Fundamental Freezer-Cooking FactsFeb 08th

Did you notice I’ve been awfully quiet about my freezer cooking? Did ya? Did ya?

We went through our month of freezer food. Actually, not the entire month’s worth. There is a bag of thawed Hawaiian Chicken thats been sitting in my fridge for the last three days. Because transferring it to the crockpot would be oh-so-difficult.

Make that thawed Hawaiian Salmonella Chicken, thank you.

Today I am reporting back to you after a solid month of consuming freezer food. I know you have questions.

Will I do this again?

Was the food good?

Did I really eat all the freezer food?

Is. It. Worth. It?

Hang tight, I will answer in the order received.

The first question, will I do this again? Yes and no. I believe that having a stocked freezer and a master-plan was WONDERFUL and really simplified my month. You can hear me wax romantical in this post. Yes, freezer food can be romantical.

So I will do some of it again, but this brings me to the next question. Was all the food good?

No. While certain meals were delicious, there were just as many merely “decent” ones.

And then…some of the meals were positively revolting.

Like this disgusting coconut chicken curry. Blech.

I’m not gonna lie. Just the other day I made a video, got down with my folksy self, and told you I will always strive to be real on this here blog.

So here’s me being real: some freezer meals are so gross that they’re not worth the effort, the freezer space, or the thought that went into it.

Did we eat all the food? Um, no, not the gross stuff. And when something is merely “decent,” I will always, ALWAYS opt for cold cereal or ice cream. Always.

I am not going to plan another full month of just freezer food, but I am going to implement some of the things that definitely made life easier.

Here’s what I will do again, possibly every month to simplify my cooking.

1.) Season, bake, and individually wrap chicken breasts.

I loved having already-cooked, individually-wrapped chicken. I would just pull out a bag for my lunch the next day and there was no mess, no hassle when I put together a salad.

The chicken was also used in sandwiches, burritos, pasta dishes, and for the kids’ “snacky lunches.”

2.) Assemble multiple bags of spaghetti meat.

My kids go nuts for spaghetti. If Coco had it her way, we would eat it every day. Spaghetti meat sauce freezes great! I threw in extra veggies and let it sit in the crock pot all day. I think the flavors came together really well this way. Making a quadruple batch is fairly simple, and I believe it’s worth the work to have some no-brainer, yummy dinners later.

3.) Assemble individual servings of HillJean’s Beef and Black Bean Freezer Mix.

Matt never got sick of this stuff. Neither did Chaucer. As long as it was around, Matt had it every. single. day. for lunch.

4.) Incorporate a few “tried and true” bomb freezer-crockpot meals, such as Hungarian Goulash and Buffalo Chicken Tacos. Yum.

5.) Have a variety of frozen fruit on hand for smoothies and dessert.

Maybe you have your stuff together and always have stuff like this on hand. I, however, am a scatterbrained chicken and only buy smoothie ingredients when the mood hits me. The rest of the time, I forget about smoothies. Until I get on Pinterest and see the circulation of “green” smoothies and see delicious things like banana-Nutella smoothies, and think, “oh yah! Smoothies!”

Do you think I used the word “smoothie” enough?

But, because I was planning for a whole month and not just  for a whim, I bought a variety of frozen fruits and guess what? We had a lot of smoothies! Until our blender–our brand new blender–bit the dust. Stupid blender. And just when I had gotten all hooked on green smoothies.

So there you have it. Five freezer-cooking tips that are 100% guaranteed. By me.

Now, have I got you convinced? Have any of you tried the freezer cooking method?

18 Responses to Fundamental Freezer-Cooking FactsFeb 08th

  1. Margo Hayes February 9, 2013 at 3:10 am #

    Would you please say “smoothie” one more time? But make it “smoooooothie”. Thanks so much:)

  2. Nikki February 9, 2013 at 3:21 am #

    Great tips, thanks for sharing!

  3. Becca B February 9, 2013 at 5:09 am #

    I have yet to try a green smoothie. (I’m ever so slightly afraid… ok I just don’t want to gag in front of my kids!) What recipe do you like?

