May 07, 2010

Frozen Food Party!

On Sunday of last week we went to my brother and sister-in-laws house for a different sort of party - a party focused on frozen food! It's an idea that I had a few years ago, when we needed to stock the freezer before Abby was born, but never got enough support to pull it off. I was very glad to have Nadia (SIL) ask me about doing one this spring as they are expecting.

The process was as such -
Decide on an invite list, being sure to include folks that would take it and run with it, but don't let the invite list get too big. Everyone has to bring enough food to send home with each person/family participating, so a party of 12 families would end up being a ton of work for everyone. This task fell to Nadia, as it was her party, but I was sure to get some names in there of cool people that I hang out with too.

Explain the party in detail to everyone coming. I think it would have been greatly embarrassing to have someone show up with no food to share, and would have been awkward to figure out for everyone in the end! Be open to questions, as there will be some since a lot of folks have not heard of such a party before!

Well, Rob, what IS the detail? That's the fun part! Each person/unit plans out a meal that they prepare or organize that can be stashed in the freezer and brought out on a night that you don't want to have to cook fully! Then they cook or prepare it.  There are whole websites dedicated to "Freezer Meals" and the like, but it is amazing how many things you already make that you could double when you have time and freeze some of for later!  We did a crock-pot meal (recipe below), dished it into a freezer bag and included tortillas and cheese for a whole meal.  Everyone must label their bag with reheating instructions, and the recipe is optional but nice!

Once all of the RSVP's have come in, or the RSVP date has passed, let everyone know how many meals they are bringing. If six families are coming, each family needs to bring five of their dish to share - one for each other family. (For the one we went to, the number six was passed around, so most folks had an extra of their own to take home, too!)
 So, for a total of about 30 minutes of work on my part - deciding the meal, preparing it, overnight in the crock pot and assembling for the freezer - we got five six meals that we get to take home and try over the coming weeks!  Throw in about two hours of hanging out with some fun people and their fun children!

The meals we got were:
Chili
Burrito Pie
A Red Chicken with Cous Cous (I missed the name!)
Rico Chicken
Creamy Chicken
Chicken Soup

The meal that we took was one that we have adapted from a kidney-friendly blog.  It calls for pork, but we had chicken and used that.  So, here is our recipe for Slow Cooker Chicken and Green Chili Stew:

Serving size: 3/4 cup stew, 1 tortilla
Ingredients
    * 1/2 cup all-purpose white flour
    * 1 teaspoon black pepper
    * 1 pound chicken, cut into bit size cubes
    * 1 4-ounce cans green chili peppers, rinsed, and diced
    * 1 garlic clove, crushed
    * one 14-ounce can low-sodium chicken broth
    * 6 flour tortillas, burrito size
    * 6 tablespoons sour cream
    * 3/4 cup iceberg lettuce, shredded
    * 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Preparation and Serving
   1. Place chicken, flour, pepper, peppers, garlic and broth into a slow cooker.
   2. Cook for 10 hours on low heat.
   3. Place 3/4 cup of stew on a tortilla and roll burrito style.
   4. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon sour cream, lettuce and cilantro.

5 comments:

  1. Cooking in advance like that rocks. My wife is a creature of habit and can eat the same thing for lunch weeks on end. So, every few weeks I'll make a huge vat of curried beef stew or turkey mole soup and freeze a dozen or so servings. Then all she has to do is take one out of the freezer the night before and pop it in the micro and work. A lot cheaper than going out and much healthier. Sounds like a great idea for a get together too.

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  2. Fun to do this as a party! Kind of like Let's Dish on the cheap.

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  3. What a really neat idea. As a family that keeps kosher, we would have to find other people that do the same to make it work. Hmmm.....

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  4. i try to freeze extras for quick meals later.....i always make double spaghetti, so i freeze that. then when i do that i make a ton of ground beef - which can also be frozen. i use the cooked ground beef for chili, tacos or spaghetti next time. saves time and a pan, not having to brown up the ground beef each meal. homemade meatballs freeze up well too. (cooked) this makes for a quick swedish meatballs or beef stroganoff meal. meatloaf also freezes well. i like the idea of a party for this though!

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  5. Our problem is that we never have enough space in the freezer. I love making extras to freeze or just cooking meat in mass to speed up the dinner process, but there is never room in the freezer for more than one of these at a time. One of these days when we have a house I may need to buy a separate freezer.

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