Wednesday

Cinnamon Roll Oven Pancakes

I'm always looking for pancake recipes I can bake in the oven because, let's face the music here, I dislike standing in the kitchen flipping pancakes for 60minutes (I have a husband, two boys and a girl with a hollow leg, I am not kidding when I tell you I'm flipping for 60 minutes!).

So when a recipe comes across my radar for oven pancakes, I must peek. Even though we are wheat free, I try them out anyway. I just use alternate flours and try my best to adjust.

I'm happy to report, my most recent find for oven pancakes turned out fantastic! But I did have to make some adjustments for the oat flour I used. You should REALLY try these out!

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups warm milk
4 T. melted butter
2 large eggs
2 T. sugar
2 cups oat flour + 1tsp xanthan gum (0r 2cups wheat flour)
4 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt

Preheat oven to 350°. Butter an 11x17 cookie sheet and set aside.

Combine melted butter and warm milk (not hot, you don't want to precook your eggs but you want to keep your butter melted). Add in the eggs and mix/beat well. Now add in all the dry ingredients and mix well. At this point I watch the batter for consistency. At first it was really thick, so I added more milk (recipe above reflects that). So you may have to add a bit more milk but it's important to note these are going to be MUCH thicker then frying pan/griddle cakes.

Spread into prepared pan.

Time to make the cinnamon roll innerds.

Innerd Ingredients:
4 T. melted butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 T. cinnamon

Combine well and if you are feeling adventureous, try to swirl this over the top. But, this didn't work at all. So I generously sprinkled it on top (using my hands) until it was almost completely covered.

Bake 8-12 minutes (depending on oven and moisture in your air) until they rise a bit and a toothpick comes out clean. They won't brown like regular pancakes, they will stay pale, just check your toothpick.

Slice like bar cookies (big bar cookies LOL) and enjoy! Two kids ate theirs with syrup (SOOO GOOD!) and one just plain. Excellent!

This is an excellent recipe for the freezer too. Just make ahead and put completely cooled cakes between wax paper in a freezer bag. To reheat, stick two on a plate and microwave 30-45 seconds until hot.

Original recipe found on: Big Red Kitchen

Tuesday

Stork Meal 13: Mediterranean Caprese Chicken

This is one of those times that I have to give credit to Google for helping me find (then adapt) a recipe.

The original game from Our Story, but for whatever reason, when I found the picture on pinterest, I could not get any links to work. Regardless of WHO pinned the darn thing, the recipe would not come up! And I tried like 15 boards! Argh!

I might have panicked a little, because the Mama-to-be doesn't have many requests, but this was one of them. And as a self-proclaimed chef in training, I needed this recipe and thankfully Google knew where to find it. After only a few search strings, I found Aaron and Jill's blog and read through her recipe.

But like I always do... I changed the snot out of her recipe. I took out the sugar, added the onion and garlic and didn't drain my artichokes.  Upped the temp, lowered the cooking time and I also added way more cheese then she did... but we like cheese. A lot. And, while I haven't tried freezing this yet, I'm almost certain it will freeze beautifully!

The results were frighteningly good! We served ours over Quinoa but you can serve over pasta or rice. We had a two-year-old eating and two picky 9-11year olds and everyone loved it!

Here is my recipe:

Ingredients:
6 Chicken Breasts
8-16 shredded mozzarella cheese
Fresh Basil
Salt
Pepper
Olive Oil
1 heaping tablespoon of garlic
6 large diced roma tomatoes
1 white onion
1 large jar of artichoke hearts
1/4 cup quinoa flour (or any flour but I am wheat free so I used quinoa)

Directions: (Preheat 375)

1. Slice onion and keep the onion in rounds. Lay the rounds on the bottom of a 9x13 pan.

2. Place well salted and peppered raw chicken breasts over the top of the onion.

3. Mix together; tomatoes, whole jar of artichoke hearts (with liquid), garlic, some olive oil, generous salt and pepper, and the flour. Pour in pan between the chicken.

4. Bake for 35 minutes or until the internal temperature of the chicken hits just about 135-140.

5. Mix chopped basil (generous amount) and shredded mozzarella together and cover the mostly cooked chicken. Put back in the oven and continue to bake until chicken reaches 160ish. Flip on the broiler for 3-5 minutes to brown the cheese.


