Friday, January 22, 2010

A Snowman Family




64 comments :

  1. I have no idea what kind of container to use for #4 but I'm anxiously awaiting the rest of the comments to see who does! Extra food and freeze it...what a wonderful invention!

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  2. I just discovered this invention too! And little did I know, when I went on to share this good fortune of knowledge with my siblings (I have 5), they ALL already do this! Ridiculous that no one let me in loop... :) anyways, I found out about it and lots of recipes and good tips from http://www.owlhaven.net <-- she's blogger, with a huge family, and she is so money-smart! I bought her book too. (Maybe I'm weird, but I almost completely trust money and time-saving tips from people with big families.) Also, I just use good ol' rubbermaid containers with really good lids, and most of the food doesn't get freezerburn if I eat it within 1 months time (but maybe that is just me??)

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  3. For #4, I have heard, if you're making something like lasagna, just line the pan with plastic wrap, freeze, and when it's frozen solid you can dump it out, wrap in the plastic wrap, then tin foil and wa-laa! You have your pan back. I have not tried this, but heard it works.

    Or you can buy those take and toss pans. I like freezer bags, but that obviously won't help with casseroles.

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  4. You could also try this blogger:
    http://simplemom.net

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  5. I use Tupperware in my freezer, keeps things so fresh.

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  6. I have the exact same questions regarding good meals that can be frozen and what to freeze them in. I'll be checking back for answers because I have none for ya.

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  7. I try to use the freezer well but we only have a tiny one, when we move and have a proper freezer I am going to do this a lot!

    I know of this blog: http://onceamonthmom.com

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  8. Cute snowfamily! We don't have extra freezer space, so I don't freeze much. I usually have enough extra spaghetti sauce to freeze several batches. Same with chicken noodle soup. Beyond that, I plan my menu for the week and shop once a week at one store. It's still painful to go, but I have it down to a science.

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  9. I have heard the same about plastic wrap.... just put it underneath your food item... freeze... slip it out... keep frozen!

    I love these random posts. My mind freezes in January. :)

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  10. Canning and freezing in the summer works really well. Some of our favorite quick meals are pesto or tomato wine sauce with pasta. Cooked and frozen bean dip is another, as are big jars of all ready cooked meatballs. Side dishes (jars of applesauce, pickled beets, etc) go far... But really, I like cooking too much to want to make too many things ahead---my day feels empty (sometimes) if I have too much ready-made food on hand. (Call me weird; I'm okay with that.)

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  11. I use the rubbermaid but I also make sure not to let anything go longer than a month. Its nice to be able to switch things up each night so we dont get bored with our meals. We ALWAYS have bef stew and turkey breast (thanks giving style) in the freezer. They're our go to meals.

    I have heard great thing about canning though that seems like a wee bit too much effort on my part.

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  12. This post is great! What book about Catholicism? I have an awesome priest, Joe Classen, that is also an author (we are very lucky to have him). He writes about God and how it relates to his hunting and fishing experiences. He also wrote Meat and Potatoes Catholicism. A great book for remember "why" we do what we do!

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  13. There's a book called "Don't Panic, Dinner's in the Freezer". Worth checking out.

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  14. In the winter, I do a lot of soups and stews and put them in gallon zip lock bags. You just need to thaw a tad in the microwave to get them out and into the crock for the day. I don't do a lot of meals ahead, but I like to buy meat at costo once a month. I make hamburger patties and freeze, I cook most of the rest of the hamburger, so that it is ready to go for meals or tacos or spagetti and I can just toss it in. I also take my chicken and divide it up into ziplock bags and premarinade it and toss it in the freezer. This works really good. I make dozens of muffins at a time and freeze them too. These you can pull out one at a time and pop in the microwave for quick breakfasts. Hope that helps...from our big family to yours:)

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  15. What's the book? I have a great friend who is Catholic and we love to discuss our beliefs, so this sounds like a good one for me to read:-)

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  16. Check this menu plan out: http://smallnotebook.org/2009/05/11/a-weeks-menu-plan-and-grocery-shopping-list-all-in-one/

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  17. I've used a lot of ziplocs for freezing, even for casserols that don't require layering...just defrost then squeeze out the contents in a baking dish. However, I prefer to use pyrex with matching tops. I think they prevent freezerburn better and can go from freezer to fridge/counter (to defrost) to oven. And they're reusable, which is a huge plus for me. I freeze whole meals, but also components....tomato sauce, browned ground beef, chopped cooked chicken, beans and rice, etc. Makes dinner time sooo much easier!

