This is my basic plan too. Lots of pantry items, long lasting produce and freezing cooked meats (ground beef) that can be thrown together easily. I don't have enough freezer space to do lots of frozen whole meals so I think a few weeks out I'm going to make a BIG grocery run and stock up my pantry with easy things. I pretty much only have to worry about dinner since my kids can get their own breakfasts and my 9yo can even make sandwiches, eggs, etc for the other two.
hmm, I'll probably start making things starting mid-february. My fridge freezer is always pretty full, mostly with frozen veggies and fruit and chicken, but I can fit some things in there. I don't want a repeat of when ds was born, we were pretty broke then though but regardless i don't want to be eating fast food all the time or worse not at all. My dh is pretty weird about freezer food, as in he pretty much won't eat things i freeze except pancakes, muffins, naan bread and maybe lasagna, but honestly if he doesn't like the food than he can eat take out, but I know i will get pretty sick of it. I am not that picky about food, but i plan to stock up on lots of pantry items like tuna, nuts, peanut butter, rice, canned beans, canned tomatoes, cereals, etc, and I plan to freeze a lot of the basics, like cheese, bread, tortillas etc so that we can whip together quick and easy meals and dh will only have to go out for the things like bananas, lettuce, eggs and milk. I think i will plan to have lots of long lasting veggies and fruit like baby carrots, apples and oranges, things that can be eaten with little prepping
How do I freeze dough? I saw a bread recipe I like, but it makes more than we can eat. Do I just wrap the dough in plastic and put it in the freezer, then let it thaw before baking? I've never made bread before, but I would like to start doing it.
married 11/06, DD May 2009, DS April 2011successful, natural 9lbs 6oz
At least half of the stuff in the freezers just needs to be trashed. We have a turkey and a ham that are both probably 2-3 years old and we don't ever host holidays or have big gatherings, so I either need to cook them and package them up, or just get rid of them since they're probably yucky by now anyway. Most of the other stuff is odds and ends that aren't really conducive to make-ahead meals, like pounds and pounds of frozen liver. If I make that into freezer meals, those meals won't end up getting eaten because I hate the taste of liver (I have them because I cut them up into teeny tiny pieces and take them like pills, but I can't stomach it when I'm pg). Then the rest is food from Angel Food that we are actually using in our weekly meals right now since our food budget is being spent on the ingredients for freezer meals.
Oh boy would I love to come go through your freezers with you. I love a good freezer clean out. I'm not kidding. I used to go through my parent's freezer and pantry and reorganize things and toss the spoiled items. My mom loved it. I know. I'm a weirdo. I would ditch the ancient turkey and ham, unless you are game to try thawing it and cooking it. You could thaw it, cut it into quarters and just cook the meat by boiling it. You'd get a ton of nice broth and a lot of meat that would be perfect for any and every chicken casserole and soup recipe you want to make. And it is basically FREE because it's either use it or lose it. Then with the additional space you would clear from that other "trash" (your words remember), you would have PLENTY of room for anything you wanted to cook.
I'm trying to hold off on cooking until March. But you all are so encouraging, I just want to go for it now!
And we are joyfully awaiting a new addition in April 2011! <><
Some recipe sites
http://www.dvo.com/newsletter/monthly/2003/march/remedy4.html - storage life of frozen foods
I'm making chicken enchiladas tonight and am doing a double batch to freeze one. Anyone have success with that? Seems like it should work out.
What I have made and frozen so far:
creamy red pepper soup, done
already had a lasagna
I guess that is it lol. I need to make some breakfast breads and freeze those. I found a blueberry french toast casserole that sounded good, plus pancakes. Other than that, I will probably just freeze some chicken with a marinade in the bag with it and stock up on food.
This is a very inspirational thread ladies! I hadn't thought of making breakfast foods ahead of time but I think I will definitely make some muffins and freeze them, love the sound of the french toast casserole too.
For dinners I'm thinking of lasagna, maybe quiche (I make it with a pizza dough crust, hopefully it will freeze well), some saucy pasta dishes (penne, rotini, or ziti most likely), maybe some soups or curries too? I think I'll also cook up a whole bunch of chicken breasts, cut them up and freeze - that way they're easy to make into a simple soup or stir fry with some frozen veggies (that we get in giant bags from Costco) and rice/noodles. I need some aluminum roasting pans, but for the quiche I like the idea of freezing and then removing from a Pyrex container for storage.
I have been ROCKING on the freezer meals, but I tell you I am exhausted! I have one more thing to make tomorrow, and then I'm done. My chest freezer is full and I need to leave room in the kitchen freezer for meals from friends. I have 2 weeks worth of dinners, and a small variety of snacks. I'm very happy with that :-)
THANK YOU for the ideas and inspiration. I never did this with my first two pregnancies and I feel so accomplished for doing it with this one!
We finally bought a freezer--it gets here next week! Can't wait to start filling it. I hope I can get a decent stash of food in there before the baby comes! I think I might start with a giant pile of pirozhki...mmmm.
do you guys have any suggestions for freezer meals i could make with roasted turkey? I know soup is a possibility, and I could just freeze the meat... but we've got 20lbs of turkey to use up, i'd love to do something productive with it.
Mmmmm. Turkey hash, turkey pot pies, BBQ turkey, creamed turkey. I'd think you can use it in just about anything you'd use chicken in, too.