This weekend began baby prep! Yes we have the nursery coming quite along and many things have been purchased and are ready for baby... but what does one do when their mother in law is in town and wants to help prepare? Cook!
We made a few freezer meals in prep of the grueling newborn days and weeks after our little girl makes her arrival.
What is on the menu? Lasagna, chili, lentil soup, pancakes, scones, and breakfast sandwiches. Yumm to the umm.
I made the great loved red lentil coconut curry soup and my mother in law made a huge pot of her own chili recipe. Both are going to be great hits since these type of soups always get better with time in the fridge/freezer. I froze them in multi-size containers, and freezer bags (after cooling so its not overloaded with BPA!). This way we don't have to defrost it all once when hungry and baby sleep deprived.
Lentil soup recipe: http://www.scalingbackblog.com/savory-bites/16117996741/. I HIGHLY recommend this recipe.
If you can't afford a le creuset cast iron pot (yet) I highly recommend this IKEA version: http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/50232842/. It has served us well for many years and looks as good now as it did the first day. Ours is blue, not sure if white is the color now. It doesn't have as many cool colors as the real thing (meh). You get what you get for $40-50!
I found 2 packs of whole wheat english muffins expiring this weekend for $1 each at Fresh to Frozen. We had previously picked up these frozen egg patties (yes random I know) from F2F as well which came in handy although I didn't quite have enough for 12 sandwiches. We grabbed a bag of these at Kroger - meatless breakfast patties. They're pretty good - especially in a sandwich - which duh, is the design of them. If you don't have Kroger near you - I recommend Morning Star brand.
I buttered and layered with cheese, then wrapped the sandwiches in foil.
The next big adventure was lasagna. We decided to make 2 big trays worth since we had a lot of ingredients. It was mostly vegetarian lasagna as I love cooking lasagna when you just keep adding ingredients from the fridge and we didn't have much meat left. Plus I just love veggie lasagna.
We ended up using the homemade sauce from last week (here) and some extra jarred brand sauce. There was ricotta/Parmesan obviously, noodles and mozzarella cheese. The main other ingredients were a veggie combination of onion, garlic, zucchini, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, meatless crumbles (again Kroger here - also Morning Star brand is great!) and a few bits of left over salami from Trader Joes which I diced very small. I use the no-boil lasagna noodles as it makes the whole process one step shorter - be sure to use lots of sauce!
We froze the lasagnas unbaked so they may be cooked from frozen directly or defrosted. I'm not quite sure of the time but estimating 350 degrees for 1.5 hours (?).
Also prepared and frozen for October and beyond were orange chocolate chip scones (recipe similar to this) and homemade whole wheat nutty pancakes.
Next up: I have 2 more empty foil casserole dishes to fill. I'm thinking something with chicken, or I have a great sausage zucchini rice recipe. I also want to make some homemade bread (to go with all that soup), maybe some banana bread or muffins, waffles, raw cookie dough, a quiche maybe and maybe a calzone or 2.
Oh, and in case I haven't posted any good bump updates - here's me at 32 weeks! Oh baby!