So my plan this time is to prepare some meals for the freezer - they will be a huge help if I end up on bed rest, or if the new twins have a stay in the NICU. If we can avoid both of those scenerios I'm sure I'll be glad to have some pre-made meals on hand those first three months after the new babies arrive.
My freezer meal history is kinda funny. One Sunday I was visiting my mom's church with my sisters and sisters in law. Mom had a YW calling at the time so we went to Relief Society without her. There were numerous sign-up sheets being passed around that day...we decided to have a little fun and sign mom up for a bunch of random things. One of the sign-ups was to purchase a Freezer Cooking Manual. We got a kick out of that one because my mom freezes EVERYTHING! (We even found popped popcorn in her freezer once - she's never lived that one down) Well we all had a good laugh as I signed her up and then we forgot about it.
The next Christmas I opened a gift from my mom and there it was: The Freezer Cooking Manual - from 30 Day Gourmet.I thought it was pretty hilarious and started reading it...It's actually a really good book and I've been making recipes from it for a couple of years now.
I've got my freezer stocked with Italian Chicken, Pulled Pork, Crock Pot Macaroni and Cheese, Chicken Spaghetti Sauce, and Mexican Chicken Casserole. Tonight I will add five large bags and two small containers of Loaded Baked Potato Soup. The boys helped me make it this afternoon while Bronwyn took her nap. We then had an early dinner of it. This is the third time I've made it - and luckily I managed it without scorching the milk. Yay!
I'll share the recipe for 8 servings: (I made 32 servings)
Loaded Baked Potato Soup
4 large baking potatoes
10 T butter or margarine
2/3 C flour
6 C milk
1 1/2 C shredded cheddar
1 1/4 t salt
1/2 t pepper
8 slices cooked and crumbled bacon
8 oz sour cream
1 C shredded cheddar
2-3 chopped green onions (I omit these)
Bake the potatoes at 400 degrees for 60-90 minutes. Remove them from the oven and cut in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the pulp into a large bowl. Set aside. Save the leftover skins to make potato skins or discard.
Melt butter in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the flour, stirring until smooth. Cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Turn heat up to medium and continue stirring while slowly adding the milk. Continue to stir until the mixture is thick and bubbly. Add the cheddar cheese, salt, pepper, and bacon. Mash the potato pulp with a hand held potato masher, a fork, or a mixer, to get rid of the large chunks. Add the potato pulp to the pan, stirring to mix. When it is heated through, add the sour cream and stir to mix well. Do not boil the soup. Set aside to cool.
Freeze in freezer bags or rigid containers.
Thaw at least overnight in the refrigerator. Put the soup in a saucepan or microwave safe container to heat. The soup will have the consistency of soft mashed potatoes. If needed, stir in some milk to make it more "soup-like". But the soup should be thick, not runny. Once it's heated through, spoon into serving bowls. Top each with a sprinkle of shredded cheddar and some green onions.
We all love this recipe - Try it out! And wish me luck on filling my freezer before June....
You can find this recipe manual at http://www.30daygourmet.com/