Here is your friendly reminder to please submit your recipe to the blog by this Friday evening so that Sara can compile our master PDF recipe document. Thanks for your timeliness in getting those in!
This month there will be 9 swappers, so please plan to prep 9 and bring 8 to the swap with you. We are gifting meals this month to Maria’s cousin and her family – Maria’s cousin is battling breast cancer and would be grateful for the gift of any meals we’d like to send. If this is right for you this month, you’ll prep 10 and bring 9 with you to the swap.
A couple of other things to highlight – we talked at last month’s swap about trying to make some shifts away from carb-y sides (i.e. noodles and rice, in particular) to more vegetable-y sides. This, of course, is when it’s reasonable – for example, it makes sense to send noodles with a Beef Stroganoff entrée! So when there is option and it seems like a natural substitution, we’d like to move more toward veggies and away from carbs.
We also wanted to review the recommended serving amounts for meats. In that there are several families in the swap who regularly feed 6 with each entrée, it’s important that portion sizes be adequate to feed 6. As a rule of thumb, if the entrée is primarily just meat, for both chicken and pork, 3 pounds of meat should be included. For beef, because the price is generally higher, aim for 2 pounds. If the recipe includes other components that are costly, the amounts of meat will decrease. When making burgers, please prepare 8.
We continue to use a general rule of thumb that each entrée should cost around $10 to prepare. There will be some months that it might be a little more, depending on your category or the recipe you’ve selected, but know and trust that the other swap members will also have months where they will spend a bit more than the budgeted $10. If your entrée is coming in at less than $10, consider either adding more protein, or supplementing with a side or two.
Fall is also a good time to put out a reminder that all entrée components that go in the freezer should be double-bagged in good quality freezer bags. Using good quality freezer bags is important in maintaining food integrity and safety. For any entrée components that just need to be refrigerated, double bagging is not as important. When using disposable aluminum pans, please also use a matching fitted top, or be sure to use several layers of aluminum foil so that the entrée stays well protected and free from punctures while in the freezer. Numbering each of the components of the meal (not items in the Ziploc bags, but each Ziploc bag and any accompanying free-standing items) is also so helpful in ensuring that all parts of the meal can be located when it’s time to prepare it.
Thanks for sticking with this lengthy post, and for your work in planning and preparing such tasty meals! Please let either Sara or me know if you have any particular questions… happy prepping to those of you (like me!) who have yet to do that, and we’ll see many of you next Monday at 8 pm at my house!