Friday, March 19, 2010

Freezer Meals

As a pregnant mom I'm a little concerned about what we're going to be eating for dinner after the new baby comes home. You never know how the recovery will be. I'm hoping that this one will be just as easy as the last one but I'm not putting all my eggs in one basket. Instead I'm putting lots of dinners in my freezer. I've done once-a-month-cooking before and yes, it saved me time and money. However, it took a lot of time to prep and cook all those meals so I wasn't religious about it, however, I do enjoy having my freezer full. All these recipes serve at least 6 people and will last 3-6 months. The hardest part for me is remembering take out dinner the day before so it can thaw in the fridge for 24 hours. Here's the menu:

1. Chicken Enchiladas (not spicy) w/ salad
2. Black Bean Soup w/ chips and salad
3. Quicky-Sticky Chicken w/ rice & cooked carrots
4. Easy Lasagna w/ salad and crescent rolls
5. Cousin's Chicken Pot Pie w/ salad
6. Honey BBQ Ribs w/ cole slaw and baked potatoes
7. Parmesan Crusted Chicken & Rice w/ salad

8. Ham & Scalloped Potatoes w/ salad
9. Honey Lime Chicken w/ broccoli and carrots

10. Mustard Thyme Tilapia w/ mashed garlic cauliflower
11. Nana's Chicken Supreme Casserole w/ salad
12. Tator Tot Casserole w/ cooked sugar snap peas and sliced carrots
13. Annie's Corn Chowder w/ Rhodes rolls

14. Honey Apple Pork Chops w/ baked potatoes and broccoli
15. Beef and Bean Casserole with tortilla chips

If you DOUBLE each recipe then you'd have a month's worth of meals! Keep in mind that most of these are in freezer bags and if you freeze them flat, they stack quite nicely and you'll be suprised at how many you can fit in your freezer. Here are the recipes:

Karen's Chicken Enchiladas
1/4 cup chopped onion or 1-2 Tbs dehydrated onion
2 Tbs butter
4 ounce can diced green chilies
3 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 Tbs milk
1/4 tsp ground cumin
2 cups chopped, cooked chicken

Twelve 7-inch flour tortillas
10.75 ounce can condensed cream of chicken soup
8 ounces sour cream
1 cup milk
3/4 cup Colby Jack, Monterey Jack or Cheddar Cheese (pick your favorite)

Cook the onions and butter over medium heat till soft. Remove from heat and add 1 Tbs of the chilies but save the rest for later. In bowl combine cream cheese, 1 Tbs. milk and cumin. Add the onion mixture and chicken. Stir until combined. Spoon 3 Tbs. of mixture onto each tortilla then roll up and place seam-side down in greased aluminum baking dish. In another bowl combine soup, sour cream, 1 cup milk and remaining chilies. Pour this evenly over the tortillas. Cover top with freezer foil. Put grated cheese in ziploc bag and tape to top of foiled dish. Label: Let thaw overnight in fridge then cook at 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Remove foil and sprinkle with cheese. Bake another 5 minutes till cheese is melted. Serve with salad.

Black Bean Soup
1/3 cup dehydrated onion or 1/2 cup diced fresh onion
1 Tbs. Olive Oil
1 cup Red bell pepper, chopped
4 cloves Garlic, minced
14.5 oz. can Diced Tomatoes, NOT drained
4 oz. can Diced Green Chiles (use half if you don't want it spicy)
¾ cup Dehydrated Carrots or 1.5 cups sliced, cooked carrots

1.5 tsp. Ground cumin
3 cups Chicken Broth
Four 15 oz. cans Black Beans, drained and rinsed
¼ cup Red Wine Vinegar

Heat oil in large, deep saucepan. Saute onion, bell pepper and garlic until tender. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes. Let cool and place in freezer gallon bag being sure to get out all the air. Place that bag inside another bag to prevent freezer burn. Label: To serve, thaw overnight then just dump in your crockpot on warm to low all day or simmer in a pot on your stove until heated thru. Serve with tortilla chips.

