Cooking Day

I broke up this week’s freezer cooking into three different sessions.  I started out on Monday with two family packs of boneless chicken breasts.  I tossed 2/3 of the first pack in the oven for about 45 minutes to cook.

While they were cooking, I cut the remaining pieces into thirds.  I opened the three bags of Kraft Fresh Take that I had purchased last week, and dumped all three into a large ziploc bag.  I then tossed the chicken into the bag (a few pieces at a time), and coated generously.  After coating, I split the chicken into two 9×13-pans and one 8×8-pan.

I wrapped the pans in plastic wrap and foil, marked the top of each one with the name of the meal along with the date, and popped them into our deep freeze.  Once I was finished, I pulled the chicken out of the oven, diced it, and tossed it in the fridge for the meals I was making on Tuesday.  Total time spent on freezer cooking – 50 minutes.

On Tuesday, I made two pans of chicken bake.  I started the water to boil while I combined the topping for the casseroles.  Once I drained the noodles, I put together the two pans of chicken bake, and put them in the freezer.  Freezer cooking time – 20 minutes.

I finished my freezer cooking for the week on Wednesday, by making a pan of lasagna.  To save time, I browned the meat and combined the filling while the noodles were cooking.  It only took a few minutes to combine the layers once the noodles were done cooking.  Time spent on freezer cooking – 25 minutes.

Overall, I spent a total of about an hour and a half on freezer cooking, and I now have 5 meals in my freezer.  By breaking up the cooking sessions, I was not totally fried by the end of my cooking, and was able to utilize my time efficiently.

In order to make the meals listed above, I used the following ingredients:

2 family packs of boneless chicken breasts
3 packs of Kraft Fresh Take
1/2 stick butter
4 cans cream of chicken soup
2 cans chicken broth
2 boxes of pasta
4 bags of mozzarella cheese
1 lb. of ground beef
1/2 box of lasagna noodles
1 jar of pasta sauce
1-16 oz. container of cottage cheese
1 egg

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Our Weekly Menu Plan

by Katie on October 9, 2012

In addition to scheduling weekly meals for our family, I have also begun to schedule time blocks to complete freezer cooking throughout the week.  Our family’s daily routine has changed drastically now that our oldest son is going to high school in addition to our youngest three staying at home for school.

I’m now finding myself spending at least 2 hours in transit to and from school for our son, which has definitely turned our typical routine completely upside down.  In order to find some sense of sanity on our really crazy days, I have found that having a few meals in the freezer is an absolute lifesaver.

Since I don’t have huge blocks of time throughout the week to dedicate to freezer cooking, I try to find a few 30-60 minute sessions to put a few meals together.  I will be sharing these freezer sessions each week in addition to our regular menu plans.

Here’s what is on our menu plan for this week:

Monday – soup, sandwiches, fresh fruit

Tuesdaysausage & cheese calzones, corn, fresh fruit

Wednesdaychicken & rice bowls, fresh bread, fruit

Thursdaylasagna, fresh bread, salad

Friday – pulled pork barbecue, potato wedges, green beans

Saturdayhomemade pizza, breadsticks, salad

Sunday – dinner with extended family

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Our Weekly Menu Plan

by Katie on July 17, 2012

Last week was the first time we ever tried a baked potato bar, and it was a huge hit (as well as a really easy dinner to make!).  I simply threw a dozen potatoes in the oven, and when they were almost completely baked, I prepared the sides – bacon, Skyline chili (very difficult – open can, dump into pot, heat!), cheese, sour cream, black beans, and butter.  The kids loved the potatoes, and served with fresh fruit, we managed to cover the food groups!

You’ll likely notice that the ham & cheese omelets made it back onto this week’s listing as well.  I had good intentions of making omelets and waffles, but after our second oldest son wound up with a concussion last week, the menu plan received some necessary tweaking!

