Freezer cooking is a great way to have a hot meal fast for your family or just individual meals for yourself! I am not a fan of cooking, so I enjoy the fact I can pop the meal in the oven for 35 mins (or heat it up in the microwave if you decide to freeze in microwave safe dishes). Heat it up and enjoy! It is that simple!
First I make a list of all my ingredients I need to cook up 2 weeks of freezer meals. I only do supper because of the fact most lunchtime meals my children are at school and my husband is at work. I always try to hunt up new meals to try as well to see if they freeze well.
The items you need to put your food away in the freezer
sandwich bags/small plastic containers
labels to mark the date made and what it is – You can purchase labels at Mabel’s Labels to make the job easier here
pen to write the information on the label
any spices needed
I then start cooking up the meat and while it is cooking, I am standing near by watching it and cutting the veggies I need cut up. I place all cut veggies in either sandwich bags or plastic containers to put aside when I am ready for them in a recipe. I am also boiling any pasta that is needed. If I need a side dish to go to with the meat a lot of the time I will wait and cook that up that day.
Our side dishes are usually potatoes, rice or salad so those to me are easy to cook up. But if you wish you can also cook up mashed potatoes ahead of time and reheat them on the day you wish to use them. You can either reheat them in the microwave or on the stove on low stirring often and adding a tablespoon of butter and a 1/3 of a cup of milk. For salad you can cut the veggies up in advance and place them in individual sandwich bags and into the fridge so they are ready when you want to make up a salad. For any water based veggies like celery and cucumber I place them in a small plastic container with enough water to cover them so they don’t dry out and last longer.
Once all the meat (and anything else that is needed to be cook for the meals) is ready I start placing each meal in the aluminum pans) I make them up one at a time and cover it with 3 layers of aluminum foil making sure it is wrapped all around. Then I place a label on top (Mabel’s Labels) and pen in the date and what it is and then place all the meals in the freezer. Soups, mashed potatoes I like putting in freezer bags. I usually double the freezer bags for soups. (please remember to let soups and anything you place in freezer bags to completely cool or it may melt the bag!) Do not place the bags too close to each other in freezer at first as they may stick together and rip the bags as well. Label all freezer bags too.
Then all you have to do once this is all done is decide each day what you feel like having! Some people like to keep a schedule. I go by what my family wants for that day out of what I have made! I ask them in the morning so by the time they come home all I have to do is have it in the oven (cook any sides if I didn’t make) and have extra time to spend with my children before supper!
If you are looking for fundraising ideas for your charity, school or special group also check out Mabel’s Labels!
** make sure if you reheat in microwave you do not use aluminum or foil on top. Only use microwave safe dishes. 🙂
Here is a list of 10 DIY tips and tricks to make your life easier!
1. To preheat pizza without getting the crust soggy. Place piece of pizza in a non-stick skillet and heat on low until warm.
2. Divide leftover soup into muffin tins. Makes a perfect individual servings that you can just pop out and heat whenever you want them.
3. Need to hang a picture but there is nothing on the back to hang it from? Take a tab from a soda can and attach it to the frame with a screw and hang the picture.
4.Use a Lazy Susan in your fridge to organize your condiments. This will keep things from getting lost in the back of your fridge
5. Add a tablespoon of vanilla extract to your paint. (1 tablespoon per gallon) It will not affect the paint but will mask the paint fumes and have your home smelling like vanilla.
6. Tired of stopping at every floor every time you use the elevator? Hold the close door button and hold it while pressing your floor number. This will allow you to skip all floors and go right to yours.
7. Remove scruff marks on your floors with a dry tennis ball.
8. When packing liquids for your trip, (shampoo, lotion etc. ) screw lid off and place a piece of wrap plastic over the opening and screw lid back on. The plastic wrap will keep the liquid from spilling even if the lid pops open.
9. Rubbing butter at the edge of brick cheese will seal it and prevent it from molding.
10. When cutting veggies or meat for recipes, use a pizza cutter. It will save more time then using a knife.