Quicky-Sticky Chicken
8-12 Chicken tenders
2 Cups Apricot Jam
2 Cups Bar-B-Q Sauce (we love Tony Roma’s Carolina Honey)
2 Packets Lipton Onion Soup Mix

Pour a small amount of olive oil in a skillet and begin browning the chicken. Mix together the remaining ingredients and then pour over the chicken. Let cook until the chicken is fully cooked and the sauce is thick and bubbly. Put in gallon freezer bag then freeze. Label: Thaw overnight in fridge and then heat till warmed thru or place in crockpot on warm/low setting all day. Serve over rice and with cooked carrots.

Easy Lasagna
1 pkg. uncooked penne pasta
1 lb. cooked ground turkey with a little seasoning salt, drain the fat and let cool
1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce

½ cup real parmesan cheese and add more on top later if you'd like

Place all ingredients in gallon freezer bag. Label: Pour into 9x13 pan. Cook at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes. Serve with crescent rolls. (See? Totally easy. I know it's not really lasagna but it tastes similar so that's what I call it.)

Cousin's Chicken Pot Pie
1 lb. cubed chicken
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup frozen green peas
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup milk
Two 9-inch unbaked pie crusts

In saucepan combine chicken, carrots, peas and celery. Add water to cover. Add 3 chicken boullon cubes and some seasoning salt. Stir and let boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain into colander over bowl and set aside - you want to reserve 1/2 cup broth. In another saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft. Stir in flour, S&P, and garlic. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Simmer over low heat until thick. Remove from heat and add the 1/2 cup reserved broth. Let chicken and liquid mixtures cool, then place into freezer gallon bag. Label: To serve, thaw overnight. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Warm mixture in microwave or on stovetop. Place mixture in bottom pie crust (you won't use all of it, it won't fit). Cover with top crust, seal edges and cut away excess dough. Make several slits on top to allow steam to escape. Bake for about 30-40 minutes. (You may wish to cover with foil after 20 minutes so it won't brown too much.) Let cool 10 minutes before serving. Serve with salad.

Honey BBQ Ribs
3 lbs boneless pork ribs
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup spicy brown mustard
2 Tbl Worcestershire sauce
1/2 Tbl liquid smoke

Place pork ribs in bottom of slow cooker. Cover and cook on High for 3 hours. Drain and discard liquid. Reduce heat to Low. In a bowl, combine garlic salt, pepper, ketchup, brown sugar, honey, spicy brown mustard, Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke. Mix well. Pour over ribs in slow cooker. Cover and cook on Low for 3 hours. Remove from slow cooker and allow to cool. Place in freezer bag. Label and freeze. To serve: Thaw overnight in fridge. Heat until hot throughout. Serve w/ coleslaw and baked potatoes.

Parmesan Crusted Chicken and Rice
1 pound chicken breasts seasoned with S&P
2.5 cups cooked rice

1 pound broccoli, steamed (buying frozen usually cost less)
2 cans (10¾ ounces each) cream of chicken soup
1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
1/4 cup milk

1 can chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1 package crushed buttery crackers (such as Ritz)
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons garlic salt
2 teaspoons parsley
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

Bake chicken in oven at 350 degrees for 1 hour covered with foil. Cut chicken into cubes. Reserve broth and mix with the sauce ingredients, blending well. Put this in fridge until ready to use. Cook rice. Cook broccoli in microwave for 8 minutes, stirring after 4 minutes. Spread cooked rice in the bottom of 9 x 13-inch aluminum freezer pan. Pour half the sauce over the rice. Top the sauce with broccoli, then chicken, and then the remaining sauce. Mix topping in a plastic bag and sprinkle on top of casserole. Wrap casserole with foil and freeze. Label: Bake covered at 350ºF for 30 minutes then uncover and cook another 10 minutes till lightly browned. Serve with salad.

Ham and Scalloped Potatoes
Two 5 oz. boxes scalloped potato mix (Betty Crocker)
4 cups boiling water
4 T butter
¾ cup milk
2 cups cubed ham
12 oz. bag frozen French green beans
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Stir sauce mix from scalloped potatoes package into large pot of boiling water with butter. Pour over potatoes. Stir in milk, ham, green beans and cheese. Place in freezer bag, squeeze out air and seal. Label and freeze. To serve: Thaw. Place in greased baking dish. Bake uncovered for 35 minutes at 400 degrees. Uncover and top with more shredded cheddar cheese. Return to oven until cheese melts. Serve with salad.

