Checking in…

Hello everyone –

I hope that this finds you well and having stayed cool over this steamy weekend!

I wanted to check in about a couple of things related to the upcoming meal swap. We will be be meeting next Monday, June 12th at 8 pm at my house. There will be 11 people swapping in the June swap, so please prep 11 entrees, and bring 10 to the swap.

We have an opportunity for June to gift meals to a family from my son Axel’s school.  The dad, Jade, has had an autoimmune disease that he’s managed for years, but in mid-March, he suddenly lost the use of his legs and has become paralyzed.  Jade and his wife, Liz, have twin 2nd grade boys who are buddies with Axel.  They are now doctoring at Mayo and trying to figure out what damage is permanent, and what to do treatment-wise to keep the disease from progressing and causing further harm.   Jade can no longer work (he was a baker) and Liz has had to cut back her hours as a nursing home rehab aide to care for Jade and get him to and from his many appointments.  They will be really grateful for any meals we send their way, so if it’s the right thing for you this month, feel free to prep an extra meal to be gifted to this family.

I also wanted to mention that our swap member Essia and I were debriefing the May swap and we agreed that the chicken tenders meal they made was a little on the light side with the amount of meat provided. This was totally unintentional and part of the learning curve that goes along with purchasing humongous amounts of meat!  Essia asked what they could do to provide a supplement to even things out a bit, and we decided that it would be both simplest and very delicious if, at her next swap meeting in July, she brought a frozen dessert for all of families who participated in the May swap. So we have some yummy dessert to look forward to in July!

I’ll try to get a reminder out later in the week, but a heads up to please submit your recipes to the blog by Friday so that they can be complied into the master recipe document over the weekend.

I think that’s it for now… we do have one spot open for the July swap, so if anyone who isn’t already swapping that month would like to pick up that open spot for July, please let me know.

Thanks, and I’ll see many of you next week!

Heather

Time for Recipes!

Sorry to not get this out to you until today, but here is the reminder to please submit your recipes to the blog by this evening. Thank you for your help in getting these all in tonight so that Marci’s job of pulling everything together is made easier!

 

The swap is full this month with 12 swappers, so please plan to prep 12 entrees and bring 11 to the swap on Monday evening. We are gifting meals to the Murray family, who just welcomed four kids from the foster care system into their home. Their oldest daughter does have a peanut allergy, so be aware of that in deciding whether or not you’ll be bringing them a meal.

 

Also, just a couple thoughts about the upcoming summer grilling season. Because our entrees are designed to feed families of 6, please include eight burgers if you will be preparing hamburgers. Most of the men and teenage boys in our lives will easily eat two burgers, so this ensures that those burger entrees will feed everybody. As you are looking for summer recipes, be creative!  There are so many fun and delicious recipes out there, and it’s great to have this season to try new things!  A reminder that if you’re doing a simple meat and marinade recipe and your cost is coming in at under $10, please include a side dish (i.e. veggies, rice, cous cous, pasta, etc).

 

I’ll see many of you next Monday at 8 pm… happy meal prepping!

 

Heather

It’s Time for Recipes!

Hi, Everyone –

Here is your friendly reminder to please submit your recipe to the blog by this Friday evening. A thank you as always to Marci for her willingness to compile all of those recipes into one master document, making it easy to access them in one spot!

The swap is full this month with 12 swappers, so please prep 12 and bring 11 entrees to the swap. We also have opportunity to gift meals to Bria, who is a single, self employed mom fighting cancer.  If you would like to bring a meal for her, then you’ll prep 13 and bring 12 to the swap. It’s also an option to bring her something from an earlier month that your family has not gotten around to enjoying yet.

Last, we still have not solved the mystery of the disappearing Hawaiian pizza!  Kelly is short one of these entrees, so if you happen to see two of these in your freezer, rather than one, please bring the extra along with you to next week’s swap.

See many of you next Monday evening at 8 pm…happy prepping!

Heather

 

 

 

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

https://www.gofundme.com/bria-asleson-cancer-treatment

That’s all!  Happy Monday!

Heather

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!

Heather

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!