After-Baby Freezer Meal Ideas - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-23-2008, 01:44 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I've seen this come up on lots of different threads and I think it'd be great to share some recipes. There's freezer meal thread in the meal planning forum, but I'd love to know what everyone is cooking and freezing before baby's born.

Please post your ideas *and* recipes (unless it's really obvious, like lasagna ).

Charlotte, midwife to some awesome women, wife to Jason, and no longer a mama to all boys S reading.gif('01), A nut.gif ('03) S lol.gif ('08) and L love.gif ('10).
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Old 07-23-2008, 02:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Disclaimer: we aren't vegetarians or vegans, but we *try* to eat as healthy as our budget allows

I've only frozen two meals so far, from the same recipe:

Spinach, Black Bean and spicy Yellow Rice Casserole

Rice:
1 T veg oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 medium onion, minced
3/4 c uncooked long grain rice
3/4 t tumeric
1 1/2 c chicken or vegetable broth, boiling hot
1/4t salt

Heat the oil in a 2 quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onion, rice, and tumeric. cook, stirring often until the onion is softened. Add the chicken stock or borth, the salt and pepper. Mix well. Simmer, covered, until the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Let the rice rest off the heat for 5 minutes. Fluff with fork and adjust seasoning.

Black Beans:
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1T chili powder

Combine the black beans with the chili powder and set aside.

Spinach:
1T veg oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 10-ounce packages frozen leaf spinach, thawed (don't squeeze dry)
1/4t salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
2-4 T water, as needed

Heat the oil in a 10 inch skillet over high heat. When it is hot, add the garlic, spinach, salt, pepper, and 2T of the water. cook, stirring often, until the garlic is fragrant (about 2 mins). Add more water if the spinach is not moist, with loose leaves (it should not be compacted together).

Casserole Assembly:
1 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
Rice mixture
Black bean mixture
Spinach mixture

Spoon half of the spinach into the bottom of a 2 quart casserle dish, spreading it out evenly. Layer the rice on top, then the beans, the remaining spinach and the cheese.

Bake covered at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until sizzling. Serve by spooning into tortillias with sour cream, salsa and guacamole and wrapping into a burrito.

Charlotte, midwife to some awesome women, wife to Jason, and no longer a mama to all boys S reading.gif('01), A nut.gif ('03) S lol.gif ('08) and L love.gif ('10).
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Old 07-23-2008, 02:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Other ideas I'm working on:

Lasagna (of course!)
Breakfast bake (or two, but I don't really have any good recipes..hint hint)
Chicken and dumplings (I'm thinking I'll mix the dry dumpling ingredients, put them in a ziplock bag and tape them to the casserole dish, then all I'll have to do is add the milk and oil and drop the dumplings into the pan to cook for 10 minutes and they won't get goopy from being frozen)

My goal is to bake two of 15 meals for a total of 30 meals frozen. That'll give us two to three meals a week for 5-8 weeks and we'll have church memebers bringing us meals for two weeks after baby (usually starting on day 2...they're not fast enough for us homebirthers .

Charlotte, midwife to some awesome women, wife to Jason, and no longer a mama to all boys S reading.gif('01), A nut.gif ('03) S lol.gif ('08) and L love.gif ('10).
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Old 07-23-2008, 03:08 PM
 
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I'm subbing because I need ideas! I'm vegan, DH is omnivore--makes it fun!

Catherine, mama to Preschooler Girl 9/08, and Toddler Boy 3/11

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Old 07-23-2008, 03:33 PM
 
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That spinach/black bean thing sounds delicious! I have a bunch of spinach in my freezer too from our CSA.

So far all I have is a lasagna.

Me+DH (2006)
DS (2005)
DD (2008)
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Old 07-23-2008, 03:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Catherine, the link I posted has some veg. recipes that might be easy to make vegan. And this post is specifically vegetarian recipes. I thought I'd post it in case someone else doesn't have the patience to get to page 40 .

