Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Crockpot Freezer Cooking 101

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I thought I would give a run-down of exactly what I do when I prepare my Crockpot Freezer Meals.  I really enjoy doing this because it saves me time and money, two things of which I always seem to be in need!  There's nothing like having 10 meals done in 3 hours!

A couple things to note here:
  • I make double of each recipe so that I have 10 total meals that serve a family of 4 normally.  So 1 bag equals 1 meal for 2 adults and 2 children normally.
  • I always taste the meal once it is cooked fully in the crockpot and add more seasonings as needed.  Seasoning is a personal preference.
  • I defrost the bag slightly and then put the frozen chunk into the crockpot and set it for 8 hours on low while I am working.  My crockpot automatically goes to warm after that.  I've never had any issues with food drying out.
  • I also recommend getting Mama and Baby Love's e-cookbook. It has 20 great recipes and includes printable labels for your bags! Love her stuff!! Click here to get it.

1.  I choose my recipes.  Here is what I'm using this week:

Week of May 11th, 2012 Freezer Plan



Hawaiian ChickenSandwiches

6-8 Chicken Breasts (1 for each family member, doubled)
2 cups of chicken broth
2 small cans of pineapple rings
2 red bell peppers sliced into thin strips
1large onion sliced into strips
Provolone cheese
Whole wheat buns or lettuce wraps

Directions:  Divide all contents evenly into two bags except cheese and buns/lettuce.  Cook onlow for 8 hours.  Serve chicken toppedwith pepper and onions under melted provolone cheese on a bun or lettuce warp.

Savory Pepper Steak

3 pounds of roundsteak but into ½ inch thick strips.
½ cup flour
1 tsp of salt
1 tsp pepper
1 large onion chopped
a few garlic cloves—Ilike to put 4-5 crushed into each bag
1 green pepperssliced
1 red peper sliced
2  16oz cans of tomatoes—I prefer Italian style
2 tbsp beef bouillon
4 tsp ofWorcestershire sauce
2 tbsp of steakseasoning
2 tbsp of steak sauce

Directions:  Toss steak strips in mixture of flour, saltand pepper.  Mix together beef boullion,Worcestershire sauce, and steak sauce and divide evenly into two bags.  Add remaining ingredients.  Cook on low 8 hours.  Serve with rice and a side salad.

Scalloped Potatoes andHam

12 new potatoes and cut into ¼ inch round slices or a large bag of frozen potatoes
2 cans of cream ofyour choice—I used potato
2 cans of water
2 ham steaks, cubed--we used turkey ham
8 oz cheddar cheese
4 cups of broccoli
salt and pepper

Directions:  Divide everything evenly into two containers.  Cook on low for 8 hours.
*EDIT* People have mentioed the potatoes turing black if frozen.  Mine didn't do that, but just to be safe, either use frozen potatoes or add potatoes the day of cooking.

Salsa Chicken

6-8 chicken breasts
2   15 oz. cans of black beans
1 family size frozenbag of corn
2 cans of dicedtomatoes and green chilies
1 jar of salsa
1 packet of tacoseasoning
2 cups of cheddarcheese

Directions:  Divide everything except cheese evenly intotwo bags.  Cook on low for 8 hours.  Serve over rice or on corn tortillas withrice as a side.

Chicken Curry

6-8chicken breasts
2cans of cream of chicken soup
1cup of dry cooking sherry
½cup of butter
8green onions chopped
4tsp of curry powder
saltand pepper

Directions: Divide everything except butter into two bags evenly.  Add butter to crockpot when ready to cook.  Cook on low for 8 hours. Serve over rice with a side salad.


2. I prep my grocery list split into categories and go shopping:



Grocery List
 
Produce:
3 red bell peppers
1 green bell pepper
2 large onions
Lettuce wraps*
Garlic
12 new potatoes
Broccoli
Bunch of green onions
Meats:
18-24 chicken breasts
3 lbs round steak
2 ham steaks
Frozen:
1 family sized bag of corn
Canned:
2 small cans of pineapple rings
2 cans of diced tomatoes
2 cans of diced tomatoes with green chilies
1 jar of salsa
2 cans of cream of your choice
2 cans of cream of chicken
2   15oz cans of blackbeans
Dairy:
Provolone Cheese
4 cups cheddar cheese
Bakery:
Whole wheat buns*
Staples/Spices:
Salt
Pepper
Flour
Beef bouillon
Worcestershire sauce
Steak Sauce
Steak Seasoning
Taco Seasoning
Cooking Sherry
Butter
Curry powder
Rice
Salad Supplies

*Buy only lettuce wraps or buns, based on your sandwich preferences.








3. I label my freezer bags with date, name, and directions.
4. I cut my veggies and place into bags.  Any meats that need to be browned I prep at this time as well.  Sometimes I do this step on a separate day, depending on how much time I have.  Make sure to wash your veggies!




