My Mama Bake friend and I had another go at batch cooking and swapping to once again stock our freezers with ready-made (but home made) tasty and healthy meals. This time we opted to do it all in our own homes and just meet for a cuppa and a meal swap. It was easier, and meant that we could catch up without trying to cook and mind children at the same time. We also did a top up meal one week later so that we could co-ordinate our meal swaps with our 2-3 weekly dinners. We decided a few weeks ago after taking both families out to a nice, local, child-friendly pub for dinner that we do this so well we should make it a regular thing. But instead of going out every time we would meet at one or the other house for dinner (with the non-cook bringing the essential bottle of wine!). Last Friday dinner and a kids movie was at our place. We did home made pizzas and Forgotten Pudding, drank a nice white, chatted and the kids (mostly) watched The Smurfs. It was a delightful evening, and late enough that the girls gave us a sleep in the next morning!
But that is not what I’m blogging about now is it? What I thought I’d share (though I have scant photos, sorry) is the dishes we each cooked at our second Mama bake session and which now grace my freezer and hers.
My dishes included this Carrot, Date and Chicken tagine I’ve blogged about previously, a beef and gnocchi hotpot done in the slow cooker (though I didn’t cook and add the gnocchi as it over-cooks when reheating so this is done separately), a pumpkin and lentil curry for the vegetarian option and a spanakopita for the top up meal. While trawling through the mama bake website I had come across the idea for making marinades and coating chicken wings, drumsticks etc for an easy additional meal. Simply thaw out the chicken (or whatever meat you choose I guess, beef or lamb skewers would be equally as doable) then bake in the oven or cook on the BBQ and serve with rice, salad or vegetables. So we each did a marinade, split them in half and marinaded our own chicken wings, then froze the lot. I did a basic honey soy with garlic and ginger and she did a teriyaki.
The meals I got in return included bolognese sauce (always popular), vegetarian chilli with tortillas, rissoles for the top up meal and these delicious herbed chicken nuggets. I served them really simply with boiled baby potatoes, steamed carrots and broccoli and of course the optional tomato or sweet chilli sauce. I don’t do meat and three veg very often, but it does tend to go down well with somewhat less fuss. Miss Two of course is happy to eat the lot, but I think giving Miss Four more room to negotiate (ie no potato if she has extra carrots) helps get past some of the stumbling blocks we have if everything is mixed together.
This is Miss Two’s plate, can you tell she likes broccoli! She actually had one of my pieces as well plus another potato.
These dishes were swapped a week or more ago, but as I’ve been away so many nights recently I’ve barely touched the freezer supply – plus I’ve been trying out some budget busting recipes shared nearly a month ago. That post to come soon. It looks like I won’t need to be cooking for quite a while now which is great considering how much stuff I’ve got on my garden to-do list. Let’s hope the weather cooperates for the next few days.