Jumping On The Freezer Meal Bandwagon

If you’ve been on Pinterest, you’ve heard about freezer cooking. It’s all the rage amongst busy mamas across the country. The pins make it look ridiculously easy and you can’t help but be captivated by the idea of only cooking one day but eating for two weeks! Now this certainly isn’t a new concept and people have been doing this for years. But all the pins and posts about it make it seem like the latest sanity saving phenomenon.

Freezer Cooking Intro

Considering I’ve been nesting like a madwoman, expecting my 4th any day now, and can’t possibly see myself cooking every single day postpartum, I decided to dive into the freezer cooking world. Don’t get me wrong, I could totally go for Afghan food take out every. single. day. but the hubs could only fork over so much cash for kabobs before he says ‘enough!” I want to say I planned it out to a T and that everything was super organized, except I would be lying through my teeth. You see, I’ve “liked” pins, but never committed to actually pinning anything. Once you pin it, you’re serious,  ya know?

One day, out of the blue, as these nesting urges often happen, I got serious.  I looked through all the pins I liked and started writing down everything I would need. Meats, veggies, ziplock bags, etc.  Then my list kinda sat there for a two days.  Then I realized our fridge was looking a little bare and decided that it was probably a good time to head out and get the groceries on the list. We hit up the markets and came home with a trunk full of food. Seriously, how blessed are we to have such a luxury? Alhamdulilah, all praise is due to God!

I didn’t cook that day. I shoved everything into the fridge and the overflow went into our mini fridge in the garage. The next day I had my sister come out to distract my kids while I got to work.

While I had a general idea and list of what I wanted to make, I actually went back and forth a few times between recipes.  I would switch to a different recipe at one point or double another recipe that appealed to me as I assembled it.

I pulled together a mix of meals that would either need to be cooked in the slow cooker, thawed and baked in the oven, and ready made needing to be reheated.  I also picked up a big pack of salmon burgers that would provide me with 3 nights worth of dinner with zero prep.

Here are the recipes I made:

For the slow cooker:

  • Hearty Beef Stew (2)
  • Beef and Butternut Squash Stew (1)
  • Chicken Noodle Soup (2)
  • Marinated Whole Chicken (1)
  • Marinated Beef Roast (2) (needs to be thawed, seared, then tossed in the slow cooker)
  • Beef Chili, personal recipe (1)
  • Chicken Tacos (didn’t really follow the recipe. Used a can of diced tomatoes with chilies and added taco seasoning) (1)
  • Hoisin Beef (again, didn’t follow the recipe exactly) (1)

To be thawed and baked:

  • Lemon Pepper Chicken Thighs (2)
  • Lemon Herbed Chicken Thighs, personal recipe (2)
  • Arabic Spiced Chicken Breast and Veggies
  • Marinated Turkey Breast (1)

Ready cooked:

  • Pioneer Woman Sloppy Joes (1)
  • Beef Lasagna, personal recipe (1) (needs to be thawed and baked)
  • Chicken Enchilada Mix (2) (needs to be thawed, rolled, baked)

Boom! 20+ meals in 4 hours.

This was a total learning experience. I could have done certain things more efficiently and somethings I felt I did really well.  Of course the true test of whether this was a success or not will come when it’s time to cook and taste the foods. I’ll have to post an update for sure.

Freezer Cooking Beef Stew

Here are my general tips:

  1.  Make space! You can’t cook up a bunch of meals if you don’t have anywhere to put them. I had a giant turkey taking up space  that I took out and made for my dad as a “thank you” for helping me with all the various odd jobs around the house that I couldn’t do for myself.
  2. Find your recipes. There isn’t one single pin/post that will have you making every single thing listed. Click through quite a few and save your favorites.
  3. Write out your shopping list. Those handy dandy printable shopping lists that come with those huge freezer meals posts are only good if you plan on making everything they’ve listed. Instead, write out exactly what you need for the recipes you’ve chosen. Make sure to cross reference with things you already have in the pantry and fridge.
  4. Shop for your groceries.  Obviously the most expensive items on your list will be the meat. If you only buy Halal, see if you can work out a deal with your local butcher. If you have access to a restaurant supply store, some carry Halal meats in huge amounts. Split the price and the box with a friend.  As for veggies and canned goods, just hit up your favorite grocery store.  You really don’t need more than you would normally buy unless you’re quadrupling every recipe.
  5. Get help. Someone needs to watch the kids or they’ll be eating up all your washed and chopped veggies. Also, if you hate cooking, that much cooking will overwhelm you and make you hate cooking even more. Ask a friend to come by for the day to help you with the prep work. My awesome little sister played babysitter and sous chef that day.
  6. Recipe, set, go! Have the recipes ready, either printed or open in tabs on your computer, to reference. I started with my beef recipes first. I would write out the name of the meal, what needed to be added (if anything) and cook time. Then I portioned out the meat into the correct bags and proceeded from there. Once meals were all ready, I’d remove as much air as possible, flatten and pop into the freezer.
  7. Keep it clean. Start with a clean kitchen! It makes all the difference in the world. Cleaning as you go makes it a more manageable task versus cleaning everything at once in the end when you’re exhausted.  Don’t think you’ll use every dish in the house to make this happen.  I used two cutting boards, one for meat one for veggies; two large mixing bowls, 1 pot, 1 large saucepan, various knives, and mixing spoons. I would wash each one after each use before proceeded to the next recipe.  It sounds more overwhelming that it really was. Trust me! I did this 9 months pregnant, you can do this too! But then again I do have that nesting magic power…
  8. Don’t forget the extras. My sloppy joes and enchiladas will be useless if I don’t have buns and tortillas! Make sure to keep the necessary items to complete the meal in the freezer too. Some of my recipes will require me to add canned beans that I didn’t want to open and put in the freezer, so I’ve kept them towards the back of my pantry as to not accidentally use them for another meal. Also, fresh veggies on the side are ideal but not always possible when groceries are running low and I’m not in the mood for a dash to the market. I had some frozen veggie mixes to cook up and add as sides.  I also have some tortellini packs and frozen samosas.

Ummm, I think that’s it.

Oh, and I froze blueberry muffins because, why not?

blueberry muffins

Aaaaaaaaaaaaand I made smoothie packs:

Smoothie packs(Start with 3 cups fruit.)

Like I said, the whole success of this experiment lies with the taste! I’ll let you know how it goes next month.  If you see lot’s of Afghani food pics in my instagram feed postpartum, you’ll know the results…

Posted in Everyday, Recipes | Tagged | 10 Comments


Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
Carter's Spring Style Jenin

Celebrate the Season With Carter’s Spring Style

Ever since Jenin was a baby, I’ve always loved the Carter’s brand. From the onesie sets to the PJs, and everything in between, I’ve always been a fan of their line. I’ve turned to Carter’s for great clothes for all of my girls and have even picked up some gender neutral items for Baby #4. When I was offered the chance to check out Carter’s spring line, I was all in. I knew I would be getting great quality, adorable pieces, and affordable prices. With the Carter’s Baby and Kid sale going on now until March 4, I saved up to 50% on most pieces. Add their awesome 20% off coupon and I scored big time! The Spring sale is … Continue reading

This gallery contains 4 photos.

Posted in Review | Tagged | 63 Comments
Adventurer Baby Shower Invitation

Welcome Baby in Style With Minted

No, no, Baby isn’t here just yet. Nine more weeks! Even though this is my fourth (and like I tell my husband, my last) pregnancy, I’m just as excited about all things baby. It never gets old!  There isn’t anything more special or sweet than the newness of a new little one joining a family. Minted has some of the most gorgeous baby shower invitations and birth announcements I’ve seen to help you welcome your sweet new bundle in style. Good-bye cutesy and cheesy, hello modern and fresh! I had the hardest time picking my favorites to share with you. There are dozens and dozens of chic designed invitations and announcements with even more customizations, making it nearly impossible to … Continue reading

This gallery contains 4 photos.