5. I add seasoning and canned ingredients.
6. I trim and tenderize my meats and add to bags.  A tip here is to always cut meats against the grain!  Makes for a much more tender cut.  Also, make sure you don't leave all your meats out for an extended period of time.  I prep one meat at a time, then stick it in the freezer as soon as I'm done with that one.  Make sure to wash your cutting board and knives between meats to avoid cross-contamination!
7.  Store in freezer and clean up!





Check out Shaklee's Get Clean!

Shaklee






211 comments:

  1. I'm in awe of how organized you are! Amazing! Thanks so much for linking up...you will be one of my features for sure! Do come back again and again :)

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    1. Thanks Christine!! I would love to be featured!!

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    2. hello. I was wondering if you precook the meats in your crockpot meals such as you chicken, steak?

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    3. @ Anonymous, you do not precook the meat. The meat will fully cook in the crockpot.

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    4. Can you brown the meat slightly, prior to freezing it? Like you brown meat prior to putting it into the crock pot to get that nice coloring?

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  2. I love making meals ahead of time...great recipes!

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  3. What a fabulous idea and your recipes looks delicious!

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    1. Thanks! I post these about every other week. So I only cook once every 2 weeks. It's awesome!

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  4. I think I will bookmark this post of yours for when school starts back up again; always lookin' for those crock recipes!

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  5. This is amazing, inspirational, and just all around fantastic. I am pinning this and will do this soon. I found yuo through foodie fridays, thanks for sharing!

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  6. This is looks so good and easy, I was wondering if you would link it in my Wednesdays Adorned From Above Blog Hop. Here is the link:

    http://www.adornedfromabove.com/2012/06/natural-translucent-face-powder-and.html

    I would love to have anything that you would like to link.
    Sincerely,
    Debi Bolocofsky
    www.adornedfromabove.com
    Adorned From Above

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    1. Hi Debi! I linked a couple things! Thanks for stopping by!

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  7. Oh. My. Goodness. This is AMAZING! I am so incredibly excited to get this done tomorrow- I literally just copied your grocery list and printed it out. What a time saver! And I'm on a diet... babies... so I'm going to buy those few special items (cheese, cream soups) in the light versions. Easy as that! You really just made my day!

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    1. I'm so glad I could help, Julie! Exactly what I intended! Make sure to subscribe via e-mail so you get new lists sent to you!

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    2. Now THIS is what I call organization!
      I thought I did okay by cooking large qtys and freezing portions sometimes but you are extraordinary! Marking this to my favorites to come back to next shopping day!

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    3. Thanks Debra! Make sure you subscribe via e-mail too! I'm so glad this is helpful to others!

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  8. You are brilliantly organized. Thanks for sharing your prep and recipes techniques on foodie friday. Very healthy looking dishes.

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    1. Thanks for coming by Diane! It's all the little things that make life a little easier!

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  9. This is great. It really helps to have things prepped and ready beforehand. I need to get better about this! Your system looks really easy and organized.

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    1. Thanks, Brooke! I hope this is helpful to you!

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  10. Thanks so much for taking the time to share all of this! Such yummy looking recipes and a great way to prepare ahead of time!

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    1. Thanks, Lauren. This was born out of a need to not be cooking at dinner time, my little boy's crankiest time! I found the idea on a friend of mine's blog and ran with it!

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  11. I love the way you did this. Great time saving idea. Thank you so much for linking with Wednesdays Adorned From Above Blog Hop.
    Debi
    http://www.adornedfromabove.com/2012/06/natural-translucent-face-powder-and.html
    Adorned From Above

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    1. Thanks, Debi! I'm glad I found your party!

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  12. Thanks for this! I am going to try some of them in the coming weeks!

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    1. Let me know how it turns out! Some of these recipes are new to me!

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  13. Awesome post! Crossing my fingers you'll share at my party! Saturdays at Seven! XO, Aimee

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    1. Awesome! I'll definitely catch you this Saturday!

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  14. Brilliant! Everything looks so good and you explain it so well! I pinned it for future reference too! Awesome post! Angie xo

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  15. Wow! Wish I could be this organized... at the moment my freezer is FULL of bags of frozen vegetables and frozen meat/chicken... no meals though!

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    1. You can make a crockpot freezer meal from almost anything! Just make a list of what you have and then google crockpot recipes! Then put it all in a bag and you're done!

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  16. This is awesome...those Hawaiian chicken sandwiches look amazing!

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    1. Thanks, they are a favorite at our house!

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  17. Silly question, I'm sure. When you divide each thing into two bags is this because its two meals or that it just won't fit into one bag?

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    1. I'm so glad you asked and now I feel silly for leaving that out! Yes, dividing into 2 bags makes double the meals, however if you have a larger family than 4 you can leave it all in one bag!

