Friday, December 19, 2014

Freezer Meals

From your freezer to your crock pot, whats not to love?!

These are just a few meals that I would normally make in my crock pot but I decided to do a little meal prepping and prepare them ahead of time. If you can brown hamburger meat, you can make these meals. Keep in mind, I make these meals for myself (sometimes friends and family) and to have enough for leftovers. You can alter these meals however you would like. This is just what works for me! ;)

1. Chicken Fajitas 

  • 4 small chicken breast tenderloins 
  • 1 packet of dry fajita seasoning mix
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons of butter 
  • 1/3 cup salsa 
  • 1 package of tortillas of your choice

1) Cut up your red pepper, green pepper, and onion and place them in your gallon freezer bag.
2) Add the chicken, fajita seasoning, butter, and salsa into the bag.
3) When ready to eat, pull out of the freezer and place in your crock pot on high for 4 hours or on low for 6 hours. When the chicken is done, use a fork to shred the chicken then serve on tortillas with sour cream and shredded cheese.

This recipe above is enough to feed about 4 people. I made 2 freezer bags of this mixture. Super easy and super cheap!

2. Chili


  • 1 packet of chili-o seasoning mix (or whatever kind of chili seasoning you like)
  • 1 lb of ground beef
  • noodles (any type)
  • 1 can of chili beans
  • 2 (large, 29 oz) cans of tomato sauce 
  • 1/2 onion, chopped 

1) Brown your ground beef and drain the grease off. 
2) Cook your noodles until done.
3) Combine all ingredients in a gallon freezer bag.
4) When ready to eat, throw in your crock pot on warm for 6 hours. Or low for 4 hours if you are wanting to eat it sooner.

Those are the ingredients that I use in my chili. You could always make your favorite chili recipe and then freeze it. I split this recipe into 2 freezer bags. This recipe is normally enough to make one large pot of chili. 

3. Vegetable Soup


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (15 oz)
  • 2 cans Veg-all mixed vegetables (1 29 oz can, 1 15 oz can), drained
  • 1 large can of tomato juice (46 oz) 
  • 1 can tomato sauce (15 oz)
  • Salt and Pepper 

1) Brown your ground beef and drain the grease off. 
2) Combine the rest of the ingredients in your gallon freezer bag. 
3) When ready to eat, throw in your crock pot on warm for 6 hours. Or low for 4 hours if you are wanting to eat it sooner.

4. Taco Meat


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning 

1) Brown your ground beef and drain the grease off. 
2) Combine 1 cup of water and 1 packet of taco seasoning and add to your meat. Let simmer for about 10 minutes.
3) Place the meat in your gallon freezer bag. When ready to eat, throw the meat in your pan and let it heat up for some nachos or tacos!

5. Fluffy Potatoes  

  • 8-9 medium to large russett potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil 
  • 1/2 cup sour cream 
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, softened 
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (I used monterey jack)
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped chives (or more if you would like!)
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
  • salt and pepper 

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2) Rinse and dry the potatoes and place them on a baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil over the potatoes to coat. 
3) Bake for 35 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. 
4) Place the sour cream, cream cheese, monterey jack cheese, chives, garlic, salt and pepper in a bowl and mix together. 
5) Cut each potato in half lengthwise. Then take a spoon and scoop out the inside of the potatoes, leaving a thin rim of potato inside the skin. Add the potato pulp to the bowl with the other ingredients.
6) Using a fork, gently mash the ingredients together until smooth.
7) Spoon the mixture back into the potatoes. 
8) At this point, you can eat the potatoes or freeze them. If freezing them, place the pan of potatoes into the freezer (uncovered) for about 20 minutes to let them harden on the outside.
9) Place the potatoes in a gallon freezer bag and when ready to eat, bake them at 375 degrees until warmed. 

This is a Pioneer Woman recipe (she is the BEST!) I broke down the instructions a little bit but for pictures along the way, visit her page here.

