Friday, March 7, 2008

Prepare ye....

When I found out I was expecting another set of twins I decided THIS time I was going to be a little more prepared. During my last twin pregnancy I was working full time and didn't have the energy for much except taking care of Julius.

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


On hand:

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/

9 comments:

Kristi said...

Yummy! That sounds and looks so good! You are so prepared, I am impressed. It will definately be a lifesaver when the time comes.

The Blaisdell Family said...

That sounds SO good. Thanks for typing all of that up. You wanna join the recipe blog I have with my friends???? You can check it out: www.friendswithrecipes.blogspot.com

If you want to submit some recipes let me know, I'll add you as an author!!

Good luck getting all that done. I'm not good at freezing stuff. I always forget about it and think it tastes like the freeze, which I'm sure is all in my head!

Impressed with your organization girl!!!

Hassler Family said...

You are awesome for doing all that work. I can't wait to try this recipe! Thanks for sharing~

Heidi said...

I am very impressed. You are on the ball, I was going to freeze some meals before Spencer came, but I never did. Love the picture of the boys helping!

Shelley said...

YUM! I can't imagine taking care of 3 kids and 2 babies and still have to cook. It'd drive anyone crazy. You're great to think and prepare ahead of time. :)

ahalversen (DBA) said...

I love that you are so prepared Mandy! When I got pregnant with my twins I was so sick that I literally cooked NOTHING from about 10 weeks until they were over a year old! Thank goodness for a wonderful husband willing to help me out! That recipe book sounds awesome too. I'm so glad you are getting prepared for the new little ones! I can't wait to see them!

Camille said...

Wow Mandy! That sounds so good. If you hear a noise in the middle of the night just go back to sleep. It's me, stealing your frozen bags of soup.

HappyScrapper said...

Mandy! I read the comments you left me on my blog! When I was reading yours I found this!! POTATOES!! AHHHHH!!! I do still eat them, just not for breakfast!!
I think it will be fun keeping up with the former QPSAers, and PFOPers! I have Camille and Amber's in my favs. and will add you too! I read them everyday. I've not updated mine in awhile as you can see. I think I'll go do that now.
Good to hear from you !! Keep in touch and good luck with all those kids! And more on the way, whew I get tired just thinking about that! And your little ones are adorable!! You have a beautiful family!! Have a good night! God Bless, Lisa

HappyScrapper said...

Mandy! I read the comments you left me on my blog! When I was reading yours I found this!! POTATOES!! AHHHHH!!! I do still eat them, just not for breakfast!!
I think it will be fun keeping up with the former QPSAers, and PFOPers! I have Camille and Amber's in my favs. and will add you too! I read them everyday. I've not updated mine in awhile as you can see. I think I'll go do that now.
Good to hear from you !! Keep in touch and good luck with all those kids! And more on the way, whew I get tired just thinking about that! And your little ones are adorable!! You have a beautiful family!! Have a good night! God Bless, Lisa