Freezer directions: Because of the nature of this meal, you would need to make this in a freezable 9x13 container like pyrex or throw away foil. Follow all the instructions to assemble but instead of cooking, cover with foil (or your lid). Bag cheese and basil mixture and place it on top of the meal with siran wrap.

Label with: Bake 375 for 35 minutes. Top with cheese mixture. Bake additional 10 minutes. Serve over a starch.

I will try this recipe again with a mock caprese (for my non tomato eating body) and use roasted red peppers. I think it will be amazing... but I will let you  know when I try it.

To see the other Stork Meals, click here.

Monday

Stork Meal 12: Italian Pork Chops (grill, crock, or oven)

This is one of those go-to meals for me when I forget to defrost something but need to feed the natives. I always have the ingredients on hand and it's always a crowd pleaser.

Momma-to-be agrees! So in it goes to the Stork Meal vault.

And, of course, I forgot to take a picture before we'd gobbled, so I took one when I was packing away the leftovers for some lucky man's lunchbox. (Note, I made three cheese rellanos, smoked paprika brussel sprouts, and the kids favorite Rice-a-Roni... so that is in the picture too).

What you will need:
Pork Chops (bone in or boneless, whichever you prefer)
Dry Italian Seasoning (You will find this next to the dry ranch seasonings)
Oil
Water
Vinegar

If you are making this for a freezer meal, make sure you get fresh pork chops. They don't recommend you freeze and refreeze meat, so just don't do it.

Pork Chop Tip: Did you know that a Boneless Pork Loin Roast is just a really long pork chop? Most of the time, it's a fraction of the cost of already cut pork chops. Sometimes even cheaper then buying bone-in pork chops. And you get to decide how thin or thick you want your chops to be. Usually one boneless pork loin will give me 15-20 chops!

Directions for the chops: For the freezer: Put 4-6 pork chops in the freezer bag and add dry Italian seasoning. Massage into the pork well and then add the recommended vinegar, water, and oil to the bag. Press all the air out, then seal.

Write on the bag: Defrost. Grill, bake, or crockpot until internal temperature reaches 165.

Now, I know what you are thinking. Why not just use the bottled Italian dressing. For me it's easy. I can't have soy (which most dressings have), so this is a no brainer. Plus there are no additional additives I don't want (like high fructose corn syrup). AND I before I was allergic, I used a bottle of italian dressing and it surely wasn't the same. The mean wasn't as flavorful or tender. So trust me when I say this is the way to go, BUT, you can use a bottle of Italian dressing in a pinch.

All in one CrockPot Meal: A lot of times I throw raw potatoes and carrots in the bottom of my crockpot then the seasoned meat and dressing over the top.  If you want to make this an all in one crockpot meal, just dice red potatoes and carrots in large chunks and put it in a separate bag. Both freeze well and will hold up great in the crockpot. I also really like sprinkling fresh parmesan over the top of my veggies when they are done.

Saturday

Stork Meal 11: Chicken Bites

For those of you just tuning in, if you aren't sure what a stork meal is, it's a meal for a new mamma! One that can go in the freezer and not be a big hassle to fix, specially with a new baby in the house. I'm doing this Stork Meal series for my sister, whose first baby is due in 3 short weeks! I plan to have her freezer stocked to the gills!

To see all the previous stork meals, you can go here. Otherwise, read on for today's winner.

This was one of those meals that we totally forgot to take the picture of until it was almost completely consumed. Which means, it of course goes right onto the blog. I found the original recipe on Pinterest, but as any good chef does, I did mess it all up with the flavor of ME. And we loved it. There are no leftovers.

Here what you will need:
3/4 Cups of Ketchup
1 Cup white vinegar
2 Tablespoons of Soy Sauce
2 Tsps of liquid smoke
1 Teaspoons of onion salt
1/2 cup of brown sugar
2 tablespoons of chopped garlic
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
Salt/Pepper
5-6 Chicken Breasts cut into large bite sized chunks

Put all sauce ingredients in large zip lock bag. Mix well then add the chicken bites. You're done.

Write on the bag: Pour into oven dish. Bake on 375 for 35-40minutes.

WINNER!

To see the other Stork Meals, click here.

Friday

Wheat Free Chocolate Sour Cream Cup Cakes

Because I'm now experimenting with wheat free, soy free, rice free, nut free, peanut free meals... I often come across a recipe that I don't want to lose. So then I think, where I can put said recipe? Duh, on the blog.