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  18. I do this sometimes and I have found that the "variety" set of Pyrex glassware with lids works WONDERFULLY! You can put everything in the glass container, put the lid on, throw it in the freezer, take it out, put it right into the oven, and then re-use the container over and over. They are absolutely a perfect solution for an "invention" such as this! Good Luck!

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  19. I have never had good experiences with freezing/re-heating meals. They always end up a little too watery, I think. Maybe soups would work? Hmmm..I'm probably doing something wrong. As for the water thing, I'm totally with you. Only I blame it for making me tired, then I blame the tired for making me crabby. Maybe we're on to something? Finally, totally agree on your thoughts on "religion". I'm of the mindset that "religion"(no matter the brand) generally stinks. It's about a relationship and transformation - far more than a bunch of shoulds and shouldn'ts and rules.

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  20. A) My son is named Isaac, too. Love that name. Love it's meaning.

    B) Maybe you could answer a question that I have asked every Catholic person I know and no one seems to know the answer. :0) I'm curious as to what the ashes on the forehead on Ash Wednesday represents. Did your book cover that one? I've wondered for years...

    C) I think dehydration CAN make you crabby. I know it's not good for you.

    D) I've tried the frozen meals out a few times lately. I wouldn't line the pan with plastic wrap first, personally, though. I would just line the pan with foil that has been lightly sprayed with Pam. Once it's cooked - wrap the foil around it and freeze. Then take it out of the pan once it's frozen and wrap with more foil. Mine didn't get freezer burnt this way and I also didn't have melted plastic in my food. I'm still looking for more recipes, too. But, you could try SavingDinner.com. Also, http://sweetjeanette.blogspot.com/ does a Freezer Food Friday with a Linky Party that you could check out. Lastly, I would just google something like 'freezer foods' or 'cook once, eat twice'.

    Good luck!
    Pam

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  21. Love the snowmen! WOnderful picture! My grandmother was the queen of make ahead meals andthere were specific tupperware type containers that you could use that were made just for freesing. Rubbermaid and Tupperware are made so well these days that I think you'd be ok with them, too. My Grandma would then wrap it in foil and write on the foil what was inside. Never any freezer burn.

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  22. Thanks for the laughs this morning! 2 and 3 make me smile the most! I think the same thing sometimes.

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  23. I would LOVE to know the book about Catholicism you are reading!!!! I am one too and often find it hard to explain to other Christians we don't really WORSHIP Mary...and other things like Purgatory....tough stuff to explain...or at least for me it is. I wish I had a great tip about freezing meals....I've never had much luck either...good luck with that!!! And water!!! I am really a camel I think....I don't require much liquid AT ALL...I have the same problem...and I recently read an article that said most of the time when you THINK you are hungry...you are really just dehydrated. So next time you are craving something....drink some water....certainly not as good..but it's been working for me :) Happy Friday!!!!

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  24. I'm in a freezer meal group and it has changed my life! Every meal has been delicious! My friend seems to be the queen of freezer meals and lists all her recipes here: abearinthekitchen.blogspot.com. Very kid friendly meals - my kiddos have loved all of them.

