I love to plan my meals, and part of the fun is making a huge cooking day. I generally refer to it as my Freezer Cooking, because I am cooking for our freezer!
I generally make a few different dishes several times over. I then package them up and freeze them for reheating later.
When you cook “in bulk” you can save a lot. You use up whole containers instead of partial ones, you can buy the “family size” at a bit cheaper, and you always have something pretty much ready to go. It’s a lot easier on a busy day to pull something out and throw it in the oven and walk away, then to try to squeeze in cooking a full meal. That’s when we all run into the, “Hey let’s just go up the street to Subway for dinner” conundrum. Sure, that means no mess, it’s super easy, but it costs us a fortune!
So here I go. I’m having a Freezer Cook and I’m taking you along for the ride! Because of the amount of work it is, I decided to make it a series of shorter blog entries. I am photographing it, so there will be pictures for your enjoyment!
So, here is the first entry. The entry where I answer some basic questions.
Q:What is your Freezer Cook?
A: It is where I try to pre-make meals for my family to eat, to make the midweek dinner prep that much easier.
Q: Is it hard?
A: Nope. It’s actually pretty easy, especially once you get into the swing of things.
Q: How many meals do you try to make at one time?
A: Depends on how industrious I feel. Today I’m feeling ill from a migraine. Great fun, right? But I’ve got my plan and I will push through. I’m determined that way! I generally try to make no less than 4 meals and I’ve made as many as 20 in one day!
Q: 20 meals? Holy smokes! That’s a lot!
A: Actually that day I made 5 different meals four times over. Some I swapped with other people, some I kept for ourselves.
Q: What do you put things in to freeze them?
A: I like “one dish wonders” and for that I use the Gladware square baking/micro/fridge/freezer pans. They are great they are cheap, and they seem the right size for a family of roughly 4/5. Also, if I swap them away, I don’t cry if I don’t get them back. Once more, cheap. But you can also put stuff in zipclose bags or even a casserole dish.
Q: What kinds of things can you freezer cook?
A: A lot. You can make things like chili and soup, you can make pasta dishes, you can make meat dishes. I’ve even done Jumbalaya! Talk about a dish with just about everything!
Q: Geeze, you must need a big freezer?
A: Depends on how much you want to make at one time and what you use. That’s what I like about the Glad dishes. They are very stackable. Let’s face it, we’ve all played Freezer Tetris after a big shop. But, I do have a medium sized chest freezer that I usually dump mine in. I’d like to remind you that a full freezer does better resource wise (IE Your electric bill) than an empty one!
With that said, I’m off to do some work! My dishes are now clean and I’m ready to go. I’m going to do some of the easy ones first. Why? Cause I can bang them out and feel productive! HA!
So here’s my first steps when I freezer cook!
1. Formulate a plan and buy the groceries. I decide what meals I want, I shop my cupboards, pantry, and then the stores. Remember, since I’m making several of the same meal, I can buy bulk. I tend to hit the bulk stores. This time my goal is about two of each meal, mostly to share with you guys a variety of things.
2. Clear the day’s schedule.
3. Clean the kitchen and wash all your dishes.
4. Get all your stuff together to speed things up!
OK, now… I gotta get to step 5. START COOKING!!!