Friday, January 11, 2013

Freezer meals #2

It's been a drab few days and with the rain, I am stuck indoors.  So what else to do besides clean and cook?  I like doing both, so it's a win for me.  I gathered up recipes I could throw into the freezer for cooking later and headed to the store.
First I cleaned up the kitchen from breakfast and added some leftover grilled chicken to the crock pot to make soup.
Then I made a master list of what I wanted to cook and the ingredients to buy for it.
Here's what I assembled:

Calamity Anne's Meatloaf
Beef Goulash (crock)
Teriyaki Chicken (crock)
Turkey Sloppy Joes
Cranberry Orange Chicken (crock)
Sticky Chicky (crock or bake)
Sweet and Tangy Meatballs (crock or bake)
Extra meatballs 
Cooked and shredded garlic chicken (for tacos or casseroles)
 Once I got home, the supplies went on the island and I set up a seperate prep area over by the sink and stove.  I also put on some Mindi Abair, courtesy of Pandora.  Firstborn wandered in and asked why I was listening to "Dad's music".  Why is it my kids never think I was once a REAL person with tastes of my own?!
Halfway through at the one hour mark I paused to make sure I wasn't creating a giant mess.  Nope.  Still looks reasonable.
I freeze things in "blobs".  I think it makes it easier to load the crock pot, hence the bowl in this pic which also makes it easier to fill the zip locs.
 Sandwiches and cookies bagged up for grab-and-fix-your-own lunches for the boys.
I had been cleaning out the freezer gradually the last week and a half so there was plenty of storage room.  The freezer meal shelf has six meals on it.
After two hours, my kitchen was clean and back in order.  
Here's what I have learned about this process:
Do this in the morning.  Start with a clean kitchen.  Get the trash can handy.  Pull out all the ingredients to sit on an undisturbed counter, separate from the prep counter.  Rinse off boards and utensils between dishes, but don't bother loading up the dishwasher until afterwards.  Clean off all the counters with a disinfecting cleaner when done and be sure the cutting boards and knives go into the dishwasher.  Freezing things flat does not work for me - I have to have things fit into the crock while frozen. (I never thaw before cooking)  Stick a frozen pizza in the oven just before you do a final clean of the kitchen and in 25 minutes, lunch will be done!
Oh!  And put the crock pot to work, too.  After the grilled chicken cooled, I shredded it and added raw chicken with garlic and onion to cook and shred for tacos.  These meals will probably last us through January, since I also like to cook fresh during the week.  But Fridays will be a breeze and those are the hardest days of the week to cook for. Also, I might go back to doubling up on recipes for a while to have an extra meal to freeze. 
Whatcha think?  Ever done these freezer meals in advance?

1 comment:

Michelle said...

I have made extra for freezing. But have never prepped a meal ahead of time and froze it. Don't know why I never have tried this ,it is such a great idea! My goal is now to have several of these in my freezer.


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