Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Seriously Good Freezer Meals + Blueberry Orange Smoothie Kits Recipe

Seriously Good Freezer Meals
by Karrie Truman
Publisher: Robert Rose
ISBN: 978-0-7788-0591-5

The last couple weeks since getting home from Minnesota have been interesting! I've had a lot of time to be Suzy Homemaker. I haven't fully embraced it, but I have been working on preparing meals thanks for the Seriously Good Freezer Meals book I'm reviewing! It's been quite the interesting process getting started. So I'll tell you what I think of the book, and what it's been like starting down this road to freezer meals.

I definitely liked the first chapter of Seriously Good Freezer Meals of Getting Started chapter. I think some of it was basic information, but definitely necessary. Nothing like getting a refresher course! Some of the things I learned are that avocados (without skins) and garlic cloves are able to go in the freezer!! There's also a great breakdown of freezing dairy products, blanching times for veggies, and how long your meals will last. Each recipe offers a "Bulk Batch Guide". I think 5 batches would be great for a freezer meal exchange!

Now, it takes some time to build up meals so it'll take me a few more times to have enough meals that I will feel good about having last minute food to feed the family. The only thing I have to remember IS...take the food out to thaw the night before! The days we have sports at night are probably the ones  where we'll use these the most this fall!

Since I've never made freezer meals, I have a learning curve on prep and shopping! My goal with some of these meals is to do several batches, but a few of the recipes have expensive ingredients. Not only that, I have to get the family to remember we have these meals as well!

The first thing I made was Perfect Freezer Pancakes. We love eating them, but I never remember to make them unless we're having breakfast for dinner. I have yet to master the art of fluffy pancakes. My friends think I'm stirring too much. Darn it! For breakfast, I also made the Buttery Cinnamon French Toast Bake. I'm holding onto that one for the weekend after school starts.



One of the things I have a hard time coming up with is side dishes. I can never think of different ones to make, and this way, I don't have to! I'm looking forward to heating up the Cheesy Potatoes because a friend of mine makes a dish similar to this, and it's to DIE for! Fingers crossed this is on par with hers. The next two side dishes I'll be making several batches of are the Mashed Potatoes and Brown 'n' Serve Rolls!


I made 3 main dishes: Amazing Macaroni and Cheese, Mongolian Beef and Green Beans, and Broccoli Chicken Alfredo Bake. One thing I haven't quite gotten the hang of yet when making these kinds of meals is sealing them at the end of the process. I bought a bunch of aluminum foil pans, but when I put the plastic on top I'm not sure I'm even doing it right to get rid of the air or is it tight enough. Of course the second part of that is putting tin foil on top. Thankfully that should keep the meals good for the short term. The great piece of making these dishes is making meals I've never attempted before. Fingers crossed the Mongolian Beef turns out well!


The last meal I made was the Creamy, Cheesy Broccoli Soup. Now, this is a dish where I'll be the only one eating it. It calls to put it into a gallon freezer bag, but I used 4 quart sized bags for single-ish servings. Depending on my appetite on of the quart bags could be a couple of meals for me. And I did sample it as I was pouring them into the bags. Oh my, my, my it was good! This I'll be making a TON of batches for.


Up next I'll be trying desserts. They look pretty scrumptious, and they'd be awesome to have on hand when company comes over or just having a better choice on hand for the family! All in all, I'm really loving Seriously Good Freezer Meals and can't wait to try out more of the recipes!

Blueberry Orange Smoothie Kits (2 servings)

1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, partially thawed
1/2 banana
1 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 cup water

1. In a small bowl, whisk together Greek yogurt, vanilla, and orange juice. Pour 1 tbsp each into 8 cups of an ice cube tray. Freeze for about 2 hours, until solid.

2. Meanwhile, slice banana into 1/4" slices and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze for about 2 hours, until solid.

MAKE IT NOW Place the 8 orange juice cubes, frozen blueberries, and frozen banana pieces into a blender. Add water. Blend on High until smooth. Add more water if necessary to get desired consistency. Pour into 2 classes and serve cold.

MAKE IT A FREEZER MEAL Place the 8 orange juice cubes, frozen blueberries, and frozen banana pieces in a labeled quart-size freezer bag. Seal, removing as much air as possible.

MAKE THE SMOOTHIES Add contents of freezer bag and water to blender. Blend on High until smooth. Add more water if necessary to get desired consistency. Pour into 2 glasses and serve cold.

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