The only thing I'm really pre-making are casseroles and soups/sauces, everything else will pre-prepped.
Thanks Lida, that's just the kind of recipes I need! We just bought a crockpot last month and I'm still figuring out what I make in with it. I like the idea making up bags ahead of time and just pulling one out. Usually my problem with dinner is I don't bother thinking about what we should have until like 2 pm. Maybe I should think about that whole meal planning thing...
I stopped by the dollar store today and picked up 4 of those disposable aluminum baking dishes. I'm thinking I'll throw together a few casserole type dished to put in the freezer. I'm going to put together a baked spaghetti type deal today. My DP made spaghetti last night and cooked the entire package of pasta...for three of us, 2 adults and 1 child, lol! Now we have a bunch of left over cooked pasta so I'm going to brown some ground beef and mix the meat and noodles with sauce with cheese on top. Not the healthiest thing on Earth but better (and cheaper) than ordering pizza. After it's frozen how long would you cook something like that? Like an hour at 350*? I want to write the instructions on the top so even DP will be able to handle pulling it out of the freezer and putting it in the oven.
Ok, I am not good at this part- but I also remember being so hungry all the time the last time, and that it was really hard to fix food for myself during the day. Ate lots of toast and cold cereal. BUT I've been experimenting with the crockpot recently, and haven't really liked anything all that much. I made a great big batch of lentil soup with leftover crockpot pork loin that was great, though- thats my only contribution to a freezer-stash so far! Fortunately for me, though, my mother, two sisters, brother, and his girlfriend will be around all of Christmas, so for the first few weeks at least I think I will be spoiled with hands and help. :) I'm not sure if we will be able to get a deep freezer, so I will have to be judicious with the one on the fridge- probably a fair amount of Trader Joe's mostly-prepared stuff, and a good amount of meats that I'll be scouring the sales at WF's for (there's always something on sale!) We have an AWESOME Indian grocery right up the street, so all legumes and grains and some fresh veg are always at hand, thank goodness. I make lots of curries! Oh, and I haven't had luck with freezing potato recipes, either- the potatoes are always mushy and gross. But I love them, so I'd better figure something out...
WIll probably do one Costco run before baby for toilet paper, laundry soap, and frozen fish and fruit for smoothies (umm, not together)!
Lida that's impressive for one day!
I also am crockpot-challanged. The stews never come out tasting quite as good as when I cook them on the stove. And a lot of the recipes require ready-made soups and sauces that I generally try to avoid - ah well. This time around I'm planning to lower my standards and get some (decent quality) ready made food because it really beats ordering out all the time.
Good work all! I'm impressed. So far I put away lentil soup, and some frozen burritos that we ate last night. A friend gave me a lasagna the night before, and I came straight home and put it in the over. I'm not doing very well at this prep business! One the bright side, I discovered lots of maxi pads still left from pre-pregancy. Score! one less thing to buy.
Jeez, Lida, that's a lot of work!
I put away some root vegetable soup tonight in the freezer, after feeding our family and putting some in containers for the two new moms I'm taking dinner to tomorrow. Tomorrow I'm going to make Indian red lentil dahl...very simple but makes a pretty complete meal paired with rice. Everything I have in the freezer isn't like a complete meal, just makes the main part of dinner done: soup or chili, or a main dish. Still would need to add bread and salad or something to it but that's no sweat! I find this venture very exciting since I haven't done it before; hoping it makes that time when husband is back to work but babe is still small (1-2 months old) easier on me!
wow Lida, pass some of that energy my way! I'm progressing more slowly here, made three batches of beef soup with veggies. Now I plan to make the filling for Shepard's pie. Hopefully this week I can make the following: cauliflower soup, chicken soup, more Shepard's pie filling, and marinated chicken.