Freezer Meals – Mediterranean Pork

Freezer Meal Time!

I’ve mentioned in my last few posts that these adorable monkey feet and adjusting to parenthood have made it very difficult for me to stand in the kitchen and prepare a nice and healthy meal each night.

I mean, c’mon…

Adorable FeetSock Monkey FeetObviously, I’d much rather enjoy every moment I can with my little guy (and take pictures of his feet!). Enter the freezer meal…

Today – Mediterranean Pork.

Freezer Meals – Mediterranean Pork What’s a freezer meal?

A meal that is prepped and frozen prior to cooking all day in the crock pot. Pretty simple, right?

Well, without a doubt, they are lifesavers! But are they any good? Round one (pot roast) proved successful! So let’s move on to the next one…

First, the supplies:

Large Freezer Bags (gallon)
Marker (permanent wouldn’t hurt)
Vacuum Seal (not necessary, but definitely an added bonus. We LOVE ours and use it all the time)

Next, the ingredients:

6-8 Pork chops
1 Sweet potato (although we used two the first time and three large sweet potatoes the second time)
½ Cup of olive oil
2 Cups of chicken Stock (we used three to four, unmeasured because of the extra sweet potatoes to ensure we had enough liquid)
4 Cloves of garlic, chopped (we always tend to use extra here too because we love the stuff)
2 Tablespoons of paprika
2 Tablespoons of chicken seasoning (we used Montreal Chicken)
2 Tablespoons of dried oregano
2 Tablespoons of dried basil (we used fresh basil because we grow it out back)

Before we begin:

Write the name of the dish and all of the ingredients on the freezer bag/s in permanent marker. Include the cooking instructions. Don’t assume you will remember later on. We may *think* we’ll remember later, but probably not.

Prep Instructions:

Peel and chop the sweet potatoes. Chop or slice the garlic cloves.

Mix the sweet potatoes, garlic, olive oil and all the seasonings together in a large bowl.

And finally, bag the food. If necessary, use two separate freezer bags… one for the sweet potato mixture and one for the pork.   I didn’t add the chicken stock until I was ready to cook.

Cooking Instructions:

Thaw the pork and sweet potatoes overnight in the fridge. The next day, dump everything in the crock pot (I love crock pot dishes!!). Pour in the chicken stock. I like to add a little of the stock before I put the food in and then pour the rest over the top, but people say I’m weird.

Cook on low for eight hours.

But is it any good?

Delicious! We’ve already made this dish twice. And I have a feeling we’ll have it again soon…

Enjoy!

What do you think?  Is this recipe worth a try?  I’d love to hear from you!

Original Pinterest recipe found on this site:

http://kleinsis.wordpress.com/2013/03/01/its-nearly-time-lets-pepare/

*****

Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.

 

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Freezer Meals – Pot Roast

Adjusting to parenthood is not easy.  But it’s wonderful. Really. I’m totally in love. How could one not be? Just look at these feet… toe curls!

Baby O Toe CurlsHowever, if I thought time moved fast before the baby was born, I was sadly mistaken.  The past six weeks have FLOWN by (yet have been the longest six weeks of my life). Every time I turn around, the day is gone and I’ve accomplished nothing besides feeding and entertaining the baby… with the occasional completion of a load of laundry. Heck, I’m lucky if I take a shower. Correction—my guy is lucky if I take a shower. Hahahaha.

But seriously…

If we didn’t have pre-prepared foods right now, my guy and I might starve half the time. After all, feeding the baby comes first… right?

So in order to ensure we had meals in the house that didn’t require a lot of time out of my day, I found some freezer meals via Pinterest to check out. That, and our fabulous friends and family have kept us well fed… (thanks, everyone!!).

But for the sake of today’s post (and a few future posts), I’m focusing on the frozen meals.

Today – pot roast.

Freezer Meals - Pot RoastWhat’s a freezer meal?

A meal that is prepped and frozen prior to cooking all day in the crock pot. Pretty simple, right?

Well, without a doubt, they are lifesavers! Since the baby, I barely have enough time to brush my teeth on some days, let alone stand in the kitchen and cut vegetables for a nice and healthy dinner. So after seeing some freezer meals on Pinterest, I thought it surely wouldn’t hurt to give them a try—and my guy agreed.

First, the supplies:

Large Freezer Bags (gallon)
Marker (permanent wouldn’t hurt)
Vacuum Seal (not necessary, but definitely an added bonus. We LOVE ours and use it all the time)

Next, the ingredients:

1 Eye of Round Roast
1 Packet of Dry Pot Roast Seasoning
1 Bag of Mini Carrots (I LIVED on these things during my pregnancy…)
4-5 (Russet) Potatoes, Peeled and Chopped
1 Onion, Quartered/Chopped in Chunks

Before we begin:

Write the name of the dish and all of the ingredients on the freezer bag/s in permanent marker. Include the cooking instructions. Don’t assume you will remember later on. We may *think* we’ll remember later, but probably not.