While this is not a freezer friendly meal, this is a treat and one I don't want to lose.

Ingredients:
2 eggs separated 
1/2 Vanilla
1/4 cup sour cream

Sift together:
1 1/4 cups of Quinoa Flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp
1/2 tsp salt

In a pan on the stove bring just to a boil 1/4 cup of butter and 1/2 cup of water. Trust me when I say the stove... I tried this in my microwave and it exploded. So right, bring to just a boil and whisk in 1/4 cup of cocoa powder.

Cool cocoa mixture then add the vanilla, sour cream and the egg yokes. Whisk until smooth. Now add the dry ingredients and mix until well combined. Will look like thick brownie mix.

Beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry, then fold into the mixture. The mixture should now resemble cake mix.

Spoon into paper muffin liners and bake at 375 for 20 minutes.



Stork Meal 10: Breakfast for Dinner


In my house, anytime I say I'm having breakfast for dinner, my kids scream with delight. They love breakfast and really hope that I mean I'm allowing them to have cereal. Ha. I'm not that kinda mom, usually.

But alas, tonight I was running late with life and thought, breakfast for dinner it is! I'd been browsing pinterest the past couple weeks and remembered seeing a pancake recipe that you can bake in the oven. First of all, this is a win because I dislike making pancakes. I don't know why, I just do. And since pancakes freeze very well, this is a winning combination for a Stork Meal and for dinner tonight!

And it was a hit.

Here is what you do... Heat the oven to 350 and butter up 24 muffin tins (or you can just do 12 but you will be baking longer ;)). Mix up your favorite pancake mix (if you make from scratch, more power to you. Today's recipe is not a scratch recipe, I just use Krusteaz just add water mix) and add to it your favorite syrup. Use about 3 Tablespoons per 2 cups of mix. Or more if your kids really like it sweet. But I'm picky on the sticky. And keep in mind your add-ins.

Now you need to get together your extras. Here are some ideas for add-ins to your pancakes:
Cinnamon chips
Chocolate chips
Frozen/Fresh Fruit
Bacon <-- no really!! NOM!
Jelly or Jam

Pour 1/4 of a cup of batter into each muffin tin and top with your favs. Tonight it was chocolate chips and berries. Stick in the oven for 10-15 minutes and be prepared to be wowed.

Some cooking notes: Because the berries were COLD the top of the berry pancakes did not brown. So just pay attention to the edges of your pancakes as they cook. They will get nice and golden and you know its time. Once the first batch comes out, you will have it down to a science.

For Freezing: Cool completely before you put in a ziplock. Then freeze in a single layer until the pancakes are frozen. Then you can pile them up together (this prevents sticking). On the outside of the bag, write PUFFINS: Microwave 20-30 seconds (each) until hot. Enjoy!

If you would like to give your family another quick freezer idea in muffin tins, able to be stored in the same manner, try mini quiche. Basically the same idea, only use EGGS as your base and as add-ins, use bacon, cheese, cottage cheese, and other savory items.  Store in the same manner and heat in the microwave 30-45 seconds.

To see the other Stork Meals, click here.

Tuesday

Stork Meal 9: Sour Cream Bacon Wrapped Chicken

Oh. My. Heaven.

So, I haven't even tasted this recipe (as I begin write this, but I tasted it by the end) but the smell in my house makes me want to do a little jig. I mean seriously people, I don't know what is more exciting. The fact that I have bacon in my crockpot or that it's wrapped around juicy chicken and covered in a smoked paprika cream sauce. Seriously folks, my nose is in heaven. And I have 8 people coming for dinner who will be the judges of it's fantasticity (That is totally a word)!

