Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Freezer Cooking - Take One

Pizza in the making

My sister and I have embarked on a new cooking adventure. We're trying out freezer cooking together. Typically one makes a menu, shops, and then spends an entire day cooking meals up to place in the freezer. The goal is to make cooking meals an easier experience. We tweaked this a bit to work for us.

First we spent an afternoon going through recipes together. We split them up and came up with a workable list for each of us. We would make enough for both families and then swap our completed meals.

We decided to also tackle desserts and breakfasts. My sister was already in the habit of making waffles for her freezer so she took on that task. It worked for me as I dislike making waffles but my kids love eating them. Amazingly enough she even made some gluten-free ones for my youngest son.

Draining ground beef/venison mix

Here is how our lists broke down:

My sister made:

  • Waffles (plain, cinnamon, and gluten-free also with cinnamon & nutmeg - delicious!)
  • Pancakes
  • Meatloaf
  • Chicken pot pie
  • Hamburger pie
  • Chicken parmigiana
  • Hamburger pie
  • Mini cheeseburger pies 
  • Meatloaf volcanos
  • Peanut butter cookies
  • Chocolate chip cookies
  • Kaiser rolls
  • Oatmeal rolls
So far from this list we've eaten the breakfast items, the chicken pot pie, mini cheeseburger pies, chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter cookies, and most of the Kaiser rolls. When she can, she makes the items gluten-free, but not always. That is how I cook as well. My youngest has a gluten-intolerance, so we try not to cross-contaminate, but I don't have a completely gluten-free home.

Finished pizzas ready for the freezer

I am making:
We decided on who would make what based on time and who was better at making certain items. My sister enjoys making pies while I really hate it so she willingly made the chicken pot pie, hamburger pie, and mini-cheeseburger pies. My hubby was thrilled as he loves all of those but I never make them! She also makes amazing Kaiser rolls and oatmeal rolls (our mom's recipe on the last one) so I was happy she volunteered to make those!

I confess to taking on a lot of "dump" recipes for the ease of them. You simply "dump" all the ingredients in to a bag. When you are ready to cook, you just thaw it out and toss it all in the crock-pot to cook. Super simple - which I like!!!!

I am now working on the muffins and will hopefully have those done by the end of the month. So far this has been a success - I think! It has allowed us to try new recipes and take a break from cooking - kind of. Since we didn't take one whole day to do up everything, it can sometimes feel like we are always cooking, but I am hoping we see the benefits soon.

I am planning to take some time soon and brown a bunch more beef/venison burger and freeze that. It will make it easier for things like pizza toppings and shepherd's pie.

Finished pizza pasta casserole

So far it's been fun. We'll see how much money it actually saves us as well as time.

1 comment:

  1. I love the concept of freezer cooking, but could never implement it very well. My way...make an extra of whatever I'm making. It would be nice to get at least a few extra meals in the freezer for those days you just don't have the energy or we're out all day.
    Great job.


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