I'm Back!!! :o) Freezer Cooking

As promised in our newsletter this month I will be adding a bunch of new recipes to our blog this coming week so stay tuned! If you have time to check in during the week I would love to hear from you, I am hoping to get started Monday morning if all goes well, you know... no sick kids at home, no emergencies, etc...!

I had the neatest dinner experience this summer! Last year at one of our son's football meetings I won a door prize for a gift card that was absolutely perfect for our CRAZY BUSY family, it just took me almost 12 months to finally get around to using it!!!

The gift card was for $25 towards a session at one of those dinner prep places where you go and make 6 or 12 dinners for your family at once and then take them home and put them in the freezer. The problem was, it was still going to be pretty expensive even with the gift card so the first thing I thought was, "NO WAY!" So, I just kept the gift card in it's pretty little gift bag in my office... for an entire year! :o)

Then, over the summer when my one of my niece's came to work with me in my office for a few weeks she discovered my little gift bag and said, "Aunt Michelle, what is this?!" I told her my sad/funny story and she said "You should GO!" She loves to cook like I do and we were hoping we could go together before she had to return home but it didn't work out because you have to make an appointment for these places in advance and we didn't have enough time. However, we did at least get me signed up for their information and that was progress!

What happened next was really cool. Well, it was good and bad. A few weeks later I rec'd an email from our local dinner store that they were closing that location and that all appointments booked during the remainder of August would receive a big discount! I just couldn't believe it. I felt bad that they were closing and I hadn't even had a chance to try them yet, but at the same time, I was excited that I might be able to finally go for a more affordable price. I knew this was "now or never" and I really SHOULD go. So, I made my appointment to make 12 dinners!!! The price to make 12 dinners is actually much more cost effective than making only 6, and with a large family of 6 and a big freezer, I knew that would be the best choice for us, so that's the option I chose. Then I selected 12 entrees from their August menu that I would make during my scheduled appointment. (This is how they know what items to have prepared for you when you arrive!)

It was great, the dinners were all recipes I would not normally make and I loved having everything already chopped up and prepared for me so all I had to do was put them together as they had listed on each recipe chart (adding more or less of the ingredients as I liked) and then put them in freezer bags to take home.

What I didn't know at the time when I made the appt. is that most people that go make only 6 dinners (HA) but thankfully there was one other dear sweet mother of a large family like me who also owns her own business and is crazy busy, and was there to make 12 dinners too! We had a great time preparing those meals for our family and it took us about 2 1/2 hours. And that's including the first dinner I made by accident that wasn't mine! lol And yes, I had to leave it in the fridge for the people who were coming in the next group who had ordered that meal. It was a delicious Jamaican Pork Roast!

Another thing I thought that was really cool was that several of the people there were COUPLES! My husband was with our kids at our two son's ballgames so I was on my own of course but how cool for both partners to be there so you can tag team the dinners! If we ever do this again I will be SURE to bring him with me!!!

Have y'all ever done anything like this, or do you like preparing meals in advance for your freezer? I have always prepared extra food and meals for our freezer and it helps tremendously! If you do too, send me your tips or recipes here so we can post them for the group, thanks! :o)