Monday, July 9, 2012

Freezer Meals Are Worth It (Mostly)

One of my grand plans before the baby's arrival was to make a buttload of pre-prepared frozen dinners since I doubt either of us will feel like cooking during those first few weeks of sleep deprivation. Plus, I've been told by freezer meal advocates that not only does it save a ton of time, but also a good chunk of change, which I'm always in favor of. Well, let me tell you the first lesson I learned: don't try to shop for and cook a month's worth of entrees when you're 38 weeks pregnant and fatigued as heck.

Freezer meal supplies
Optimistically beginning round #1 of cooking...

Now granted, the book I chose had me cook a week's worth of food (rather a whole month's) at a time in what it referred to as "mini-sessions." But still, it was exhausting! Saturday was spent foraging for supplies with K at the grocery store and Sam's Club. Then Sunday after church, I rolled up my proverbial sleeves and began mini-session #1 with 5 chicken recipes:
  • Old-fashioned chicken and rice
  • Chicken pasta italiano
  • Chicken vegetable skillet
  • Chicken noodle soup
  • Mushroom chicken couscous
All in all, the whole process probably took 4 to 5 hours. Food preparation, like cutting and chopping, for all 5 dishes was done together at the beginning. Then I proceeded to cook each recipe one by one, with a maximum of two dishes at a time because of my limited stove space and attention span. After one entree was done, I would cool it down rapidly by placing it on the cement of our unfinished basement. Then the bagging and labeling would be completed during breaks between dishes. The worst part was probably the throbbing pain on the soles of my feet from standing so long on the kitchen floor, but K disagrees because he had to deal with the massive clean-up afterward. ^_^;;

Bagging and labeling freezer meals
Bagging completed at midnight! (I probably shouldn't have waited till after dinner to start cooking...)

Since then, the beef mini-session has been conquered as well, but when it came time to do chicken mini-session #2, I just couldn't take it anymore. That very day, Sophia had randomly passed me a link for a deliciously fattening chicken marsala, so we took the rest of the chicken breasts and made 5 dinners worth of the recipe. Done and done... I just don't care anymore!

P.S. Least you think all of my pre-baby to-do's are so productive, I did take Not Jenny's advice and painted my toenails while watching The Dark Knight with K. That's right, Momma's going to have gorgeous feet going into Labor & Delivery! ^___^

Painted toenails

5 comments:

Not Jenny said...

nice work! I love the shade you chose for your toes. :-)

geekturtle said...

I went to look after my sister in law with her new baby (after 12 years and surprise! you are pregnant!) and I cooked for her and her family for a week after I left (I stayed with her 4 days), so my advice will be, "pastas are friend and food" (please read with shark voice)they have lots of calories, are easy to make and there are tons of things you can mix them with.
good luck with the final count down
XD

Anne G. White said...

@Not Jenny - Thanks for the suggestion in the first place!

@GeekTurtle - Pasta is a great idea! Lots of instant energy to burn off for the kiddo. Let me know if you have any favorite recipes to share. :)

geekturtle said...

sort off favorite recipes
I love cream, and to be honest, you are the first person I gave my own recipe.
cut bacon in small squares, and fry it, then with the bacon grease, fry some ham, then, some onion, and then a garlic, and finally some nuts
put in the blender, part of everything, with cream, salt and pepper
mix it with the pasta with the rest of everything you fried. and serve
It doesn´t have an especific amount of anything because some people may like more onion, or more garlic, or bacon you can put more of whatever you like the most.
I hope you like it.
another my kids love is just put some butter, with salt, pepper and ham on a pan, when the butter is melted, add the pasta, and mix it, voalá, easy food.
If you like chicken and pinneaples:
have some chiken diced, and fry it a bit, with some onion and garlic and salt, after it is cookes on the outside (cook with high heat) add a pinneaple in dices too, lower the fire to the minimun and leave it too cook with the chicken and pinneapple juice, it is also an easy recipe.
I know a lot of recipes, notvery common, but good. I cook a lot of chicken and meat, and a lot of (obviously) mexican food, I hope you like them as much as I do.
good luck with the baby

Anne G. White said...

@GeekTurtle - Ooo, yum! That sounds deliciously decadent. I'll have to pick up some bacon next time I'm at the store.