I've been inspired by Mary Ann and Crystal posting their progress in Freezer Cooking recently and when I had a quiet evening, it seemed a provision to do some planning for some freezer cooking of my own. Plus, as I was looking at the weeks ahead - I could see how wonderfully we'd benefit from this if dinner was ready to go for the next month.
So, I came up with a list of things I wanted to make and then a shopping list. I looked at the grocery ads and figured out the best store to go to with the best sales and God provided again with great meat sales.
I don't have any pictures - but one day that unexpectedly opened up - I knew that was an additional provision and we went grocery shopping in the morning. Around 1 in the afternoon, I got started. And, I worked until late in the night - but figured it was worth staying up extra late one night and getting it all done while the dishes were out and the kitchen was a mess than starting it all again the next day.
Not only did I complete enough dinners for our family for a month, but I was able to cook and portion out meals for David's mom for the next month for her freezer all at the same time!
Here's what I did:
* Cooked and cut up chicken to equal 16 cups.
* Cooked about 10 lbs. of ground beef.
* Cooked 1 lb. of sausage
* Started pinto beans to soak for refried beans - I finished these the next day in the Crock Pot.
* I also cut up chicken for the first time instead of buying boneless skinless chicken breasts. I've been wanting to try this for quite some time, but haven't for various reasons until now. I was so pleased with the results! And, I followed the directions for making broth with the bones in the Crock Pot and got a LOT of broth from that as well!
* Assembled Ranch Chicken x 2 dinners
* Assembled Italian Chicken x 2 dinners and baked a third batch to portion out
* Assembled Teriyaki Chicken - great use for the pieces left from cutting up your own chicken!
* Measured out 1 1/2 cups of cooked chicken each in two ziploc bags to make quick chicken salad.
* Measured out 1 1/2 cups of cooked chicken each in two ziploc bags to make quick BBQ Chicken sandwiches.
* Made Broccoli Rice Chicken Casserole and cooked the rice in chicken broth since I had so much! I used homemade Cream Soup mix instead of canned.
* Seasoned 4 lbs. of ground beef for taco meat, divided and put in bags. (I make my own taco mix)
* Sliced 1 lb. cube steak for these sandwiches and seasoned with Lawry's Seasoning Salt.
* Sliced 4 lbs. sausage - froze 2 for our family, cooked 2 for portions
* Made Chili. (Yes, I like PW, what can I say? Thanks to a B and N gift card from David and some spending money from my Grandma, I received PW's new cookbook for my birthday ... LOVE it!!)
* Made 4 pans (2 full recipes, divided) of Lasagna, two for us, one for portions and one for a co-worker of David's.
* Made Mexican Rice for David's mom as a side. I froze this in muffin tins.
* White Chicken Enchiladas x 2
* Beef & Bean Enchilada filling mixed, seasoned and bagged x 2; also made 8 individual burritos for individual portions
* Beef Stew (without beer) x 2
* Corn Chowder x 2
I have not been good lately at planning our meals out very well, so am looking forward to not dreading 5:00 and the What are we having for dinner? question! If this works well, I may just have to keep doing it!
Do you cook for your freezer?