Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Freezer to Crock Pot Day

10 meals - 4 hours!

So there have been 3 days where our PMP (Precious Most Precious) has been at school & I have not been scheduled to work. Day 1 - got a massage. Day 2 - went to the dentist.  Day 3 - had a freezer to crockpot meal day.
A few of my friends have asked me to write about it, so here is what I did.

FYI regarding my cooking style & crock pots. The crock pot works well for our family. I'm pretty easy going, not too perfectionistic, when it comes to food. If its edible I'll eat it, my family is pretty much the same. The husband will touch up his food to his taste upon plating (tonight he put hot sauce in my homemade chicken soup) but he is stoked about anything I make. The crock pot works great for us in this regard, normally the flavor cooks out a bit in the crock; needing to be re-seasoned after cooking, therefore each of us can adjust the flavors to before we eat.

Recently I've tried the freezer to crock pot method & it worked great. One gallon size freezer bag makes a meal for the family with leftovers for a lunch the next day. Last time I made 6 meals during nap time; this time I made 10 meals in 4hrs (including an emergency trip to Kroger for tomato sauce which I forgot on the initial shopping trip - this summer I plan to grow & can our own sauce so this won't be a problem).

Growing up in California I'm a fan of southwestern flavors, so 4 out of the 5 recipes fit into this category, plus it narrows the shopping list.  The 5th recipe was planned based on items I had on hand.

(each recipe yields 2 freezer bags):
Mama's Healthy BBQ chicken (a family favorite from Mama and Baby love site - if you love this cooking method check out her e-cookbook, its awesome!)
Mama and Baby Love

Veggie chili (Adapted from Real Simple Veggie Chili with Sweet Potatoes)
Real Simple

Chicken Enchiladas (Adapted from Taste of Home Slow Cooker Cookbook)

Lazy Day Stew - (Adapted from Ring Around the Rosie) her recipe called for lima beans. I substiuted kidney beans instead.
Ring Around the Rosie

Southwestern Chicken - my own recipe

I choose to use dried beans instead of canned, so the night before I soaked a bag of black beans and a bag of red kidney beans to use in these recipes (just soak - they will cook in the crock pot). I did a big bag of beans. The leftover beans I simmered for about an hour until they were soft. I divided then into 15 oz (can size) portions in freezer bags, with a bit of the liquid. This was I have a few "cans" on hand in the freezer, without using cans.

Shopping List 
6 Sweet Potatoes
6 Baby Red Potatoes
2 Green Peppers
1 Red Peppers
2 zucchini
6 yellow onions
2 red onions
2 jaleneno peppers
2 15 oz cans of fire roasted tomatoes
5 15 oz cans of tomato sauce
2 cans Rotel
2 cans of diced tomatos
4 lbs  chicken thighs
4 lbs chicken breast
4 lbs cube beef for stew
bag of frozen corn (or 4 cans whole kernnel corn)
bag of dried black beans (or 6 cans)
bag of kidney beads (or 6 cans)
celery (5 stalks)
4 carrots or bag of baby carrots
chili powder
ground yellow mustard
brown sugar
salt & pepper
Worchester Sauce
arrowroot powder (or other thickening agent)

Prep - a few days before I gathered the recipes I wanted to use, checked the pantry for what I had on hand & then created my shopping list. The night before I soaked my beans. You can also do some of the chopping. Potatoes turn brown if chopped too early.

Label Freezer bags with recipes name, date, cook time & what to add on cooking day.

Chop all Veggies. FYI - I did not know this - use gloves or a plastic bag on hands when chopping jalepenos, the oils burn for days!

Line up bags to be filled. I had onions to go in each bag - so I filled each bag with the appropriate amount of onions, so bags would stand upright.

Fill bags with ingredients excluding meats. If you need the extra organization some people tape the recipes to the wall or cabinet above the bags to keep everything straight.

I'm pretty cautious about chicken. So I get EVERYTHING else in the bag with only the chicken remaining.
Add chicken, discard chicken trays, & wash hands.  Squeeze air out of bags & lay flat to maximize freezer space.  Viola!!

