Thursday, October 18, 2012

make-ahead, freezer, & crockpot cooking

I had planned on doing some cooking over the weekend, but after the phone call I got from my Mom on Saturday morning, everything changed. Mom woke up early that morning with swollen lips and a very distorted face. I took her over to see a nurse friend, who told her that she should go to the ER with what she thought was Bell's Palsy. The first doctor she saw diagnosed it as a stroke, but after getting a second opinion, the MRI showed no sign of stroke, it was indeed Bell's Palsy. I had heard of this condition, but didn't realize how sudden it can hit, and the state it leaves you in. Fortunately, steroids should take care of it, and Mom sould be back to normal after a few weeks, maybe a little longer. Very scary! But I am so thankful that she is okay.

On Monday, I spent the morning cleaning out the freezers/fridge/pantry and made a list of everything I have on hand. After reading several blog posts about getting organized in the cooking department, I was very motivated. I ended up cooking two meals that day, spaghetti sauce and cheesy broccoli soup, both of which I doubled. We had soup on Monday and spaghetti on Tuesday, then I froze a large bag of sauce, a bag of browned sweet italian sausage, a bag of browned hamburger w/ green & red peppers and onion, and 2 bags of soup for future meals.
 

Cheesy Broccoli Soup
 
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup diced onion
1 cup finely chopped carrot
1 celery stick, finely chopped {I was out of celery, so I subbed a can of cream of celery soup, diluted}
1 Tablespoon minced garlic
4 cups chicken broth
4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 Tablespoon flour
1/2 cup water
2/3 cup milk
2 cups chopped broccoli
{I also added 1 cup diced ham, 1/2 cup rice, and 1 cup cauliflower, that I had left-over}
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Melt the butter in a large soup pot. Add onions, carrots, celery and saute over medium heat until tender. Add garlic and cook 1 or 2 additional minutes.

Add chicken broth and potatoes, bring to a boil, and cook until potatoes are tender. Mix flour with water, add, and simmer until soup is slightly thickened. Add milk and broccoli and cook until broccoli is just tender and soup is heated through. Top w/shredded cheese when served.

Yesterday, I decided to do a little more make-ahead cooking. I have been pinning lots of good recipes on Pinterest, and this Teriyaki Chicken sounded like something our family would love.
 recipe source
1 bag of carrots
1 red onion cut into large chunks
2 cans undrained pineapple
4 cloves minced garlic {I prefer minced garlic in a jar-lasts longer!}
{8} boneless chicken breasts
1-1/2 cups teriyaki sauce
 
Divide in half and store in gallon size ziploc freezer bags.
 
 Directions for bag:
Add additional 1/4 cup sauce to crockpot. Cook on low 6-7 hrs. Serve over rice.
 
I went ahead and cooked one bag of this in the crockpot yesterday, and froze the other half for a future meal. It was delicious!
So, after spending only a few hours in the kitchen, I made enough food for 6 meals, plus 2 bags of recipe-ready hamburger and sausage. Best part about it is, I already had all the ingredients {well, except for the carrots} on hand. :O) I already know I will be doing more of this make-ahead, freezer, crockpot kind of cooking......knowing I can skip making dinner anytime I want to sounds very appealing!

1 comment:

Mel@Mellywood's Mansion said...

We will be harvesting our broccoli very soon and that soup is now top of the list to make. Thanks for sharing.

{1st sleepover with Nana}

Nathan was back to work and Kayla was going to her cousin, Taylor & Caleb's wedding on Saturday, so Rowen had his very first sleepo...