Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What's For Dinner? Freezer Cooking

Don't you hate figuring out what to cook each night? I have 2 strategies to help with this.  One is stocking my freezer with meals and the second is meal planning.  Over the years I have done a lot of this but not really consistently so that I would say I was a "once a month" cook.

 There have been a lot of good meat sales lately so I took advantage of it and made a few nice meals which will be helpful on busy days.  I made a meal plan for the next 3 weeks which will likely be stretched to 4 weeks with leftover nights and things that come up that I didn't think of.

This is what I have in the freezer:

pork roast
strawberry glazed pork chops
Austrian pork goulash
sweet and sour chicken
Super Grandmas's 3 bean casserole
chicken divan
taco meat
ground beef (cooked)
ground beef (uncooked)
hot dogs
meatball mix
IQF chicken
chicken in Italian marinade for grilling
stuffed shells
marinade for grilling portobello mushrooms

I have a variety of resources that I use for my freezer cooking.  One is The Freezer Cooking Manual.  I like this book because it has a lot of useful recipes and charts that makes it easy to multiply recipes.  The 30 Day Gourmet Freezer website is another great resource. You can sign up for their e-mail list for more ideas and new recipes as well.

I also have Fix, Freeze, Feast. I love this book because you do very little cooking ahead of time.  You prepare the meat/sauces/ marinades or whatever and put it in with the raw meat...thaw and cook when you are ready.  There are a lot of great recipes in this book. They also have a website  and a YouTube video.

I also use Dinner's in the Freezer! and other recipes that I have collected over the years.  It is very easy to begin without buying any books.  You can google freezer cooking or once a month cooking for tons of recipes and ideas.  You also may want to check your local library.  Our library system carries lots of the popular books on freezer cooking.

I freeze everything flat in freezer bags.  If you haven't done this before you will be surprised how much you can fit in a regular over the fridge freezer.  I do not have a chest freezer anymore so I just use the freezers that I do have (I have 2 refrigerators.)

If you've never tried it I urge you to give it a shot.  Feel free to ask any questions you may have.  :)


Kahri said...

I love freezer cooking! I plan on having another prep day soon, as soon as I am unpacked. Thanks for the new book ideas! I have Dinner's in the freezer but I haven't used the other ones. I will be looking them up! Thanks!

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