Friday, June 1, 2012

Freezer Meal Update: Review

At the beginning of February all the meals that I made in preparation for the arrival of Miss S were basically gone.  Oh how I wished they could just multiply themselves!  Between the meals that our church brought us (an out pour of such love!) and a few take out meals on our part were just really having to think about actually going grocery shopping and a whole new meal plan.  Simple was the name of the game for sure.

I am still trying to figure out how to cook a dinner with a three year old and a 21 month old under foot... plus an almost 6 month old who usually needs to be fed around the dinner hour.  Sigh.  I am thankful that my mother-in-law comes over pretty often and I cook while she plays with the girls.  Blessing beyond measure!

Now that we have had a chance to see how all the meals turned out after being frozen I thought that I would give a review of each meal.  At some point I will put all these tidbits in each post as well.  For now, they will all be here should you be enticed to use any of the recipes for bulk freezer cooking.  Which, by the way, is something that I think I would like to look into doing more often after this little adventure.  You can check out my final list here.  I am just going to go down the list and some will be similar or the same so I will just lump their reviews together.

Beef Stew (from Mom C) - Beautiful.  I don't have the recipe but I am sure that I can get it.  Froze well in a zip lock bag and thawed well on our stove.  I dumped it in a pot and warmed it up.  Super easy.  Highly recommend.

Tator Tot Casserole - Meh.  It was alright.  I think it was my particular recipe.  This recipe almost needed to be doubled to make one good sized casserole.  I like to have left overs and this just didn't cut it.  It wasn't my favorite.  Froze fine, thawed and cooked up nicely.

Meatloaf- Probably one of the best things to freeze.  They are probably better once they have had the time to sit and have the flavors meld, especially in the thawing process.  I originally was not too impressed with the Italian Stuffed Meatloaf.  However, I really liked it the second time around.  I think the kind of sauce you use can make a difference, too.  I think I changed my mind.  I would make this again.  Meatloaf you really need to let thaw probably two days in the fridge.  It was also helpful to label each loaf with what pan I used.  Made it easy to know which one I should use that night.  Good tip.  Implement it!

Stuffed Peppers (from Mom C) - Again, I don't have the recipe for this but I am guessing any recipe you have for them will do.  They froze nicely in a freezer zip bag.  The peppers were pretty soft when they were done cooking.  I think that had to do in part to the freezing and in part the liquid in the stuffing mix.  They were still really delicious and the girls enjoyed them, too.

Lasagna-  Do I really need to review this?  It's a freezer meal staple.  If you have a recipe you love... do it. Always good to have on hand.  If you are going to make a lasagna for dinner just double it and have it on hand when you are in a pinch.

Okay, really... there is a lot to review. Everything really did well freezing and was super yummy.  The only things that I had to finagle was warming up the breakfast burritos.  Basically, I used a wet paper towel, defrosted, and then warmed on a lower power setting.  I cannot give you times because it varies by appliance.  However, I can see that a toaster over would be helpful for these if you are not in a hurry.  I would do all of these meals again.

If you have any questions please fell free to comment below and I will get back to you.

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