Jan 30, 2014

19 freezer meals in 2 days!

At the beginning of January, I found some wonderful deals on hamburger and chicken at my local grocery store.  As for deals, I mean deals for our day, definitely not real deals.  I think the 93% lean hamburger was $2.99/lb and chicken breast were $1.59/lb.  Anyone living near days market, the hamburger has been on that sale every Monday for the past month.  I'm not sure how much longer that will go on.

My freezer has been free of freezer meals for a few months, so with these "deals" I decided to go to town freezing meals.  When I say 'go to town', I really mean it, in two days I made 19 freezer meals!!!  The recipes were found at random places and changed a little as they were put together.    

It really was easy to create this many meals and it didn't take that long.  Just make sure you have all the supplies and are not having to make last minute runs to the grocery store.  It kills the drive to get it done. You will need to see how many gallon sized freezer bags you will need and how many freezable containers for baked dishes you will need. 

 Monday was my beef day and Tuesday was my chicken day.  It helped by being able to cook all the beef and season it up in only two separate batches.  Just make sure your freezer bags are all pre labeled, labeling them after the food is in doesn't always work the best.  I know from prior experience.  It also helps to keep key ingredients, like vinegar, sugar... out on the cupboards.  

Here is my list:
Taco Soup- 2
Baked Ziti- 3
Mongolian Beef -1 
Beef Stew- 1
Sloppy Joes- 3
Orange Chicken- 2
Chicken Brocolli Alfredo- 1
Maple glazed Chicken- 1 (the only recipe I worry about)
Poppyseed chicken casserole- 1
Cilantro lime chicken- 2
Teriyaki chicken -2

I am not sharing all the recipes right now, because while I want to all taste wonderful, they are all new recipes to me.  I need to try them all out before passing on a recipe that isn't the best.  I have tried 4 of them so far and those I will share.  My favorite so far is the Teriyaki Chicken, it was awesome!  Most of the recipes I made are for the crock pot and the recipes say to thaw before cooking.  I usually will turn the crockpot on high for 2 hours if they are not thawed and then turn it down to low.  

Teriyaki Chicken (label bag: Cook low 6-8 hours, shred chicken and serve over rice)

3 chicken breasts
1 cup Teriyaki sauce (I used Yoshida's brand)
1 cup water
2/3 cup Brown Sugar
3 Garlic Cloves
1/2 tsp minced Ginger

Mix the sauce together good in the bag, then add the chicken breast.  Freeze  

Hawaiian Style Sloppy Joes (label bag: Cook low 3-5 hrs, Serve with bun)

1/2 lb bacon- Cooked

Cook together in 2 T bacon grease
1 lb ground beef
1 med onion, diced
1 green pepper, diced
add & cook another 2-4 minutes
3-4 garlic cloves
1 tsp minced Ginger

Place this in the bag

Add this to bag
3/4 cup Ketchup
2 T Brown Sugar
1 T Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 tsp Liquid Smoke
1 T Soy Sauce
1/3 cup Pineapple Juice
This is for one recipe, which I tripled (minus the bacon)
Remember this is Hawaiian style and will taste sweeter than traditional sloppy joes.

Orange Chicken (label bag: Cook low 6-8 hours, shred chicken, Serve over cooked rice)

1-1/2 lbs Chicken
1 cup Orange Marmalade
1 cup BBQ Sauce
3 T Soy Sauce

Baked Ziti Penne (label 8x8 container: Bake 350 degrees 30 minutes with foil, 15 minutes without foil)
This recipe makes 2- 8x8 pans

1 lb Penne Pasta - cook 7 minutes
Brown- then add sauce
1 Onion, chopped
1 lb lean Ground Beef
2 jars spaghetti sauce

8 slices provolone cheese
16 oz sour cream
8 ounces Mozzarella cheese
3 T Parmesan cheese

Layer: 1/4 pasta, 1/4 Sauce, 4 Slices Provolone cheese, 1/2 Sour Cream, 1/4 Pasta, 1/2 Mozzarella cheese, and 1/2 Parmesan cheese

Remember this was for 2-8x8 containers.  Thaw before baking.

Jan 29, 2014

Abby's Big Day

We have had one excited little girl for the past few weeks!  She made a calendar at home depot kids whatever, the beginning of January.  This calendar is setting right next to her bed and she set it on January 24th, her birthday.  From there she went on to let each of us know all month how many days it was until her birthday.  Then, after her birthday she had a countdown to her next birthday (her friends birthday party)

For her birthday we had Grandpa, Grandma, and her cousins, Jennifer, Ashlee, and Tyler over for dinner and gifts.  Abby and Macey love when their cousins come over.  Macey has something with Tyler, I'm not sure why, but whenever he comes over she has to set on his lap.  She just loves him.  I don't know if she wants to do this because he's Brooke's big brother and she loves Brooke, but anyhow Thank You Tyler for letting her do this!  

Abby is just a typical kid and the highlight of her birthday is opening up her gifts.

She loved the books, clothes and toys she got for her birthday.  Her favorite gift this year was the glow pillow pet.  I really had to search through a lot of different stores for this!  Apparently after Christmas they got rid of them all.

My day was crazy and so I ended up buying a cake for her at the grocery store, bad bad mommy.  Yet I should say I was a good mom to get everything else done during the day and still pulling a party together.

