This blog was created for busy, working or stay-at-home Moms who just want to put a good meal on the table each night. We love our families, and wanted to share with each other our ideas. Know what else we love? Your comments! If you try a recipe, or just have something to say, please let us know. Enjoy your time on our little slice of blogland!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Freezer Meals

We are going to give this blog another shot. I decided if my family wanted to eat, and I don't mean $5 pizzas every night, this school year we needed to do some freezer meals. You see, I am not a fan of cooking. GASP!!! I know, huh! I hate thinking of what to make, finding the ingredients...all over the house, and then the mess of cooking. Don't even get me started on setting the table, then cleaning off the table, and then still having to clean the kitchen. EVERY.SINGLE.NIGHT! So, we are going to try this for awhile and see how it goes.

As I do new recipes, Iwill try to put them up on the blog. If you want to contribute to this blog, let me know. We'll talk! I will try to give credit where credit is due, because we all know we love to "steal" each others recipes. I have no problems with you "stealing" mine, but the same goes, please give credit where credit is due.

Mmmmkay??? Sound Good??? Okay! Let's get started!!

I chose 7 recipes this week, and was planning on making 14 meals, so 2 of each. We ended up with more than that, and I'm not sure I will ever learn how to really measure out the right amounts of ingredients.

The recipes I chose were:



Chicken Enchiladas

Cornflake Chicken

Cornbread Turkey Casserole

Cheddar Turkey Bake

Ham & Cheese Braid

So, here's my confession: I chickened out and called my Mom in to help me. We decided to do the hamburger recipes together, and then order the chicen from this next Tuesday and then do the chicken recipes when we get that chicken. I had pulled out all of my meat the night before, so I did the taco meat (which turned into an awesome new recipe of taco burritos), the meatballs, and baked my chicken. Then I came back home and took my cooked chicken and made my enchiladas. I cooked my turkey last night as well and will do my turkey casseroles tonight. I used the bread for cinnamon rolls, because sometimes you just need to trash your kitchen with your kids. :) And then, I used the one loaf of bread and made the ham/cheese braid for dinner tonight. Whew!!! I'm exhausted just talking about it all.

I did end up with about 20 meals in all, and I haven't done the cornflake chicken yet. The good news: MOST OF MY FAMILY LOVED IT ALL!!!

So, now your job is to let me know what you try or don't try, and what worked for your family!

Ham & Cheese Braid

If something is a hit with Kayla, then we know we've HIT a jackpot! Seriously, she is the reason I cook two meals almost every night. I tried this tonight, not even expecting her to try it. I was just making it for the boys and me. She was so amazed by how "pretty" it was that she said she had to try it. Guess what??? SHE LOVED IT!!! VICTORY IS MINE!!!

I found this recipe at Rad Recipes and she found it at Fabulessly Frugal. Be sure to check them both out! They have some great ideas.

You can click on either link to check out this recipe, step-by-step, or I have posted the recipe, which I altered a little bit, here for you to see.

For Ham & Cheese Braids You Need:
3 loaves of Rhodes White Bread Dough
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 1/2 lbs. thinly sliced ham
6 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Roll bread dough into rectangle approx. 1/2 inch thick. Lay dough on tin foil lined cookie sheet. Brush dough with butter. Layer 3/4 lb. ham on dough and top with 2 cups cheese. (Only use the middle third of the bread for this.)

Cut strips along each side of dough in equal numbers. Starting at one end, criss cross dough and press ends to sides of loaf. Do this until entire loaf is "braided." Brush remaining butter over top of dough. Wrap up and freeze loaf.

To Cook Loaf:
Take from freezer and let thaw in refrigerator overnight. Take out of refrigerator about 2 hours before cooking time and let it finish raising on counter. Bake in a 350degree oven for 20 - 25 minutes, or until bread is golden brown and cheese is bubbly.

The ingredients in this recipe will make 3 loaves, so split the ingredients accordingly.

Chicken Enchiladas

Here is my made up chicken enchilada recipe. I used the leftover Spanish Rice from my Taco Burritos in them. They turned out so so yummy!

For Chicken Enchiladas You Need:

10 boneless chicken breasts, cooked and diced
Approx. 4 cups Spanish Rice
2 (10 oz.) cans cream of chicken soup
2 cups sour cream
20 large and 30 small flour tortilla shells
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 small can green chili mild enchilada sauce

Mix soup and sour cream into rice; mix in chicken. Layer onto shells as you would for burritos. Roll tightly.

For Enchiladas:
Lay burritos in single layer in casserole dish. Top with cheese and enchilada sauce. Cover and freeze.

For Burritos:
Layer on cookie sheet, using wax paper between layers. Cover and freeze overnight. After frozen, take out and individually wrap burritos in clear plastic wrap.

To Reheat Enchiladas:
Thaw in refrigerator. Bake in 350 degree oven for 40 minutes, or until heated through. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

To Reheat Burritos:
Take directly from freezer to microwave. Heat for 2 1/2 minutes. Let stand to cool slightly before enjoying!

Taco Burritos

Here is our new favorite go-to recipe for tacos. The best part, they are individually frozen so you can take out enough for one lunch or a whole family dinner. These are a new must-have in our freezers.

For Taco Burritos You Need:

5 lbs. taco meat (prepare your hamburger to your families liking for tacos)
1 batch Spanish Rice
60 small or 30 large tortilla shells

Put these together as you would for any burrito, making sure not to overstuff them. Roll burritos tightly. Lay them on a cookie sheet, seperating layers of burritos with wax paper. Freeze overnight. Pull the burritos out of the freezer and individually wrap them in clear plastic wrap.

To Reheat:
Take burritos out of freezer and reheat in microwave for 2 1/2 minutes. Let set to cool slightly. ENJOY!!!

Spanish Rice

This is another recipe that Mom and I dreamed up while doing our first freezer meal recipes. This rice was super moist and so good. I couldn't stay out of it. We put this in our taco burritos and I also put it in my chicken enchiladas. Neither recipe even needed cheese in it. Talk about a money saver. The best part: the kids loved the burritos. That makes it all worth it right there.

For Spanish Rice You Need:

4 pkgs. Rice-a-roni Spanish Rice Mix
2 cans black beans
2 cans red kidney beans
2 cans supersweet corn

Make rice according to package directions. Add in beans and corn. Use for side dishes or for filling for burritos/enchiladas.

Meatballs (Or Meatloaf)

I'm really bad at measuring ingredients when I "try" new things, so I will give you approximates and you can adjust to your families likes or dislikes. This is an original recipe by Mom and I.

4 lbs. hamburger
1/2 cup shredded onion
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup crushed roasted vegetable ritz crackers
2 eggs
salt and pepper to taste

Mix together all ingredients with your hands. GET MESSY! Using an ice cream scoop, place balls on a tin foil lined cookie sheet. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes in a 400 degree oven. Let meatballs cool and place in gallon sized freezer bags until ready to use. Freeze.

Place as many meatballs as you need for your dinner onto a cookie sheet and bake to just heat through. ENJOY!

This made enough meatballs for us for about 4 meals for about 4 people, but different family needs could mean more or less for your family.