mudkipmommy:

I get a LOT of questions about my freezer meals and meal planning and it’s hard to be able to answer in depth, but today I bring you the masterpost! The motherlode of freezer meal information!
So before you even start thinking about recipes, there’s a few things you need.
A Crockpot. You can get smaller ones that look pretty as low as $17, and fancier ones for around $50. Ours is cheap and not very fancy and idk the size, but it is pretty big. It works perfectly though.
A Sharpie. To write on your freezer bags. Here you go.
Freezer bags. To write on with your sharpies and store your food. You want Gallon size. Like these! 
Crockpot Liners. If you don’t want to clean the crockpot every night. To me they’re unnecessary and pricey but hey, here you go.
Non-Stick Spray. Vegetable or Coconut or Olive oil spray! Like this or this. Personally I don’t think olive oil works well, and I haven’t tried coconut. If you do not use liners you NEED a cooking spray or you’ll have the worst, stuck food mess ever.
Square slices of cardboard to put between the meals in the freezer. If you want to make them perfectly flat. Or you can organize them in… a bunch of different ways! But I hear cardboard is easy too.
Now, that aside, you want to create a menu. There are a million ways to do it. Personally, I go through a bunch of sites and pick and choose what I like best. I’m super picky though. Some people may prefer choosing a specific meal for specific nights, or a few meals to have repeats of, etc.Save these recipes you choose, however you want. On your phone, print them, in a message to your mom on Facebook, on tumblr, whatever. Save them.
Now go over your recipes, and make a shopping list. Many of the recipes will use similar ingredients, like minced garlic or chopped carrots, so you can figure out exactly how much you need, of what. After you make your shopping list, go shopping! Don’t forget the freezer bags!!!
Now for us the first trip was a bit over budget. But Maryland is also expensive. There’s me and my husband and Riven, who’s 15 months. I buy family packs of meat, and try to buy in bulk. It is a lot cheaper than it sounds, as four carrots can be chopped into enough for 5-6 meals and for 3-4 people, 2 adults and 2 children, that’d be say, 4 pieces of chicken or 4 pork chops. You buy a 12-pack, that’s 3 solid dinners. 
So go, do your buying, check out, get home, get the groceries inside and sit and look at it all in despair. HOW IS THIS ALL GOING TO TURN INTO BEAUTIFUL MEALS?!
Just shut up and trust me. It will.
Now turn on the TV or throw your kids in bed or duct tape them to the wall or to yourself, amuse them. Get out your freezer bags. Figure out how much you have and how many meals it will yield. (I mean, if you haven’t already, but you shoulda done that when you made the list). And do this:
Label each freezer bag. I just write the meal, how long it goes into the crockpot, and any additional instructions. You can also write the date or whatever else. Set them aside.
Take all fresh ingredients like carrots, onions, etc. and chop, dice, slice, whatever. I put them all in separate tupperware on the counter for easy access.
Gather other ingredients. Seasonings, milk, measuring cups and spoons, broth, etc.
Gather all meat (if you’re using meat. If not, skip this step? Or.. use your meat substitute?). Disperse into bags depending on serving size. Slice if you need to. Make sure to wash your hands before, after and between touching different types of meat and other foods, as to avoid cross contamination.
Add all fresh ingredients to necessary bags. Then add seasonings, sauces, broths and other ingredients called for.
Smoosh all the air out of the bags and zipper them closed. Or vacuum seal them, however you want to do it. And then flatten them as much as possible. Make sure they’re all mixed well and flat and lay them gently one at a time in the freezer. If you’d rather prop them up, let them freeze laying flat first THEN prop them. Trust me. 
Clean. Clean. Clean. Do a bunch of dishes. Clean. Then sit down… put your feet up… and enjoy. You just made supper for a few freaking weeks!
Boom. You are DONE. When you want to make one, pull it out before you go to bed to thaw, and the next morning grease up the crockpot and throw the meal in. Write down when it should come out so you remember and boom. Prep some sides right before supper and you are done. And they’re DELICIOUS. Don’t forget to wash the crockpot afterwards!!
Here are some great sites for recipes:Crock Pot Ladies- 10 meals
SideTracked Sarah- 54 meals and shopping list
Pinterest with it’s LOADS of ideas
Who Needs a Cape? 7 in 1 hour (40 in 40 hours, 20 in 2 hours)
Mommy’s Fabulous Finds- 33 Meals
Vegan Freezer Meals on Pinterest
Vegetarian Crockpot Meals
MOAR vegetarian crockpot meals
Those are just a few, but they’re all super helpful. That’s where I get most of my recipes!
It’s just a few hours of work on one day, for meals that last weeks. We’ve skipped grocery shopping entirely twice now (except to grab milk and dog food) because we didn’t need to! Bonus: You see everything that goes into your food and control portion sizes from the get go!
You can ALSO do…Make-Ahead Breakfasts! Sides! Non-Crockpot Freezer Meals! Crockpot Desserts!I really hope this helped anyone who needed it, if I left out anything feel free to let me know!

