Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Freezer Meals

We all have a time when mom is down for the count.  New babies, surgery, a trip away from our loved families--all of these are times when you need to know how to freeze a variety of meals that can be popped into the oven or microwave.  Even when mom is around, it is so nice to have something stashed away for a hectic day.  Here is a list of entrees from this blog that can be frozen for later use.  Don't be limited by the list, almost any casserole type dish will freeze well.  Dishes with frozen potatoes are best if you add the commercially frozen potatoes to whatever sauce and pop them back in the freezer without actually thawing them.  Frozen cookies (if you hide them well) and frozen breads or Quick Breads can also be helpful.

A few words on baking/reheating.  Dishes can go straight from the freezer to the microwave.  A casserole frozen in a glass dish can also go straight to the oven, but it must go into a cold oven.  So general directions are to place the dish in the cold oven and then turn on the heat.  As long as they heat up together, there will be no shock to the dish.  Casseroles heated from a frozen state usually will cook in the same amount of time straight from the freezer. Lots of these can be as simple as taking a recipe that fills a 9x13 dish and separating it into two 8 in. square dishes.  Bake one tonight, put one in the freezer.  I once had an afternoon with a friend where we assembled 3 chicken dishes and froze two.   It was fun to work together, and only one mess to clean.  Here is a list to get you started:

Sloppy Jo Meat- Make it with 2 pounds of hamburger and freeze half/leftovers.
Jenny's Enchiladas- Freeze after assembly and before baking.
Lasagna- Freeze after assembly and before baking.
Tater tot casserole- Assemble with frozen tots and pop it back in the freezer.
Chicken Sausage Gumbo- This always makes a lot and I generally just freeze leftovers.  They are so handy for a comfort food in the fall or winter.
Chicken Pot Pie- Freeze after you top it with a crust.
Pork Barbacoa- This one also makes a big batch, and the frozen meat can be used thawed in the microwave and served in tortillas, or heated, drained and served on a bun like a pulled pork sandwich.
Taco Soup- Freeze leftovers.
For breakfast you can freeze leftover waffles and pancakes, then toast or heat in the microwave.  Frozen muffins are one of my favorite things, just put two on a plate and micro cook for a few seconds, and Presto! comfort food. 

Finally, is a link from another blog that I think you would be interested in if you like the idea of cooking once and eating several times. And here is a link from Utah State Extension. Best of luck to you!  We moms have to stick together!
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If you are visiting, welcome! I am in the process of a Vulcan Mind Meld with my computer to put all of my right hand recipes for feeding my family on here as fast as possible. Please come back often and stay awhile. There are so many exciting things to come!

What this is:

A clearing house for all my favorite recipes. All my food musings. All my favorite cookbooks and kitchen gadgets. If you enjoy it here, and find it useful, welcome!