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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Freezing!

Our family is constantly on the go.  Like 8 days a week.  We are usually able to manage everyone's appointments, activities, etc pretty well.  In all the things we squeeze into one day, the one thing that often gets slighted is dinner.  I really am not one of those moms who is OK with her kids eating cereal or PBJ for dinner (no offense to anyone who is, it's just not me!)  I like to have a decent dinner for everyone and we ALWAYS eat together at the table. 
We had gotten into the bad habit of grabbing fast food or going to a restaurant all too often.  Like 4 times a week.  That HAD to stop!  It's expensive and unhealthy.  So I have really been making an effort to set aside some time as often as I can to have a freezer cooking day.  I usually pick about 4 recipes and make them all at once and freeze them.  A normal recipe usually yields 2 dinners for our family, stretching our groceries and cutting cost as well.  
When the meals are finished, I put them in disposable metal pans (I re-use these, it's just easier than having all my good pans in the freezer all the time).  I put a label on them with the date it was made (meals are good for about 6 months in the freezer) and preparation instructions.
When I know we have a busy day of running or we will be getting home at about dinner time I take one of the meals out of the freezer, let it thaw all day and BAM! dinner stress is gone!!! 
If I know we will be getting home around dinner time, before I leave home I put the food in the oven and set the timer to come on.  The food cooks while we are gone and is just about ready when we walk in the door. 

I'm a genius.  I know. 

Today I made all chicken recipes.  Instead of cooking chicken I bought 5 rotisserie chickens from the store and whined until Tyson was nice enough to cut them up for me.  I put all the chicken in a big bowl and measured it out as I put each recipe together.  I did the same with all the onions, green peppers, etc.

Again.  Genius. 

So here's a rundown of what I made today:  (I forgot to take pics of each as I was going.  Momentum took over!)

Broccoli Chicken Divan (2)
Crispy Chicken & Rice Casserole (2)
Chicken a la King (2)
Nacho Chicken Casserole (2)
Chicken Spaghetti (2)






That gives us 10 dinners.  As I mentioned, these keep for 6 months in the freezer so we will just use them as we need to!  I have this cookbook that I use for most of my freezer recipes.  It has everything including side dishes, vegetables, main dishes, casseroles, soups and even desserts that are designed to be made and frozen!  Brilliant!  Cooking ahead like this is also great for if there is a funeral, surgery, etc and I can just grab something from the freezer and take it! 
I am hoping to do another cooking day this week with beef recipes! 


1 comments:

Melissa said...

Great work! I do this alot as you know with breakfast foods :)

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