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    2. What if like me your family consists of two people. Can I divide a bag into two or is that too small for a crockpot meal? Should I cook the whole bag and then divide instead? Which way to go? Oh and we are out of the house for 8 hours at least so I cannot lower the time. thanks!

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  18. This is a great idea to have on hand, I might need to carve out some time, probably in the middle of the night, to do this! Thanks for sharing with me on Delicately Constructed Friday! I am a new follower!
    Hope you are having a great day
    Michelle
    www.delicateconstruction.com

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    Replies
    1. If only we didn't require sleep! I'd get so much more done!

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  19. CONGRATULATIONS!!! Your recipe idea is on Today's Feature Post From Cast Party Wednesday!
    http://www.ladybehindthecurtain.com/?p=30748
    Thanks for sharing your recipes and great idea with us!
    ---Sheryl @ Lady Behind The Curtain---

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    1. Yay! Thanks Sheryl! I can already tell you shared! Lots of traffic! It's much appreciated!

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    2. I just checked over 800 views on my end!!! GREAT JOB!!! Everyone loves the idea of something that saves time and money! ---Sheryl---

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  20. I love love love this post! I posted about it on my blog's Facebook page and will put it on my blog later as well. I am really looking forward to trying the Hawaiian Chicken sandwiches and the Chicken Curry!

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    1. Thanks so much Chrissy! I really appreciate it!

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  21. Wow! I am so impressed! I love freezer crockpot meals and these all look yummy!!!!!!

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  22. Wow! I am so impressed! I love freezer crockpot meals and these all look yummy!!!!!!

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  23. Wow! I am so impressed! I love freezer crockpot meals and these all look yummy!!!!!!

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  24. Wow! I am so impressed! I love freezer crockpot meals and these all look yummy!!!!!!

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  25. Wow! I am so impressed! I love freezer crockpot meals and these all look yummy!!!!!!

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  26. I can't wait to try these! Are your cook times from frozen or thawed? Thanks for sharing. :)

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    1. Thanks Kristin! I normally just rinse the bag under warm water to get it loosened and then I dump it in frozen. Seems to work well. I've also let it thaw a little overnight too. Didn't seem to make a big difference.

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  27. Great page! So, where are you getting the recipes? Do you have a book you follow? Where can I find more - this is a must have for the busy Mom, college student, and well, pretty much anyone that buys fast food ;)

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    1. Thanks Tammy. I do a new post every two weeks when I'm actually doing them for our family. I actually just have been taking crockpot meals that we have used before and making them big enough for two bags and adding the extra spices that I normally throw in to make them tastier. I originally came up with the idea from my friend's blog: http://www.ringaroundtherosies.net/. I may look into an e-book in the next 6 months or so. Keep checking back!

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  28. This is so wonderful- I am expecting a baby in three weeks so this is on my to do list for this weekend. Thank you so much for the inspiration!

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    1. Excellent! I wish I would have been doing this a lot sooner. It's a life saver!

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  29. Hi for the scalloped potatoes and ham, how large are the ham steaks? Thanks!

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    1. That's the beauty of these meals, you can get however much you want for your family. I personally got turkey ham and cubed it.

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  30. At your suggestion on my meal planning post I came over to see your blog. I am going to pin this post. Crock pot and freezer meals...I am not sure what combination could be better!

    Tara @ Simply Made Home

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    1. Thanks Tara! :) I love it, makes life easier!

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  31. 10 meals in 3 hrs = impressive!
    thank you for linking it up at our party at http://www.finecraftguild.com

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  32. I found you via Pinterest while planning my meals this week. I am super excited that I can follow your meal plan and grocery list and move on with my day. You are awesome!

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  33. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  34. Aimee! Your crockpot recipes were one of the most viewed post at last weeks Wednesday Whatsits!! Thanks for sharing. You've been featured!
    http://whitelightsonwednesday.blogspot.com/2012/06/wednesday-whatsits-14.html

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  35. Hi, this is so great! I've been trying to find frozen meal recipes beyond the standard lasagna and casserole! Thank you!

    And curiosity, what capacity crock pot do you end up cooking these in?
    Mary C.

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    1. It's just your standard size crockpot! :)

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  36. WOw, these look great! Thank you so much for showing them off... really I am pinning these so I can make them all. But GUESS WHAT? You were selected to be my blog of the week this week. This means I am showing off this post at my party tonight, and I will put your button on my blog for the week.... if you have one! Also, I would love for you to come guest post on my blog next week if you would like!

    Carlee
    www.ladybirdln.com

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    1. Thanks Carlee!!! I'm so flattered! I will get you a button when I get home! I'm at VBS family night! :)

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  37. wow these look delicious AND easy!
    definitely going to bookmark this to come back to for reference - working retail means there's not a lot of time to prepare meals most nights, so this would be perfecto!

