I've mentioned before that after Claire was born, we made it a full month and I only had to cook dinner once. And that one time was only because I had alerady purchased produce and meat for a meal and I didn't want it to go to waste.
I thought I'd be dreading going back to cooking when the meals ran out, but it turns out that January was the little break that I needed. I started enjoying planning our meals. I don't know why I've had this change of heart. I think it has something to do with being a little more organized about it. And I think pinterest had something to do with it, too. The fact that Kyle isn't coaching baseball makes a difference, because when it was just me and two boys eating dinner, it was way tempting to throw chicken nuggets and fries on a tray every night so that I don't have to argue with them alone. I also give a little credit to Danica, who posted something in December about making freezer meals for after her little guy was born. It really started me thinking about how I can plan farther ahead than just one week. I found quite a few freezer recipes and we'll sometimes prepare several meals on one day so all we have to do is stick it in the oven on the day we want to eat it.
Here are a few recipes we've tried that have worked for us.
1. Chicken enchilada soup. Everyone in our family loved this. I've made one single batch and two double batches. I froze a few batches to eat later and ended up bringing a few to friends who had sick kids. I LOVE having meals in the freezer to do that with. It's a nice surprise for them and it's nice to be able to do it without having to drop everything and make something that day.
2. Honey mustard chicken. This was WAY better than I had anticipated. Jack had three servings before I cut him off.
3. Baked zucchini sticks. These make a great snack or small meal. I've made them twice and we all loved them. I made the dip, too, and it was really good, but it is time consuming. The second time I made them, we just dipped them in ranch.
4. Chicken Gyros. Kyle and I liked these, but the boys weren't as crazy about them. They ate them reluctantly. The bread was incredible. I'm not sure we'll make them again because it was a lot of work for a meal that only half of us enjoyed, but I'm glad we tried them once. Maybe we'll try again when they're older.
5. Grilled Cheese Sandwich: Adult style. A little piece of heaven.
6. Freezer Breakfast Burritos. I've made two batches of these for the freezer. The boys don't eat them that well, but they're perfect for Kyle and I. It takes so much work to get everyone ready and out the door on Jack's preschool days, that we got into the bad habit of running through the drive through after dropping him off because we hadn't had time to eat breakfast. Being able to pop one of these in the microwave while we're getting their shoes on and eat it in the car has made a huge difference. I DID mess with the proportions a little. Bacon and sausage was a little too much for me and I ended up putting more eggs in (which made more burritos) because they were a little too meaty at first. On my second batch I just used a pound of sausage, half a green pepper, one onion and 24 eggs. I think it made about 30 burritos.
7. Bacon, Ranch and Chicken Mac and Cheese. This has been a family favorite since this fall and we've made it more than I can count. I made up two pans before I had Claire and just thawed them and popped them in the oven in January and they came out as if I had made them fresh that day.
8. Zuchinni Muffins. Again, I made them and froze half. THen I forgot I had frozen them and they made for a fun little surprise when we took them out of the freezer last week. Just as good as when they were fresh! Add a piece of fruit and you've got a decent breakfast.
What have been your most recent favorites?