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Freezer Meals

Are you done with me today? I know 5 (maybe 6) posts is a lot for one day. I’m sorry. They all go together though!!

Before we got pregnant and I was doing tons of reading and chatting with other ladies about all things newborn and what not. Many of them suggested stocking our freezer full of meals that we could just throw in the oven and not worry about any prep or clean up. I thought they were genius. Such a simple idea but it hadn’t dawned on me at all.

I started looking for different things to try and the best ways to freeze and how long things would keep. I came up surprisingly empty on the details. I live for details. I want specifics, I struggled to find them.

Then I happened upon The Illustrated Quick Cook, LOVE. Filled with recipes for saving time, freezing, saving money, tips, tricks the whole 9. I read through it twice already. Yes, I read a cook book. I’m cool like that!

Then one of our friends was nearing the end of her pregnancy and I found the perfect test subjects. One afternoon I made 4 complete 8 serving meals in 2 hours. Kept 4 servings for us and 4 servings for them. It was a perfect experiment!

CLICK HERE to see the meals that we have made and enjoyed.

If I make one freezer meal a week until Riley shows her beautiful face I will have nearly 3-4 weeks of meals saved up and ready to go! Thats a tall order for a procrastinator like myself so I will surprise both myself and all who know me if this actually happens.

What freezes?

Food Packaging Storage Life Defrost & Reheat
Soups & Stocks Freezer bags. Liquids will expand, so you need room for this. You can also freeze in ice cube trays and once frozen transfer to zip top bags Soups 3 months Stocks 6 monts Thaw Overnight in the refrigerator then reheat in a pan on the stove until hot
Sauces & Gravies If recipe called for egg or cream leave out and add before serving Freezer bags. Liquids will expand, so you need room for this. You can also freeze in ice cube trays and once frozen transfer to zip top bags Up to 3 months Thaw Overnight in the refrigerator then reheat in a pan on the stove until hot
Stews and Casseroles Remember to choose lean cuts of mean because foods with high fat will go bad after a couple months freezing Freezer bags or foil containers or even tupperware with tight lids. Be sure to cover meat with liquid Up to 3 months Thaw Overnight in the refrigerator then reheat in a pan on the stove until hot. Should not be reheated more than once
Pies and Pastries Pastry can be frozen cooked or uncooked Uncooked – Freeze in blocks layered with wax paper then wrapped in plastic. Cooked – shells and pies should be double wrapped in plastic Uncooked – 3 months.             Cooked – 6 months Uncooked – tart shells and pastries can be cooked frozen @ 400 for 15 min       Cooked – thaw overnight and reheated @ 350 for 30 minutes

What doesn’t Freeze?

  • Cream Cheese, Cottage cheese and cream. They separate and become watery (a.k.a. gross)
  • Mayonnaise & Hollandaise sauce will freeze but fall apart at defrosting time
  • Fatty Foods get fattier and turn rancid
  • Cucumber, lettuce, celery and tomatoes will turn to water when defrosting

Things to remember

  1. Use colored bags or boxes to help distinguish what is what in your freezer
  2. LABEL! What is it? When did you make it? How many servings? How do you reheat it?
  3. First in first out. Make sure that you are using in the order you froze so that everything gets used in time
  4. Freeze in portions. We won’t eat 8 servings at once so I’ll divide it in half and we’ll each get a dinner and lunch out of one portion.
  5. Air tight is key in keeping out the freezer burn.
  6. Don’t leave food on the counter to defrost, always overnight in the fridge. The counter is a quick way to pick up something unpleasant.

 



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