Charlotte, midwife to some awesome women, wife to Jason, and no longer a mama to all boys S reading.gif('01), A nut.gif ('03) S lol.gif ('08) and L love.gif ('10).
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Old 07-23-2008, 03:56 PM
 
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Charmie, what would I do without you? Thanks so much for the link!

Catherine, mama to Preschooler Girl 9/08, and Toddler Boy 3/11

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Old 07-23-2008, 04:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Breakfast Casserole Recipes: http://www.bbonline.com/recipe/casse...breakfast.html

It's a little bit overwhelming!

Charlotte, midwife to some awesome women, wife to Jason, and no longer a mama to all boys S reading.gif('01), A nut.gif ('03) S lol.gif ('08) and L love.gif ('10).
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Old 07-23-2008, 05:14 PM
 
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April thankful mommy to my boys Big Red 3/06 Little Z 9/08 and happily awaiting the arrival of 10/10 :
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Old 07-23-2008, 11:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Anyone?

I've been working on my list all day and have it finalized and am about halfway through the grocery list, which will be MONSTROUS!

Here's the menu, with links where appropriate/possible:
Lasagna
Chili
Shredded BBQ meat
Cheesy Potato and Corn Chowder (sans the velveeta )
Chicken Enchiladas
Minestrone
Shepherd's Pie
Lentil Soup
Thai Squash Soup
Zucchini beef bake
Mustard Balsalmic Chicken
Honey Sesame Chicken

Spinach, Yellow Rice and Black Bean Casserole
Sherry Chicken Casserole
Chicken Pot Pies
Chicken and Dumplings
Breakfast Casserole #1
Breakfast Casserole #2
Corn for Breakfast

Blueberry oat muffins
Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins
Bread

And at some point, I'll look at last year's list of Christmas cookies and make the dough for those, in preparation for this year's cookies.

Charlotte, midwife to some awesome women, wife to Jason, and no longer a mama to all boys S reading.gif('01), A nut.gif ('03) S lol.gif ('08) and L love.gif ('10).
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Old 07-23-2008, 11:32 PM
 
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My Mom and I spent a solid week cooking last time and I had a freezer full of delicious food. Here's some of what we made and froze, we made both veggie and meat versions of most:

Borscht (made with and without meat)
Lasagna (made veggie and meat versions)
Enchiladas (black bean and chicken & black bean and rice)
Cannelloni (veggie only)
Shepherd's Pie (Meat & Roasted vegetable versions)
Chicken Pot Pie
Pasta sauce (Meat and veggie versions, just thaw and serve over pasta or julienned and steamed zucchini)
Swedish meatballs
Chili (meat and veggie)

I plan on doing it again this time but I expect I'll appreciate it even more with a winter baby. Logan was born in July and it was just too hot to stick stuff in the oven most days. (Not in your DDC)
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Old 07-24-2008, 02:17 AM
 
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We didn't do this with DD because we were staying with the in-laws but I'll definitely have to see if DH wants to do it now. He's the cook in our family.
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Old 07-24-2008, 10:54 AM
 
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Oh I'm so glad you started this thread, Charmie - i really need to work on this......

I'll be back later to post my ideas!
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Old 07-24-2008, 12:42 PM
 
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My Mom is a chef and is coming up the second weekend in August to stock our basement freezer. She wants me to plan the menu (we are vegetarian she is not) and make a grocery list. So this is on my list of things to do...

So far I have

"Chicken" pot pie (made with seitan)
Lasagna
Mac -n-cheese
Stuffed shells
Shepherds pie (with veggie burger crumble)
Lentil soup
Corn Chowder
"Chicken" noodle soup (with tofu)
Lentil loaf

My goal is to also put up a bunch of bread, veggie burgers etc, fruit (we are blueberry/strawberry picking next week), banana bread, zucchini bread etc

AP crunchy homeschooling mama to Henning (1/4/03), Connor (7/1/05) and Elijah (9/21/08) Forever holding my 3 lost little ones in my heart.
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Old 07-24-2008, 02:25 PM
 
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Alyssa, do you have a recipe for the "chicken" pot pie and "chicken" noodle soup?

