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Freezer Meal #1 – Update

Yesterday I made the first of five slow cooker freezer meals I prepped last weekend. Thanks to Kelly from New Leaf Wellness for the recipes & grocery list!  My kids and I are big soup lovers, so I started with the Vegetable beef soup.  Although I make a good Chicken Noodle soup & Golden Potato soup, I have never made beef soup.  EVER!  I have been wanting to try is since we always have beef & venison in the freezer.  The recipe, instructions and grocery list were all laid out in Kelly’s post, so I thought this would be a great place to start.

There were several things that surprised me about this recipe.  First was the addition of chicken broth when adding ingredients to the slow cooker.  Chicken broth in beef soup?  The second was adding the beef to the slow cooker raw.  Well, I made the recipe exactly as written and I must say, we were all VERY pleased.  The soup was GOOD!  Hurray!  This one is definitely going in the recipe binder!

Next time I will only change two things:  I will probably add two more cups of chicken broth and I will make it on a day when I can be home to make bread bowls!  Yum!

Thanks again, New Leaf Wellness!

Coleslaw Dressing

Broccoli Slaw

I usually make my cole slaw dressing without using a recipe – just make it to taste. But a friend asked me for my recipe so I wrote this one down one day. It is sweet and tangy and my kids love my broccoli slaw! I put this on the menu when we need a quick supper. Today we had brats, broccoli slaw and green peppers. It took us about 5 minutes to prepare! Gotta love that when we get home from volleyball practice at supper time!

Slaw Dressing

3/4 c. Miracle whip (I use Aldi brand)
1 TBS Apple Cider Vinegar (Balsamic works well, also)
1/4 c. sugar
2 TBS milk
Celery seed (optional)

Combine first 4 ingredients and stir until smooth. Add shredded cabbage or broccoli. Sprinkle some celery seed on if desired.

Pre-Packing Snacks

granola bars

My kids have to take their lunch to school every day. One of the hardest parts of making lunches for me is packing snacks. That’s why I like to get snacks ready for the whole week at once. This week I made granola bars. Once they had cooled I packed them into snack sized bags so all I would have to do is grab them in the morning. They can do the same when they get home from school.

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I also like to cut cheese in chunks at the beginning of the week. Again, I pack them into small snack sized bags so they are easy to grab when needed.

bagged popcorn

Sometimes my husband pops a BIG batch of popcorn on Sunday evenings. This also is bagged for snacks later in the week – either at home after school, or for their lunch boxes.

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Dried fruit, trail mix, crackers, raisins, grapes, etc… All get packed at the beginning of the week. My mornings go so much smoother when all this prep is done ahead of time.

Smoothies

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Meijer has strawberries on sale this week. It’s bananas on sale at Aldi. I stopped at both places and stocked up. Now we have lots of great stuff in the freezer to make smoothies.

I washed and hulled strawberries and froze in quart sized bags. After the bananas had fully ripened, I peeled the and broke them into chunks. Then froze them also. Now it is all ready to make smoothies (no ice necessary).

Today I grabbed out some frozen bananas, a package of frozen strawberries and one of frozen blueberries from last August. I place it all in my ninja, added some milk & a splash of honey. Delicious smoothies were ready in no time. The kids are going to love me when they get off the bus in a few minutes!