Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Dinner Time Saver

While 7 months pregnant and preparing to move, I came up with the great idea to make freezer meals. I'd heard of the concept before, but never actually did it. The plan was to make just enough to be helpful when Baby A came and I was up to my neck in getting the new house set up, adjusting to the big boys' school routine and sports schedules. As if that weren't challenging enough, my recipe choices were limited. Obviously it had to be something that would freeze well, which means no potatoes or (cooked) ground beef dishes. I was also limited by crew's food preferences. After much consideration, I chose my recipes: lasagna, bar-b-qued beef brisket, chicken spaghetti, beef stew and chicken enchiladas. I opted to make a double batch of each. I bought my ingredients, freezer safe containers with lids and got started.

With all meals except the stew, I prepared the meals and froze them instead of baking them in the oven. A little planning was required because thawing each one out required 24 hours in the fridge plus time for the entree to bake. However, in crunch time that sure beat having to cook a meal from scratch. I added easy side dishes like seasoned rice, beans, salad and garlic bread and... dinner was served! We're down to our last two meals and I must say, I'm hooked. I was surprised that my guys enjoyed them considering they don't like leftovers. I will definitely be making more.

But, for tonight….beef stew it is!

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