More Freezer Meal Experiments

I’ve been trying to be really good about cooking these past few weeks.  By good, I mean trying to cook new, “real food” meals at least twice a week (usually Wednesdays and Sundays) and trying to make extras to freeze.  So far, I have been having pretty good success at making meals my family likes/will eat, and – maybe more importantly to me – does not involve me spending a whole day, or even a whole afternoon in the kitchen.  The past few meals I have tried have been chicken pot pie, stromboli, and tacos!  In all of these cases I have yet to try the frozen-then-thawed version yet, but i will update once I do in case any don’t thaw well.

Stromboli (sorry I don’t have pictures for this one)

Recipe here from Fabulessly Frugal

Ease to make: Very Easy (I was able to assemble two strombolis (is that the plural of stromboli? haha) in about 25 minutes)

For my pizza crust, I used the pillsbury pre-made pizza dough in the canister, which I loved because I really HATE spreading out pizza dough.  I love all things pizza and would probably make all sorts of pizzas except for the step of spreading the crust.  I had never tried the pillsbiry pre-made dough, and was pleasantly surprised with how easy it was to use and the final taste.

I made one stromboli for dinner that night and wrapped one in plastic wrap and tin foil to freeze.  The one I made for dinner tasted great, even V (the toddler) ate a little bit of it, and it tasted good left over and cold for lunch!

Verdict: Success!!

Chicken Pot Pie

Recipe here from Fabulessly Frugal (totally didn’t realize that these were both from the same blog until now, one was from Pinterest and one from Google Search)

Ease to make: This recipe took about 1.5 hours to make from start to finish, so pretty time consuming, but it doesn’t take much longer to make several than to make one.

I made a few modifications to this one.  The recipe is for chicken pot pie but the only crust is on the top, none on the bottom.  I think this is so you can make more pies with fewer pie crusts, maybe?  I was describing this to Mark (husband), who is the expert in southern cuisine in our house, and he was not a fan of the “crust on top only” idea.  Since he loves chicken pot pie way more than I do, I figured I should cook it to suit his tastes so I added crust on the top and bottom.  For the container I also used the regular pie containers that came with the pre-made crusts rather than the meatloaf container (I used deep dish pie crust).  I also didn’t measure my vegetable amounts at all, which resulted in the pot pies being very vegetable heavy, in particular very pea heavy.  I like peas, and I like veggies, so I thought it was good, but Mark would prefer more chicken.  I made 3 pot pies total, and wrapped the other 2 in plastic wrap and tin foil for the freezer.

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Verdict: Will probably make again because Mark likes pot pies, but a lot of work…

Taco Meat

 Ok, confession – this recipe is so simple you probably don’t need a recipe, but I have such cute pictures to go along that I had to share it.  I did, however, discover that it is possible to make taco meat in a crock pot, so it was a learning experience!

Recipe here at Passionate Penny Pincher

Ease to make: very easy – throw the meat and ingredients into crockpot, stir occasionally, done!

I didn’t read the recipe right and added the taco seasoning at the beginning of cooking rather than at the end.  This resulted in my meat being under-seasoned once it was done, but I just added more seasoning and it worked out ok.  It also turned out a little more soupy than my typical taco meat, but there were no complaints about it.  I served the meat on tortillas with typical taco dressings, and it was definitely a hit.  V thought it was amazing and ate soft tacos/burritos for dinner 2 nights in a row!  I put half of the taco meat in the freezer for later.

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Her first experience holding the burrito herself – she DID NOT want mom to help her 🙂

Verdict: Success!!

Hope my experience helps anyone trying to come up with meal ideas for their family.  I really prefer meals that take minimal prep work and that I can make extras of so Mark can heat them up for dinner when I work late.  Any good recipes you know of?  Feel free to let me know!

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Freezer Meals, Running, and a Little More Stitch Fix!

