Wednesday, October 17, 2012

I Can't Craft...But I Can Cook

Sometimes I get down on myself. I look at all these other stay-at-home mom's who make cute things for their kids and their home and to sell on their little websites...and I get down. I am not a creative thinker. I don't have that side of the brain in full use. I am a logical thinker. I think in numbers. Ask anyone close to me...I am a Numbers Girl.

The other day at the gas station,
I pulled up to a pump that had the amount of $30.20 paid from the previous car.
I thought that was kinda cool
but thought taking a picture would be silly.
Little did I know that my own total would come out to be $40.30
and that taking a picture would have been AWESOME!
I didn't pump extra to get it there,
it just landed there,
and it was cool.
I told Nik about this and he chuckled
because he knows how I am with numbers.

The other (a different) day
I was telling Nik
how I only had to go make such-and-such bill payment 3,
maybe 4,
more times before the baby gets here..
depending on if she comes early like Tatum,
or on time like a good girl.
He laughed about how I count down to a big event with
Fast Sundays (The first Sunday of each month)
or how I count Paychecks
or weekends
or many other things
and how that makes me happy.
He just loves me
and laughs FOR me.
But that is how I am.
That is how I do things.

When out driving...
I point out cool license plates
that have cool number sequences,
like, 366 ZMM (for example. just made that up). 

I just like numbers.
I am a logical person,
not a crafty person.
I liked Math more than Art class.
I like to balance our checkbook.
It makes me feel good
when the numbers add up right.

WOAAHHH.... long sidenotes there. But you get the picture.

I have longed to be a person that loves sewing. I do it and SOMETIMES have fun with it. Most times I am fretting over making it perfect and the line not going crooked. That is why I love numbers. Numbers are perfect (except for Uterine Math - and I will make another post about that for it. Nik is the one that made this Math up) . They make sense to me. I can make them work. Sewing is very stressful for me. Maybe I just need to do it more and learn to be better and learn to let go and like it.

Anywho....what I am getting at, is I like to cook (when I have a recipe that has numbers I can follow. haha). I am not a cook that can "throw stuff together" and have it be good. No. Not me. I don't guesstimate on how much 1/5 Cup Milk is and 1 Cup Flour. I measure. When I have those numbers, I like to cook.

I have been doing Freezer meals for almost a whole year now (although not consistently) and I LOVE THEM! I guess I should clarify one thing....I don't like to cook dinner when it is time for dinner. It is too stressful for me. Either I start too late and then we have a late late dinner, or Tatum won't leave the kitchen and begs to be picked up when I am working on the hot stove, or the meal will have to cook in the oven and I didn't read that far down the recipe to plan accordingly. I do not like to cook at dinner time. If I have to, it is usually spaghetti or sandwiches. haha. All my other nice meals are freezer meals.

Over the last 4 days Nik and I have:
-cubed/cut/packaged 60lbs of chicken breast that we ordered from Zaycon Foods
-completed a 3 hour shopping trip to multiple stores
-prepared over 10 Freezer Meals (and have more to do over the next few days)

I have had to take things extra slow this time around because this pregnancy has already been rough and I am only 22 weeks along, just over the halfway mark.

But I love this. I have enjoyed putting these meals together, knowing that dinners will be ready when I need them and that all I will have to do is throw them in the oven to heat up or in the crockpot to cook. With the weather getting colder, it will be nice to use my oven as a heat source.

I have a blog that is just for the recipes I have tried and loved...Dawna Dinners...and I will be posting up the latest recipes as soon as I try them. But for now, I will list the recipes so you can check them out for yourself. If you try them before I do and you find that a change needs to be made, let me know. I am open to suggestions.

All in all...I feel accomplished with making these Freezer Meals. I am not the best at being creative...but I can follow a recipe. Nik constantly reminds me that all women are different and do different things better than others and that I just need to look at what I CAN do and LOVE to do instead of what I lack in...or feel I lack in.

When I was researching how to do all this last year, it just made sense. When making these meals I dirty everything in my kitchen at once. I don't dirty all the utensils each and every night to have to wash them again and repeat the next night. I dirty them once and then I am done. It made sense.
I hate meal planning...but if I can plan my meals ONCE and be done...I'm happy.
Now, I can spend more time with Tatum each day instead of spending my afternoon/evenings in the kitchen.
It just made sense for me to do it this way. It definitely isn't for everyone, but it works for our family.
If ever anyone wants to make meals with me, let me know. I take it nice and slow. It is at least a 3 day process, for me, but you can do it faster if you would like. I HAVE done it ALL in one day but that was rough.
Day One: Shop
Day Two: Prepare Meats
Day Three+: Put it all together.


This first one is the only one that does not tell you how to freeze it. I just undercooked the pasta and made it like they said and then froze it with a lid. I have added chicken, asparagus, and spinach. yuuummmm!

These shells are my mom's favorite. I am not the fondest of them....but try them out and you might love them or need to tweak the recipe. I want to continue to make them, I just need to figure out what I need to fix, first.

This is yummy! We eat it with rice and steamed veggies. Again, with every recipe, make sure to watch how your food cooks. With this one, I do not have to cook it as long. And with this one I freeze it and thaw it in a bag and then when I am ready to bake it, I place it in a spare baking dish. Less freezer space and then it doesn't use up all my dishes.

One of my favorites. It is soooo juicy!

Another one of my favorites. LOVE IT!

I made these and they were good. For some reason my tortillas came out soggy. Maybe because I didn't freeze mine immediately. Not sure. I just need to keep trying it and perfecting my skills.

So yummy. I doubled the meat and just did 1.5 on the noodles because the first time I made it, the ratio was a little off for me. I wanted it more filling and less on just eating carbs.

I make a couple of these as my back ups. It only takes about 3 hours or less on high in the crockpot. We eat this over rice.

NEW RECIPES (i have yet to try)

I have been putting these together but haven't tasted them for myself, so if you do try them and have a suggestion on something else to add to them or to cook them for less time or anything else, let me know, please. I would love any help I can get.

Casseroles/Oven required meals:

Crockpot Meals:
(did make this on Sunday...DELICIOUS when served just over rice or with rice in tortilla)



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