Archive for the ‘Freezer Meals’ Category

I purchased 60 lbs of potatoes the other day.  Half of these went to making hashbrowns, the other half went into making Country fries, or American fries.  These are basically just diced potatoes fried brown like a hashbrown.

To make these I used the same method for making hashbrowns. Peel and boil the potatoes to near done and put in refrigerator until cool or overnight. Next day cut into cubes and fry in oil on stove.

These are excellent freezer staples and are wonderful reheated. Just refry in pan, or put in oven to reheat.  They can even be microwaved.

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30 pounds of potatoes. Turned into delicious, crispy hash-browns frozen for meals.  We, being my family and I, do not need the sodium, additives, preservatives, fats and fillers found in bags of frozen hash browns from stores.  When we want hash-browns we would like crispy potato strings with a little pepper, slather some homemade ketchup on top and good to go. Nothing fancy, but oh so tasty.

Price? Well for 30 lbs of potatoes, it cost me $5.00. This made 10 Ziploc baggies of 4 – 1 cup servings.  You do the math.

I never had much luck with grating a uncooked potato and stopping them from turning a rather ugly grey color before getting them cooked.  I finally found the secret.  Prior to grating, pre-boil the potato until near done but still “firm” enough to grate.  Put in refrigerator overnight to cool and grate the next day.

At this point you can freeze them in baggies “raw” or fry them and freeze them.  I’ve done both methods, but usually just fry first then freeze.  To re-heat either return to pan, put in oven, or microwave.  Quick, simple and budget saving.

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This week is time to replenish the freezer breakfast meals. Earlier this week I made a double batch of bread just for this occasion as French Toast Sticks and French Toast Bars were first on the order.   These are so simple to make and so easy to reheat in microwave.  They freeze nicely but also are delicious fresh from oven.  I’ve taken them to brunches, used them for desert dishes as well as for quick breakfasts around there.  They are not overly sweet, the sweetness is given from the bites of fruit more then from sugars and additives. You can choose to serve them as are, using powdered sugar, maple syrup or a fruit sauce poured over top.  These particular ones are blueberry and cream cheese, but you might also choose peaches, apricots, pears, cherries, strawberries, cranberries, insertion of coconut or nuts.  Again options truly are endless so long as you know the basic construction.

Fruited French Toast Bars

9×9 cake pan

2 cups bread, cubed  (You can remove crust if you want, I don’t.)

4 eggs, beaten

2 cups milk

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

4 tbsp maple syrup

3 tbsp brown sugar

1/2 bar cream cheese, softened and cubed

1 cup fruit of choice

1/2 cup additions (nuts, coconut)

Prepare your pan, you can choose to butter it (what I do) or use Pam style cooking spray.

Put your bread cubes in a bowl, add the cream cheese cubes and stir to combine.  In a second bowl add your eggs, beat well.  Then milk, maple syrup and spices.  Stir well and pour over the bread cubes.  Let bread sit in the liquid for 15 -30 minutes to absorb.

Pour the entire contents into your prepared pan.  Sprinkle/or lay pieces of your fruit of choice on top, same with your additions.  Bake  uncovered in a 375 degree oven for 35 minutes or until it no longer wiggles in center.

Remove and let sit for 10 minutes to set before cutting and serving.

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My son asked me one day to buy these store packages of mini pizza bites for him. I gave in and spent a ridicules price for a few morsels of something I could easily make from home and in larger quantity for the same price.  These Pizza Bites have now become a staple in our freezer. They are easy to make, quick to reheat and great for quick snacks, tie-me overs on busy days or to serve when their company comes calling.

To make you will need a package of mini bagels in your choice of  flavor (Wheat, Plain, Onion.). Split them in half and put on cookie sheet.  Place under broiler to crisp and take out to cool slightly.  Cover with pizza sauce either store bought or homemade.  Add your choice of toppings (Pepperoni, turkey pepperoni, chopped onions, peppers, onion, olives, bacon, etc).  Sprinkle on your preference of cheese.  I use basil, parsley or oregano seasoning in addition but that is my personal preference.  Put the pan of pizza bites back under broiler and melt the cheese.

At this point you can either serve them, or let them cool and put the cookie sheet in freezer for a hour to flash freeze.  Store them in ziploc baggies or containers to take out as many as you need for a snack.  To reheat, put on cookie sheet in 350 degree oven for 12-15 minutes.

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Freezer Meals

Freezer meals are a means to provide your family with healthy foods without having to resort to fast food or sodium and preservative laden TV style dinners.

My weekend was spent making various freezer meals, tomorrow I hope to finish the remaining dishes, including the breakfasts and then move on to other projects.  I probably would have been finished with the dinner dishes today but ran into a time sink that involved defrosting my main freezer.

Pictured are: Turkey with stuffing, corn and carrots.  Tilapia nestled in butter noodles and covered with a cream and pico de guio served with yellow squash and zucchini.  Salisbury steak with mashed potatoes. Roasted chicken with herbed potatoes served with Brussels sprouts. Cashew Chicken with broccoli in cheese sauce. Spaghetti with green beans, Brats with German potatoes and carrots. Chicken enchilada with green beans and BBQ pulled chicken.

I won’t lie to you and say that making freezer meals to stock your freezer for a week, two-week or month is quick and easy. It isn’t.  It requires time and planning, but the benefits outweigh the negatives.  Freezer meals are financially saving to you.  Sure the original purchase of containers is involved, but once you have them, they are able to be reused time and time again.  Through using store sales and coupons you can save even more.

I really hope everyone tries at least some degree of freezer meals.  They really are worth it.

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