Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Freezer Meals: It's cooking day

Congradulations!  You've prepped your kitchen, prepared your list, and went shopping!  Now the real work starts...

The Tools

First things first, get out all of your kitchen gadgets.  Your supplies may vary slightly if you've done a different variety of meals but the same staples apply. 
I was extremely surprised by how few things I actually used during the 'cooking day'.  I honestly expected to clear my shelves off but I think I used less than when I make a meal from start to finish.  To help with this, I kept a hot, soapy washing area in my sink for easy rinse and reuse.  I also kept all my meats and veggies seperate by using different knifes and cutting boards during my prep stages.
Here's what I used:

Two Skillets
One Pot
Cutting Board
Four Glass Bowls
Large Spoon
Two Knifes
Measuring Cups/Spoons
Two Crockpots*
Cast Iron Skillet*

This didn't even fill up my dishwasher!  How many times would I have washed these pots and pans for cooking dinner each night?  I can tell you! THIRTY-TWO!  Think about the amount of time saved washing dishes from cooking.  Another great plus for freezer cooking.

The Goods

Next, pull out all the food you're going to cook up.  You'll be amazed at the amount food there is, but this in a whole month!  I arranged everything by category again: veggies, cans, meats, etc.  While doing so, I left myself a work space at the far back for easy access to the sink and stove.

Freezer Bags

I also went out and purchased some special freezer bags.  These neat Ziplocks are set up to vacuum seal.  We've been wanting to purchase an actual vacuum system but don't have the extra cash for it right now.  These seemed like a good option until that point.

My main recommedation for these is to avoid using for meals with a lot of liquid.  However, I will say, they were great to use even when I manually rolled the bag to squish the air out.  Now before some of my readers freak out - I am washing and reusing these bags!  I cannot stand wasting resources or money for pure laziness.  After the first meal, they washed up very well.

Time to cook

Ok young grasshopper - you're ready to cook.  Pick for first meal and get to work!

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