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Old 12-30-2005, 10:33 PM   #1
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Oregon
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Does anyone do "Freezer Cooking"?

Just curious if anyone did "once a month cooking" or "freezer cooking". I did a couple sessions at Dream Dinners last year and really liked the convenience of having ready-to-go meals in the freezer, however the price was pretty high and some of the items my picky DH didn't like. Can anyone give some advice on how this works for them (and how to get motivated to actually do it!!)


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Old 12-30-2005, 10:39 PM   #2
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I'm, kind of looking to this kind of looking into this, as I am considering a move from restaurants, to the world of being a Personal Chef.
This kind of think intrigues me...Thanks for piquing my interest even more!!!

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Old 12-30-2005, 11:03 PM   #3
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I owned my own business for many years. It was quite seasonal (grower & retail greenhouses), and although I worked hard all the time, I did have some spare time in the fall and winter to do some cooking.
I learned to make extra when I had time, and freeze it in ziplock bags for later use.
Sure beats McYucks!

Now, I am not able to get around like I used to, but on good days, I still cook doubles and freeze the extra.
We get by with a little help from our friends
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Old 12-31-2005, 12:42 AM   #4
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I love freezing ahead.
I plan a day with 1 or 2 friends, and we prepare enough meals for 24 days each. Then, a menu goes up on the fridge, so you can always choose what you want and thaw it overnight in the fridge. I've posted recipes for this type of cooking before. Let me see if I can find some for you.
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This week's topic: Pinterest and Potatoes
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Old 12-31-2005, 12:52 AM   #5
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Here are a few I found in our archives. I've made each one more times than I can count, so they are very tried and true.

Chicken Pie
1 - 8oz block cream cheese
2 Tbsp butter
3 chopped green onions
4 Tbsp milk
Salt & pepper to taste
3-4 chicken breasts, boiled & diced
1/2 pkg. FROZEN "hash brown" cubed potatoes (so you need 1 pound)
1/2 pkg. FROZEN petite peas (if you don't like peas, don't use 'em!)
1 pkg. Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crusts

Preheat oven to 350. In a large glass bowl, melt cream cheese & butter together in microwave. Add salt, pepper, onions & milk. Stir till smooth.
Add chicken, frozen potatoes & frozen peas. Mix well.
Pour into crust & add top crust. Crimp edges & vent with knife.
Bake 35-45 min. till crust is golden.

You can also include frozen carrots, corn, or whatever suits you.

This can be served alone, or topped with any of the following favorites:
Apple Sauce (kids love this, as do I)
Sour Cream (mom & I love this one)
Tabasco! (h & son #1 think all food needs Tabasco)

ALSO - filling can be made in bulk and frozen in pie-sized portions in gallon sized freezer bags. Just defrost & dump into a pie shell for a quick dinner.


This next recipe is one of my favorites -
it's easy to make, and tastes wonderful
(After mixing, separate into 2-3 portions,
depending on your family's size. Cook one,
and Freeze the other two in Ziploc Freezer
Bags for another day. On cooking day,
thaw and cook)

Chicken Scampi

Minced garlic to equal 16 cloves of garlic
2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley
½ c. + 2Tbsp lemon juice
1¼ c. chardonnay
1½ c. EVOO
2½ tsp salt
1 Tbsp + 2 tsp garlic powder
½ c. dried oregano
1¼ c. chili sauce- I use "HOMADE" brand - I think it tastes best
10 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1" pieces

Combine all ingreds.

Oven method: Bake @ 450 for 25-40 min, till chicken is done..
Crockpot method: Cook on low for 8 hours

Serve over angelhair pasta.


