Thursday, 3 April 2014

Freezer Meals: Big Cook Spring 2014 (Pantry Edition)

Spring is here, the trees are starting to bloom - it's my favorite time of year! 

Unfortunately the freezer is empty again and money is tight this month, so I wasn't able to make some of my usual freezer meals for my big cook - instead, I decided to do a Big Cook Day from the things I had in my pantry. 

Thanks to my bursting pantry and the freezer full of grass fed beef we bought in the fall, the only thing I still had to buy for this Big Cook Day was chicken (great sales on chicken breasts & thighs at my local store and it was 10% off on Tuesday!!!) and I couldn't resist a couple bags of shredded Swiss cheese from the 50% off bin to make one of my fav's. I only had my usual grocery budget to make this happen so we won't be buying much else this week...some milk & eggs and veggies from the market to round out our meals - but I'm gonna be so thankful for all this work when I don't have to do anything to prepare meals for the next few months. 

Pantry Big Cooks area great way to use up some of the stash that seems to accumulate in the pantry and freezer!

Once again, I wasn't free to just cook to my heart's content, so I had to split up the day into two parts; chicken in the morning and beef in the afternoon/evening. After dropping the kids off at Preschool, I had to do a quick shop to pick up chicken because it was 10% off Tuesday and I can't resist that wonderful savings on chicken that was already almost 1/2 price!

Before starting I got prepared. If you haven't read it yet, check out my post on Preparing for a Big Cook Day

I started with a huge batch of a staple that I would need in several recipes, Home Made Cream of Mushroom Soup (Condensed) (x3), so I could make some classic pantry meals without the canned mushroom soup - 2 recipes for the meals I was making and one for the freezer.

Once that was done, it was on to Creamy Swiss Chicken (x2).

Then on to the easy dump & pour recipes (so easy, I could do this all day!):

Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken (x3), Greek Chicken (x3), Bacon Maple Dijon Chicken (x2), and Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken (x3).

A little break to go pick up the kids from Preschool and it was on to lunch. Ladybug Soup (x2) was on the menu and I made a double batch with one for the freezer.

Ms. Ladybug was with us for the afternoon & early evening, so I was a little busy and distracted, but still managed to quickly whip up a family favorite, Slow Cooker Amtat Mongolian Beef (x4), for dinner (with 3 extras for the freezer) and Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff (x3) while it was cooking.

After Ms. Ladybug went home and Uncle Ladybug & the kids were in bed, I managed to make Herbed Meatballs. Half for Spicy Apricot Meatballs (x2), saving the other half for Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs (x2).

Meals from this Big Cook Day:
* Recipes will be coming in the next few weeks as I get time to post them.

Yup, that's 12 different meals - 29 meals in total. Whew, busy day, an empty pantry, and a very full freezer!

Yay for a pantry big cook day.

For more Freezer Friendly ideas for your Big Cook Day, check out my Freezer Meals page.


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