Anyhow, here’s our menu plan for this week:

Monday – hamburger pie, baked potatoes, corn

Tuesday – ham & cheese omelets, waffles, fresh fruit

Wednesday – leftovers

Thursdaychicken parmesan, dinner rolls, salad

Friday – savory chicken tacos, chips & salsa, fresh fruit

Saturdayhomemade pizza (I plan to try a grilled veggie pizza – I’ll have to share next week how it turns out), breadsticks, fresh fruit

Sunday – grilled pork loin, hash brown casserole, corn on the cob

I’ll also be posting the recipe and pictures later today from the black bean enchilada casserole I made last week.

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Our Weekly Menu Plan

by Katie on July 9, 2012

Since this is going to be a busy week for our family, I’m planning a few easy meals to make life a little simpler:

Monday – frozen pizza, garlic bread, fresh fruit

Tuesday – baked ham, seasoned potato wedges, fresh green beans

Wednesday – spaghetti, homemade rolls, salad

Thursday – baked potato bar, fresh fruit

Friday – enchilada casserole, tortilla chips & salsa, fresh fruit

Saturday – hamburger pie, seasoned potato wedges, corn on the cob

Sunday – ham & cheese omelets, waffles, fresh fruit

I also have some awesome recipes to share later this week!

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Our Weekly Menu Plan

by Katie on June 12, 2012

I didn’t realize quite how much I was looking forward to summer until we officially began our relaxing summertime routine.  It’s been a nice treat to be able to leisurely enjoy going to the park and Kings Island with the kids, and taking our time preparing meals together as a family.

I probably should have take pictures of our kitchen after we made breakfast for dinner last week though.  Everyone decided to pitch in and help make dinner, and by the time we were done, we used more dishes than I think we ever have for one meal for our individual family!

Our menu plan for this week includes a few easy meals since we have a very busy week planned.  Here’s what we’re cooking this week:

Monday – beef tacos, corn, fresh peach slices

Tuesday – leftovers

Wednesday – soup, hot lunch meat & cheese sandwiches, fresh fruit

Thursdayritzy chicken (or as we call it – clubby chicken since we use Club crackers!), french bread, tossed salad

Friday – grilled chicken, rice, green beans

Saturdaypasta bake, french bread, tossed salad

Sundaysausage & cheese calzones, tossed salad, fresh fruit

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Our Weekly Menu Plan

by Katie on June 4, 2012

I have definitely been remiss in planning out meals for our family over the past several weeks.  Between finalizing our school year, planning a graduation party for our oldest son, and running back and forth for baseball games, dance classes, and a spring recital, the last two months have passed by in a blur.

Our whole family is relieved that summer has finally arrived, and that our days have slowed down into a relaxed pace.  I’m looking forward to trying new recipes, grilling out, and cooking s’mores over the fire pit.

I’ll be sharing several new recipes this week and next week that we’ve tried recently and have come to love.  Here’s our menu plan for this week:

Monday – cheeseburgers, fruit salad, corn on the cob, s’mores

Tuesday – garlic chicken & pasta, baguettes, salad

Wednesdaycheese danish, waffles, sausage, fresh fruit

Thursday – quesadilla casserole, rice with cilantro, corn

Friday – spaghetti & meatballs, garlic bread, salad

Saturdaychicken & rice bowls, salad, baguettes

Sundayautumn sausage casserole, salad, fresh fruit

I also intend to plan out several freezer cooking days throughout the month of June, so I’ll be sure to post updates and recipes as those plans unfold.

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Our Weekly Menu Plan

by Katie on March 5, 2012

You might notice a few repeats from last week’s menu plan.  The second half of last week became a little busier than I had expected, prompting me to resort to a few of my super easy meals, such as pasta bake and spaghetti.

I did make the Autumn Sausage Casserole last week, and I realized that I need to bump that recipe into our weekly rotation more often.  Although it is an unusual combination of ingredients, it absolutely makes it into my favorite meals category.

I also made the Crock Pot Chicken & Dumplings for the first time last week.  Everyone except for my two pickiest kiddos really enjoyed it, and would like to have it again in the future.

