Alright everyone…are you ready for Freezer cooking week?!? I am a strong believer that if you do freezer cooking that you have to do it in a way that works for your family. With that said, I’d like to introduce you to my friend Alyssa who is going to share her freezer cooking experience with us…
After years of dreding the holidays, I decided to make December my easiest month this year. When Jennie started her Countdown to Christmas post, I was a little bah humbug. You see, December in general is our craziest month as we have 3 birthdays in our house the week before Christmas. So with a little prayer and lots of grace, God gave me some great ideas and a nudge to get started.
I decided that unless I am having fun cooking for the holidays, I am not cooking in December. Seem a little extreme? Well, this is my first attempt at freezer cooking. Spending a day or so cooking like crazy has never been that appealing to me. I decided that this month I am going to make our favorite recipes (that I think will freeze well) and double them, freeze them and heat them up in December. Thanks to a great stockpile, not only is this super easy (so far) but it really hasn’t cost that much. I pretty much have everything done for 2 months of meals, hopefully saving us more money in the coming months that will help us to pay for our Christmas!
Here are some great ideas and recipes to help you get your freezer stocked up for the holidays!
1. I bought disposable casserole dishes 2 for $1 at the Dollar Store to use for freezing because I don’t have that many casserole dishes.
2. Find easy to freeze recipes that either make a very big batch or are easy to double. Here are some of my favorites that I know freeze well:
3. Freeze some healthy/yummy things that can be used for breakfast or as part of a homemade gift. It’s nice to have some healthy options on hand instead of just the holiday
cookies and treats.
4. Make a list of the recipes that you plan to make and all of the ingredients, that way you can see what you need and your shopping list will be ready.
5. Try to get as many non-perishable items as you can (on sale of course!) that way you can pick and choose which meals you will make for that week.
6. Harvesting is pretty much over for the year, but if you find good deals on produce consider freezing some of it. This was the first year that I went farming ;), I dragged my favorite 4 boys (DH, 2 DS and Dad, God bless them!) around with me picking produce at Miller Farms last month. I was able to get all of the produce washed, cut, cooked, frozen, and ready for meals. After that I didn’t have much produce left to buy. Here are some tips on freezing some of the vegetables:
7. Obviously, you will need to consider your freezer space while doing all of this. We just purchased a chest freezer and hadn’t really filled it up that much, so this part wasn’t an issue for us, but I know it would have been a year ago. Here are some freezer storage tips:
Freeze soups and stews in gallon zip lock bags (maybe even doubled
up) that way you can freeze them flat.
If you buy meat in bulk and freeze it try freezing it flat too make it
easier to stack.
Try to get as much air out of bags as you can.
Clearly label everything!
So there you have it! I challenge you all to find out how freezer cooking and benifit your family this holiday season. Large or small…any amount of prep that you can do now will help tremendously in the long run! Do you have meal freezing advice, tips or a recipe to share?