Thursday, October 3, 2013

Freezer Cooking for a New Baby #2

Thanks for joining me!  This series, Freezer Cooking for a New Baby, will run throughout the month of October as I prepare for the arrival of baby #4 to our family.  The series will include breakfast, lunch, and dinner items to make life easier after we add a new little person to our home.  Join me in stocking up your freezer to save both time and money!  

Here's what I did for day #2:

#1: Cooked, Chopped Chicken

I love to eat salads, and they are a perfect, healthy meal, but I never seem to have cooked chicken to put on top!  If I'm in the mood for a salad, I need to have easy access to pre-cooked chicken or else it just won't happen.  I cooked up about 2 pounds of chicken in a pan, adding just a little bit of olive oil and salt and pepper.  

Now, if you are going to be freezing something like chopped chicken for salads in which you will only be using a little at a time, you will need to spread the chicken out flat on a plate or dish and freeze for about 30 minutes-1 hour.  Once the chicken is mostly frozen, you can move it to a bag.  IF you place all the chicken straight into a bag for freezing, it will all stick together.  If you plan on using it all at once, that is not such a big deal; but if you plan on using a handful at a time, you won't want all those pieces stuck together.

#2: Uncrustables:

I think most kids like having the crust off of their sandwiches.  Uncrustables are a fun lunch item, but I don't buy them because of their price tag.  Instead, I use my Pampered Chef Uncrustable Press to make my own.  

Tip: When making uncrustables, spread peanut butter on both slices of bread and add the jelly in the middle.  If you do not add peanut butter to both slices, the jelly will make the bread soggy.  

To freeze: Place each sandwich in a ziploc baggie.  Squeeze all the air out (I often use a straw to suck out extra air before sliding it out and sealing the works really well).  I like to double bag these, so after they are all in individual bags, I place them all inside a gallon sized ziploc and seal that one well, too.  

#3: Baked Peanut Butter Oatmeal

We love Baked Peanut Butter Oatmeal and eat it about once a week for breakfast.  I had never tried freezing it, though, so I gave it a shot this week and it worked wonderfully!

Follow my recipe  to mix it all together, but instead of baking it, spread it into a pan or a disposable pan (get them at the Dollar Store).  Cover it with aluminum foil and place in the freezer.

When you are going to use it, pull it out of the freezer and place it in the fridge the night before.  In the morning, preheat the oven to 350 and bake it for 22-25 minutes or until done.

I made a double batch, but we ate one since I needed to see if it would work.  I'll be making a couple more this week to add to the freezer.  The nice thing about the disposable trays is that you can stack them inside of each other to save space since the oatmeal only fills about 1/4-1/2 inch.  AND, you can just throw them in the recycle afterwards (which is really nice and easy after you've had a baby!).

What freezer cooking have you done this week?  Any great new recipes you are trying?

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