Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Freezer Meals

So I just hit week 36, which means that I only have 4 more weeks to go (assuming I give birth right on my due date, of course).

I'm down to the last few to-do items, like getting the car seat installed and (ahem) picking out a middle name.  I've also been preparing for those first few weeks as a new mom by stocking up the freezer with some homemade meals that just have to be tossed in the oven so I don't have to worry about cooking.

This is such a great strategy for ANY time - we all have those days when you drag yourself in through the front door and have absolutely no energy for cooking dinner that night.  And these times can crop up at any moment, so it's never a bad idea to keep a few meals in the freezer.

Homemade meals are MUCH cheaper than ordering take-out, and they're also going to be much healthier than typical convenience food.

What I've started doing is cooking a large batch of something that freezes well, and having part of it for dinner that night and sticking the rest in the freezer.  For example, tonight I made spinach lasagna and split it up between four 8x8 pans.  We had one of those for dinner tonight, and the other 3 went into the freezer.

Doing it this way means it's not much harder than making a standard dinner - I just make a larger batch and package it up.  It also breaks up the cooking so I never have to devote a whole weekend to a crazy marathon cooking spree that leaves the kitchen a mess and me feeling exhausted.

Not everything freezes well, though.  Also, some recipes benefit from a few tweaks to preform their best if they're going to be frozen.  That's why I checked out "The Best Make-Ahead Recipe" by Cook's Illustrated from our local library to get some good ideas for what would freeze well.

Here are some of the things I'm going to use to stock my freezer:

  • Chicken Pot Pie
  • Chicken, Corn, Bean Casserole
  • Spinach Lasagna
  • Carrot Curry Soup
  • Homemade Mashed Potatoes
If I'm feeling ambitious, I might also end up freezing a few pies or other dessert items.  But I figure I'll leave those last.,.. We can always just have ice cream for dessert, right?  :-)

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