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    1. Thanks Ash! It has been the best thing I've ever done!

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  38. I love your blog and I am so happy that I found it. I am always looking for new recipes and Crockpot meals that I can freeze. I found your blog over at Ladybird Ln:

    Feel free to visit my blog
    Dreams Do Come True

    http://happilyeverafter-tiffany.blogspot.com/

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  39. Congratulations your post is being featured at tonights party @ CountryMommaCooks...thanks for linking up : )

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  40. I am new to freezer meals but love the idea. I have a question though. Do you pre-cook all the meats, lie in the pepper steak or do you leave it uncooked?
    Thanks for your help!

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    1. The only meat I ever pre-cook is ground beef just because it doesn't form right otherwise. So, to answer your question, no. If there is a need to pre-cook I will indicate that in the directions.

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    2. This was my question too :-). I can't wait to try some of these time-saving & yummy looking recipes!! Thanks!!

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  41. These sound delicious! I can't wait to try some of them!

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  42. These recipes sound so good! Thanks so much for sharing on Tout It Tuesday! Hope to see you next week.

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  43. Great timesaver - everything sounds good and so easy! Thanks for linking to Craftastic Monday at Sew Can Do:)

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  44. WOW! I am a huge fan of freezing meals and crock pot cooking, but I have never seen such an organized system!!! This is fabulous!

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  45. Fantastic! How many does each meal serve?

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    1. It serves my family of 3--me, hubby, and 2 y/o. We normally have leftovers. It has easily fed the three of us and my husband's single friend who likes to pop in for a home cooked meal, too!

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  46. I definitely Going to try this. Congratulations for your creativity!

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  47. Hi Aimee, I'm wondering if you've heard or read of a way to do these types of recipe's without the "cream-of" soups. I don't buy these and am always trying to figure out how to do these freezer crockpot meals without them. What I've been able to figure out is adding more stock or broth to the original recipe and then in the last 20-30 minutes of cook time adding some type of creaminess to the crockpot, (like cream cheese or sour cream). Any thoughts or suggestions? I love all your ideas, just hoping to find a way to adjust it to me and my families tastes. Thank you!

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    1. I think those ideas sound great! I have a friend who avoids cream of stuff. I'll ask her!

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    2. I'm doing a post on homemade cream of chicken soup this week! I plan on canning it.

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  48. This is a fantastic idea, thank you for sharing with us all.

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  49. FABULOUS!!!!!!!!!!!! What a great idea!!!!! And everything sounds so delicious!

    Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer.. From Dream To Reality! I can't wait to see what you'll be linking up this evening!

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  50. What a fabulous idea! :) Thanks so much for sharing this at my Unveil Your Genius link party last week! I hope you'll link up again soon!
    http://taylornorris.blogspot.com/2012/06/unveil-your-genius-link-party-17.html

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  51. These recipes look great! I am going to make some over the weekend. but I have a question with the salsa chicken - what do I do with the cheese? Thanks!

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    1. Great question! I just sprinkled it on top a few minutes before serving!

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  52. Is there a way to print this document in a printer-friedly way? Without all the comments?

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  53. Awesome recipes!!! I typically cook once a month - we even have a cooking club dedicated to making freezer-friendly meals. I have several cookbooks on freezer-safe meals, and I LOVE finding new recipes to try. I have bookmarked your site. I can't wait to see what you cook next!!!!!!!! Thanks again for the recipes :)

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  54. This is wonderful! I have a 21 year old son who needs to eat more than just junk food all the time...I'll make these and give 1 set to him...ta dah!

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  55. Great ideas! Thanks for sharing this. I've shared it on my fan page.

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  56. This is awesome! I am planning on doing this for this weeks meals! I have a question though. It is just my husband and I (my 2 kids are too young to enjoy good food haha) so would it work to half the recipe so it is only 1 meal/bag rather than 2?

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  57. I split everything into two bags. That serves me and my husband as well as our 2 year old. So it's already set up to be split in half. If you wanted to serve four you'd have to put it all in one bag or double the recipe to make 2 meals that serve four.

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  58. First of all, this is awesome! But I do have a few questions. When you say "liner" what do you mean? I'm kinda me to crock pot cooking so sorry if the questions are dumb. Also, do.gov just throw the whole freezer bag in the pot? If so, do you use fluids at all?

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    1. You take the contents out of the bag. You can purchase crockpot liners in the baggie aisle. They are wonderful!

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  59. I just made the scalloped potatoes and they turned brown in the freezer and got darker while cooking. Did this happen to you? I just read online that potatoes really shouldn't be frozen unless partially cooked to prevent this from happening. I look forward to trying out the other recipes.

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    1. New potatos are okay to do raw. I should have specified that. But yes, otherwise you
      Would want to either pre-cook them or add them in raw at time of cooking.