Catherine, mama to Preschooler Girl 9/08, and Toddler Boy 3/11

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Old 07-24-2008, 06:40 PM
 
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I do but I am on my way out of town. I will leave myself a note to post them when I get back in on Monday (if not remind me!)

AP crunchy homeschooling mama to Henning (1/4/03), Connor (7/1/05) and Elijah (9/21/08) Forever holding my 3 lost little ones in my heart.
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Old 07-24-2008, 08:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charmie981 View Post
Other ideas I'm working on:

Lasagna (of course!)
Breakfast bake (or two, but I don't really have any good recipes..hint hint)
Chicken and dumplings (I'm thinking I'll mix the dry dumpling ingredients, put them in a ziplock bag and tape them to the casserole dish, then all I'll have to do is add the milk and oil and drop the dumplings into the pan to cook for 10 minutes and they won't get goopy from being frozen)

My goal is to bake two of 15 meals for a total of 30 meals frozen. That'll give us two to three meals a week for 5-8 weeks and we'll have church memebers bringing us meals for two weeks after baby (usually starting on day 2...they're not fast enough for us homebirthers .
Holy moly! You have room for all of this??? Do you have a deep freezer??
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Old 07-24-2008, 08:56 PM
 
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I'm hungry now.

Cari-mama to Eriq, Lile, Paikea, Kaidyn, and Mieke is here!! 2/9/10
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Old 07-24-2008, 08:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by jenniferadurham View Post
Holy moly! You have room for all of this??? Do you have a deep freezer??
Lol. Yes. I have a large upright deep freezer in my laundry room. We got it this spring and I've been really bad about feeding it, so mostly it holds popsicles and ice right now .

ETA: even w/o a deep freeze, it's fairly easy to fit a month's worth of meals into the freezer. One suggestion I've read is to put the food into a ziplock bag, then place the bag into a 8x8 pan, then freeze and after the food is frozen, remove the pan. Then your foods will stack.

another suggestion is to line the casserole dish with aluminum foil, freeze the food, remove the aluminium foil and wrap the food with it, then place it in the freezer sans the dish. Then put the food back into the casserole dish it was frozen in to bake. Since I have the space, I've been collecting Glad reuseable oven ware for freezing, though :.

Charlotte, midwife to some awesome women, wife to Jason, and no longer a mama to all boys S reading.gif('01), A nut.gif ('03) S lol.gif ('08) and L love.gif ('10).
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Old 07-24-2008, 09:57 PM
 
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Anybody know what the best, easiest way to freeze homemade pizza dough is? I know my mom has sometimes frozen lumps of dough that are ready to defrost, roll out, top, and bake, but is it possible to bake (partially?) and then freeze?

Catherine, mama to Preschooler Girl 9/08, and Toddler Boy 3/11

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Old 07-24-2008, 10:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Catherine, when I do homemade pizza, I always bake the dough at 400* for about 10 minutes, then top it and put it back in the oven for another 10 minutes. I think freezing it after the first 10 minute bake would yeild the results you're looking for...you could pull it out of the freezer, defrost for an hour or so, top and bake.

Charlotte, midwife to some awesome women, wife to Jason, and no longer a mama to all boys S reading.gif('01), A nut.gif ('03) S lol.gif ('08) and L love.gif ('10).
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Old 07-24-2008, 11:55 PM
 
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Sherry Chicken Casserole
Can you post the recipe for this one??

Quote:
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At what point do you freeze this?? I wonder if it will end up being watery??
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Old 07-25-2008, 12:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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At what point do you freeze this?? I wonder if it will end up being watery??
I think I'm going to bake them all the way, then freeze them. I just can't see that frozen raw eggs would go over well.

I'll post the chicken casserole recipe tomorrow .

Charlotte, midwife to some awesome women, wife to Jason, and no longer a mama to all boys S reading.gif('01), A nut.gif ('03) S lol.gif ('08) and L love.gif ('10).
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Old 07-25-2008, 10:07 PM
 
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We've got potato allergies in this household. Has anyone tried to sub out the potatoes in those breakfast casseroles (or similar ones)?

