Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Freezer Cooking Extrazaganza!

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This week is turning into the week of sickness. Monday morning Jack woke up with a fever and a cough, and today Anna woke up with it. Lily, Max, and Luke all have coughs and runny noses, so I'm kind of anticipating everyone catching this virus by the time the week is over.

So, instead of sticking to our normal schedule this week, we are just focusing on taking it easy and getting everyone better.

Since the kids are just wanting to lay down, sleep, and watch movies, I decided to try and do some freezer cooking today.

I decided to make applesauce bread, blueberry muffins, chocolate chip breakfast cake(because some mornings you just need chocolate, am I right?!), and chicken stock.

{If you look closely at this picture, you can see Lily's portrait she drew of me. :)}

Muffins and bread are some of my favorite things to freeze. I just let everything cool, then put the muffins and sliced bread in freezer bags, and they're ready to go in the freezer. When I'm ready to use them, I'll just pull out however many muffins or bread I need and stick them in the oven for about ten minutes. You could also microwave them, but our microwave is broken, so I just use the oven for everything.

For the breakfast cake, I wrapped saran wrap tightly around the pan, then I just wrapped some aluminum foil over that. When we're ready to eat it, I'll probably let it thaw on my counter top overnight, then put it in the oven for about 20 minutes the next morning.

{20 cups of broth just waiting to be frozen}

I get asked quite a bit how I make my chicken broth. There's a lot of ways to make it, but typically I just fill up a stock pot with water, throw a chicken carcass in the pan, and let it cook for 24 hours. When there's a few hours left before the 24 hours is up, I add some carrots and onions to the pot. Right before I turn the oven off, I add some salt(I've heard a good rule of thumb is 1 tsp of salt for every 2 cups of broth.)

Once it cools(which will take awhile), I strain out the bones and vegetables into big mixing bowls. Then I measure out 4 cup portions and place them in freezer bags. I've tried to use mason jars before, but every time I do the mason jars end up shattering, so I stick with freezer bags. I'll usually label the portion size on the bags, and mark the date.

When it's time to use the broth, I *try* to remember to set it out that morning, that way it's thawed and ready for dinner. However, there are plenty of times I forget to do this, and I end up pulling out a bag of frozen broth at the last minute, cut the bag open, and melt the broth on the stove. Hey, it works.  :)

Do the rest of you enjoy freezer cooking? What are some of your favorite things to freeze?

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  1. YES! I so need to start doubling and freezing stuff again. I love having stuff in the freezer so I can be more lazy about cooking! Errr...or....spend more time with my kids...yeah...that sounds better... :p

  2. I try to cook freezer meals often, as it makes life so much easier! We really enjoy twice baked potatoes from the freezer


  3. Freezer cooking is indeed a blessing.........I try to make an extra lasagna, shepherd's pie or other dish when we have it so that one can go into the freezer....can't always do it, but oh, what a blessing it is when I can. Thank you for sharing this...............Gentle Joy

  4. Gina,

    Lol! Seriously, though, spending an hour in the kitchen only to spend 10 minutes eating it can really wear on a mama! :)


    I have never thought of making twice baked potatoes for the freezer, that's a great idea!


    It is such a blessing, and that's a great idea to double recipes you're already making! I need to get better about this!

  5. I like your new blog background and header! Moving right now has made me pretty much un-inspired in the kitchen department, but I am looking forward to settling down and doing more stuff like this again. I especially love stocking up my freezer with baked goods.

  6. I love to freezer cook. I am always learning and feel like I never have enough time to do all that I learn about it! For breakfast this morning I ate a blueberry muffin from the freezer. I like to casserole, ground beef with onions and shredded chicken. It really does save time and money if you can be consistent with it. Money Saving Mom blog has some good ideas.


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