And now that I've tasted it... Oh yeah. This is a total keeper. So here is what you must do, run (don't walk) to the store and buy these ingredients:

Thick sliced bacon
4-5 boneless skinless chicken breasts (you can use thighs too)
2 cans of Cream of Chicken (or you can use mushroom if you prefer, but my kids prefer I don't)
1 cup of full fat sour cream (you already have bacon, come on you really going to use FF?)
2-3 Tablespoons of Smoked Paprika
Garlic Salt (or you can use real garlic [1-2 crushed cloves], but my kids prefer I don't)
Pepper (and salt if you don't use the garlic salt)

For preparation to go in your crockpot today: Wrap defrosted chicken in bacon and place in the bottom of a preheated crockpot. I usually turn mine on high then back to low when I'm all putting it in. Mix the soup, sour cream and all the spices together and taste, adjusting for your liking. Some days I need more paprika... some I need less. Depends on how snarky I am I think.  Pour well combined yummy sauce over the chicken in the crock and cover. Cook on High 4 hours or low 6-8 hours (until chicken is at 165). Serve over rice or noodles. Steamed carrots will be excellent with this meal.

For the freezer: Wrap frozen chicken breast in bacon and pack tightly into the bottom of a gallon sized zip lock bag. In another gallon bag combine Cream of chicken, sour cream, paprika (start with 1 table spoon first, taste and then add more to your liking), Garlic salt (again taste and see), and finally some pepper. Seal bag and mix well by squishing the bag many times. Make it all the same color. Taste and adjust to your families liking.

Store sauce and bacon wrapped chicken together in an additional freezer bag and label with this: Place chicken in the crockpot first, cover with sauce. Cook 4 hours on high, 6-8 on low. Serve with rice or pasta.

To see the other Stork Meals, click here.

Saturday

Stork Meal 8: Sausage, Peppers, and Tatery Goodness

I was trying to think of a name for this epic meal of deliciousness, but I can't seem to find one that does it justice. And to call it Parika/Rosemary-EVOO-Kielbasa-Roasted-Red-Pepper-Potato-peperoncini-onion mix... just doesn't work. So, if you have any ideas... I'm all ears.

I actually found the original recipe on pinterest, but I never follow recipes. They are more like general guidelines. And this time, I'm glad I didn't follow it. Because in one pan I did exactly what the "recipe" said and in the other I did what I'm posting here.

And the score: pinterest zero, me epic win! ;)

(**I've made this meal many times now due to it's popularity among my household. I've begun to add anything and everything to the veggie mix with exceptional results! A cup of mushrooms, roasted red peppers AND fresh bell peppers, whatever I have fresh on hand that is in dire need of being cooked before I think it goes bad, Bam, I slap it in. Be brave and throw those bad boys in as extra color and flavor. You won't be disappointed.**)

Ingredients:
Polish Kielbasa (cut into slices)
4-5 red potatoes (1 inch cubes)
1 onion (sliced thin)
1-2 jars of roasted red peppers (diced)
       Alternately you could use 2-3 fresh bell peppers (pick something besides green)
2 tsps of rosemary (if you can, chop it up into smaller sticks ;))
3 tsps of smoked paprika
salt and pepper
extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

AND, you need 1 jar of peperoncini peppers... or mild banana peppers but keep those in their jar until you serve!

To make the mix:
Mix sausage, potatoes, onion, red peppers, rosemary, smoked paprika, salt/pepper and EVOO all together in a large mixing bowl. Put the whole mix into a freezer bag and seal.

Write on the outside:
Defrost. Roast on 400 for 30-40 minutes. Top with peperoncinis and enjoy.

SOOO delish!




To see the other Stork Meals, click here.

Tuesday

Stork Meal 7: Cilantro Lime Chicken

Ohhhh yummy. It would have been even better with dark meat, but goodness was this meal great.

I wish I could remember where I wrote down the initial recipe from so I could give them a shout out, but for the life of me, I can't find it anywhere in my search results!

However, I did tweak the recipe a little (I bet you are sooo surprised) so maybe they would be shocked and perplexed.

Split between two gallon zip locks:
6 boneless chicken breasts (or equivalent boneless thighs)
2 cans corn (undrained)
2 cans of black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 red onion (diced)
1 tube of cilantro (or a whole bunch of cilantro)
Juice of two limes (or about 1/3-1/2 cup of lime juice total)

2 tablespoons of cumin
1-2 tablespoon of garlic

Mash bag well to combine.

Split between two quart bags:
4 cups of rice
2 chicken bouillon cubes (crushed into the rice bag)

Put one bag of each mixture into another gallon ziplock. Seal and label:
Cilantro Lime Chicken
4 hour on High or 8 hours on low
Combine rice bag with 2 cups of water and microwave for 5 minutes

Next time I make this meal, I may add in some chopped roasted red peppers for some more color... or even some tomatoes (that I can't eat). Not that it was missing anything... I just love color ;)

To see the other Stork Meals, click here.

