Tuesday, February 11, 2014


There are some things you can't share without ending up liking each other, 
and knocking out a twelve-foot mountain troll is one of them.
~ J. K. Rowling

Every once in a while, two ideas from different "worlds" come together and make magic!  Like when I realized that I could apply a knot from our rock climbing to help thread wooly nylon into my serger (here) or when I applied the statistical analyses I use in my day-job to the sewing-related question of how much fabric to buy when I didn't have a pattern on hand and came up with these cards (here).

Well, it doesn't happen often (at least, not to me!), but a mini-version did occur over the holidays.  The first event was our Christmas cookie exchange.  You know how these work, right?  

Each person made 4 dozen of one type of cookie and then we exchanged in such a way as to have everyone take home 2 each of 24 different types of cookies!  It was awesome!  :)

The second event was that I stumbled across a bunch of websites (okay, mommy-blogs) that described the process of filling lots of gallon-sized freezer bags with meats and vegetables and then freezing them all, so that you can toss one bag's contents into a crock pot in the morning and having a delicious homemade dinner ready that night.

These websites provide recipes (and even shopping lists!) so that a person can prepare freezer bags with half a dozen or more different meals in one afternoon.

You can see where I'm going with this, can't you?

I compiled a bunch of recipes from the websites and proposed a freezer crock pot meal exchange at work.  Six of us decided to give it a try.  Each person picked 1 recipe and made 6 gallon freezer bags worth of it.  Then we traded off, and each family ended up with 6 different crock pot meals that could be made at our leisure!

So far, all of the meals have been delicious!  We're tentatively planning to have an exchange like this once a month.  There aren't really any "rules" - anyone is allowed to veto a recipe if she thinks her family won't eat it.  Anyone can add recipes to the collection that we are working from.  Families are responsible for providing their own side dishes and any of the desired garnishes that are supposed to be fresh.  

It's really easy to make bulk quantities of ONE recipe and really awesome to get SIX different meals ready to go!  

I'll leave you with links to just some of the many sites I found with freeze-ahead crock pot recipes - Enjoy!  :)


  1. Whoa - I can't believe I'm so far behind on my reading (well, actually I can, but I'd rather not play 'catch-up' so far back LOL)

    So, I really hope you and Popeye are on the mend soon, if not already. Being down for a bit is one thing, dealing with your own ongoing pain AND worrying about your furbabies is another story altogether !

    I'm in the midst of re-arranging and cleaning my sewing room with the big plan of keeping everything on track and under control hahahahahahaha. The organizer book looks promising...how's it going keeping it updated ?

    Slow cooker freezer meals are such a great idea !!!!! Some emails about those have come into my email recently. A friend at work tried one site that gave 6 recipes for a similar set of ingredients (so far it's a bust though, no one liked them LOL - I think she's going to try again with her own recipes). I looked around and found some of the 'cooking for a month' sites. Found a recipe for a big batch of breakfast burritos and gave it a go - a whole afternoon of time gave me about 20 breakfasts. Turned out good and it's nice to just grab something in the morning a bit different than cereal or toast.

    I hear ya on the hope for an improved 2014. Sometimes we just need to focus that it can only get better !

    1. Hi Claire! Oooh - the breakfast burritos sound like a GREAT idea! My morning routine is pretty blah - although I've been trying to get organized enough to do a fruit and yogurt smoothie a couple of times a week - but sometimes you just want that "real" breakfast with eggs, etc. Sometime to stick to your ribs! ;)
      Thank you for the good wishes - Popeye is doing very well - he has started running around and playing with the other cats - something we haven't seen for months! - so that makes us very happy. :)
      As for me, I'm not so sure... I'm trying to look on the bright side - at least the root canal has distracted me from the gallbladder surgery! ;)
      Good luck with your sewing room cleanse and organization! It is a continual battle, isn't it? I don't have an update on my organizer notebook yet - but the bottom-shaped depression in my sofa is pretty well established! ;)
      And I think I'm single-handedly responsible for the rise in Tylenol stock! ;)
      All the best,
      I'm starting a pool at work, letting folks predict which of my body parts is going to fail in March! ;)

  2. The exchange sounds like a good idea! I really need to utilize my crock pot more--it's such a great tool, but one that is hard for me to use when I have both jobs going on. (Not programmable, so I'd have to leave it for too long while both my husband and I are out of the house. One of these days, I may have to save up for a programmable one!)

    1. Hey Becky! Mine isn't programmable either - in fact, it was a wedding gift, so it is 31 years old!! I just set it on low and we're usually gone for 12 hours, but so far, everything has come out okay... Another solution is to run it at night while you sleep - presumably closer to 8 hours - and then pop it in the refrigerator in the morning. You can reheat your dinner portions in the microwave after work. I've done that before too. Good luck! :)