Parsley Parmesan Chicken (Freezer Meal)

This was another meal from my freezer swap and we really liked these! They had a great flavor and are very versatile. We were given 6 chicken breasts and only used 3 so I plan to serve the other 3 on Sunday and make spaghetti to go with them more like a traditional chicken parmesan meal (we had it with rice and green beans last night).

Ingredients:
2 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (or 6-8 chicken breasts)
1/3 bottle of Italian salad dressing
1/2 c shredded Parmesan cheese
1/3 c dry bread crumbs (used Seasoned Italian bread crumbs)
1 1/2 T parsley flakes
1/2 T paprika
Salt & Pepper

Assembly Directions:
Marinate chicken in dressing overnight.
Mix the remaining ingredients and bread each breast with coating.
To Freeze:
Lay chicken breasts side by side on baking sheets and place in freezer for 1 to 2 hours to firm up. Place chicken in labeled gallon size Freezer Bag and freeze.
Cooking Directions:
Thaw & bake at 350 uncovered for 30 minutes or until done.

Simple Pancakes

If you've just started checking on this blog, I had a baby 2 weeks ago which is why the recipes I've been posting are from other people. All the nice friends who have brought us meals have then been harassed for the recipe afterwards...no good deed goes unpunished :-). The girlies have been having a lot of cereal for breakfast since I'm obviously tired. Yesterday they asked for pancakes, again, so we finally made something real for breakfast :-). Nothing too exciting about these - just simple, standard pancakes from an old Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. We added chocolate chips to ours!

Ingredients:
-1 c. flour
-1 T. sugar
-2 t. baking powder
-1/4 t. salt
-1 beaten egg
-1 c. milk
-2 T. cooking oil

Directions:
-In a mixing bowl stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
-In another mixing bowl combine egg, milk, and cooking oil.
-Add to flour mixture all at once.
-Stir mixture just till blended but still slightly lumpy.
-Cook them up!

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Emily's Stroganoff

So, not the best picture, but we LOVED this!!! Addie and Ella were more impressed by the multi-colored noodles than anything else :-), but Mike and I thought the sauce was delicious!

Ingredients:
1 can each of Cream of Mushroom, Cream of Celery, and Golden Mushroom
1 pkg Lipton Onion Soup mix
1 small can mushroom stems and pieces
2 lbs round stuck cut into small pieces (don't pre cook)

Directions:
Mix all and cook covered for 5-6 hours at 250.
Add 1/2 cup sour cream the last half hour.
Ta da! Use whatever kind of pasta you want.

Leighanna's Mashed Potatoes

So, I LOVE potatoes...period. I don't care how you prepare them...baked, mashed, fried...I LOVE them. For some reason I am not a great mashed potato-maker though. I really need to take the time to perfect the skill :-). Leighanna brought us some DELICIOUS potatoes with dinner the other night and I was convinced they must be full of fattening ingredients because of their smooth consistency and rich flavor. Even Ella, who typically only eats her one required bite of my mashed potatoes LOVED them. It was a pleasant surprise to find out they weren't even that bad for me!

Ingredients:
5lbs red potatoes with skins
1 stick butter
About 1 cup milk
2 tsp of Garlic Salt
1-2tsp pepper
1 tsp salt

Directions:
-I cut up the potatoes into good sized cubes (and I leave the skins on) and boiled them til soft.
-Once cooked, I throw them in a large mixing bowl with 1 stick of butter for the 5lbs of potatoes. Then, I add about 1/3 cup of milk and use a hand mixer to whip them together.
-Once they are a little more "mashed" I sprinkle in some garlic salt and pepper and a little more milk to get them a little creamier.

So in short, mix, season, mix, season, add milk for creamy until you like the consistency.

Alisa's Mexican Pulled Pork

This meat was SO good!!! Thanks to Alisa for making it for us and for sending me the recipe below so I can try it on my own sometime. I LOVED it!!!

