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Feeding the Freezer - Page 2

post #21 of 63
Thanks for starting this great thread! Here is an easy soup recipe.

Creamy Chicken, Tarragon and Leek Soup

Ingredients
4 TB butter
6 oz mushrooms sliced
4 stalks of celery chopped
3 medium leeks thickly sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
1 cup heavy cream
1 14.5 oz can chicken broth
4 boneless chicken breasts cooked and chopped into bite-size pieces
2 tsp dried tarragon (or 4 tsp fresh)
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese at room temp.
salt and pepper to taste

Directions
Heat butter in soup pot, add mushrooms, celery and leeks. Saute for about 3 minutes (until onion is translucent). Add wine, cream and broth. Bring to a slow boil, cook for 7 minutes. Reduce heat, add chicken and tarragon. Simmer 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese until blended, season with salt and pepper to taste.
post #22 of 63
I love this thread!

I have a few meals that I tend to make two batches at once (lasagna, enchiladas, amazing chicken burritos) but I also plan to have a bake-a-thon weekend somewhere around week 36. (This was my plan last time and DS was born at 35 weeks 5 days so we actually had to go to the grocery store when he was 2 days old and I came home and cooked dinner. NOT doing that again!)
post #23 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by ruthmg View Post
I'm amazed at how organized everyone is! I can't even contemplate tomorrow's dinner, let along post-baby dinners! I'm very lucky - I have a strong mom's group who will provide me with probably 3 weeks worth of food, plus my mom lives in town in the winter, and we eat with them every night anyway, so I'm sure she'll just cook. (Yes, I am extremely spoiled. Every night!)
We have a great moms group who brings meals to all the new moms too, problem is my best friend is also in that group and she is due 2 days before me! And I live far away from the core of the group. She was supposed to coordinate meals for me as a thank you for when I did it for her when her dad died...but she went and accidentally got pregnant while we were trying! So....I have to get a few meals in the freezer while I can! My MIL lives in town, but her idea of cooking is picking up subs.....she says her ideal home is one without a kitchen...so yeah....no cooking there! I'm jealous of your local mom!!
post #24 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by iowaorganic View Post
London Broils Recipe
Thanks! I made some of these today. Made them only big enough around for the goodies to be in the center and more in line size wise of what we will eat. I saved a couple for dinner tonight and froze the remaining 18.

I made up 2 of my meatloaf topped with the left over bacon pieces and froze those as well.
post #25 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom2Adam View Post

8. Meat loaf (if I can figure out a way to freeze)
Meat loaf Minis freeze really well!

The catch with these is to bake your meatloaf at 375 for about 20 minutes in muffin tins, with about 1/3 cup meat mixture per tin. Then top with topping and cook 10 min more. Cool, remove from muffin tins, freeze on trays so they aren't touching each other, then put them into freezer bags once they are really solid for up to 3 months.

To reheat, it take about 1 min in the microwave each. Or thaw in the refrigerator completely, then bake at 350 in a greased, covered baking dish for 30 minutes or until heated through.

The extra bonus on these is they can be reheated for any number of people. I ususally use the recipe I found with these instructions, which I can post if anyone needs one! Otherwise just make sure it is a moist meatloaf to withstand the cooking/freezing/reheating process and any recipe should work fine!

And great thread - thanks!

Christy
post #26 of 63
Does anybody have a good vegetarian "meat" loaf they like to freeze?
post #27 of 63
Thread Starter 
Can't help you there. Meatloaf makes me want to :Puke. I remember being a kid and walking into the house smelling meatloaf. I groaned and asked my mom why we had to be having meatloaf and she replied "It's not meatloaf, it's hamburger casserole". Yeah right, the gag reflex doesn't lie!

