Meal-planning after birth, and other questions
Yesterday's main meal was Farmhouse Chicken... a delicious casserole that I hadn't made recently. Several people have mentioned Farmhouse Chicken in the past few days, and it reminded me that I should make it again! :)
We managed to make the Farmhouse Chicken last for 2 meals. I'm planning to make it again next week, because we just really enjoyed it! :)
I used a boxed stuffing mix from the grocery store, and used some cubed chicken from my freezer. For the past 8-10 weeks before Ruth's birth, I had made a roasted chicken once a week (it's one of Joshua's favorite meals!) and froze the leftover meat in 1-2 cup portions.
Vicky asked how my meal-planning was going, since making my new menus and all that. Well, I am not very good at sticking to menus, really. I love to make something spur-of-the-moment because it's what we feel like eating that day! I guess that's why I tend to keep my pantry/fridge/freezer stocked with ingredients to make most of our favorite foods at any time. :)
But, the menus have been a blessing because there have been days when I couldn't think of anything that sounded good... so I just picked something from my "easy menu" and made it... like the macaroni and cheese. :)
What has helped me the most has been all the goodies in my freezer! The pre-cooked chicken, meatballs, taco meat, pepperoni (because we love pizza!) and all the baked goods for Joshua's lunch... we have been enjoying the fruits of my labors over the past 2 months. :) The baked goods (cookies, banana bread, etc.) are dwindling, so I'll be back to doing some baking again in the next few days. I've also taken some "short cuts"... like making frozen garlic bread (something I didn't get made and frozen myself before Ruth arrived) or using boxed stuffing.
Another commenter asked how soon is too soon to start filling her freezer in anticipation for her new baby. :) Well, I think that depends on what you're making, and how it's packaged. I have had vacuum-sealed meatballs (cooked), taco meat, cubed chicken, etc. in my freezer for over a year with it still tasting GREAT. But, if your packaging wasn't air-tight, I would guess it would get freezer burn by that time.
Perhaps it might work better to start making menu plans now, and save the food-prep for the last couple of months before the birth. I started filling my freezer in late-November... I did meat items first, and then baked goods. I didn't do any ready-made casseroles, since I have a small freezer -- I just prepared the meat (etc.) so I could quickly assemble the casserole later. :)
And yet another reader asked if my boys get rowdy and wild... like boys do. ;) I know the picture of them so sweetly helping me make bread kinda makes it look like they are calm, peaceful little guys. ;) Well, they certainly have lots of wild, loud moments days where they run around the house, jump off the couch, and pull all my laundry off the clothes rack.
BUT, we do work on having quieter times, and one of those times is when they are helping me in the kitchen. In order to help cook, they have to at least try to be careful about spills, and follow instructions. My dishes-helper isn't allowed to spill water on the floor (if they accidentally do, they have to wipe it up themselves). :)