A bunch of friends had been talking about a one-day crock-pot freezer meal prep party…and I was excited! What’s better than hanging out with your friends? Making meals that you can just toss in the crock pot straight from a freezer bag?
Ummmm, yes please!
One of my best friends was interested too, perfect! (Which is code for: she can help me plan it.) We spent way too much time searching Pinterest one afternoon (great excuse to hang out!) for a variety of chicken, beef and pork meals that looked yummy, weren’t too difficult and would be family friendly. We settled on 5 meals (recipes below) – Beef Stew (which ended up making 2 full meals), Teriyaki Chicken, Salsa Lime Chicken, Tex Mex Beef Wraps, Pulled Pork AND two non-crock-pot desserts (Peanut Butter Pie and Fruit Crisp). Yum!
We invited 4 friends by telling them what day, what time, how much it was going to cost, what we were making and what the plan was for the night. We figured it would make the ‘when should we do it?’ and ‘what should we make?’ discussion limited. It’s too difficult to please everyone. Side note: we were able to leave out ingredients and add more ingredients when each person wanted…to make the meals perfect for each family.
The day of the event, Kim and I hit BJ’s Wholesale. We had a gigantic list and were able to find everything without backtracking through the store too much. Buying in bulk saved us money. We only had to call Kim’s husband one time to ask how many ounces were in a liter. I don’t care how smart your phone is, if you are in the corner of a warehouse, Siri doesn’t help.
We sent a reminder email to everyone the day of telling them to bring $75 for their meals, a snack to share, an apron and a cooler/thermal bag to take their food home in. I made sure that the kitchen was clean, the morning room table was clear and that cutting boards, knives, peelers, etc. were set out ready to go.
We went through each meal, one at a time. Originally I had thought we would each make our own meals, but we changed it up. One or two people peeled potatoes while another person cut up the potatoes, one cut up meat, another person worked on assembling and someone else wrote the Low/High crock-pot directions with the name of the meal on each freezer bag with a sharpie. We basically had an assembly line going and when someone got tired of chopping, we switched jobs…and though I was far, far away from the onions, I was STILL crying!
It took us 2 ½ hours of solid work (with a 20 minute break for drinks/snacks) – but was TOTALLY worth it! We laughed, we joked about who had to cut up the onions, how left-handed people don’t like to peel potatoes and maybe even mixed up the recipes a little bit… “No jalapenos for me!” and “I’ll take her jalapenos!” Each person left with 6 full meals and 2 desserts (not crock pot desserts). (A full meal = 1 beef roast, 6 chicken breasts or 1 pork roast.)
I won’t always remember what we made or that we made Lisa run home for her special chopper, but I will remember a fun night with friends!