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  25. I am loving the other commenters’ tips on sites for cooking/freezing. I recently discovered Money Saving Mom http://www.moneysavingmom.com/money_saving_mom/2009/11/freezer-cooking-day-the-final-results-and-come-link-up-your-posts-too.html

    where she cooks a bunch of items every couple weeks. She uses casserole dishes and covers them with tons of foil or uses large Ziplock bags for tettrazini type casseroles. One thing I learned is to cook a bunch of black beans and also pinto beans and I put them in quart size Ziplocks. Saves tons of money (i.e. when you do that yummy black bean/corn salsa recipe!). I also learned from a link of hers to make my own Cream of Chicken soup to use in casseroles. So much better than the canned (which are expensive!!!) You must keep lots of chicken stock in plastic containers in the freezer. They defrost so easy! I boil chicken and onion/celery/herbs almost weekly to have for recipes and for the stock.
    I have learned to stock up when I see great deals on meats and then I package them up or cook a bunch of ground beef to have ready. I learned that it takes time to find the good deals and do the cooking so be patient but within a few weeks you will gave the freezer that you imagine.

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  26. Sarah....I look forward to your blog everyday!
    Your crack me up~I love your daily thoughts on everyday life....Cheers to you~

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  27. On number one, I have so many things I wish I could have another baby "just to try once more" for. I liked cloth diapering my two babies, but now 13 years later there are even better cloth diapers and I want some. Don't think it's worth another baby for, though I do adore babies...

    On number two, I was a Lutheran seminary student and 15 years post-Seminary I feel the exact same way you do about all those men (and now women) sitting around talking about God and "deciding" all this stuff. Sometimes I get really disgusted by my Seminary/Pastor friends and I want to say "just stop talking ABOUT God and talk TO God!" Amen.

    Number three, yes not drinking enough water gives you headaches and makes you crabby. Try keeping a pitcher on the table, maybe with lemon or other fruit/veggies you like flavoring it. I love drinking water myself!

    Number four, I can't help you there.

    Good post!

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  28. Great nothings!

    I am all for batch cooking and try to make a big batch cook at least once a week. I use mainly tupperware dishes for freezing, and just dump the content into whatever dish I'm warming in when it's time to cook, I never hhave any problems with them, but am thinking in investing in some of those freezer-to-oven pyrex dishes you can get too.

    Is that "Why catholics don't eat fish on Fridays"? If so, it's one of those books that has been in my amazon 'save for later' pile for absolutely ages. Oh, and I'm a Catholic who loves reading about all other religions too :)

    Yeah, not enough water makes me crabby too. And I rarely do get enough. Well, that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!

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  29. @ Pam--Lutherans do the ashes thing too and it is to remind us of this verse from the Bible "from dust you came and to dust you shall return"--Genesis 3:19. It reminds us of our mortality, which since Ash Wednesday is going into Lent and remembering the death of Jesus it is timely.

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  30. Someone else probably put this but i don't have time to read all the comments. I saw in a magazine, a tip for freezing left overs. It said to put thick tin foil down in your baking dish. freeze in dish (squares work good). Pop the frozen square out and store it in the freezer like that. Then you can stack a bunch of leftover "trays" that are ready to go. You might want to label them with scotch tape though. :)

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  31. I just got the book that a previous comment mentioned, "Don't Panic...Dinner's In the Freezer". My sister in law got it for me for Christmas and I LOVE it! I definitely recommend it.

    Rosie

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  32. http://www.glad.com/containers/ovenware.php

    I use these for freezer meals. Straight to the oven. They are a little wobbly when warm so I usually put it on a cookie sheet. Remember to take the lid off. And when freezing cover your meal with Saran Wrap tightly to prevent freezer burn.

    Off to check out these blog suggestions. :)

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  33. Sarah I love your blog and read faithfully. You and I think alike on many issues. Plus our children are all similar ages. I just wanted to say that I don't think God made religion complicated.....I think people do.

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  34. Funny, I have already been doing your invention. :) I just use those aluminum portable type containers that you get at the grocery store. I do saran wrap it like a crazy person and try to get the air bubbles out. I forget to drink water too. And yes dehydration will make you crabby.