mudkipmommy:

I get a LOT of questions about my freezer meals and meal planning and it’s hard to be able to answer in depth, but today I bring you the masterpost! The motherlode of freezer meal information!

So before you even start thinking about recipes, there’s a few things you need.

  • A Crockpot. You can get smaller ones that look pretty as low as $17, and fancier ones for around $50. Ours is cheap and not very fancy and idk the size, but it is pretty big. It works perfectly though.
  • A Sharpie. To write on your freezer bags. Here you go.
  • Freezer bags. To write on with your sharpies and store your food. You want Gallon size. Like these
  • Crockpot Liners. If you don’t want to clean the crockpot every night. To me they’re unnecessary and pricey but hey, here you go.
  • Non-Stick Spray. Vegetable or Coconut or Olive oil spray! Like this or this. Personally I don’t think olive oil works well, and I haven’t tried coconut. If you do not use liners you NEED a cooking spray or you’ll have the worst, stuck food mess ever.
  • Square slices of cardboard to put between the meals in the freezer. If you want to make them perfectly flat. Or you can organize them in… a bunch of different ways! But I hear cardboard is easy too.

Now, that aside, you want to create a menu. There are a million ways to do it. Personally, I go through a bunch of sites and pick and choose what I like best. I’m super picky though. Some people may prefer choosing a specific meal for specific nights, or a few meals to have repeats of, etc.
Save these recipes you choose, however you want. On your phone, print them, in a message to your mom on Facebook, on tumblr, whatever. Save them.

Now go over your recipes, and make a shopping list. Many of the recipes will use similar ingredients, like minced garlic or chopped carrots, so you can figure out exactly how much you need, of what. After you make your shopping list, go shopping! Don’t forget the freezer bags!!!

Now for us the first trip was a bit over budget. But Maryland is also expensive. There’s me and my husband and Riven, who’s 15 months. I buy family packs of meat, and try to buy in bulk. It is a lot cheaper than it sounds, as four carrots can be chopped into enough for 5-6 meals and for 3-4 people, 2 adults and 2 children, that’d be say, 4 pieces of chicken or 4 pork chops. You buy a 12-pack, that’s 3 solid dinners. 

So go, do your buying, check out, get home, get the groceries inside and sit and look at it all in despair. HOW IS THIS ALL GOING TO TURN INTO BEAUTIFUL MEALS?!

Just shut up and trust me. It will.

Now turn on the TV or throw your kids in bed or duct tape them to the wall or to yourself, amuse them. 
Get out your freezer bags. Figure out how much you have and how many meals it will yield. (I mean, if you haven’t already, but you shoulda done that when you made the list). 
And do this:

  • Label each freezer bag. I just write the meal, how long it goes into the crockpot, and any additional instructions. You can also write the date or whatever else. Set them aside.
  • Take all fresh ingredients like carrots, onions, etc. and chop, dice, slice, whatever. I put them all in separate tupperware on the counter for easy access.
  • Gather other ingredients. Seasonings, milk, measuring cups and spoons, broth, etc.
  • Gather all meat (if you’re using meat. If not, skip this step? Or.. use your meat substitute?). Disperse into bags depending on serving size. Slice if you need to. Make sure to wash your hands before, after and between touching different types of meat and other foods, as to avoid cross contamination.
  • Add all fresh ingredients to necessary bags. Then add seasonings, sauces, broths and other ingredients called for.
  • Smoosh all the air out of the bags and zipper them closed. Or vacuum seal them, however you want to do it. And then flatten them as much as possible. Make sure they’re all mixed well and flat and lay them gently one at a time in the freezer. If you’d rather prop them up, let them freeze laying flat first THEN prop them. Trust me. 
  • Clean. Clean. Clean. Do a bunch of dishes. Clean. Then sit down… put your feet up… and enjoy. You just made supper for a few freaking weeks!

Boom. You are DONE. When you want to make one, pull it out before you go to bed to thaw, and the next morning grease up the crockpot and throw the meal in. Write down when it should come out so you remember and boom. Prep some sides right before supper and you are done. And they’re DELICIOUS. Don’t forget to wash the crockpot afterwards!!

Here are some great sites for recipes:
Crock Pot Ladies- 10 meals

SideTracked Sarah- 54 meals and shopping list

Pinterest with it’s LOADS of ideas

Who Needs a Cape? 7 in 1 hour (40 in 40 hours, 20 in 2 hours)

Mommy’s Fabulous Finds- 33 Meals

Vegan Freezer Meals on Pinterest

Vegetarian Crockpot Meals

MOAR vegetarian crockpot meals

Those are just a few, but they’re all super helpful. That’s where I get most of my recipes!

It’s just a few hours of work on one day, for meals that last weeks. We’ve skipped grocery shopping entirely twice now (except to grab milk and dog food) because we didn’t need to! 
Bonus: You see everything that goes into your food and control portion sizes from the get go!

You can ALSO do…
Make-Ahead BreakfastsSidesNon-Crockpot Freezer MealsCrockpot Desserts!
I really hope this helped anyone who needed it, if I left out anything feel free to let me know!

recipes ways to save money crockpot crock pot

Tater Tot Enchilada Bake

Ingredients

1 pound ground beef
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped (about 2 cups)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ pack taco or fajita seasoning (about 2 teaspoons)
2 cups tater tots (enough to cover dish)
1 can enchilada sauce
1 cup Mexican blend cheese (or mozzarella)
½ cup sliced black olives
Scallions or cilantro to garnish
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Add the oil to a skillet over medium heat. Add diced onions and garlic to skillet. Cook until just tender. Remove to a bowl and set aside. Add beef to skillet and cook until completely browned, add ½ pack of taco seasoning and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and drain away any drippings. Add onions and garlic back to beef and stir to combine. Pour the can of enchilada sauce into the beef and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes.
Transfer the enchilada mixture from the skillet into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Scatter the tater tots on top. sprinkle the cheese and top with black olives.Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and tater tots are golden brown. Garnish with scallions or cilantro for added color. Serve warm while the cheese is gooey!

Tater Tot Enchilada Bake

Ingredients
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped (about 2 cups)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ pack taco or fajita seasoning (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 2 cups tater tots (enough to cover dish)
  • 1 can enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup Mexican blend cheese (or mozzarella)
  • ½ cup sliced black olives
  • Scallions or cilantro to garnish
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Add the oil to a skillet over medium heat. Add diced onions and garlic to skillet. Cook until just tender. Remove to a bowl and set aside. Add beef to skillet and cook until completely browned, add ½ pack of taco seasoning and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and drain away any drippings. Add onions and garlic back to beef and stir to combine. Pour the can of enchilada sauce into the beef and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Transfer the enchilada mixture from the skillet into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Scatter the tater tots on top. sprinkle the cheese and top with black olives.Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and tater tots are golden brown. Garnish with scallions or cilantro for added color. Serve warm while the cheese is gooey!