Honey Lime Chicken
2 lbs chicken tenders
1/2 Tbl garlic salt
1 Tbl peanut oil
20 oz can pineapple rings
1/4 cup honey
3 Tbl lime juice
2 Tbl soy sauce
1 Tbl cornstarch

Sprinkle chicken with garlic salt. Brown saucepan with small amount of oil. Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Add one fourth of the pineapple juice to skillet (save the rest for later). Cover and simmer 6 to 8 minutes until chicken is golden. Remove chicken. Add honey, lime juice, soy sauce, cornstarch and remainder of pineapple juice. Bring to boil. Cook and stir until thick and clear, about 1 minute. Remove from heat. Allow to cool. Place chicken, pineapple rings and sauce in freezer bag. Label and freeze. To serve: Thaw overnight in fridge. Heat until sauce is hot and bubbly and chicken is heated through. Serve with cooked broccoli and carrots.

Mustard Thyme Tilapia
In a mixing bowl combine:
3 Tbs parsley
3 Tbs white wine vinegar
3 tsp Dijon mustard
1.5 tsp thyme
1.5 cups chopped onion
1.5 Tbs olive oil
2 garlic cloves, pressed
In a gallon-size freezer bag, add:
6 fresh or frozen tilapia fillets

Pour marinade over the fish, seal the bag then shake to coat evenly. Force any air out of the bag and re-seal. To prevent freezer burn, place inside another freezer gallon size bag. Label: Thaw overnight in fridge. Remove fish from marinade bag throw away bag and marinade. Grill or broil fish for about 7-8 minutes per side or until fish flakes easily. Serve with mashed garlic cauliflower.

Nana's Chicken Supreme Casserole
6-8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips or cubes
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 Tbs. lemon juice
1 pkg. frozen broccoli florets
2 large carrots cut in strips
1 celery stalk, chopped
1/2 cup grated cheese

Place chicken halves in single layer in large casserole dish. Place carrots and celery in also. Season with salt & pepper. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour at 350 degrees. When warm, drain broth and save for later. Make sauce with soup, mayo, lemon juice, ½ of reserved broth and grated cheese. Mix. Cook broccoli just under time. Pour everything into a gallon freezer bag and freeze. Label: To serve, thaw overnight and pour into 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes uncovered. You can top with additional grated cheese if you'd like for the last 5 minutes. Serve with salad.

Tator Tot Casserole (adapted from the Duggar family's recipe)
1 lb. ground turkey, cooked, seasoned with Lawry's seasoning salt and drained
3 lb. bag tator tots
2 cans cream of broccoli and cheese (my change to the recipe)
1 can evaporated milk

Mix soup and milk in small mixing bowl. Put all ingredients into a gallon freezer bag, squeeze out air, seal and freeze. Label: Thaw overnight in fridge then bake at 350 degrees in 9x13 pan for one hour uncovered. Serve with cooked sugar snap peas and carrots.

Annie's Corn Chowder

(My friend Annie made this when I was sick and now it cures me like Chicken Noodle Soup)

Combine and cook till tender:
2 cups boiling water
2 cups peeled and chopped potatoes
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped onion
2 cups diced ham
1.5 tsp pepper

In a different pan combine and stir until smooth and thick:
1/4 cup melted butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk

Then add:
1 cup grated cheese
1 can corn, drained
1 can creamed corn

Add this mixture to the vegetables. Let cool then place in gallon freezer bag, squeezing out any air. Label and freeze. To serve: Thaw overnight then put in warm crockpot on low all day or on cook on stovetop till warmed thru. Serve with Rhodes rolls - these are delicious freezer rolls found only in Utah! Serve Creamies or Fat Boys for dessert if you're a true Utahn.

