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#361 of 699 Old 12-24-2007, 02:00 AM
 
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Originally Posted by jess12808 View Post
I have a freezing question. I meal plan for the month and freeze everything. I am bout to make some portioned pears for my dd's meals(I make all her baby food in advance as well). If I dice up some pears(she is doing finger foods, refuses to let me feed her..LOL), and flash them(boil hot then rinse cold), and divide them into portions, will they be soft enough for her to eat when I defrost them? This seems to be the only food I have run into trouble so far with cooking and portioning ahead of time.
I posted in here cause I didnt know where else to ask..
Thanks in advance for the help.
I did this once and then had to do up a pear-puree when I defrosted. The pieces were all mush. Could you can them?
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#362 of 699 Old 12-24-2007, 02:06 AM
 
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Oh....and one more thing, do you have to fully cool things before freezing. For example I have bucket loads of sloppy joes here. Should they be fully cooled before freezing. I am also making twice baked potatoes.
nahhh, unless you have an old-fashioned icebox--hot food would melt the ice, and this was very very bad when ice was hard to come by-which is why a lot of people still let stuff cool off before putting it in--it's one of those ways of old that keeps hanging on. (much like doing the white clothes in the washer first, then lights, then darks, then super nasties--we don't have to do that anymore in the age of machines, but people still do this)
I put hot stuff in the freezer all the time. I haven't melted it yet.
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#363 of 699 Old 12-24-2007, 10:40 AM
 
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Iana that is funny. Are you sure you aren't melted? :

On other notes, what does it mean when people say "flash freeze" in this thread?
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#364 of 699 Old 12-24-2007, 10:48 AM
 
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hi good cents! the disney thread has been quiet - no one has any trips planed I guess...

flash freeze means just spreading out things to freeze before you throw them in a bag (I think!)

and on a related note I was going to say this is how I do potatoes (so I guess I beg to differ on the potatoes too) - I make mashed potatoes and then scoop them out with an ice cream scooper, flash feeze them on a tray, and then put them all in a ziploc & pull out what I need

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#365 of 699 Old 12-24-2007, 11:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I beg to differ. See my previous posts about rice and potatoes. I have a mashed potato recipe that never fails, but I would never freeze raw potatoes.

For rice, you cook it by boiling in water like pasta instead of the usual simmer to absorb method, then freeze and reheat in the microwave, covered.
I myself do not freeze rice or potatoes as said. I know plenty of people on this thread and IRL who do. I have not had any good luck with it.

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#366 of 699 Old 12-24-2007, 12:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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As far as from stove to freezer- I let the food cool off on the stove slowly, I turn off the burners, cover food, after cooling put in the fridge. Then withing 2 plus hours get it ready for the freezer.

I have a huge huge standing freezer that was a gift to myself this year. Someone once said buy the biggest you can afford. When we remodeled and bought all new appliances the freezer was heavily discounted. Now it is getting filled and soon more filled with a 1/2 side of beef we went in on with another poster here and 2 others.

I too have had a run in w pyrex. I would not take something right out of the freezer and stick in a hot oven. Normally I take things out ahead of time and let sit in the fridge for a few hours.

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#367 of 699 Old 12-24-2007, 12:55 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Amys1st View Post
I myself do not freeze rice or potatoes as said. I know plenty of people on this thread and IRL who do. I have not had any good luck with it.

honestly, why would you freeze rice? throw it in a pot and cook it. it doesn't take any prep or special watching. 15 min for long grain (i use organic jasmine) or 45 min for brown. if you know you will need some later, make it ahead and reheat. it will stay for a week in the fridge. warm it up with a little water in a pot or in the micro.

if you need potatoes ahead, just peel, place in the fridge submerged in water. cook as needed when you need it. or cook ahead and place in the fridge, most potato dishes warm up beautifully.

