"But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Philipians 3:13b,14

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Freezer Cooking Day 1/20 Recipes and Photos

I don't know if you feel this way, but I have this weird connection between a full fridge/pantry, and a feeling of satisfaction.

....it could be because I love food. But something about opening the pantry and seeing it full of neatly organized cans and jars and baked goods, and seeing the fridge stocked makes me happy. 

Same with the freezer! When I look inside the freezer and see frozen meals stacked up in there, well, I feel more prepared. I like that.

Freezer cooking is NOT difficult. If you want to do it inexpensively, it can be a bit time-consuming, because you'll need to shop around to different stores for the best deals. I could have been even better on this freezer cooking day if I would have cooked the pinto beans myself instead of buying canned, and made the tortillas from scratch. But it was one of those weeks where each of us spending an extra $5 on those items was worth it to me- it was just too busy!

I freezer cook with two girlfriends, and to be honest, if you have a regular stove and kitchen, I would say three people is the maximum. Tripling a recipe is a lot of food to cook at once and I wouldn't want to try a larger quantity. 

Here's a post to get you started if you've never freezer cooked before- there's info about packaging and storage- Freezer Cooking 101

So on this freezer day, here's what we made!

Minestrone Soup- I love this soup! I like to serve it with homemade bread and a little bit of Parmesan cheese on top. We substituted potatoes for the beans. (Wade, sadly, is not a bean fan.)

We made Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas- I like to make them into two 9" square pans instead of 1 9x13, because I serve them with rice and beans and a salad, so we can get two meals out of one recipe. Also, these are DELICIOUS!!

We also made Chicken Noodle Soup- I forgot to add the parsley during the cooking, so I just threw it on top since we're going to reheat it anyhow. 

We used bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts for the above two recipes. This saved $10 over using the on-sale boneless/skinless chicken, and I think this tastes better. But it is a bit more work.

I was RIDICULOUSLY excited about this recipe- make your own Frozen Burritos! They turned out SO good- and the recipe ended up making 10 burritos! So for our family that's 2 dinners plus lunches!! The pinto beans taste awesome! I wrapped them in Saran Wrap, and to reheat, just unwrap and microwave for 3 minutes! They rock!!

..mmmmmm pizza.

So, that ended up being 8 meals for me- Each of the soup batches made two large containers of soup (I serve salad and fruit with nearly every dinner, plus bread or other side dish) so that's 4 meals, plus two trays of enchiladas, plus two large pizza crusts. We each payed $30.55- so that's a great deal. If you figure on the cost of having to eat out at the last minute- even fast food- $30 is only enough for maybe 2 meals, and that's if you are careful with what you order! It is so nice to have meals all ready to pop into the oven when you arrive at 4:00 in the afternoon and realize that you have nothing planned for dinner. Also, I've used my freezer meals to bring a friend a meal if they are ill or needing extra help during the week. 

Even if you do a smaller amount of food, give freezer cooking a try! If you have any questions, feel free to comment on the thread and I'll do my best to answer them! 

Happy cooking!

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