10 Meals ready for the freezer! 

My shopping for these meals were $41. I had Worcestershire, honey, spices, arrowroot powder, bag of dried black beans, bag dried kidney beans, 2 cans of rotel & garlic in pantry. I also had gallon size freezer ziplocs on hands. So other than that that's $4.10 per healthy nutritious meal for the family, plus left overs. Can't really go wrong here!

divide each recipe evenly between 2 freezer bags

Mama's Healthy BBQ Chicken - she asked to not post her recipe, just link to her site. Link - Mama and Baby Love

Veggie Chili with Sweet Potatoes
2 medium red onion, chopped
2 green bell pepper, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons ground cumin
kosher salt and black pepper
2 - 28-ounce cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes
2 - 15.5-ounce cans black beans, rinsed
2 - 15.5-ounce cans kidney beans, rinsed
2 medium sweet potatoes (about 8 ounces), peeled and cut into 1⁄2-inch pieces

Day of cooking add 1 cup water. Cook low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours.

Lazy Day Stew adapted from Ring Around the Rosies
4 lbs beef cubed for stew
6 red potatoes cubed
2 15 oz kidney beans
4 tsp of arrowroot powder (or similar thickner)
Salt & Pepper
1 15 oz can of tomato sauce (1/2 in each bag)
2 tbs brown sugar
4 cups carrots chopped
2 onions chopped
2 cups celery chopped

Day of cooking add 1 cup water. Cool low for 4-6 hrs.

Chicken Enchiladas
this recipe actually called for turkey drumsticks or thighs, but i didn't like the look of them at the market so I substituted chicken breasts.
2 chopped jalepeno
4 large chicken breasts
2 8 oz cans of tomato sauce
2 15 oz of black beans
2 15oz corn
1 cup chopped onion
4 tbs of Worcestershire sauce
4 tbs chili powder
4 cloves garlic chopped

Southwestern Chicken:
4-6 boneless chicken thighs
2 - 15 oz corn
2 - 15 oz black beans
2 - 15 oz kidney beans
2 - 15 oz diced tomatoes including juice
2 cans Rotel
2 tbs chili powder
2 tbs cumin
salt & pepper

Cook on low for 8hrs.  Serve on torilla with sour cream, cheese, salsa, & avocado.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Hello - Again.

So the crafting has taken a back seat to the "crafting" a healthy, happy family. The past three years have been full of trials, joys & sorrows; much as I'm sure everyones lives have.

Our precious little boy, or PMP (Precious Most Precious) was born in 2011. There are really no words to describe motherhood, so no reason to even try; he amazes & tests me every single day.

We lost the namesake of my crafty company Deuce, our wonderful boxer succumbed to a brain tumor after 10 years with us.  We miss his never ending happiness every single day & our other dog Oscar is just not the same without his Deucie.

So life now consists of full time motherhood, full time wifehood, full time work as an ICU nurse. Somehow I've become an avid excersiser; part time crafter with only one craft show planned this spring/summer season. I got a new haircut, lost some weight (numbers not important - being able to toss the ball & keep up with a 18 month old all day long is.) And somehow life has completely transformed as we know it, I guess that's what parenthood is all about.

With these changes, it has become clear what is really important to me:
1. Creating a happy, healthy family. I am truely blessed that I have a rewarding & gratifying job that allows me to be home with my son more days than he is in daycare.
2. Providing healthy, nutritious "real food" on a daily basis for all three of us family members. I'm in no way a food nazi, I understand that if DH picks up PMP from school at 5:45 & there is not a dinner waiting for them, there may be some Wendy's or Burger King involved. Or an ice cream sandwich . . . However I do my best to ensure that this is the exception not the rule.
3. Saving money: couponing, freezer to crock pot meals, etc  - especially since part time daycare is now thrown into the  budget.
4. Limiting toxins, pesticides & chemicals in my household's environment. Recycle, be kind to fellow humans, animals & the planet. And most of all I wish for whirled peas.
5. Crafts produced from Deuce Goods (besides crochet) should all be upcycled or reused pieces. The DH has even gotten into the act, learning to weld with salvaged car parts from his work. So proud of him expressing his creativeness, his pieces will be part of the Deuce Goods craft tent.

Goals for spring & summer:
Plant & maintain an organic homestead. Freeze or can as much food as we can produce.
Learn to bake bread. As my awesome mother does this, I should be able to follow suit.
1 craft show, revamp & update Deuce Goods website & etsy shop.
2-3 5k excersiser activities - Warrior Dash already planned.
Declutter. Donate/purge 10-20 items a month.
One date night a month.
One Family adventure a month

Some of my recent internet obsessions:
Real food - who knew that that way I eat was actually a food movement!

So that's the direction were going, hoping you'll stay along for the ride.
PMP with one of DaDa's pieces.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


The East Atlanta STRUT is scheduled for September 18, 2010. Here are my application photos!

