Friday, July 26, 2013

Freezer Cooking

I've been having a lot of fun with freezer cooking lately. It all started one day when I was baking some chicken breasts to later shred for a soup. It suddenly occurred to me that I should go ahead and bake extra chicken to shred and put in the freezer for future use. It was like a light bulb went off in my head, and I couldn't understand why I hadn't done this sooner. Over the next couple weeks I pulled that extra chicken out of the freezer to make chicken and rice soup and chicken fajitas. It was great! I decided to expand on this idea a bit and prepare some freezer meals.
Over the last two weeks I have gotten together with fellow Mom friends to bake freezer meals. (Hi Rachel!) I can't say it was totally stress-free with out kids running around, but we had fun together and an hour or two later we had healthy homemade meals! I love getting together with friends, talking about food, and learning how other families cook and eat meals. I want to make this a regular thing! I know freezer meals will come in handy when my kids are sick or when a friend has a new baby and needs a home-cooked meal.
Here is what's in my freezer right now:

-Shredded Salsa Chicken
-Stuffed Bell Peppers
-Hamburger Soup
-Broccoli Mac N Cheese
-Cooked, chopped chicken
-Homemade pie dough
-Turkey and bean enchiladas
-Chicken Pot Pie
-White chicken chili
-Pepperoni calzones
-BBQ Beef and Bean Casserole w/ cornbread topping
-Vegetable Lasagna
So how have I found the time to make all of this? A few times I was already preparing the meal for dinner, so I just doubled it if I had the ingredients on hand. It's not much harder to make a double or triple batch of a soup or chili. Other times I will plan on cooking one meal during Lucas' afternoon nap. For me, it is relaxing and really fun. I try to stock up on ingredients at the store when they go on sale and I know I can use them in a variety of recipes.
My only problem is that now my freezer is well stocked with meals and I don't want to eat them! They're like gold just sitting there and I know once we eat them they'll be gone. So I just open my freezer and stare fondly at them, and then close the door and go ahead and prepare a fresh meal. I need to get over it and start eating them! There are SO many freezer meal recipes on the internet that I want to try. But I'm afraid my freezer can't hold much more!

I better get eating.

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