12.30.2016

Slow Cooker Freezer Meals and how they saved Christmas

Frozen slow cooker meals and how they saved Christmas!

And when I say "saved Christmas" I am speaking figuratively (not literally).

The story goes like this:

On a dark and stormy night T and I were discussing holiday plans which included a trip to Mammoth where we would be joined by his brother Jay and then his other brother and his wife and two kids. Jay, T, and I would be staying with the Fish-whisperer and his wife and the other brother and family had rented a place in town. We were all arriving and leaving at different times. T was talking about making crock-pot meals that would be easy cook and eat. I was on board and took it upon myself to shop and prep everything. Mistake number one because it ended up taking me almost four hours to prep everything by myself. T has said he will help next time….but all that prep work paid off and slow cooker freezer meals were a hit AND success.

Here are the ones I used (thank you Pinterest!):

Seven nights of meals and they worked out so well. The slow cooker meals from sixsistersstuff.com were freezer meals that you prep ahead of time and put in a gallon size zip-lock bag in the freezer on a cookie sheet to freeze flat. The other slow cooker meals were not freezer meals, but I turned them into them. I prepped the recipes as much as I could, including browning meat and making sauces like the mole for the chicken, before cooling everything and placing it in zip-lock bags to freeze with everything else. A few nights I made casseroles to go with the meals because I wanted to make sure there was enough food and the Fish-whisperer’s wife made some rice and salad on a few nights. We fed between 6-10 people with these meals each night and except for the long prep work to make the freezer meals, everything was really easy. The trick was to put a meal in the fridge for 24 hours and then cook it. I would pull something out of the freezer in the morning before snowboarding and put whatever the meal for that night was in the slow cooker on low before leaving. The few times I forgot I would call the house to see if someone could start the slow cooker for me. So it was a circle of freezer to fridge to slow cooker over a 24 hour period. It made the holidays a lot less stressful and saved Christmas because everyone had spent the day skiing and we got to come home to a hot meal with minimal work!

Slow cooker freezer meals are awesome and are going to become staples in our winter snow activities and in our slow cooker at home. If you have any recipies you think we should try, please tell us about them in the comments below!

If you are new to Slow Cooker Freezer Meals (like I was) I HIGHLY recommned reading this blog post from Six Sisters Stuff to get you started. It was the post that pushed me down the rabbit hole with Alice. Slow Cooker Freezer Meals: Make 8 meals in 1 hour.

 

12.23.2016

Video: It's snowing in Mammoth! Hello White Christmas.

Happy Holidays! It is snowing in Mammoth and we are going to have a White Christmas for sure.

 

First time June

The good news is the I kept my 2016 theme of “try something new” going strong for the whole year. The not as great news is that it is December and I am writing about June. Sorry about that….

June was the first time in eight years that I worked during this month. I mentioned in another post that I used to have a job with a 178 day (10 month) contract and my new job is a 221 day contract. I still get some time off, but not nearly as much time as I have gotten off in the past. So it was not new to work in June, but is was the first time in eight years that I worked in June.

In June I went to graduation for the first time at my new college. I love graduation and went every year at my old job. I think it is great to cheer on students as they reach their goals.

I also bought a bike that I ride to work most days. In the cold months (like now) I try to ride my bike to work at least two days a week. With the short days I adjust my schedule so I am not riding in the dark. You can read about my new bike HERE.
The Library is a great place to review cookbooks. I check them out all the time. In June I checked out the book Paleo Planet and made such a big list of recipes to try that I decided to buy it. I posted the following photo on instagram and the author responded and told me some of her favorite recipes. I have never had that happen before and it was pretty cool! Social media for the win! So far my favorite recipe is the crispy chicken with onions. I think it is the pollo al forno in the book, page 88!

12.07.2016

November Photos (via the iPhone)

November photos from 2016, in my 39th year.

Early morning at John Wayne airport on my way to Richmond, VA.
airport window

View from the window at Pop's on Grace in Richmond, VA
fall street view

The Middle Sister threw a holiday cocktail thing...
holiday buffet

Lights at Design Within Reach where T and I went to an art event.
hanging lights

Tree of Life by Kate Creely.
Tree of Life mixed media


Miscommunication of the Pumpkin Pies found five of them in our fridge.
five pies in fridge

For real.  This cat is the best lap warmer....
cat near fireplace

Adventures in Nevada at an old mine.
old house

Snow on the ground in Bodhi, CA
us in Bodhi

First tracks!  Snow near Mono Lake.

The sad day Basillico's closed...