Sunday, May 4, 2014

Pinterest Project

I saw this idea on Pinterest for frozen crock pot meals. Since Jerry doesn't like to eat late, and we don't get home from work in time to cook a meal and still eat early, I thought I would give it a try. Apparently this is very popular with expectant moms who fill the freezer in preparation for the days when they will have no time.

Many of the Pinterest photos link to sites that contain receipes and a shopping list for all the ingredients needed to make the featured recipes. In each group of recipes I found things that I wouldn't eat so I ended up collecting my own recipes from different sites. I found 13 recipes, 3 that were for double batches, so I ended up with 16 frozen food packets. Hint - I used a spreadsheet to list my ingredients and total the quantity needed.

I attempted to buy all my groceries at discount prices since I needed so much at once; however, I ended up at 3 stores - Aldi, Walmart & Publix. As it turns out, I could have skipped Walmart and just shopped at Aldi for the available bargains and finished off at Publix for the items Aldi didn't have. Oh wait, Jerry bought some meat for me at Costco as well. I was very disappointed with selection and quality at my nearby Walmart.

As you can see I was loaded down with ingredients and we had lots of cleaning and chopping to do.

I was at first a little put off with using prepared foods and am perfectly capable of making my own sauces but I worried my homemade recipes might break down in a slow cooker so I went with what the recipe ask.

My momma was a sweetheart and chopped and pealed and shelled nuts for ne for 3 hours while I wrote up the name and instructions on the galloon size plastic bags and assembled the ingredients in them. I only had to cook or brown meat for 2 of the recipes.
The finished product! (gosh, I have an ugly 80's kitchen)

It was a lot of work and pretty much took up the majority of the day between shopping and cooking, and assembly. Would I do it again? I would but I would do it differently. I would make only 4 recipes and do a double batch of each. I believe that would be a lot easier on the feet and easier to calculate and shop.

One last hint, I believe when/if I do it again, I will combine all the ingredient for a recipe in a bowl and then put it into the zip lock bags. Reason being the frozen bags have some air space, resulting in ice crystals, in areas where the sauce did not ooze into the veggies or meat. Those bags that have the sauce throughout the ingredients do not seem to have this issue.


Julie said...

wow! amazing idea!!!! you guys are my heros after all that work! How many weeks worth did you end up with? do you put the frozen ingredients on low for the day??? it is a pretty cool idea! i might need to try some too!!!! Please update on how everything turns out too! I am going to go check this out online!!!!! EXCITING!!!

Julie said...

I found this gal who has 10 recipes. I'm going to try this one today

....ithe lime garlic sounds good! I have to get limes and thyme, but otherwise I have the other ingredients! I will let you know how it turns out. I am ultra excited because I am sick of always trying to find something to make for dinner! I'm a huge fan of crock pot normally anyway because it frees me up to do other things.

My Little Family: said...

Julie, I had my first fail this morning. Not a problem with the food but I didn't put my bag in the fridge overnight and it was too frozen to get into the crock pot! lol

I think each bag will give us 2 meals if you add pasta, rice, veggies, etc. The Mongolian Beef smelled so yummy I wanted to cook it up that day!

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