Chicken Breasts in Phyllo

1½ c cream
1 c. chopped green onion
1/3 c. lemon juice
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tsp dried tarragon
12 chicken breast halves (boned & skinned)
salt & pepper to taste
1½ c. butter, melted
24 sheets phyllo
1/3 c. parmesan cheese (freshly grated)

Cooking day instructions:
Combine first five ingredients to make sauce. Lightly sprinkle chicken breasts with salt & pepper. Place 2 sheets of phyllo on working surface. Quickly brush each sheet w/ melted butter (about 2 tsp). Spread about 1½ T. of sauce on each side of chicken. Place breast in one corner of buttered phyllo sheets. Fold corner over breast, then fold sides over and roll breast up in the sheet to form a package.
Place in an ungreased baking dish. Repeat with remaining chicken breasts and phyllo sheets. Brush packets with remaining butter and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Freeze by method below:

- Line your baking dish with aluminum foil first and then with a layer of plastic wrap (make sure that both are large enough to cover the bottom, sides and top of the dish). Fill the dish with your prepared meal. Seal the plastic wrap, removing as much air as possible. Then seal the outer aluminum foil layer. With the packaged meal still in the pan, place it in the freezer. Once the item has been flash frozen, slip the meal out of the pan and into a freezer bag.

Serving Day instructions:
Thaw completely before baking. Bake @ 375 degrees for 45-50 minutes, or until golden. Serve immediately.

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This week's topic: Pinterest and Potatoes
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Old 12-31-2005, 07:09 AM   #6
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I dont "plan" month long meals, however, I do make extra anytime I make pasta sauce, chili, stews, etc. and then freeze them.
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Old 12-31-2005, 09:23 AM   #7
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me too amber. if i make something like stew or sunday gravy, i make a few quarts extra to freeze in leftover chinese soup containers. my freezers are stuffed with them. then, when there's little or no time to cook, just pop one in the nuker to soften it a little, then into a small pot to reheat thru. then all i have to do is make pasta, or just tear up some bread and butter or evoo for the soups.
The past is gone it's all been said.
So here's to what the future brings,
I know tomorrow you'll find better things
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Old 12-31-2005, 11:52 AM   #8
Join Date: Jun 2005
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Jkath- I'm interested in how you work out the details when doing this with friends...like how do you split the cost and do you each do your 24 meals at your own homes or do you bring all your ingredients to one persons house and assemble the meals together? I have 3 small children underfoot, so teaming up sounds like it might be a time saver! (and those recipes all look yummy!)
Constance-I also have a nursery, so this is my down time as well. I am pretty much free until the end of January, so have been thinking about this. I got on the website for DD, but my 12 meals added up to $213. So I was curious how much cheaper I could do it myself.
I do make taco meat ahead when I purchase the big costco pack of ground beef. Also freeze enchilada filling when I have extra roast beef or chicken, but doing a whole month's worth of dinners at once seems overwelming! Maybe I need to commit to just doing several per week or doubling my nightly dinners for awhile...I guess they would add up after a month or so.
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Old 12-31-2005, 12:38 PM   #9
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lhanson, our "cooking day" is actually one that my kids have always looked forward to. I started doing it when my 10 year old was 3-1/2. They like it because the other mom or moms bring their kids and it's a full day of indoor playing for them!

What I do, is write down the meals we want, then do the math to make as many servings as needed and then produce a shopping list. I do the buying (but that's only because I love to shop) and then the other moms write me checks for their parts. I like to get bulk spice at Costco (look how much oregano is needed in the scampi!), and I check the grocery store circulars to see if meat is cheaper there or at Costco. Very often I've done this part first, and built the meals around what is cheapest that week. I have all cooking days at my house, because I have a large supply of pots, pans, etc. Now that I've moved I have a ton of counter space, so it should be even better.
There's a great book that could get you started - heres the link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/080...lance&n=283155

Also, a couple of weeks ago I got a brand new Food Saver handed to me (someone who didn't want to bother figuring out how to use it) so I'll be using it next week when I have my next cooking day. Wish you were here - the two ladies coming are brand new to this kind of cooking and I get to show them how :)
I've got many more meals too, if you ever need ideas :)
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This week's topic: Pinterest and Potatoes
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Old 01-03-2006, 01:30 AM   #10
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What wonderful looking recipes! I will have to try them. I used to do some freezer cooking and got away from it as we moved around. Now it's time to do it again. I know there is a group around here that gets together and does this once a month, but I prefer to do it on my own. My kids are getting a little bigger and can help me with a lot of the preparation, which will be nice now~

Thanks for the info!

~there might be a little dust on the bottle, but don't let it fool ya about what's inside~
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