Freezer cooking

Freezer Meal Monday 7/3 & 7/10

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This is a double Freezer Meal Monday.  I’m including what I prepped from last week as well.  All in all, I may have spent 2-3 hours on everything.  There’s a lot of starting and stopping when you have the kids around and for the silliest reasons like hunger and thirst.

In case you’ve been under a rock for the last few years, freezer cooking is where you take some or all of the ingredients for a meal, put it together in some sort of freezer safe vessel, and guess what??  You freeze it!  Freezer meals and meal prepping have become quite the trend.  With all the different variations and methods freezer cooking really is a versatile concept that anyone can benefit from.

I make freezer meals because I don’t grocery shop very often.  I plan our meals for an entire month.  I then split those meals, plus whatever else we need, in to two or three grocery trips throughout the month.  I try to go grocery shopping every two weeks.  The only exception is a heck-of-a-good sale that I just can’t pass up.  Like pork loins for $1.49/lb at Kroger’s.  Yeah, mama couldn’t pass that up!

Anyway, that’s probably another post for another day.  Let me know in the comments if you’d be interested in seeing how I grocery shop for around $100 a week.

Yada yada yada, here’s what I made:

Here’s how I went about putting it all together.  First things first, COFFEE!  Then, feed the angry savages.  UHHH, I mean my darling children who are perfect angels in the morning while they politely ask for something to eat.

I do have a 3-year-old son, I promise.  However, it’s a toss up as to whether or not he will cooperate for pictures.  Also, he rarely seems to have on pants.

Ok, so I know it doesn’t take a pretty picture but this is the Beef Stroganoff, we had it for dinner tonight.  All I did to prep this was brown the ground beef with the garlic and onions and drain off any excess grease.  Let it cool, dump it in a Ziploc bag, flatten it out and freeze it.  When you’re ready to cook this, all you do is thaw your meat and onion mixture.  Follow the recipe as written OR put everything minus the sour cream in your slow cooker.  Cook it on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours.  Thicken it if needed.  Stir in the sour cream at the very end.

*Note:  I add 1 tsp dried thyme and 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce.  It makes it perfect!

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Next,

The Baja citrus pork chops.  All I did was mix up a package of McCormick Grill Mates Baja Citrus marinade according to the directions, then added some whole grain mustard to thicken the marinade.  Place everything in a Ziploc bag and you’re done.  Cook these however you want but personally I would bake, grill, or pan fry these.

freezer meals 7/3 & 7/10

On to the meatloaf.  Use absolutely whatever meatloaf recipe you want.  If you don’t have a meatloaf recipe of your own, our dear friend, Pinterest can hook you up!

I can tell you this much, I use 2 lbs of 80/20 ground chuck.  For every pound of meat, I add 1/2 cup of some kind of binder (bread crumbs, cracker crumbs, cornflakes or oats) This time around I used oats.  Also, for every pound of meat you add 1 egg and about 1/2 cup milk.  From there, I add Worcestershire sauce, about 1/4 cup.  I season it to taste with salt, pepper, and a seasoning blend called Cavender’s Greek All-Purpose Seasoning.  I have no idea if Cavender’s is available outside of the south but you can click the link above and check them out if you feel so inclined.

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How do you like my labels?

The next thing I put together is The Pioneer Woman’s Sloppy Joes.  I halved her recipe.  All I did was brown my meat, onions, garlic and bell pepper.  I added the sauce ingredients to my Ziploc bag and then dumped in my browned meat and veggies.  Give every thing a good squish around and your good to go into the freezer.  This one is easy, you just thaw it overnight and dump it in the crock-pot on low for 4 hours or so.  You can’t screw this one up.  Do check out the Pioneer Woman’s blog if you haven’t done so.  Her blog is beautifully done.  I’m dubbing her my fairy blog-mother.

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So photogenic!  Don’tcha think?

The World’s Best Chicken, that’s a petty heavy claim.  We’ll have to see.  I would like to add that the recipe calls for maple syrup.  I assume that they mean genuine maple syrup, which I do not have.  My maple syrup is in a bottle that’s shaped like a nice, little old lady.   So, I substituted honey for the maple syrup.

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The salsa chicken is actually for 2 dinners.  We’ll eat it tomorrow night as burritos and then I’ll take the leftovers and make that into enchiladas.  For the salsa chicken you’ll need:

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  • 3- 4 large chicken breasts
  • 1 jar chunky salsa
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 TBS chili powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3/4 cup DRY black beans
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can corn, drained (optional)

Cook this in the crock-pot on Low for 6-8 hours.  Add corn in the last 30 minutes.  It’s great for tacos, nachos, burritos…anything Mexican inspired basically.

Lastly are the breakfast burritos and the frozen pizzas.  The frozen pizzas can be found in a previous post by clicking the link at the top.

The burritos couldn’t be simpler.  You can use whatever fillings you prefer, I went for a Sonic drive-in kind of a feel by using sausage, egg, cheese, tater tots and salsa on a burrito sized tortilla.  The hardest part is not over stuffing the burritos.   Stuff your burrito with your fillings of choice and roll ’em up.  I wrapped mine with these nifty foil sheets I found at Dollar Tree.  They’re a-mazing!

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Once they’re all wrapped up you bag ’em and freeze ’em.  The hubs says they work out better if you put them in the fridge the night before.  They don’t completely thaw out but it takes the chill off just enough so that it cooks in about a minute, wrapped in a paper towel.

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So there’s The Hub’s burrito thawing next to the meatloaf we’ll be having Thursday.

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There’s the salsa chicken we’re having tomorrow night with a big bunch of cilantro on top of the container.  So that I won’t forget about it!

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I store them in our freezer kind of like files in a file drawer.  Easy to find and easy to take out.

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Can you tell that there’s lots of banana bread in our future!  Yum!

What are some of your favorite meals to freeze?  Are you new to freezer cooking?  Got any thoughts or questions?  Let me know in the comments down below!

Quick question: should I start videoing the freezer meals as opposed to writing about them??  Let me know what you think.

‘Til next time.

~Rachel

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