa Chicken:
Orange-Apricot Pork Chops:

Tortilla Chicken Soup:
1 pkg of red beans and rice (Zatarain's)
1 1/2 lbs diced chicken
2 cans (15oz) diced tomatoes
2 cans chicken broth or 1- 32oz
1/2 onion, diced
Dash of chili powder
shredded cheese
Tortilla chips or Fritos
Sour cream to top
Combine all ingredients in gallon ziplock bag, double bag it for security.
Defrost overnight in fridge, place in crockpot, cook on low for 4-6 hours
Serve with cheese, sour cream, and chips

Potato Soup: (doubled)
1/2-1 lb of bacon, crumbled
1 large can of chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 8oz package of cream cheese
8-12 potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 clove of garlic, minced ( optional)
Salt & pepper to taste
Heat over med. heat until potatoes are cooked through.

Here is my grocery list: Just for the 2 recipes I brought.
*30 lbs chicken breast or tenders
*5 cups honey
*3.5 cups soy sauce
*2.5 cups diced onion
*2 cups ketchup
*Minced garlic
*5 cups cashews
*Jasmine rice
1.25 cups rice wine vinegar
10 tbsp brown sugar
Fresh ginger
(* indicates Costco purchase)

How It Works:

Get your friends: Get a group of friends that want to spend an afternoon chatting, drinking coffee or WINE, and who also want to save some time not having to prepare meals throughout the month, and save money buy buying in bulk.
Plan a day: Once you have figured out who is going to come, pick a day when everyone can be child free for 4-6 hours. (2 for the shopping, 4 for the prep)
Decide how much to make: We picked 2 recipes each for 5 people, which ends up making 20 meals for each person, or 100 meals total. Keep in mind how much room you have in your freezer. 18-20 is the max my freezer can hold. If you have a deep freezer your could do more.
Get the Food: Since chicken is so popular in so many recipes it would be smart for you all to go in on a big bulk chicken buy from a food coop or farmer. We however didn't do that but instead just bought all our groceries individually at local grocery stores or Costco. When picking recipes think about how many onions you might have to cut up or potatoes you might have to peel. lol
Bring Supplies: You will need enough measuring spoons and cups for each person coming, will need enough gallon ziplock bags for each crockpot recipe we just got a big bulk box of them at costco. Will need enough baking containers recipes that require baking instead of crockpot. Gallon pitchers to hold the gallon ziplock bags. Also enough bags to bring all your meals home in.
Prepping the Food: To save time we all precooked our meat before meeting up at our host's house(if the recipe called for that). Then when we got there all we had to do was assemble the recipes.
Assembly: What we found was fastest was to set up an assembly line, 1 gallon pitchers work fantastically for holding gallon ziplock bags for the crockpot meals.
  1. So we set up 10 pitchers or pots to hold the ziplock bags for the first recipe.
  2. Set up an assembly line each of us responsible for putting one ingredient in each bag till all the ingredients are in the bag.
  3. Then we zipped them all up and set them outside (it was 25 degrees out) to chill until we were all done.
  4. Reset the ziplock bags in the pitchers and pots and fill with next recipe.
If your doing pasta or lasagna or something that needs to be baked, it works the same just filling some aluminum tins instead of ziplock bags.

If everyone helps prep and assemble each recipe at a time it will go faster than everyone trying to do their own at once.

We each spent an average of $175 on our groceries for our 2 recipes we brought ingredients for.

Which ends up being $8.75 each meal

End of the Night
100 Freezer Meals Prepared!

The Dishes.. lol

Tortilla Chicken Soup

Gallon Pitcher holding a Gallon Ziplock bag