Here’s our family’s menu plan for this week:

Monday - beef stew, baguettes, apple slices

Tuesday - brown sugar crock pot chicken, rice, green beans

Wednesday – southwest chicken & bacon roll-ups, fresh fruit

Thursday - pulled pork barbecue, potato wedges, corn

Friday - homemade pizza & pretzels, fresh fruit

Saturday - egg casserole, waffles, cheese danish, fresh fruit

Sunday - vegetarian chili, tortilla chips, fresh fruit

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Our Weekly Menu Plan

by Katie on February 28, 2012

Even though I’m a late arrival to the whole Pinterest scene, I must admit that I am totally hooked!  Since I absolutely love to cook and bake, I have more than enjoyed scanning through new recipes and cooking strategies.

In fact, the baguettes that I have listed twice this week are a Pinterest find.  I made the baguettes on Sunday, and they were an instant hit.  My second oldest son told me they were more than great – they were a home run.  And since this kiddo eats, sleeps, and drinks baseball, any compliment that includes a baseball analogy is a truly awesome compliment!

Anyhow, here’s our family’s menu plan for this week:

Mondaychicken parmesan, pasta, salad

Tuesday - autumn sausage casserole, baguettes, apple slices

Wednesday - crockpot chicken and dumplings, corn, salad

Thursday - egg casserole, cheese danish, waffles, fruit salad

Friday - homemade pizza & pretzels, fresh fruit

Saturday - beef stew, baguettes, fresh fruit

Sunday - chicken fingers, potato wedges, green beans

I’ll be sharing the cheese danish recipe later this week.  It’s one of those recipes that looks really impressive, but in fact, is a snap to make.

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Our Weekly Menu Plan

by Katie on January 31, 2012

I had such lofty menu plans for last week….plans that did not include our computer crashing…..or making an ER run with one of our kiddos.  However, despite the chaos surrounding the week, I feel incredibly blessed that our son is okay – which makes all of my other plans for last week pale in comparison.

We’ve started this week off on a better foot, and not only have I put together a menu plan for our family, but I’ve also drafted a plan for accomplishing quite a bit of freezer cooking as well.  First off, here’s our menu plan for this week:

MondayPasta bake, garlic bread, salad

Tuesday – Pulled pork barbecue, roasted red potatoes, green beans

WednesdayChicken bake, rolls, fresh fruit

ThursdayChicken fingers, potato wedges, corn

Friday – Lasagna, fresh bread, salad

Saturday – Fajitas, rice with cilantro, fresh fruit

SundayHomemade pizza, breadsticks, salad

By the end of the week, I am planning to have the following meals in the freezer:

Lasagna x2
Pasta Bake
Chicken Bake
Alpine Chicken

In the past, I’ve often set aside a day or a long afternoon to put together several meals at once.  However, with juggling four different curriculum plans for the kids this year, this option is no longer feasible.

Instead, I plan to make these meals as I’m cooking dinner for our family several evenings this week.  This way, I’m able to accomplish my overall goal, but am able to do so while I’m already in the kitchen preparing a meal.  I’ll post an update at the end of the week with what I’ve managed to accomplish, as well as a few recipes from this week.

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Our Weekly Menu Plan

by Katie on January 9, 2012

After several weeks of holiday festivities, meals with family members and friends, and sneaking a few too many Christmas treats, I am more than ready to settle back into a normal routine of meal planning.  In addition to meal planning, I have also made a goal to prepare at least one additional meal per week to pop into the freezer (I’ll be posting more about my 2012 goals later this week).

Here’s what I have planned for our family’s dinners this week:

MondayCrockpot brown sugar chicken, rice, orange quarters

Tuesday - Stroganoff, homemade rolls, green beans

WednesdayAlpine chicken, baked potatoes, corn

Thursday – Leftovers

Friday – Crockpot pork loin, pasta, garden salad

Saturday – Beef stew, bread bowls, fresh fruit

Sunday – Pork fried rice, fruit salad

We also tried a new recipe for Apple Strudel Muffins over the Christmas holiday, and we all loved them.  I’ll be sharing pictures and the recipe later this week.

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