6. Baked Penne


  • 1 lb of ground beef
  • 1 jar(16 oz) alfredo sauce 
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 box (1 lb) penne pasta
  • 2 jars of spaghetti sauce* 

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2) Spray a baking dish with non-stick spray. 
3) Cook pasta until done.
4) Brown the ground beef with the onion until done. Drain off excess grease. 
5) Pour in one jar of spaghetti sauce into the meat and keep on warm. 
6) Once the pasta is done, drain the excess water off and return your pasta to your pot. Pour in 1 jar of alfredo sauce and combine until mixed thoroughly. 
7) Pour your pasta mixture into your baking dish so that it covers the bottom. 
8) Now add you meat mixture so that it covers all of the pasta layer. 
9) If you are wanting to freeze this, now is the time. Place in a freezer safe pan. You can add mozzarella cheese to the top right before you bake it. 
10) If baking right away, sprinkle the top of your dish with mozzarella cheese and cover with aluminum foil then bake for 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 15 more minutes.
* The 2nd jar of spaghetti sauce is optional but I like to pour a little more sauce on the pasta once it is cooked. 

This recipe is off of Pinterest and you can find it here. I mentioned it in my last post. I have ate it straight from the oven and frozen and it is great both ways. 

*Run some hot water over your freezer bag to break up the ingredients inside before placing into your crock pot. It is almost impossible to get a frozen meal out of a plastic bag. I would know.
* Brown all the hamburger meat while you are cutting up vegetables and preparing other meals to save time.
*Your crock pot might not cook the same way mine does. So if you can, keep an eye on your meals the first couple of times you use it to make sure they do not burn in the crock pot.

I hope these meals work for you and that you love them as much as I do. All of this only took me about 2 hours so it is very easy to do and you will thank your self later! If you have any questions, comment below! ;)

Monday, December 8, 2014

Pinterest Recipes

We all love we not?! I have a lot of 'pins' on my food board but until recently I had not tried a lot of them. So, here are some recipes that I have tried the past few months that are really good and that I will make again!

  • I made this Baked Ziti last night and it was so easy to make and I even had enough to freeze some leftovers! I think it is even better heated up the next day. 

  • I have a love for pasta and this pasta with tomato cream sauce is from one of my favorite gals, The Pioneer Woman! (Yes, I DVR her show.) I recently found this pinned on pinterest so I thought I would throw it onto this list as well.

  • This BBQ chicken is really the best I have ever had. I made it with these crockpot mashed potatoes. If you didn't know, I could live off of mashed potatoes alone so I had high expectations for these potatoes...and they didn't let me down. 

  • I have recently developed a love for spicy things and this buffalo chicken dip is fantastic. 

  • How did people cook meals before crockpots?! I use my crockpot whenever I can (which is often). Its just so simple! These crockpot chicken and dumplings are easy and you will have plenty of leftovers. 

  • This pineapple cheese ball  is so, so good. I served it at my housewarming party with sun-dried tomato and basil wheat thins. 

  • These homemade pancakes were so easy to make and so fluffy! You can also freeze the leftovers and they reheat just as well. 

These are just some of my favorites lately. What did we ever do before Pinterest?!

*Side note- I have to condense a lot of these recipes since I am normally only cooking for myself and to have leftovers for the next day. You can tweak them to make however much you would like ;)*

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Haiti [Round 3]

I went to Haiti for a 3rd time this July. I meant to write about it sooner than now but always found a way to put it off. As always, its an absolutely heartbreaking country. We set up medical clinics and went to a few different orphanages. The orphanages are where I believe that everyones heart truly breaks. You see poverty, hungry kids, dirty feet, and kids that literally have nothing. But they all have one thing in common... these kids crave love and attention. crave it. You walk in and a ton of smiling faces run and cling to you. It is the sweetest, yet saddest thing. We set up medical clinics as well at the orphanages where tylenol and vitamins were given as well as injections. We had spaghetti made at one orphanage and PB sandwiches for another to fill their bellies. I really can't say enough about these sweet kids or even begin to explain what you see or feel while in Haiti.

Even though it has only been a few months since my trip, I can't remember all the details. I know we saw about 1,100 people in 5 days, loved on some Haitian's, had the best group EVER, went to a beautiful beach our last day (PARADISE!), got to experience this trip with my work bestie, and shared Jesus and what He did for us.

If you are on the fence about going on a mission trip, GO. If you think you don't have the funds, He will provide. If you think you are helping others, you are, but they are really helping you. If you think you can't leave your family for a week or two, you can. If you want to see God move, you will. If you want to see the most beautiful smiles ever, you definitely will. While we think "foreign countries" are so far away, some are basically in our backyard. Haiti is only a total of 4 hours away by plane. 4 hours. While I want to experience other countries, Haiti will always be the first place that made me really fortunate for what I have and gave me a love for sweet orphans. While I could talk all day about mission trips (and this trip), I'll just leave you with some pictures. :)
Sweet orphans.

