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Discussion Starter #1
I know we've had threads on this, but they are pretty far back now, and as one who's never really planned meals ahead of time, I'm wondering when you would start doing this? I've been stockpiling local meats so that I can make some casseroles, etc before the baby comes, but I'm not sure when I should get to work on that. I'm 30 weeks now. I guess frozen casseroles and soups should last several months in the freezer, right?<br><br>
Question #2: What kinds of containers do you use? They have to be something you can put in the oven, I guess, but I don't like the plastic ones. Not for cooking. Do you buy disposable aluminum? Something else?<br><br>
Have you started feeding the freezer yet?
 

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I look at my list of items I want to make for the freezer about 3x per week. not much more progress than that!! I've made about 6 things, and eaten 3 of those things already. (why did I think that I could leave dark chocolate fudge walnut brownies for 3 months?!?!?!)<br><br>
I've put some extra servings in the freezer of baked macaroni and some other dishes- for the macaroni, I just make a pouch out of wax paper, then cover it in foil. when it's frozen, both wraps peel off nicely, and then I figure I'll put them into some kind of an oven safe dish to cook.<br><br>
some other things are in wide shallow remekins, more like mini pie dishes. but, they've been in the freezer for a few weeks and I'm missing them.<br><br>
Ideally, we would be able to afford all glass/ceramic containers. not so.<br><br>
I might get some of those aluminum bread pans (the 6x3 size) to freeze portions of 2 for things like lasagna, casseroles, etc....<br><br>
dont worry though, I DO have a pumpkin pie already in there. the things I crave....
 

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HI.<br>
I've been freezing leftovers, in single servings, since my DH is away from home half the month for work. This provides me with instant homemade meals. As for multiple-serving meals, I haven't made anything.... yet. I've been into baking, so I've been freezing half of what I make. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Eat"><br><br>
I've been using freezer bags and freezer paper for meat. But I am wondering how to go about freezing casseroles.? I figured the aluminum pans will work but does anyone know how to go about wrapping it for freezing?<br><br><br>
Where I got some tips:<br><a href="http://allrecipes.com/HowTo/Freezing-Foods-A-Real-Time-Saver/Detail.aspx" target="_blank">Freezing Foods tips</a><br><br><br>
Recommended storage times for popular precooked foods to ensure high-quality results (from above link):<br><br><div style="text-align:center;">Type of Food<br><br>
Tomato/vegetable sauces: 6 months<br>
Meatloaf (any type of meat): 6 months<br>
Soups and stews: 2-3 months<br>
Poultry and Meat Casseroles: 6 months<br>
Poultry (cooked, no gravy): 3 months<br>
Poultry (with gravy/sauce): 5-6 months<br>
Meatballs in sauce: 6 months<br>
Pizza dough (raw, homemade): 3-4 weeks<br>
Muffins/quick breads (baked): 2-3 months</div>
<br><br>
Hope that helps. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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I have..it's officially stuffed and fed.<br><br>
I've never done that before, as I've always been more of the "prepare for baby/nursery" than prepare for real life, LOL! As a result, I'm always 6 days PP and in the kitchen cooking..not fun. We don't do fast food (occasional pizza) and my husband doesn't cook...sooo....<br><br>
What I have done is use a few of my glass pyrex. I'm fortunate to have quite a few of them, so those things that can be defrosted in the pyrex, and heated in the oven after, are good...So, the lasagna, chicken enchiladas, pasta primavera and a cake are all in pyrex.<br><br>
Things like washed, and frozen fruits for smoothies, I just put in a ziploc freezer bag. I have a few steaks in separate marinade bags, and one with stir fry veggies and pieces of meat in a marinade in a bag, alongside some brown rice in a bag. It should be easy to stir fry the meat/veggie marinade and then add in the rice. I have chicken breasts, and pizza dough and cookie dough all in well wrapped portions and then into a freezer bag. I have a ton of freezer bags in there, labeled for easy finding and prep for me or DH (we'll see) and then they can be re-used for something else since they are outer wrap only in some cases.<br><br>
Other things I have made are giant blueberry muffins, banana bread and breakfast burritos-all of which I wrapped in wax paper, plastic wrap and then a few in each large ziploc freezer bag.<br><br>
I have read a lot that the key to freezing is good storage, so I wanted to make sure I didn't go through the work just to toss it cause' it tastes like licking the interior of the freezer.<br><br>
So, I think that's about all I'm going to do. I might store up some homeade bread, and some good store bought dinner breads/buns..but not sure. Last time I did that, I bought some from Costco and didn't double wrap and had to toss it..I hate wasting food.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
MFQ -- your bit about good storage to prevent freezer burn makes me wonder if it's worth it to try cooking ahead of time. I'm lucky that DH does most of the cooking, anyway, and as long as we're stocked up on things like ground beef and chicken (which we are), he can make some of the quick protein rich meals I'll be craving pp. It's just that I really like to cook when I get the chance, and I cook things that he doesn't (like soups and casseroles; he's more of a tacos, spaghetti, and fajitas guy), and I know I won't feel like cooking after the baby is here.<br><br>
Another hesitation is that we'll have tons of garden veggies coming in around my due date, and I'd hate to not be using those for fresh meals.<br><br>
Maybe I'll just ask my friends and family to feed my freezer for me if they ask what we need for the baby, and I'll get my freezer fix that way <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Freeze the food in your glass pyrex dishes or ceramic bowls, then after totally frozen put warm water in your sink and set the dish in just long enough to loosen from the dish. Then you can either put it in ziplock freezer bags or wrap with freezer paper and plastic or foil. That way you can continue using your dishes to make more food, and only miss them for a day or two.<br><br>
If you do a whole lasagna or whatever, when you're ready to re-heat - just unwrap and put back in the original dish for reheating in the oven. Although, if there are just two of you I think that cutting individual or 2 servings and then wrapping/freezing those is better - because you probably won't want a whole lasagna at one time, and then you'll get more variety.<br><br>
I made a big pot of chicken veggie soup, and used several bowls to freeze individual portions, then removed them. They will fit perfectly into our bowls for reheating. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I haven't started yet but, I plan to in the next few weeks. I never did this before with any of my other pregnancies so, I am hoping it will really help out!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">
<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Yeliab</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15431391"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Freeze the food in your glass pyrex dishes or ceramic bowls, then after totally frozen put warm water in your sink and set the dish in just long enough to loosen from the dish. Then you can either put it in ziplock freezer bags or wrap with freezer paper and plastic or foil. That way you can continue using your dishes to make more food, and only miss them for a day or two.<br><br>
If you do a whole lasagna or whatever, when you're ready to re-heat - just unwrap and put back in the original dish for reheating in the oven. Although, if there are just two of you I think that cutting individual or 2 servings and then wrapping/freezing those is better - because you probably won't want a whole lasagna at one time, and then you'll get more variety.<br><br>
I made a big pot of chicken veggie soup, and used several bowls to freeze individual portions, then removed them. They will fit perfectly into our bowls for reheating. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"></div>
</td>
</tr></table></div>
Great ideas! Thanks!
 

