New Year’s Resolutions

When I started blogging I had every intention of posting regularly. 2013 had its own ideas about what I would do. Between the heartaches and blessings, I got distracted from blogging. That is why my new year’s resolution is going to be to blog more regularly. Right now I am lying in my warm bed, preparing for the frigid weather to come, clearing out my dvr, and listening to my pups snore while writing this post. Not a bad way to spend a Sunday! So great in fact, that I would resolve to do this every week. But let’s get real. Life will never let that happen! So I will shoot for something more attainable, let’s say once a month. That way if I do more, I am exceeding expectations!

It will be easier, I am guessing, to have things to post about this year. I mean let’s face it, as awesome and interesting as Mr. G and I think we are, I by no means kid myself into thinking you want to hear about our daily lives. HOWEVER, with Baby G on the way, things may get a little more exciting! I am now almost 15 weeks and officially done with trimester one! And am proud to say that I have had no unpleasant symptoms, and have had nothing but good reports. Thank the good Lord! With one trimester down, it is all the more real and I cannot wait to start getting the nursery (and the rest of the house) ready for a new baby!

Halas, (right, 11mos), Elvis, (middle, 2yrs), Gracie, (left, 13 yrs)

Halas, (right, 11mos), Elvis, (middle, 2yrs), Gracie, (left, 13 yrs)

And get our other children used to the idea of a hairless brother or sister! Cute aren’t they?! 😍

I have been cooking again too! I’m still trying to figure out the best ways to share my freezer cooking techniques and recipes so hopefully as I do more, it will get better! (I get busy and forget to take pictures!) If there is anything particular you may want me to try, let me know! I love cooking probably as much as I love eating! I will share what I did document this time.

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Two chicken teterrazzi casseroles, nine chicken burritos, (there are ten here… I may have eaten one…) a chicken pot pie, a taco pasta casserole, a Mexican layer dip, a pork and polenta casserole, a lasagna, and Italian chicken and shrimp (photo one), along with ten stuffed potatoes (photo two).

I started with my meats, two chickens, a 3lb pork shoulder, 1 pkg of ground beef, 1 pkg of Italian sausage, and 1 pkg of frozen raw shrimp. I poached the biggest chicken with veggies, salt, and peppercorns, and baked the other chicken in the oven with the same spice blend I used on the pork butt, which I put in the crock pot until it was falling apart.

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Mustard, garlic, cumin, onion, and cilantro, along with half of the can of chipoltes, in adobo sauce.

These spices, along with salt and pepper, is what I used to give the butt and the other chicken a spicy, Mexican-y kick.  while prepping all of this, I had my potatoes baking in the oven on a baking sheet. I cut them in half, scraped out the soft insides, added lots of butter, cheese, heavy cream, and  green onions (along with salt and pepper of course), and I filled six of the potato skins with this mixture. Then I took some of the pkg of shrimp that I sautéed in  butter with old bay seasoning, chopped them up, and added them to the rest of the potato mix for a special treat. I put all the potatoes on a baking sheet in the deep freezer until they were frozen, then packaged them by two in freezer bags.

When the poached chicken was done, I cooled it, pulled off every little bit of chicken I could get, strained the stock, and I was ready to get moving forward on my tetrazzini and pot pie.

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With the baked chicken I shredded it, and filled tortillas with refried beans, chicken, cheese, onions, black olives, cilantro, and taco sauce. I froze these in threes in freezer bags for lunches, or snacks. (the one I ate was delicious, I will have to see how they are after having been frozen.)

Then, using the ground beef and the recipe I found here-http://www.sohowsittaste.com/2013/04/taco-spaghetti.html -I made taco spaghetti. I can’t wait to eat that! It looked and smelled delicious, and combines my two favorite things… tacos and pasta!

When the pork was tender and falling apart, I shredded it, mixed it back with some of the cooking liquid, and filled a casserole dish with yummy, cheesy and buttery polenta topped with the pork. I took a hint from Rachel Ray on that one.

Finally I made lasagna. I have never made lasagna, so this was an experiment. I took a gallon bag of my homemade spaghetti sauce out of the deep freeze and thawed it. Then I took the Italian sausage and browned it, and added a pkg of frozen spinach. Then I shredded some cheese, and mixed a large container of cottage cheese with some parmesan, salt, and pepper.

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Oh, and cooked my lasagna noodles. Then I started layering.   

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And let me tell you I didn’t think my pan was going to hold it all. My pan was about to overflow! I needn’t have been worried about it, we ate it last night and it was delicious!! Thank goodness the family was here to help eat it! I will be making this again!

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Finished product!!

I covered everything with foil and labeled it all with a sharpie. And that (other than packaging and freezing the leftover stock, concluded a successful afternoon of cooking! I took the leftover burrito fixings and layered them for a dip for new years eve, and the leftover chicken and shrimp I there together with artichokes, garlic, roasted red peppers, and olives to throw with pasta for a quick and delicious dinner. I LOVE to do this. I always feel so accomplished when I am done!

Kind of like I feel right now finishing this post! Haha I am almost embarrassed to tell y’all how long I have been working on this! 😌 Now I guess it’s time to get up and figure out what’s for supper! 😋 Happy 2014 y’all!!!

PS.- I started this post alone in my bed… This is how I am ending it…

Elvis

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