help wanted

everything is better with sausage

Hi there! This photo really doesn't have anything to do with my request, except that it's food, and I have had food on the brain since Thanksgiving.

First a little explanation. One of the biggest things I associate with the holidays is food. Baked goods, treats, warm traditional meals- turkey, ham, big pots of soup. My mom is a great cook. My sister and I were lucky, lucky children. We learned the value of cooking from scratch from her. I really want to create those warm, good smelling food memories for my children this holiday season without wearing myself thin.

Last year a friend of mine organized a little party at Social Suppers. It was great. I went home with about 8 meals all ready to freeze. They were SO handy to have for the busy evenings, and they were all hits with my family. But the part I didn't like was that they didn't really use my choice of ingredients. They weren't made with my frozen local fruits and veggies or anything organic at all. There was plenty of full fat cheese and sour cream involved (which I'm not opposed to but I often try to use lower fat options.) And it wasn't cheap. I've decided I'd like to do it on my own here at home. Even if it takes a day or two of work, I'd love to have those meals at the ready again this year.

So here is what I'm asking of you: Do you have any tried and true make-ahead freezable meal suggestions for me? I have frozen many a lasagna and casserole, but I'm thinking surely there are some other ideas out there. Keep in mind we are traditional eaters. My children love veggies and are pretty adventurous, but when I cook I make things like chicken and noodles, spaghetti and turkey meatballs, veggie burgers with homemade sweet potato fries, big salads with grilled chicken, homemade pizza. Vegetarian ideas are great, but I'm not very keen on fussy ingredients.

So that is it. Surely some of you can help me. Feel free to direct me to a recipe somewhere online or at your blog or leave it in the comments or email me. I would be forever in your debt. So would my well-fed little family. : )


p.s. I can compile a list in a couple of days if anyone is interested! Oh! One more thing. When I put my little online shopping list together yesterday I totally forgot about Grace's brand new shop! The dolls seems pricey, but take it from me. They are worth every. single. penny.