Sunday, October 22, 2017

400 Frezer Meal Swap

This was my 5th freezer meal swap I have done, and let me be was stressful...BUT well worth it! Planning it out went great, until the day of...morning filled with fellowship with other mama's at MOPS(no not what you use to clean your floor, it's a organization; Mothers of Preschoolers) followed by power cleaning my house with a friend so I could host 20 ladies total at my house to do a meal swap! 

WHAT was I thinking!? Last meal swap was 10 people and we hardly fit, that was only 100 meals. I obviously wasn't thinking until we had set up the 3rd 8ft plastic table and I had my 10ft dining room table extended and hardly any walk way. So I contact our church and asked if we could swap there, they were so gracious to say yes, note they had their 1x a month board meeting at this exact same time. So the whole time we are swapping I'm dying inside because there was 20 - yes TWENTY ladies, 3 guys, and a few kids running around chatting having a good time(as I was trying to enjoy it I was dying because I didn't want to disturb their meeting and get in trouble)! But you know what .. at the end of the day, everything went well, everyone got 20 different meals so that's a total of 400 meals at one place, and everyone got home safe - some ladies traveled 1hr+ from Willmar, MN and Sioux Falls, SD.

Okay, okay ... enough chit chatting... how to start your own group:
*post on facebook
*ask friends
*ask ladies at your church

Don't know what to post? this is what I posted:
"Freezer Meal Friends: many of you have asked myself or Heather when the next swap will be. If people are interested I'm able to host a swap Oct 17 at my house. If you want to participate please comment below or pm me. I've had a request to have a group of 20 vs 10 so I will not limit it at 10 but keep it open to as many want to join up until Oct 1. I will cap at 20. All meals are different. You make x amount of participants for the same meal and bring to my house and swap with moms and bring meals home. Example: 15 moms participate; you make 15 lasagna on your own, come to my house and bring home 15 different meals. ***You need to be available to bring meals or have someone bring meals. We don't have the space to swap for people or hold meals." 

...and then people commented, in less than 12 hours, all 20 spots were filled! - we only had 1 person not able to do it and had a waiting list of others who wanted in so easily filled it! 

Then you send a private message:
"Hey Ladies! You all expressed interest in doing the freezer meal swap. If everyone would like to participate you would make 20 meals. Please read all of the notes on this message! 
*You make 20 meals and keep one for yourself and bring the other 19 to the meal swap. 
*We ask that they feed 4-5 people 
*You can freeze in freezer zip lock bags or tin pans with tin foil over top. (It is easiest to make your meal and freeze it ahead of time so it's easier to transport for the meal swap.) 
*You can make any meal of your choice pinterest has lots of great options! Otherwise look up the book “Don't Panic – Dinner's in the Freezer” on amazon. Don't Panic Dinners Freezer Cookbook
*Easiest to transport meals via cooler or laundry basket! 
*Please include recipe for each meal and baking instructions! 
*Swap will be Tuesday, October 17th at 7pm at my house – MARSHALL, MN 
**Just make sure to comment on this message the meal you are going to make so multiple aren't made! If I left anything out please feel free to ask questions!** 
**If you decided to not partake in the swap please let everyone know BY OCT 1st. so we aren't left with lots of extra meals! Also reminder we don't have space to hold meals and swap for people so please make sure you bring your meals or have someone lined up to do so."

If this is your first time a few tips to help you out:
*9x13 pans work great for casseroles - also buy the tin lids at Sam's Club for a few extra $ to make stacking easier! 
*if you're doing soup - gallon size ziplock bag is generally enough for a family of 4! BUT make sure it is freezer bag.
*remember to label your meal on the actual container
*freezing is a must for easy transport, not only for yourself but for everyone! 
*spend the little extra on name brand tin foil so that your meals don't get freezer burnt and double layer them if needed. 

But seriously, all in all I would give this meal swap a 9/10....the ladies that participated were amazing, the meals look amazing - if you have ever wanted to do a swap start now! It's ok to have 5 people or be crazy like us and have 20 people!

