Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Cooking Day

Kara and I decided to do a day of cooking meals to freeze for the next month or so.  We have a wonderful friend in our Tuesday morning biblestudy that offered to come cook and coach us through it.  What a huge blessing!  We made it through our first successful day of cooking around 70-ish meals! We froze them and have enough for around 5 weeks. We spent $127 each and have around 25 meals per person.  We bought things like: 24 Pounds of Ground Beef, 60 Chicken Breast, 18 Potatoes, and 24 Pork Chops. Of course there are a whole lot of spices, veggies, sauces, ect...  That's a LOT of food!! It is definitely more cost effective to buy in bulk though. We got a lot of comments and stares from people at Sam's - Everyone wanted to know why in the heck we had so much meat!!

Here is what we made for EACH person:
Chicken Pot pie (4)
Twice Baked Potatoes (12)
Chicken Marinades (6)
Pork Chop Marinade (6)
Homemade Spaghetti Sauce (3 large containers)
Upside down Pizza (3)
Meatloaf (2)
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (28)

That's a TON of meat.
We started at 8:00 in the morning with cooking the potatoes and chicken.  We did all the prep work for the meals that had a cooked meat in it, then went down the list from there.  The chicken and pork chop marinades were easy since we just made the marinades, poured it over the meat and froze them.  We ended around 4:30 with our yummy oatmeal chocolate chip cookies and even baked a few for us to enjoy as a reward.  The kids were great all day and took both their naps, so we were able to get a lot of things done without having to watch them. 
I don't make a lot of cookies from scratch because of the extra time it takes than just having to pop some ready made dough in.  So, I will definitely be doing it this way from now on and just freezing the dough.  I can now just take out as many as I need to cook!  It's just as much effort to make 12 cookies as it is to make 48, so I wanted to share the recipe if you would like to make them and freeze them for later use.  They are delicious!!

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
(yields 4 dozen cookies)

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 T. vanilla
2 cups flour
2 1/2 cups oatmeal, powdered (i will explain this)
1/2 t. salt
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
12 oz. chocolate chips
4 oz. Hershey chocolate bar, grated

Cream together butter and sugars.  Add eggs and vanilla. Powder oatmeal by placing in a blender or food processor. Combine flour, powdered oatmeal, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Add to butter and sugar mixture and mix well.  Add in chocolate chips and grated Hershey bar. Form into golf ball -size balls and "flash freeze" (ab 15 min), and then put into freezer bags for whenever you are ready to use them. 

When ready to cook: Thaw and Bake at 350 degrees on ungreased cookie sheet for 9-11 minutes.

I bought the great value brand of old fashioned oats at wal-mart.

It was worth it all!!! It was so easy and fun to do with a friend.  It was even worth grocery shopping for 3 hours the day before Easter. :)

If you can grab one or two friends and have never done this before, I highly encourage you to do it!  Its very cost effective and I'll be glad to answer any questions!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter 2012

We had a wonderful Easter! This was the first year in all 5 years of our marriage that we did not travel to Little Rock to be with our families. I missed them very much, but we did enjoy the holiday with good family time and friend time. We ate lunch with two other couples in our community group who also stayed in town. We attempted a few family pictures as well as kid pictures. Pictures these days are almost impossible. I try to at least grab a few even if he is walking around. And trying to get 3 kids to look at the camera and into the sunshine...well, so much for that!  Here are a few pictures from our day:

Ellery, Cooper, and Asa. Ellery was busy playing "He loves me, he loves me not" with a flower and the boys were waiting to see who won!!

Ohh...the hair!!  I just don't know what to do with it.  I brush it and it goes crazy.  He has hair where its bald looking, but it just doesn't show up on pictures. :)  Haha!

Our best attempts at family pictures...

Happy Easter!!

Gotta go!