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  35. I love freezer meals!!! I use gallon sized ziploc freezer bags. For casseroles I thaw them in the fridge and then put in pan, top with cheese, breadcrumbs, whatever, and bake. For things like chili I just thaw it a tiny bit and then dump out of the ziploc bag and into the crockpot on low for the day! I eat the meals within a couple months and have not had freezer burn issues.

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  36. Being dehydratd makes me sleepy and not have a lot of energy. Being tired and not having a lot of energy makes me crabby. So, yes. For whatever dumb reason, the only way I can drink enough water is to have bottles of water laying all over the place - one next to my bed, one on my desk, one on the kitchen counter - basically anywhere I spend any amount of time. So I usually buy some bottled water, but then refill the bottles over and over again until they get scrappy looking or disappear. I know they made those purty PBA-free ones, and that's probably the "right" answer. Anyway, have water around you, and you'll drink it!

    On the grocery shopping and freezing, I just make up a menu for the week on Sunday afternoon and then go shopping for the whole week Sunday evening. Usually about one meal a week is one where I make a double batch (chili, spaghetti sauce, lasagna, soup, etc.) and freeze (it keeps our freezer pretty well stocked for nights when I don't want to cook). For liquidy things like soups and sauces, I just buy the big expensive Ziploc freezer bags and make sure there's no air in them and I have no problems with freezer burn. For things like casseroles or lasagna, you can put wax paper in a casserole dish when you assemble it, then freeze it. Once it's frozen, lift the wax paper/casserole out and wrap it up in cling wrap and aluminum foil - when you're ready to cook, pop it back into your casserole dish. Honestly, I'm lazy and just buy those disposable aluminum pans at the grocery store and cover them with two layers each of cling wrap and aluminum foil.

    So there, I've just confessed to two of my least-environmentally friendly habits ha!

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  37. I was big into the freezer cooking thing for a while after my son was born...then for some reason I kind of got out of it (probably during my house remodel). I need to start again. Anyway, my favorite books for freezer-friendly recipes are this one: http://www.amazon.com/Freezer-Cooking-Manual-Day-Gourmet/dp/0966446747/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1264178979&sr=8-1

    This one: http://www.amazon.com/Girlfriends-Go-Guide-Make-Ahead-Meals/dp/1599550156/ref=pd_sim_b_16

    And this one: http://www.amazon.com/Everything-Meals-Month-Cookbook-Recipes/dp/1593373236/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1264179096&sr=1-1

    I also got this one recently but a lot of the recipes are a little more complicated than I'm accustomed to and I haven't felt particularly motivated to try them yet: http://www.amazon.com/Dont-Panic-Dinners-Freezer-Great-Tasting/dp/0800730550/ref=pd_bxgy_b_text_b

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  38. Just wondering the title of the book...would you recommend it?
    Thanks,
    -A fellow Catholic

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  39. I LOVE freezer meals...I used to be in a group too and miss it!! But I still try to occasionally cook extra meats and freeze or double a meal and freeze. I get a lot of ideas, tips and recipes from this blog - http://www.fabulesslyfrugal.com/search/label/Fab%20Freezer%20Cooking - They have listed how they do it, what they recommend and if you keep scrolling down they have TONS of recipes:)
    I also bought "Dinner on Ice" by Jenny Stanger and you can go to her website - www.freezerdinner.com - she's got great advice too! Hope some of this helps!! Freezer Meals rock;) LOVE your blog!

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  40. I second the glad oven-wares!!!!! For everything else it's freezer gallon storage bags.

    Mexican or Italian meals work really well to start with. Some of my favorite are enchiladas, smothered burritos, mexican lasagna, regular lasagna, stuffed shells, chicken parmigiana.

    Other things that work well for me-- Kalua pork, bbq beef, shredded mexican pork (for salads or tacos), soups (anything without cream in the recipe), and then I always have some marinated meats in there too. If all else fails I pull them out, thaw and grill for an easy dinner.

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  41. The man driving the poopy diaper truck - NICE!