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    2. Wanting to use your scalloped potatoes and ham recipe in a freezer meal swap. I think it would be more convenient for my friends to pre-cook them for this swap- so how long do I pre-cook? and then once cooked, add them to meat to freeze?

      kathryn@boase.com

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  60. This is fabulous! I found your link via the Fantabulous Friday link party. Can I invite you to link this post to my own link party? You can find it here: http://www.sweetlivingmagazine.co.nz/craftilicious-link-party/
    Thanks
    Jane

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  61. Aimee - Thanks for the ideas.... I found you on pinterest. I'm a teacher and I'd love to be able to do these recipes during the school year but I leave my home at 7:00am and don't get home til 4:45... much too long to leave a crock-pot on low all day. Have you found any delay start crock-pots? Or do you have any suggestions?
    Thanks, Aimee

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    1. My crockpot has an automatic warm feature that I LOVE! If you're putting it in frozen you shouldn't have any problems, especially if you use a liner. I've noticed the liners prevent burning because it keeps things off the edge. You can also go to home depot and look for outlet timers, but I don't recommend this, as the food will be sitting out raw.

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    2. You can also purchase one of the timers that turns on at a certain time, a lot of times used for Christmas lights, and that can be used on any crock pot. I purchased mine at Wal-Mart. Hope this helps!

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    3. I am also a teacher and am gone for about those same hours (some days a little longer!) and I've never had a problem with my crockpot meals burning. I always use a liner, throw everything in frozen, and cook on low.

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  62. Hi love the recipes, i was wondering if u put in the liquid ie the soup or water in baggy to freeze and then when making just defrost and throw in crock pot?

    Jenna

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    1. Yes, I put everything in and then defrost slightly and put it in the crockpot.

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  63. wow what an amazing idea. everything is easy and done all at once. you can rest easy for the week. also this would be very low cost. great job and thx for posting. repining this for sure. :o)

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  64. Thanks so much for sharing these meals. I can't wait to give them a try.

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  65. So I made all of these except the Curry Chicken. I like Curry, but my husband does not. The Hawaiian chicken lacked flavor. We added teriyaki sauce just so we could eat them. The scalloped potatoes and ham was just gross. It got completely tossed. The Salsa chicken was great, we loved it. The pepper steak was ok. So half the meals I made got thrown out. I'm curious to see if anyone else made them and their opinions.

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  66. I'm sorry to hear these meals didn't suit your family. My husband loved the ham and potatoes. We used new potatoes which can make a difference. As I say in many of my cooking posts you do need to adapt the recipes to your family's likings. I never make a meal the same way twice. Again, I'm sad to hear you weren't pleased. I recommend adding seasonings your family enjoys. Not every family is alike.

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  67. Aimee, do you have any meals I could adapt for gluten-free? I was just diagnosed hypo-thyroidism. I am also going back to work in 3 weeks. Thx. Laurie BEVAN

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  68. Aimee, how much do you think this grocery trip runs you?

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  69. How many portions would you say your recipes have?

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    1. One bag feeds my family of 3 with leftovers most of the time.

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  70. SO do you put everything from the recipe in the bag and then freeze? Do you just pop the frozen chunk in the crockpot and cook all day?

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  71. I have a question about the amount of cooking sherry in the Chicken curry.... it is really 1 cup? that seems like an awful lot and want to double check with you. LOL I am used to a tablespoon or two in my stroganof

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    Replies
    1. Yes, it is correct. But, you are splitting that between two bags. So it's just 1/2 cup in each bag. But recipes are just guidelines. You can do whatever you want! :) I enjoy experimenting in the kitchen!

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  72. Wow. This is amazing!!!
    Thank you for sharing. I hope to try something like this. Maybe I'll fall in love.

    P.s does it save money also?

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    Replies
    1. I did the math (at least for my area) and a high estimate for me was $20 for four of the meals. That's only $1.25 per person per meal! I hope they taste good, because that's a great savings in my book!

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  73. Great great post! Found you on Pinterest. I am a freezer cooking fanatic, but have been looking for more recipes that utilize the freezer & slow cooker. These look great! We talk about freezer cooking every day on my Facebook page and I'll be linking to your post! Check it out on the Fearless Freezer Cooking page on Facebook!

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  74. Just did this today (found you on Pinterest) and I can't wait to try them out! I do a Pinterest review blog, and this was today's post! Thanks for such a great and thorough tutorial! I linked back to you! http://365ishpins.blogspot.com/2012/08/day-68-crockpot-freezer-meals.html

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  75. So you put all of this together and freeze into 2 bags, and when ready to cook, pour of bag into the crockpot and cook. Am I getting that right?

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  76. Great recipes!! was wondering, though, for the Hawaiian Chicken how many ounces are the pineapple cans? and do you add the juice or drain it? I appreciate you help!