Okay... now to the meals here is a PDF of the meals and I will list them below as well:
Potato Cheeseburger Soup
Shredded Chicken Burrito Bowls
Cheese Ravioli
Hawaiian Chicken
Chicken Tetrazzini
Ground Beef Enchiladas
Hamburger Hasbrown Casserole
Cheese & Ham Potatoes
Tator Tot Hotdish
Crustless Ham & Broccoli Quiche
Cheesey, Rice, Broccoli, Chicken Casserole
Stuffed Shells
Baked Spaghetti
Chicken Parmesan Casserole
Egg Bake
Chicken Enchiladas
Chicken Noodle Casserole
BBQ Meatballs

~~~meals in the making~~~

~~~The swap itself ~~~

This was 16/20 of us! 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Freezer Meal Recipes

If you follow me or my sister Heather on facebook you would have seen we recently did a freezer meal swap with 10 people, however Heather made 2 different meals so that she would get double the meals back for her big family ;) I started doing freezer meal exchanges about 1 1/2 years ago. It is a great way to get new recipes and try new things. I get the question a lot "you're so picky what do you do with meals you don't like?" well I have a husband and 2 kids that will eat pretty much anything! I'll make it on a night when I'm working or I'll make it on a night I'm home and it's me trying something new!! :) The recipes listed below were the meals that were made for the swap! Each person makes the same meal x amount of times and then we meet and swap the meals, you go home with the same number of meals that you made! 

Added note: Heather and I made 27 meals + 88 pizza burgers in 2.5hrs

Easy Chili
2lbs of Hamburger(brown)
1 onion (diced up)
1 bell pepper (diced up)
2 cans of black beans
1 can of red beans
1 can chili beans in chili sauce
1 can 15oz stewed tomatoes
1 can 15oz tomato sauce
1 package of chili mix

Put in crockpot for 4hrs on high

Tator Tot Hotdish
1.5lbs hamburger
Half small oniion
1 bag of shredder cheese
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
1 bag of tater tots
1 can of corn

Brown hamburger, add diced onion. Take off heat and add cream of mushroom soup, drain then add can of corn and half a bag of cheese. Put in the baking dish and spread remainder of cheese over the top. Lay out tater tots and bake until warm.

Stuffed Shells
1 package of jumbo pasta shells
2 cups ricotta cheese
4 oz sour cream
1 cup mozzarella cheese
2 eggs
½ c Parmesan cheese
1 jar of pasta sauce
1 tsp oregano
1lb ground beef or Italian sausage

1. Brown meat. Cook shells according to package, rinse with cold water & drain.
2. In mixing bowl combine ricotta, 2/3 cup mozz, ¼ cup parm, eggs, oregano.
3. Pour sauce in bottom of pan, spoon or squeeze cheese mixture into shells & lay in the pan close together
4. Sprinkle with meat & rest of cheese.
5. Cover with foil & bake at 350 degrees for 25-35 mins or until bubbly. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.

Southwest Chicken and Rice
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 cup whole corn
½ cup salsa
1 tsp cumin
½ cups cheddar cheese
2 cups chicken, shredded

1. In a large mixing bowl combine rice, beans, corn, salsa and cumin
2. Divide among indicated number of baking pans and top with cheese
3. Cover tightly with foil. Label & freeze
4. Bake from frozen @350 for 1 hr or until cheese is melted and rice is warmed through.

1lb ground beef
2 eggs(beaten)
½ cup parmesan cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 package lasagna noodles(9 noodles)
2 cups cottage cheese
24oz spaghetti sauce

Brown meat, drain off grease. Cook noodles and drain. Combine eggs, cottage cheese, parmesan cheese, spaghetti sauce and meat. Starting with noodles layer with meat sauce and mozzarella cheese. Repeat. Bake at 375 degrees for 50 minutes covered – 10 minutes uncovered.

Cheesy Ham and Potatoes
1 Pound frozen hash brown potatoes
2 cans cream of celery soup
½ cup onion (minced)
8 oz cream cheese
1 ½ cups mont jack cheese shredded
1 ½ cups chopped/cubed hamburger
¼ teaspoon black pepper
optional: ½ cup shredded cheddar for topping.

Soften cream cheese, add cream of celery soup. Stir in onions, ham, jack cheese and pepper. Break apart hash browns and gently stir into mixture. (you can freeze at this point). Thaw. Place in greased baking dish(9x13) Bake at 350 covered for 1 hr. Uncover, top with cheddar cheese. Bake until melted.

