November 3, 2013

Stock it up!

Hello!  I decided to try this whole "stocking the freezer" thing.  You know, so that when there are days where I am pulling my hair out and people are driving me crazy and our funds are low and energy is nonexistent...I can still put dinner on the table.  Not that those things ever happen to us.  No, never...


So the best way to start the whole process of stocking up?  Cleaning out and grocery shopping.  See exhibit A.

This next picture is exhibit A, if you didn't get that!

On the right of exhibit A, you will see a stocked up fridge.  Last weekend I bought lots of meat, it was actually all chicken because chicken breast was on sale at Safeway for $1.77 per pound which I think is pretty good, but tell me if I am wrong.  I try to get the good prices, but sometimes I can't remember or don't know what the regular prices are.  $1.77 per pound at Safeway was better than the usual $1.88 at ShopRite or Wegmans.  So I went for it.  Plus I bought chicken thighs for less than that, although right now I can't remember the price.  Helpful, right?  I actually made 7 meals out of this batch of chicken!

Anyways on the left of exhibit A you will see a stocked up freezer.  But instead of stocked up, substitute jammed with useless things that need to be thrown away or figured out.  Basically just thrown away.  So I got busy cleaning and sorting and ended up with Exhibit B...

This next picture is B.  You get the point.  Sorry;)

It doesn't really look like it, but it's cleaned out and has way more room for stacking some meals.  I also had to do the dishes to get ready for a few hours of cooking.  That was fun!  But finally, I was ready.  I started by cutting up and separating all that chicken.

Chicken cutting party!!  Want to come?

Next, after all the chicken was cut up or poaching (boiling in water) I started assembling the meals.  First on the list was to assemble Honey Sesame Chicken and Teriyaki Chicken.  I found both on this website, which {by the way} lists a slew of healthy, paleo-ish type meals {meaning they can totally be Paleo adaptable if you wish}  We don't stick to the Paleo diet, but we {ahem, I} am trying to make healthier meals here and here, without lots of carbs or extra junk involved.  Sometimes it works, sometimes {like tonight when I made cinnamon rolls} it doesn't.  I digress...

I chopped all the veggies and got all the sauces together, and afterwards I had these...

Two Teriyaki Chicken meals and one Honey Sesame {you could double one or both for more meals, but I am a newbie at this so I just stuck to the recipe} all ready for the freezer.  For both of these you can defrost overnight or in the morning {this is lovely for marinating all that meat too!} and then stick them in the slow cooker on high for a few hours, or low for slower cooking time, whatever floats your boat!

Then, things got really crazy.  I decided to make a few Pot Pies to put in the freezer too.  The great thing about these is that they are already cooked.  Just defrost and stick in the oven to warm up again.  The recipe is from Pioneer Woman, because she's my fave;)  Click here to see it.

First you need to boil some chicken {I used some breast meat and some thigh meat} for 30 minutes or until cooked thoroughly.  Then, shred it all to pieces.  I used my trusty Kitchen Aid, Poppy, for this.  Yes she has a name, she is that important to me!

Then, chop all the veggies and follow the directions of the lovely P Dub...

As your pot pie is cooking, you'll need to make two pie crusts.  Or used store bought.  Either way, you'll need them.  Because when you are done, you'll have this...

Two yummy pot pie innards.  Using the term innards really helps get your appetite up, doesn't it?

Then, lay the pie crusts over the innards.  It looks so pretty and yummy!  I had a hard time not eating them right away!

This made two pot pies, which I wrapped up with press and seal and then foil, and then wrote the directions on.  Just in case I have a stroke between now and then!

I also saved some of the poached, shredded chicken to make Chicken Squares one night, and then I made chicken salad with the rest.

So freezer is stocked up with a few meals for those hectic days.  I also made a spaghetti sauce but forgot to take a picture.  I'm not all that great at food blogging;)  But for that, the method is the same.  Defrost overnight or for a few hours in the morning and then you can either throw it in the slow cooker or in a stock pot and cook low and slow.  Cook some noodles, and you have yourself a lovely pasta dinner without much hassle.

Oh and if you look carefully, on the door you can see some wraps.  I love breakfast wraps from Dunkin Donuts but it's sort of pricey to eat breakfast "out" a lot so I decided to recreate them at home and freeze.  So easy!  You cook some eggs {I did them over hard, no runny for these} and some bacon.  Then, you lay out a small tortilla, add a slice of American cheese, a piece of bacon, and an egg.  Flip the tortilla sides up to form sort of a breakfast taco.  I wrapped mine with press and seal because it's sturdy and helps keep the form.

To heat up, I unwrap it and then re wrap in a paper towel and defrost for a few minutes then heat up for a minute in the microwave. easy and cheap breakfast that I can have at home, or on the way to work.  I made a batch of a dozen of these last weekend and thought they would last a week or two...until my husband discovered them and helped me eat them.  I have to make more tomorrow;)

There's something about having a freezer stocked with meals that makes me feel ahead in life.  Too bad I am totally not!!  But, it's the feeling that counts, right?

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