Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Freezer Meal Day
It's always a fun day when it's Freezer Meal Day at our house. A busy day - when we're exhausted at the end of the day - but a very fun, productive day. And sharing the day together as family is the best way to have a Freezer Meal Day. Usually I am blessed to have my three grown daughters who live nearby join me for the day (and we miss another who lives in TX), and this time we were so happy to have a son, who also lives nearby, join us as well! (And we missed our other son who is in CA.)
Saturday, April 20, was the day! We shared a lunch meal of Cheesy Chicken Subs together, followed by about five hours in the kitchen, and finished off with a pizza meal together! And in those five hours in the kitchen, three daughters and a son and I prepared 30+ dishes for the freezer! And my amazing hubby helped out with our grandkids - a five year-old girl, three four year-old boys, and a one year-old little girl! We all took our turns helping him out with the kids, especially our son who has a way of making life fun for the three little boys!
Here are the steps that we followed for our Freezer Meal Day:
Each of my daughters picked a main dish recipe to use, including an additional side dish for one of them, and I provided two main dish recipes. We each provided all the ingredients for the recipes we picked, purchasing enough to make multiple dishes of each recipe. Enough for one of each recipe for five households.
Crescent Chicken Bundles
Hot Taco Pockets
Meat Loaf Miniatures
Freezer Mashed Potatoes
Cilantro Lime Chicken with Corn and Black Beans
Using ideas from blogs and freezer meal cookbooks that I have used over the years, I then made a Prep List chart (chopping, mincing, etc.).
Next, I prepared a Cooking Plan, to help us keep on track as we worked through all the various recipes together. We checked off each line as it was completed. I also typed up a little label for each dish for the freezer, with cooking instructions for the actual day of using the dish.
Our cooking marathon began right after we finished up our lunch together: first completing the items on the Prep List, and then proceeding through the Cooking Plan. A lot of fun - a lot of little breaks to put kiddos down for naps, get them back up, help them in their play - a lot of cleanup in the midst of the cooking - and such a good feeling to have meals for each of our freezers!
Eventually, especially as the little children grow a bit older, we will likely try to increase the number of dishes that we prepare on our Freezer Meal Days. We're learning of more possibilities of easy-to-prepare dishes, as well, such as the Cilantro Lime Chicken recipe (above), which simply involves putting all the ingredients together in a freezer bag, then using the slow cooker on the day you use the dish. Some of the recipes we used took a bit longer, as they also involved some steps of cooking to prepare them for the freezer.
Such a fun way to spend time together as family, and so great to have some homemade meals in our freezers. I am often on the lookout for new ideas for freezer meals - please feel free to contact me (through comments, by email, or on my Pursuing Heart facebook page) if you have ideas to share, or if you have a question about our day.
Linking up with:
Time to Sparkle
Your Creative Timeout
I'm Lovin' It
Saturday Show and Tell