freezer cookbook meals

After work yesterday, I picked up the veggies and such that I needed for the freezer cookbook meals. I opted to take a short cut there, and all of the onion, celery, garlic, and ginger was already chopped, diced, minced, etc. This saved me a lot of hassle and time. As such, I was able to prepare four meals last night, in addition to dinner. I prepared:
Beef Barley Soup
Dave's Swamp Blues Barbecued Chicken
Mariachi Chicken Rolls
Caribbean Pork Tenderloin*

I started with the Caribbean Pork Tenderloin, but to simplify things, I opted to change it into a pork roast. As such, I added to the marinade. We'll see how that turns out when we try it! The recipe was very easy to follow, although I will admit, I made a giant mess with splattering the soy sauce all over the table.

From there, I moved to the Barbecued Chicken. I started the sauce, which smelled and tasted yummy, although I had to make a small substitute, so I think it'll have a bit of a sweeter flavor than intended, but that's not a problem, as it tasted a bit spicy and sweet, all at the same time.

While the sauce was cooling, and I had the chicken divided into bags, I started to tackle the Mariachi Chicken Rolls. While I was dividing up that chicken, I realized that there was a LOT of chicken remaining, so I added a bit extra to each of the bags for the Barbecued Chicken. I mixed the ingredients for the Mariachi Chicken, and then took a break to eat dinner.

After dinner, I added the sauce to the Barbecued Chicken, then worked on the Mariachi Chicken Rolls. I placed the chicken in a bag, the filling in a bag, and the sauce in a bag, then combined all of them (sealed) into another Ziploc bag. Mac helped me while I was placing the sauce into the bags, as it was messy, and definitely a job for two people. The recipe said to roll the chicken and filling, place in an 8X8 pan, and then cover with sauce. I thought about doing that, but decided that the chicken would not fit in the pan, and figured that this way, everyone can use their own pans.

Then, I assembled the ingredients for the Beef Barley soup, using elk meat instead of beef. It was very easy to assemble, in part because I bought pre-sliced carrots, diced celery, diced onion, etc. I simply tossed it into bags, and then tossed the meat (still frozen and vacuum-sealed) into bags, added the barley in quart bags, and then tossed it all into 2-gallon bags.

When I started doing this, Mac expressed concern about having to clean up the dishes. I reassured him that I'd take care of them, and I did. There weren't that many: several measuring spoons and cups, a large skillet, three mixing bowls, and a stirring spoon. I'm anxious to try these.

Our freezer is packed! I pulled out the Cattleman's Pie and Crispy French Onion Chicken, as we needed the room in the freezer! The good news is that of the 12 bags of food from last night, only 4 of them will stay in our freezer. Four of them will be gone tonight, which frees up a bit of space. I'm waiting to hear from Tiff as to when I can get her bags to her. In rearranging the freezers last night, I discovered that I'd ordered an extra order of the Central Park Garlic Chicken, which was hidden in the downstairs freezer. Oops!

We're having Cattleman's Pie on Wednesday, and the Crispy French Onion Chicken on Thursday.

Thursday is my Amaranth initiation, and I'm meeting members who are giving me a ride there at 6 PM, so dinner will be ready when Mac gets home, and after we eat quickly, I'll change while he packs up the leftovers. He may give me a ride to where I'm meeting them, and will just pick me up there as well. I figured that the Crispy French Onion Chicken is the easiest to prepare and takes minimal time, so that wins!

We have mystery shops for dinner on Friday and Saturday, and on Saturday, I have my session at Dream Dinners with Sonja. Yes, that means that another 4 meals will come home with me on Saturday. I'll have another pan of Arroz Con Pollo, plus a bag of Cattleman's Pie, a bag of Crispy French Onion Chicken, and a bag of Terracotta Chicken with Pita and Hummus.

I think I'll be cooking dinner on Sunday, rather than going out to dinner! As of right now, we have no plans for next week, other than a sportsmen's association meeting, so I think I'll be cooking every night next week!

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