  4. Chris Carter February 9, 2013 at 5:22 pm #

    Awesome honesty! I am actually relieved to see this, because I kept kicking myself for not doing the freezer meal plan, as I promised myself after seeing your other posts!!! Much to my happy dismay (?) I am OFF THE HOOK!!! 😉

  5. Ashley February 10, 2013 at 5:17 am #

    Okay so I have been religiously following your blog for about a year and half! I have never once commented, but that is not because I have not had anything to say, it is just because I usually just don’t comment. I guess I finally decided that it was high time I told you that I love your blog! I found out about it through my sister-in-law and I am so glad I did. It was great to hear your news about your remission. I have 3 young boys (4 1/2, 3, 1 1/2) so I can only imagine how hard it must be at times to have an illness keeping you down when trying to parent little ones.

    So the real thing that made me want to comment now after so long is probably really silly and maybe pointless, but I wanted to tell you to call the company who made the blender. I can almost guarantee they will send you a new one in the mail. If you can’t return it to the store that is!

    I know what you are thinking…really, that is why you finally commented? And the answer is yes, because I know what it is like to live on a budget and why pay for something again when you just did? And smoothies are a staple at our house and they should be able to be at yours to.

    Well hats off to you for writing an incredible blog! I am so glad that you write so frequently now too!!

    • hillary February 12, 2013 at 5:32 am #

      Ok, little miss Ashley, welcome! Thank you for your sweet comment and please do not be shy in commenting in the future! So just call the company? I’m doing it! Thanks, girl!

      • Ashley February 12, 2013 at 6:10 am #

        Yep, just call the company who made the blender and tell them the issue you are having. They may ask you to send it to them, but usually they will just send you a new one. I recently had a friend get an even better blender than the original one she purchased! It is definitely worth a try. Let me know how it goes!

        • hillary February 13, 2013 at 6:35 am #

          Saweeeet! This is on the to-do list for tomorrow!

  6. Anna February 10, 2013 at 5:29 am #

    thanks for the advice, i have never tried freezer cooking, but i think except for some basics i would probably also have some (as in many) meals in the revolting column.

    i do freeze pasta and slow cooker mac-n-cheese so if my kids don’t like dinner i have something else to give them!

    • hillary February 13, 2013 at 6:33 am #

      I think with freezer cooking it is best to just stick with the basics that you KNOW you will use. When you are able to just grab something on a busy day, it really does pay off.

      • Lindsey April 16, 2013 at 8:19 pm #

        I am a huge freezer meal freak. Love ’em. But yes, I have tried a few that have been awful. Usually it’s the freezer Crockpot meals.
        I love cooking and being in the kitchen, but with two littles there are a lot of days where having my freezer stash to pull from saves me. I make breakfast burritos, bean burritos, and muffins by the double dozen and stick them in the freezer. I love having cookie dough balls in the freezer to pull out for a special treat. I freeze homemade chicken stock and love making soups with it. Some of my favorite meals are chicken pot pie, Swedish meatballs, and alfredo marinara bake.

  7. Meredith February 10, 2013 at 10:51 pm #

    I love that you took the time to do all of this and fill all of us in. I have not yet tried freezer cooking, but am hoping to give it a try soon–taking all of your tips in mind, of course!

    • hillary February 13, 2013 at 6:31 am #

      I definitely think it is worth a try, and I hope that I’ve informed y’all on the best way to start something like this!

  8. laurie February 17, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

    thanks for the advise though i would like to try the experience

  9. laurie February 17, 2013 at 3:10 pm #

    * advice

  10. christina February 20, 2013 at 8:18 pm #

    I have visions of attempting this. some of my friends used to get together once a month and make a big “party” of it. maybe they still do. if there was a group that made decently healthy stuff then I think I’d jump on it in a heartbeat. hmmm, maybe I can convince someone else to head it up =) thanks for reminding me of this.

    • hillary February 22, 2013 at 2:36 am #

      Yah, the party would be kind of fun, because the work is so tedious and to be honest I’d rather have no repeat meals. So you could trade off stuff and maybe cut down on the boredom!

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