Tuesday, November 19, 2013

November, 2013 Freezer Cooking

My sister and I have once again invested alot of time today so that we can not work so hard later!  What do I mean by that?  Freezer Cooking.  It is a foreign idea to most.  It is preparing a large quanty of one recipe to put in the freezer to bake later when you are ready to eat it.  Or  you can save it for when you are too busy to make a good meal.  Some might think it is warmed up food but it's not.  You prepare the recipe and skip the last baking step.  You can make as many as you are able in a day.  Or triple one recipe a week and after a month's time, you would have 12 dishes in the freezer!  It is very simple!

We have learned alot in the years we have been freezer cooking.  1. Do some prep work the day before.  It will go faster on cooking day.  (Like peeling potatoes or browning burger)  2. Do it with a friend.  A lot more fun!  3. Check and double check your grocery list so that you are not in the middle of a recipe and realize you don't have enough of an ingredient.  4.  Practice makes perfect!

From today's work, we each have 36 dishes in the freezer.  It is a really good feeling to know that my family will eat a good meal without much stress.  No questions of "What do I make for supper?"

Cheeseburger Rice Soup
1 pound hamburger
3/4 cup each celery, onion, and carrots
1 1/2 cups uncooked rice
3 cups milk
8 oz. sour cream
1/2 pound Velveeta cheese
1 teaspoon beef boullion
salt and pepper to taste
Brown meat.  Cook rice separately.  Cook vegetables separately.  Add everything together.

A double recipe makes 1 gallon of soup.  I did 4 times the recipe and got 4 gallon bags with 10 cups of soup in each.

Poppy Seed Chicken
4 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed
2 Tablespoons poppy seeds
1 can of cream of chicken soup
8 oz. sour cream
1 sleeve of Ritz crackers, crushed
1/2 pound of butter
Mix chicken, poppy seeds, chicken soup, and sour cream.  Melt butter and mix into cracker crumbs.  Put chicken mixture in pan and put cracker crumbs on top.  Bake til heated through.

We used 5 pounds of chicken and 4 times the recipe.  I divided it evenly between 4 pans.

I use my mom's recipe for meatloaf except this time I used a little more burger to make stiffer meatballs.  The recipe is Here.  I used 2 pounds of burger instead of 1 1/2 pounds per recipe.  The rest of the ingredients are the same.  I topped it with equal amounts of brown sugar and ketchup-approximately 2 cups of each for 4 times the recipe.  Recipe is here.  I got 52  meatballs in 4 different pans.

Go here for the recipe.  Actually it is the same as the meatballs above except the amount of burger the recipe calls for.  It is really the best meatloaf recipe!

Refrigerator Mashed Potatoes
This is a recipe we usually do every time we do Freezer Cooking.  Go here for the recipe.  We usually do 20 pounds of potatoes but this time, we only did 10 pounds which is 2 times the recipe in the link.  I got 3 one gallon bags with 8 cups of potatoes in each.

Loaded Mashed Potatoes
This is a Pinterest recipe :)! Sorry, I can't give you the exact link.  But it is a new recipe for us and might be a keeper!  Here it is-
8 med. potatoes (2 1/2-3 lbs) peeled and cubed
1 cup evaporated milk (we used reg. milk)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cups cheddar cheese
6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled (we used precooked in a bag.  You will find it in the salad dressing aisle.)
Cook potatoes and drain. Add everything but 1/2 cup of the cheese and half of the bacon. (We just mixed it all in.)   Put into baking dish or freezer container/bag.  Put reserved cheese and bacon on top.  Bake 350 for 40-45 minutes.
We did this recipe 4 times and I got 4 gallon bags with 8 cups of loaded mashed potatoes!

Crockpot Beef Tips with Gravy
This recipe comes from The Country Cook.  It is a simple one and a good one for the crockpot.

1 1/2 pounds of beef tips or stew meat (I used a round roast and cut it in chunks)
1 pack onion soup mix
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can beef broth
Mix all together.  Cook in crockpot on low for 6-8 hours.  Serve on top of mashed potatoes or noodles.
We did this 4 times the recipe and got 4 dishes.  We froze this in gallon bags.

Gourmet Potatoes
This is another recipe that we usually put in the freezer.  For some reason I have failed to post this recipe before now.  So here it is-
6 med. potatoes cooked and grated (2 quarts grated)
2 cups grated cheese
4 Tablespoons butter
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Mix altogether.  Put in gallon bags.  I got 4 bags with 7 cups in each.

Lasagna Toss
This is a good variation of good old Lasagna.
12 lasagna noodles, broken into large pieces
1 pound  burger
1 (26 oz) jar spaghetti sauce
1 cup cottage cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Cook noodles til soft and drain.  Brown burger and drain.  Add noodles and remaining ingredients except mozzarella cheese and mix well.  Layer half of noodle/burger mixture, then mozzarella cheese.  Then rest of meat mixture and rest of cheese.  Bake til heated through.
We did 4 times the recipe and I divided it out between 4 dishes with one serving left over.  I put it in a small bag to give to my single aunt.

Are you confused with all this freezer cooking?  Go here to learn more!  Let me know how you keep the stress level down over dinner hour!

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