Alright, this post has two parts.
First part: Making Forty Freezer meals in one afternoon was PURE. GENIUS.
I actually have some guilt that I didn’t pay the woman who put the original post up cause it definitely feels like an idea that should have cost money to access.
Everything has been good so far, except the Cilantro Lime Chicken. It wasn’t terrible, but none of the kids loved it either. They DID love the Basalmic glazed drumsticks were amazing (although next time we agreed to put them under the broiler for a couple minutes just to give them some crispiness.) The chicken caccitore, pesto chicken, and mongolian beef were also delicious. Side note: I made the sauce that is in the pesto chicken recipe. It was FABULOUS. However, if you don’t have time there is tons of sauce-y stuff in the pot with the chicken (duh, Lora!) and you could just use that as well.
Second part: In my mad frenzy to be organized and ready for school, at about the same time as the crock pot meals, a friend posted on facebook about freezing lunch sandwiches for her kids in large quantities.
This is also an idea that should a) have occurred to me sometime in the past FOURTEEN YEARS and b) Totally should be worth money somehow. Cause it’s brilliant.
Being me, I maybe have taken things up an unnecessary notch or two. Because I also somehow ended up reading an article about bento lunches (P.S. do NOT GOOGLE Bento Lunches, unless you want to feel badly about your self as a parent forever. You’ve been warned!) and how kids love food cut in to cute little shapes, and then I went to amazon and bought sandwich shape cutters in excessive numbers.
We went from owning 0 sandwich shape cutters to SIX sandwich shape cutters.
I do not think my husband was pleased.
Also, I bought cute little hard boiled egg-shapers. They are cute and Japanese. And Vi loves hard boiled eggs. And Amazon suggested them as an add-on with the sandwich things and at that point I was just clicking away, imagining my children eating perfect, beautiful, shape-full, healthy, color-coordinated lunches every single day.
Again, totally unnecessary. You could just cut the crusts off for free. It will probably make your husband happier than mine was when I got two separate packages with sandwich cutters in them.
Ahem. Just sayin’.
I bought 4 loaves of bread at SAMs. Turkey & Cheese (Vi’s fav) and Peanut butter Nutella (Bug’s fav) were our first experiments. I found the dolphin cutter did not work with the turkey AT ALL. No idea why. But it took me about 5 sandwiches before I gave up so that wasted some bread. We ended up with mostly hearts and dinosaurs.
Then I just labeled them with a “TC” or a “PB” and cleared out a drawer in the freezer.
Of course, the real test of success was taking them to school. We took some of each kind of sandwich out and put them in the fridge on Sunday night. They were plenty thawed for the week by morning, they didn’t get mushy or gross, and most importantly THE KIDS ATE THEM.
The girls each have these cute pink boxes to have their lunches packed inside. They generally look something like this, although the yogurt sometimes has a cheese stick or fruit etc. And the dolphins kind of look like swordfish. But whatever, you get the idea. They also have snack, but that gets packed separately on the outside of their lunch bags. Little Man will have lunch three days a week at preschool and he has an orange box. Pudah buys lunch, and Edo would likely disown me if I made him heart-shaped sandwiches so he makes his own.
Still, it’s another great time saving measure! Make a couple weeks worth of sandwiches in about 30 minutes, and it takes one more thing off your To-Do list for hectic school mornings.
What am I going to do with all this extra time in my life?
Oh right. Homework!