Tuesday, September 25, 2012

How to be a Freezer Cooker: 31 Prepared Meals in 2 Days

I've moved to ladybugsandlattes.com
You can find this post and more at http://ladybugsandlattes.com/2012/09/25/how-to-be-a-freezer-cooker-31-prepared-meals-in-2-days/

Man, am I drained from too much P! Planning, prepping, and preparing freezer meals is a job! Oh yes, it sounds great to cook a few meals and have them ready to go in your freezer for those days that you just can't get out of your flannel pajama pants, but the work you have to put into it is kind of exhausting. This is an obsession of mine that hurts so good.
Do you think freezer cooking is for you? Then set aside some time and give it a try. Your flannel pants will thank you next week.

Day 1

Step 1: Pick out your meals. I keep all of my recipes in a word document on my computer so that I can do a quick search for specific meals or ingredients. Pro Tip: Only pick out a few meals. The first and second time I did this, I picked out 6-8 meals and it took for-e-ver. I had my mom's help, but it still took way too long. This time around, I picked out 4 meals, and it still took forever (mostly because I chose to wait for my hubby to get home to cut the raw meat – yuck, raw meat).

Step 2: Create your shopping list. If you're a couponer like me, you might want to check what ingredients you already have stocked up and make your meal list from there. If you're rolling in the dough, pick out whatever meals suit your fancy. Choose meals that you think will freeze well. Clueless? Rummage around the internet for some ideas.

Step 3: Take that daunting trip to the grocery store. It may not be daunting for you, but personally, it doesn't thrill me to take a one-year-old out on a windy day and shuffle her around a grocery store while I attempt to compare prices, pick out produce that meets my standards, and continuously pick up the snack cup/toy/sippy cup/miscellaneous cart items that end up on the aisle floors. Don't get me wrong, I have a very well-behaved baby, but entertaining a child and concentrating on grocery shopping can sometimes be multitasking to the extreme.

Step 4: Set aside all of the dry ingredients you will be using. Make plenty of space in your fridge to hold other ingredients and store finished products.

Step 5: Call it a day. Trust me, you will want to be refreshed when you make all of this food. So sit on the couch, put your feet up, open up your laptop and create a Freezer Cooking Prep Sheet. This is where I create a table in a word document and fill it out with the different recipes I'm making and what cutting and cooking I need to do first to prepare for each meal.

Day 2

Step 1: Label your bags and containers. This is SO MUCH EASIER to do before you put any food in the freezer bags. I like to use a sharpie to write the name of the meal + directions for cooking right on the freezer bags. If it's something that I'm going to put in a container, I write on a piece of masking tape and stick it onto the container. Do it first. It will stick much easier now than when you already have it in the freezer.

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