Saturday, April 9, 2011

Just Call Me Suzy

Suzy Homemaker, of course.

I got the bright idea (ha) earlier this week that I needed to make and freeze several meals for us to have on hand. I have tried doing the monthly/weekly meal plan, but it doesn’t work out for me very well, for several different reasons – one being time.  I decided I would try this, and if it works out well then hopefully I will be able to do this next fall since I will be going to classes at Henderson five days a week.

What?  You mean I hadn’t mentioned that yet?  Gee, must’ve slipped my mind. Either that, or I’m hoping that by not talking about it, I won’t have to do it.

Anyway, I sat down a few days ago and made a list of a few meals that I wanted to make and freeze. Some of these dishes I had made/eaten before, others just sounded good.

meals

I then made a grocery list of everything I needed.  Unfortunately for my checkbook, my pantry was pretty bare, so I had to stock up on a lot of things.  Good news is, I have plenty left over so I shouldn’t have to go on a huge shopping trip any time soon.

thelist

Trust me when I say, you don’t want to know what the Grand Total of this list was.
Also notice – there is no tomato sauce on this list. It’ll be important later.

My mother-in-law took Christopher for us for a few hours this afternoon. Stephen had a lot of homework to do and I figured it would be the perfect time for me to prepare all my dishes!

I got all the recipes printed off and most of the ingredients set out. This picture is everything except for Chili and Ritz Chicken Casserole.

preparea

And then I cooked… and cooked… and cooked.

meal1meal2meal3meal4meal5meal6meal8meal7

I  made Chicken Lasagna, Chicken Potato Casserole, King Ranch Chicken, Filo Breakfast Casserole (which better be really good because it was way too time-consuming and I probably won’t make it again. I’ll try a different, easier breakfast casserole.) Ritz Chicken (two batches – one to freeze and one for dinner tonight {which would be the half-eaten casserole in the bottom right corner}) Swiss Chicken, and my mom’s Chili.  In case you were wondering, that’s eight – yes, I said EIGHT – dinners that I prepared tonight. It took me almost 6 hours. I think it might take me less time next time I do it. I learned a few things while doing it today. (One of which is to never make Filo Breakfast Casserole when you’re trying to save time.)

I am hoping to use these once, maybe twice a week. I’m wanting to stretch them out for a while.  We should be able to eat off of them for at least 2 or 3 meals.  I made a double batch of chili then I added beans because (1) Stephen prefers beans and (2) it stretches it out. I froze the chili in three parts, and each section should make 4 or 5 bowls of chili. We’ll see, I guess.  I would be okay with doing this once a month in the fall. It would make life so much easier on me if I didn’t have to worry about dinner every single night.

chopnstir

This is a Chop –n- Stir. Does anybody else have one?  I’d seen an advertisement for these somewhere and mentioned to Stephen that I wanted one. I prefer my hamburger/sausage/any kind of “ground” meat to be chopped very small. I don’t like biting into big chunks of meat. Stephen has a hard time using a spatula to chop the meat as small as I like for it to be. Anyway, when we were in Branson over Spring Break, we picked this up in one of the kitchen outlets. I LOVE it! It breaks my meat up super small without any problems. Stephen and I both like it a lot.

Here’s a funny story. The chili recipe I use calls for 1 can of tomato sauce per 1 pound of meat. (I usually make 2 pounds at a time, so I buy two cans of tomato sauce when I am buying ingredients for it.)  Stephen loves chili, and there have been several times when we are at the store and he’ll say “I would like for you to make some chili. Do you have everything you need to make it?”  And I’ll say, “I have everything but tomato sauce,” because chili is the ONLY thing that I use tomato sauce in so it’s not one of those items that I just keep in my pantry all the time.

tomatosauce

Or is it?  Apparently, I’ve picked up tomato sauce a lot, thinking that I would use it to make Chili. Then a few weeks would go by, I WOULDN’T make chili, and the next time I would go to Wally World I would think, I don’t have any tomato sauce. I need to pick some up so that I can make some chili.”

A few months ago, Stephen was unloading the groceries and laughed when he put up the tomato sauce we had bought that day. He told me that I was STOCKED UP on tomato sauce and that I didn’t need to buy any more for a long time! We both got a kick out of it and I told him how I always think that I don’t have any tomato sauce and so I buy two jars of it at the store.

About a month later, I was at the store. We had just had several days of nice, Springy weather and then a cold front moved through. I was trying to decide what to have for dinner and frito chili pies popped into my head. (They’re my favorite “cold-day” food.  Warms me heart and soul!)  I ticked off the ingredients in my head and thought, I have everything but tomato sauce.  So I headed over to the canned vegetable aisle and picked up two jars of tomato sauce.

It wasn’t until I was unloading the groceries at home when I had remembered the conversation that Stevo and I had had several weeks before. I laughed and laughed at myself, told Stephen about it, then called my mom and told her about it. It sounds exactly like something my mom would do.  Sigh.

When I went to make Chili this afternoon, I found all of these sauces in my cabinet. I should be set through next winter! Ha!

And lastly, because I know that some of you don’t care about my venture into freeze-ahead meals, and picture of the C-Monster.

cmonster

Ha. How do you like that one?  Why yes, that’s crayon on his high chair. Not my brightest moment, thinking that my 19-month-old would keep his coloring sheet on the high chair. This pretty much sums up how our day went yesterday. Maybe someday I’ll re-hash how everything went down. Let’s just say that I put him in his high chair to try to keep him out of trouble and to try to keep myself from going to the loony bin. Mission not accomplished. (Although don’t worry your pretty little heads, he did not get in trouble for coloring on the high chair. It was my fault, and a Magic Eraser took care of all the damage!)

2 comments:

  1. BRILLIANT idea, that I may possibly steal! I've never done the whole thing at once, but I've made 2 batches of certain meals (while cooking dinner)to freeze for the next week. Anything to not have to worry about dinners!

    And the 5 days a week to Henderson?! Been there. UGH, major sucky. So sorry that you have to do that! It always seemed like everyone else around me always got 2 or 3 day a week schedules. So I always kinda hated them. lol ;)

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  2. I enjoy reading about your dinner stuff. I also noticed when I looked at your grocery list that yall are obsessed with cheese. lol.

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--Steph