Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Freezer Cooking

In preperation for going back to work I wanted to make sure we had a lot of dinner options for when I had to work late or we just don't have time to cook.  In order to do that we went out and purchased a deep freeze.  I have been wanting one for a long time, and every time we go to the store we seem to struggle to get everything to fit.  Our freezer was also filling up with frozen breast milk so I finally bit the bullet and got one (and I love it!).  I can be a lot more organized now that we have so much more space and I vow to always keep an inventory so we know whats out there.

I started out by searching for freezable meal recepies.  I searched freezer cooking and once a month cooking.  I can't believe how many sites there are dedicated to freezable meals!  These are a few I really like.

I looked for recepies that we would love and that were fairly simple to make (I only had one day to do all of this).  I also wanted recipes that didn't have a ton of ingredients for the sake of having to carry them all into the house.  Here is what I decided on:
3 bags of Root beer Pulled Pork (a favorite of my family's ~ from Better Homes and Gardens)
2 9x13 pans of Chicken Tetrazitti (each pan is 2-3 meals)
1 batch of Taco Soup (3 meals)
3 bags of meat spaghetti sauce
2 pounds of taco meat
2 marinaded bags Flat Iron Steaks
1 batch Beef Stew (3 meals)

I gathered my recipes and made one master shopping list.  Tori and I went shopping and returned a couple of hours later with a van full of food!   

Then I got to cooking!  Most of the food was made is just a few hours!  It went much faster than I anticipated since I was able to brown 4 pounds of ground beef at a time and for the recipes that called for cooked, diced chicken I shredded a rotisserie chicken to save time. 

I had a few helpers in the kitchen :)  I had one of the twins in the bjorn most of the time and Tori helped pour and stir.

Here is the majority of the cooked meals, ready to go in the freezer.  Most of them went into freezer bags since I had trouble finding freezer containers at the store.  I am going to order a few from amazon for next time, I am really excited to try Glad Ovenware pans!  They can go from freezer, to fridge, to oven!  Are they're reusable and inexpensive, just my kind of product! The foil pans are working well for now, no clean up! :)  I made sure to include cooking instructions on each container for the meals that need baking.  Now all we have to do is decide in the morning what we want to eat, stick it in the fridge to defrost, then warm it up for dinner.  Limited cleaning and now we can have a yummy homemade dinner with just a few minutes in the kitchen.  There are tons more freezer recipes we can't wait to try next time! 

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