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.


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!"


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.

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.


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.


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.


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.


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?


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.