Wow, thanks everyone for all the "hooray" comments! I am really looking forward to sharing ideas and recipes with you all. Today I wanted to chat a bit about how to get started with freezer cooking.
One of the easiest ways to start filling your freezer is to start cooking bigger meals. If you are making a lasagna, make two. Eat one that night and put the other in the freezer. This is one of the simplest ways to fill your freezer fast. If you just doubled 2 meals a week by the end of the month you would have 8 extra meals in your freezer! That means 8 nights next month that you won't have to cook! Woohooo!
I have started to learn that even freezing the little portions of leftovers help. Even if it is just one serving, don't toss it, freeze it. Eventually you will have enough one portion servings to feed your whole family, or you could take those one portions and stick them in your hubby's lunch. If it is something really good than you could feed the kids PBJ's and you can enjoy it for lunch. Like our mothers always said, "waste not, want not". Thanks mom :o)
What's the best way to freeze food? Freezer bags.
Freer bags can be laid flat and you can stack them high. Make sure you get most of the air out of the bag before sealing. Before I start stacking my bags I like to flash freeze them. This basically means that I lay them flat on a tray (or a cooking sheet) and put them in my freezer until they are almost frozen through. This way the bags won't stick together when they freeze or get into some funky shape that makes them impossible to get out of the freezer.
I once saw a picture of a freezer that had 24 main dishes, 12 side dishes, 10 desserts, and 10 breakfasts all neatly stacked in freezer bags. And they had room to add more! So freezer bags are definitely your best bet. Yet, there are some things that need a 9x13 or an 8x8 pan and that's OK. There are 2 ways to do this. First, you could just buy aluminum pans to make those things in. Or you can line your pan with saran wrap and then make the meal in the pan. Pop your pan into the freezer and let it freeze. Once frozen, pull the pan out and remove the plastic wrap with your meal in it. Securely wrap the plastic wrap around the whole meal and then wrap it in a layer of foil. Label and throw it back into the freezer. When it comes time to cook that meal, simply pull it out of the freezer, unwrap it (before it thaws) and place it back into the same pan. Presto, it's all ready to go and one of your good pans didn't have to sit in the freezer, unusable for a month.
So there you have just a few tips to get you started on filling your freezer. Tomorrow I will deliver a new recipe to you! You won't want to miss it :o)