Thursday, January 19, 2012

deep freeze

One thing that being a working mommy the past two weeks has taught me is that I need to find a new plan for weeknight dinners. I have an hour, or two at the most, between when I get home and Mason's bedtime. (Brad has about five minutes, if he's lucky. He normally strolls in and heads right upstairs to help with bedtime, all while still wearing his suit and dress shoes--that's dedication!)

I don't want to spend my son's limited awake time slaving over the stove, and I really can't because he usually fusses for at least a little attention. I don't mind eating at 8 PM after Mason falls asleep, but starting the whole cooking process at 8 is just too late for this early-to-bed girl. (I did that once last week. We ate at 9:30 PM.) We rarely order food for delivery or get take-out, and now, with the extra expenses of a baby and his daycare, is not the time to start.

My solution, at least for now, is to invest in a deep freezer to keep in our basement. I am ecstatic about my new appliance! It's the smallest one on the market--only five cubic feet--but it supposedly will hold 175 pounds of food. With breast milk taking over my regular freezer, I need some extra space anyway, for both the milk and food.

My plan is to make and stockpile some freezer meals that I can pop in the oven before putting Mason to bed. Although I'm sure these types of meals may get old, even taking this approach a couple times a week will save me precious time.

What are your favorite meals to make and freeze? I have a few ideas, but would love to hear more.

7 comments:

kerryandtorey said...

Have you checked out:
http://onceamonthmom.com/

good luck!

Amy- Taylors East said...

I've never frozen whole dinners, but I've heard these Honey Nut Chicken Sticks freeze well- http://www.rachaelray.com/recipe.php?recipe_id=195. It doesn't really sound like Brad gets home in time, but Ryan and I used to (and still do) alternate who does bedtime. Then the other could start dinner, and eat by 8p. It also helped that for a long time Maevy was in bed by 630/7p. It was hard not having a lot of time with her, but she was tired and I knew that sleep was very important.

Caitlin said...

Oh my goodness, we have one of these in our basement and love it. I don't do freezer meals necessarily (because I don't do most of our cooking), but it is nice to be able to stockpile things.

I've heard good things about onceamonthmom.com too. There are lots of blogs devoted to freezer cooking too.

I'm planning on trying to utilize our freezer more when I'm staying home so that I have homemade breakfasts and lunches ready to go quickly, without too much prep work.

Solitary Diner said...

Canadian Living magazine posts all of its recipes online, and many of them are good for freezing/quick meals. One of my personal favourites is their pork pie with oka mash (http://www.canadianliving.com/food/pork_pie_with_oka_mash.php), which I've made twice now and which freezes beautifully.

tnthomas1 said...

The crock pot and vegetable steamer were my best friend during the early years. I could put the ingredients in walk away and when I returned it was done.

Jen V said...

lasagna is a good freezer dish. i also make meatloaf and freeze it in muffin tins, and then i can pull out a couple of those, thaw, and bake.

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