Thursday, September 16, 2010

Freezer Cooking Revisited

I got a full time job!!

In preparation for returning to work full time, I'm trying to plan out how I'mn going to continue to do all the "at home" stuff that I currently do, like grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry, etc. I'm certain I won't be able to do it *all*, but hopefully we can figure out a way for things to run relatively smoothly. And one of those things involves freezer cooking. I am pretty sure that is going to make a big difference between coming home and eating dinner vs coming home and having a panic attack because it's 6:30pm and there's no plan for dinner.

I love my husband, don't get me wrong...but left to his own devices, I suspect he and the child would end up eating cold cereal and soymilk for dinner every night.

So, freezer meals to the rescue! I've experimented a bit before with freezer cooking, really just doing a few big batches of chicken meals and ground beef meals, maybe 2 of each of 4 different kinds (8 or so meals at once). But the problem has been that once I make a few meals, I end up not liking them very much so they hang out in the freezer for several months. The key to avoiding waste, is to only make meals I know my family likes and will eat.

I'm currently making a list of said items and will then devise a way to bulk cook & freeze them for easy preparation on hectic weeknights. Voila! Freezer cooking returns. :)

For the sake of me not forgetting, here are a few ideas:
ground beef red chili
taco meat (tacos, burritos, taco soup)
sloppy joe pockets
fried rice with meat
perogies & red sauce
white chicken chili

Actually, now that I am thinking about the food we like, I realize that not only do we need the convenience of pre or half cooked meals (a la freezer cooking) but also just simply having a meal PLAN is important. Some of our favorites, like chef salad, can't be frozen...but knowing that I want to have that one week means I have to be prepared to have all the ingredients on-hand. So after doing a bulk cooking session, it's important to make a meal plan. I like to do mine in 2 week increments. Any further than that and my brain can't handle it.

Here I go!

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