Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Freezer Cooking 101: Final Tips and Tricks

Read all my Freezer Cooking 101 posts here

Well, ladies (and any gentlemen that may be reading), we've come to the end of my Freezer Cooking 101 posts.  We have learned so many things about cooking ahead and having a month's worth of meals in our freezer.

  1. We planned our menu and cooking location.
  2. Then we learned some tips and tricks for shopping for our big cooking day.
  3. We made up our cooking plan.
Now, all that's let is to...
Yay!!  Time to finish the work and get rewarded.  Cook once, eat for a month.
So here are some things to remember on your big cooking day.
  1. Think through your recipes and bring all the appropriate pots/pans and utensils.  If you have slow cooker meals, bring your crock pot.  If you have lots of stovetop meals, bring lots of skillets.  Don't forget LOTS of bowls, LOTS of spoons, potholders, paper towels, dish soap, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, sharp knives, cutting board(s) and comfortable shoes.
  2. We like to cook in aprons because, lets face it, we're cooking 15 meals - we're going to make a mess.
  3. Be ready to wash dishes a lot.  Depending on your recipes, you'll probably have to take a dishwashing break between every 2 recipes or so.
  4. Fix yourself a lunch ahead of time or spring for a Happy Meal.  You are NOT going to want to fix a lunch while you are doing all the other cooking, so plan ahead and have that ready before you begin.  
  5. To go along with the last one - take a break for lunch.  No one needs to get so hungry that they become a cranky cook.  Stick something in the oven for 30 minutes and sit down and eat lunch.
  6. Take an afternoon, feet-up 20 minute break.  You'll thank me later.
  7. Be realistic about the amount of time it will take to cook.  We cooked 17 meals each in about 7 hours.  So if you are cooking for a month, it WILL take all day.
  8. Have dinner taken care of.  Have it already cooked at home and ready or, better yet, put your husband in charge of dinner for the night.  Just like #4 above, you don't want to cook all day, then have to think about dinner.
  9. If possible, have your children elsewhere for the day.  Cooking lots of meals is much easier if children are not underfoot wanting to "help."  If you can't find a babysitter/available daddy, rent some fun, non-scary videos for them to watch and let them veg in front of the TV while you cook.
  10. Have fun!!  Yes, it's a lot of work.  Yes, you and your cooking buddies may get on each other nerves some, but if you can't have fun, why do it?  So relax, talk, laugh and enjoy the process.
Sadly, we've come to the end.  As I close out this series, remember:
Planning ahead will make your cooking day (and your life) SOOOOO much easier.

I'd love to hear if you have done a freezer cooking day or if you are planning to.  Share your own tips and tricks in the comments below.

This is my family's all-time favorite freezer recipe:

Cornflake Chicken
Dinner - Main Dish

6 small boneless skinless chicken breast halves
1/2 cup evaporated milk
1 cup corn flake crumbs
1 tsp salt
1 dash pepper
3 Tbl butter

Spray baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Place pats of butter (one for each piece of chicken) on baking sheet. Dip chicken pieces first in evaporated milk, then in corn flake crumbs. Place each on a butter pat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and top each with another butter pat. Bake for 30 minutes at 350บ. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Cover chicken on baking sheet with plastic wrap. Place in freezer. Allow to freeze at least 3 hours. When frozen transfer chicken to a freezer bag. Label and freeze.

To serve: Thaw. Heat in microwave or covered in oven.

   6 Servings

1 comment:

  1. If you are serious about healthy eating, then you might want to invest in a good vegetable steamer. When you use a steamer, you can take almost any vegetable that is fresh, and cook it to perfection. A steamer will help retain many of the nutrients in the food, so it tastes good and is healthy for you. Look for a dual steamer that can also cook rice, as well.

    Healthy cooking tips