Posted in Review | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Maternity Leave

I need maternity leave from motherhood. I’m tired. I don’t know how much more I can take. Three kids, a husband, a home (which I feel like I have to maintain according to unrealistic Arab standards), homeschooling, two blogs, pregnancy… Alhamdulilah, all praise is due to God. I’m so, so grateful as each thing is a remarkable blessing. But I’m tired. I’m only one person. I know thousands of women have similar responsibilities, if not more. But I’m me living my life, and I just can’t seem to figure out how to do this correctly. Perhaps it’s pregnancy emotions talking. Perhaps I’m sharing too much. I hear “you’re supermom” way more than I deserve to. I do not have it … Continue reading

Posted in Everyday | Tagged | 6 Comments
Chalkboard Pregnancy Announcement

A New Chapter

Life has been good lately. Far, far from perfect, but it’s been good. What more can a mama ask for? The kids still fight, I “forget” to fold my laundry on a regular basis, and nine years later, my husband and I still argue over silly things like fixing the throw pillows on the couch every night.  But my girls are healthy, my house is receiving tons of beautiful makeovers, and the hubs is doing really well at work. Like I said, life is good. Alhamdulilah, all praise is due to God. As for me, well, I’ve had a little project in the works for a few months now. It’s been an exciting one that I’m ready to share with … Continue reading

This gallery contains 2 photos.

Posted in Motherhood | Tagged | 17 Comments

No Longer a Baby

Tonight after J’s bath, we came out of the bathroom and announced to Rami, “guess what?!? We have big, big news!” Being a father of 3 daughters, he had an idea of the series of events that would eventually take place, but he seemed slightly horrified by our “early” announcement. Jenin has her first loose tooth!! (The look of relief in Rami’s face was priceless.) She had been hoping and begging and questioning when her first tooth would fall out. She was so excited that she finally had a loose tooth she actually cried tears of joy! All night she wiggled and wiggled. I told her it would take a few days before it fell out. As her mom, I … Continue reading

Posted in Everyday | 1 Comment
20 Paper Lantern Makeover Hacks

Over at Disney Baby

Come over and check out what I’ve been working on over at DisneyBaby. 20 Simple and Awesome Paper Lantern Hacks and Re-Designs 11 Delightful and Festive DIY Cake Toppers 11 Affordable and Useful Baby Shower Crafts For Guests to Make 16 Awesome Map Decor Ideas For the Nursery 10 Delicious and Fun Birthday Cake Alternatives 11 Simple and Unique Paper Plate Birthday Party Backdrops Go ahead and Pin or share all the ideas you love.

This gallery contains 4 photos.

Posted in Blogging | 3 Comments
Moroccan Sidewalk

Here I Stand

It’s been a while. Actually it’s be a really long, long time. So long, I forgot my password to log in to my own blog. Not good. I’ve been away from home for a while. Actually, it was a really long, long time.  The girls and I took a trip to Palestine in an effort for us all to learn Arabic. The only reason this was possible was because I started homeschooling Jenin.  But you wouldn’t really know that because I don’t think I mentioned it here. Because remember, I haven’t blogged in months aka 36 blog years. I returned home the end of November, drained. Exhausted. Missing home desperately. Exhausted, did I say that already?  Once the jet lag … Continue reading

Posted in Everyday | 6 Comments

Review and Giveaway: Waafia

A long time ago, I used to think Islamic art was tacky.  I’m taking about the gaudy gold frames with overly ornate gold designs surrounding the gold words of the Qur’an.  Sometimes there was sequins involved. Lots of it. In horrible colors. The whole thing would just be a mess. If Islamic art looked like this for adults, I knew it would be hopeless to find something suitable for children. I barely found items for myself. I even resorted to making my own using decals and scrapbook paper. For the life of me, I can’t remember how I stumbled across Waafia on Etsy many years ago.  All I know, is that it’s been happily ever after since then.  I instantly … Continue reading

This gallery contains 4 photos.

Posted in Review | Tagged , , | 42 Comments