Monday, August 26, 2013

Freezer cooking!

     Since Jen and Jason are going to be so busy with the new babies, I thought it would be nice to prepare a couple of meals that could be kept in the freezer and just tossed into the oven whenever they realized "Oh wait, we need to eat!" So I spent the whole afternoon Sunday cooking, assembling, labeling, and freezing. And disaster-ing. But I'll get to that in a minute. First, here are the recipes I made. They're all from because she happened to have a post all about making freezer meals that popped up when I googled it (and because I've seriously never made a recipe from her website that wasn't delicious). 

Sour Cream Noodle Bake Super easy and fast to put together, and I know Jen and Jason will love it because they are sour cream fiends. I made it in a disposable foil pan so it can be heated easily and they won't have to deal with washing a casserole dish afterwards.

Roast Beef Sammiches Ok, they're not actually called sammiches, but as long as I'm around they are. I knocked these out pretty fast too, once I got a good process going and became a one-woman assembly line. I individually wrapped them in foil so they can be popped right into the oven to heat up.

Calzones These were a little more time consuming, but I did try one (it was the ugliest one of the batch, and I was a little too ashamed of it to give it away and let other people witness its horror) and it was delish, so I would say worth it. I used mild sausage and didn't add any onion (didn't feel like chopping one), and I think that made it so that these calzones would even make a good breakfast. 

Spicy Dr. Pepper Pulled Pork I made this recipe in the slow cooker so I could get it started, then move on to working on other recipes, and it turned out perfectly. Fell right apart, I barely even had to shred it! I figure this will be a good thing for Jen and Jason to have in the freezer so they can heat it up for nachos, sammiches, quesadillas, or even just to be eaten by itself, hastily shoved in one's mouth.

     There was going to be a fifth recipe (my Grandma's chili) but that's where the disaster-ing comes in. See, I had rather a time of it in the kitchen. First I sliced open my finger doing something stupid (I'm not gonna say if it was cutting open a bottle of mayo to get it all out for the special sauce that goes on the roast beef sammiches....but it could have been that) and had to take a time-out to bandage everything up, then the lids to the foil pans I'd bought REFUSED to snap onto the pans (only one out of the three-pack actually fit) and I had kind of a rage-blackout about it, then I ran out of foil halfway through the whole cooking extravaganza, then....and this is the worst, most truly dreadful part....I BURNED the chili. Yeah, burned it. It's an unscrewuppable recipe, but I found a way to screw it up. Basically, after I browned some ground beef and vegetables in a pot and added some tomato-y liquid goodness, I forgot to turn the heat down to simmer. It sat there cooking on medium-high for about 45 minutes before I thought, "Something smells like burning. It must be the sausage for the calzones, because surely it couldn't be the chili, that's un-possible. Unless...oh..." and by that time I had already made a chili-and-carcinogen-flavored brick. Oops. I'll probably grab some new ingredients and try again tomorrow, but this time I won't be making five things at once, so hopefully I won't ruin it again. 

     So, all-in-all I'd say that four out of five successful freezer meals made in one day is a pretty good turnout. I think it'll be really helpful for Jen and Jason to have a few ready-to-go food options for themselves when they're juggling feedings and diaper-changes for the babies (hopefully not literally, as that would get real messy real fast). These recipes are all also good comfort-food options, I think, which I imagine will be nice when they're tired and cranky and yearning for the sweet sustenance of carbs and meat (am I projecting too much here? Probably). And last but not least, since these meals are all made with basic ingredients and designed to make a big batch to keep around, they're all very cost-effective. Thirteen bucks for a big-ass pork butt (are you enjoying that word-play? You're welcome) that makes about 18 servings boils down to under 75 cents per meal, aka really, really, ridiculously cheap. So if you're thinking of making these for yourself before you have your own babies, or you just want to save money on groceries (who doesn't), this is a great way to go. 

     Thus ends my cooking marathon! Hopefully I'll have better luck with the chili tomorrow...otherwise I may have to start building a botched-chili-brick house of shame. 

1 comment:

  1. Oh I love you! I'm so excited to be tired so I can eat all these delights!