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#368 of 699 Old 12-24-2007, 02:54 PM
 
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Originally Posted by honeybeedreams View Post
honestly, why would you freeze rice? throw it in a pot and cook it. it doesn't take any prep or special watching. 15 min for long grain (i use organic jasmine) or 45 min for brown. if you know you will need some later, make it ahead and reheat. it will stay for a week in the fridge. warm it up with a little water in a pot or in the micro.

if you need potatoes ahead, just peel, place in the fridge submerged in water. cook as needed when you need it. or cook ahead and place in the fridge, most potato dishes warm up beautifully.
Because here you can buy huge bags of rice and I can cook about 20 lbs at a time.

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#369 of 699 Old 12-24-2007, 02:55 PM
 
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I myself do not freeze rice or potatoes as said. I know plenty of people on this thread and IRL who do. I have not had any good luck with it.
Ah. The trick is to use a different recipe, regular homemade mashed potatoes will dry out.

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#370 of 699 Old 12-25-2007, 01:06 AM
 
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Because here you can buy huge bags of rice and I can cook about 20 lbs at a time.

i can buy huge bags of rice too, but i can't see wasting the freezer space and paying for electricity to keep it frozen when i can cook it up so easy. i'd rather fill my freezer with food from the garden and complicated stuff that takes a long time too cook.

hey, to each her own, it just doesn't make any sense to me. YMMV.

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#371 of 699 Old 12-25-2007, 01:16 AM
 
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i can buy huge bags of rice too, but i can't see wasting the freezer space and paying for electricity to keep it frozen when i can cook it up so easy. i'd rather fill my freezer with food from the garden and complicated stuff that takes a long time too cook.

hey, to each her own, it just doesn't make any sense to me. YMMV.
Ah, but you don't live in the tropics where cooking something stovetop for 20 to 30 minutes on a daily basis is hell, while you can do fresh veggies in the microwave or out on the grill where they won't heat up your house. Doing all the rice at once and warming in the microwave doesn't heat up the house.

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#372 of 699 Old 12-25-2007, 07:17 AM
 
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Iana that is funny. Are you sure you aren't melted? :

On other notes, what does it mean when people say "flash freeze" in this thread?
Flash freeze means to lay the items you want to freeze separately out on a cookie sheet or the like and then put them in the freezer just long enough for them to freeze. You then can take them out and put them in freezer bags or whatever you use and they won't freeze together in one big clump. It works great for fruit like strawberries
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#373 of 699 Old 12-25-2007, 07:20 AM
 
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[
on other notes....what exactly is freezer paper? i have seen references to it. i couldn't find any at target today....so i used waxed paper to wrap things and then put in heavy duty freezer bags. is it okay to use wax paper in the freezer? [/QUOTE]

Wax paper is fine to use in the freezer or parchment paper works well too.
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#374 of 699 Old 12-25-2007, 03:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Flash freeze means to lay the items you want to freeze separately out on a cookie sheet or the like and then put them in the freezer just long enough for them to freeze. You then can take them out and put them in freezer bags or whatever you use and they won't freeze together in one big clump. It works great for fruit like strawberries
It also works great for shredded cheese. I shred a huge block of zella and then lay it out on some large cookie sheets and put in the freezer. 4 plus hours (or a few days later some weeks) we put the frozen cheese in seperate bags for pizza etc later. A block usually lasts us 2-4 mos depending on how many weeks we have pizza. I also freeze doughs all ready.

Moving on.....

What have you fed to the freezer lately??

We are adding a beef surplus in the next few weeks.

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#375 of 699 Old 12-25-2007, 04:35 PM
 
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Just read this entire fabulous thread!

When I was feeding the fridge for my second child, I did the following:

Breakfast food:
pancakes
apple muffins
banana bread
pumpkin bread

Dinner/Lunch:
lasagna (I always cooked through and then froze, but I'll try it w/o after having read this thread)
sweet potato (or pumpkin) and black bean burritos
zucchini enchiladas
a variety of vegetarian quiches
eggplant parm
mexican "pie"

And now a question -- many of you have mentioned chopping up veggies and freezing them. Are you doing this raw? Like I have a head of cauliflower about to go off and I can just chop it and freeze it? And then thaw it to add to soup/curry or even eat it "raw"? If so... what veggies will work like this? Also has anyone ever frozen chopped onions in this manner?
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#376 of 699 Old 12-25-2007, 06:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just read this entire fabulous thread!
? Also has anyone ever frozen chopped onions in this manner?
Yes! Just chop away and flash freeze and then put in a freezer bag and take what you need when you need it!

