Group Guidelines

  • There should be 3-4 chicken recipes and 2-3 beef/pork recipes every exchange. One meal should be "individual" meals (burritos, hot pockets, muffin tin meatloaves, etc). First come, first served!
  • These meals are not meant to be the only thing your family eats for the evening, but is meant to be the main dish, so the quantity should be satisfying. 
  • Crockpot dishes are great.  However, be mindful that some members of the group will not be home in the middle of the day to start the crockpot, so look  for recipes that allow for all-day cooking.  (For instance, I have a great  recipe but its cooking time is 4hr on low.  Wouldn't work for this group.)
  • Casseroles are fine, but let's try not to have more than 1 or 2 each  exchange.
  • Spicy is fine, but please err on the side of too little spice rather than  too much.  We can always add more at home :-)
  • Each meal should feed 4 adults (which should, in turn, feed 2 adults and several kids).
  • Soups/Stews/Chilis: Please allow for 2cups/person, totalling 8 cups per meal. The assumption is that the soup will be served with a salad or with bread, but not much else.
  • For meals where meat is the main ingredient (meatloaf, roast, marinated chicken, etc), you should use a 1.5-2lbs of meat per meal.  Keep in mind that 80% lean ground beef will cook down considerably more than 93% lean ground beef, so you will need to use more meat to make up for this. This does not have to be an exact science, but always err on the side of  too much meat rather than not enough.  There is nothing worse than pulling out a meal and not having enough to go around!  Roasts also cook down considerably.
  • Casseroles should fill an 8x8 or 9x9 square pan.
  • Individual meals (hot pockets, burritos, etc): 10-12 = meal.  We realize this is probably more than one meal, but it has come to be a blessing to have these extras in the freezer for lunches and meals on the go.  This "job" will rotate so you will only have to do this once every 6 months.
  • Meals should be packaged in freezable containers.  Please try to avoid plastic containers as they tend become brittle in the freezer, which causes them to crack/break.
  • If you are using plastic bags to freeze your items, please remember to use  Ziplock brand (they are higher quality and less likely to break at the seams)  and freeze them FLAT.
  • Soups/chilis/stews should be packaged in Ziplock Freezer Bags.  This allows for much faster thawing, and easier storing.
  • If wrapping something with foil, wrap with saran wrap first, then foil.   This protects the meal from freezer burn. 
  • Label each item with the name of the meal, the date it was made, and the  cooking instructions.  If writing on the foil w/a sharpie, do so before putting  onto a hot dish.... it is much easier!
  • Please post your recipe on the blog within 48 hours after our swap.  This allows people who need to know the nutritional/ingredient information to be able to eat their meals fairly soon.
  • If you do not want to post to the blog, please type the recipe and bring a copy to share with each person the day of the swap.
  • Do not forget to add specifics at the bottom (for example: I used 90% lean ground beef, I used low sodium chicken broth, etc)
  • Be sure to add the appropriate labels to your post (for example: A chili recipe should have the labels "Soups, Beef")

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