Things are about to change again around here. In just 2 short weeks, I’ll be headed back to work I’ve really loved the time I’ve had to spend at home with Aria, and I wish there were some way we could extend it. Unfortunately, financially that isn’t really feasible for us, as much as we both wish it were. Plus, I’m sure my colleagues are ready for me to get back – especially considering that we are short-staffed as it is! Luckily, I do really like the daycare that Aria will be attending, and I’m excited for her to go and learn and experience new things.
In an attempt to make the transition as easy as possible, I’m going to be restocking our freezer before I head back. I know when I pick Aria up from daycare at the end of a long day, the last thing I’m going to want to do is cook some long involved dinner. Our time is going to be much better spent cuddling and playing! I stocked our freezer before the baby was born, and it really was so helpful. Most of the things I made were crockpot meals, with a few oven meals and some breakfasts/desserts thrown in there. With the exception of a few recipes that we haven’t actually cooked yet (which I will note below), most of these recipes are tried and true – and delicious. The oven meals, like the chicken enchiladas and the mac and cheese, take a little more effort on the front end, but they yield a decent amount and are SO good so it’s worth it. The crockpot meals, on the other hand, couldn’t be easier! You basically throw the uncooked ingredients in a storage bag and freeze. If a recipe called for meat to be browned first, I just didn’t bother – the depth of flavor might suffer slightly, but not enough to counteract the simplicity of just throwing everything in the crockpot as is.
To cook the crockpot meals, I move the bag from the freezer to the refrigerator the night before, then throw it in the crockpot on low in the morning. I also try to remember to defrost the oven meals before cooking. They can certainly be cooked from frozen – it just takes a little longer. To simplify things even further, I make sure to clearly mark each bag/tray with what’s in it and how to cook it. That way I don’t have to go looking up any recipes to remember how to heat it up!
- Cinnamon Sugar Apple Muffins
- Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins (I honestly can’t remember what recipe I used – I’ll keep looking!)
- English Muffins
- Beef and Broccoli
- White Chicken Chili
- Cranberry Pork Roast *
- Teriyaki Chicken *
- Cilantro Lime Chicken *
- Pizza Dough (obviously this needs more prep work the day of, but still good to have on hand!)
- Best Ever White Bread
- Hamburger Buns
- Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread
- Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies (freeze the uncooked, shaped dough, then bake just slightly longer.)
*We haven’t actually eaten these yet, so I can’t completely vouch for them.