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#377 of 699 Old 12-25-2007, 07:54 PM
 
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Yes! Just chop away and flash freeze and then put in a freezer bag and take what you need when you need it!
Ok, THAT is an awsome tip! Now I can buy a big bag of onions at a time, and do all my chopping and crying in one day!

As for why to freeze rice? Well, we do TF brown rice here , so I soak it over night a cook up a HUGE batch at once in the morning. AND it makes last minute cooking (which we do almost everyday around here...hence the freezer cooking lifestyle) so super easy! :

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#378 of 699 Old 12-25-2007, 08:16 PM
 
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When you freeze the onions, make sure they are completely frozen before you bag them. As I said earlier, I thought mine were done and now I'm having to chip them off with an icepick because they were just damp enough in spots to stick together.

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#379 of 699 Old 12-26-2007, 11:30 AM
 
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Ah, but you don't live in the tropics where cooking something stovetop for 20 to 30 minutes on a daily basis is hell, while you can do fresh veggies in the microwave or out on the grill where they won't heat up your house. Doing all the rice at once and warming in the microwave doesn't heat up the house.

nope, i sure DONT live in the tropics. 23* out there right now. :

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#380 of 699 Old 12-26-2007, 05:59 PM
 
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nope, i sure DONT live in the tropics. 23* out there right now. :
Brrrrrrrrr!!!!!

yikes!

my parents were just in an ice storm, and yet they can't seem to figure out why I've spent my adult life moving to places like Fl, TX, CA, and HI.

75 degrees in December and the turkey is roasted on the grill.

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#381 of 699 Old 12-26-2007, 07:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh yes, but you dont have snow! and 15 degree days like here! :


just kidding! You can feed the freezer here just by putting the stuff on the patio.

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#382 of 699 Old 12-26-2007, 07:51 PM
 
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Oh yes, but you dont have snow! and 15 degree days like here! :


just kidding! You can feed the freezer here just by putting the stuff on the patio.
My mother does that!

I hate snow and ice. But if I decide I want to see it I could drive to the top of a volcano. We have nearly all of the climates here, we just have to drive to different parts of the island to experience them. We're only missing Arctic and Sub Arctic, and I don't miss them at all.

I remember one year when I was bartending in Kansas and we had just had a bad ice storm. I was driving a cr@ppy maverick held together by rust and bondo, and I had left it parked at work for several days while my boyfriend and a friend who I worked with had been giving me a ride to and from work, because my car was kind of unsafe and pulled to the right. I had a doctor's appointment the next day and had to take my car home that night. After we all went out to Denney's after work, there were about 6 of us there chipping the ice and snow off with ice scrapers and credit cards while the car was running with the heater and defroster running on high.

After about 45 minutes, there were fairly large openings in the windshield and the back glass, 2 of the ice scrapers were broken and 2 people were bleeding. At least one person had asked me if I was absolutely sure I had to have my car tonight. A police car pulled up and an officer asked us what we were doing. I told him we're chipping the ice off this piece of cr@p so we can steal it. He laughed with us and drove off. We spent another hour on the glass before I was able to drive my car, dubbed the eyesore by my friends.

So, boiling a whole bunch of rice in one day and cooking most stuff outside isn't really a lot of trouble, yk?

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#383 of 699 Old 12-26-2007, 08:43 PM
 
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What about freezing and reheating in pyrex/glass? I don't want to use plastic more than necessary, but I am worried about heating a fully frozen pyrex plate. Will it explode?

I don't know... I line my pyrex with plastic (you could use wax paper or something else) and pop the frozen food out and when I need to cook it, I place it back in the pyrex (so in other words my pyrex isn't cold).


I have read here and other places that freezing pasta isn't the best idea. I have a frozen lasagna in the freezer that I made last week. It was fully cooked prior to freezing....is it going to be terrible now? What is the best way to reheat it? Should I defrost it first?


