Saturday, April 13, 2013

Baby Food

When Maci was almost 6 months, I realized I needed to start making baby food again. Ugh. I can't help but be honest. That's how I felt. I don't really care for one more thing to do. So, instead of putting my big girl pants on and just doing it, I visited the baby food section at the grocery store and started buying Gerber's "first step" baby food jars. They were $0.99 for two containers which is not expensive at all so I thought I was totally justified.

I didn't buy much. Just enough to get us started. Then when I was running low on something, I realized it goes too fast and I don't want to keep buying it. So instead, I put my big girl pants on and just made it myself. Plus, the food combinations I like cannot be found at the store. Gosh, it really is so much easier...and cheaper! 1 can of pears(canned in water...very important!), a handful of spinach, and one banana makes a full ice cube tray of baby food! And only retails for about $1.50. Do you understand what that means? You are paying about 800% mark up when you buy it already made. In other words you get 8 baby food jars, for the price of 1. How's that for perspective?

Crazy! Here's how I make my food:

1. Take desired ingredients and place in blender.
2. Blend. (I use our actual blender or the Magic Bullet. No, you don't need a special baby food maker).
3. Pour the puree into an empty ice cube tray.
4. Freeze.
5. Once frozen, dump the baby food cubes into a labeled Ziploc bag.
6. Microwave a cube or two at meal time until defrosted.

That's it. Easy. And it doesn't take up space in the pantry.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Adventures in Crock Potting

Round 2. My first crock pot blog can be found here, though it's not the last time I crock potted (how's that for a word?).

Anyway, I'm going to keep this blog super simple because I think part of the reason people don't do this is because it doesn't seem simple. But it is. Trust me.

First off, I shopped at Winco.

Grocery List:

6 pork chops
1 package of pork carnitas (2 lbs.)
2 bags of frozen chicken breasts
1 3 lb. bag of red potatoes
4 sweet potatoes
2 bottles BBQ Sauce
2 Ranch Seasoning packets
2 taco seasoning packets
1 alfredo sauce packet
1 package Italian sausage
4 bell peppers (2 green, 2 red...or whatever you prefer)
1 small carton of heavy cream
2 packages of tortillas
1 loaf garlic bread
1 package hamburger buns

My total was $53

Get home, wash and chop, and label bags - Pulled Pork, Ranch Pork, BBQ Chicken and Sweet Potatoes (x2), Pork Tacos, BBQ Pork and Sweet Potatoes, Ranch Chicken, Chicken Tacos, Italian Sausage and Peppers, and Creamy Alfredo Chicken and potatoes.

Then start dumping the ingredients (as listed below) in the appropriate bags.

Pulled Pork:
3 Pork Chops
1/2 Bottle BBQ Sauce

Low for 8, high for 4. Shred meat when done and serve on the hamburger buns you will freeze with the meals.

Ranch Pork:
1/2 Package or 1 lb. Pork Carnitas
1/3 of the chopped red potatoes
1 packet Ranch seasoning

Low on 8, high on 4.

BBQ Chicken:
1/2 bag of frozen chicken (usually 3-4 breasts)
2 Sweet Potatoes
1/2 bottle BBQ sauce

Low on 8, high on 4. Make 2 of these.

Pork Tacos:
3 Pork Chops
1 packet Taco Seasoning

Low on 8, high on 4. Shred when done. Serve with the tortillas you will freeze with the meals (along with any other toppings you like).

BBQ Pork:
1/2 package or 1 lb. Pork Carnitas
2 Sweet Potatoes
1/2 bottle BBQ sauce

Low on 8, high on 4.

Ranch Chicken:
1/2 bag frozen chicken (usually 3-4 breasts)
1/3 bag of red potatoes
1 ranch packet

Low on 8, high on 4.

Chicken Tacos:
2 frozen chicken breasts
1 can corn
1 can tomatoes
1 packet taco seasoning

Low on 8, high on 4. Shred chicken when done. Serve with the other package of tortillas you will freeze with the meals (along with other desired toppings).

Italian Sausage and Peppers
1 package Italian sausage (6 total, I think)
4 bell peppers (cut fajita style)

Low on 6 or high on 3. Serve with the garlic bread you will freeze with the meals and/or noodles.

Creamy Alfredo Chicken:
The rest of the frozen chicken (3-4 breasts)
1 packet Alfredo mix
1 sm. carton of heavy cream
The rest of the red potatoes

Low on 8, high on 4.

Crock Pot meals don't always have to be extravagant. But they need to taste good. And in my mind, always, always, always be available. :)

Happy Crock Potting!