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  77. Hi, you mention browning the meat before bagging. Which of these recipes requires browning the meat? Also, for the salsa chicken, you mention to not add the cheese to the bag with the other ingredients. What do you do with the cheese/when do you add it? Sorry for silly questions...I'm a novice cook. Thanks!

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    1. Only brown ground beef. You add the cheese at time of serving.

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  78. How long do the freezer meals last in the freezer? I recently injured my knee and I was kicking myself (not in the bad knee!) for not having freezer meals at a time like this, especially since my husband was in the field and I was on my own with our 2 year old son.

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  79. I love love love this! I found you on Pinterest. I do have a question about your chicken meals because I plan on trying ALL of them. Do you slice all the chicken or just put it in as whole breasts and shred it when it's done cooking?

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    1. Totally up to you! It depends how much prep time I have normally!

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  80. I pinned this a while ago and have been meaning to try it...now we are days away from moving (family of 5) so this is going to come in SO HANDY! So I just finished all 10 dinners (well, 1 is in the crock pot now for tonight!)...I'm so glad I found your site!

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  81. what size crock pot do you use? Our family has gone from seven to five, and our old crock pot was actually a giant roaster ! want to bu a regular size.

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    1. Mine is just your run of the mill one you can buy at Walmart.

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  82. Hi Aimee -
    I had a question about the pepper steak recipe. The recipe calls for the steak strips to be tossed in seasoned flour. This is before you add it to the bag for freezing? I ask because I noticed in the pics of the bagged recipes that the meat is mixed with the veggies, etc.

    Thanks

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    1. Yes, or you can skip that step. Honestly makes no difference!

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  83. Do you have problems with potatoes turning black, I once tried a potatoe freezer meal and the potatoes turned black... any thoughts? I am so excited to try these, thanks for the recipes!

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  84. You can buy them already frozen. Or you google how to freeze potatoes. Lots of people cook them first. And some say new/red potatoes are best and others say russet are. Lots of conflicting information.

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  85. these are great ideas. i've only tried the scalloped potatoes so far. however, if you add the broccoli at the beginning, the broccoli completely overtakes the dish. i'd either add it in the last 3o minutes or something like that or leave it out entirely.

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  86. Love these Ideas! And the recipes look absolutely delish! Are the cooking times still the same, if I don't freeze them, and just put them straight into the crockpot? Although I'd love the convenience of making them aheada time and freezing them, I'm in college and share an apartment with 3 others, and our tiny freezer is pretty much filled with their pizzas and t.v. dinners :/

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  87. THANK YOU for being willing to share this with others. This is truly a ministry. I, too, am a full-time employee, wife, mother, stepmom, daughter, sister, aunt...playing many roles and always looking for money and time savings.

    God's best to you!

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  88. Any idea on how long these can stay frozen? I'm expecting baby #2 the first week in January & was just wondering when I should prep & freeze everything! :)

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  89. Thank you for posting these! My mother had knee replacement surgery in August. I live 400 miles away from her, and couldn't stay for long after her surgery. So, just before her surgery, we planned out these meals, shopped for them, then put them together in under 2 hours. I also made 2 freezer goolash pans for her (not crockpot) at the same time. I purchased slow cooker liner bags, and left them in the cabinet with the bags, to make clean up a snap. When she came home from her surgery and rehab stay, I knew mom and dad had at least 2 weeks of meals (they had leftovers from each one). They were simple for her (or anyone visiting) to start, and I knew they were eating well. The only thing we changed was chicken curry became chicken mushroom, as mom doesn't like curry. We just omitted the curry and added a drained can of mushrooms to each bag.

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  90. Just wanted to pass this information along. I made your scalloped potatoes & ham recipe today. I wanted to add the potatoes now, so I researched how to freeze them. You have to blanch them first (boil for 4 minutes then ice bath until cool). We made a bunch of recipes with potatoes and it honestly wasn't that much more work. The potatoes we used sat out on the counter for at least an hour after blanching them and before freezing them and they didn't oxidize at all. Hopefully this helps :)

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  91. For the pepper steak do you brown the meat before putting it in the bag?

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  92. I'm a little slow on the draw today --- I'm wondering do I need to double the recipe that you've posted or is that already doubled.

    Also your ecookbook -- will it have all your recipes in it or just some?

    You said you're not going to share you're recipes anymore due to the ebook, does that mean you'll be taking down all the recipes?

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    1. The recipes are already doubled. My e-book will have all the recipes. I will probably take down some of the recipes components or take down a few of the recipes. I really would like to contribute more to my family financially and this would really help.

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  93. Thank you so much for posting! What a wonderful blog!

