Just as I was panicking about what to serve guests for summer parties, I was invited to a Tastefully Simple Freezer Meal Workshop (Grilling Favorites Spring/Summer 2014) at the home of our very own writer, Nicole Mitchell and Tastefully Simple rep. I had seen this concept on blogs throughout the web – where you make a months’ worth of food and freeze it. This way, you don’t have to wonder every night, what’s for dinner? The party I was invited to kept to seven main meat dishes–which was manageable and took us a little over an hour to prepare.
Before you go to the party, you have to do a bit of grocery shopping (see end of post). One advantage here is that you get a list of items to buy and you KNOW that you will be using them as opposed to wasting food. We were given the below menu before the party so we knew what we would be preparing:
Asian Pork Tenderloin
Cherry Zinfandel Pork Chops
Cherry Zinfandel Ribs
Garlic Lemon Chicken
Honey Teriyaki Chicken (or pork chops)
Ultimate Bacon Cheeseburgers
The women came with insulated coolers, containing the groceries they bought (mostly meat) and some supplies like freezer bags and measuring cups. Nicole provided the mixing bowls, labels for the freezer bags, recipes and preparation instructions.
It was such a relaxed and fun atmosphere as the ladies chatted and made the chore of cooking a little less mind numbing. We shared tips and mostly talked about how we didn’t have the time to cook like this! All the more reason to have meals ready to go on the grill or slow cooker!
It also helped that Nicole had some prepared snacks for us to nosh on–delicious and easy food from the Tastefully Simple line.
Here’s a pic of what we snacked on. The muffins were “Classy Chocolate Pound Cake mix,” and next to that was the “Orange Dreamsicle Cheese Ball Mix” which tasted like ice cream and not cheesy at all, which you dip “Twisty Grahams ” into. Also available was her “Bountiful Beer Bread” served with some dip. They were all delicious!
First up was the Ultimate Bacon Cheeseburgers. Basically they mixed in steak seasoning, cheese, bacon and shaped them into patties.
One of the best looking recipes was the Cherry Zinfandel Ribs. I chose to make it with pork chops but the sauce was just delicious! Nothing says summer like cherries, right?
This is what the bags looked with the labels attached, which include cooking instructions. That way, when you are planning food for the week you can quickly peek in your freezer and take out what you need to defrost.
Then, when the party was over, it was time to pack up the food in the cooler that they brought. This time, though, they were taking home deliciously marinated meats!
Another plus to the event that I have to mention were these slushies she served. Basically, you add liquor and water to the bucket, put in the freezer and you have a yummy slushie to enjoy with your meal! You can make Fuzzy Navels, Pina Coladas, Samba Sangrias, Caramel Macchiatos, or Chai slushies. Great for those hot, sweltering summer days on the deck!
For the party the women all had to also order the Tastefully Simple products that Nicole had pre-ordered and ready for them to use.
Products to Pre-Order:
Cherry Zinfandel Grill Sauce $8.99*
Garlic Pepper Seasoning $8.99
Honey Teriyaki Sauce $8.99*
Ultimate Steak Seasoning $8.99
Total of $42.95 (includes shipping)
You can design your own party with four or five of your friends. It’s a great way to socialize and be productive at the same time. I’m sure those women were happy that they had a good 7 meals ready to go in their freezer! They even suggest some side dishes you can make to accompany the meals.
Later, I made the Cherry Zinfandel Pork Chops and here was the “after” when I cooked them:
They were so easy to cook on the grill and my kids loved them! I also served it with Tonkatsu sauce, which added an extra boost of flavor and always pairs well with pork.
Meat (all meat should be fresh, not frozen; may be pre-portioned in freezer bags or containers if desired)
2 lbs. ground beef, turkey or chicken
2 lbs. steak (your choice)
2 lbs. beef or pork ribs
1-2 pork tenderloins
4-6 pork chops (or chicken breasts)
4-6 chicken breasts (or pork chops)
4-6 chicken breasts
Olive oil or Roasted Garlic Infused Oil
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
UPCOMING MEAL PARTIES
Location: Ramsey, NJ or at your house. If you host, you can earn free products based on the sale of products to your friends. She will bring the bowls 🙂