Freezer Cooking – Part 2
I’ve spent a lot of time doing research on my freezer meal project. I’ve decided that like many of you – although I do have two freezers – I might not have a lot of space to store a ton of huge casserole-type containers. So, I’ve evolved some. I’ve put together 20 meals that I think I can commit to for this project. Some of these meals I will complete and freeze in their entirety, others – I will freeze portions of.
Below I’ll go through each of the meals and how I plan to attack this particular recipe. One of the keys to doing this (in my mind) is having a plan. I’ve also put together a pdf that you can download. The first page is a list of the meals (with hyperlinks) and the second page is an ingredient list. As I mentioned before, the reason that I wanted to have this in place 3 weeks before I plan to do it is so I can shop for items on sale. Other than the produce, bread, etc., I can buy many of these items now and just stockpile them until my cooking weekend.
Here’s the complete pdf download.
The recipes with an * are ones that I’ve made before. If they made it to this list, they are tried and true!
1. * Spaghetti – STOVETOP – I’ll make and freeze the hamburger meat. Will boil the noodles and top with Ragu on the night of serving.
2. * Meatball Subs – STOVETOP OR CROCKPOT -bagged frozen meatballs topped with Ragu on sub rolls
3. * Tacos – STOVETOP – I’ll make and freeze the hamburger meat. Will buy flour tortillas, cheese, sour cream, taco sauce, etc., the week we serve
4. * Chicken n’ Dumplins – CROCKPOT – I’ll freeze the chicken breasts, onions, and parsley. The broth, butter, and cream soup will add straight to the crockpot.
5. * Crockin’ Swiss Steak – CROCKPOT – I’ll freeze the steak and onion together. (I leave out the green pepper.) I’ll add the soup and worcestershire to the crockpot.
6. * BBQ Pork Loin – CROCKPOT – I’ll freeze the pork loin. To this I add 1 bottle of BBQ sauce and an equal amount of water. I cook in the crock pot all day. (You can shred it with a fork about 8 hours later …. promise!)
7. * Potato Soup – CROCKPOT – I’ll chop and freeze the onion … all else will be added the day of!
8. King Ranch Chicken – CROCKPOT – I’ll freeze the chicken and onion together on this recipe. (Even though it’s a Crockpot recipe – the chicken has to be pre-cooked.) The rest I’ll add the day of cooking. If it didn’t call for layering, I’d mix it all and freeze it.
9. Homemade Pizza – OVEN – I’ll make and freeze the hamburger meat. I’ll freeze the package of pepperoni. We’ll add all else the day of.
10. Italian Chicken – CROCKPOT – I’ll be using frozen chicken breasts for this recipe. I’m going to experiment with fixing the cream cheese and creamed soup mixture ahead of time and then freezing that. Only because I can’t imagine pulling out a saucepan the morning that I’m fixing a crockpot meal.
11. Tuna Tetrazzini – OVEN – I’ll be making this entire meal ahead of time, then freezing it!
12.* Hamburger patties – STOVETOP – I’ll pat these out ahead of time. We’ll fry them with some onions and let them caramelize.
13. * Chili – STOVETOP OR CROCKPOT – This is my own recipe: 1 lb ground beef, 2 cans diced tomatoes, 1 can tomato sauce, macaroni noodles (as many as you like), 1 pkg taco seasoning. I’ll make all of this ahead of time and freeze. I’ll make on the stovetop, because it’s so quick to heat.
14. Chicken Bacon Ranch Mac & Cheese – OVEN - I’ll be making this entire meal ahead of time, then freezing it!
15. * Meatloaf in Muffin Pans – OVEN – I’ll be making this entire thing – including baking – beforehand. Then, I’ll freeze them in smaller quantities for quick heating.
16. Penne ala Betsy – STOVETOP - I’ll be making this entire meal ahead of time, then freezing it!
17. Chicken Parmesan – OVEN & STOVETOP – This is super simple. I cook spaghetti noodles and top with breaded chicken patties (microwave-cooked), parmesan cheese (melted), and Ragu.
18. Bacon Wrapped Apple BBQ Chicken – CROCKPOT – I’m going to prepare the chicken/bacon, and the mixture – then freeze upright.
19. Paula Deen Mexican Chicken – OVEN – I’ll be making this entire meal ahead of time, then freezing it!
20. Pot Roast – CROCKPOT – I’ll be freezing the potatoes, carrots, and onion, as well as the roast. The day of cooking, I’ll add the broth and soup packet.
Thanks to the sites where I found these recipes: All Recipes, BubbleCrumb, CrockinGirls, First Look, Then Cook, PaulaDeen, Pearls, Handcuffs, & Happy Hour, PioneerWoman, The Girl Who Ate Everything, Zestuous
My “Part 3″ post will be my plan for the big event … For instance, figure out of the 20 chicken breasts that I’ll be purchasing – how many have to be pre-cooked, or diced, or left alone; how many freezer bags to I need and what size, etc. The real fun starts now!