Ingredients & Directions:
- 1 Pork Loin
*You can find these at HEB already marinated or you can buy just the plain ones
*This usually goes on sale every couple of months and can be easily stored raw in the freezer for quite a while
- Put the pork loin on your oven broiler tray and broil for 20-40 mins at 400 degrees until browned (The longer you cook it in the over the quicker it will cook in the crock pot, but the crock pot makes the meat tender).
- Slice into the meat in several places. Put browned meat into the crock pot and add tomato sauce until covered (if you like your meat extra saucy add more).
- Add onions, garlic, adobo seasoning (Goya makes a good one), chili powder, salsa, and cumin all according to your tastes. You could also just add a can of canned enchilada sauce or tomato sauce and a packet of taco seasoning.
- Let the meat cook for several hours (at least 4 or 5, but you can leave it in on low all day long) Stir and check fluid levels every couple of hours.
- Slice and tear with fork when tender. You know the meat is completely done when it shreds easily with a fork.
- Meat can be used for tacos, enchiladas, nachos or anything else Mexican. I usually make more than we need. I freeze half it and then keep the rest for various Mexican meals through out thought the week.

Mckell's Potato Soup

SOOOOO good! And I have had many versions of potato soup :-). Thanks Mckell...and thanks for sending me the recipe too!

Ingredients and Directions:
10-12 potatoes peeled and diced, put in pot.
1 small to medium onion diced, put in pot.
Fill pot with 1/2 chicken stock 1/2 water just to the top of the potatoes. Boil until potatoes are fork tender.
In large skillet melt one stick butter then 6-8 Tbl. flour to make a rue. Once butter/flour have cooked for about 2 minutes whisk in milk until a creamy texture (add more for thinner soup, less for thicker).
Turn heat to med/low.
Add 1 can cream of celery soup and whisk until combined.
Add one 8 oz. package cream cheese (I just plop it in and stir it around until combined with no lumps).
Now add 2 cups cheddar cheese.
Once potatoes are done, add the cheesy mixture to the potato/onion/chicken stock pot.
Mix all together then add 1-2 lb. bacon, depending on how much you like bacon!

BBQ Spare Ribs (Freezer Meal)

I am admittedly not the biggest ribs fan - it seems like an awful lot of work to eat a small amount of meat...but that is the part of the beauty of the freezer meal swap...you get things you don't typically make and Mike was in heaven. The sauce had a great flavor and Ella requested that I make this again because she "LOVES this meat!"

Ingredients:
Boneless Pork Spareribs
1 c ketchup
2 c water
1/4 c worcestershire sauce
1/4 c vinegar
1 t salt
1 t celery salt
1 t chili powder
1/4 c brown sugar

Directions:
1. Mix all ingredients and boil for 3 minutes. Allow to cool.
2. Place ribs in freezer bag and pour 2 cup of sauce over ribs. Lay
flat to freeze
3. To serve, thaw and bake at 350° for 1 hour (or 300°-325° for 2-3 hours)
. Baste ribs while baking.

Swiss Steak

After doing a little search online it looks like there are hundreds of variations of what "swiss steak" is. This is Mike's mom's recipe and I'm excited to finally have it...it's one of his favorites! She made us a double-batch before leaving so I was able to freeze part of it for later!

Ingredients:
- 1 lb. round steak, cut in thin strips
- flour or rice flour
- oil
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 large onion, diced
- 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
- water and beef bouillon as wanted

Directions:
- Get meat slices wet and then coat in flour of choice.
- Heat oil in pan and add meat. Brown on both sides, flipping over like pancakes when switching.
- Add the garlic and onion to the meat mixture and mix up.
- Add tomatoes and let simmer down on low, about 2 hours, scraping bottom of pan every 30 minutes.
- Add water (about 4 oz) and beef bouillon to get sauce to desired consistency and taste.
- Serve over rice with peas or green beans on the side.

Meema's Pork Chops

I was starving and quickly cut up my meat to start eating before I remembered I wanted to save this recipe, so this is Mike's man-sized portion :-). Mike's mom made these for us our second night home from the hospital and they were delicious...and easy to make too. Pork chops are a fun change in our house since I don't prepare them very often and the girls ate every bite!

(she doubled this and used a family size can of creamed soup)
Ingredients:
-4 thin cut pork chops
-Pappy's seasoning (it's an all-purpose barbecue seasoning but something similar would work just as well...this is where most of the flavor comes from so be sure it's something you like)
-1 can cream of chicken soup (and some water)

Directions:-Sprinkle both sides of meat slices generously with seasoning and brown in some oil.
-Pour cream of chicken over the top (add water until it is a gravy consistency) and let simmer until meat is cooked through.
-Serve over rice.

