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Cooking- A Great Time Saver With Freezer Cooking

Aug 17, 2007
For those of you who are super busy and do not have time to make dinner each night, freezer cooking is for you. It is a great way to get a delicious, nutritious and fast meal on the table. Freezer cooking is not only for busy moms and dads, but for anyone who likes to plan ahead, shop for deals or wants a little extra free time in the evenings.

There are many general freezer cooking guidelines. Here are a few to get you started.

Planning your meals
The wonderful thing about freezer cooking is you are freezing meals you know your family already loves. If your family loves lasagna, then the next time you make it, double or better yet triple the batch. It really does not take that much longer to make a double batch than it does to make a single batch. Just tightly cover the extra batch and freeze for later use. The same idea can be used for meals like meatloaf, most casseroles and baked goods.

Before you freeze any recipe, try it first. It does not make sense to make multiple batches of something you or your family do not like. Once you know your family likes it, go for it!

Some things freeze better than others. For example, cream based sauces separate after freezing. You still can freeze these items, you will just need to give the thawed out dish a stir before you bake. Dishes that contain mayo or salad dressing do not freeze well.

Take inventory of your freezer space. Freezing in bags does not take up a lot of space, so you will be able to make multiple dishes.

Preparing your meals
A great idea that really helps me plan is to make up extra hamburger meat for dishes that require hamburger meat. For instance, make 5-6 pounds of taco meat and freeze in meal size portions. When I need the meat, I just pop it into the microwave and I have instant tacos, taco salad, burritos, taco soup ect. The same thing could be done with sloppy joes. Just reheat and serve on buns and you are good to go. This can also save you from having to buy and cook the hamburger which can save a lot of time.

Some things need to be frozen separately. For instance, although my family loves Beef Topped Bean Enchiladas, no one would eat them. It was because if I assemble it and freeze, the enchilada part got really mushy from the topping.

Most recipes can be frozen in freezer bags to save your pan from being trapped in the freezer. There are obvious exceptions. Lasagna really is not going to work in a freezer bag unless you freeze it first. So here is how you freeze it. Line your pan with aluminum foil, assemble the lasagna in the pan as you normally would, freeze until solid and then take the lasagna (foil and all) out of the pan, wrap tightly in a freezer bag and freeze. When you cook it, take it out of the freezer and pop it back into the original pan and bake.

Flash freezing items such as meat balls, rolls, filled pasta shells or cookies will prevent the food from sticking together. To flash freeze, stick the items on a cookie sheet until frozen. Then place in a freezer bag to store.

Mark the bags with the date including the month and year along with the cooking instructions.

Eating your frozen meals
When you are ready to eat your frozen meal, just take it out of the freezer the night before and thaw throughout the day. Pop it into the oven when you get home and you have an instant meal. Some dishes may need to have foil added to the top so the heat can be evenly distributed. If you are cooking from a frozen state, just remember the cooking time will need to be increased. Using an instant read thermometer will also help you determine when your dish is cooked and ready to take out of the oven.

Whether you are cooking for just one or an army freezer cooking is a great way to save time, money and energy.
About the Author
By the way, you can whip up restaurant recipes in your own kitchen from http://www.pickupcooking. Anyone can learn how to cook, even if you have not cooked before. For more cooking ideas, go to http://www.pickupcooking/cooking/.
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