Monday

Oat Flour Pancakes

Saturday and Sunday we had company, so I wasn't able to get any meals concreted for my sister's freezer. But Sunday morning I experimented with some pancakes.

See in March, I was diagnosed with food allergies. Wheat, soy, tomatoes, peas, rice (RICE?!), nuts, peanuts, and I'm pretty sure potatoes are out. Still discovering some of them, but this has been hard. So, some of these meals I'm making for her freezer aren't even edible for me. But it's okay, because this is for her.

However, Sunday we made pancakes for the kids and of course I want them. But I'm not willing to deal with the pain. So I googled Oat Flour Pancakes (since I'd just purchased Oat Flour from New Earth -- the whole foods store in this area).

I whipped up the recipe and it was not, not, not, not okay. It was so runny, trying to turn them was a joke. And the taste was missing a lot. Just tasted like bland grossness. So, as a good chef does, I doctored it.

I added more Oat Flour and another egg, some vanilla, and some splenda.

Perfect.

Ingredients:
3 cups Oat Flour
3 eggs
2 cups whole milk
1/2 cup of oil or melted butter
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 packages of splenda

Make like normal pancakes and enjoy!

Friday

Stork Meal 6: BBQ Pork Spare Ribs

This recipe could be really, really easy if you were in a bind.

2lbs of Country style pork ribs
1 onion cut in big chunks
2 bottles of BBQ sauce
Stick in the crockpot high 3-4 hours or low 6-7 and voilĂ !

However, this is totally not the way I roll. I have to do everything from scratch for a few basic reasons. Allergies. Allergies. And high fructose corn syrup.

So here is the recipe for the others of you who aren't in a "hurry up and get it in the crockpot".

2lbs Country style pork ribs
1 onion cut into big chunks

Add the following ingredients to a gallon sized ziplock .
1 and 1/2 cups of ketchup (Heinz Organic has no HFCS)
1 and 1/2 tablespoons of season salt
1/2 teaspoon of liquid smoke
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vinegar
I large onion quartered

Seal bag and mix by mashing the bag between your fingers until everything is the same color, texture, etc.
 Add the onions and pork and seal. Mash again and it's ready to be double bagged and frozen.

Defrost. Cook on high 3-4 hours in the crockpot or low 6-7 hours.

(Note, because this meal has ketchup in it, it does qualify in some folks books as a veggie. However, I always make an extra veggie for this meal. So, I included a quart sized bag of broccoli for them to steam the day they make the meal.) I also have a baguette for this meal, so I'd probably recommend them making this meal ASAP as I will include the baguette that is fresh.

To see the other Stork Meals, click here.

Thursday

Stork Meal 5: Corn and Black Bean Taco Soup

I should have mentioned that I am really quite terrible about taking a picture of the meals before they are scarfed. Usually it's because I'm in the middle of feeding one of the seven people staying in this house right now, but sometimes I click it before it goes to the left over section of the refrigerator.

And today was one of those days. I didn't even THINK about taking a picture until I was putting everything into containers for the freezer/frig... then I quickly snapped the below pic with my phone and called it good.

I do solemly swear to try to take a picture of the completed meals from now on... Did you notice the TRY word? Yeah, we will see how that goes.

Okay, so today's meal is a family favorite of ours. My good friend Jenneffer E from Ellsworth AFB, SD served this to my family way back in like 2006... maybe even 2005. I was so enamored with it that I told her I had to have the recipe. She looked at me like I had two heads, "It's left overs!"

Whaaaa??

How can something THIS GOOD and this beautiful be made of leftovers?

Over the years, I've since lost her exact words on how the recipe went, but I always remember what goes in it (always a different leftover meat) and how to enjoy it (smoothered in cheese, sour cream and chips)!

However, when I was doing some research for my Stork Meals, I came across a gals recipe that used black beans and I was like DUH! Black beans are the perfect compliment... so I added them in and if could have been any more perfect then it was, I dunno what else would have to go in it.

We didn't have any leftover meat (because this whole house is full of carnivorous folks) so I am using ground beef for the recipe.

