Well, it finally happened...as longtime readers of this blog (all seven of you...thanks!) know, it has been a multi-month--nay, spanning two years now--goal to empty my freezer so I can defrost it. I have failed miserably.
But now it is time. I went to put my Aid for Friends meals in the other day...and the door would not shut. Too much permafrost. So...after an emergency duct taping, on to the cleanout. Happily, we were hosting my father-in-law's birthday party anyway on New Year's Day, which helped immensely with the cleanout.
First up: six bags of nuts. Despite an ambivalent relationship with David Liebowitz (all in my mind of course), I was about to take him off my clogged Google Reader list when he came up with this Holiday Snack Mix of nuts and pretzels and kept himself afloat. (I'm just not in to escapist Paris food blogging right now. I need more daily-use blogs, not escape.) But any recipe that needs any blend of nuts, including the ones hogging space in my fridge--well, that's a winner. It was easy, it was effective, I didn't have to buy any ingredients. My nuts looked messier than his--more covered in sugar globs and not as smooth or shiny--but it was useful, and my husband loved them. Good party food.
Second: Ikea's Swedish meatballs. Happily, these were on the docket anyway for the party. I was hoping for easy and yummy (and just like the store restaurant, frankly). And that they were. Super easy. Score.
Third: freezer appetizers. There was an awesome pecan praline brie from Dinner A'Fare, which I would definitely do again, and the lemongrass chicken sticks from Trader Joe's were a huge hit. There were more but after two straight days of cooking, I was done. We'll get to the rest of them. (We have to!)
We also made the other things I'd planned on, and my fabulous sisters-in-law brought all kinds of yummy veggies and desserts, and life was good. Even better: our older set of nieces and nephews (ages 13 to 23) carried the party on to the next house, so I sent all the most tempting leftovers with them.
So, on to this week:
Sunday: pork roast, macaroni and cheese, carrot mousse (all leftovers)
Monday: Swedish meatballs (leftovers), mashed potatoes (leftovers from the freezer), spinach, cranberry sauce, salad
Tuesday: Dinner A'Fare meal from the freezer, salad
Wednesday: crock-pot brisket from Smitten Kitchen, roasted potatoes, celery and fennel salad
Thursday: Glorious One Pot Meals Very Very Mild Fish dish. I'll let you know how it goes.
One of my resolutions is to use what I have more effectively. I am not doing a full Eating Down the Fridge this week but I'm coming close. All I need to buy for the week is brisket and onions, which is kind of a relief. There are other things I want to make but after the mad cleanout of my downstairs for the party, I am reminding myself that open space can be a good thing. My pantry does not need to be overstocked. We'll be ok.
For really thoughtful menus on the web, try I'm an Organizing Junkie!