Okay, so we all know I am a bit obsessed with freezer meal cooking. How can you not enjoy efficient and affordable meals, cooked with your friends?
It started with the girls at my church having “fun” standing in the pouring rain with screaming babies, huge coolers, deliriously giggling as we swapped yummy meals. Remember that, girls?? I don’t remember if our families’ palates became too picky or we all sorta got too tired to keep up the insanity, but when that phased out my friend Anne and I kept cooking. It was simpler with two and we could really choose menus we enjoyed. I posted our favorite recipes which went slightly viral leaving my inbox full of nastygrams informing me that my instructions were a bit too “loose” for most cooks’ taste preferences. To which I say, “WING THE MANICOTTI, PEOPLE!!!!” and then crack up laughing at myself like some deranged stay at home mom who’s been a human jungle gym all day. I admit, it was a terribly formatted blog post…I mostly posted the recipes so I didn’t have to rifle through my binders and emails to find what was yummy…oh well. :)
Then we moved and I was excited to try our freezer cooking with a few new friends. Our first round was a huge hit! Tomorrow we will double our cooking club in size by cooking 12 recipes for 10 families at 2 different houses. This would be a complete disaster if I, the person who has to Google how many ounces are in the cup, were trying to plan the shopping list…However, I have a new friend. Enter Lisa, the spreadsheet guru. Everyone needs a Lisa. Someone who can work a spreadsheet like a boss.
Last night she and I spent an inordinate amount of time and money buying all the goods for our cooking day, (only then to find that you can call your nearest Piggly Wiggly and they will get it all set and ready for you!) but we are ready to rock and Ziplock tomorrow at 8 am sharp.
Here are our recipes, shopping list and order of execution for 12 recipes. (Approximately 16 meals for a 4-5 person family at about $2/serving…but don’t be emailing me after sipping on your Hatorade if my math is different than yours. I was a Journalism major for crying out loud. Insert crying laughing emoji. #Lisaforthewin.)
I hope this helps those of you who are trying it for the first time! The most helpful thing is setting up a station for each recipe with all the ingredients and tools you need to make the meal. Then, just work your way around your kitchen! Oh and book a nap the next afternoon. :)
It really is just a learning process. Read a few of these past posts and go for it! Oh, and if you want to follow the cooking
confusion, excitement tomorrow our hashtag will be #politelysmileandkeepwalkingwhenmenstareandwanttotalkaboutyour4cartfullsofBostonporkbuttsandcheapbeer #andyourboxof50onions #justkidding #aboutthehashtag #butseriouslykeepwalking
Freezer Meal Recipes (click to download)
- BBQ Pulled Pork (Everyone’s fave. We serve over baked potatoes or as sandwiches. Enough for 3 meals!)
- Cranberry Pork Tenderloin (New Recipe! Don’t know what we will pair it with…maybe wild rice and veggies?)
- Savory Pepper Steak (We serve over rice.)
- Savory Vegetable Beef Soup (New recipe! We shall see.)
- Creamy Chicken Enchiladas (Serve with black beans, rice and some veggies.)
- Manistinkingcotti (with correct recipe this time… and it’s DELISH! Serve with salad and veggies.)
- Drunken Chicken (We serve with mashed potatoes, green beans and a salad.)
- Orange Teriyaki Chicken (We serve with brown rice and broccoli)
- Sweet and Sour Chicken (We serve with brown rice and sugar snap or snow peas)
- Maple Glazed Dijon Chicken (We serve over mashed potatoes or whole wheat pasta and veggies.)
- Thai Basil Curry Chicken (New recipe! Brown rice and veggies? Don’t know how we will serve yet.)
- Loaded Baked Potato Soup (Don’t leave off the bacon topping! Serve with salad and crusty bread.)
Day of Execution (click to download our order of operations)
Shopping List Spreadsheet (click to download–this is created for 5 families)
Hope that helps. Happy Cooking! I’ll add some more fun pics from tomorrow after we hang up our aprons!!!