Pinterest has been hot and heavy lately with freezer food recipes; freezer crockpot meals, cooking once for eating twice, meal plan starters, freezing muffins, cookie dough, etc.. I have been anxious to jump on the band wagon and try my own hand at freezer food.
Since my niece and her husband welcomed baby #2 last week, I wanted to take something special to them (as a form of bribery for letting me hold the little jewel LOL)! I could think of no better gift to take than some homemade, ready-to-cook meals. Who doesn't like homemade food? And I figured my niece and her hubby have LOTS more important things to do than cook.
I also included a written list of the items I made for their freezer and the cooking instructions for each item. I didn't want them to forget something yummy and I thought the list could be put on the fridge for easy reference.
I did go a little crazy once I got started! The only mistake I made was that I didn't make anything to eat for Doug and me. After all the cooking and cleaning to get these meals ready, Doug had to eat Walmart chicken strips and I had Subway. Ah well... you win some, you lose some.
Here is a list of all the freezer food I made AT HOME MY WAY:
Freezer Food for New Parents
Perfect for son #1 who is two years old;
I got a message last night from dad
who said they were a big hit!
I fully baked these and let cool, then bagged for the freezer with directions on the bag:
"DIRECTIONS: Warm 30 seconds or so in the microwave."
unbaked for the freezer
I mixed up a batch of Homemade Biscuits, placed the unbaked biscuits on a cookie sheet (not touching) in the freezer, and bagged them up when frozen. Before bagging, make sure to write the instructions on the freezer bag in permanent marker:
"DIRECTIONS: Place frozen biscuits in sprayed pan, just touching each other. Bake in preheated 350° oven for 20 minutes or until browning nicely."
Teriyaki Chicken (crockpot freezer meal)
Write on the bag before putting ingredients in:
"DIRECTIONS: Thaw/partially, place in crockpot and cook on low for 8-10 hours."
I just put frozen, skinless, uncooked chicken tenders (6) in the gallon ziploc bag, mixed the liquid ingredients/spices, and poured over the chicken. Then placed the bag back in the freezer.
Taco Chicken (crockpot freezer meal)
Write on the bag before putting putting in the ingredients:
"DIRECTIONS: Thaw/partially; place in crockpot and cook on low for 8-10 hours. When done, shred chicken and add 4 ounces of cream cheese. Let warm in crock until cream cheese can be stirred/blended into the shredded chicken. Serve with flour tortillas, nacho chips, etc."
Recipe: Place in gallon ziploc bag: 6-8 frozen, skinless uncooked chicken tenders or 3-4 chicken breasts. In a separate bowl, combine one jar of salsa with 1 packet taco seasoning. Pour over chhicken. Seal and freeze.
Recipe Coming Soon
I made our favorite recipe for Shepherd's Pie and placed in an easy foil pan, topped with the potatoes, and covered with saran wrap, then foil. Placed in the freezer. I wrote instructions on the foil:
"DIRECTIONS: Unwrap. Place on cookie sheet and bake UNCOVERED in preheated 350° oven for 1 hour."
I made a big batch, let cool, and placed in a gallon ziploc bag for freezing. I placed the full, sealed bag on a flat surface and flattened it to spread out the meat, before placing the bag in the freezer. I included the following directions:
"DIRECTIONS: Thaw, heat in microwave in a separate dish (not in this bag), or in a pot on the stove. Serve with buns."
I made my favorite meatloaf recipe, linked here (but I used a full two pounds of ground round) (I hate grease cooking in the pan with meatloaf so I tend to use ground round for making it.) I placed the uncooked meat in little pans, topped with the sauce, and froze uncovered until solid. Then covered with foil and wrote the following directions on each foil pan (you could fill these pans all the way for bigger servings or use one pan and make a big loaf):
"DIRECTIONS: Unwrap. Place on cookie sheet. Bake UNCOVERED at 350° 1 hour or until done."
SIX items for their freezer!
(sounding like the count from Sesame Street.)
I told you that I went a little crazy. I think they are stocked up on easy meals, for a few days anyway LOL. (And,... yea... I forgot to take a picture of it all ready for the freezer.)
I'll definitely be making some of these freezer meals for my own freezer! What a fun way to put something homemade on the table!