Today I will fulfill my promise from a couple weeks ago – giving you more helpful hints and ideas on Feeding the Freezer.
One ice (road) block we have to over come is thinking our freezer space is NOT big enough to feed (freeze extra meals).
First, I want to encourage you to take 15 minutes to clean out your freezer. Toss those frozen hot dogs or last year’s frozen berries that are now freezer burned. When I clean out my freezer I always have to laugh at the strange items I find and think “Why, oh why, did I place this in my freezer in the first place?!”
Let’s get started – grab a plastic garbage bag and begin tossing and organizing.
For some inspiration check out my blogger friend Sheila’s post on organizing her freezer
Next I want to give you 2 simple ways to freeze your meals that take up minimal space and will now leave you with plenty of room for your Ice Cream and Eggos
The 2 simple methods I use when feeding my freezer
#1 Freezer bag Method
This method is used for your meals that are liquid-based, such as soups, chilis and stews or your semi-solid foods such as meats in marinades, stroganoffs, pre-cooked meats, etc.
Step 1 – Label your bag with date, content and quantity. Believe me, once it is frozen it can be very difficult to determine what is actually inside your now frozen zip bag or the quantity it will feed.
4 chicken Breasts
Step 2 – Insert food into freezer zip bags
Step 3 – Squeeze out as much of the air as possible so you can store them as FLAT bags and stack them on top of each other in your freezer.
Step 4 – On serving day, remove from freezer and either place in refrigerator on a pan or plate allowing to thaw completely or use the defrost on your microwave for seedy defrosting. Then cook the meal as directed in the original recipe.
This method is used for your solid food items that need to hold a particular shape/form such as lasagna, meatloaf, enchiladas and casseroles.
Step 1 – Choose the pan/Pyrex dish you want to use for the proportion/size of meal you want to freeze.
Step 2 – Line it with foil wrap first then with a layer of plastic wrap (be sure to use a large enough piece of each to cover the bottom, sides and top of the dish).
Step 3 – Fill the dish with the size meal you are wanting to freeze.
Step 4 – When food is completely cooled, seal/cover with the plastic wrap, removing as much air as possible. Then seal/cover with the foil.
Step 5 – Now place the meal still in the pan into your freezer. Once the item has become frozen solid remove it from the pan and place it into a freezer bag. (Be sure to label the bag with the contents.)
Step 6 – On serving day, remove the meal from the freezer and allow it to thaw slightly. Then remove the foil and plastic wraps and place it the original baking dish. Allow to finish thawing and bake as directed from the recipe you used.
Today’s Let’s Make a Meal Monday recipe is another YUMMY feed the freezer recipe from the Don’t Panic – Dinner’s in the Freezer cookbook.
Orange Teriyaki Chicken
¼ cup soy sauce
3 T. chopped onion
2 cloves garlic ( minced)
1 T olive oil
½ t. ground pepper
½ t. ground ginger
½ t. red pepper sauce
1 – 6oz. can orange juice concentrate
8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Combine all ingredients except the chicken in a bowl and mix. Place the chicken breasts in a freezer bag ( the quantity you want for each meal) pour the marinade over the chicken, using the freezer bag method.
Serving Day: Thaw completely. Grill 4-6 inches from the heat source for 35-40 minutes. I have also placed these in my Oven and baked on 350 for 45- 60 minutes..
This is one of my FAVORITE feed the freezer cook books…..this is the first one I purchased over 10 years ago.
Do you have a YUMMY meal? post it in our comments and share it with the 24/7 MOMS