We all know I love to cook but what I may love more during this season of my life is having a freezer stocked with meals for nights when I don't have to think about cooking!
Benjamin started back at grad school this week so with the 2-3 nights a week we'll be on our own and with a busy toddler around I'm very excited for the meals I've got stocked away for the weeks and months to come.
|my old freezer after doing a bunch of cooking awhile ago!|
My friend Ellen emailed after seeing the Pioneer Woman's episode about freezer cooking asking me if I'd be up for a cooking day and of course I said yes. With our mom's nearby to watch the kids we got to thinking about what we'd make, hit the grocery store, then met to cook earlier this week.
We worked well as a team- both having prepared things in advance- Ellen having made the crust for her quiche the night before, making dough for biscuits, roasting off a chicken, and me getting chili in the slow cooker before she arrived. Clearly she was more on top of her game.
I don't have all the recipes written down yet but wanted to share with you what we made.
- Ina's Meatballs that she made and froze in gallon bags, each getting 10 meatballs a piece. We got 4 bags!
- Ina's Chicken Stew with Thyme Biscuits- we got 4 8x8 tins of this!
- Spinach and Parmesan Quiche using Julia Child's Quiche Recipe and PW's crust recipe. We got 4 pies.
- Cook's Illustrated's Weeknight Slow-Cooker Chili which we doubled and got tons of. The slow cooker really couldn't have held more and next time I wouldn't worry about doubling it.
- Martha Stewart's Chicken and Penne with Sun-dried Tomatoes- we got 6 8x8 tins of this!
- PW's Sour Cream Bake- We got 4 8x8 tins of this!
Overall we think we spent about $200 total on groceries and got about 24 8x8 or pie tin dishes then the chili is enough for at least 8 more meals. So, we went home with about 12 prepared meals that just need to be popped in the oven and then lots of chili (probably 3 more meals each) to be frozen and served on its own, over baked potatoes, fritos, chips, burgers, etc.
If I did my math correctly (never trust my pregnant mind with math) but I think that's 30 meals having spent $200 that's under $7 a meal! It really pays off to buy your meat in bulk, cook with a friend, and go home with meals for weeks to come!
Having done a bunch of freezer cooking in month's past I've learned it's always a good idea to freeze things like soups and stews and things like meatballs, quiche, and other 8x8 casseroles are perfect to have on hand when you might need them, or for when you have to bring a meal to someone but aren't sure what you're going to make.
I'll share recipes and pictures as I go through these meals but for now wanted to let you know what we cooked!