Ingredients:
1 pound ground beef (or 2-3 cups left over meat cubed)
1 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion
1-2 Tablespoons garlic
1-2 packages of taco seasoning
2 cans of black beans (rinsed and drained)
2 cans of corn (not creamed and undrained)
2 cans of fire roasted tomatoes and green chilies  (undrained)
1 small can of diced green chilies (undrained)
8oz of tomato sauce (not spaghetti sauce)
2 cans diced potatoes (undrained)
(You will also need cheddar cheese, sour cream, and tortilla chips when serving)

Now remember I said this was a leftover meal for her? She would throw all of her leftover veggies into this dish instead of some of the above canned goods. However, she always added more!

If you are using left over meat, follow the directions below these for LEFT-OVER MEAT.

Dice onion and garlic and place to large skillet with olive oil. Cook for a couple minutes to soften the onions then add ground beef. Cook until beef is just brown and then add taco seasoning. Here is where you taste and see just how much taco seasoning you want. Remember this is going to combine in the crockpot with the liquid from the corn, potatoes and tomatoes. So don't be shy.

If you are prepping this meal for the freezer, cool the mixture and place in gallon sized bag with all the rest of the ingredients. You should have a nice full bag. Be sure to label and double bag.

Day of cooking, defrost and put in the crockpot. If you think you need more juice, add broth or just water, but usually it turns out perfect. Crockpot on high for 2-3 hours or low 4-5. Serve with fresh grated cheddar or pepper jack and a dollop of sour cream. Crumble tortilla chips into the bowl or use the chips as your spoon.

Directions for LEFT-OVER MEAT:
Because your meat is already cooked (and usually left overs at our house are chicken breasts) you don't want to put them in the crockpot for 2-5 hours and suck what remains of the juices out of them. I've tried this before, it doesn't work. You'd think being in all that broth and yumminess that it would add to... but no. So here is what you do.

Three ziplocks needed. First ziplock should be the cubed meat. Seal it and place it in an empty gallon sized ziplock. Next, add the cooked (but cooled) onions and garlic to lasts ziplock bag and then add BOTH envelopes of taco seasoning. If you use the large jar of seasoning I'd say about 1/3 of a cup. Add in all the remaining ingredients. So you will have two sealed bags. A meat bag and a soup bag inside the final ziplock.

With this version, you will cook the soup just like you did above but add in the defrosted meat in during the last 30-45 minutes, just long enough for it to become the same temperature as the mixture but NOT COOK!

Then you can eat to your hearts content... or your stomachs. ;)

To see the other Stork Meals, click here.

Wednesday

Stork Meal 4: Italian Beef

My sister is not a red meat fan. She used to be, but something about this pregnancy has turned red  meat into a not so pleasant time in the bathroom. So when I make things for her, I try really hard to keep the red meat out.

However, this was one of those meals that she was willing to try because it sounded so good (like I said, she used to be a red meat fan).

It's a take on the classic French Dip sandwich but its more chunky and made in the crockpot. It's such a simple recipe that I feel bad for making a whole post about it! But, I will. Because it's good.

The recipe is as follows...

3-5 pounds of Beef
2 dry Italian seasoning packets
2 cans of beef broth.

Sound easy?

It's just that easy.

When I buy my beef, I choose a different cut every time. Reason, I'm looking for the meat with the most marbling. That means there are white lines of fat running through the meat. So sometimes I pick a rump. Sometimes I pick bottom round or a chuck roast. I just look for those fat lines and go from there. DON'T GET an expensive cut of meat. Because you are going to slow cook this all day, you don't want something fancy it will just fall to bits. And you don't want that.

For freezing, just combine everything in a gallon zipper bag and seal. Place inside another zipper bag for safety.

To cook, put everything in the crockpot and cook on high 5 hours or low 10 hours. Because it's beef, the desired doneness is up to you. About 45 minutes before I want to serve, I take the meat out and slice it (or shred it if it shreds) then throw it back into the crockpot on warm. I allow it to sit and soak until time to eat.

Serve over hoagie rolls like a french dip sandwich, or serve like an open faced sandwich. Serve with extra juice from the crock.

Sister had seconds.

To see the other Stork Meals, click here.

Tuesday

Stork Meal 3: No Fuss Chicken Cordon Bleu

I'm happy to report this was a total win in the house today. Even the two year old shoveled the meal into her mouth with joy, asking for seconds.