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  94. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  95. I think these recipes are a wonderful start and will need to be adjusted to each ones taste. I have cooked all five recipes and this is what I found to make it more my liking:

    Hawaiian Chicken - main complaint - very bland
    Cube Chicken
    Ketchup
    Worcestershire
    Added flour to thicken the sauce near the end of cooking to make a sweet and sour chicken to put over rice.

    Savory Pepper Steak - main complaint - NA
    Just used BBQ sauce in place of steak sauce as I did not have any on hand. Other than that it was fantastic as is.

    Scalloped Potatoes and Ham - main complaint - too salty and too much liquid
    Less sodium ham
    Less sodium mushroom soup
    Do not add any more salt
    .5 can of water for each bag instead of 1

    Salsa Chicken - main complaint - a little bland
    Double the salsa
    Shred the chicken and serve over rice

    Chicken Curry - main complaint - not flavourful enough with spices, too salty, too rich
    Use regular, not green onions
    Less sodium cream of chicken soup
    Do not add any more salt
    Do not add butter at all
    Add ginger, nutmeg, cumin, garlic, paprika and cayenne

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  96. Would you have to worry about cross contamination if cooking all meats in the crock pot for 8 hours? Just wanted to eliminate the need to have to wash cutting board etc in between recipes if I didn't have to. Thanks and can't wait to try your recipes!!

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  97. What size of freezer bags do you use? I need to know before i head to the store!

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  98. Oh Wow! I love your site on Pinterest and look forward to try these out.Thanks for the inspiration!!

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  99. Just finished putting them all in the freezer! Thank you for making this soooo easy! I'm sure they'll all be good. Looking forward especially to the Curry :)

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  100. I have found that freezing red potatoes works quite nicely. They don't turn brown at all...and if you use the other kind, try covering them immediately after you have sliced or diced them, with the canned soups.

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  101. Wow, thank you for all these recipes. I can't wait to try them out! Very excited to try the curry!

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  102. If I don't have chicken broth for your hawaiian chicken sandwiches is there a way I can substitute? That's the only thing I forgot when I went shopping today/ =(

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    1. I did the same thing today. I don't think it's on the shopping list.

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  103. I'm trying out 3 of your posts about freezer cooking today...that way I have the whole month of January's meals prepped and in the freezer! I love the idea of having dinner ready when I get home...do you have any more "weekly" recipes for freezer cooking?

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  104. Is it suppose to fall apart like shredded chicken? We made the Hawaiian chicken. My husband accidentally put the pineapple juice in it too.

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  105. I was wondering about how much did the groceries cost for this project? I am trying freezer meals on a budget :) thanks in advance for all feedback.

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  106. These look great. I am curious what you mean by "New Potatoes"? I looked at Wal-Mart and they only have Russett, Red, and Yellow.

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  107. On the potatoes and ham...Is this like a soup? It looks yummy. Does the cream of potato soup and water go into the bag also?

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  108. It's not new potatotes..they are called Newt potatoes. The small red ones :)

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  109. You mention the potatoes turning color... Rather than adding day of or using frozen you can nuke the potatoes whole for a few minutes before you slice them or boil. cool, slice then continue to freeze. Don't know if someone has already mentioned this, but that is how you do fresh shredded hashbrowns (boil or nuke potatoes before you shred or they will turn purple)

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  110. Do you brown the steak before you put into the pot for the pepper steak? Also, if you don't freeze one of the meals right away and just cook it how long should it be in the crock pot for?

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  111. Oh my gosh! Just had your Salsa Chicken (we put it over rice)for dinner. DELICIOUS! This is going to be one of my go-to meals for my new mommy friends in the future! Thank you for these easy, wonderful recipes!!

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  112. For the potatoes and ham when I used two ham steaks it was WAYYYY to salty. I would suggest just using one. Otherwise you're easting money and it's pretty bad.

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  113. Hi I am so thankful for the work you have done and I am so excited for friday (my day off), where I can try some of these recipes. I think its fair that since you did all this work that I bought your downloadable recipe book and its fantastic

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  114. i would suggest blanching the potatoes which will keep them from turning black. here is a link that will help you do this. http://www.pickyourown.org/freezing_potatoes.htm As a farm girl growing up in the country we used to do this all the time with all veggies from our garden and never had a problem.

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  115. So far we have tried three of your recipes- the honey chicken (MMMMMmmmmmm!) the Mediteranean porkchops (Mixed reviews at my house) and last night the scalloped potatoes with ham. YUM! Thanks for a great blog and great ideas!

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  116. I love your recipes and am dying to try them out. We do menu planning and Freezer Meal workshops through Wildtree Foods. I was wondering have you thought about substituting the seasonings you use with Wildtree seasonings? Not only are they considerably lower sodium but they are all natural, preservative, dye, chemical and filler free. I'd be happy to send you a sample to try for your recipes. For example: the Salsa chicken - instead of commercial Taco seasoning, you can use Taco Seasoning from Wildtree.

