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The Sharp Side on MMM! MONDAY: My First Freeze

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Okay – first and foremost – CONGRATULATIONS is in order because we got through February! Well… almost. Today is Leap Day – that extra day that hangs in between February and March and feels super strange – but seeing as 75% of the time we’d be done with February at this point in the year… I’m going with my gut and my gut says – “We did it!”

We did it. Winter is OVER. Maybe. It sounds like we’re going to have one last blast before we start enjoying 50s and 60s EVERY day… unlike now when everyone freaks out as the temperature hits the 50-degree mark for one day and so that means we need to pack the car washes and roll down the windows and mow our yards (yes, one of my neighbors was actually mowing his yard last weekend) and break out the shorts and flip-flops. I am not judging, because I am one of these people. I just can’t wait until the weather is consistently spring-like, instead of Mother Nature playing games with us and getting us all excited thinking it’s time to dust off our golf clubs (Who am I kidding – Zach is already golfing).

I always feel so much relief once we get through these first two months of the year. The weather the last two weekends certainly helped. It just feels like there’s newness in the air. The birds are chirping… The sun is out… After two hours walking around in circles my yard is free of dog poop (for now)… Hello March!

It’s going to be a great month. I have some time off to take a couple of trips, see some wonderful people, and every day is just one more day closer to summer – my favorite season.

March is also National Frozen Food Month (Who comes up with these things?) as well as Nutrition Month! Shouldn’t every month be Nutrition Month? Just saying. Anyway, when I found out it was Frozen Food Month, I couldn’t think of a better reason to try out something I’ve been meaning to do for years – freezer meals.

So, on Sunday – the last (kinda) day of February – I decided to give it a go. I put together my meal plan for the week like I always do – using Pinterest primarily as my guide – and headed to the grocery store with my list. I get to Hy-Vee and WHAT – they’re offering a 10-Cent Fuel Saver on $30 Purchases… Score! I don’t know if you’ve noticed this, but gas prices are slowly going up cent-by-cent and the longer I can fill up my tank for $15 – the better.

IMG_2686I get back to my house, put Zuno outside on his cable leash to enjoy the fresh air (and the dozens of dogs running around our neighborhood doing the same thing), unload all my groceries on the kitchen counter, and immediately throw my recyclable grocery bags in the washing machine – never done this before… yeah, needed.

I get my iPad ready with all the recipes I picked out, put on whatever TBS is offering today (It’s Old School – SO perfect as we go into March. My best friend in the entire world is turning 30 in March and I’m flying out to see her for it. We LOVE this movie – especially Will Ferrell. It’s just simply scrumtrulescent.), and crack open a beer – Lagunitas IPA, which was also on Fuel Saver.

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It’s time to get to work! My goal was to put together six fruit smoothies (my midday snack) and five dinners in one hour… and that’s almost exactly how long it took. It probably would have taken less time if I had started by browning the meat for two of the recipes and let the meat cool down while I was doing everything else, but I forgot – oops!

Overall though, it was very easy. The recipes do not have a ton of ingredients, are simple to follow, are healthy, and I didn’t have to dirty up every single dish in my house. I hope this works! It would be a total game changer, even if it’s just a meal or two every week that I don’t have to worry about when I have a busy morning before work or need to go into work early.

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The last thing I did after I closed the freezer door was set an alarm on my phone to remind myself to take the meal out of the freezer and put it in the fridge before I go to bed each night. I know myself too well.

And… that’s that! How strange. Could I seriously go through this whole week without cooking?

Here are the recipes I chose:

New Leaf Wellness’ Mexican Chili With Cornbread Topping

Ring Around The Rosies’ Pepper Steak

Damn Delicious’ Honey Sesame Chicken

Cook Eat Share’s Ranch Pork Chops

Fabulessly Frugal’s Sausage Hash

The Sharp Side’s (#shamelessplug) Fruit Smoothie

If you have any recipes to share or comments to add about freezer meals (or anything, really), please do! In the meantime, I hope you all have a great week. I will let you know how these recipes turn out and who knows – I may be back in the kitchen next Sunday doing this all over again. It wouldn’t be the worst way to spend an hour in March!

-A