I've posted this meal on FFMeals before, but since I am using it as a stork meal, I will post it again. People, you really should try this. SO easy. SO good. Needless to say, this meal is going in my new mama's freezer :)


The brilliance of this meal is that it's wonderful like a normal Cordon Bleu might be, but it's none of the hassle of stuffing a chicken breast. It's truly, no fuss!

Ingredients:6-8 fresh chicken breasts (or equal amount of boneless thighs) cut into tenders (they cook faster)
2 cups sliced carrots
2 cans Cream of Chicken
1 cup Sour Cream
2 tsp lemon juice
2 tsps Paprika
1 1/4 cup of grated Swiss cheese
1/2 cup of Ham slices cut into thin strips
1 Egg
1 cup of bread crumbs

Directions: Put sliced carrots in bottom of 9x13 pan (or two 8 inch). Combine Cream of Chicken soup, sour cream, paprika and lemon juice in bowl. Mix well and pour over the carrots. Slice Chicken breasts into tender strips. Crack an egg on a plate and beat well. Place bread crumbs on additional plate and coat  chicken with egg and then with bread crumbs. Arrange coated chicken breasts over the top of sauce in the pan. Place ham strips over the top of the chicken. Top with swiss cheese.

Freeze: Use Saran wrap or press and seal over the top of the pan and then Foil it all the way around to ensure air tight. Store in the freezer up to 2 months (or more depending on your druthers).

Baking: Defrost and use within 2 days. Preheat oven on 375 and bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes until cheese is bubblely and chicken juices run clear (Or meat thermometer says 165). Serve over egg noodles.

To see the other Stork Meals, click here.


Friday

Stork Meal 2: African Soup

Day two of meal making for the new mom and sometimes things don't always go as they're planned. See in our house, African soup is a huge win. My FIL grew up in West Africa and this was and continues to be a staple in their house. All the grand kids love this meal and up until today, I had no idea why.

I mean I loved it... but now I am allergic. No tomatoes for me. But if I hadn't found I was allergic, I would have enjoyed it after I made it. Instead, I fed it to the gang and waited for the reviews from my sister.

Needless to say, Mom-to-be wasn't a super fan. She said it tasted like Spaghetti Os. That is a win in some folks books, but apparently this is NOT a meal that we will be making for her freezer. However, I make it for mine ALL the time, so I will still share the recipe.

What you will need:

4 Gallon bags
2 quart bags
2 Large cans of tomato puree
2 Large cans of crushed tomatoes
2 sticks of butter
2 cans of SPAM (yes, I said it... SPAM)
1-2 Tablespoons of crushed red pepper flakes
1 Large can of green beans
4 cups minute rice

Just be glad you aren't in Western Africa, they use monkey meat. No kidding.

So here is what you do.

Melt butter in large sauce pot. Add in cubed spam and fry for 5-8 minutes. Some of the pieces could get crispy, but they don't all have to be. Add in all the tomatoes and red pepper flakes and allow it to cool.

Divide green beans into the two quart sized bags and place into gallon bags A & B.
Divide white minute rice into two quart sized bags and place into gallon bags A & B.

When the mixture is cool, divide into gallon bags C & D and seal tightly. Then place the sealed mixtures into A & B respectively along with the green beans and rice.  Seal and write this on the outside: Defrost.Place tomato mixture in sauce pan and simmer for 6+ hours until reduced one-third. Add green beans and cook for 30 minutes. Combine 2 cups of water with rice in microwaveable container and microwave on high for 5 minutes (or until water is absorbed). Serve African soup over rice.

You could make this in the crockpot, but it will have to cook a lot longer to reduce down enough.

If you have your reservations about the SPAM in this, don't knock it till you try it. I'm not at all a spam fan, but this is great!

To see the other Stork Meals, click here.

Thursday

Stork Meal 1: Enchiladas

Most new moms want to stay away from spicy foods, but my sister and her husband have some "South of the Border" in them, so I was positive I wanted to include some easy enchiladas in their meal plan.

The best thing about this meal is that you should make it for your own family and for your Stork Meal. I've posted the basics chicken recipe before (Mexican Chicken), but in this version you don't do all the rice, beans, and extras in lasagna form to make Mexican Lasagna. Instead, we are just going to make good old fashion Enchiladas.