Forgive me, anyone who likes posts to be about one topic.  This will not be that kind of post.  Mostly because I have been pretty busy lately, but also because a lot of the topics I have to write about seem to involve subscription boxes of some type, and I am trying to not turn this into a subscription box blog….but there will be a little Stitch Fix at the end, because my mom and sister got their boxes, and I want to share their clothes with you too!

I guess, chronologically first up would be running.  Not too much to talk about that, since unfortunately Mark and I have been sick, and it had prevented me from running for the past 3-3 1/2 weeks (we had mono 😦 Crazy, right?  What are we, teenagers?)  Anyways, I am finally feeling up to running this week, and was reviewing my training schedule to assess the damage.  Let me tell you, it’s bad…I have been following the Hal Higdon Novice Supreme 30 week marathon training schedule, and had been actually very consistent.  But now I missed weeks 19-22!  I looked at the schedule and realized I had only 7 weeks of training until the Space Coast Marathon, and 3 of those are supposed to be taper weeks (where you run less miles and let your muscles recover and prepare for the race).  So it’s going to be a stretch to get myself in marathon shape by then, but I’m going to try.  I also had the Savage Race Scheduled, which is an obstacle course mud race, but my doctor said no to that one because of the mono.  On the plus side, that freed up my schedule to register for the half marathon the rest of my family was already running on the same day – a Halloween themed race called the Frankenfooter Half marathon, and I’m pretty excited about that.  Plus, it will motivate me to get back on the wagon for marathon training.

This week represented a change in work schedule for me.  I started working an extra day, which I think will work out very well in the long run.  However, I’m the type of person that any change in my schedule represents a significant amount of stress, and I usually deal with that stress by coming up with random projects to do.  So Sunday I decided to make several different meals and then freeze some of them, so I wouldn’t have to worry about making dinner when I got off of work!  Of course I went to Pinterest to find the recipes, that site is really the best for random projects like this.  I decided to start *small* and found 2 dinner recipes and 1 breakfast recipe.  Both of the dinner recipes are from The Humbled Homemaker Blog, and I picked them because they were easy to make and easy to cook out of the freezer.  The 2 recipes I used were her Chicken Divan recipe and her Baked Ziti Recipe.  I am actually eating the Chicken Divan leftover for dinner as I type this.  For the breakfast recipe I used the recipe from GetCreativeJuice Blog with some of my own modifications.  All told it took me about 2 1/2 hours to make all of these recipes, and ended up with 2 trays of Baked Ziti, 5 freezer bags of Chicken Divan and 24 mini breakfast muffins.  We had the Baked Ziti for dinner, and I thought it was yummy, although V vetoed it and I don’t think Mark was happy I put in zucchini.

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Ok, now on to Stitch Fix.  If you dont know about stitch fix, this blog post explains it all.  Since this is my sister Kelly’s fix, I don’t have all the same details like price on them, but I can still share the cute pictures.  My mom got her fix too, but I have yet to receive permission to post her pics, maybe next post I will.  On to the fix!

1. Hanlee airy knit raglan sweater

2. Jimmy ankle length skinny jeans

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Obviously the sweater does not fit right, but she says the jeans are a maybe (I know you cant see them that well, they are ankle length skinny jeans)

3. Kassidy open lattice detail tank

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Sadly another fit problem, which is too bad because we both LOVE the idea of this shirt and think it would have been a keeper if it had fit.

4. Roma floral print short-sleeve blouse

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She loves the fit and style of this cute floral shirt!

5. Ashland chevron print dress

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I think this dress is SUPER ADORABLE, but she is not sure about it.  I think she likes it too, just isn’t sure where she would wear it too and whether it would get the wear for the price (not sure of the price, sorry).  I hope she keeps it, but I get not wanting to buy a probably fairly pricey dress if you are not sure you will wear it.  By the way, once again, all stitch fix links are referral links.

That’s all for now guys, thanks for reading!  Let me know what you think!