April 16, 2013
We’ve been hit hard with sickies this winter. Though it’s been a mild winter in our area, compared to most of the country, we’ve had more than our fair share of germs! Ella spent 2 months straight with one or both of her ears infected, while on a constant stream of various antibiotics. She ended up getting tubes 4 days before Ollie was born. We had colds, flus, and snotty bugs. Then 2 weeks ago we all got a round of the stomach bug, followed by 2 days of fevers for the girls. Last week I came down with a lovely sinus infection coupled with strep throat and a few days later Sofie had her third ear infection in 4 months! It feels like it will never end!
One thing that has made it easier to deal with is knowing dinner is in the freezer! I’ve done several rounds of freezer cooking since I first posted about it and I still LOVE it! I got lots of website recommendations from you guys and have fallen in love with the Crockin’ Girls. So much so that I bought their cookbook!!
I used to belong to the camp that crock pots are used for soups, stews, and all things mushy. Since starting to use my crock pot consistently, I’ve discovered there’s so much more to it than I ever imagined! In the past 6 months we’ve moved more towards as much fresh fruits and veggies in our diets as possible. But it’s still hectic to try and cook a meal with my crew, and now that I’ve got 4 kids under 5, time management is even harder to deal with and good nutrition is even more important. Add in trying to stay away from artificial anything and The Hubs prefers a low carb diet and it might seem like our options are limited. But I’m finding the opposite to be true! By getting creative, I’ve been able to come up with great entrees to go in my crock pot, and fresh sides that are easy to prepare quickly, or earlier in the day, so it still takes just a few minutes to get a healthy, homemade meal on the table.
The grocery shopping is still a little overwhelming at first. It’s not just the price, but the volume of what I’m buying, too. It’s nice, though, because my weekly shopping continues to be much smaller and easier to do quickly with 4 kids in tow.
The last few months of my pregnancy I was exhausted constantly and my feet were swollen frequently, so I would extend the number of meals I did each time to try and last us as long as possible. I decided to get the most bang for my buck and coupled a freezer prep session with a Zaycon chicken event and was able to put their amazing chicken in the recipes, cutting my cost and saving me time. I discovered quickly that chicken doesn’t need to be diced before being added to the bags, most of the time it’s easily shredded or cubed once cooked!
These are some of the recipes we’ve loved the most from the past few rounds of freezer cooking. I’ve used a lot of the Crockin’ Girls recipes from the book, so those I can’t share, but these you should definitely check out! They’re all in my Freezer Cooking board on Pinterest as well.
–Jenna’s chicken tortilla soup – This is THE BEST soup. I promise, you won’t regret this one!
–Lemon Pepper Tilapia – This has been one of the best finds so far! The Hubs is always so impressed when the fish comes out perfectly cooked and delicious. The first time I served it he asked me like 5 times, “You cooked this in the crock pot?!”
I have a handful of meals left before it’ll be time to stock the freezers again. Once again, I have to give high praises to this idea, and lots of huge thanks to the busy Moms who came before me and figured out these amazing recipes! I’m so happy to have a stockpile of delicious ideas to last us all summer, which will allow me to cook a hot meal without heating up the house with the oven!