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My MIL is coming to stay for the weeks before and after baby comes, AND my DH will be home on full pay for the first 2 weeks, so I am not doing much. I might make a few huge batches of spaghetti sauce or soups though, just for the crazy days or in case I have a c/s and MIL is home alone with the four kids. Thanks for starting this thread and reminding me....!
 

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I'm more of a canner than a freezer...so I'm planning on making some pasta sause (come on 4th of July tomatoes!), some soups, salsas, etc. As long as the ingredients are there, including things like sauces and condements, my DH is a pretty decent cook. And I don't mind eating cheese, fruit, and crackers, PBJ and other easy meals for me and DD when DH is at work.
 

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We have very limited freezer space this time around. When we moved recently we has to get rid of the the full stand up freezer we have had in the past & now only have the freezer on top of the fridge. I have given up on buying in bulk & 'feeding the freezer' because of this.<br><br>
I'd really like to have a nice full freezer for when baby comes though. So what are your essentials? I am not sure if I can do many full meals, though I may atleast stock up on some of our fav frozen convience items from Trader Joes <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/duck.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Duck">. The only other thing I still do is beans because I can freeze 2 cups flat in a quart freezer bag & they take up very little space. (we are vegetarian so we eat beans rather than meat <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink">)<br><br>
We are low on pantry space too but what essentials are you trying to keep in there as well? For us so far it is pasta, spagetti sauce, nut butters & crackers/pretzels for the kids.<br><br>
ETA: I am expecting the temps to be in the low 100s when baby comes so using the oven is out!! We do have a toaster over however.
 
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