Freezer Cooking

My Time-Saving, Sanity-Saving, Jam-Making Tip

posted by Andrea | 07/9/2013 | 27 comments

Last week, I picked over 17 pounds of strawberries for making jam, smoothies, pies, and just for eating. However, since we were very busy over the holiday weekend and are busy this week getting ready for our upcoming vacation, I’m freezing my smashed berries and will make jam when I get back.

Today, I’m sharing a few tips and resource to help simplify the process of canning jam!

Freezer-Friendly Burritos

posted by Andrea | 06/17/2013 | 21 comments

I originally posted this recipe over two years ago, but since it’s one of our favorite quick lunch “recipes” — perfect for busy summer afternoons — I figured I should share it again for those of you who might not have been reading my blog two years ago!

I will often whip up 15-30 burritos at a time so we always have a supply in our freezer for days when we don’t feel like a sandwich or leftovers.

5 Tips for Baking in Bulk… With Toddlers

posted by Andrea | 06/4/2013 | 25 comments

Over the past couple of years, I’ve shared many pictures, recipes, and tips for cooking/baking in bulk in attempts to keep our freezer stocked. And whenever I mention my freezer cooking/baking sessions, I always get a handful of questions asking how I do it with a toddler (or any number of small children).

So today, I’m sharing 5 simple tips that helped me get back in my “baking-in-bulk groove” after Nora was born.

Save Time by Freezing Pre-Cooked Ingredients

posted by Andrea | 04/17/2013 | 33 comments

If you ever stop by our house and open up our deep freezer, it will most likely be quite full… however, you might be surprised to know that most of what’s in our freezer is NOT fully prepared meals.

Our freezer is often filled with pre-cooked and pre-portioned ingredients ready and waiting to help me whip up a quick meal in a moment’s notice — which saves me SO much time in the kitchen!

Savory Sausage Pasta Bake

posted by Andrea | 04/3/2013 | 15 comments

I’ve posted a bunch of pasta recipes already — but was surprised I hadn’t posted this recipe for Savory Sausage Pasta Bake. It was one of my all-time favorite recipes growing up — and although I’ve adapted it a bit from my mom’s recipe, it’s still one of our favorite weeknight meals.

If you’re a big pasta lover (and don’t like to spend all day preparing for dinner), you’ll definitely want to save this recipe!

Freezer Cooking in Less Space

posted by Andrea | 03/19/2013 | 14 comments

I love having a stocked freezer, but I’m not willing to buy loads of extra pans and baking dishes. Plus, when we had a smaller freezer, we didn’t have room for so many large pans.

So for the past several years, I’ve been using a really simple technique that allows me to freeze as much food as I want without “wasting” all my pots and pans.

Meal Planning, Shopping, and Cooking for 30!

posted by Andrea | 02/16/2013 | 21 comments

Last weekend, Dave, Nora, and I went up north for a long weekend with friends. There were 30 people total — and for some reason, I offered to create a meal plan and make the majority of the food! It was quite a bit more work than I originally thought it would be, but everything turned out well, the food tasted great, and we had SO much fun!

Today, I’m sharing a few pictures from our trip as well as a bunch of tips and recipe ideas for feeding a crowd!

Making the Most out of a Whole Turkey

posted by Andrea | 02/9/2013 | 18 comments

Last weekend, I roasted a whole turkey for my Dad’s birthday celebration. However, I was also able to put LOTS of shredded turkey and lots of yummy homemade broth in the freezer for future meals.

Today, I’m sharing how I saved at least $12.00 (probably lots more) by making the most out of our whole turkey!

My “Free” Homemade TV Dinners

posted by Andrea | 07/3/2012 | 18 comments

Dave and I LOVE leftovers. However, since a massive amount of leftovers can be a bit boring (think lasagna every night for a week!) I’ve started to create “homemade TV dinners” from our leftover meals.

It’s a delicious (and frugal) way to use up those leftovers… and it’s so nice to have a few microwavable meal in the freezer when I don’t feel like cooking.