(Source: brunchtimebaker.com)

recipes mexican beef casserole

Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies


Preheat over to 350F Degrees2 1/2 c. all purpose flour*2 tsp. baking soda1 (3.4-3.56 oz) box of pumpkin spice pudding (dry)1 1/2 stick of butter, softened1/2 c. granulated sugar1 c. brown sugar2 large eggs, room temperature2 tsp. vanilla extract1 tbsp. honey1 1/2 c. of chocolate chunks*If dough is sticky add an extra 1/4 c. of flourDIRECTIONS
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and pumpkin spice pudding mix- set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with paddle attachment, cream together (on medium speed) butter and both sugars until fluffy (about 5 minutes). Then add eggs, one at time, followed by vanilla and honey. Scrape down sides. Then reduce to low speed and add dry ingredients. Combine until just incorporated. Finally fold in chocolate chips .Line baking sheet with baking mat, aluminum foil, parchment or wax paper. Scoop out 1 1/2-2 inch, cookie dough balls onto sheet (roll between the palm of your hands for a nice round shape). Space the cookies 2 inches apart. Slightly flatten the cookies using the palm of your hand. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Pudding Cookies

Preheat over to 350F Degrees

2 1/2 c. all purpose flour*
2 tsp. baking soda
1 (3.4-3.56 oz) box of pumpkin spice pudding (dry)
1 1/2 stick of butter, softened
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 c. brown sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tbsp. honey
1 1/2 c. of chocolate chunks

*If dough is sticky add an extra 1/4 c. of flour

DIRECTIONS

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and pumpkin spice pudding mix- set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with paddle attachment, cream together (on medium speed) butter and both sugars until fluffy (about 5 minutes). Then add eggs, one at time, followed by vanilla and honey. Scrape down sides. Then reduce to low speed and add dry ingredients. Combine until just incorporated. Finally fold in chocolate chips .

Line baking sheet with baking mat, aluminum foil, parchment or wax paper. Scoop out 1 1/2-2 inch, cookie dough balls onto sheet (roll between the palm of your hands for a nice round shape). Space the cookies 2 inches apart. Slightly flatten the cookies using the palm of your hand. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack.

(Source: fortheloveofdessert.blogspot.com)

recipes dessert cookies pumpkin chocolate fall recipes

Angel Chicken


2-4 boneless chicken breasts1 packet Italian dressing mix4 oz cream cheese3 Tbsp butter1 can Cream of Chicken (or Golden Mushroom)3/4 cup chicken broth or white wineangel hair pastaPlace chicken in crock pot.  Combine Italian dressing mix, cream cheese, butter, soup and broth.  Pour over chicken.  Turn crock-pot on low for 8-10 hours.  Serve over cooked angel hair pasta.

Angel Chicken

2-4 boneless chicken breasts
1 packet Italian dressing mix
4 oz cream cheese
3 Tbsp butter
1 can Cream of Chicken (or Golden Mushroom)
3/4 cup chicken broth or white wine
angel hair pasta

Place chicken in crock pot.  Combine Italian dressing mix, cream cheese, butter, soup and broth.  Pour over chicken.  Turn crock-pot on low for 8-10 hours.  Serve over cooked angel hair pasta.

(Source: plainchicken.com)

