Sunday, March 11, 2012

Freezer Meals: Saved my booty

Freezer Meals: Saved my booty
Before I start this, I must admit....I procrastinate when I'm at home.... 
a lot...that being said, please continue reading. :)

We aren't a family that goes out a lot - normally one or two social gatherings every couple of months.  It's not that we don't have friends because we are blessed with some wonderful ones.  It's just we tend to busy with house projects, work, or the kiddo.  We don't have a lot of free time.

Last week a close, long time friend invited us to come over for a Theme Night dinner!  The theme was comfort food. Each person was to bring their own favorite comfort style food.  First thing that came to my mind was our White Chicken Chili, warm, a little spicy and very filling.  Lucky for me, this is a crock pot meal = easy. 
Time is flying by and before I know it - Saturday has arrived!  My boyfriend was at work, so that means Olivia and I lounge about in the morning and then get to work on a few projects.  As I look at the clock, I remember - oh I have to start my chili.  It takes about 5-6 hours if on high.  Remember all those freezer meals??

Well my freezer was full and I didn't have any plain frozen chicken for the recipe. 

Whoops

I figure, I'll run to the store.  Umm...my purse is in his truck. 

Whoops. 
So I call  ask where he is currently....  He's nowhere near for me to pick up my purse with my debit card in time. 

Now, I PANIC.

What am I going to do now? By this point, I have less than 5 hours to cook a meal with no cash.  My fridge is empty because I cooked everything ahead, but it's frozen.  I don't have time to take out a freezer meal and unthaw/cook.  Plus, I haven't tried all these meals in my own kitchen and I'd like to avoid taste testing on old friends and strangers! 

Oh no, oh no, no no.

As I stare at my crock pot, it hits me!  I have thawed Mexican Shredded Chicken leftover from lunch.  My recipe calls for frozen chicken, but this can work instead....right? 
I frantically begin throwing my ingredients together in the heating crockpot (high):

1 can of corn, undrained
2 cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
8oz of cream cheese
1 packet of dry ranch
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon chili powder

Next, I dump the entire bag of unthawed Mexican Chicken.  As I am stirring, I think - the frozen chicken normally added would help to add water as it cooked.  This will need some added help with liquid.  So I stir in 1/4 a cup of warm water.

An hour passes.

As I stir the crock pot, I notice it still doesn't have enough liquid.  More water would seem to dilute this down too much, so I look in the fridge.  I had some salsa on hand (no shocker, I love salsa).  I mix in about 1/2 of salsa.

I wrap up a present for my friend's son (whose also turning one the following day) and get Olivia and myself ready.  It's almost time to go and I taste the chili.  It isn't lacking flavor and is very simular to my planned meal! With my critic mind going, I think the flavor isn't identical...the color is different...it's a little thicker.  However, it's good.  Let's cross our fingers.

We arrive a few minutes after we'd planned but we had the meal ready to go for everyone to eat.  Thankfully....

It was a HIT!


I didn't have time to take a picture, but you'll prob remember this one from the PIN floating around. 
It's pretty close to what I created, just think more chicken.

Whew.

We ended with a great night visiting with oldies and newbies. I really wish we'd get out more, I love socializing with friends.
So here is to Freezer Meals -

If I hadn't simplified my life by cooking ahead, I would have been empty handed for Theme Night.













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In case you'd like the original recipe:

White Chicken Chili
2 frozen chicken breasts or 1 bag chicken tenderloins
1 can of corn, undrained
2 cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
8oz of cream cheese
1 packet of dry ranch
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon chili powder
Cook on low for 6-8 hours

3 comments:

  1. Yummo! I think we need to do the same kind of theme night :) We'll just invite ourselves over during your next project and get to work!

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  2. Haha! I'm always game for extra hands, don't tempt me. We will have theme night with a twist - BYOT - bring your own tools.

    Comfort food was a really good one...I was also thinking favorite meal night. Everyone brings over their all time fav homemade meal, that'd be an interesting mix up.

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  3. Gotta love the freezer meals!

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