Early Check In

Hi, Everyone –
These days are zooming by, and our next meal swap is already next Monday, December 10th! There are 11 families participating in the swap this month, so please prep 11 and bring 10 to the swap, leaving one at home for your family to enjoy.

Chrystine contacted us recently about a family in her church who would be thankful for the gift of meals… This summer a woman from their church was in a serious car accident, and ended up in a coma for 2 months. Traginically, she died in October, leaving behind her husband and two young kids, ages 2 1/2 and 9 months. The husband has now returned to work, so help with meals would be one way to offer support during this heartbreaking time. Chrystine suggested that because the kids are so small, even sending a 1/2 portion of an entree might be helpful. If it’s the right thing for you this month, please bring along an extra meal for this family. Chrystine will collect any meals for them at next week’s swap and deliver them.

While I’m thinking of it, I also wanted to make a quick note about MSG… the family who had an MSG allergy is no longer part of the meal swap, so the need to be “MSG-free” is no longer as urgent. However, I’m guessing we all agree that in general MSG isn’t the greatest for us, so when we have a choice, let’s continue to chose ingredients that don’t include MSG.

Please submit your recipes to the blog by this Friday evening so that Sara has ample time to compile our master document. It’s super helpful to have these in on time, so thanks in advance for your help with that!

I think that’s it for now… happy meal prepping, and I look forward to seeing many of you next Monday at 8 pm at my house!

Heather

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December Recipes + January and February Categories

December Recipes

Chicken
Sara – General Tso’s Chicken
Polly – Sheet pan chicken & veggies
Natalie – Chicken curry

Pork
Heather S – Pineapple pork sandwiches
Michelle – Bacon wrapped mini meatloaves

Beef
Chrystine – Cheeseburger egg rolls
Heather L – Taco Soup

Pan Ready
Holly – Tamale Pie
Katie – Chicken tortilla Bake

Breakfast
Lisa – Egg bake

Your Choice
Emily – Loaded Potato Wedges

The next swap will be Monday, December 10; Please submit your recipes by Friday December 7! No family has been identified for giving meals for December or January, so if you hear or know of a need, let us know!

January Categories
Chicken
Karna – Chicken stroganoff
Chrystine
Pork
Amber – Dr Pepper Pulled Pork
Natalie
Beef
Heather S.
Emily
Pan Ready
Polly
Breakfast
Sara
Your Choice
Katie

February
Chicken – Emily, Lisa, Heather L.
Pork – Sara, Holly
Beef – Karna, Natalie, Michelle
Pan Ready – Polly
Breakfast – Chrystine
Your Choice – Heather S.

Time for Recipes!

The November swap is next Monday already, so please submit your recipe to the blog by tomorrow (Friday) evening.  Very big and heartfelt thanks to Sara for her capable and cheerful compilation of all of our recipes each month into the master document!

There are 10 families swapping this month, so please prep 10 and bring 9 to the swap, unless you’re gifting a meal to Sylvia and her family, in which case you’ll prep 11 and bring 10 to the swap.  Sylvia is a 7 year old little girl presently receiving treatment for a brain tumor.

A friendly reminder to please choose good quality freezer bags and double bag anything that will be spending time in the freezer.  Thanks for all of the work that’s gone into (or will go this weekend!) the November meals, and I look forward to seeing many of you next Monday evening at 8 PM at my house!

 

November Recipes + December & January Categories

November Recipes

Chicken
Amber – Chicken Stir Fry
Katie – Turkey pesto burgers

Pork
Heather S. – Sheet pan Parmesan sausage & veggies
Emily – Ham and cheese quiche

Beef
Sara – Crockpot Swedish meatballs
Polly – Korean Beef Bowls

Pan Ready
Karna – Enchiladas
Chrystine – Lasagna

Breakfast
Maria – Sausage stuffing egg bake

Your Choice
Natalie – Pizza

Swap will be on Monday, November 12; Recipes will be due on Friday, November 9. If you can bring a meal for the family of Sylvia, a 7-year old who is going through treatment for a brain tumor, her family will be so grateful.

December Categories
Chicken – Sara, Polly, Natalie
Pork – Heather S, Michelle – Bacon wrapped mini meatloaves
Beef – Chrystine, Heather L
Pan Ready – Holly – Tamale Pie, Maria
Breakfast – Lisa – Egg bake
Your Choice – Emily, Karna

January Categories
Chicken – Karna, Chrystine
Pork – Amber, Heidi, Natalie
Beef – Heather S., Emily
Pan Ready – Polly
Breakfast – Sara
Your Choice – Maria

October Recipes Needed!

Hi, everyone –

Here is your friendly reminder to please submit your recipe to the blog by tomorrow (Friday) evening.  Sara has an especially busy weekend and really needs all recipes submitted by Friday evening in order to get the master recipe list created before we meet for the swap on Monday.   Thanks in advance for your help with that!

We have 11 swappers this month,  so prep 11 and bring 10 to the swap,  unless you are gifting a meal to the friends of Emily who she told us about at the last swap, in which case you’d prep 12 and bring 11 to the swap.  Any meals gifted – whether one you’ve prepped this month or still have in your freezer from a prior month – would be greatly appreciated. Also be thinking of anyone you know who we might want to do meals for in the coming months….

That’s all for now!  See you next Monday at 8 pm at my house!

Heather

 

Pre-Swap Recipe Reminder

Hi there!

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!

Heather

September Recipes + October & November Categories

September Recipes

Chicken
Sara – Sticky Garlic Chicken
Polly – Chicken Pot Pie

Beef
Amber – Mexican Meatloaf
Chrystine – Mexican Stuffed Shells

Pork
Maria – Sausage and veggie sheet pan

Pan Ready
Heather S – Chicken miso lettuce wraps

Salad
Emily – Mexican Street Corn Pasta Salad

Your Choice
Natalie – Sweet Potato Burritos
Kelly – Mississippi Pot Roast

September Swap will be on September 10; Recipes will be due on September 7!

Gifting meals: If it is right for you, Maria’s cousin is undergoing treatment for breast cancer. Her family, including two kids, would  be blessed by receiving a meal.

October Categories
Chicken
Heather S.
Emily
Heather L.

Pork
Sara
Polly

Beef
Karna – Italian Beef Sandwiches
Holly – Slow Cooker Mongolian Beef
Maria

Pan Ready
Chrystine

Your Choice
Lisa – Pulled Pork

Breakfast
Michelle – Sour Cream Coffee Cake and Fruit

November Categories
Chicken – Amber,
Pork – Heather, Emily
Beef – Sara, Polly
Pan Ready – Karna
Breakfast – Maria
Your Choice – Natalie