I mentioned that I have a chest freezer almost bursting in the basement. I'm pretty excited. Pear's arrival is sneaking closer and closer, and the Girl Scout in me needs to be prepared on all fronts. Food is obviously the most important thing to prep, since everything else (nursery decor, new clothes, sleep) is really just icing on the cake. Fun icing, but not really essential in the end. Food, though? Absolutely essential.
I am so blessed to have a crew of incredible mamas who are doing a Meal Train for us in the first weeks after Pear's birth, but after that, I still don't want to have to cook. My hope is to go a full month without having to make anything more complicated than a sandwich. To that end, I have been stockpiling, batch cooking, and freezing like mad. The last few freezer parties I had were great fun, and the lists and recipes for those are wonderful (and can be found here), but this time it was easier to just do the prep on my own. I stretched it out over a few weeks and just cooked when I had time, or when Jude took a really long nap. I also added some breakfasts to the usual dinner freezer prep, because nothing is worse than a hangry nursing mama with a newbie to deal with.
Since I didn't actually plan a party, I don't have a full shopping list or printable labels for you at the moment. I may get around to it, I may not. Depends on this girl and her time table:) In the meantime, here is a grand list of recipes for all of the things I have stocked up for the next month! Hopefully you can find a little inspiration here to get you stocking up for September and the dreaded beginning of school!
Chocolate Chip Pancakes - Made with Martha's Best Buttermilk recipe and a few chips tossed in!
Strawberry Banana Muffins - This recipe is great, and freezes well. I did substitute whole wheat flour for white, so I increase the yogurt by 1/2 a cup.
Oven Baked Fajitas - I froze these in large aluminum pans with the plastic tops. Double wrap the pan with foil, add a package of shredded cheese and a package of fajitas on top with your note for baking info, and pop the plastic top over it all. That way your full meal is ready to go when you pull it from the freezer. No hunting for ingredients!
Enchiladas - No you don't need to make your own sauce, but it is worth it if you have time!
Beef Chili - I really like this Emeril recipe. It has chocolate and beer in it. No brainer!
Meat Lovers Lasagna - I make it different every time, but here's a good recipe for it!
Honey Dijon Curried Chicken - This is a new one for me, so I don't have a review yet. I added a sliced onion and peppers to each pan with the chicken, and plan to serve it over rice. it sounds delish, so here's hoping since I prepped three pans full!
Fish Cakes with Corn and Cilantro - I made these a few weeks ago and Jude loved them! I add a handful of finely chopped cilantro and some cayenne to the mix and they froze up beautifully!
French Fried Onion Chicken Fingers - I changed this recipe up a lot as well, but the onion in the breading is key! Dip and bread your fingers, line them on a baking sheet ad freeze. Once they are frozen solid, toss them in a big ziploc bag for safekeeping and you can pull out a few at a time to bake!
BBQ Pulled Pork - I did a huge pork shoulder in the crock pot, served up half for dinner and froze the rest. This makes great fare for sandwiches, pizza, nachos, anything! It may not be a full meal in one pan, but it is still a good time saver! I love this recipe from Slow Cooker Revolution. Hands down the best slow cooker cook book ever, by the way!