Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Freezer Meals, Round 2!

At the beginning of January, I switched to a 5-day work week, meaning that my weekends would be reduced to two days rather than 3. (Remarkable, I know.) As a result, I used my last three-day weekend to complete yet another set of Freezer meals. This time, as I did not know how long it would be until I had a 3-day weekend again, I made enough food for two months.

As I was very focused, I did not think to take many photos (bad blogger).

The menu consisted of:

- Ham & Cheese Wraps
- Oatmeal Cupcakes
- Chicken White Pizza
- Mock Lean Cuisine Philly Steak and Cheese Panini
- Pizza Quesadillas
- "Light" Cream Cheese Chicken
- Apple-Glazed BBQ Chicken
- Butternut Squash & Spinach Lasagna Rolls
- Cheesy Potatoes & Ham
- Chipotle Meatballs
- Italian Layer Bake-Diet Version
- Orange Thyme Shrimp Packets
- Raspberry Mustard Glazed Ham
- Salisbury Steak
- Spicy Cream Cheese & Potatoe Soup

Here are some of the Oatmeal Cupcakes. At 70 cal/cupcake, I have been eating 2 of these/day for breakfast.

One thing that I failed to take into consideration for this freezer meals weekend was the additional time requirement for the additional portions. I figured it would add an hour or two onto each process... boy was I wrong.

For reference, here is the time breakdown from Freezer Meals Round 1:
- Grocery Shopping: 3 hrs (Went to Walmart)
- Prepwork: 7 hrs
- Cooking: 15 hrs

This time, I spent the following amounts of time:
- Grocery shopping: 5 hrs (went to Costco and Walmart)
- Prepwork: 10 hrs
- Cooking: 19 hrs

It doesn't look like much of a difference, but what it means is that I was able to shop on Friday, and unlike the previous time where I did the prepwork and most of the cooking on the Saturday, the Saturday was full with just prepwork. I then did 14 hrs of the cooking on Sunday, and then finished the final 5 hrs after work on the Monday.

I was obviously tired by the time I was done... just Monday I found a few items that I made for the Freezer meals, spoiled and sitting in the oven. Ooops!!

Lucky for me, Gilles was more than willing to come help out with packaging and freezing items, which saved a lot of time.

Here is a photo of the mess in the kitchen after cooking on Sunday! Gilles also cleaned this up for me so that it was ready for me to work again on Monday:

When all was said and done, my freezers were once again full with the following:

- 21 Italian Layer Bakes (and 3 left in the oven...)
- 5 bags of Raspberry Mustard Glazed Ham
- 16 Mock Lean Cuisine Philly Steak and Cheese Panini
- 8 bags Salisbury Steak (4 steak/bag)
- 1 large Ziploc bag Chipotle Meatballs
- 5 Ham Wraps
- 4 bags Glazed BBQ Chicken
- 32 Pizza Quesadillas
- 6 bags (large ziplog, about 1/4 full) Zesty Orange Shrimp
- 15 Butternut Squash & Spinach Lasagna Rolls
- 21 Oatmeal Cupcakes
- 43 white chicken pizzas (plus 3 that Gilles ate while I was making them)
- 10 medium bags 2/3 full of cheesy potatoes & ham
- 8 medium bags 2/3 full Spicy Cream Cheese & Potatoe Soup
- 6 medium bags 2/3 full Cream Cheese Chicken

Just over a month later we are starting to see some of these items disappear, but probably have enough food left for about 1/2 the month, which is not bad because we have been using all of this very steadily and have served some up to guests as well.

The only thing that I would change next time is instead of doubling the recipes to get two months worth, I would add another months worth of different recipes, because quite frankly I am getting sick of eating the same thing all the time. However, it is definitely handy to be able to have supper ready in under 10 min, and lunches ready to be thrown in the fridge to defrost for the next day!