So it’s been a couple few weeks since my mass cook-a-thon where I made 22 freezer meals. You can find the original posts here, here and here. I’ve had LOTS of inquiries and comments since then which is SO exciting to me!! Y’all are not only reading the blog (YIPPEE) but I conveyed something new and y’all are trying it!! 😀
I must confess that since I made all those freezer meals we had a long Birthday Celebration that involved NO cooking and we’ve ordered pizza once but other than that we’ve been purely eating out of the freezer and I am IN LOVE with it!! It’s made dinner so incredibly easy and I have a ton more time to do fun stuff!! Crafts anyone?? The other upside is that we are losing weight again!! HOORAY!! A little here and a little there but it’s losing all the same. I’ll take it!!
A couple of tid bits I’ve learned…
It’s worth the extra work when putting the freezer bags together to make them as flat as possible. Mine have frozen in every wonky shape imaginable and as things come out the puzzle doesn’t fit anymore. It also made it harder to dig out the first in freezer meals. Flat is key!!
When freezing shredded or diced potatoes you MUST flash freeze them on a cookie sheet first!! I thought I was sooo clever in shredding and dicing all those potatoes just to put them in the freezer bag without flash freezing and now…well I have several bags of mush that are only good for mashed potatoes not the hash browns I was hoping for. The flash freezing step is definitely necessary for some things like potatoes, cookie dough, diced onions etc. Anything you want to be break away in the freezer instead of a huge hunk of frozen needs to be flash frozen first.
Dinners that go into the crock pot with sauces should go into the crock pot completely frozen. Cut the freezer bag off if you have to but DO NOT let thaw slightly before putting into the crock pot. I found out the sticky way that BBQ sauce will thaw a lot faster than the chicken. So not only will you have an ooey gooey mess on your hands, literally, but you’ll waste a lot of the sauce trying to get it out of your baggie and into the crock pot.
When in question of the portion size to put in each baggie go smaller. It’s easier to pull in 2 baggies of BBQ pork ribs cuz company is coming for dinner than it is to eat Chicken Artichoke pasta ALL WEEK cuz one freezer meal should have been divided into 2 baggies.
Variety is HUGELY important!! I might have gone just a smidge overboard with the hot n spicy dishes. With the gigantic can of tomato sauce I only saw a few options mostly chili and marinara sauce. Next time I’ll broaden my horizons to include homemade sloppy joes, tomato cream sauce and maybe try my hand at homemade BBQ sauce. Variety is the spice of life!!
I was worried that my original 22 freezer meals wouldn’t get us to the beginning of December when payday comes back around. Then I realized that my B-day and Thanksgiving are this month so we’d be safe. WHEW!! Even without these two huge eating events we would have been more than covered for the month though. I still have 10 dinners in the freezer and the fixins to make a couple big ole breakfasts. AND even with going back to the Costco for Thanksgiving goodies I am way UNDER budget for the month!! WHOOP WHOOP!!
Speaking of Thanksgiving…gotta go stir the sauce on the stove…
Let me know how your freezer meals are coming along and what y’all are cooking up!! We all can use some new ideas for the freezer!!
With Much Love