February 7, 2011

February Freezer Cooking.

Whew!  This is going to be a long post.  Just so you're prepared and all.

Lasagne
My original freezer cooking list included something like this: chicken (or turkey) tetrazzini, lasagne, meatloaf, harvest pork chops, italian chicken, breaded chicken, and pancake mix.  I added meatballs, nixed the meatloaf and was left with 1.5 lbs of taco meat (I have all the fixin's in the pantry--easy!).

Noodles--ready to go.

Being prepared was really helpful in getting all this done.  I did make the meatballs and brown my beef two days ago.  I made the list of everything I wanted to make, bought the supplies (including a giant pack of foil pans at Sam's club), and made sure the kitchen was clean and ready to go.  My kids even emptied the dishwasher for me so I had somewhere to put all the dirty dishes as I went!  Aren't they great?  :)

I did this in three "rounds" so to speak--based on meat type.

Round 1:
2 Lasagne (one of which we are going to have for dinner tonight)
4 Dinners of meatballs
1 Dinner of taco meat

I did this as the kids were finishing up school.  Easy since the beef was already browned.  I opted to keep a lasagne out of the freezer for dinner.  We haven't had that in a long time and I can't very well do all this work and order take-out for dinner, can I?

Doesn't look like much, but that is 6 dinners from the freezer!

Round 2:

2 Dinners of Italian Chicken
2 Dinners of Breaded Chicken
2 Dinners of Harvest Pork Chops (I'll post a recipe tomorrow!)

First of all, I just want to say that the two types of chicken are easy--the kind of thing you might just keep the ingredients in your pantry and make it and bake it right away.  The reason I did this is 1. Ken can pull a meal from the freezer and make it and 2. it ensures that I have all the ingredients all in hand.  That way, I don't get to dinner time and panic because I don't have enough bread crumbs or something.

For the breaded chicken, here is what I did (I got this trick from a neighbor who does this for a living---making up freezer meals for people who are too busy to do it themselves!):

First, assemble chicken, eggs and seasonings in one freezer bag.  Then, put the bread crumbs in another bag.  Put both together in a labeled freezer bag.  Then, you just pull the one bag out of the freezer and thaw in the fridge.  The chicken marinates in the egg and is ready to dip in bread crumbs and go into the pan to bake.  Simple!

These are the Harvest Pork Chops before I wrapped them all up (I also had a little extra stuffing which I tucked around the chops).  I'm not sure if this is the best way to freeze them, but since I had plenty of pans I went ahead and did it this way.  I just tucked foil around them and wrapped them up in another layer really well.
6 more meals!
Then it was a time for a break.

I did have some kitchen helpers:
I think they make me need a break!  I was pretty sure that Nick was going to break the pepper mill.  Liz was single-handedly tenderizing the pork chops!  They both thought that they could drink the lemon juice.  Well, they could.  But they wouldn't like it.  :)  Everybody needs cute helpers like these!

Round 3 (the last and final round!):
2 Chicken Tetrazzini
4 bags Pancake Mix (I use Leila's at LMLD)--this will last us about 3 months!

I boiled my chicken.  I took a nap.  15 minutes, tops.  But, Nick was sleeping, 2 kids were out in the snow and I convinced (I really had to twist their arms, lol!) 2 of them to watch PBS.  I figured I could spare the 15 minutes!

Then, I came back and made up all the mixings for the tetrazzini, boiled the noodles, and started the pancake mix. 


2 more dinners and countless pancakes and biscuits!

Grand total:
1 dinner for tonight
14 freezer dinners
3 months of pancakes

And, I still have two pot pies and a banana bread from last month! I'd say that is pretty darn good, don't you think?

Whew!  I did it, I really did it! :)  And now, all I have to tackle is this:

My sink! Ack!

Maybe after a long(er) nap! :)

3 comments:

  1. Wow! Looks great!! It's been awhile since I've done freezer cooking and I can't believe how nice it feels to have the major prep work done on so many of our meals!! :-)

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  2. I'm amazed by all that you accomplished! You certainly earned every nap you took. ;) I like how you froze the chicken in the marinade so that it's ready to go when you need it.

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  3. Thanks! It really is great to know those meals are on "standby"!

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