Thursday, October 26, 2006

Freezer Stuff

I am so glad to have a freezer full of ready to eat, or at least greatly simplified meals that my family will love. I think that last part is the key. The meals that you freeze shouldn't be new or some just for food storage type meal. I decided to make my food storage stuff we'd actually eat, not just stuff to survive on. So these are some of my favorite recipes. There is a list at the end of the ones I used.

I made all of my freezer meals in a three day period. That makes a lot of mess and takes a lot of work. An easier way is to just double or triple whatever meal you are making (really easy with soups, stews and sauces), and then freeze the extras in meal size portions. A few tips I discovered the hard way:

1. Don't put hot meals directly into the freezer. My freezer had so much hot food in it that the alarm on it went off (yea, I had no idea freezers had alarms!).
2. I used disposable plastic containers. But Ziplock bags also work and things freeze faster and flatter so that you can put more in your freezer.
3. Stock up on frozen veggies, and the add ins.
4. When adding pasta, rice or other grain to a sauce or soup, don't let it cook too long (maybe half the time). When you thaw it out and reheat it, the pasta will finish cooking.
5. When adding fresh tender vegetables to dishes, don't cook them at all. I used zucchini and squash and just cut them up, put them on the bottom of the container, and added the hot sauce on top. The vegetables will be blanch cooked and then you will freeze it. When you reheat the dish, the vegetables will finish cooking but not be too mushy or slimy.
6. Buy bulk meat and divide and brown or marinate it before freezing.
The meals that I froze were the following (most I have already posted on the blog and have linked them to the recipe):
7. Be careful stocking up on cookies and muffins, mine got eaten way too fast. Perhaps you will have better luck at the will power thing.
8. when freezing pancakes lay them flat so that they don't stick together. After they are frozen put them together in one big ziplock. Also applies to berries, vegetables or meat chunks that you don't want to clump. They take less time to defrost and it is easier to use small portions instead of thawing a big bag when you just need a little bit.

Thai Red Curry Chicken
Indian Curry Chicken
Chicken Makhani
World's Best Sugar Cookies
Swedish Pancakes
Green chicken Enchilladas

(These are ones I still need to add)

Masaman Curry Chicken
Beef Barley Stew
Chicken Noodle Soup
Bubble Gum Icecream
Banana Bread
Pumpkin Bread
Zucchini Bread
100% Whole Wheat Pancakes


Bonny Brae said...

wow! you pretty much rock in the kitchen department betsy.

i LOVE freezing meals - I'll have to get back on the bandwagon.

alice said...

I really don't have to freeze much since there is just Dad and Axel and me. I end up making way too much so I freeze the leftovers all the time. This week we just had lasagne for 3 days since it was just Axel and me. Dad was still gone.