    Store-bought taco seasoning (brand omitted) contains the following ingredients:
    Maltodextrin, Salt, Chili Pepper, Onion Powder, Spice, Monosodium Glutamate, Modified Corn Starch, Yellow Corn Flour, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Silicon Dioxide Added (Anti-Caking Agent), Natural Flavor, Ethoxyquin (Preservative)

    Wildtree Taco Seasoning:
    Masa Corn Flour, Chili Powder, Cumin, Sea Salt, Onion Powder, Oregano, Garlic Powder, Black Pepper.

    I can probably substitute the seasonings you use in all your recipes, if you're interested.

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  117. Hi, I just found your blog tonight and really want to try making your recipes. I was wondering if you have leftovers? We are a family of 6, 2 adults, 2 teenagers, 2 children. I'm not sure if one bag would be enough or if I should make both bags. Also could all the ingredients fit into one bag or do you have to split it into two bags? Thanks.

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  118. hey mrs seaberry this is wone of your 6th grade girl i very sorry what happen to your mother and i found your blog on google i told emma montly about it i love all your recipes they sound delicious i miss u i hope you and caden and your husband have fun with your little girl i miss u and love u love asya

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  119. I have a couple fo quick questions. Not sure if these have already been asked and answered above, I apologize if so.

    2 cans of diced tomatoes with green chilies, what size is that can? 16OZ? And the 1 jar of salsa, what size is that?

    Thanks! Can't wait to try these.

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  120. Do you pour yuor cream of potato soup into the ziploc when you freeze it? Even used cream of celery with sliced potatoes..adds such a yummy flavor that goes well with ham. For the person who thought the ham steaks were too salty, run them under water and it helps. I've done that with smoked pork chops. The red potaoes that you sliced, looks like you didn't peel them before slicing, are my eyes seeing right? I was raised on Red pototoes and they usually add great taste to any meal. I have a box of crockpot liners here but have never used them. I usually start my meats on high and forget to turn them down to low or forget to start them soon enough, so cooking on high speeds up the cooking. Will have to try the low temp and see how that works, Probably is more flavorful.

    There's just two of us, how many portions do your recipes make?

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  121. I just made the Hawaiian chicken! It was delicious. I made it on the stove top instead because I don't have a slow cooker. I just cubed the chicken and then cooked it for 2 hours in a big pot. Also, I added a teriyaki sauce and the combination was great!
    http://www.food.com/recipe/restaurant-teriyaki-sauce-133751

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  122. I followed over on pintrest. I hope you don't mind that Im pinning

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  123. What kind of crockpot and size do you use for these meals?

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  124. Thanks for the recipes. I have some questions about the scalloped potatoes and ham recipe. I am new to making frozen meals and I wasn't sure if you are mixing everything and cooking it for 8 hours and then freezing it? Or are you cutting everything up adding to the bags with the liquid and then freezing it and cooking it later OR are you adding everything but the soup and water to the bag and then freezing it only to add the soup and water to the recipe when you go to cook it? For me, I think the recipes are great but clearer instruction could help. If we knew exactly step by step what you are doing it would help to know what keeps your potatoes from turning brown. I bought all the ingredients but I don't feel clear on the directions and I don't want to waste the food because I didn't make the meal correctly. If you could take the time to email me I would appreciate it. Thank you so much. Jennifer
    daisyduck0427@gmail.com

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  125. I am looking to get into Freezer cooking. I read on another blog to not freeze potatoes because they will turn black. Is this true?

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  126. I made scalloped potatoes from scratch many years ago and the whole thing turned out gray! I asked my mother in law why this happened and she told me it was old potatoes. They would taste fine but just be off colored. I couldn't make myself eat gray potatoes so I threw it away. Wonder how you know how old potatoes are when you buy them? Are "new potatoes" really new????

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  127. You can not freeze raw potatoes (they will be black, and their texture won't be right). You need to cook them, at least partially, before freezing them.
    I plan on making the scalloped potatoes today, half will be dinner tonight, which I will cook in the crock pot as directed, and the other will be frozen. With the frozen one I plan on partially cooking the potatoes and then baking it when we are ready to eat it instead of using the crock pot. I'm afraid that if I try putting partially cooked potatoes in the crock pot for 8 hours they will be a mushy mess (potato soup anyone?). But baking it should alleviate that issue.

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  128. These are great, thanks so much for sharing! When it says 2 TBSP of beef boullion, does that mean dissolved or crushed up? Silly question, sorry! Thanks again!

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  129. Impressive organization! I love my crock pot and I am always looking for ideas.
    I write a family oriented blog. How do you feel about being a guest blogger on your favorite subject? You can promo your blog.

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  130. Girl u need a Pinterest button!!!!!!

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  131. Thank you so much for your wonderful recipes.

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