Honey Apple Pork Chops
1 cup BBQ sauce
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup apple jelly
4 Tbs ketchup
4 Tbs water
4 Tbs. chopped onion
4 tsp brown sugar
3 tsp sweet pickle relish
2 tsp yellow mustard
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Whisk ingredients together. Divide mixture in half. Place half of it into a quart size freezer bag and seal. In a gallon size freezer bag place 8 boneless pork chops and the remaining half of marinade. Squeeze out air and seal bag. Place this bag and the quart bag of marinade into another gallon freezer bag to prevent freezer burn. Label: Thaw overnight in fridge. Heat over to 400 degrees. Remove chops from marinade place in baking dish, discarding marinade and plastic bag the chops were in. Place in oven and baste with remaining marinade as needed. Bake for 30-45 minutes until done. Serve with baked potatoes and broccoli.

Beef and Bean Casserole
1 lb. Sautéed ground beef, drained and cooled
½ c minced onion
½ c diced celery
6 oz. can tomato paste

1/8 tsp. garlic salt
½ c water
2 tsp. vinegar
1 tsp. dry mustard
1 tsp. thyme
1 Tbs. brown sugar
2 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
32 oz. can pork & beans
salt & pepper to taste
*Later: 1 cup Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese, shredded

Add all prepared ingredients together in a gallon-size freezer bag. Seal and place inside another freezer bag. Place shredded cheese into a sandwich bag and place inside the 2nd freezer bag as well. Freeze. Label: Thaw overnight, then pour into casserole dish and bake in oven at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. *Top with cheese and bake another 5 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Emergency Car Kit

Another list? Yep, I love lists and I love checking them off. Sometimes I'll start a to-do list and even write things I've already done that day so I feel like I've accomplished more that day. LOL Silly, I know. Anyway, my parents were in Chile during the 8.8 earthquake (they are serving a mission in Santiago for our church and come back next month) and that got me seriously motivated to double-check all our food storage/emergency preparedness and I found myself lacking in the car. I used to just throw extra food from the 72 hour kits in there, a thing of TP and some water. Jumper cables are in there... somewhere. You get the point. So I came up with this detailed list and now I know that wherever we go, we'll be prepared for almost any disaster that may happen.

Emergency Car Kit Contents

Water in 2 liter bottles, 1 per person for 3 days
3600 calorie bars, 1 per person for 3 days
(these can withstand extreme temperature changes & last 5 years)
Wool blanket and space blankets 1 per person
Emergency tube tent
First aid kit
Breathing masks
Multi-tool and work gloves
Jumper cables
Tire pressure checker and inflator
Light sticks
Hot packs/warmers
Emergency ponchos
Portable radio/charger/flashlight combo -no batteries required
Map of local area
Whistle with matches inside and compass
Duct tape
Container for it all – heavy duty with lid and clearly marked with this list
TP, diapers, baby wipes, baby carrier
Trash bags heavy duty
Hard candy
Playing cards
Mini Book of Mormon

P.S. Everything but the water fit nicely into a large 18 gallon sterilite container. I was able to get most of the items at Emergency Essentials which is close by (see, the rest at Walmart and Dollar Tree.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Free Hair Bow Tutorials!

If you have girls or know someone who does and would like to make some hair bows, I just found the best free tutorials for how to make all sorts of hairbows. Check out the link above and their prices are great for the supplies you'll need to make the bows. I know what I'm going to be busy doing next Craft Night!

I made myself a (little) 20 page booklet with Word so I won't have to sit in front of the computer to make the bows. LOL These bows would look cute on those crochet headbands or nylon headbands and for older girls, attached to hair clips. Can you tell I'm a little excited?

Monday, March 1, 2010

Roasted Veggie Penne Dish

This delicious dish serves 12 hungry people and tastes great served with garlic parmesan bread. We had fresh strawberries for dessert. Yummmm!

16 oz. pkg. penne pasta
24 oz. bag frozen California blend vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower & carrots)
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 onion, peeled and cut into cubes
1-2 tsp. garlic powder or you could do a couple of pressed cloves
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups diced ham
shredded Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 425 degrees. In large bowl combine all vegetables with olive oil, garlic powder and S&P to taste. Toss to coat then pour on a large baking sheet and cook for 25-30 minutes in oven till roasted. While this is cooking, boil some water and cook the penne according to directions on package. Then dice your ham and prep the garlic bread. Once the veggies and pasta are done, combine it all in a very large bowl with your ham and it will be a huge mound in a 9x13 pan. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Toast the garlic bread for 5 minutes in the same temperature oven. Enjoy!