The week of Abby's birthday was a little crazy.  (Well, who am I kidding, all my weeks are getting crazier as my kids get older.) It is her year to have a friend birthday party and so she has really be driving me on the fact that I throw her a fun party.  She came up with a list of 13 girls and has probably handed it to me 10 times during the month, making sure that I knew she WAS having a party.  I finally bought some cheap invitations from the grocery store but there was only 10 in a package so I only let her invite 10 girls.  Whatever happened to the creative mom that makes the invites and decorates everything so fun?   It just didn't happen this year.

Tuesday she and eight little 6-7 year olds, invaded my quiet home.  Well, sometimes I may wish it was quiet, but truly I love the loud laughters all these little girls bring with them.   They had fun with glow in the dark necklace ring tosses, bubble gum balloon pops, rainbow twist nail polish fun, bracelet bingo and 

Mustache mania photo booths!

Abby had a great time and thanks to her big sisters, Hailey and Alyssa, and her Grandma, the party was a hit.  

They had fun cupcakes and, at Abbys request, strawberry milk shakes!

If you notice, for Abby's birthday she wasn't missing any teeth.  She has lost her bottom two front teeth, but she hadn't lost any of her top teeth.  Well for her "big" party she was missing that front tooth, still our cute little ABBY!

Jan 17, 2014


This last weekend, we went to Boise for a family fun 4 day get away.  While living in Kauai, you may know that we developed many strong friendships.  These are friendships that I hope will never die.  Some of our best friends (Mandie and Holly Cook and their families) have moved from Kauai to Boise, so we love going to Boise to see these friends!

One problem is that my camera never came out while on this trip, I do not have a single picture of my little girls playing with their friends.  Hailey and Alyssa stayed in Kyleigh's room and they both love Kyleigh so much (they always cry when she leaves us or we leave them).  Abby and Kaitlyn are the same age, and so they play together wonderfully!  Naiya is a year younger, but makes that a fun trio.  Then Macey, she has Ridge (the only boy) and Aliya just a few months younger than her.  Really our kids work together perfectly.  While our kids are excited to go to Boise anytime, it's John and I that are the most excited.  We love Rusty & Mandie and Mike & Holly and are still much closer to them than others around us.

While there, Mandie (whom is a wonderful cook) made creamy chicken taquitoes with homemade refried beans.  She made the taquitoes beforehand and had them frozen in the freezer so that the meal could be quick and easy.  Everything tasted so wonderful and I wanted to share the recipe for the beans here.  They are a great way to use your food storage and also save by not having to buy cans of beans.

Refried Beans (without the Refry)

1 onion peeled and quartered
3 cups of dry pinto beans, rinsed
1 can chopped green chili's
2 T minced garlic
2 1/2 tsp Salt
2 tsp Pepper
1/8 tsp Cumin, ground
9 cups water

Place everything in the crock pot, stir to combine.  Cook on High for 8 hours, adding more water as needed.
When beans are cooked, strain them, reserving the liquid.  Mash the beans and add the reserved water as needed to attain desired consistency.

Jan 14, 2014

Relief Society

I never truly realized everything that the Relief Society presidency has to do until this week.  A few months ago I was called to be a councilor in the presidency, a councilor that I was previously while in a single college ward.  In the college ward, the presidency didn't teach lessons (to few callings with so many girls), we didn't have funerals, baby births, women in a nursing home, women falling and breaking a hip, and multiple surgeries.  We were all single girls 18-20 years old, not worried about a thing but ourselves and our future.  It was easy.
Our ward has a big variety of members.  The sisters in our RS range from 20 to 94.  One sister passed away last night, and she was only 62, but contracted the flu virus and pneumonia.  She was a very active sister that was loved by so many.  Her daughter is also is our ward, so we had a young mom just loose her mother.  One sister had her first baby this past week, and another is ready to have her 5th baby, anyday.  I love working with these sisters.  I loved this ward when we lived in it 10 years ago.   I just pray that I can help them in any way possible.  Trying to come up with activities to interest such a wide range of sisters seems impossible.  
I'll finish this post later

Jan 9, 2014


Today and yesterday have been snowy days. Most people know that I really don't like the snow, I guess I should say really really really don't like the snow, but we do need it for the moisture.  So, I will be happy and thankful for this cold wet stuff that tracks all over my house.

My girls, Abby, Alyssa and Macey all wanted to build a snowman after school.  They really wanted hot cocoa and I told them they could only have some after they played out in the snow for half an hour.  Their energy levels were a little to high for my tolerance levels, this helped balance everything a little bit.  It ended up that they played out in the snow for an hour and a half and ended up loving every minute of it.  

Alyssa had her friend, Aubrey, over to play, and together, they had so much fun building "Mathew", mommy and "Molly".  Mathew is a boy in Alyssa's class that is 'huge', while she and Aubrey are little. The soccer ball represents the dodge ball that all are afraid of, at least when it is in Mathews hands. Molly is Aubrey's baby sister.

Macey is setting on the base of the mommy snowman.  She had fun until her mom made her go change into a snow coat and not her new soft coat.  

The girls had lots I fun playing and building.

Here goes the carrot into his face.