Sunday, June 6, 2010

Freezer Cooking: Part 2

As promised, here is an update on my freezer cooking.  I bagged up the remaining food today to put it in the freezer.  I also assembled the lasagnas.  To do that, I used the sauce that I prepared yesterday, and layered it with cheese and OVEN READY lasagna noodles.

These are great because you do not have to cook them ahead of time.  My husband actually discovered them.  They soak up the liquids from the food while it cooks and soften up in the oven.  Simply lay them out on the pan.  *NOTE:  One box actually made all four of these.  I bought two, and didn't even need to open the second one.*  Here is a shot of the lasagnas I made in different stages of prepared-ness.

I make them in square aluminum pans (they call them cake pans and come in packs of 3 for around $1.50 if you find the ones without the lids), and then wrap with foil, place the whole thing into a gallon sized freezer bag, and pop them in the freezer.  Try to lay them out individualy until they freeze, but once frozen they stack nicely.  These types of dishes are great to grab and take to a friend in need of a meal too!

We had one of those for dinner tonight and they came out REALLY good with the monterrey jack cheese.  Actually, when I went to put what was left away in the fridge I noticed the top layer of cheese was missing from the remaining piece.  I questioned my husband about it, and he said he had no idea what I was talking about...his usual response when he's been caught. ;)

Getting back to the food.  In all, I put away 4 more bags of red beans, 4 lasagnas (3 went into the freezer), and two bags of spaghetti sauce.

Add that to the 3 sets of burgers, 2 sets of meatballs, and 1 meatloaf I froze last night, as well as the meal of red beans we ate, and that makes 17 meals that were prepared yesterday.  My husband helped out some, but I would say it took the two of us maybe 2-2 1/2 hours total to do all that.  That is including the time spent bagging them up today.  Not too bad for a few hours in the kitchen.  I know some people map out a whole day for cooking and get a whole month's worth of meals knocked out.  It wouldn't be hard to do at all, but I prefer to go at a bit more of a relaxed pace and work with one type of meat at a time.  This time I did two, but one I just tossed into the crockpot so I don't think that really counts.

I will be cooking up some chicken soon, so I'm on the look out for some tasty sounding recipes.  I'm also kind of in a lunch food rut.  I want to make some freezer lunches, especially since school is out and my husband will be home during the day now.  I just don't know what kind of lunch items freeze well.  I just know I'm sick of hot dogs and chicken nuggets...So if anyone has done lunches, or has any ideas or recipes, I would welcome them.  Thanks!


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