March 31, 2012

Freezer cooking extravaganza!

 Today I was feeling extra motivated :)

 On the freezer cooking list today:
-Chicken and rice casserole
-Chocolate chip cookie dough
-Enchilada Casserole
-Sausage and Cabbage stew w/rice
-Cabbage burger filling

How I tackle my freezer cooking goals:
I accomplished a lot today, and the only reason it went smoothly is because I had a plan. First thing this morning I set some beans in the crockpot to cook while I made breakfast. I also started a pot of rice and roasted some bone in chicken breasts I had gotten for .79 a pound (nice!). After we were done with breakfast I assembled all the ingredients for granola and popped it in the oven. By this time the beans, rice and chicken had cooled and I could begin to assemble my meals. I made the enchilada casserole and the chicken and rice casserole. Then, I set two pots on the stove and starting cooking cabbage and sausage in each one. While it all cooked, I did dishes. I managed to turn one pot into soup that we will have for our lunches this week, and the other is a filling for a future cabbage burger casserole that can be frozen. Then I set to making cookie dough, which I froze as well.

Things you should consider when you plan a freezer cooking day:

-Plan what you want to cook, have all the ingredients on hand. Nothing is more stressful than realizing halfway through a recipe that you are missing a vital ingredient.
-Only cooks stuff you plan to actually eat. This one may sound easy, but its much easier to put a yummy casserole in the oven than a casserole you have never tried before. One stressful days, we dont want new and exciting food. We want comfort and familiarity.
-Start with a clean kitchen. Unless you actually want to pull your hair out.
-Consider cook times. Dried beans take a lot longer to cook than canned, if you dont consider that, your casserole/dish could sit all day long waiting for the final ingredient to be added.
-No distractions. As best as possible, limit people/animals from coming in and out of the kitchen.
Keep a list. And check it twice!

The point is, I spent maybe two hours in the kitchen total, and came out with four dinners, granola for the week ahead and cookies for a mid week snack :)

I'm still pretty new to the freezer cooking bit, so I am learning that planning is key to not driving yourself crazy. The point of freezer cooking to to have meals prepared ahead of time so you have more time to do the things you like. No one likes to spend all Saturday in the kitchen, and no one likes to come home from work and spend an hour cooking dinner :) Its all about balance

1 comment:

J said...

I thought I did the dishes... Or were there really that many to do?