Papa's Shredded Beef Tacos

Mike's dad made us these the night we brought Preston home so I wasn't thinking about taking pictures of the food, but these are SOOOO good! Shredded beef is one thing we have a hard time finding among all the Tex-Mex food in Houston so we have to make our own.

Ingredients:
-1 beef roast
-2 or 3 cloves garlic, minced
-1 jar Pace salsa

Directions:
-Salt roast and brown it.
-Place in crock pot with garlic and salsa on low and let cook until it shreds easily.

Serving suggestions:
-Fry corn tortillas in oil and fold in half to create taco shells and then serve with your favorite toppings. We use Parmesan cheese instead of cheddar on these and it is delish!

Sweet & Sour Chicken with Pineapple and Red Onion

I decided to try this recipe from Jamie's Cookbook despite the fact that I'm not a fan of fruit in my dinners. I must admit I liked the bites I took without pineapple better, but even those with it were pretty dang good. I really liked the overall flavor of the dish...especially with some soy sauce on top.

Ingredients:
2 chicken breasts (thinly sliced)
1 T soy sauce
1 T rice vinegar
2 T vegetable oil
1 medium red onion (long, thin strips)
20oz can pineapple tidbits, drained and reserve some liquid
3 medium scallions (green parts: ¼" lengths & white parts: minced)
1 T garlic (minced)
1 T fresh ginger (minced)
1 recipe sweet and sour stir-fry sauce (see below)

Directions:
-Toss the chicken with the soy sauce and vinegar in a medium bowl; set aside for 15 minutes, tossing once or twice.
-Heat skillet over high heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add 1 T oil and swirl it so the oil evenly coats the bottom of the pan. Heat the oil until it just starts to shimmer and smoke.
-Drain the chicken and add it to the pan. Stir-fry until seared and about three-quarters cooked, 2 ½ to 3 minutes. Scrape the cooked chicken and all of the liquid into a bowl. Cover and keep warm.
-Let the pan come back up to temperature, 1 to 2 minutes. When it is hot, drizzle in 2 teaspoons oil. When the oil just starts to smoke, add the onions and stir-fry until just tender-crisp, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the pineapple and cook 1 minute. Add the scallion greens and cook 15 to 30 seconds.
-Clear the center of the pan and add the white parts of the scallions, garlic, and ginger. Drizzle with ½ teaspoon oil. Mash into the pan with the back of a spatula. Cook until fragrant but not colored. Remove the pan from heat and stir the scallions, garlic, and ginger into the vegetables for 20 seconds.
-Return the pan to the heat and add the cooked chicken. Stir in the sauce and stir-fry until the ingredients are well coated with sauce and sizzling hot, about 1 minute. Serve immediately with rice.

Sweet and Sour Stir Fry Sauce Ingredients:
3 T red wine vinegar
3 T sugar
1 ½ T tomato sauce
1 ½ T pineapple juice
¼ t salt
*Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.

Spicy Sloppy Joes (Freezer Meal)

This is another one from my Freezer Swap Group. These last couple weeks of pregnancy have not treated me well, so cooking has been the last thing on my agenda :-)! I never actually tried it, but Mike thought it was pretty good.

Ingredients:
1 1/4 lb Lean Ground Turkey
3/4 lb Lean Ground Beef
1 1/2 cups Bell Peppers, Red & Green, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups Carrots, Shredded (3 medium)
2 (16 oz) jars Salsa
1/3 cup Tomato Paste
2 tsp Dried Basil, Crushed
1 tsp Dried Oregano, Crushed
1/2 tsp Salt (I used 1/4 tsp Sea Salt)
1/4 tsp Cayenne Pepper
4 cloves garlic, minced
*On Hand: Buns or Brown Rice.

Directions:
Prep Day: In skillet, brown Ground Turkey and Beef, over medium heat, breaking meat up into pieces. Drain any fat, and let cool. Combine cooled beef with all other ingredients in a gallon-size freezer bag.
To Serve: Thaw overnight in refrigerator or defrost in microwave. Cook in slow cooker, covered, on High 2-3 Hours, or on Low 4-6 Hours. (Could probably put it into the crockpot frozen and let cook 8 hours.) Serve over Hamburger Buns or Brown Rice.