In my experience the only bad thing about freezing pasta is that after you reheat it, it could be overcooked/mushy. Not terrible, still can be eaten, but not the best texture. Next time, try undercooking pasta, or don't cook your lassagna at all before freezeing.

What about quiche? Should I defrost or just heat it frozen?

I never tried quiche, I tend to cook everything from frozen though because I only use my freezer meals when DH hasn't planned anything for dinner and it's time to eat and we don't have time to defrost it.

How does cooked chicken taste after reheated/defrosted? I kinda loathe reheated chicken, it always seems to taste weird. Since this is my first go at cooking meals ahead I am just freezing marinated uncooked breasts.

I think it tastes normal but I've never had a problem with the taste of reheated chicken.

What is this business about potatoes? I would like to make a breakfast pie with eggs, cheese, turkey bacon, potatoes in a pie shell but I worry about the taters.

I've never had success with reheating frozen mashed potatoes. They come out grainy/gritty for me.

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#384 of 699 Old 12-26-2007, 08:44 PM
 
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Oh....and one more thing, do you have to fully cool things before freezing. For example I have bucket loads of sloppy joes here. Should they be fully cooled before freezing. I am also making twice baked potatoes.
Well, I always cook meat before freezing the meal. I don't know about the potatoes because like I said I don't do frozen potatoes. I think if you don't cook potatoes before freezing they'll turn black (?)

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#385 of 699 Old 12-26-2007, 08:50 PM
 
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And now a question -- many of you have mentioned chopping up veggies and freezing them. Are you doing this raw? Like I have a head of cauliflower about to go off and I can just chop it and freeze it? And then thaw it to add to soup/curry or even eat it "raw"? If so... what veggies will work like this? Also has anyone ever frozen chopped onions in this manner?
Anything you could find in the grocery store freezer you can do it yourself at home. So that includes broccoli, cauliflower, and chopped onions. Corn, carrots, beans, peas, green beans, bell peppers of all colors, okra, I'm sure the list goes on. Don't try regular salad lettuces though, they get mushy when defrosted.

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#386 of 699 Old 12-26-2007, 08:53 PM
 
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How does cooked chicken taste after reheated/defrosted? I kinda loathe reheated chicken, it always seems to taste weird. Since this is my first go at cooking meals ahead I am just freezing marinated uncooked breasts.
I don't have a problem with chicken that has been frozen, like my enchilada recipe, but I can't stand the taste of cooked chicken that has been in the fridge for a day or 2. It does taste odd.

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#387 of 699 Old 12-27-2007, 09:12 AM
 
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bigeyes what is your mashed recipe. you don't seem to have a problem.

i made twice baked potatoes after doing a search for freezer things the other day and made about a dozen and half of them. i hope they come out ok.

recipe is here
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#388 of 699 Old 12-27-2007, 11:44 AM
 
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Oh yes, but you dont have snow! and 15 degree days like here! :


just kidding! You can feed the freezer here just by putting the stuff on the patio.
lots o' snow here! which actually makes us happy since we had a drought this past year because it was so warm here last winter. so as much as it kills us to say this, we hoped for lots of snow this year and so far we have had snow since the first week in december.

and uh, yeah, i use my inner mudroom as an extra fridge, the outer one to flash freeze stuff. :

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#389 of 699 Old 12-27-2007, 06:11 PM
 
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bigeyes what is your mashed recipe. you don't seem to have a problem.

i made twice baked potatoes after doing a search for freezer things the other day and made about a dozen and half of them. i hope they come out ok.

recipe is her

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#390 of 699 Old 12-28-2007, 10:09 AM
 
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Yes! Just chop away and flash freeze and then put in a freezer bag and take what you need when you need it!
Oh great! Thank you.

Can anyone tell me about freezing other veggies -- just freeze them fresh? Not need to parboil or anything?

Thanks again.

Oh and Amy1st -- I'm making your chicken and dumplings tonight. CAN'T wait! I hope we'll have enough left to freeze.
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