Bottle Cap Magnets
Hand Poured Resin Badge Reels.
Apple Cozies.
Deuce Hats.
Hanging Votives.
Booth Set Up.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Welcome to the Georgia Etsy Street Team Summer Sale!

Visit these Georgia Etsy Street artists offering fantastic sales between

Sunday, June 20st to Sunday, June 27th!
Search etsy for key word peachydeals

Participating Shops:

Addy B's Cakes
Gourmet, homemade pound cakes in a wide variety of flavors
All cakes 20% off, use coupon code PEACHY. Discount will be refunded via paypal.

Amelia’s Soap Co.
Handmade Soap Products
15% discount throughout shop; Refund through PayPal

Fuzzy Butts t-shirts and folk art paintings of dogs
Free Shipping.

Glass Fusion Jewelry & Plates
All items 20% off

black tulip shop
handmade accessories
Peachy Deals sale section

Handmade Swarovski and wire jewelry
20% off any purchase over $10.00. Discount will be refunded thru Paypal.

Darcey Lane Designs
Custom made Birthday Outfits. Sassy ruffle panty (bloomers)
Custom Children clothes traditional with modern twist.
All purchases 20% off, use coupon code PEACHY. Discount will be refunded via paypal

Daughters Vintage
Repurposed vintage jewelry and accessories with sweet, Southern flair.
10% off everything, use coupon code PEACHY. Discount will be refunded via paypal.

Free Shipping. Peachy Deals Sale Section.

Deuce Goods
Handmade Beanies, Cozies, Bottle Cap Art & Badge Reels
PEACHY DEALS Sale Section 15% Off

Handmade jewelry
Peachy Deals section that is 15% off, price is already marked down.

Freckles Galore
Crayon Rolls, Ouchie Bags, Popsicle Wraps, Nerf Ammo Belts, Locker Magnets, Babydoll Diapers and Pee Pee Domes
20% off everything. Use coupon code PEACHY. Refund given via PayPal.

Handiworks by Janice
Exquisite one-of-a-kind handcrafted jewelry
Free shipping and a $5 gift certificate towards a future purchase included.
Enter Peachy Deals in message to seller upon checkout.

Hartley Soap
Handmade Cold Process Soap
PEACHY DEALS: Buy one Bar and get a free travel size bar!

Artwork inspired by Music. Fine Art prints, wall plaques
free shipping

K. Berlin Metalsmith
Handcrafted Artisan Jewelry – Sterling Silver and gems
Free Shipping on All items

Maria Luna
Handcrafted Artisan Jewelry and Photography
15% off purchase, refunded through paypal with keyword PeachyDeals

mod momME
Handmade accessories for mom and baby.
$5 off every $25 you spend, not including custom items. Use promo code PeachDeals in notes to seller. Money refunded via Paypal.

Mommy So Sweet Boutique
Little girls' dresses (bandana dresses and pillowcase dresses) and shoes
FREE SHIPPING on select items

Outward Bound
Recycled notebooks from your favorite TV shows and movies!
15% off your total!

Priss Designs
Modern affordable nature art prints
Free Shipping

Pumpernickel Hart
Handmade polymer clay jewelry and unique gifts.
Free Shipping

Smelly Rhino Studio
Paintings, pet portraits, prints, cards, and whimsy
15% off your total!

The Pink Locket
Modern Vintage Handmade Jewelry
20% off Summer Collection and FREE Shipping on all items

the StarShine Shoppe
Handmade beautiful bottle jewelry
Buy 1 get 1 half off all bottle necklaces

Happy Shopping!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

CIC Saturday - Sunny Days!

As a new member of the Crafting in Color Etsy Team - I just love looking thru the bright & colorful CIC shops!

Here's my picks for this week CIC Saturdays!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Update May 2010

Well I've been feeling like such a slacker with my blog. So I'm starting it up again. I'm finally settled into my job and as use to the nightshift as one can be. Luckily 1 work three days a week & I've been scheduling them in a row - so I can have 4 days in a row off & can actually see my husband in the day light.

Deuce Goods participated in Snellville Day May 1st. It was a good show & I really like the way my booth turned out - bright & colorful.

I love these shelves I found at a thrift store & painted.

Some new items are hand poured resin badge reels. Each batch can take up to 4 days from start to finish. Here's some finished ones & me making them:

I'll be doing the last craft show of the spring season the

Kirkwood Spring Fling this Saturday May 15th.

