The whole concept of "freezer cooking" is new to me. In the past, my only form of freezer cooking was throwing a few meals in the freezer prior to one of my baby's arrivals. (And I rarely even did that.) So, when I heard a radio broadcast about how you can cook for one day and have entrees for a whole month, I was fascinated. Some of it made sense - you make all the mess and dishes at once, thereby maximizing your use of time. Some of it wasn't practical for me - dedicating a whole day to cooking with 5 kiddos ages 6 & under. Um, not happening. But I could take the concept and make some small changes in my cooking.
I don't consider myself a "freezer cook," but I am enjoying having quick meals in the freezer for those inevitable busy days when I don't have time to prepare an evening meal. What changes did I make to my cooking to have freezer meals on hand? I made 3 small changes.
1) Whenever possible, as I prepare the evening meal for my family, I make 2 or 3 meals and freeze the extras
2) Participate in a freezer meal exchange with friends (We each bring a freezer meal for everyone else in the group. For example, I may bring a 9x13 pan of lasanga for everyone. We swap and go home with a variety of freezer meals.)
3) Always keep my favorite freezer meal on hand
In regards to #3, here is my favorite freezer meal. I like it because it is simple, delicious, & stores in a quart Ziploc baggie in my freezer!
Cheesy Beef & Rice to Freeze
1 garlic clove, minced (or 1/4 tsp of minced garlic)
2 T butter
2 medium shredded carrots
1 tsp beef boullion
1 tsp parsley
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp minced onion
1lb ground beef (or venison or turkey)
1/2-1 tsp salt
Directions: Brown ground beef and remove from heat. Add butter, carrots, & spices. Stir well. Cool slightly. Put into a quart Ziploc bag & freeze.
When you are ready to use it, thaw it and add 1 cup of uncooked long grain rice and 3 cups of water. Bake in a covered dish at 350 for 1 hour. Add 1/2-1 cup of shredded cheese and bake until the cheese is melted.
Thanks for stopping by & happy freezer cooking!
Oh, the joys of getting 5 kiddos ages 6 and under to, not only be in one place touching each other, but to look in the same direction and smile! A feat I didn't tackle with Dad's help, for sure!
How did we do it? Here's a few tips from a mom who's done it a few times. Perhaps not successfully every time, but I've got many photos jam packed with good memories.
1) Take family photos first thing in the morning, after nap time, or after mealtime when everyone is fresh and/or full.
2) Keep it short - 15 to 20 minutes is about all young kids can handle and still have a smile.
3) Have a helper. You need at least two people to pull this off. It helps if one person has some clown tendencies.
4) Keep it fun and don't worry about perfect photos! What family is perfect? And who doesn't enjoy looking at the blooper photos more than the polished ones?
We took advantage of the summer time temperatures this week and did a family photo shoot outside with baby EJ. We'll begin with some photos of EJ. He wasn't too hard to keep in one spot.
And those irresistible hands & feet...
Now for the whole tribe - here's the cream of the crop photos...
And here's the ones you've been waiting for...
Good times; we are so blessed! So, truly, I can't tell you some secret on how to get 5 kids to look at the camera at once, but I can highly recommend that you take time to try. Whatever stage your family is in - don't miss these moments!
Thanks for stopping by!
Baby #5 made his debut in the Russell household this week! We are feeling very blessed to have a healthy son. His blog name is EJ.
The words of song by Matt Redman have been going through my mind, "Blessed be Your name, when the sun's shining down on me, when the world's all as it should be, blessed be Your name." We certainly want to seize this opportunity to bless the name of the Giver of Life! We are so grateful!
This is brief as we are all busy adjusting to this new precious life. More pictures later!
Vanessa from Russell Homestead. Follower of the Lord Jesus, wife of my knight in shining armor, mother of 5 wonderful children, and joint-keeper of the Russell homestead. Thanks for stopping by!
Independent Field Representative