November 15, 2015

Pinterest Cooking: Filling up our Freezer

So last week was pretty crazy.  I finished up my job after 8+ years at ECI working with the same team of people.  And on Tuesday we went to the PCHAS office to sign off on everything and become officially licensed.

So we are now officially licensed to be foster parents.  And now that I am done with my job, we could get kids placed with us at any moment.  So we will likely have our first placement in the next couple of days!

In trying to prepare, I decided to make some freezer meals to have some easy dinners as well as some lunches while the kids and I are home.  I had pinned several sites on Pinterest and started planning.

Friday night we cleaned out our freezer and then headed to Sams.  I bought a Groupon for a Sams Membership a few weeks ago, so David went with me to activate it and start stocking up on ingredients for the make ahead meals as well as other things we might need.  This is half of our freezer that we completed emptied out by either cleaning out what had gone bad or combining it all on the other side.

Saturday morning I was up bright and early and got to cooking!  I had compiled recipes from several different sites and these are the ones I ended up making:

One of the pins I found was called 7 Kid-Friendly Freezer Meals, so I decided to look into that one.  From that list, I made the Cheesy Tortellini with Ground Beef (I used ground turkey) and the Easy Chicken Pot Pie.  These are both recipes that you combine most ingredients in a ziplock and freeze them, then just thaw and cook in the crockpot when you're ready.  Very easy and I loved that she had a PDF of all of the recipes and a shopping list!

The second pin I found was 21 Meals for $150 at Aldi.  I do a lot of shopping at Aldi and love their prices, but this time we stocked up at Sams.  From this site I made the Spaghetti Sauce and added in some ground turkey.  I have all of the ingredients to make the Chicken Enchiladas, but I ran out of room in my freezer, so I froze the chicken and will make the Enchiladas for dinner sometime and double the recipe to have one batch to freeze.

The other recipes came from Money Saving Mom's 4 weeks to fill your freezer.  I made the Brown Bag Burritos (again with ground turkey instead of beef) and the Southwest Roll-Ups.  She has several freezer recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner so I am looking forward to trying more of her freezer ideas!

The last thing I made were Make Ahead and Freeze Homemade Chicken Nuggets.  I realized that in addition to all of the dinners I need to prepare, I also now have to make sure we've got some lunch foods ready to go.  I figured these, along with the Burritos and Southwest Roll-Ups would all be options in addition to the regular sandwiches and meats and crackers.

Here is a look at our freezer at the end of my cooking yesterday.  I finished everything in about 3 hours, including a run to Kroger to get one item I'd forgotten on Friday night.

When I sat down at the end of October and made goals for November, I tried to keep them fairly simple since 2 of my main goals were Finishing at ECI and Getting Licensed.  But one thing I wanted to try to do was to make at least 5 freezer meals.  Most of these things will make at least 2 batches worth so I think we've got at least a few things to get us started when we need a quick dinner.  They all seemed pretty tasty as I was making them, but I'm looking forward to actually trying them out.

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