post #41 of 111
8/11/08 at 9:34pm
My plan re: defrosting before cooking is for DH to make it a part of his morning routine to pull something out of the freezer before he leaves for work. Since he usually fixes himself a big glass of ice water, I think this will *probably* work, although I anticipate him forgetting a few times in the beginning. We defrost on the countertop rather than in the fridge or microwave, so if he pulls it out in the morning it should be ready for me to cook by 4-5 in the afternoon.
So, how has feeding the freezer gone for everyone else? I'm *almost* done. We did a big $400 grocery trip last week and I have gotten all but a few meals prepped and into the freezer. So far I have:
2 Spinach, Rice and Black Bean Casseroles
2 Balsamic Mustard Chicken
2 Honey Sesame Dump Chicken
1 Buffalo Wild Wings Spicy Garlic Chicken
2 Chicken Pot Pies (which are huge and will serve our family at least twice each)
2 Sherry Chicken Casseroles
2 Zucchini Beef Bakes
2 Shepherd's Pies
3 Bags of Chili
This morning I added:
1 Lasagna (we ate the second one for dinner last night..yummy!)
2 bags of BBQ beef (this was so good it almost didn't make it to the freezer...we've been eating on it all weekend!)
1 Bacon Egg and Cheese Breakfast Casserole
1 Sausage, Egg Cheese and Potato Breakfast Casserole
2 Corn for Breakfast Casseroles
And still in the works for today:
2 bags of minestrone
1 or 2 World's Best Breakfast Casserole
Chicken Enchiladas (I keep putting these off because assembling enchiladas is so tedious and MESSY)
Chicken and Dumplings (if there's enough chicken left after the enchiladas)
If I do everything on the list for today, I will have surpassed my goal of a minimum of 30 meals because I didn't count the breakfast casseroles in my count and I didn't expect to have some of the recipes make three meals (like the chili). I still have the makings for thai sqash soup, cheesy potato and corn chowder and lentil soup. I guess the first one of those that needs to be done is the squash soup because I don't want the squash to go bad. My goal is to use ALL of the food we bought for these meals and not let ANY go bad before getting into the freezer!!
I have about 22 meals in the freezer right now including:
2 "Chicken" pot pie
Cheesy eggplant noodle bake
Vegetarian Sheppard's Pie
Macaroni and cheese
Autumn Millet Bake
Tofu noodle soup
Macaroni and cheese soup
Feeling good about all the food in the freezer...
I have a dry erase board on the side of the fridge where I wrote down all the meals that are frozen in there
Originally Posted by alyssatuininga
Cheesy eggplant noodle bake
Autumn Millet Bake
Charmie - You could do what my friend from New Mexico does for enchiladas - make them casserole style instead of traditional, rolled style. I do the same too after getting her recipe.
Can someone tell me in a nutshell...how do you know which recipes to cook before you freeze them, and which ones to freeze "raw"?
|And ideally you defrost all day and just cook the meal as usual when dinnertime rolls around?|
Ooh, do you mind posting that "chicken" pot pie recipe? And when you make the noodle soup, do you add the noodles when reheating, or do you freeze with noodles in it?
I'm completely new at this. Can someone tell me in a nutshell...how do you know which recipes to cook before you freeze them, and which ones to freeze "raw"? And ideally you defrost all day and just cook the meal as usual when dinnertime rolls around? I'm a little overwhelmed at the prospect of doing this, but I know I will be thanking myself (and you all!) when the baby is here!
Okay, so my guideline for this has been that if most of the ingredients are cooked ahead of time (as in lasagna or the spinach and rice casserole), then I assemble to the point where it would go in the oven to get heated and get the cheese melted, and freeze at that point. If, however, the ingredients are mostly raw at the point where you'd cook it (as in all of the breakfast casseroles with egg in them), I have gone ahead and baked according to the directions, then frozen the already baked item and will defrost and reheat at about 25* less than the original baking time for about 15-30 minutes (I'll just have to watch to make sure they're not getting overcooked).
This is my ideal, yes. I've not had good luck with cooking stuff from frozen because I never know how long it will take to reach a good temp and I worry that it will burn on the top and edges and be barely warm on the inside. So my goal is to set it out in the morning and cook/reheat in the evening.
Because I know there will be days when I don't think about it or don't realize it's a freezer meal day until 3 in the afternoon, there are some exceptions to this: anything that I froze in a ziplock (chili, BBQ beef, minestrone, chicken with marinades, and soups) can defrost in hot water in the sink or in the microwave (the microwave is not preferable, though, because I find that the ziplock gets really hot and almost melted).
There's a thread in mindful home management called "feeding the freezer" that has some good information, recipes, and guidelines for what to freeze when and how, but it's something like 48 pages long :.