February 29, 2016

Crock Pot Freezer Meals Part 4

Since I made my menu board and loved being able to have everything prepared a month at a time, I had to put together another round of crock pot freezer meals. This time I made 21 meals for around $150. So far we've had all of them and they were so good. 

I'll update with links below as I post the recipes but here's what I made. The ones with the 2 after means I doubled those recipes and then just spaced out when we ate them. 

BBQ Chicken
Pesto Chicken & Green Beans
Scalloped Potatoes & Ham - 2
OMG Chicken
Orange Chicken
French Dip Sandwiches
White Chicken Chili - 2
Western Beef Casserole
Loaded Potato Bacon Soup - 2
Lime Shredded Pork

You can see my other freezer meals here, here and here.

February 26, 2016

Spaghetti Sauce & Meatballs Freezer Meal

Meatball Recipe

1 3/4 lb ground beef
3/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
4 cloves mince garlic
2 Tbsp basil
3 Tbsp parsley
2 tsp seasoned salt
2 eggs

Mix everything together (using your hands works best)  Form into balls and place on baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Let cool and divide into freezer bags and freeze.

Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

7- 28 oz cans of crushed tomatoes
6-8 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
4 Tbsp basil
2 tsp pepper
1 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp olive oil

Heat olive oil in a saucepan. Add garlic. Heat for a few minutes. Add tomatoes, pepper, basil, and sugar. Stir often until it starts to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 minutes. Add cheese and simmer for 5 more minutes. Divide into freezer bags.

To cook the meatballs and sauce, just thaw overnight and then simmer for about 20 minutes. Serve with spaghetti noodles. 

February 24, 2016

Chicken Souvlaki Crock Pot Freezer Meal

1.5 lb chicken breasts
1 green pepper, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 tsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp oregano
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

If freezing, just toss it all in freezer bag and lay flat to freeze. To cook, toss it all in a crock pot and cook on low for 4-6 hours. Shred chicken. 

We had this twice, first time I served it on tortillas with feta cheese and the second time I used mozzarella. Both were good. I imagine pitas would be tasty with feta cheese too. 

February 23, 2016

Baby 3 Belly Bump Weeks 24-28

Getting so close to meeting this little baby! Time is flying by and I'm almost at the point of every other week doctor appointments.  So far I have gained 18 pounds (as of 28 weeks along).  I haven't had any cravings or sickness at all this pregnancy. Baby M is moving around like crazy and growing right on track. Next appointment is at 30 weeks so I'll update more then =)

24 weeks
26 weeks
28 weeks

February 22, 2016

Chicken Enchiladas Freezer Meal

This freezer meal is for two meals. Just follow recipe and when rolling tortillas, split evenly among two freezer pans.

21 oz cream of chicken soup
2 cups salsa
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
4 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
3 lbs chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
flour tortillas

Combine soup, salsa, sour cream, beans, chili powder, and cumin. In another bowl mix 2 cups of that mix with the chicken and 1 cup cheese. Fill and roll up tortillas. Place in freezer pans. Top with remaining soup mix and cheese. Cover with foil and freeze.  

To bake, cook at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes. 

February 19, 2016

Salsa Chicken Crock Pot Freezer Meal

1.5 lb chicken breast
1 1/2 cup salsa
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup water

To freeze, just combine everything in freezer bag and freeze. To cook, toss it all in the crock pot and cook on low for 5-6 hours. 

The first time we had this I just served it as whole chicken breasts with some veggies as a side dish. 
The second time, I added taco seasoning and served on tortillas with chips and rice.  It was lots better as tacos, but still good either way. 

Mike said I have to make tacos like this everytime. 

February 15, 2016

Cheesy Chicken Tater Tot Crock Pot Freezer Meal

Happy Monday! Time for another crock pot freezer meal

32 oz frozen tater tots
3 oz bacon bits
1 lb chicken, cubed
8 oz cheddar cheese
3/4 cup milk
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper

If freezing, combine everything in a freezer bag with the cheese on the bottom so when you dump it into the crock pot the cheese will be on the top (mine was on the bottom of the crock pot and it was burnt).  

To cook, dump in crock pot and cook on low for 4-6 hours. 

February 10, 2016

BBQ Pulled Pork Crock Pot Freezer Meal

Back again for another freezer meal. This one was really good and we had enough left over for lunch the next day. 

2 lb pork loin roast
1 bottle of bbq sauce
1/2 cup italian dressing
2 tbsp brown sugar
splash of worcestershire sauce

Combine all of the ingredients above in a freezer bag and freeze. To cook, thaw over night. toss in crock pot an cook on low for 6-8 hours. Shred and serve on buns. 

February 9, 2016

Dry Erase Menu Board

I picked up this dry erase board a couple years ago at a yard sale for $0.50. I used to just write the day of the week and our dinner for the week on it, but since I've been doing freezer meals and shopping for a month's worth of food at a time I decided to step it up a notch. 

First, I measure the board and figured out how to fit 7 squares across and 5 squares vertically so it would look like a calendar. 

