Monday, August 20, 2012

Almost farewell to summer.. Freezing comfort foods!

I'm a huge lover of comfort foods. My only problem is that I love them all year long and I am a failure at only cooking enough to feed our family of three for one night. In stead, we tend to eat chili or scalloped potatoes & ham for lunch for 3 days following. Portion control is not one of my strong suits either. My eyes are bigger than my stomach 9 times out of 10. This leaves a lot more to be saved than planned. Until recently I never froze anything because every time I freeze something as simple as hamburgers, they get freezer burn.

So with Fall quickly approaching, our money being tight & Chris having weird schedules while in nursing school, I decided I'm not going to waste a single thing anymore. Lunches wont be leftover meals, they will be regular lunches & everything leftover will be frozen. As I mentioned, I cook large amounts. I don't know why, but I do. Last weekend I bought a 6.5 pound package of ground round with the intentions to make my version of Speedy Spaghetti (recipe to follow) & Chili! I also pulled 8 boneless skinless chicken breasts out of the freezer and made my version of Auto Parts Chicken .(recipe to follow)

I spent an entire day devoted to cooking these meals from scratch so they could be frozen for our busy days. I did a little research so I was sure I would freeze them correctly. Aside from making sure it's cool enough to not melt through a freezer bag, I was unaware of if it should be completely cooled or if slightly warm was OK. It SHOULD be completely cooled. I found the fasted, easiest way was to fill a large bowl with ice water and set your freezer bag in to rest for 20 minutes or so. Make sure all the air is pressed out and try to avoid making the bag when laid flat more than 3/4- 1 inches thick. Remember that food expands when frozen, so don't overfill. Lay them flat in the freezer, let freeze for at least 2 hours before rearranging.

I found the whole process to be very easy! One day of cooking (1 crock pot meal & two quick , easy electric skillet meals!) For a few nights  to have a home cooked meal that would have felt like such a chore to complete after a long day of work (home daycare!) & running my own household. It's sure to feel like a treat when I can just grab, quick defrost and heat!! :) 

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