Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Freezer Cooking for a New Baby #5

This is the 5th post in the "Freezer Cooking for a New Baby" series.  I hope you've been finding some inspiration to fill your freezer with yummy foods that will save you both time and money.  Be sure to check out all the posts in this series.  Each post contains at least three different recipes or freezer friendly food ideas.  (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4)

#1: Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies

This is a delicious cookies recipe that also happens to be freezer friendly!  I like that I can pull out just the amount of cookies that I wold like to bake and leave the rest in the fridge.  One batch makes about 48 cookies.  I usually make a batch of the dough, bake some for dessert that night, and freeze the rest.  Don't forget that when freezing cookie dough balls like this, you will want to lay the balls flat on a plate for about 30 minutes until they are slightly frozen, and then bag all of them together.  This prevents them from sticking together.  The recipe that I use for these cookies can be found on Money Saving Mom's website HERE.

#2: Lasagna

Lasagna is one of my personal favorite meals.  I whipped up two large lasagnas, and prepared them in Dollar Store disposable trays.  I used my recipe found HERE, but I replaced the ricotta cheese with cottage cheese (it's really good, less expensive, and I don't think you can even tell a difference).  To freeze, just prepare the lasagna like normal, but do not cook it.  You can actually just bake these from their frozen state.  I bake these at 425 F for about 2 hours from frozen (or until they are cooked through).

#3: Pureed Pumpkin

If you've never made your own pumpkin puree before, you are certainly missing out!  Fresh pumpkin puree is so yummy.  I  teach you how to bake and puree your own pumpkin HERE.

Note 1: Don't stick a wooden spoon inside the top of your food processor to help the pumpkin "move along".  It will not only break your spoon (resulting in a frantic hunt for the missing pieces among the puree), but it might also snap the plastic piece on the bottom of your processor that holds the blade in place.  It will quickly find it's new home in your garbage = sad.

Note 2: To freeze, bag, label, and freeze flat.  This small pumpkin from my local Trader Joe's yielded about 3 3/4 cups pumpkin puree.

Now, I know many of you may still be wondering how to store all this stuff in your freezer.  As I always say, lay the bags flat to freeze.  This makes it easy to stuff them in "file folder" style (either on top of each other or upright) and saves a lot of space.  Here is a picture of one of my pull out freezer drawers:

You can see, I have 6 gallon sized ziploc bags full of meals in this drawer, and it's very easy to see and grab what I need.
 When using disposable trays, I just stack them one on top of the other.  I use smaller spaces on the sides to store some of the smaller bags (like the pumpkin bags which were in sandwich sized bags).

What have you added to your freezer lately?  Any creative storage tips?

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