Monday, November 29, 2010

freezer cooking

When I had my second child 4.5 years ago, I wondered how I would ever get anything done . . . especially things like cooking. I wanted to continue to cook healthy and not break the bank either. So, I asked my husand to get me a freezer for the garage . . . I had one two days later that he purchased off of Craigslist. I started doubling recipes whenever I cooked so that I could stockpile meals in the freezer. I just used my own recipes . . . I didn't realized there were books out there dealing with this very topic . . . until recently.

My neighbor and I got together yesterday and made 32 meals in 3.25 hours. We each took home 16 meals. We didn't make 16 different recipes, we made 7 different recipes. This is what my freezer looked like after I stocked it . . . and I still have room for more!

What I am most excited about is that I have meals to get me through the month of December . . . which means I will have more time to spend baking cookies with my kids, wrapping gifts and doing Christmas stuff! The other great thing about freezer cooking is that I always have a meal on hand if someone I know is in need.

Here are a couple of books I recently discovered that are so helpful in getting you started in the process of buying in bulk and cooking a months worth of meals in a day:

The Everything Meals for a Month Cookbook
This book talks about bulk cooking and has recipes organized by type and servings for 4-18, with all the measurements broken down for you.
Once a Month Cooking Family Favorites
This book is broken down into cycles. You choose a cycle that you like and the book gives you the shopping list and recipes for that cycle. Really easy! This book even has a gluten-free cycle.

Do you make freezer meals? Have any favorite recipes or books? Leave me a comment or if you have a recipe link from your blog, please share!

I am working on some new layouts that I will be sharing soon . . . well, soon is a relative term . . . but my deadline is in two weeks, so it will be before then! Have a great Monday!


Anonymous said...

Brenda that is BRILLIANT! What a great idea. Thank you so much for the links. With my four always coming and going this idea will definitely help make winter easier :)

Donna Jannuzzi said...

Hehe, I see those bags of peas and sweet corn from Trader Joe's. Those are my favorites too. I'm never out as I keep an extra bag or two in our deep freezer as well. :) But to answer your question, I don't do freezer cooking. I want to start though - a little. Especially with #3 on its way.

Unknown said...

THis is fascinating!! what 7 recipes did you use? I did alot more freezing of fresh goods this fall; zucchini, pumpkin & squash, bananas, green beans and homemade applesauce & once a month I do a big dish of mac n cheese & freeze it into 4 mealsize portions for the childcare. other than that I am open for all kinds of suggestions so keep them coming :)

Jennifer Larson said...

I wish I had a bigger freezer...this is a great idea!

Christal and Craig said...

Craig and I have discussed the benefits of a freezer. We've seen them on Craigslist, but not what we want. And we aren't quite ready to buy a new one (what only working 1/2 of the last 2 yrs does!). We really want to freeze our produce. I've done this before, but it was a meal exchange type, so we exchanged once a month and got 5 different meals. Only problem was that they didn't cook the way I do so it wasn't always healthy or good for that matter...

cj said...

You would love the book called, Don't Panic, Dinner's in the Freezer. I love having meals ready in my freezer.

Unknown said...

WOW!!! I am super impressed at your site and amazed at your great recipes and ideas. I know a whole new side of you now! What a gal! I really need to learn some things from you because the Kitchen is not my comfort spot in the house..... Any - this is what I really wanted to comment about on this particular picture
The CC of Vacaville has 8 gals that meal share EACH week or each month or every other week... im not sure. But they each make 8 of the same meal and bring it to classes and put them in the freezer, then take home. Each gal goes home with 8 different meals!!! I love that idea. I can make one thing 8 times! Less thinking on my part.