Two more things….

How could I possibly have more things to be in touch with after yesterday’s post?! I know…. it’s amazing …. but I do promise not to be as lengthy as yesterday!

Kelly reminded me that she is short one Hawaiian Pizza.  Did anyone get two?  Please check your freezers and lmk if it was you.  Thanks!

We’ve identified a family to gift meals to in April!  For any of you who may not be familiar with this, sometimes we have the opportunity as a group to send meals to a family that is going through a difficult time. This involves making an extra of the entree that you are prepping, or perhaps taking one that is already in your freezer that your family has not yet enjoyed, and bringing it along to the next meal swap meeting. The person who knows the family will then gather all of the meals and deliver them to the family on behalf of our group. It is a pretty simple but very helpful way to be part of supporting a family who needs a little extra care. No pressure at all to participate – just if it is the right thing for you for that particular month. Sara contacted us about a woman she knows, Bria, who had surgery on March 7th for a routine hysterectomy.  During surgery they found cancer in her appendix and possibly in her colon and lymph nodes. She’s a self employed single mom to two boys (ages 10 and 12), and the doctors have told her to expect four months of treatment, which means she will be unable to work during that time.  Bria’s mom and Sara’s mom are best friends, and Bria is a cousin of Bethany Abramson, who was part of our meal swap several years ago until her family had to go gluten and dairy free!  Bria and her boys are grateful for any help with meals as they journey through this scarey and uncertain time.  To learn more about her story, check out Bria’s GoFundMe page

That’s all!  Happy Monday!



March meeting follow up

Hi everyone –

I began writing this update early in the week, but then got waylaid and am just returning now, much later than I had planned! Here’s to good intentions!

The swap went well this past Monday evening!  During the meeting we covered a bunch of detailey things that we thought might be useful to record here so that we all have it as a common point of reference.  Here’s what we chatted about:

– please remember that our group has agreed that the ingredients we use in our meal prepping will be MSG free.  The specific words to look for in ingredient lists are: “Monosodium Glutamate”.  MSG is a common additive to sauces, dry soup mixes and breakfast sausage.

– when prepping from the Breakfast category, please be mindful of the amount of meat provided as a side. Sometimes the amount of protein included has been on the small side, especially for families who are serving 6.

– for our entrees that include already cooked pasta, it seems to work best for the noodles to be cooked “al dente” (ie not quite fully boiled).  Since the noodles will be heated again, this helps keep them from getting too soft.

– if there is an upcoming month that you are planning to take off from the swap, please give us as much notice as possible. We’ve got several great folks who are willing to be occasional subs, so this allows us time to connect with them and keep the group as full as possible.

– please continue to use Freezer quality Ziploc plastic bags – this truly makes a difference in helping protect the integrity of the frozen food.  Double bagging bread and buns is also really important in avoiding freezer burn.

– while we bemoaned the million small finger cuts that seem to go along with the Sam’s Club aluminum pans and lids, these seem to provide the sturdiest and most economical pan and lid option. A couple of people with Sam’s Club memberships offered to pick up pans and lids if other swap members who don’t have a Sam’s membership would like them. And if you find yourself using aluminum foil to top your 9×13 pans, please use multiple layers of heavy-duty foil. This helps keep the food better protected, and also protects against rips in the foil if the pan gets jostled while in the freezer.

– if you haven’t already “followed” the blog, please do! That way updates will come automatically to you, including reminders to submit your recipe each month.

– it’s been a few months since we’ve designated extra meals for families who are in particularly heavy places, but please let us know if, in the circles in which you travel, there is a family who would be blessed by some extra meals. We’d love to continue extending help and blessing in this way!

– last, just a general reminder that entrees should each cost in the $10 ballpark – more some months, particularly when you’ve got the Beef category, and a little less other months. If your entree is coming in substantially less than $10, consider adding an accompanying side (ie – a bag of veggies, good dinner rolls, frozen fruit for smoothies, etc.).

It was great to celebrate the 4th anniversary of the meal swap when we were together on Monday….it’s crazy how quickly time passes! We’ve got a good thing going, and it’s fun to be doing this with each of you! Thanks for your tasty meals and your commitment to doing this well together!

See many of you on April 10th!


April Meals and Upcoming Categories

April Meals

Holly- Coconut Lime Chicken
Chrystine- Chicken Fajitas
Lisa- Club Chicken
Heather- Grilled Pineapple Pork
Sara- English Muffin Pizzas
Alisha- Lasagna Roll-ups
Kelly- Ranch Burgers
Michelle- Korean Strip Steak
Kris- Beef Enchiladas
Pan Ready
Emily- Chicken Pot Pie
Marci- Ham and Cheese Strata
Your Choice
Amber- Stuffed Red Peppers

Upcoming Category Assignments

We are switching it up slightly for the spring/summer months and replacing your choice with a salad category.   Start thinking spring, grilling, etc. as you think of recipes for your category in May.

If you hold a 1/2 time slot please bring your recipes for these categories to be voted on with you this month, full time people do not need to bring recipes until the month before

May Categories

Chicken- Marci, Karna-Grilled Chicken Hawaiian Sandwiches, Kristen- Chicken Salad Sandwiches
Pork-Holly, Chrystine, Tanya- Grilled Honey Garlic Pork Chops
Beef-Heather, Sara, Alisha
Pan Ready- Essia- Chicken Strips
Breakfast- Kelly

June Categories

Chicken- Kelly, Michelle, Amber
Pork-Karna, Marci-out this month, Kris
Beef-Holly, Chrystine, Lisa
Pan Ready- Sara
Breakfast-  Heather
Salad- Alisha

One Quick Thing

Hi again!  I forgot to mention yesterday that as you are thinking about the recipe options that you’ll bring to the swap on Monday night, please take a look at the recipes that have already been chosen.  We have several people who have already presented and had their recipes voted on as they hold every other month spots, so 3 of the 12 recipes have already been chosen. Take a look at those as you are choosing which recipes you will present – this will help us decrease the probability of doubling up options. Thanks and see you Monday!


Hi everyone –

A last minute reminder to please submit your recipes to the blog this evening so that Marci can assemble the March master recipe document. The swap is full at 12 this month, so please prep 12 entrees and bring 11 with you to the swap.  I’m sorry that this was delayed this month – I look forward to seeing many of you this coming Monday evening 8 p.m. at my house. See you soon!