The best group ever! Everyone got along and friendships were made!

Em with her little man at the clinic.
swimming in paradise!

Prayer station..these girls rocked it!

Inside one of our clinics.

Gift station.

Isn't she so pretty?!

Vitals station.

In our element.

sweet boy.

Those eyes.


This little guy. Cant say enough about how brave he was!


The O.R. Would you like to have a lap chole here?

Jumpin' docks


In Haiti with my best gal, Susan!

Baby at the clinic.

Got to watch those haitian boys...stealing kisses ;]

LOVE this little guy. Check out his front 2 teeth missing!

View of Haiti from the mountain.

I could've took her home!

TSWIFT in Haiti!

Injections station.

Chrysalis shirts in Haiti still 3 years later!

Melt my heart. 

After seeing these sweet faces, I know you want to hop on the next plane out to Haiti...and I so encourage you to do so!

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Kayla Wedding's

Kayla S.

Back in December (on the coldest day in history I believe) my best friend since 5th grade got married! Yes, I am just now getting around to sharing this glorious occasion. Illinois people are used to the brutally freezing cold and therefore it is acceptable to get married in this weather. This Kentucky girl thought she was going to die (not being dramatic at all). It ended up snowing on Kayla and David's wedding day and it turned out to be gorgeous and made for wonderful pictures. Plus, there was a hot chocolate bar! I loved that I was able to share this day with Kayla no matter the distance between us. Now, Kayla is in Nursing School and I couldn't be any more proud of her. I hope when she graduates that there are only job openings in Kentucky ;)

Guess who caught the bouquet? ;)

Bridal Party-
(Zoom in and you can see these better :])

Boots and leggings for pictures outside

Kayla B.

In May, on a warm and sunny day, my talented friend Kayla got married. Nursing school is were we became friends and Im so glad our friendship extended past our pinning ceremony. This girl thought about every detail of her wedding and it was perfect! When I get married, I'm hiring her as my wedding planner. Seriously. Kayla is about to start school (again) to become a Nurse Anesthetist. If I ever need surgery, I would trust this girl to intubate me…friendship at its finest (haha).

There ya go! Two weddings and two Kayla's! 

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

the best mosquito protectant

I recently discovered Hannah and Kaylee on FaceBook about a month ago and I can't stop watching their videos. They are hilarious! These girls are best friends from Louisiana who love to take road trips and give "tips" while they are at it. I wish I could road trip with them! I laugh even more when they laugh at themselves (and say Dolla Gentral). My favorite video so far is below. I mean, how can you not laugh after watching that?! Proof that life is so much sweeter with best friends!

Happy Tuesday!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

35 days

35 days until we leave for Haiti. This trip has came up so fast and I haven't really wrapped my head around the fact that I am going back for a 3rd time. This is also a time for first. This will be the first trip where I will be a nurse instead of a nursing student and also the first time I have been in the middle of the summer. My past two trips were in December and January and Haiti was crazy hot…I can't even imagine what it will be like in July. The "first" that I am most excited about is that my friend Susan is going with me!! Susan and I met on the first day of our orientation at HMH (I was terrified of her, lol) but we quickly became great friends and loved to work the crazy night shift together. I am so excited for her to experience many first of her own and to fall in love with Haiti as I have.

35 days and I am in no way ready. I still need to be funded financially and I still need supplies, food, the list could go on and on. I am so thankful for those that have thought of me and gave to support my trip in any way. It means SO much! I know that God cares about our smallest concerns though. If it concerns us, it concerns Him. So grateful for that :)

Haiti from the mountain top
Please remember to keep our team in your prayers!

Monday, June 9, 2014

New blog on the block…again!

Y'all, I'm so excited to be re-opening my blog with a new name, URL, and a fresh, new look! I wanted it to look clean, simple, and be easy to navigate and that is just what I got. My template was designed by Leanne over at Brand Me Beautiful and I can't thank her enough for her timely response in designing my page! I haven't blogged in almost 8 months mainly because I got too caught up in life and being "busy." It's time to enjoy the little moments and write about them along the way!

Hope you join along with me (again) as I talk about my everyday life, heart for missions, and journey as a 20 something year old nurse. You can now follow by email (yes, please!) as well as find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Pinterest by using those cute little sidebars on the right. 

Happy Monday!