recipes pasta chicken

Pizzakins

Ingredients
For Pizzakins
2 chicken breasts, poached and shredded
4 c baby spinach
2 cloves garlic
2 t olive oil
1 1/2 c Heinz Classico Family Favorites Sauce
2 c mozzarella cheese
1/4 c Parmesan cheese, fresh grated
For biscuits:
2 1/4 c flour
1/2 t baking soda
1 t salt
6 T cold butter, cut into pieces
1 c milk
Instructions
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
Poach your chicken in a pot of simmering water with a quartered onion, salt, and a bay leaf for 20 minutes. Once your chicken is cooked, use two forks to shred your chicken.
In a separate bowl, mix together your mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
While your chicken is poaching saute your spinach. In a pan, add oil and heat. Mince your garlic, and add your garlic and spinach to the pan. Stir carefully to ensure the heat reaches all the leaves by pulling up the bottom leaves. Within 2 minutes, your spinach will be bright green and significantly reduced. Immediately remove it from the heat. Feel free to run a knife through it, but this is not necessary if you’re using baby spinach.
Add your chicken to a bowl, along with the Classico sauce and spinach. Stir to combine.
Make your biscuit dough. In your food processor, add the flour, baking soda, and salt. Pulse to combine. Add your pieces of butter, then pulse again 10-15 times until your butter is in pea size pieces. Remove the top and pour the milk in a circle over your dough, then replace the cover. Pulse just until the dough comes together to ensure you don’t overmix.
Turn your dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead 10 to 15 times until the dough comes together, adding a little more flour if needed. Gently use your fingertips to push the dough out to about 3/4 inches thick. Using one of the ramekins you’ll use to bake your pizzakins, cut out six circles of dough.
Add your chicken mixture to six ramekins, dividing the mixture evenly amongst them. Top with the cheese, again dividing it amongst the six ramekins. Add your biscuit dough on top. Feel free to tuck the extra dough under your circles or use it to form pretty designs atop your dough circles to differentiate who has which toppings in their pizzakins.
Bake in your 450 degree oven for 15-17 minutes until your pizzakins are golden on top and bubbling around the edges. Serve immediately and enjoy with a fork right in the ramekin.
Notes

Just like “regular” pizzas, feel free to add your own favorite toppings into the base mixture. Additionally, you can easily substitute and leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken for the poached chicken and premade biscuit dough for the biscuits listed here.

Pizzakins

Ingredients

For Pizzakins
  • 2 chicken breasts, poached and shredded
  • 4 c baby spinach
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 t olive oil
  • 1 1/2 c Heinz Classico Family Favorites Sauce
  • 2 c mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 c Parmesan cheese, fresh grated
For biscuits:
  • 2 1/4 c flour
  • 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1 t salt
  • 6 T cold butter, cut into pieces
  • 1 c milk

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Poach your chicken in a pot of simmering water with a quartered onion, salt, and a bay leaf for 20 minutes. Once your chicken is cooked, use two forks to shred your chicken.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together your mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.
  4. While your chicken is poaching saute your spinach. In a pan, add oil and heat. Mince your garlic, and add your garlic and spinach to the pan. Stir carefully to ensure the heat reaches all the leaves by pulling up the bottom leaves. Within 2 minutes, your spinach will be bright green and significantly reduced. Immediately remove it from the heat. Feel free to run a knife through it, but this is not necessary if you’re using baby spinach.
  5. Add your chicken to a bowl, along with the Classico sauce and spinach. Stir to combine.
  6. Make your biscuit dough. In your food processor, add the flour, baking soda, and salt. Pulse to combine. Add your pieces of butter, then pulse again 10-15 times until your butter is in pea size pieces. Remove the top and pour the milk in a circle over your dough, then replace the cover. Pulse just until the dough comes together to ensure you don’t overmix.
  7. Turn your dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead 10 to 15 times until the dough comes together, adding a little more flour if needed. Gently use your fingertips to push the dough out to about 3/4 inches thick. Using one of the ramekins you’ll use to bake your pizzakins, cut out six circles of dough.
  8. Add your chicken mixture to six ramekins, dividing the mixture evenly amongst them. Top with the cheese, again dividing it amongst the six ramekins. Add your biscuit dough on top. Feel free to tuck the extra dough under your circles or use it to form pretty designs atop your dough circles to differentiate who has which toppings in their pizzakins.
  9. Bake in your 450 degree oven for 15-17 minutes until your pizzakins are golden on top and bubbling around the edges. Serve immediately and enjoy with a fork right in the ramekin.

Notes

Just like “regular” pizzas, feel free to add your own favorite toppings into the base mixture. Additionally, you can easily substitute and leftover chicken or rotisserie chicken for the poached chicken and premade biscuit dough for the biscuits listed here.

(Source: honestandtruly.com)

recipes pizza chicken