Works for Me Wednesday- Freezer Cooking

Summer time means afternoons at the pool or on the lake.  That means I have to have something planned for dinner in order to prevent the 5 O'Clock "what's for dinner" blues.  If I wait, dinner is inevitably served at 7 or it means a run through a fast food joint.  Yuck.

Fortunately, there is another option.  It's called "freezer cooking" or "once a month cooking".  In a nutshell, you assemble meals ahead of time and pop them in the freezer. Now, this isn't the same as putting left overs in the freezer for another day. With freezer cooking, you either partially cook or leave the ingredients assembled but raw so that you don't have that "left over" taste.

You can adapt just about any recipe to this type of cooking. You can even make your own pre-made food kits to make things really a snap. In several of my recipes, the chicken and pasta are already cooked and ready to be tossed in to a hot frying pan with the sauces to make a complete meal (to rival those TGI Friday's meal in a bags).

The great thing about cooking this way is that you only destroy your kitchen one afternoon and have couple weeks worth of meals ready to go.  The basic procedure is you shop and prep on one day (cut your veggies, brown your ground beef, etc.) and then assemble them the next-think Dream Dinners and the way they have everything prepped and ready for you to assemble when you arrive.)

There are a lot of good sites on the net to help you get started. But I found that the book The Freezer Cooking Manual from 30 Day Gourmet is the easiest way to get an idea of how to plan, prep, prepare and store your meals when you are first getting started.  The recipes in there are easy, though not all to my liking. But it's the worksheets in there that make the book well worth the price.  They help you lay out everything you need with your recipes to make sure you are up and running and have all your ingredients for a successful cooking session.

I did a mini session this past weekend. One morning was all it took to have 10 meals for the next month ready to go in my freezer.  I have chicken potpies, chicken cajun pasta, beef and potato tacos, meat loaf, mexican shredded beef & chicken fried rice all ready to go.

Bring on the lake!

Freezer cooking works for me.

For more great Works For Me posts, head on over to Kristin's blog.


Michelle said…
Hi Donna! Just wanted to let you know that I have the My Girl Paula back in action again!