Thursday, March 7, 2013

Freezer Mealin and Dealin

About 3 months before Charlie was born, my friend Laura asked me if I would like to make freezer meals with her sometime.  She's known online as the Kitchen Tutor, and she knows her way around the kitchen pretty well *as the name suggests, duh*, so I went with it.  She had a baby herself about a year ago so I trusted her when she said that I'd want them.  
Laura was amazing and put together a plan and a shopping list and on one of her busiest Saturdays she let me come over and invade.  She guided me around the ways of freezer meals.  And in 2 1/2 hours (there were some pauses for conversation in there) I walked out the door with 10 meals for the freezer.  I didn't touch them until I was really feeling the fatigue of pregnancy (about 40 weeks) and we ate them whenever we didn't have someone bringing us a meal through out the next month and a half.  Then they were gone!  And friends stopped brining food!  And since I was all out of practice in making dinner (and had never made dinner while carting a baby around the kitchen) I decided that I needed more freezer meals.  So I did them again.  And we ate them all.  And so I did them again.  It's the only way to make dinner anymore.  
Reasons I like freezer meals: 
1.Whoa is it ever fast!  I spend about 10 minutes making a list for the store, 2 hours bagging, and then about 5 minutes cooking it (my crock pot does the rest like magic). 
2. It tastes better because food that you don't spend hours slaving over always tastes better, doesn't it?  
3. Most of the meals I have made have tones of garlic in them. We just like Garlic. 
4. I think it's saving me money.  I'm not so good at planning ahead and only making one trip to the store a week or whatever, but I know I am going way less often. 
5. NOT HAVING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT TO MAKE FOR DINNER!  I just grab a bag from the freezer and as long as it's in the crock by 1pm, we're good to go! 
6. I can give them to people when they have a baby and it's my turn to bring dinner over - then they can figure out when they want to eat and all they have to do it put it in their crock pot 4 hours ahead of time.  
7. Pinterest has a BUTT LOAD of ideas.  That makes it easy.  

You get the idea.  Here's some things I've learned: 
- Write the name of the things youre making and the cooking instructions on the bags BEFORE you start.  
- Use fresh chicken, not frozen.  I hate touching and cutting up raw slimy chicken as much as you do, but it's worth it.  Frozen bagged chicken has a watery frozen glaze on it and it truely does water down the meals.  
- Just keep a bunch of salad or frozen vegetables on hand for sides.  And maybe some tortillas and rice.  Most of the "meals" are actually just a main dish but you can whip up a side easy enough.  And many of them are just as good shredded up and eaten like a taco.  



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