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  42. I was JUST thinking today how I would like to be more spiritual with my family... I believe in a higher being, whom I call GOD , however I was raised a Catholic. As I grew, I questioned the same things as you- why so much man made hoopla and rules. As an adult and reading up on rorganised reilgion, it's easy to see it was all about power- ruling power- not about God. I would like to have some sort of structure and tradition to share with my girls but find it difficult ot join an church or whatever that treats the bible, Jesus, etc as more than what they are/were really effective tools and leaders of their time. I want a place that focuses on being aware that their is more to life than the here and now, that being good matters...


    any suggestions?


    Apperently I like mentally challenging questions. :)


    As for the dinners- no clue, but it 'd be good to learn and YES dehydration makes you IRRITATABLE!

    Everytime I see your header, I want one with such color and fun!Maybe I'll go make one...

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  43. yuck. I just proof read my spped typed comment and EXCUSE all typo and spelling errors, my mind was working faster than my fingers. ;)

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  44. I am definitely going to check that book. I went through tweleve years of Catholic school and still have questions. Shhh... I didn't really pay attention religion class.
    As far as water. I di the same thing. Mostly because what goes in must come out. I just don't have time to pee that much during my day. Sad, but true.

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  45. Just for the record, I find my religion's teachings about God very simple and common-sense. I find Him awe-inspiring and amazing, but not complicated.

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  46. slices of cucumber in water are a great alternative to lemon. it kind of feels like you're at a spa.

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  47. I don't know anything about frozen meal storage :) but your post about Christianity and legalism reminded me immediately that Jesus came to set us free from the Old Law of the Old Testament (all those rules!!! man could never live up to them, man needed a savior) and to simplify life to the concept of LOVE: love the Lord your God with all your heart, love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew) and God IS Love (1 John)and loves us all so much that He gave his one and only son. Equally applicable to Catholics and Protestants and anyone on planet earth for that matter :) I agree that there are so many rules and disagreements and separation and it almost seems at times we are forgetting the Gospel and reverting back to the legalism instead of uniting as one body in Christ, in love.

    P.S. Nothing makes me crabbier than being dehydrated. I think I drink a gallon of water a day with the pregnancy!

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  48. Hey there, Sarah, I gave you a little head nod/award-but-not-really-an-award on my blog this afternoon.

    -Yours truly

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  49. Sarah,

    A book called "Don't Panic, Dinner's in the Freezer" (there are 2 volumes now), covers this. It depends on what you're making. If it's sauce for pasta, freeze it in a bag. If it's something like chicken enchiladas....line the you're baking dish with a layer of foil, then a layer of plastic wrap both hanging over the sides, assemble your enchiladas, sauce and all. then fold the excess wrap and foil to cover. Stick in the freezer and once it's frozen, you can have your baking dish back. Your dinner is in there in the SHAPE of the container you'll use to bake it in.

    The night before or even the same day, you can take it out of the freezer, take all the wrapping off-pop it in your baking dish and let it thaw. Bake it the same as you would.

    This works for muffins..A lot of times, I freeze extra muffin batter in the tins. Just shove it right in the oven at the same temperature you would normally bake it and almost the same time. You might have to add a minute or 2. Cookie dough...same thing. Freeze the cookie dough balls. Bake right out of the freezer for the same time at the same temp.

    Email with any Q's

    Beth from Pgh

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  50. Well, not sure if anyone posted this link yet, didn't have time to look at all the comments. This gal has some great yummy recipes, and how to freeze them:
    http://www.freezehappy.com/

    enjoy!

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  51. Hi Sarah,

    I LOVE freezer meals. They are the best. I made them with my mother when I was younger and it was a much bigger event then it is now for just my husband and I but it was so worth it.

    My favorites are:

    Lasagna- all kinds. I've make it with whatever I have on hand, red sauce and eggplant, veggie primavera, regular meat sauce, etc.

    Meatballs- make a huge batch and bake them all at once, flash freeze them, and pull out whatever you want that night.

