Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Freezer crockpot cooking!

This mommy has started a new adventure..... freezer crockpot cooking!  This mommy is already loving it!  What is freezer crockpot cooking you ask?  This mommy will tell you!  Freezer cooking is when you prep and cook food for a week/month all at once and put the food in bags and place in freezer so that when you want that meal you pull out a bag and all the work is done and all you have to do is heat it up in the oven.  While this is an amazing idea, this mommy doesn't want to actually cook a million pounds of food all at once!  This problem is solved with freezer crock pot cooking....... Instead of having to cook everything ahead of time you just prep raw food and throw it in a bag, then when you want that meal you take it out of the freezer, throw it in the crockpot (still frozen!) and let the crockpot do all the work!  This is truely amazing, and also saves a lot of money since you can buy the big bulk family packs of meats!  Here's the rundown of how you do it......

1.Make a shopping list from the recipes you plan on prepping
2. Shop for your ingredients (including freezer bags!) -make sure you catch all the sales!  :)
3. Label gallon size freezer bag with: Date, what meal it is, and cooking directions/time (example: 4/25/12 Teriyaki Chicken *Add 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce to meal and cook on low for 8 hours)
4. Cut up all veggies in the recipe and place in bag
5. Place proper amount of meat in the bag
6. Add all spices and sauces
7. Seal up bag making sure to get all the air out of the bag that you can!
8. Shake bag a bit to mix ingredients a little
9. Place bag in freezer flat.
10. Repeat for all recipes you want to do!

When you are ready to cook:
1. pull out meal about 30 min before putting in crockpot
2. Place in crockpot and follow your directions on bag.
3. Let the crock pot do all the work
4. Enjoy a fantastic meal!

Isn't this the best thing ever?!  This mommy thinks so!  Shopping sales and buying bulk also saved this mommy a lot of money.  The last batch of freezer cooking meals that this mommy made cost $35 for all the supplies and this mommy was able to get a weeks worth of dinners for our family of 4 out of it!  That makes each dinner $5!! This mommy is so happy!  I mean really, $5 to feed a family of 4 with a nice hearty dinner complete with veggies......AMAZING!  AND..... it only took this mommy about an hour to prep that weeks worth of dinners!  This mommy is going to start going big and prepping a whole month's worth at once, then this mommy won't have to cook any dinners for an entire month!  Oh what will this mommy do with all that time?!?  There has to be something to fill that void......this mommy will figure it out..... perhaps a well deserved nap?!  Ahhhhh....... this mommy doesn't think that will happen but she can hope!  :) 

So you want to start freezer crockpot cooking?  Don't know where to start on recipes?  In reality you can turn any crockpot recipe into a freezer recipe with a few tweeks, but this mommy will give you a couple of recipes she used (found on various places online) to get you started!  Lets start off with a super easy one (this mommy promises this is the easiest recipe you will do)......

Apricot Chicken

you will need:
2 1-gallon freezer bags
8 Chicken breasts (you can substitute other cuts of chicken too!)
2 cups apricot jam
2 packages of dry onion soup mix
2 cups Catalina or French salad dressing

1. Label 2 1-gallon freezer bags
2. In a bowl mix 1 cup apricot jam, 1 cup salad dressing, and 1 package of dry onion soup mix
3. Place 4 chicken breasts in bag
4. pour mixture over chicken in bag.
5. Seal bag and shake
6. Place flat in freezer
7. Repeat for second freezer bag!

Directions for bag: Cook on Low for 6-8 hours.

Serve with a favorite side (this recipe would be great served with rice!)

There, now wasn't that the easiest recipe ever?!?  And you now have prepped 2 dinners, how awesome is that?!?  And that took you probably about 15 minutes max!  :)   Lets move on......

Teriyaki Chicken

you will need:
2 1-gallon freezer bags
1 large bag of baby carrots (or whole carrots peeled and chopped which is what this mommy uses!)
1 Red onion
2 20oz cans of pineapple chunks
4 garlic cloves
8 chicken breasts (or other chicken cuts)
1 cup teriyaki sauce

1. Label 2 1-gallon freezer bags
2. Split carrots between the 2 bags
3. Chop red onion into large chunks and split between the 2 bags
4. Chop garlic cloves and split between the 2 bags
5. Put one can of pineapple chunks in each bag (undrained)
6. Put 4 chicken breasts in each bag
7. Put 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce in each bag
8. Seal bag and shake
9. Place flat in freezer

Directions for bag: Add 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce to meal and cook on High for 4 hours or Low for 8 hours.

