Friday, January 4, 2013

Freeze-ahead crock pot meals: aka How to have more time to craft and still feed my family :)

Usually, I use my blog for craft happiness and Heart 2 Heart Challenge posts. Well, this  year, I believe I will expand my repertoire and include my life in general: crafting, Thirty-One, organizing the house after a very hard, painful year. Through some intense counseling, I’m forming a vision for how I want my life to look in the future. I have a great stamp set that has the phrase “Life if not about finding yourself, it’s about creating yourself.” So, not sure anyone will follow along, but my new life begins now. I’m creating it along with my dear husband and Elyse. One of the things that help me figure out a new vision was a craft room I found on Pinterest that I would like to recreate in our spare bedroom:

Craft Room craft-rooms

My crafty little brain is spinning with wonderful ideas on how I can make a space like this for me and my peeps to be creative and preserve our memories.

That leads to the other wonderful Pinterest find of freeze-ahead meals for the crock pot. I’m starting to develop a nice menu. This week, I made two recipes we already love and am trying two new ones:

  • Weight Watchers turkey chili
  • Savory Vegetable Beef Soup (tastes like Nana’s)
  • Chicken Tortilla Soup
  • Cheesy Vegetable Chowder

Weight Watchers turkey chili (oh so delicious); it’s bubbling away on the stove right now for dinner tonight, and there’s another bag in the freezer for later. We all loved the Savory Vegetable Beef Soup, and we shall see over the next few weeks about the other two. Here’s how I did this…

Lots of fresh vegetables plus some cheater frozen carrots, green beans and corn. I started with boiling some frozen chicken breast for the Tortilla soup, and then began all the chopping with the onion first. Once it was prepped, I started to brown both the hamburger with onion and garlic for the hamburger soup as well as the ground turkey with onion for the chili.

While the meat sizzled, I chopped the rest of the veggies (green and red pepper, potatoes, cilantro, parsley, and celery). Who knew celery could be so beautiful?!? Love this picture, cause I’m a dork and easily amused.

Once all the veggies are prepped and the meat is browned and cooled (minus half the turkey which became tonight’s dinner), I began with one recipe at a time and put together future meals.

Happy little stovetop friends getting prepped together! Now for assemblage. I added ingredients to freezer bags and placed labels on the outside with directions like how much water to add and how to fix the tortilla strips for the day each recipe is used.

Now for dinner tonight, I have this fantastic and beautiful chili:

And there are 7 bags of happy, healthy dinners in the freezer to be used over the next couple of weeks. Phew! Now I can focus on more fun stuff, like stealing some time in my current craft room!!!

If anyone is out there, leave a comment so I know you’re there. Here’s to a happier, healthier, more crafty 2013!


  1. Love this post (and that studio)! Here's to a happy and healthy 2013! Enjoy your chili! :)


  2. You go girl! Anything that makes for more crafting time is a good thing.

  3. Yum! Meals in the freezer are like money in the bank. You must feel fantastic!

  4. That's a great picture of the celery! I use that end to do painting crafts with my kids.