Sunday, January 10, 2016

The one with all the freezer meal excitement.

During the Winter Break, some of my girls and I decided to have a marathon meal prep of freezer meals. I went online and grabbed some meals. We went an bought A LOT of meat and set out to prepare our meals. It took about three and half hours all together- which is not bad for our first time. I was skeptical about a few, but I should not have been. All of them were  FAB!!! I am not the only one saying so. The men and kids were so happy, we decided to do a round 2- and try some more recipes.  The group of reviews consists of 4 adult men, 4 adult women, 2 teenage boys, 4 preteen boys, 2 tween girl, and 2 younger boys.   : )
Here is a list of the Round 1 recipes. I will provide links to the ones I got online, and will share the alterations I made to them.
We started by boiling water and what seemed like a million chicken breast in two giant stock pots. I seasoned them with several bay leaves, salt, pepper, garlic, thyme, and onion. I let them boil while we prepped the meatballs. Then we just shredded the whole bunch and used it in the 2 chicken recipes.  The meatball recipe is same for both. I only used 1/3 the amount of bread crumbs and the rest I used parmesan cheese (because a few of us are watching our carbs, and that's how my Momma does it  :)).
Here is Mom's recipe- (the one in the book is basically the the same  except it was 5 times the amounts and it did not include the parmesan)
  • 1 lbs. ground beef
  • 1/2 c. dry bread crumbs
  • 1/4 c. milk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp. dried minced onion
  • 1 tsp. parsley flakes
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. worcestershire sauce
  • 1/8 tsp.pepper
  • 1/2 c. parmesan. cheese
We made up the meat in big bowls and used ice cream scoops to portion out the meat. We cooked batches of like 30-40 meatballs in the oven on broil for 10-12 minutes.
Both Sauce recipes came from the book:
Neville, Kati; Lindsay Tkacsik (2010-09-15). Fix, Freeze, Feast: The Delicious, Money-Saving Way to Feed Your Family (p. 90). Storey Publishing, LLC. Kindle Edition.
Salisbury Meatballs-  The sauce is:
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
11⁄2 pounds fresh white mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 cup all-purpose flour
8 cups water
4 cups half-and-half (or light cream)
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons beef bouillon granules (I could not find these so I used beef bullion cubes and crumbled them)
11⁄2 teaspoons black pepper
Meatballs in Marinara We used the Big batch tomato sauce found in the recipe book, but it left my husband underwhelmed.  So, I will be working on a better homemade sauce. But, you could easily use a store bought and alter it a little. We always add sugar, basil, onion powder and granulated garlic.
For both recipes I let the gallon sized bags defrost overnight and then let them cook on low in a crockpot most of the day.

Chicken Tortilla Soup  We increased the amounts by 4.  It was FULL of chicken and very yummy. we added a little more chicken broth than in the recipe.
Ranch Pork Chops   Increased by 4. Really tender pork. Great crock pot meal. I think I may add some carrots next time.
Chicken Tetrazzini  I increased all amounts by 4. This left us with 3 8x8s and 3 12x10s, all full to the brim. It was SOOOOO good. Rave reviews from the kids.

Each family paid 68$ for 5 meals. Some meals even stretched into 2 or at least a leftover or two.

We are making round 2 later today. I will take pictures this time, and blog about the results next weekend.

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