Friday freezer meal

Crowd pleasers are the best.  Meals that freeze, cook, and refrigerate nicely are truly the bomb.  This is one of those meals.

Chicken Pot Pie is something I hated growing up.  I couldn’t tell you why; in all honesty I didn’t have many opportunities to eat it.  However we found this recipe when we were meal prepping for Alodia’s arrival last year.  It is one of our favorites and is pulled out of the freezer so quickly we really shouldn’t even put them in there.  haha

This recipe makes two pies.  The full instructions are on Brenda’s blog linked throughout this post, but this is how we do it here in the Butler household:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 cup celery, chopped
  • 1 cup carrot, chopped
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 4 unbaked pie crusts

Directions

Saute onion, celery, and carrot in the butter in a large skillet until soft.  Add flour, stirring constantly until smooth.  Cook for 1 minute then add chicken broth and milk.  Continue stirring constantly until it is thickened. Add chicken, peas, salt, and pepper.

Allow to cool and put in a bag labeled “Chicken Pot pie (date) | Thaw in fridge overnight | Bake at 375 for 30-45 minutes | Cool 10 minutes”

Seal the bag and freeze it.  When the time comes for this meal, thaw it in the refrigerator.

Roll out one crust into a pie dish, gently pour bagged ingredients into the dish,  cover with the second pie crust, cut a few slits into it and seal the edges using a fork.

Bake at 375 for 30 to 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Allow to cool 10 minutes.

This is so yummy.

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Try out this recipe – it’s too good to pass up!

Friday freezer meal – Chicken Noodle Soup

I have become addicted with freezer meals because I’m very impulsive and they are the best way to curb take-out or delivery orders.

We all do it after a rough day: we have had enough of working and don’t want to work more for our food.  It’s totally understandable!  Sometimes a quick fix is a frozen pizza from the grocery store but let’s face it, they’re not the best and for the price their flavor is definitely not worth it.

Often, the easiest course of action for freezer meals is to simply double whatever meal you’re making and freeze the second half of it.  This works well for many recipes, and I do it, but it’s so easy to forget to double the meal, so it doesn’t happen often.

I do, however, go full moto randomly and will make a bunch of meals in one day.

I’m going to share with you the meal I made earlier this week, on a whim, using the left over veggies in my fridge from another set of freezer meals I had made earlier in the week. (See where I’m going with this?)

Today’s freezer meal is Chicken Noodle Soup.  I don’t care that it’s summer, and hot, and muggy, and everybody is sweaty and gross.  Soup is not just for fall and winter.  It’s too good to pass up during the other half the year.  Bonus is that it’s ridiculously affordable!

The recipe linked explains how to make the recipe same-day.

Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup
These ladies have amazing recipes, and their blog is where I found this one!

I changed the recipe slightly based on our personal preferences and pantries, but we have stuck with our version since the beginning.

  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, shredded
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 2-3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 5 cups chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cups egg noodles

Directions

On a gallon freezer bag write “Chicken Noodle Soup (date) | Add 5 cups chicken broth | Cook on low 6 hours, add noodles | Cook on high about 1 hour, or until noodles are cooked.”

Add cream of chicken soup, chicken, onion, celery, carrots, corn, garlic powder and salt and pepper to a bowl and combine well.

Transfer to a gallon freezer and freeze.

The night before this meal is to be eaten, thaw in the refrigerator.

Add the bagged ingredients and the broth to the crock, cook on low 6 hours.

Add egg noodles and cook on high for about 1 hour or until noodles are cooked through. **Slow cookers vary in strength, so the noodles may not take an entire hour to cook: check often.**

Earlier this week I made the meal and split it between two quart freezer baggies for 2 reasons: 1, we ran out of gallon freezer bags, and 2, we know that it will be enough for us to eat in one meal!

 

Friday’s blessings

We haven’t had a full weekend without any planned events for months now and while this weekend will continue that trend, my husband surprised me yesterday by informing me that he isn’t working today.  That alone made today amazing.

Elizabeth and I woke up and hit the beach this morning while Alodia and Will slept in.

I couldn’t help but reminisce the entire time about last summer’s beach adventures with Elizabeth (and fetus Alodia) finding shark teeth, teaching E that sand is not for eating, trying to keep her in the shallow water rather than as far out to sea as she could go… Seriously, Elizabeth is Moana.

This year has been more relaxing with E.  Alodia, however, is a firecracker; if prevented from shoveling sand, rocks, and shells into her mouth, she’ll just eat our sandy hands.  She’s clever.

I truly appreciated time alone with Elizabeth in a place we both love so much.

She notifies us about every crab hole, so we’ve made it a lesson teaching her about who made them.  I’m waiting for the day a crab actually crawls out of one while she’s crouched over it.  Hopefully I’ll be camera ready.

After coming home, while the girls watched a movie, us adults made 2 batches (4 meals) of chicken pot pie that is a tried and true freezer meal in the Butler household, I haven’t decided if it tastes or smells better, it’s just so good.  Post to come about our favorite freezer meals.

It has been marvelous to make up the day as we go so far and even more so with dada home to enjoy the relaxing atmosphere.

Beach trip number two is planned with our neighbors for this evening and I can’t wait for us to be there together again, and in one day! ❤

We’re buying a beach house someday.  It’ll happen.