Enchanted Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas
2 cups chicken, cooked and cut up
1 cup sour cream
1/8 tesaspoon salt
Dash of pepper
12 (5inch) corn tortillas
4 ounces of canned chopped green chiles, drained
2 cups grated Monterey Jack Cheese
Lettuce, shredded
Tomatoes, chopped

Combine chicken, sour cream, salt and pepper. Quickly fry 1 tortilla at a time in hot oil to soften. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of chicken mixture onto each tortilla, spread down the center, and roll up the tortilla. Place seam side down in greased 13x9x2-inch baking dish. When all tortillas are filled and rolled, sprinkle the green chiles over all and top with cheese. Bake at 400degrees for 12 to 15minutes or until cheese is melted and enchiladas are hot. Serve 2 to 3 enchiladas on a plate and surround with lettuce and tomatoes. Top with your choice of guacamole, sour cream or both. Serves 4 to 6.

Pizza Burgers
2lbs Ground Beef
1 can Tomato Soup
1 tsp Garlic Salt
½ tsp Oregano
8oz Cheddar Cheese
8oz Mozzarella Cheese
Onion/onion powder to taste
14-18 Hamburger Buns

Brown the ground beef. Mix all ingredients together on stove top in pot. Scoop about 1/4cup on hamburger buns. Wrap in tin foil. Bake at 350° for 20mins - until warm center. Recipe makes about 14-18 buns.

Easy Ravioli Bake
2 tbsp Parmesan Cheese
2 cups Mozzarella Cheese
1 26-28oz Pasta Sauce
1 Bag Ravioli

In a 9x13 pan, spread 3/4cup of pasta sauce on the bottom. Arrange the ravioli about 12-15. Top with ½ the remaining sauce. Add 1 cup of mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers with ravioli, sauce, cheese. Sprinkle parmesan cheese on top. Cover with foil and bake for 40mins. Remove foil and bake for 15-20mins. Let stand for 10mins before cutting.

Shepherd’s Pie
1lb Ground Beef
1-1 ½ Cup Frozen mixed veggies
1 Cup Beef Broth
2 Tbsp Corn Starch
2-3 Cup Potatoes
1 Cup Shredded Cheese
Salt and Pepper to Taste

Brown the ground beef and drain grease. Add beef broth and corn starch to make a gravy. Add vegetables and season with salt and pepper. Boil potatoes for 15 minutes. Mash and add 1 stick of butter, sour cream, and cream cheese. Put meat mixture in dish and top with mashed potatoes then top it with the cheese. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes if frozen 30-40 if not frozen; until cheese is melted.

Freezer Breakfast Burritos

2 cups frozen tater tots
2 tablespoons olive oil
8 links breakfast sausage, casing removed
8 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup half and half*
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 (16-ounce) can refried beans
8 (8-inch) flour tortillas
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet or coat with nonstick spray.
  1. Cook tater tots according to package instructions; set aside.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add sausage and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the sausage as it cooks; drain excess fat, reserving 1 tablespoon in the skillet.
  3. Add eggs to the skillet and cook, whisking, until they just begin to set. Gently whisk in half and half; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Continue cooking until thickened and no visible liquid egg remains, about 3-5 minutes; set aside.
  4. Spread beans down centers of tortillas; top with tater tots, sausage, eggs, cheeses, tomatoes and cilantro. Fold in opposite sides of each tortilla, then roll up, burrito-style.* Place, seam-sides down, onto preparing baking sheet; cover.
  5. Place into oven and bake until heated through, about 12-15 minutes.
  6. Serve immediately.
*Half and half is equal parts of whole milk and cream. For 1 cup half and half, you can substitute 3/4 cup whole milk + 1/4 cup heavy cream or 2/3 cup skim or low-fat milk + 1/3 cup heavy cream.
*TO FREEZE: Cover each burrito tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Freeze up to 1 month. To reheat, (1) microwave for 4-6 minutes, turning halfway, or (2) bake at 400 degrees F for 30-40 minutes, or until completely cooked through.

The set up at meal exchange!