Freezer Cooking February: My Latest Freezer Cooking Session

February 27, 2010



In case some of you were wondering where I’ve been, I’ve basically been in my kitchen ever since my last posting! I’ve been working on my latest freezer cooking session. I took on quite a bit this time since we were out of meals. Right away, I ran into a huge glitch–I cooked my chicken instead of marinating it. What a huge and costly mistake. I had to stop, losing precious time, and dig up another recipe that used cooked chicken. In the end, I switched out Turkey Enchiladas for Chicken, added a Turkey and Noodles recipe and saved the extra chicken to add to pasta dishes. (Even the best planning can go awry sometimes!) Honestly, I’m glad I made that mistake for two reasons: #1: I’ll always check my meats to make sure I’m writing them down correctly on how to “prep” them and #2: I really wanted Turkey and Noodles and got to use up a bag of Homestyle Noodles that was getting close to it’s expiration date. Bonus! So in the end, after hours of cooking, this is what I ended up with:

40 Mini Beef and Bean Burritos
23 Pizza Burgers
16 Chicken Enchiladas
Extra Chicken Enchilada Mix (Had more than I had tortillas for)
Around 50 Whole Wheat Pancakes
4 Tangy Pulled Pork Sandwiches (Taste of Home Feb/March 2010 Issue)
Enough Mix for 4 more Tangy Pulled Pork Sandwiches (wanted to make sure they froze well in the buns)
2 Turkey and Noodle Entrees
2 – 3/4lb bags of Seasoned Hamburger Meat (for quick tacos – used leftover from Burritos recipe)
2 Bags of Cubed Chicken (to add to pasta dishes)
1 Bag of Roasted Turkey (for hot turkey sandwiches)
3 Italian Beef for Sandwiches (I kept one for us for supper tonight)

Tonight, Nathan and I will make up some Banana Bread and some Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream. I also have ingredients for (but enough energy to make) Hot Rolls Mix and Corn Bread Mix that I can use to make pretzels, Swedish rolls, corn bread and corn dogs. I’ll save that for later in the week. :)

I know some of you are leery about trying a freezer cooking session because of limited freezer space, but if you choose the right recipe that you can lay out flat and stack, you can actually get a lot of meals right into your freezer about your fridge. I stacked a few of mine to give you an idea:


Just in this limited space, I have 2 Turkey and Noodle Entrees, Mixes for Pulled Pork and Enchiladas (to quickly add to rolls/tortillas), Seasoned Hamburger (to quickly make tacos) and Cubed Chicken/Turkey to add to pasta dishes, sandwiches, salads, etc.

Just these few things can help save you lots of time in the kitchen. Save them for when you know you’ll have a busy day.

I was actually thinking that for my next freezer cooking session, I would “pretend” I only have a freezer above my fridge and see what meals I can come up with to help you all get some of them stacked and save you some time, too.

And now, time to catch up on a couple postings and then relax!! Thanks for letting me share my day with you.

If you are new to the blog, you can check out the other postings I’ve done on the Freezer Cooking February Series that have tips on how to get started on your own freezer cooking session.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Mary February 27, 2010 at 5:18 pm

You are my hero!!! I’m still on the ‘doubling recipe’ stage and seeing how that goes and what freezes well.
I do have a question. I love fresh off the grill chicken for recipes but have trouble keeping that ‘fresh’ taste when freezing the chicken for later. It always gets watery/rubbery when thawed. Any suggestions?

2 coupongeek February 27, 2010 at 5:29 pm

Hi Mary,

Thank you for the kudos! :) I usually do the doubling recipes but I really wanted to get a session up to show everyone how much you can get accomplished in one day.

I actually haven’t try to freeze chicken from the grill. I will ask around for tips on keeping it tasting yummy! Maybe one of my other reader friends will know…..?