Hearty Sausage and Cheese Tortellini Soup

posted by Andrea | 02/21/2012 | 17 comments

We love eating just about any variety of soup or stew — especially on cold winter evenings. And I love making soup because we always end up with lots of leftovers for later in the week or for the freezer… so yeah, we eat a lot of soup!

I “discovered” this recipe two years ago when I was making soup to take to school for Dave’s birthday lunch. I wanted something that was a little different than all the “traditional” soups, but still really hearty and delicious. Thankfully, this recipe was a huge hit and my pot was practically licked clean!

Simple, Delicious Crock Pot Recipes

posted by Andrea | 12/14/2011 | 15 comments

One of the reasons I love using my crock pot is because I can just dump all the ingredients in, turn it on, and walk away. I don’t need to stir a boiling pot and I don’t need to pull something out of the oven on time… I can simply go about my day and come back in several hours to a hot meal and a delicious smelling kitchen!

Today I’m sharing 2 really simple crock pot recipes from a loyal reader… they’re so delicious!

Spicy Refried Bean Soup

posted by Andrea | 11/15/2011 | 14 comments

Dave and I {and our two international students} all love soup and we all love anything Mexican. So the other night, when I made this Spicy Refried Bean Soup — you can probably imagine it was a big hit.
Everyone had seconds and there was still plenty left over for lunches — and I even put a large container in the freezer!

Oh, and did I mention it only took about 30 minutes to make!

English Muffin Bread & Egg Sandwiches

posted by Andrea | 09/10/2011 | 27 comments

Dave and I love a good, hot, crispy English Muffin for breakfast; however, I refuse to buy them from the store because they rarely go on sale, and the regular price can be over $3.50 for 6 lousy {preservative filled} English Muffins.

Thankfully, my mother-in-law shared her recipe for English Muffin Bread with me and for the last few years, it has been our much tastier, much healthier, and much cheaper alternative to store bought English Muffins.

Our New Stocked and Organized Deep Freezer

posted by Andrea | 08/11/2011 | 17 comments

When we moved — way back in December — we sold our deep freezer with our house {it was old and too big for our new house}. However, it only took me two weeks to realize how much I missed having an extra freezer! So I started looking to find a deal via Craigslist… and I kept looking with very little luck. I told myself that I should wait to find a deal but decided that if I didn’t find […]

Making the Most of Your Freezer

posted by Andrea | 07/23/2011 | 1 comment

source: When it comes to meal planning, I consider my freezer to be almost as valuable as my oven! At least one of our weekly meals comes straight from the freezer, and many of our breads, cookies, bars, and other baked goods are simply pulled from the freezer on an “as-needed” basis. So whether you have a large extra freezer, or just the small freezer attached to your refrigerator, here are a few ways you can make the most of that […]

Breakfast Burritos – From the Freezer

posted by Andrea | 06/8/2011 | 17 comments

Remember a couple weeks ago when I shared my recipe for really simple burritos… straight from the freezer? If you haven’t tried them yet, you should. They offer the convenience factor of store-bought frozen burritos, but taste a million times better and are WAY cheaper! Anyway, if you liked those burritos, then you’ll love the recipe I’m sharing today. It’s a very similar concept… just in the form of breakfast. Yup, we’re making Breakfast Burritos today! As with nearly all […]

Freezable Foods — yup, you can freeze all of this!

posted by Andrea | 02/10/2011 | 445 comments

Lately I’ve been talking a lot about freezer foods — keeping the freezer stocked, saving time and money by cooking from the freezer, and more. And apparently all of you are very interested in freezer foods because I’ve received all kinds of questions, asking what foods you can and cannot freeze. While I don’t claim to be a “Freezable Foods Expert”, I have frozen more than my share of foods over the last few years; and I’ve taught classes on freezing, drying, and canning. So […]

Space, Time, and Money-Saving Freezer Tips

posted by Andrea | 01/19/2011 | 16 comments

It’s no secret — I LOVE organizing, I LOVE time management, and I LOVE saving money — so when it comes to grocery shopping, cooking, and kitchen storage, I’m all about saving space, time, and money! I love buying in bulk to save money and planning my meals ahead to save time; but when we moved, I ended up with a much smaller freezer. So I had to get just a bit more creative with my freezer storage! And you know […]