Nature, nurture

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Turtles are amazing, let’s just start with that.

They are prehistoric, eat literally anything, are loved by all, and are so so sweet (except those snappers, but there always has to be an exception).

While mucking out our flower beds recently Elizabeth discovered a box turtle meandering around our side yard.  I did my best to prevent any additional pokes (photos), and we watched this sweet turtle make a bee line straight for the worst spot aesthetically  in the flower bed, where she burrowed into the leaf litter and pine straw.

I was ecstatic!  Our visually unappealing flower beds were home to an endangered species, that’s quite humbling!  We halted our measures to beautify our temporary home and did some research on box turtles.

The first thing we learned was that they’re endangered.

Second was that the worst thing one can do to a box turtle is to relocate it.  Simple enough for us – just don’t move it.

The third was that they eat everything: live bugs, fruit and other organic matter, you name it.

The fourth was that they lay numerous nests of eggs in groups of about 5 eggs.

Fifth was that they are pretty much stationary in terms of home turf; they don’t relocate.

That was all I needed to know to call it quits on our curb appeal project.  In an attempt to keep the turtles home as natural as it was before she was discovered, I returned most of the leaf litter I had removed.

Since then we will check on her every once in awhile and our days are always brightened so much when we see her.  If there was a way I could ensure this little turtle’s health and longevity, I would.

I wish I could speak turtle and let her know how much she is loved by the Butlers.

The best revenge is bettering yourself

It has been so long since my last post.  Hello long lost friends! ❤

I have spent such wonderful time with my husband, daughters, extended family, and amazing tribe.  My husband and I didn’t realize just how much we needed a little break from our sweet girls until we had it.  Thank goodness (well, thank the Marine Corps) for fleet week, am I right ladies?!

Lately our technology has been off.  We’ve been watching TV less, using our computers less, and communicating face to face instead of via texts and it has been such a relief!

We’ve been focusing on ourselves lately in every way possible.  Caught up on some much needed medical appointments, filing paperwork that’s needed filing, explored places we’ve been meaning to explore, and caught up on monotonous things.

One thing that we’ve been unable to control is other’s actions.  We focus on positives but sometimes another’s actions are so blatantly in-your-face that it’s impossible not to see.

I’m sorry that it’s difficult for some people to live their lives without constant comparison, or “keeping up with the Jones'” and I’m made somewhat uncomfortable by the constant reminder of being checked in on.  

I can’t control whatever extents people go to in order to compare themselves: checking my LinkedIn, driving by my house, etc. I can simply sympathize the insecurity at their core.

Anyway, tonight’s toast is this: Here’s to you and to letting you know that I do not think of you and will pray that you find the strength to feel the same and move on.

I pray for you, and I don’t mean that as an insult as so many do, I actually want you to be confident in yourself and not need to check on me or compare yourself to me.  We’re separate individuals with completely different journeys.

I hope everybody loved their Independence holiday as much as we did!  More posts to come as we settle back in from our crazy start to the summer.

Photographs

Today I received the lens mentioned mentioned in this post.  It is an exciting lens for me and though I’m the most amateur of amateurs when it comes to photography I am aware (hopeful? haha!) that practice makes perfect, and eventually my photos will be straight up awesome.

This new lens is a 40mm macro lens so these photos were mainly me practicing with the lighting (as always) and aperture.  Any constructive criticism is welcome, you’d be doing me a favor! 🙂

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I always have qualms about sharing things because I’m such a private person so I really hope you enjoy what I have to share now and in the future.

Thanks for stopping by! ❤

ps. feel free to follow my (admittedly, kind of obnoxious) instagram at k_forty

Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day to all you moms!  I hope your day involved minimal (or no) diaper changes, no chores, and sweet appreciation.

Yesterday was my second official Mother’s Day and it was so nice.

We began the day slowly, and went to our second annual Mother’s Day brunch at the O’club.  As usual, Elizabeth loved the muffins, fruit and milk she had.  Her and Alodia’s good behavior was noticed by and commented on by many which is always so so rewarding to hear, especially from strangers as their compliments have no obligation to them whatsoever.  Right?

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While we were at the O’club I realized just how beautiful the garden (seen behind us, to the right) is at this time and I’m dying to go back to get some pictures of the girls and the garden alone.

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We wandered around back and visited the New River allowing Elizabeth to blow off some steam from staying put in a high chair for an hour at breakfast.

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Alodia, as per usual, was a champ at people watching, sucking her thumbs, and giving random smiles and furrowed brows to strangers and friends alike.

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We spent the afternoon with a friend and her family whose husband is deployed.  Her son is one of Elizabeth’s bffs and they had a blast together playing in a pool and eating freezie pops.

We ended our evening with take out dinner and watching the sunset with our lovely neighbors across the street.  This is becoming my absolute favorite time of day because it is so breath taking.  I instagram many sunsets, k_forty is my user. 🙂

ALPHA BUTLER CHARLIE (2)

I received a new SD card with a significantly higher capacity for my phone, a new lens for my camera, a couple items of clothes, and the sweetest hand made card! ❤

These two precious girls were the best results of a collaboration.  Ever. 😛

What is your most favorite Mother’s Day tradition?