Freezer Cooking: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The Good – I won’t have to really think about a menu or dinner much over the next 2-3 months.  Plus, I had a fun weekend with friends doing the work.  Oh, and we did add in one additional set of meals for a friend going through chemo right now.  Her freezer is now full of meals and it’ll last her family a couple months.  So that’s pretty great feeling to be able add just a little bit more work and at the same time bless her family with a bunch of meals.

The Bad and The Ugly – Apparently I’m either not very organized or just did too much.  Every time we do freezer cooking I swear I’ll never do it again.  The task is so overwhelming: the planning, the shopping, the prepping, the cooking and the cleanup.  My feet and back hurt…still and it’s been 3 days.  And I don’t care if I ever see a zip lock baggie or baking dish again in my life.

This time I spent about 30 hours doing it….and my friends were there for most of it, too:

10 hours planning/shopping/unloading
10 hours on Friday night
5 hours on the Saturday finishing up what we didn’t on Friday
5 hours on Sunday cleaning my kitchen and dining room

This. Is. Ridiculous.

So if you are thinking about doing a freezer cooking marathon – GO FOR IT!  But be really prepared (better than me) and have some fun help to get through it all.

Anyhow – I KNOW it’s worth it but right now I just need to not think about it.

If I can be convinced to do this again I think we will split up the shopping and prep work evenly (chopping onions and carrots, cooking and shredding the chicken, cooking the ground turkey, etc).  If we do that I think it would save us about half the cooking time when we get together.

This time we did 15 different dinner recipes and 3 different dessert recipes.  We each took home two sets of meals and spent a total of $395 on 30 meals.

The recipes are:

* Any recipe without a link is listed out on this document (click here —–> Freezer Meals – August 2014).  These are my own recipes or ones I have used for years and there are no links to them online that I can find.  For those with links online you can hover over the recipe names for the links to them.  I have not posted these recipes on my attachment – so that I don’t get fussed at by the internet gods like I did last time.  : )

Oh, and a little bit of Vodka makes everything more fun…..it wasn’t added to the recipes, promise.

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Freezer Cooking (May 2014)

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Last time we did freezer cooking it was a little (or a lot) overwhelming with the planning, purchasing, prepping and cooking 108 meals and multiple loaves of breakfast/dessert breads that this time we pared it down to 45 meals.  MUCH BETTER!

It was much more manageable.  I made three small shopping trips for items and Darby finished up purchasing the large majority of the meat/dairy/produce items at Sams the morning of our cooking day.  I couldn’t have managed without her help this time.

We got together on Friday night around 5:00 pm and wrapped up 1:00 am.  We actually tripled the recipes – so we each took home 15 recipes and a few loaves of bread.

This was our menu (For some of the recipes I was able to find the link I used so I posted it….but all of the recipes are on the Word and PDF documents uploaded at the bottom of the post):

  1. Santa Fe Chicken
  2. Macaroni & Beef Casserole
  3. Chicken Quesadillas
  4. Cilantro Lime Chicken
  5. Italian Chicken
  6. Taco Soup
  7. Creamy Chicken Lasagna
  8. Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili
  9. Chicken Spaghetti
  10. Homemade Lasagna
  11. Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
  12. Chicken Pot Pie (makes 2)
  13. Sausage and Grits Casserole
  14. Ham and Cheese Quiche
  15. Dessert/Breakfast Bread: Banana Bread

Here are the files you can download and print:

  1. freezer-meals-blog (Word File)
  2. Freezer Shopping List (this lists the ingredients per recipe on one tab, then combines them all on the second tab, the third tab includes prep to be done ahead of time)
  3. Freezer Door Listing (this is a file you can print and put on your freezer door with thawing/cooking instructions – I found this online somewhere but don’t remember where to give the person credit)

If you have any questions about anything let me know.  🙂