Main Dishes, Table Talk

Meals for a Month with Mary and Samantha

Meet our January Kitchen Chicks

The Chicken Lady and Her Little Chick

Mary and Samantha live in a tiny house.  They raise chickens in a little coop in their front yard.  Mary isn’t quite sure how she first began raising chickens except that she had heard that fresh eggs didn’t upset your stomach the way store bought eggs do.  She tried some fresh eggs raised by her neighbor and poof, she was hooked. She became so attached to her chickens that now people call her the chicken lady–and she has the boots to prove it!  She doesn’t mind the moniker, in fact she’s come to embrace it because she really does care for her chickens.  She will soon be moving into a new, larger house where she intends to continue her chicken-loving tradition. Her hens even provided the eggs for today’s cooking.  Samantha, Mary’s daughter, also loves chickens, plays percussion in the local middle school band and plays sports as well.  So much talent in one little family.  🙂  Mary spends a lot of time in the henhouse because, she says, chickens have a lot of personality, so it only seems fitting that she and her chicken-loving daughter become our next Kitchen Chicks.

composite of Mary and Sam

Meals for a Month

Just on a whim, Mary and I were talking about all the freezer recipes that were cropping up online and said, almost in unison, “We need to do that!”  We spent two weeks searching for what we thought were the best recipes.  We were emailing back and forth in a frenzy!  We finally narrowed it down to 10 recipes that we thought were good to make together (some had similar ingredients) and some that just plain sounded good. I have seen so many posts about freezer meals.  It always seemed so exciting and fun, but I never seemed to have any time to put it all together.  Let me tell you, with a little planning and a great friend to help you, there’s no reason why you can’t do this yourself and save some time and money in the bargain.  Just so that you can get the benefit of our first try, the mistakes we made and the oh-so-successful recipes, here at kitchen-chicks we’ve decided to give you a rundown on what worked, what didn’t work and how to cut through the mess. Here are the recipes we finally chose:

Broccoli Chicken Bake–We liked this one but felt it either needed more sauce or less noodles.

Meatball Subs–This was a favorite, but remember to broil, not bake, until browned

Chicken Pie–freezes great and definitely worth the extra effort.

Sausage and Pepper Skillet–just doggone delicious!

Spaghetti–a traditional Kitchen Chicks recipe

Chili–We suggest you add the beans after you thaw it out.

Chili Dogs–we separated chili into separate smaller bags so that our chili would have no beans.

Applesauce Pork Chops–all of the pork recipes seemed a little dry to us, so we suggest lowering the amount of time in the crock pot, or alternately cook them in a pan or pot instead.

Sweet Glazed Pork Chops–3 ingredient recipe!

Lasagna--another traditional Kitchen Chicks recipe.  Be sure and thaw fully before cooking.

Let the Cooking Begin!

It was so much fun thinking about it and planning it, we couldn’t wait to start cooking.  We set the date and then met, utensils and food in hand to begin the process.

Month of Meals

After making a shopping list, I set off to the store to pick up all the things we’d need.  My shopping cart full and my nerves tingling, I stepped up to the cashier and waited for the number to appear on the cash register display.  I held my breath as the cashier pressed the button to reveal $197.60!  That means each of us got ten recipes for under $100.00!  Most of the recipes were enough for two meals, so that meant we each got 20 meals!

Mary and Samantha came over the next Saturday and we set to work.  Mary started a sink of soapy water, this helps with spills and keeps dishes washed and ready for the next recipe, and Samantha and I began organizing the food.  Samantha went through the recipes to group recipes that had similar ingredients and I began chopping (onions, green peppers, cheese, or anything else that needs some preparation) because doing your chopping first allows you to have everything ready as you need it.  I also precooked the chicken in the crock pots overnight so they’d be ready.  I also cooked the carrots for the chicken pie with the chicken so they’d already be soft.  Teamwork!  Don’t you just love it?  We had so much fun putting it all together, but boy were we tired after the 4 hours it took to complete the job.

Job well done

This was Mary’s half of the recipes!

A Job Well Done

It’s so great to have a friend who not only shares my love for great food, but also is so much fun to be with.  We spent the day talking and laughing and enjoying each other’s company, and in the end, we got some great meals to share with our families.  We definitely need to start planning for our next freezer meal work day.  Hey Mary!  You get to do the shopping next time.  Or better yet, let’s go together!