Luckily, I had this ruler that was just about perfect for making my lines and spaces fit perfectly. I just put it on my board and drew a straight line with a permanent marker where I needed them. I made sure to not touch or smudge it because that would be a disaster in my book. 

I did all my lines horizontally then did the vertical lines after I made sure it was nice and dry.

Tada! After it was all dry I used my dry erase markers to fill in the days and dinners we would be having. Super easy to erase and rewrite the dates each month but still have the lines. 

I would be lying if I said I don't stare at it every time I go into the kitchen. I'm so proud! 

February 8, 2016

Baked Ravioli Freezer Meal

I made this when I made my crock pot freezer meals, but this one is for the oven. It is amazing! 

25 oz. frozen cheese ravioli
.75 lb ground beef, cooked and drained
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
3-4 cups spaghetti sauce 
(I made my own sauce, and I'll share that recipe later this week)

Pour 1/2 cup sauce on bottom of pan. Place 1/3 of the ravioli on top, cover with 1/3 of the meat, 1/4 cup cheese, and 1 cup sauce. Repeat layers twice.  On the final layer, put cheese on after the sauce. Cover with foil and freeze. To bake, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cook for 25 minutes with foil on.  Uncover and cook for 10 more minutes.

February 4, 2016

Baby 3 Belly Bumps 14-22 weeks

I've been slacking on some weeks for pictures, but here's my growing baby belly.

14 weeks
17 weeks
18 weeks
20 weeks
21 weeks
22 weeks

February 3, 2016

Chicken Noodle Soup Crock Pot Freezer Meal

I'm back for another crock pot freezer meal

1 lb chicken breasts, cubed
1/2 lb carrots, peeled and diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 onion, diced
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp basil
1 tsp oregano
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp pepper
8 oz egg noodles
8 cups chicken broth

If freezing combine all ingredients except for the noodles and broth in a freezer bag and freeze. To cook, dump bag and add chicken broth. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Add the noodles and cook for 30 more minutes or until pasta is cooked through. Remove bay leaf and enjoy! 

February 1, 2016

Top 7 Must Have Items for Baby #3

Baby #3 will be here in less than 17 weeks so I wanted to share my top 7 must have items.  This is my list of items that I knew I needed for sure before the baby came. There are, of course, other items you may need/want and some of these you may not want, but this is what I felt was most essential before welcoming our little one into the world. 

First up was a carrier. I was not a babywearer with my first two kiddos and have heard so many of my friends talk about how easy it was to get things done while holding the baby and having both your hands free that I decided I wanted to try it out this time. I picked up a black Moby brand wrap at my local Once Upon a Child for $25. 

Next, was a baby monitor. Our house is a two story and we have 6 acres of land, so I know it's not feasible to always be right next to the baby, whether it's nap time or just being downstairs with the big kids. I picked up the Samsung SEW-2002W monitors for $12 at Once Upon a Child too. 

My third item was a crib. The baby will be in our room with us since I'll be nursing and we only have 3 bedrooms, but our room is plenty big for him/her to have it's own little space. Luckily for us, my sister is giving us my niece's crib so money saved there! 

The fourth and probably most important item on my list was a car seat. We like the infant carrier car seats more than convertible ones so we can just carry the whole seat instead of getting the baby in and out of the seat in the rain or cold. I found the Cosco Light 'N Comfy DX for $40 on clearance at Meijer. I like the design because it can be for a girl or boy since we don't know gender.

The next thing I wanted was a rock n play sleeper. With my first two I had swings, bouncers, rockers, and every other seat contraption there is, but really, how many places to set a baby do you need? I've heard other moms swear that the rock n play is a life saver so I knew I wanted to get one this time around. I bought a new one off EBay for $30. 

To go along with the car seat I wanted one of those seat mirrors so you can see the baby while in the car. We have a minivan now so Marley will probably be in the back and Mason and the baby will be in the middle. I picked up one at Once Upon a Child for $4. 

And my final item was a reclining rocker/glider chair. When Marley was born I had a wooden glider chair, but it wasn't really that comfortable so it didn't get a lot of use. I didn't have a special chair with Mason because our love seat rocked so I just used that.  Our room is upstairs so I knew if the baby was up at night I wouldn't want to come downstairs to the couch and Mike is a CRAZY sleeper so having the baby sleep in our bed probably won't be happening, so I wanted to get a comfortable chair for our room for those late night nursing/non sleeping nights. Luckily, I got one for free because my brother had a lazy boy chair he wasn't using. 

So, there it is. My top 7 must haves for baby #3.  I've picked up a few onesies and hats for girls and boys that were on clearance when I was out shopping, and of course I've picked up a few boxes of diapers, but until the baby comes that's all I plan on getting. It definitely gets cheaper with each child because you realize what you like and don't like or what is essential and what isn't. With your first child it's so easy to go over board and this time around I have the 'as long as we have a car seat and diapers we're good' mentality. 

What were some of your must have items?