Again, you have now prepped 2 more meals! This mommy bets you aren't even breaking a sweat yet!  Ok well let's try one more!  We'll steer away from chicken for this one!

Sausage and Peppers

you will need:
2 1-gallon freezer bags
10-12 italian sausages (or chicken sausage)
4 green peppers
2 red peppers
2 red onions
8 garlic cloves
4 cans of diced tomatoes (or cut your own fresh ones!)
olive oil (you will drizzle a little in each bag)
2 Tbsp. Italian seasoning

1. Label 2 1-gallon freezer bags
2. slice the green peppers and split between the 2 bags
3. slice the red peppers and split between the 2 bags
4. Chop red onions into chunks and split between the 2 bags
5. Mince the garlic cloves and split between the 2 bags
6. Place 5-6 sausages in each bag
7. pour 2 cans of diced tomatoes in each bag
8. pour a drizzle of olive oil in each bag
9. place 1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning in each bag.
10. Seal bag and shake
11. Place flat in freezer.

Directions for bag: Cook on low for 8 hours.

This is another one that is great with rice!

There you have another 2 meals!  You have almost made a whole weeks worth of food for a family of 4!  Wasn't that easy?!?  If there is only 2 of you you can split the recipes into smaller sections and only use 2 pieces of chicken in each bag, or even smaller if there is just 1 of you!  This mommy also uses stew recipes, roast recipes, turkey recipes, meatloaf recipes, the list goes on!  This saves so much time and energy (not to mention the smaller amount of dishes you dirty!).  Give the freezer crockpot cooking a try, this mommy is sure you will fall in love like she did!

Go try it while this mommy takes a break since she has some free time now!  :) 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

25 things I want my daughter to know as she grows!

This mommy has posted something like this for the boy but now its time to post for the princess!  Some of the items will be the same as they apply to both.  The princess is only 1 but there are definate things I want her to know as she grows into a woman.  These are the things that I want my daughter to know....

1. You are more loved than you can ever imagine!
                - You have shown me that adding another child in your life never splits your love, it increases it everyday!  The moment you were born and I saw your beautiful face I smiled and all I could manage to say was "I love you".  From that moment on you have been my beautiful princess and I think the world of you!  There are no words to describe how much love I have for you my sweet angel!  I will love you forever through all the ups and downs of your life and all the mistakes along the way.  One day you will have children and I hope then you will realize the depths of the meaning of the 3 words I say to you so often...I love you!

2. You are matter your size!
               - Don't ever let the magazines and tv shows define to you what a woman should look like!  You are beautiful the way God made you.  Please never feel that you need to be a size 0 to be beautiful.  Curves are wonderful and "real" women don't look like a walking skeleton!  As long as you are healthy be happy with whatever size you are and love yourself, that will be what makes you the most beautiful!

3. Be creative!
               - Feel free to do whatever art of your choosing!  Follow your creative side and it will allow you to go far in life.  Just make sure you are being respectful of others and their possessions while doing so!  Creativity is never out-dated!

4. Accept others!
               - There are always going to be people that are different than you and that you don't get along with.  Just know that the differences are fine and you don't need to like everyone but you do need to accept them for who they are as they are also a creation of God!  Different is never wrong!  Never judge people no matter how hard that is, even if they are judging you!  Knows that only God can judge someone, leave it to Him!

5.  You are NEVER second to anyone in a relationship!
              - I can't stress how important this is!  There will be boys that come into your life and want you to be "seen and not heard", or just be a trophy on his arm, please please PLEASE never allow this!  You are a person and worthy of equality in a relationship, find that guy that holds you up, that helps you follow your dreams, the guy that wants nothing more than for you to be happy!  Those guys do exist and you deserve one of them!  Hold out for the best, never accept less, and once you find that guy love him with all your heart!

6.  Always be YOU!
           -This is a hard one, especially for girls.  Never let other people define you, you are an individual, please make sure you act as such.  Don't be afraid to stand up for what you believe in no matter what others say.  The right thing is not always the easy thing but is always the best option.  Follow your own dreams, do what YOU love to do, be who YOU are and never let anyone else tell you who to be!  Know that no matter what others define you as, you know who you are and being true to yourself will get you further in life then giving in just to be part of the "popular" girls.  Whethere you are "popular" or a "dork" or whatever other words people may come up with, being you is the greatest gift of all!

7.  Don't be afraid to get dirty!
           -This world is full of great adventures if you allow yourself to find them!  Don't be afraid to jump in the mud and make mud pies, or run through the sprinklers, or even help daddy work on the car!  Never worry if you end up with dirt under your nails, you are washable and you will miss out on so much if you don't just jump right in!

