life on the funny farm

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Chicken-Scratch-Saturday: Cooking Ahead

Just a quick little tip here for getting some pre-made dinners ready for the grabbing.

I've heard it suggested that you take a day on the weekend to cook up a week's worth of dinners to stick in the freezer.

But I don't know, giving up a whole day of the weekend to save cooking each night? That math doesn't add up for me.

So here are a couple things I do that make weeknight cooking easier, but don't require sacrificing any time.

1) Cook up a whole mess of ground beef at once. Like, cook 5lbs. Then drain it, cool it a bit, and put a pound each in five quart-sized freezer bags. Then when you have no time, you can pull out a pound of already cooked ground beef. Cook it up as sloppy Joe's, tacos, spaghetti, whatevs.

2)When you're making a casserole, double the ingredients and make two of them. Only don't put the second one in a pan. Put it in a gallon-sized freezer bag. You can fit so much more in the freezer this way. Then take a bag out a few weeks later, thaw it out, stick it in a pan, add cheese to the top if you need it, and you've got dinner.

3) Before you go to the grocery store, put the slow cooker on the counter.  When you get home, and you're putting away the groceries, wash up some chicken and throw it in the crock pot with some water.  When it's done cooking, shred the chicken (putting it in the mixer does this perfectly!).  Then, you guessed it, put it in freezer bags. Then later, when a recipe calles for cooked chicken ( a casserole, quesadillas, etc), just pull out a bag of pre-cooked, pre-shredded chickem and you're good to go. Also?  The broth left over in the crock pot?  Strain it, cool it, and stick it in the freezer.  Use it later for soup, or just for broth to use in cooking.

So.  Not really rocket science here.  Just a few tips on how to have a few dinners ready to go for you in the freezer, without spending any extra time in the kitchen.



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  1. I do all of these things, and it is very helpful. One thing, though. You have the same number of kids as me, but yours are even older. How do you feed them all with ONE POUND of ground beef? When we have tacos, if I don't have at least three pounds, there is talk of a coup.

  2. Fear not, Coop. I never just use 1# either. I just wrote it that way for "normal folk". Good luck at keeping the coup out of the coop!

  3. Thanks for the good ideas,I really need to start doing this.It will eliminate slot of the mommy I'm starving that I hear every day.



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