On a much more delicious note, I went to a U-pick blueberry farm last weekend where they were selling their crop for $1 per pound! They were so yummy. It was just me and my 2 year old DD so I wasn't able to pick as much as I would have liked but I still walked out with 3 pounds. I want to make some smoothie kits for post partum. We did this when my mom was sick and couldn't eat solid foods. We cut up various fruits (blueberries, bananas, strawberries, pineapple) and frozen them in packets. Then all you had to add was some yogurt and orange juice and viola - delicious smoothies!
post #28 of 63
I have been trying so hard to pack the freezer with leftovers of anything I make. Something in me only knows how to cook portions that are army sized so there should be plenty to freeze but DH keeps taking them out of the freezer and to work for lunch. I'm always shocked at the quantity of food he can consume.
post #29 of 63
Thread Starter 
A family friend took DD and my nieces for the day yesterday so my sister was nice enough to come over and help me cook some freezer meals. We made

2 batches raspberry glazed chicken breasts
tomato basil soup
2 loaves homemade garlic bread
french toast
chicken quesadillas
2 batches of chicken pot pies
2 batches of white bean turkey chili

I also bought the ingredients to make homemade pizzas but ran out of time. I haven't made pizza crust from scratch before, let alone an entire frozen pizza, so it should be interesting! If anyone has any pointers for this, feel free to share. My DH thinks I'm insane for already starting to make post partum meals. He'll be thanking me later!
post #30 of 63
:

you all are amazing! my DH thinks I am completely insane, overplanning and panicking by thinking about needing to freeze meals for after the baby comes, but it's our first child and I think maybe I'm just more in tune with the potential lack of time and energy to cook haha. And we have a TINY freezer but I am still going to start quietly stocking it in a month or so.
post #31 of 63
Thread Starter 
I didn't think about this AT ALL the first time around but that time I had my mom who helped out a ton (she passed away last year) and we had the money to eat out a lot. This time I have no mom , have to go back to work sooner :, and money is going to be so much tighter . I'm really stressed out about money this time around so I think being so vigilant about preparing meals is my crazy way of coping.

If you have a small freezer, I would do a lot of soups, chili, spaghetti sauce, etc. You can put them in a gallon-sized freezer bag and lay it flat to freeze. They don't take up very much room and you can stack them!
post #32 of 63
Thread Starter 
I'm shamelessly bumping this thread. January is fast approaching! DD is staying with her gma this weekend so I'm planning to go on a cooking rampage. I'm planning on making:

Orange Ginger Chicken
Raspberry Chicken
Mandarin Orange chicken
Chicken Quesdadillas
Chicken Pot Pie
Taco meat
Sweet & Spicy Vegetarian Chili

We'll see how much I really get done when the time comes.

Does anyone have a good potato soup recipe that freezes well?
post #33 of 63
How long would spagetti sauce/chili keep in the deep freeze, if it had beef in it? These 2 things are so easy to make in huge batches, and I'd like to know when to start making them, so they'll be good for jan/feb.
post #34 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by OwensMa View Post
How long would spagetti sauce/chili keep in the deep freeze, if it had beef in it? These 2 things are so easy to make in huge batches, and I'd like to know when to start making them, so they'll be good for jan/feb.
As long as they are air tight I would be comfortable freezing something for quite a while. I don't know the technical guidlelines. I have a food saver vacuum sealer and it takes a really long time for things to go bad or show freezer burn, I guess that's when I feel an item has gone bad.


I like the sound of that London Broil recipe! My only problem is I have always heard you can't re-freeze meat without cooking it first and I'm not sure why. I buy my beef already frozen so would need to thaw a brick to make the recipe and then refreeze raw meat. Is there any reason this wouldn't be ok as long as I keep it cold the whole time?
post #35 of 63
Here is the smashed pea soup with barley recipe (from CPK). It is SO delicious and great on cold days. An added bonus - my DC absolutely love it too.