    Mini meatloaves- same principle as meatballs. When I bake them for dinner I'll make special sauces to put on top like Honey Mustard or BBQ sauce to fit the meal's theme.

    Enchiladas-like lasagna, I what I have on hand to make it special. Sometimes it's Chicken Chipotle other times it basic Cheddar and white sauce. Also, depending on how many tortilla shells I have on hand I'll make them rolled up or in a cassarole.

    Various cassaroles- Depends on what I have. This month, I had lots of leftover turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy so I layered them in to a cassarole. Other times I've made Chicken and Rice Divan, pot pie (save the pie shell topping for after you pull it from the freezer.)

    Kits- these could be anything that can be frozen but not cooked and frozen like fajita stuff, stirfrys, soups (esp. cream based soups), etc.

    Quiche' is also a big hit. Tons of variety and options there.

    I've also frozen Chilis, spaghetti sauce, prebaked pizza crusts, garlic cream sauce for pizza, Reg. brown rice, beans, scones, muffins, cinnamon rolls (baked or unbaked)and quick breads for breakfasts.

    As for the packaging, I just bought a three pack of aluminum loaf pans, re-use the pans from pre-made pie shells. I just wrap them once in cling wrap and foil, never had a problem. And of course, ziplocks, lots of ziplocks!

    Best of luck to you!

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  52. My mother always did the freezer thing. I don't think it was a "thing" back in the 60s-70s, just something she did. She just made double batches of things, and froze half. Some things freeze poorly, like potatoes and cooked pasta.

    I always line the pans of casseroles before I freeze things, and then pop them out and wrap them. Works with pie fillings too, when my peach trees are spitting bushels of yummy peaches at me. I just pop the finished filling in a gallon ziploc and place in a pie dish and freeze to get the right shape. I just put the filling in a raw pie crust, dot with butter and bake. Let me tell you, there's not much finer than fresh peach pie in February.

    Also, in my life, there always seems to be a friend who for whatever reason (new baby, illness, whatever) needs to not have to cook dinner tonight. I can always pull something out to give her and lighten her load. I dunno- maybe they just thank me and privately grimace that I burden them with my horrible cooking...

    We did cloth diapers. We didn't have much money, and my mother just told me to suck it up -- it's not that hard, and she did it and why was I being such a wimp? She was right, as usual. Love the look of those little bottoms, all padded up, crawling across the floor away from me.

    Drink up your water, girl. Your skin and your temperament will thank you. Just fill a pitcher and put it in the fridge. Fill from there, and you'll know what you've drunk in a day.

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  53. Thanks for posting the name of the book. As a Catholic (who spent 12 years in Catholic school!) sometimes there are things I still wonder about and wish I knew the origins of. The book sounds like a great read!

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  54. I have no idea about your freezer question. I hate to cook. BUT I love your "a bunch of nothing posts." And I totally agree about the making religion too complicated thing!

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  55. p.s. Also LOVE those snowmen!!!

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  56. Loved the post! A friend of mine who is a personal chef says the trick is using lots of liquid when pre-making stuff to bake in the oven. For lasagna, she says to just place the dry noodles in there, just make sure you use lots of sauce. Personally, I don't like as much sauce as it requires so I've never tried it, but it might help in your quest. And will you post a list of the links that you do end up using for all of us too! Happy Friday!

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  57. As a cradle Catholic I was interested in what book you were referring to, so thanks for the post script. It was very refreshing to read your comments about the subject. Felt as though you had read my mind. Similar story with the diapers, always felt a twinge of guilt every time that plastic package of sanity was happily ripped open. A very small twinge : )

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  58. Hi Sarah!

    Hey, I just wanted to let you know that for a few years the moms in my neighborhood have had a dinner group. We've done it a couple different ways. The first is that one mom is in charge of thinking up 5 meals, getting the ingredients and having it at her house. Then everyone who is in the group comes over and makes the meals at that person's home and pays her the cost of the food.