Prep Instructions:

Wash and dry the carrots. Peel and chop the potatoes. Cut the onion.

And finally, bag the food. If necessary, use two separate freezer bags… one for the veggies and one for the roast.  I sprinkled the dry roast seasoning all over the veggies, but you can also add later when you are ready to cook.

Cooking Instructions:

Thaw the roast and veggies overnight in the fridge. The next day, dump the roast and veggies in the crock pot (I love crock pot dishes!!). Fill the crock pot about ½ way with water. If you didn’t already sprinkle the dry roast seasoning over the veggies before freezing, do so now.

Cook on high for 4-6 hours.

But is it any good?

We thought so! Only next time, we’re adding chunks of chopped celery. We both agreed that would make the dinner taste even better!

Enjoy!

What do you think?  Is this recipe worth a try?  I’d love to hear from you!

Original Pinterest recipe found on this site:

http://freebies2deals.com/2012/08/frozen-crock-pot-meals-save-money-and-save-time.html

*****

Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.

 

Why It’s Worth a Watch Wednesday – Motive

Adjusting to life as a new mom is not easy, although wonderful.  However, regardless of the joy, I still have the need to get back to some sort of normalcy.  Therefore, I have decided it’s time to throw out another new blog post.  Well, kind of a new post… today’s post is a rerun from last summer with updated information.  So if you are still wondering whether or not ABC’s Motive is worth a watch, this post is for you!

Television is full of crime dramas and police procedurals today, but most of these shows focus on the investigation and capture of the suspects rather than the motive behind the act.  Some TV programs might answer the “why” in a brief one or two lines of dialogue after they’ve interrogated the suspect for a few minutes, but they don’t really spend a lot of time on the motive.

ABC’s crime drama, Motive, changes all of that.

The series, now in its second season, follows Detective Angie Flynn (Kristin Lehman, Judging Amy and The Killing) and her partner (Louis Ferreira, SGU Stargate Universe) as they work homicide cases.

Detectives Flynn and Vega

Wait a minute… that sounds just like every other police procedural on TV today.  Right?

Wrong.  Motive identifies the killer and victim at the beginning of each episode before we even see the crime scene.  Now that’s unique… and I absolutely love the format!

For the most part, Motive is like all the other police procedurals out there… the detectives inherit a case and work the scene from the ground up, looking primarily for the “who” and the “why.”  But with ABC’s drama (actually, Motive is a Canadian TV series that has been picked up by ABC the past two summers…), viewers get to see the “who” and “why” before anything else.  The show flashes back throughout the entire hour, telling us the stories of both the killer and the victim, and very little about the detectives and their personal lives.

That’s right.  Motive is more about the crimes than it is the stars of the show.  Having missed the pilot last year, I wasn’t even aware that Flynn was a single mother until about the fourth episode.  And even then, the series barely touched on that relationship… but there was enough to give the no-nonsense detective a heart (I’m not saying she’s callous, it’s just that she’s not on the job to make friends).

Detective Flynn is a closer…

Anyway…

Motive kind of reminds me of a combination of Cold Case (because of the series of flashbacks) and the short-lived series The Whole Truth, where viewers experienced the crime through both the prosecutor’s and the defense attorney’s point of view and they had to decide which one was the truth… fun show, but it didn’t last long.

And by the way, the crime drama also stars: Lauren Holly (NCIS) as Betty Rogers, the medical examiner; Brendan Penny (Stargate: Atlantis) as rookie detective Brian Lucas; and Warren Christie (Alphas) as the new boss, Sergeant Mark Cross.

Dr. Rogers is a small role for Lauren Holly, but it’s nice to see her back on TV.

So what’s the verdict?  Motive is different enough from the other police procedurals on TV.  I’ll give it at least that.  But do I like it more than all the others?  Not really.  But kinda.

That’s right; I’m torn. I do really like how the series focuses more on the crime (and the killer and victim) than the cops themselves.  And I am REALLY glad ABC picked up the second season. However, watching police procedurals is like standing on the chip aisle at the local grocery.  There are so many different brands and flavors to choose from, each bag with its own unique twist, that we only have time to grab a few here and there each time or our grocery basket would be nothing but chips. For that, Motive earns the JFTV rating.

Luckily for this one, it airs during the summer and doesn’t have a whole lot of competition. But the more I watch, the more I think it could hold its own with other police procedurals during the regular fall to spring television schedule. And I already find myself hoping for a third season…

Bottom line? Motive is my favorite summer crime drama (on the basic network TV channels).

Do you watch Motive? I’d love to hear from you!

*****

Tiffany A. White is the author of the YA mystery Football Sweetheart series available on Kindle and Nook.  She is available for contact via Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or via email at tiffany {at} tiffanyawhite {dot} com.