Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Stocking the freezer!

With 2 little ones and a husband whose work schedule changes randomly, I often end up without time to prepare a nice dinner for my family. We are on a strict budget and try to avoid eating out just because "there is nothing to eat in the house!" (We like to plan on eating out for special occasions instead :) So when I make my meal-plan each week, I try to make sure I plan one day (usually the day that Mark is off work so he can help watch the girls :) to go crazy cooking and double or triple a recipe or two for freezing. That way I always have something to pull out in a pinch. So I thought I'd share with you some of my favorite things to make in bulk and freeze.

(Note: I "flash freeze" the enchiladas and manicotti before cooking on a cookie sheet and then dump into freezer-safe ziplocks bags. You can also freeze them in a pan with the sauce, but it takes up more room and I find that they come out more soggy. I flash freeze the chicken strips, cordon blue, bierocks and meatballs the same way. Everything else just gets dumped in a tupperware :)

Taco Meat
the Best Sloppy Joes Ever
Cheesy Chicken Strips
Taco soup
Tortilla Soup
Chicken Cordon Blue
Lime Chicken Tacos

Home-made Pizza Dough
Home-made Tortillas
Pancakes and Waffles
Breakfast cookies
muffins -- pumpkin and berry
Harvest Loaf
Zucchini Bread
Pumpkin pancakes
Pumpkin waffles


Rebecca Chiodo said...

What do mean by "flash" freeze? Do you have a way of freezing items instantly?

Lauren said...

Thanks for the ideas! I'm going to try to freeze quite a few things before the new baby arrives so that we don't end up eating a lot of takeout those first few weeks! Do you have a big freezer? We just have the standard fridge/freezer and I never have enough room!

Meg said...

You know, flash freeze probably isn't the correct term :) It is just my description of placing them on a cookie sheet on wax paper and freezing for 20 min or so until hard enough to put in a freezer bag. The time varies depending on the food, but I just freeze them until they are solid and won't stick to each other in bag. But I always set a timer so that I don't forget about them and let them get frostbitten!

I don't have a big freezer, but we did purchase an extra small chest freezer so that we have more room. We found that we quickly paid for the freezer with money saved from being able to buy meat in bulk when it goes on sale.

Rebecca Chiodo said...

Thnks for the tip. We usually freeze leftovers for a later date, but I really like the idea of making double and triple batches and freezing them. I will be doing this from now on.