Hello there ladies and gentlemen. I have a couple of things to inform you about before we get to the very important and earth shattering content of this post.
First…the fine winner of the My Memories Scrapbook Software is bargainhunter267 @ yahoo.com. Congratulations and may you enjoy the prize immensely.I will contact you shortly.
Second, I wanted to make you local readers aware that I have been asked to participate in the College Of Eastern Utah’s Women’s Conference this year. I will be the morning key note speaker. (Holy cow. Cross your fingers that I can come up with something great to say.) The conference theme this year is “Making Life An Adventure”. I’ll also be teaching a workshop on “Planning A Party With Flair”. The conference is Friday April 13. The fee to attend is $25 and includes two key note speeches, three workshops and a lovely lunch. If you live in the area, I would love to see you there. You can register online at this link.
Ok, now my friends. Let’s talk about the freezer, shall we. Ah, the freezer. A meal pulled out of the freezer on a busy day can really put a smile on your face, can’t it? I’ve compiled a list for you today of some of my best freezer safe recipes.
You might be wondering…”aren’t all meals safe for the freezer?”
To which I will respond with…most meals can be safely frozen, but you may not want to eat them once they are reheated. For example, please do not freeze Chicken Chow Mien, unless you enjoy onions and celery that have turned to mush. All food does not freeze well, darn it. But some food freezes REALLY REALLY well. And those are the recipes I have listed here for you today.
I’ve categorized my list of fabulous freezer safe recipes according to HOW they should be frozen, as well as WHAT they should be frozen in. Hope you enjoy!
Freeze It In An Aluminum Tin
The following 8 meals should be prepared as the recipe instructs, until the baking stage of the recipe. Don’t bake them at this point. Just assemble the recipe in an aluminum tin, cover it tightly with tin foil and pop it in your freezer. When you are ready to use the meal, let it thaw out either in your fridge or on the counter top. (Be care full not to let it sit out in a hot house all day. You don’t want to get food poisoning.) Most of the recipes listed below will thaw within about 4 hours if left on the counter and within 10 hours if left in the fridge, depending on how cold you keep your fridge.
FREEZE IT IN A GALLON SIZED ZIPLOC BAG…BREADS AND MUFFINS
I get a lot of emails asking about freezing bread dough. I haven’t ever had much luck freezing bread or roll dough, with the exception of this Frozen Butterflake Roll Dough. For some reason this recipe doesn’t turn out as well if the dough isn’t frozen first. Go figure, right!
For all other breads, rolls, and muffins, it’s best to make the recipe from start to finish and then allow it to cool completely. Seal it tightly in a freezer safe ziploc bag and pop it in your freezer. When you are ready to reheat, take the baked item out of the freezer bag and heat it in the microwave. You don’t want to heat it with the bag on as most baked goods will start to sweat and get a bit mungy and gross inside that bag. Not what you are hoping for, I’m assuming.
FREEZE IT IN A QUART SIZED
Did you know that it is MUCH MUCH MUCH easier to freeze saucy things, and soupy things in a ziploc bag if you take a lovely large cup
place a quart sized ziploc bag inside the cup
and fold the top of the bag up and over the lip of the cup. Then use a large glass measuring cup to pour the sauce or soup or chili into the bag. Carefully lift it up and out of the cup, seal the top of the bag and then lay it flat inside the freezer. It really makes things super easy and a lot less messy.
When you are ready to reheat, just take a pair of scissors and cut the top off of the ziploc bag. Pull the bag off of the frozen meal, place the food in a microwave safe bowl and heat it on up, stirring occasionally. I really like freezing soups in the quart sized bags. It will give you about 2 servings, perfect for taking to work for lunch. The bags also take up a lot less space than freezing food in gladware containers.
MAIN DISH MEALS
The following 6 meals should be completely cooked, and allowed to cool before freezing. I recommend only freezing the meat portion of the meal. For example, freeze the French Dip Sandwich Meat in a quart sized zip loc bag, don’t freeze the sandwich buns with the meat.
These 8 soups should be completely cooked and allowed to cool before freezing.
One of my favorite things to freeze is cookie dough. Because a girl shouldn’t be left stranded with out cookie dough for too many days in a row, right? Also, I am a firm believer in the true and everlasting fact that cookies fresh and warm from the oven are far better than frozen cookies warmed from the freezer. I bet you agree right? I knew we had a lot in common. Cookie dough freezes fabulously well. It also defrosts quickly, which is an added bonus.
Cookie dough can be frozen in two different ways.
The first is to shape the dough into balls, lay them out onto a cookie sheet, place the sheet in the freezer until the dough is hard, then place the frozen dough balls into a ziploc bag, seal it tightly and freeze for up to 2 months. When you are ready to use the dough, remove the frozen dough balls from the bag and place them on a cookie sheet. Allow them to defrost and then bake them according to the recipe instructions.
The second way (which I prefer) is to fill a quart sized ziploc bag with the cookie dough. Press the dough out flat inside the bag, seal it and lay it flat in the freezer. When you are ready to use the dough take the bag out of the freezer and let it hang out for about 30 minutes on the counter top. Remove the dough from the bag, shape it into balls and cook according to recipe directions.