2 cups split peas
6 cups water
4 cups chicken broth (or 2 14.5 oz. cans)
1/3 cup onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon parsley
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/8 teaspoon thyme
1/2 cup barley
6 cups water
2 medium carrots, diced (about 1 cup)
1/4 cup celery, diced
snipped green onion, for garnish

Rinse and sort the split peas.
Add them to a large pot with 6 cups of water, chicken broth, onion, garlic, lemon juice, salt, sugar, parsley, pepper, and thyme.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1-1 1/2 hours or until the peas are soft.
While the peas are cooking, combine the barley with 6 cups of water in a saucepan.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 1-1 1/2 hours or until the barley is soft and most of the water has been absorbed.
When the split pea mixture has become a thick soup, use a handheld blender to puree the peas until the mixture is smooth.
A standard blender or food processor may also be used to puree the soup in batches.
This step may also be omitted.
Drain the the remaining water from the barley and add the barley to the split pea mixture.
Add the carrots and celery and continue to simmer the soup for 15 to 30 minutes or until the carrots are tender, stirring occasionally.
Turn off the heat, cover the soup, and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.
Garnish each serving with the snipped green onion.
post #36 of 63
wow what a great thread lurking from due in feb. what is brunswick stew. so many of these meals sound soo good.
post #37 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by papschmitty View Post

Does anyone have a good potato soup recipe that freezes well?
Yep! This one is super easy. Don't add the cheese until you reheat. it tastes better if it goes in at the end:

5lb bag of potatoes. Any will do, peel if you like. It will be smoother if peeled.
1 large yellow onion
olive oil to sautee
1 large head, or 2 medium heads of fresh broccoli, rough chopped. Frozen will work in a pinch, but fresh freezes better.
Water or stock of your choice to cover potatoes
salt and pepper to taste, if desired
shredded cheese to add to finished product, about 8-12 oz. based on the size of the batch. Smaller if doing individual portions.

Chop onions and sautee in a stock pot with the olive oil until transluscent.
Chop potatoes into quarters or smaller. Place into pot with onions and stir until coated. Cover with stock or water and bring to a boil. (I pre-warm the stock so it boils faster). Cook until the potatoes are about half done, then add chopped broccoli. Continue to simmer until broccoli is mostly done and then remove from heat. Let cool. Puree in a blender or food processor until smooth. Place into large freezer bags to freeze flat in desired portions.

When you reheat, bring to a slow simmer and stir in shredded cheese and salt/pepper to taste. This soup should be thick and creamy. it is great on a cold day.


I will be making lots of this soup. My children can't get enough of it. We eat it with fresh bread.
post #38 of 63
Thread Starter 
Awesome, thanks mamajody!
post #39 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by inthezoo View Post
I like the sound of that London Broil recipe! My only problem is I have always heard you can't re-freeze meat without cooking it first and I'm not sure why. I buy my beef already frozen so would need to thaw a brick to make the recipe and then refreeze raw meat. Is there any reason this wouldn't be ok as long as I keep it cold the whole time?

That is what I had always been taught too- but my neighbor lady gave me this recipe and said as long as you thawed the meat in the fridge (not on the counter or microwave or hot water)- I would be fine- and I have been so far. I dunno- we haven't gotten sick yet...

Yummy to the recipes- I am going to have to get cracking..... I am more of a canner though when it comes to prep for easy meals- like crack open a jar or pork and make some noodles or something.... Yesterday I made 8 quarts of canned spagetti sauce and dh ate a whole quart for lunch- no pasta or meat or anything- just the sauce...
post #40 of 63
I just moved away from my mamas group that provided meals after baby was born for at least three weeks . So now I have been thinking about freezer meals and this thread has some great ideas! With DS I just made double of any meals I was already making that I knew would freeze well and put the second portion in the freezer. We also bought a few pre-made lasagnas and easy things like that. With this pregnancy my MIL wants to throw me a baby shower, but I don't really need anything since we are having another boy. So, I have asked her to throw me a "feed the freezer shower" instead where people can bring me food for my freezer instead of (or in addition to - I know how her friends are!) gifts. We will ask them to include the preparation instructions on the meal. I hope it works out and people actually bring me good stuff. So, that's another option for people too.
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