Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Stocking the Freezer


Potato Boats, ready to be individually frozen, then placed in gallon zipper bags. 

Sometime during each pregnancy I come to the firm conclusion that after the birth of the baby I'm never going to be able to do anything again. My life is going to consist of nothing but nursing, changing diapers, snuggling, sleeping, and, of course, caring for my older children. I might find time now and then to read a book (while nursing), take a shower (once in a while), check email and read a blog or two (again, while nursing), and maybe get a bit of sleep here and there. But anything extra, like cooking, grocery shopping, cleaning the house, will have no place in my life anymore. I think all women great with child must feel somewhat like this, thus the "nesting instinct" that comes upon us. Now, some women start cleaning furiously, wanting to make their nest as cozy and tidy as can be. But not me; I have a much more base drive. My family must eat after this baby is born, and since I'll never be able to cook again, I'd better stock my pantry and freezer with lots of food! We can live with mess, but I don't want anyone starving to death around here. (I haven't forgotten my wonderful family and friends who will inevitably bring meals, but somehow they don't figure into this picture. What happens after the first few weeks when no one brings meals anymore?) 
Thus, the grocery bill that has skyrocketed in the last few weeks. Some people stocked up for Y2K; I stock up for babies. My latest frenzy involves cooking extra food to freeze. I normally make big soups and try to always have a few freezer meals on hand, but this has gone beyond the realm of normal. (And I'm just getting started!) I got the book Fix, Freeze, Feast, and while I haven't yet made any of the recipes, have gotten some great ideas on how to modify my own recipes to be more freezer friendly. Here's what's in the freezer so far:
  • Stacy's fabulous Chicken Mirabella (3 Bags)
  • Chicken Enchiladas (1 Pan, 2 Meals for us)
  • Pizza Dough, Cheese, and Meat (3 Pizzas. Sauce to be made and frozen soon. I hope.)
  • Stuffed Potatoes (2 Meals, AKA Potato Boats, served with a triangle of cheese for a sail!)
  • Black Bean Chili (1 Container, 2 Meals)
  • White Bean Soup (2 Containers, 4 Meals)
I've also purchased ingredients for a couple more chicken meals and I don't remember what else at the moment. I plan to make a big pot of refried beans and freeze them in small containers as they can be used for many quick meals. (Tostadas are one of our family's favorites. They also go nicely with quesodillas, which are a lunchtime staple around here.) I also plan to make some cookie dough to freeze, another thing I like to do anyway. I scoop it onto the cookie sheet, freeze, then package in smaller bags. This way we can bake just a few cookies at a time and not have a ton of them sitting around begging to be eaten! 
So, here's where I'm turning to you, whoever you may be! Do you have any favorite recipes that freeze well? I'd love to try them out on my unsuspecting family in the next while. I don't get this motivated very often, and have to take advantage of it when I do. Thanks in advance! 

3 comments:

  1. Many of these recipe ideas sound yummy. My favorite "after the baby comes" meal is spinach quiche. I mix up the ingredients and freeze it in the ziploc bag along with those Pillsbury roll out crusts. Then all I have to do is defrost the filling, dump it into the crust and cook. Yum!

    I think any favorite quiche dish will do. I just did spinach for the extra iron because its usually the first meal i have after the baby arrived.

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  2. lasagna freezes well. Also something easy is to put your chicken in a ziplock with the marinade and then freeze. Spaghetti sauce. Chicken trazzini or a casserole with chicken, spaghetti and broccoli with a cream sauce and bread crumb topping. I haven't been cooking much. Packing yes, cooking no.
    Susan

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  3. I like the way your mind works, Rebeca! And I can *especially* relate to this line:
    "I don't get this motivated very often, and have to take advantage of it when I do." Ha! ME, TOO!

    You're making the same stuff I would make and freeze... soups are GREAT, sauces (pizza sauce, spaghetti sauce, lasagna sauce). Have you ever made Calzones and frozen them? Oh... and if you want breakfast-y stuff, the other day I made these breakfast burritos (http://anewchelseamorning.blogspot.com/2006/10/as-requested-burritos.html) and they are great for breakfasts. It made a bunch, and you could tweak the recipe with the stuff you like.

    :)

    ~Stacy

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