Nesting

I think here at 35 weeks a little bit of nesting has begun.
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I find myself going through checklists daily
trying to remember the newborn scene. 
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Join the mini van club?
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Check.
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Celebrate the March birthdays?
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One down, (See it here)
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one to go...
Wrap up the photography calendar before maternity leave?
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A few weeks to go in this baby boom month, but I'm enjoying every step of the way, so, check!
Extra organizing and cleaning?
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Well, my good man has been doing his fair share of nesting cleaning, but I'm trying to keep up, so, check again!
Wrap up the Belly Diaries series for the Kansas City Moms Blog?
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The last installment will be this week but I've started a new one here so…check!
Stock up on freezer meals?
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Well, 
I managed to pack away seven meals yesterday (Meatball Pizza, Egg Sausage Casserole, Chicken Alfredo Lasagna (3 pans) and Chicken Tortellini (2 pans)), so I feel like I'm off to a good start. I'm all about multi-tasking and when I posted the pic on Instagram, I had a few questions about recipes so I wanted to share how I got it done in the least amount of time possible.
Here was the flow of events:
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and start baking the chicken for the chicken dishes. I wrapped up six chicken breasts in two different foil packages and baked for about an hour to seventy five minutes until they were finished.
2. Lay out all the ingredients and bowls for all of the meals. I prefer to stock up on the disposable pans for this kind of baking and then foil wrap them in three layers to keep from freezer burn.
3. Browned a pound of ground beef with the onion and garlic, rinsed and drained. Put in a bowl to mix up for the pizza filling. Browned a tube of sausage in the same pan, drained. Put in a bowl for the egg sausage casserole.
4. Mixed up the meatball pizza according to this recipe. I don't measure the ingredients any more; I just dump a package of shredded mozzarella cheese in, half a package of shredded parmesan cheese, a can of tomato paste, I add a half a can of tomato sauce, a little basil and oregano, stir, and ziplock it up for the freezer. When I'm ready to bake, I let it defrost for a day or so in the refrigerator and then spread it out over a bag of Trader Joes herb pizza dough or Pillsbury pizza dough and then top with sliced fresh mozzarella. It's relish.
5. Mix up the egg sausage casserole. This is my mom's recipe and, again, I make it by memory now but here is a loose set of directions.
6 eggs
1lb sausage
1 TB Flour mixed with 1/2 cup milk
Carton of Cottage Cheese
Package of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Mix all together well. I like to bake them in muffin tins at 375 until browned (about 15-20 minutes) and then freeze individually for quick breakfast options for the kiddos but this time I baked in a disposable pan at 350 for about an hour. The important thing is that the center is firm. 
6. By this time, the chicken was almost done so I cleaned the kitchen up from the first half of meals while I waited. When the chicken was finished, I threw the six chicken breasts in my Kitchen Aid and mixed it so that it shredded all the chicken. I love this method. I then divided the mixture in two. 

Then I mixed up the chicken tortellini in two different pans.
Here's the recipe:

  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 t. olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 jar white Alfredo pasta sauce
  • 2 packages (9oz each) cheese-filled regular or spinach tortellini
  • 1 1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 cup frozen peas (optional)
  • 1/4 t ground black pepper
  • 2 TB snipped fresh basil or 1 t dired basil leaves
When I'm ready to bake it, I let the frozen meal defrost for a day or so in the fridge and then bake covered in the foil for about an hour at 400.
  • I add the crumb topping after it's bubbly and bake for an additional 10 minutes so the top is crispy.
  • Crumb Topping: 
  • 1/4 cup grated fresh Parmesean cheese
  • 2TB butter melted
  • 1 cup fresh bread crumbs
7. I finished by making the Chicken Alfredo Lasagna because it's the most time intensive. It's not difficult at all, but just a little more involved as far as mixing and layering. Really, it's the same process as regular lasagna except instead of the red sauce, I mixed 2 1/2 cans of alfredo sauce and the shredded chicken. Once again, I eyeball and make up how much chicken, sauce and cheese, but I definitely use the no bake flat lasagna noodles. It's one less step I have to worry about. Basically I made three pans using a similar recipe to this. Oh, and I left out the spinach. 
8. I made sure all the pans were foil wrapped tightly and popped them all in the freezer.
Yum.
So, in conclusion?
Nesting much?
I think so.

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