8.  There is nothing you can't do!
             - Yes you are a girl, but that does NOT mean that you can't do things!  Girls can do anything boys can do and most of the time they can do it better!  Never let anyone tell you that you can't do something just because you are a girl!

9.  Be a kid!
              -This is another hard one for girls as society wants them to grow up so fast into women.  Take your time growing up and enjoy being a kid!  Go run, jump, play, imagine, and just have fun.  You are only young for a short amount of time, there is no need to grow up too fast! 

10.  Please wear your clothing appropriately!
             - In this day girls clothes keep getting smaller and smaller.  I hope I have taught you well enough that this is not ok.  Wear clothing that covers you!  If parts of your body are falling out of the clothes you have chosen please choose again!   You can look "sexy" in clothes that are appropriate!  The attention you will get with inappropriate clothes is the attention you don't want!  Your underwear is not supposed to be seen through your clothes!

11.  There is no such thing as "women's work"
              - There are things that you have to do as a person, but that does not make them women's work.  Never let a man tell you he won't help because its "your job" to do it!  Remember that any man is capable of doing laundry, dishes, cleaning house, and taking care of kids, make sure that whoever you end up with knows that he should do these things too!

12.  Its ok to make mistakes.
            - Everyone makes mistakes, its how we learn.  Never be afraid of making them!  Just always learn from your mistakes and know that no matter how big your mistake is I will be there for you!

13.  Be a good sister and friend!
           - No matter what your brother is always going to be your brother and he loves you!  He may tease you and give you a hard time, know that this is just his way of making sure you are tough!  Family will be there for you when everyone else has turned their back on you, please never forget that. There are times when your brother may need you, be there to comfort and love him!  Never forget your family!  And make sure you love those close to you to the full capacity of your heart!

14.  You are a genious.
           -You learn something new everyday, never stop that learning!  Keep expanding your mind, you can do anything you want to do!

15.  Your body is a precious gift!
            -There will be boys who try to get you to do things you arent comfortable with or aren't ready for, NEVER be afraid to say no!  I want to be a grandma one day but please make sure its what you want before you make that happen, and make sure its very planned circumstances!  Always remember that if you say no and he's not willing to wait for you then he is NOT worth your time and energy! You are worth so much, please always remember that!

16.  Enjoy nature!
           - This is a beautiful world, go enjoy it!  Go walk in the park, dig in the dirt, watch clouds go by, whatever makes you happy just make sure you enjoy the beauty of the small things around you!  God made this world, enjoy His artwork!

17.  Always say thank you.
             -Recognize the people in your life who have helped you along the way and take the time to let them know the impact they had.  A simple thank you is worth so much more than you think!

18.  Forgive.
               -Sometimes people will do you wrong and it can be very difficult to forgive them, but please do so.  Holding on to the hard feelings only holds you back!  Forgive them and move on.  This will enrich your life greatly!

19.  Never be a part of teasing.
             - Girls can be more cruel than anyone, and often feel its ok to tease and make fun of others.  Please never partake in this no matter how hard it is to hold your tongue.  Teasing can ruin someone's life and I never want you to be a part of that!  Everyone has feelings, please respect them!

20.  Be careful of what you make public!
              -Its easy in today's world to get mixed up in things.  Never put anything out there that you wouldn't want the whole world to see/know for the rest of your life!  Once its out there you can't take it back!  And please never EVER get involved in "sexting"!

21.  Always be honest.
                 - Your daddy and I love you and make rules to protect you, please respect us for that by telling us the truth.  We never want to lose our trust in you, know that you are the keeper of that trust and only you can choose what you do with it.  Please never feel like you need to lie to us just to get your way!  Once trust is broken its hard to repair, plus you wouldn't want people lying to you so please don't do it to others!

22.  Be a strong woman of God!
                 - Life is much more clear if you lean on God!  Know that you are his miracle and he brought you here for a reason.  Live your life for him and he will help you through your journey!

23.  Keep moving!
             -There are tough days in this life, its not always going to go smoothly, but the important thing is you keep moving forward!  Don't let bad times hold you back from enjoying the good times!  No matter how bumpy the road is ahead of you just keep moving forward!

24.  You are always going to be my daughter!
               - No matter what you are my daughter and I will be there for you through everything!  I will always love you even if you make the wrong choice and go down the wrong path!  I'll be there to help you and offer a shoulder to cry on.  I believe in you and I always will!  I always want the best for you!  I promise there will be times that I drive you crazy but know that I hurt anytime you hurt and cry whenever you cry.  Please remember that you always have someone who loves you through it all! 

25.  No matter where you are in life you can always come home!
              - I will be here, always.  I love you!