    The other way is that each person in the group thinks up a meal, then we submit what we are doing so there are no duplicates, then each person makes their meal for however many people that are doing it (usually between 5-8 people). Then we freeze those meals and meet on a certain day and exchange.

    Also, there are some great containers by Glad that can be frozen, heated, microwaved and put in the dishwasher. Each of us invested in getting those at the beginning. That way when we exchange we all have the same dishes and we don't have to go around returning things or keep buying disposable.

    I love it. It really makes life a lot easier to have meals ready to pop in the oven. Some of the favorites have been pork burritos, BBQ beef, manicotti and chicken casseroles.

    Hope things are going well for you guys!

    XOXO
    Jen

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  59. I have been reading your blog for awhile and appreciate all the great posts. I also have alot of great Catholic friends, and I just wanted to share a place that I found has very clear answers to life's questions, about God, who He is, why we are here on Earth, etc. at www.mormon.org . I think mormons and Catholics have more in common than people realize. hope you have a great day!

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  60. Freezer cooking saved my sanity after our second baby was born with some medical issues (not life-threatening, but exhausting to deal with). I'll go a few months between big cooking sessions, but I always have hamburger browned and frozen in baggies (inside a freezer container), and cooked/shredded chicken in baggies - just grab one to throw in any recipe that calls for it. We're putting down new kitchen/dining/entry/living room hardwood floors in a couple of weeks, so my kitchen will be non-functioning for at least a week - I'm planning on tacos, crock pot chili, a chicken/rice/beans salad, etc. - all stuff that I can pull out of the freezer and heat in the microwave or crock pot or electric frying pan while my stove is living in the garage.

    Do a google search for terms like freezer cooking, freezer meals, bulk cooking, once a month cooking, etc., and you'll find a lot of pretty decent websites.

    There are a bunch of good cookbooks out there for freezer cooking, but the best one for beginners (IMO) is the "Freezer Cooking Manual from 30 Day Gourmet - A Month of Meals Made Easy" It has the best introduction for freezer cooking I've seen - how to plan, shop, organize, etc. And the recipes are printed with the ingredients in a table at the top, so you can see how much you need for up to 6 batches of each recipe.

    Other cookbooks I use are the "Don't Panic - Dinner's in the Freezer" that others mentioned, "Fix, Freeze, Feast" that uses the big trays of meats you buy at Costco or Sam's Club, "Once-A-Month Cooking," and "Make-A-Mix" (mixes like Italian Meat Sauce that you add to recipes the day you cook it up). Once you get the hang of it, you'll figure out how to freeze your family's favorites - just about any recipe can be prepared up to a point and then frozen, to be cooked or finished later.

    I freeze a lot of things in zip-loc freezer bags, because they are more space efficient. Some things, like enchiladas, lasagna, etc. are frozen in the 9 x 13 pan. If you have a round crock pot, you can freeze recipes like chili or layered things like a lasagna in an ice cream bucket, then pop it out of the bucket into the crock-pot to bake.

    Our family favorites are things like meatballs, meatloaf mix, Mexican meat mix (shredded beef with chilis, etc,. added), shredded pork, ham and potato casserole (made with cubed/frozen Potatoes O'Brian), enchiladas, stuffed shells, sweet & sour chicken, chicken a la king, various chicken casseroles, soups, etc.

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  61. i am reading a great book on mothering and anger called She Is Gonna Blow by Julia Barnhill it talks about warning signs and dehydration is one of them. great book by the way

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  62. Sarah -
    I used to work for a company called Dream Dinners - where people would come and make 2 weeks worth of meals and take them home and freeze them. It was so great. We made them in foil pans with either cardboard tops or foil tops. They never got freezer burn. But, they were throw aways, so I'm not sure if there is something you could use over and over again. I like the idea of making meals ahead of time, and freezing them. I just could never remember to take them out of the freezer in time to cook them for the meal I wanted!
    -Kara

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  63. savingdinner.com She has a Now and Later menu and also just a straight freezer menu that would work for this. My family would not know how to eat without this!

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