Sunday, August 1, 2010

Freezer Cooking 101

With baby on the way and nesting instincts on high, I declared a freezer cooking day. After reading helpful hints and websites, I gave it a go. This website,, was very helpful. I decided against "freezer cookbooks" and decided to use my own recipes. Along with a few other ingredients, I learned that dairy and seafood do not freeze well. Keeping that in mind, I decided to make Taco Soup, Ham & Bean Soup, Chicken Fajita Soup, Chili Verde and some prepared, cubed chicken for impromptu meals. I also doubled each recipe. I must admit that although it took about 2 1/2 hours, it was fairly simple. My grocery bill was also only about $20 over the usual total, so I think the homemade, pre-made meals are really going to pay off in more ways that one.

I did omit several ingredients that I didn't feel necessary to add beforehand. For example, the Chicken Fajita Soup takes 4 cups of half & half, which I will add when I cook it. My Chili Verde takes 3 cans of salsa verde which is non-perishable and always in my pantry, so I opted to not add until the actual cooking. Not to mention, gallon Ziplocs can only hold so much! 

I read about the dreaded freezer burn and I didn't want to chance wasting my food. I took obsessive measures to prevent any quality lose (knock on wood it works!). I used 3 layers of Ziploc Freezer Bags, including these new vacuum sealed bags I found. Let me say, this is awesome! It's so fun to suction the air out and see it working. I'm hooked!

My freezer space is limited, so I had to make sure we had adequate room. By using Ziploc and then freezing flat, I was able to use minimal space.  Also, using 3 bags eased my mind about leaking!

Stacking to save space
As an afterthought, I should have documented my kitchen after I was done. It would be funny now, but at the time it was overwhelming. Luckily, I have a really awesome husband that helps out!

Really awesome husband
 I'm no expert, but hoping this method pays off with time and money. If successful, I hope to keep this up as a monthly project. We'll see how it goes!


Nicole said...

I didn't know you had a blog! I'll start following! :-)

I've recently gotten into freezer cooking. I bought the book "Fix Freeze Feast" and started a supper club using the ideas in that book. There are 6 of us in the club, and each month we pick one recipe and make 6 entrees of it. Then we get together for about 30 minutes at one of our house and swap meals and pick the next round of recipes. We've done it 3 times and it has been awesome!! It's so fun to leave the house with a bag of a recipe that took me about 2-3 hours to make and package, and come home with 6 different entrees for our family!!

Amy's Avenue Blog! said...

I really enjoyed reading your post. I am definitely going to check out the freezer bags that you suck the air out of. I always see it at Walmart and do not give them a second though. I think it would help me so much in my freezer cooking!!! Thanks so much!