Mama to Munchkin  and Chickadee ...and co-parent to 3 additional bundles of energy!
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Old 07-25-2008, 10:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I imagine cooked rice would be a pretty easy sub. for potatoes, but I haven't actually tried any of the breakfast casserole recipes, so I'm not sure.

Sherry Chicken Casserole:
Sauce:
3T butter
1/2 c sliced celery
3/4 c chopped onion
2 c quartered mushrooms
3T flour
1/4 c dry sherry
3c chicken stock
"Generous pinch freshly grated nutmeg" (I sub a dash of dried here)
Few drops of hot pepper sauce
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the butter in a 2qt pan over medium high heat. When hot, add celery, onion, and mushrooms. Cook about 5 minutes, or until veggies are soft. Sprinkle the flour over the vegetables and stir until combined. Slowly add the sherry and stock to the pan and stir mixture constantly until thick and smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the nutmeg, pepper sauce, salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer to large mixing bowl and add:
2c corn kernels (canned-drained, frozen-thawed or fresh)
1c tiny frozen peas, thawed
3oz egg noodles, cooked and drained
3c cubed cooked chicken

Spread into greased 10-quart casserole (10 quarts? That sounds really big...I've made thie before and it's not THAT big!).

Combine 1c fresh breadcrumbs, 1/2 c grated parm cheese and 1T butter, melted. Sprinkle evenly over the surface of the casserole.

(at this point, cover and freeze. Defrost in fridge prior to cooking)

Bake at 350*, uncovered, until the casserole is hot and the top golden brown, about 40-50 mins (longer if chilled). Let rest 10 minutes before serving. Yields 6-8 servings.

Charlotte, midwife to some awesome women, wife to Jason, and no longer a mama to all boys S reading.gif('01), A nut.gif ('03) S lol.gif ('08) and L love.gif ('10).
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Old 07-26-2008, 09:55 PM
 
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(This is my first post on this DDC. I am a first time mama due in September too!)

I just started making my list of what I'd like to freeze. Here are some things that have made it to my list. They're all vegetarian.

Gazpacho (recipe follows) (can easily be vegan)
Spinach Dhal (recipe follows) (vegan)
Veggie burgers
Cauliflower soup (recipe follows) (vegan)
Pasta/pizza sauce
Pinto beans, spinach and rice (recipe follows) (vegan)
Freeze and pack burritos (I haven't tried this recipe yet.)
Zucchini Cheddar bread


Tortellini Gazpacho

from Feeding the Healthy Vegetarian Family by Ken Haedrich



1/2 pound ripe tomatoes

1 1/2 cups V-8 juice

1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced

1 medium green or red bell pepper, finely chopped

1 small red onion, finely chopped

2 small inner celery ribs, finely chopped

2-3 T red wine vinegar

2 T lemon juice

juice of 1/2 lime

2 T olive oil

1-2 T chopped fresh basil

1-2 T chopped fresh parsley

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

2-3 T finely chopped pickled jalapeño pepper (optional)

10 oz cheese tortellini



Mr. Haedrich says to put it together like this: peel, core and seed the tomato and then mix it in with everything else, minus the tortellini. Stick it in the fridge for at least 2 hours. Add the cooked tortellini a half hour before serving. Instead of all that chopping, I like to put it all (minus the tortellini) in the blender and let 'er rip.

Spinach Dhal
from Curried Favors by Maya Kaimal MacMillan

1 cup green or yellow split peas

2.5 cups water


1/3 of a 10-oz package of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and partially drained
OR
2 cups fresh spinach, finely chopped

1/2 cup grated unsweetened coconut

1 teaspoon minced garlic

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup water or as needed


1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds

2 dried red peppers

10 curry leaves OR 2 bay leaves

1 tablespoon vegetable oil



In a 3-quart saucepan, bring the split peas and the water (2.5 cups) to a boil. Turn down the heat and cover. Let it simmer 45 minutes, watching for spilling.



