Monday, July 11, 2011

Freezer Cooking - How I Made 25+ Meals in 2 Hours!

I first heard of freezer cooking from Money Saving Mom. It's where you take an hour or two, or a whole day, to cook and assemble meals for the week so you don't have to worry about cooking something in a pinch. It also helps to save money when you're making things in bulk. After all that grocery shopping the other day, I wanted to do some freezer cooking to save me some cooking time later.

I spent about 2 hours making everything (while cooking dinner for that night & including a 5-minute break to eat).

Here was the time breakdown:
4:35 - chop & sauté veggies for breakfast burritos
4:47 - assemble marinade & chicken in freezer bag
4:54 - chop bacon & add to burrito mixture
4:55 - crack & beat eggs, add to mixture
5:00 - break for dinner
5:05 - mix dry ingredients for cornbread
5:18 - take burrito mixture off heat & add cheese
5:20 - add wet ingredients for cornbread
5:26 - assemble corn dog muffins & put in oven
5:36 - assemble breakfast burritos, wrap in foil & place in freezer bags
5:47 - clean up, process dishes
6:00 - take corn dog muffins out, put 2nd pan of cornbread muffins in
6:15 - set out ground turkey to defrost, chop onion & sauté
6:16 - cook 1 box pasta
6:18 - add ground turkey to onions, peel & chop garlic
6:20 - add sauce, boil, add dry box of pasta
6:35 - assemble Italian pasta bake in pan, cover with cheese
6:40 - clean up
6:45 - DONE!

So for a little over 2 hours, here's what I ended up with:

12 corndog muffins (6 snacks - 2 per serving)
12 cornbread muffins (3 meals - 4 per serving)
14 breakfast burritos (14 meals)
2 dinners' worth of cooked whole wheat pasta (2 meals)
5 marinated chicken breasts (2 1/2 meals)
1 pan of Italian pasta bake (4 meals - 1/4 pan per meal)
That's a total of 25 1/2 meals and 6 snacks!

The only thing that didn't turn out great was the cornbread. I over mixed the batter, so the muffins are really tough. But they taste good!

I definitely recommend you try freezer cooking if you haven't. You'd be surprised at how much you can make in a short amount of time! For another great resource on speed cooking/freezer cooking, visit Make Five Dinners in One Hour! It's a great blog & if you subscribe (3 months' worth of dinner plans for $15) she will send you the plans in a pdf! It will save you the time of planning the menu & it comes complete with a shopping list per week, & step by step instructions!

This was all in the same day as my grocery shopping trips! Can you believe that after all that, I still managed to make some homemade laundry detergent? Call me crazy. I'll hopefully be posting about that soon.

Thanks for reading!

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