Cooking Ladies ~ Meals #3

In December for Cooking Ladies we did something a little different.  Our weekends were jam packed with fun Christmas activities, but it was still important to us to have these quick meals in our freezers.  When it was suggested that we make our meals and meet up to swap them, a unanimous YES was heard!!  Add to that a dinner out in Ashland and we couldn't wait to meet up again.  Rachel also suggested we do a $20 gift exchange and it turned out really fun...ESPECIALLY since I ended up with the exclusive 3/4 cup measuring cup!!

I only took a couple of photos during our night out and we didn't get a group shot, but trust me when I say this was almost as much fun as cooking together in our homes!



Meatballs with Barbecue Sauce ~ Tara

2lbs hamburger
2 eggs (beaten)
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1/4 cup tomato juice
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
Cracker crumbs (I use Ritz)

1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup catsup
1/2 cup tomato juice
1/4 cup water
1 Tbsp worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Combine all ingredients for meatballs and add enough cracker crumbs to take up the moisture about 1 cup.  Shape mixture into balls using about 1/2 cup mixture.  Arrange in 9X13 inch pan.  Pour sauce over and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  Bake covered and uncover last 20 minutes.  

{My kids were most impressed with the SIZE of her meatballs...."like mini meat loaves" said one of my kids!}

Ham & Cheese Braid ~ Jody
1 Loaf Rhodes bread dough
1/4 c. butter
1/2 envelope hidden valley ranch mix
3/4 lb. thinly sliced ham
1 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 t. poppy seeds

Roll bread dough out into a rectangular shape to its approx. 1/2 " thick.  Combine butter & ranch mix & spread all but about 1Tablespoon on the rectangle.  Layer hame & cheese down the center of rectangle.  Use a pizza cutter to cut strips along each side of dough.  Starting at the bottom take each piece, cross & twist.  Continue cris-crossing until your pizza is braided.  Brush remaining butter/ranch over top & sprinkle with poppy seeds.  Wrap loaf with plastic wrap ( I forgot to do this) then foil.  

To prepare after freezing:
Thaw over night.  Place in fridge as is & let thaw overnight.  A couple of hours before you are ready to bake place it on the counter to continue to thaw & begin to rise.  Unwrap plastic wrap & bake on top of foil.  Bake at 350 for 25-30 min.

I pinned this from fabulesslyfrugal.com
{My kids were very intrigued by the poppy seeds on the top!  This was good and I loved that you could really mix it up with what you put inside...get creative in the kitchen people!}

Beef Enchiladas ~ Hilary 
1 can cream of chicken
1/2 package of enchilada seasoning, dry
8 oz sour cream (not part of orginal recipe, but we like sour cream!)
fill soup can 1/2 full of milk
*Mix all together

1 lb ground beef, cooked and drained
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 lb shredded cheddar cheese
-Sometimes I put in a can of green chiles, but my kids throw a fit so I left them out!

**Spray 13x9 with Pam.  Spread a spoonful of sauce on a tortilla, fill with beef, beans and cheese.  Roll up and fill your pan.  Top rolled enchiladas with extra sauce and more shredded cheese.  Bake at 350 for 25 minutes covered and then 10-15 minutes uncovered.  Top with shredded lettuce and tomatoes!

{These might be on the menu tonight if I make it to the tree stand this afternoon!! I'm sure they'll be deilicious, what's not to love about that ingredient list?!}

Breakfast Burritos ~ Rachel
Here's what's in Rachels: bacon, sausage, onions, red peppers, hashbrown potatoes, eggs, 

chili seasoning and tortillas

I found this Breakfast Burrito recipe if you aren't clear on how to make one!

Rachel wrapped hers in plastic wrap and then put them in a freezer bag for us. We just pop

them out and microwave them as needed!! These can be used anytime of day, which is a

very versatile freezer meal...love that!

Beer N Beef Stew
There are a million variations of this recipe, but here's what's in this one:

2 carrots, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2-3 medium potatoes, diced
Approx 2 lbs stew meat
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can Rotel
2 bay leaves
1 Tbsp parsley
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp butter
1 can beef broth
1 can/bottle beer

Combine all ingredients, except broth and beer in freezer safe storage bag. When ready to cook, empty bag, broth and beer into slow cooker and cook for about 6 hours on low.

{I've made this a couple of times, in a couple different ways and I've got to say that my favorite is to go straight from prep to slow cooker. I'm not a huge fan of the texture of the carrots and potatoes after they have been frozen and then cooked, but that's just purely personal preference. I also prefer bigger chunks of veggies, but my family freaks out over that sort of thing, so smaller it is. I've also made this with a mild beer and a strong beer...I prefer the light, Jeremy prefers the strong. Again, just personal preference! This is not one of our favorites, but we make it a couple times each winter just to mix things up a bit! This is another one of those easily adaptable recipes...just put in what you like!}

Don't forget that you can view our Pinterest Freezer/Crockpot board here. We are all pinning things that look super yummy!

Next month we're meeting at Jody's and I'm sure once we get through Christmas, we'll start planning what each of us is going to bring!


Megan said...

I'm jealous! Sounds like you girls had fun! I can't wait to get my hands on Ree's new cookbook that Tara has sitting in front of her! I bought one for my grandma for Christmas, but didn't even peek inside because I want to enjoy it when I finally do get it!

Kim said...

I stumbled onto your blog from another blog and am VERY interested in your freezer cooking get togethers. When you get a chance, would you email the nitty gritty on how all this works? Would like to start my own little group :) the.elams@ptsi.net