Inside my Freezer...
Posted 7th October, 2008 in
Inside my freezer, you will find 6 prepared meals, ready to thaw, cook, and eat. I spent about 4 hours this afternoon preparing 7 meals and freezing them for later. (Well, one we ate and one is in the refrigerator for tomorrow...so I guess technically 5 are frozen).
I'm testing out a few recipes from the book "Don't Panic - Dinner's in the Freezer". A few years ago Ben and I bought a round of meals from Dish it Up in Rochester, which follows the same premise...spend one day preparing several meals, freeze them, thaw them and cook them when you're ready. It's meant to help eliminate planning and prep time later on. We weren't thrilled with the Dish it Up meals, but only because they were pretty bland and we like a little more spice and flavor in our meals. Generally we liked having frozen meals ready to cook...as long as we remembered to thaw them in time! So I decided to attempt the same thing on my own.
I don't know for sure yet that it's saved me much time, or money (because I didn't really buy all the chicken i used on sale...if there's a next time, I'll wait for a good sale first), but I'm really hoping that they'll taste great and I'll at least have some new recipes to throw into the mix. I'm pretty tired of tacos, spaghetti, stir fry, and fajitas. It seems like we've been eating the same things for 8 years.
I felt a little bit like a chef must feel in a restaurant, trying to juggle lots of orders and keep track of ingredients. And BOY was it hot by the end of the day! Although the verdict is out on the final product for each meal until we eat it, the prep time went reasonably well. Only one meal looks like a disastrous mess. I just hope it tastes better than it looks. :)
On the menu (I'll try and post reviews as we eat them):
- Chicken Cacciatori (will cook in crock pot)
- Chicken Parisienne (also a crock pot meal)
- Chicken Wellington (the messy one..it's supposed to be crescent roll wrapped stuffed chicken, but my chicken wasn't flat enough to roll and the dough was getting warm and unmanageable)
- Cheesy Chicken (basically parmesan chicken)
- Spinach and Mushroom Manicotti
- Baked Ziti (recipe not from the book)
- and tonight's meal: Crustless Spinach and Mushroom Quiche (recipe also not from book)
The Quiche was SO good and very easy to make. So my first attempt at a new recipe (although not from the book and not really a freezer meal), was a huge success. Even Ayla ate spinach and mushrooms without realizing it. :)
So now I'm hot, tired, and need a bowl of ice cream. I think I burned a lot of brain calories today!
btw...the last time I was pregnant, I had a sudden domestic urge to cook too, which is very uncharacteristic of me. So I guess we'll all enjoy it (with the appropriate amount of trepidation) while we can!
9 comments so far:
Boston DUI lawyers said:
Wow, this post was so well timed! I was sitting here thinking about what I was going to make for dinner tonight, and I clicked and there it was. I am going to check and see if the library carries this book. I used to purchase the make ahead and freeze meals, but not only was it expensive, it was also bland. I knew there had to be a way to do it at home, I just didn't have the motivation to actually look into it. Thanks for the gentle nudge.
I have a cookbook called Trim & Terrific freezer friendly meals if you ever want to borrow it.
Update: Chicken Wellington
This one tasted great, even though it was my "messy" meal. It took the most preparations, and really needed to be done with WELL flattened chicken, which I didn't have. So my "rolls" ended up being flat chicken breasts with stuffing on top and the rolls sort of wrapped around all of that. They actually looked pretty when they were cooked.
The recipe is pretty long and complicated, so instead of typing it out, I'll just say it's on page 95 of the book (which I picked up at the library)...and it really does taste great!
I found your blog when I googled "Chicken Parisienne," because I too checked out Don't Panic, Dinner's in the Freezer from the library. Since I've long ago returned the book, but wanted to make the Chicken Parisienne again, I wondered if I could find the specifics online -- and voila, your blog popped up.
So I was interested that you got the Cheesy Chicken Bundles to work! When I made it, they didn't turn out well at all. I couldn't get the coating to stick to the chicken very well, and when I tried to "roll up" the bundles they wouldn't really cooperate, and I just ended up knocking off whatever coating had stuck to the chicken in the first place. In the end it seemed like they were a lot of work for a fairly plain outcome. Any tips? How did you get it to work?
Update: We had the Chicken Parisienne last night for dinner, served over rice, with green beans. It was pretty good! It's a good variation on the OTHER chicken and rice that I normally make in the crock pot. Here's the recipe:
Let me know how the food comes out. I might have to get some recipes. We always feel like we are making the same thing over and over too.
LOVE this idea! It really does save a lot of time during the busy week if you remember to thaw it out. LOL!
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