Then it's all summer to prep for fall & holiday shows. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Official It's Fall Y'All Sales List

It's Finally Here! The 3rd Annual GA Etsy Street Team's:

It's Fall Y'All Sale

This weekend Oct 9-11th, shop from our great list of participating stores or search "all items" for GAetsyteam or Itsfallyall.

Handmade is never mass produced, so each item is special and unique! Give yourself and your friends the gift of handmade!

List of Participating Shops:

Amber's Aromatherapy
Handmade soaps, lotions, lip balm, milk bath and custom blended teas
20% all orders

Amelia's Soap Co.
Handmade Soap Products
15% discount on soaps

April's Afghans
Afghans and other crocheted household items
Free U.S. shipping

Artistspirit - A Reflection of Mind
Glass fusion jewelry, plates and coasters
15% off any item

Beautiful Tree Huggers
Homemade all natural soap, lotion, etc.
Everything in the store 20% off

Be Inspired Designs
Scrabble Tile Pendant Jewelry & Accessories
Buy 2, Get 1 FREE plus FREE SHIPPING

(stuffed) animal skin loveys
Free U.S. shipping, $5 off shipping everywhere else!

Bug's Hugs
Unique handmade creations for anyone that could use a hug!
Free shipping (U.S. only) plus 10% off all orders
Cindy’s Too Cute Creations
Boutique Monograms and Personalized Gifts
25% off of all Embroidery Blanks!

Cocoa Dreams
Personalizable baby bibs, blankets, burp cloths and aprons
Free domestic shipping on everything in shop

Crafters Crossing
Handmade Swarovski crystal and wire jewelry
10% off merchandise orders totaling up to $99.99
15% off merchandise orders totaling $100 or over

The Crafty Coop
Handmade resin jewelry with glitter
All necklaces 20% off

embrodiery,dolls,quilted items
20% off section

Deb's Pane In The Glass
Anything Stained Glass from sun catchers, ceiling fan pull chains to business card holders and holiday items
Free USA and International Shipping!

Deuce Goods
Be original this Fall with one of a kind accessories & gifts
15% off All Hats and Scarves

Everyday May
toddler items and women's accessories
FREE shipping to U.S. on all items

Adorable Art for Children, Babies and Fun Grownups!
Free worldwide shipping, plus 10% off storewide -all refunded via paypal

Fluffy Flowers
cute Creatures & pretty Pouches
FREE shipping to ANYWHERE in the world

The Goddess Within You
Artisian Jewelry
Free shipping

Jenjie's Stuff
Beautiful and Fun Handmade Items
Free U.S. Shipping and 10% off all items

JoyAnna - all things beautiful
Purses, pillows, scrapbook covers, tissue holders etc
FREE SHIPPING within the Continental USA on everything in the shop.

Kartu Graphics
Designer of our fabulous sale graphic
15% OFF

K. Berlin Metalsmith
Handcrafted Artisan Jewelry - Precious Metals and gems
Free Shipping on All items

Madame Monogram
Personalized intems for Bridal, Baby, Child and Home
FREE pair of luggage tags with any purchase, a $12.00 value

Maria Luna
Handcrafted Artisan Jewelry and Fine Art Photography
15% OFF excluding items that are already on sale

mod momME
Accessories for mom and baby
10% off your total order. Use promo code "fallyall" Money refunded via PayPal.

Nicolita Love
Handmade and Vintage Jewelry and Accessories
Free Shipping on orders over $20 & Free Nola Brooch with purchase

Unique Handmade Jewelry
Buy one get second one half off (BoGo)Sale

Princess Ciarra Raye’s Designs
Jewelry for the little girl inside you
Free Shipping

The Print Duchess Studio
Custom Stationery & Personal and Promo Designs
20% off Rectangular Address Labels

Original Mixed Media Art
15% off everything!

Handmade Silk Scarves and Gifts
Sale Items 15% off with Free Shipping

Kids wear and more
Free shipping

Smelly Rhino Studio
Art with a little Humor! Original paintings and Prints
10% off and free shipping!

Sweet Pea Boutique
Colorful hairbows and clips for girls of all ages!
Buy any hairbow or clip set and get one HALF PRICE, with FREE SHIPPING for orders $10 and up

Worthy Soy Candles & Crochet
Soy Candles & Unique Crochet Creations
10% Off Everything!


*** Special thanks to Rebecca Salcedo (smellyrhinostudio) who painted our ad backdrop of the falling leaves and to Maria Allen (Kartu Graphics) who layered the graphics