Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Freezer Cooking Results

What a day!  I have to give a big round of applause to anyone who does a once a month freezer cooking.  I'm thrilled with my results and it was a very long day.  Before I scare anyone away from doing a Freezer Cooking Day, let me tell you that it would have been smart for me to postpone my plans.  I have a cold? allergies? whatever that has left me feeling pretty yucky for a few days.  Then I woke up yesterday (and still today) with no voice.  So my first tip, if you are thinking about planning a Freezer Cooking Day is ... don't do it on a day that you're not feeling 100%.  I guess that should have been obvious but I was excited, had my plans ready and my grocery shopping done.  See below for more tips.

Here are a few pictures of my results.  I ended up with more meals than I thought I would!!

Three loaves of Chewy Italian Bread.  I'll use it for garlic bread and maybe Baked French Toast. I made a double batch of Zucchini Bread Muffins.  I'd still love any input on what happened to them.  They aren't bad but I'd say they were the least successful part of my day.

I had to share this picture!  I really enjoyed this pile of colorful produce on my counter all day.  So much so that I waited until the end of the day to use most of it.  I didn't use the avocados yet but will when I make the Tomato and Avocado Salad to go with the Chicken, Black Bean and Spinach Enchiladas.

And this the final results picture! 

I now have 11 meals or main ingredients for meals in my freezers.

1 & 2 -- I made 2 large and 1 small pan of Chicken, Black Bean and Spinach Enchiladas.  The 2 large ones are in the freezer and the small on is in the fridge to eat soon.  If the tastes I had today while making them are any indication of the end result, I can't wait to eat them!

3 & 4 -- 2 meals worth of Lasagna.

5, 6 & 7 -- 3 meals worth of marinaded chicken.  The chicken breasts I had were really big so I decided to stretch them into 3 meals instead of 2 like I planned. 2 Bags have the Asian Marinade and one has the Spicy Southwest Marinade.  They're both new to me and smell wonderful.  I'm most excited about the Spicy Southwest.  Seeing the tomato, onion, jalapeno and cilantro in my blender was one of the hightlights of my day!

8, 9, 10 & 11 -- 4 meals worth of pork chops.  I only planned for 2.  I guess I underestimated how many pork chops I would get from the pork loin I had cut at the meat counter.  There were 20!!  I have one bag of pork chops in a Maple Garlic Marinade and one in the Spicy Southwest marinade.  The other 2 bags are just plain pork chops.  Who knows how I'll decide to use them but wanted to keep my options open.

So I said above that tip #1 is do your freezer cooking on a day when you feel good! Here are some other tips.

Tip # 2 - Take time to plan your day.  Check your stockpile shelves and freezer.  What do you already have on hand to make a freezer meal?  Check the sales ads.  What's on sale this week to add to your stockpile items for those meals?  After you know what you're going to cook, plan the steps you'll take throughout the day.  Like my enchilada chicken went in the crock pot first thing, then I made bread dough since it had to rise.  You get the idea.

Tip # 3 -- Get a shower, coffee (if you're a coffee drinker) and a good breakfast before you get started. Wear comfy clothes and shoes.

Tip# 4 -- Turn on your favorite music and sing along while you work!

As I read over this post I'd still say that it was a long day BUT well worth it.  Now the only problem is that I want to hoard keep the meals in the freezer.  I love knowing that they are there.  Yes I'm sure you'll see them on Menu Plan Mondays to come!

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