When the peas are cooked and completely tender, mash with potato masher or back of spoon 6 to 8 times, to break up roughly. Add chopped spinach. As mixture begins to simmer again, add coconut, garlic, cumin, cayenne and salt and continue to simmer for another 20 minutes. Add 1/2 cup water or more if necessary to maintain consistency of moderately thick soup. Remove from heat.



In a small covered frying pan, heat mustard seeds, dried red peppers and curry leave sin oil over medium-high heat until mustard seeds begin to pop. Pour contents of skillet over cooked peas and stir. Taste for salt. Serve over rice!

Cauliflower Soup

1/4 c olive oil
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 red onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 bay leaves
pinch of hot red pepper flakes
4 cups veg. broth (original recipe calls for chicken broth)
1 cup tomato sauce
1 cup orzo

In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high head. Add florets and cook, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes

Add onion, garlic, bay leaves and pepper flakes. Cook 5 more minutes.

Add stock and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add enough water to bring liquid back to original level. [THIS IS WHERE I WOULD FREEZE IT.] Add orzo and cook according to package directions.

Taste for salt and pepper. Consistency should be close to porridge.

Pinto Beans, Spinach, and Rice
 (I've never frozen this.)
From Feeding the Healthy Vegetarian Family by Ken Haedrich



1/2 cup dried pinto beans, picked over and rinsed
(or you can use a 19-oz can of beans. don't forget to rinse 'em!)

1 1/2 cups long grain brown rice

3 cups water

3/4 teaspoon salt

1 unsalted bouillon cube (or equivalent)

1 medium carrot, finely chopped

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup chopped onions

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder

1 10-ounce package chopped frozen spinach, thawed



If using dried beans: Using your preferred method, cook the beans. Reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water.



Combine the rice, water, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a medium saucepan. Crumble up half of the bouillon cube and add it to the rice along with the carrot. Bring to a boil, then cover the saucepan and cook over very low heat for about 35 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the rice is tender. Remove from the heat and set aside.



Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy non-reactive skillet. Stir in the onion and sauté over medium heat for 7 minutes, until translucent. Stir in the garlic and chili powder, sauté
for 30 seconds more, then stir in the spinach. Crumble the remaining half of the bouillon cube into the reserved bean water, whisking well to dissolve. Add the water to
the pan with an additional 1/4 teaspoon salt and gently simmer the spinach for 5 minutes, until much of the excess water has evaporated.



Stir the cooked rice and beans into the spinach and heat the dish, stirring, for 5 minutes until hot.

This is good for burrito fillings with avocados and salsa. Yum! :
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Old 07-28-2008, 02:48 AM
 
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Wheee, my first freezer contribution! I made pizza tonight and doubled the crust recipe so I have two extra semi-baked crusts to stash in the freezer (thanks Charmie!).

Catherine, mama to Preschooler Girl 9/08, and Toddler Boy 3/11

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Old 07-28-2008, 10:28 AM
 
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Charmie..I like your ideas for making things "compact" to fit in the freezer. However, I seriously doubt we'll have room for all of our frozen goods (my friends are being so kind as to host a "freezer food pary" for me). Anyhow, any advice on what would be small and energy efficient for freezing. I'm imagining these huge deep freezers (which I really don't have room for), and really hoping there is something else to put it in. We don't really normally freeze much (we're vegetarian and I'm horrible about stocking up), so it seems a waste to buy something expensive. Any ideas??
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Old 07-28-2008, 12:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Inexpensive chest freezer that measures 22.0 x 24.88 x 32.88[


(I know, it's at Wal-Mart, but I knew I'd seen one in a store somewhere)

Charlotte, midwife to some awesome women, wife to Jason, and no longer a mama to all boys S reading.gif('01), A nut.gif ('03) S lol.gif ('08) and L love.gif ('10).
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Old 07-28-2008, 12:59 PM
 
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Yep, Erica, we have one of those small freezers, too. It was about that same price. We bought ours at Sears. Without it, there's no way we'd have room even for our regular shopping.

Catherine, mama to Preschooler Girl 9/08, and Toddler Boy 3/11

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