Here is what you will need:


A crockpot
1 9x13 disposable pan or two square (find at Walmart or Target)
3 or so pounds of chicken
1 large can and 1 medium can of enchilada sauce
2-4 tablespoons of taco seasoning
1 small can diced green chilies
2 tablespoons garlic
18 corn tortillas
2-3 cups of shredded cheddar cheese (depending on how cheesy you want it)

Place chicken into crockpot and sprinkle generously with the taco seasoning. Add green chilies and garlic. Pour enchiladas sauce over the top and make sure most of the chicken is covered in sauce. Some pieces sticking up are okay, but the majority of the chicken should be covered with sauce. Cook on high 4 hours or low 6-8 (until chicken can be shredded with a fork). Take chicken out of the sauce and shred. Add sauce to the chicken to make sure it stays nice and moist.

Now it's time to assemble your enchiladas.

Poor enchilada sauce at the bottom of each pan you are assembling first. You don't want the tortillas to stick later so this is important. I am going to use the 9x13 for this example.

Now there are two ways to assemble these enchiladas. If you are in a hurry follow these steps: Lay 6 tortillas down on the sauce in the pan. Pour more sauce over. Layer 1/2 the chicken on tortillas. Top with cheese and some sauce. Place 6 more tortillas down. Rest of the chicken. More cheese. More sauce. More tortillas. Then top with sauce and rest of the cheese.

If you are not in a hurry, try it this way (be aware you will get messy, but it adds to the authentic): Dunk each tortilla into the enchilada sauce and let sit there for a moment. When you draw it out place it in the pan and add chicken and cheese then roll it up and place it in the corner of the pan. Do this for the remaining 17 tortillas. (You could need more tortillas depending on how big your corn tortillas are). Once you have the pan packed out, poor enchilada sauce over the whole thing. Don't drown it, but just make sure there is enough sauce so things don't dry out. Top with remaining cheese.

For freezing, Cover with foil (or if your disposables came with FOIL lids, cover that way) and write on the top. "Defrost over night in refrigerator. Bake covered on 350 for 45 minutes. Remove foil and bake additional 10-15 to brown cheese."

You can insure extra protection for long term freezing (more then 3 months) by wrapping the whole thing in press and seal.

To see the other Stork Meals, click here.



Freezer Meals from the Stork

Have you ever wondered what to get a new mom who has everything?

FREEZER MEALS!

There are plenty of "Make and Take" meal preparation companies around the country and if you have the money, you should totally try one out. Basically its Once a Month Cooking for beginners. It's a fabulous way to get your mind wrapped around how this all should work. A few places to check in your area are:
When you go to one of these facilities, they will have all the ingredients and tools ready for you to create meals in full or half sized portions, which is really amazing. It's definitely worth your money and the food is top notch!

However, after doing these food prep things, you come to realize everything they do, you can do. Yes, it's worth it's weight in gold to have someone else do the prepping and clean up, but when you have extra time to do it yourself, you really should!

If you are new to the Once a Month Cooking idea, be sure to read my post here - Once a Month Cooking: How do I Start? However if you are a veteran to this whole cooking in bulk thing, read on.


Parents, I'm sure you will be the first to chime in and agree with me that after having your first, second, or even third babies, sometimes meals are thrown to the take-out man (unless your church/family provides them hot for you right to your door). Today's idea stems from this very idea. Most new moms are tired after a long day and figuring out the baby's needs. Never mind the mamma's needs, it's all about baby. I remember forgetting to even EAT after I had my first child because I was just happy to sleep when the child slept. My husband would come home wondering what was for dinner and unfortunately some freezer tray processed food ended up winning almost every time in the first two months.

This is a travesty! New moms should NOT be eating that garbage and you can help!

My sister is having her first baby on November 11th (or thereabouts) and the best thing I can do for her is stock her freezer. So in the next two weeks, I will be trying and posting recipes that I am preparing for her freezer. Recipes that only require defrosting in the frig the night before and then into the crockpot or oven with no additional prep (a few might require minute rice prep or steam veggie prep, but this can be done in microwave). This will revolutionize her meal time (and probably spoil her rotten) post baby and provide her and the baby with the protein they need to stay healthy!

Do you know a pregnant mom who could benefit from a few meals prepped and ready to go in her freezer? I bet you do. You should bless her by stocking her freezer! I hope you'll try these recipes out with us!


To see the Stork Meals I've already posted, click here.