Jaycie

3 elizabeth reisner February 27, 2010 at 5:29 pm

you know, I went to a freezer meal party were we made up 3 dinners for the freezer. It was such a time saver on those days that I didn’t have the time or energy that I made 14 freezer meals on my own! Chicken just so happened to be on sale so I grabbed, lol. Now, I only have my top freezer to store things and I already had a 16 lbs frozen turkey, and a whole chicken in there along with chocolate chips, frozen fruits, ice cream, ect. I managed to fit those meals in there without a problem. In fact I probably could’ve made 30 meals and been just fine with space. My point is that when you store your meals in freezer bags frozen flat you can certainly make and store freezer meals without an issue. Just imagine when I cook that turkey in a couple weeks how much room i’ll have ;-)

4 coupongeek February 27, 2010 at 5:33 pm

That’s exactly it, Elizabeth! When you lay them flat and freeze them that way, they stack so nice. I never would have thought of that myself until I read about it in one of the freezer books. I couldn’t believe how much they had in their freezer stacked like that. I was so impressed. It sounds like that’s what your freezer looks like. Isn’t it fun just to grab a meal, thaw it and practically be done with cooking after you heat it up? :)

Jaycie

5 Sue February 27, 2010 at 8:45 pm

I also cook once a month. I only have the freezer above the fridge too. My strategy is that I have 1/4 of the freezer devoted to my cooking sessions. When it gets low, I cook more.

6 Amy Chaffin February 27, 2010 at 9:41 pm

I just want to let you know that your series has led me to take the plunge and try this feezer cooking. I especially would like to make enough meals for atleast a month of Sundays, maybe more. I go to church, and usually come home to cook a big Sunday supper. My kids, come over, and it is a time for family, just like when they were still at home. The only trouble is, it is hard to visit with them when I am in the kitchen. My husband is a big help, and so his my bestie (who dines with us also), but I really like doing the cooking. It’s mom thing. (LOL) Hopefully, this will save me a a lot of TIME so that I can spend my TIME doing the things that should matter to us all….spending it with those we love!! Thanks so much(:

7 Michelle Harris March 1, 2010 at 8:32 am

Ok, I am convinced, I bought the book. I appreciate SO much that you do all this work and share it because it makes my life SO much easier. I put a link back to you in one of my blogs because I think you have really found a way to consolidate stuff here so well for newbies to this.

Also, if you haven’t discovered it and have room in your fridge, I highly recommend “Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day”. I can now mix it, let it rise 2 hours and put it in the fridge and its enough for 4 loaves. When you are ready to cook, you take it out, let it rest the amount of time on the receipe (from 20 min to 1 hour) and then cook roughly 30 min. Its great breads and you can easily do this while doing the on the top of the stove cooking.

THANKS again!

8 Amanda Monroe March 3, 2010 at 1:02 am

Its good to know I’m not the only one out there doing this…lol. I did some chicken on sunday ( I precooked it saturday night and assembled sunday afternoon). I cooked 2 whole chickens and about 6-8 lbs of chicken breasts and was able to strech that out into 28 meals. 9 chicken pot pie, 7 bags of chicken soup with the leftover broth from boiling the whole chickens, 2 chicken enchiladas, 4 south of the border chicken bakes (thats a new recipe..hope its good) 3 chicken brocolli and 3 cheddar chicken. and today I did beef stew meat…soup in the crock pot, stew on the stove. One thing I like to do with ground meat is to mix up the seasoning in a big batch and then shape and freeze raw hamburgers, meat balls, and meat loaves.

9 Tammy Hall June 7, 2010 at 3:25 pm

Do you freeze already cooked hamburger? You say seasoned hamburger for tacos and such? I am a freeze happy cook. I spend weekends cooking and making things just to freeze. As a matter of fact, we have a full size upright freezer, and were just talking about getting another one.
Not only does freezing save time later in the kitchen, but cooking in bulk usually saves you money also. Especially if you find ingredients on sale.
I just just noticed your freezer area, and defiantley have to check into it more, especially the recipes. Thanks alot!

10 coupongeek June 7, 2010 at 4:22 pm

Yes, I do freeze cooked seasoned hamburger. I am going to be putting a posting up on it soon. So many people are amazed that you can freeze it and that it keeps well. It’s sooo convenient for quick tacos or nachos, etc.

Freezer cooking is such a time-saver after that first initial long cooking session.

Jaycie

11 mary March 15, 2011 at 5:37 am

Don’t forget about CHEESE! When Cheese is on sale like Sargentos (this week for me) I buy several bags and freeze them. When ready to use it let it thaw between 30 min/1hour and it’s ready to go just like you put it in the fridge. Saves sooo much money. I mostly do the bagged cheese because it has a light dusting on it, that works well with the freezing. Fresh grated cheese might freeze and thaw alittle soggier. But if you are baking with it, I don’t see how there is much of a problem.

Great series!
Mary

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