Sunday, January 18, 2009

Menu Plan Monday - Once a Month Freezer Cooking

I read about it for the first time several years ago. But the idea of spending an ENTIRE weekend cooking non-stop just didn't really appeal to me. On the other hand, the idea of NOT cooking for an ENTIRE month did appeal to me. In fact, it appealed to me very much. So much so that I've finally decided to give it a try.

I got a head start this month, since our monthly freezer cooking club just met on Thursday. There are usually 6 of us who make a meal for each other, meet once a month and exchange those meals. They come in so handy on evenings when you forgot to thaw the meat, your day didn't go as planned and you didn't have time to start dinner, or you just don't feel like cooking.

I decided on Wednesday that I was going to make this happen. Sure, maybe I wouldn't cook for an ENTIRE month's meals, but I wanted to give it a try for at least a few weeks. I also decided that I wanted to include some breakfast and lunch options rather than only dinners and, with only a small freezer, I knew I would have to be somewhat selective.

I hit the ground running. On Thursday, I made soup for dinner. I doubled the batch and froze half. On Friday, we had company (despite our temporary power outage early in the day) for dinner. I made an 18-lb turkey that I had gotten on sale around Thanksgiving. Obviously, even with dinner guests, that left us with quite a chunk of meat. Saturday I cooked, baked, prepared, and froze most of the day, so we ordered pizza for dinner. And today my husband helped me with some baking while I did some more cooking and freezing.

All in all, I'd say we were VERY productive this weekend, especially considering the fact that my husband had to work almost a full day on Saturday. Oh, and also the fact that we have 3 small children running around the house! :)

Here's our running total of what's in the freezer:

6 servings of alfredo sauce

2 dozen English muffin pizzas

6 servings of turkey soup (I boiled down the bones to get the broth and then added turkey, carrots, celery and onion - we'll add the noodles when we reheat it.)

2 dozen waffles

2 dozen pancakes

4 dozen pumpkin muffins

2 chicken pot pies

2 small roasts

5 pkgs chicken nuggets (yes, i cheated and bought those at the store)

5 meals from cooking club (3 soups, 1 chicken dish, and 1 casserole)

1 lb bacon, cooked and chopped for calzones

It was such a shame we had to finish off the ice cream to make room for all of that. :) Now, on my list of things to make in the next day or two:

2 dozen biscuits

1 loaf french toast (By this, I mean a loaf of store-bought bread, turned into french toast and then frozen)

1 dozen+ calzones (stuffed with peppers, bacon, pepperoni, ricotta and mozzarella cheeses! yummm!)

2 dozen oatmeal chocolate chip breakfast cookies

And with all that going on, I still planned a dinner menu for this week! Yes, I know! Amazing!

Monday - out to eat (anyone want to join us at Logan's?) :)

Tuesday - turkey soup

Wednesday - cheeseburgers, roasted potatoes, frozen veggies

Thursday - spaghetti w/ red sauce, garlic toast

Friday - meatloaf, mashed potatoes, carrots

Whew! I'm completely exhausted and am heading to bed! I have quite the list of things to do tomorrow morning when I wake up, so I better get a good night's sleep!


Extraordinary Ordinary Life said...

Wow, I am proud of you and I bet you are tired. I am thinking of gearing up for another marathon session but I am not quite there yet. Although I could be since I have been basically a recluse for several weeks now.

Miney said...

I'm impressed! :) I've toyed with the idea of that off and on, but haven't actually gotten around to doing it.

Jennifer said...

You did great! That is a lot of food set aside, I bet you will do this again for sure.

Jeremy and Marissa said...

I've always wanted to do this, but never knew how exactly and what you can freeze and then what the reheating instructions would be. Could you post some of your recipes?

Alex Hall said...

WOW! I have 4 little ones running around, so I'm quite familiar with trying to cook while being responsible. :) That must have been a long day!

By chance do you have any of the recipes available??? Especially for the alfredo sauce, english muffin pizzas, calzones, and the oatmeal chocolate chip breakfast cookies!!!

Jennifer said...

That's awesome! I've done smaller batches of frozen stuff, maybe one day I'll do a full day!
I have a question - had you frozen alfredo sauce before? I LOVE homemade alfredo (HATE the store-bought stuff) and would love to make a larger batch and freeze. I was just wondering if the consistency is the same once it is thawed? I would love to have that on hand all the time!