Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Cutting down cooking time

To be honest cooking is not my favorite past time but as I am committed to having home cooked meals 3 times a day, I get to do quite a bit of it. One thing that I do that helps me to spend less time in the Kitchen is to make double what we need and then freeze the rest for later. Tonight I made Tuna Noodle Casserole (Not that exciting looking, but one of our family's favorites). I made enough to freeze one dish full and then we ate the other. The amount of time I spent was only about 2 minutes more to make double. It is very nice to have frozen meals whenever we have a very busy day or perhaps I don't feel well. It saves us a lot of money because times that we might be tempted to go out to eat, we can just use one of these meals instead. Obviously not everything freezes well so I don't do this everyday but I try to do it fairly often. Here are some of the dishes that have worked well for me to freeze: Lasagna (I freeze it before it is baked), Tuna Noodle casserole (This I also freeze before baking), Enchiladas, Homemade Pizza (When I do this I pre-bake the crust about 10 minutes and then put the toppings on and then I will bake it the rest of the way before we eat it. I usually make 3 of these at a time), Meatloaf, Chili , soups and Chicken Rice Burritos (Pictured below).
Do you ever freeze meals? What are your favorite ways to save time in the kitchen?
Another similar thing that I do is to brown a lot of hamburger at once and then freeze in containers.


frugalmom said...

I like to freeze cooked meat like hamburger, sausage, chicken or meatballs. It makes certain meals go faster because you don't have to precook meat.

I also make big batches of cookies whenever I bake so there is dough in the freezer. I always do double batches of muffins so the kids have snacks for their lunchboxes.

Theresa said...

I like to make several meatloaves at a time ... one for dinner and the rest for the freezer.

I also save small amounts of leftovers (that spoonful of green beans, or single pork chop ... even gravy)in a container in the freezer. Once it's full I thaw it out and place it in my crockpot with some water, bouillon (sp?) and seasonings. Add some homemade bread with your yummy veggie soup. :o)

Paul & Angela Jenkins said...

Meatloaf, homemade quiche, homemade soups, spaghetti sauce (for several meals) just about anything. I double my recipes and put 1/2 in the freezer. Spaghetti sauce I cook a big batch for 3 meals and then pull it out later in the month and just heat the noodles. Spaghetti sauce is one of those things that taste better as the flavors sit together.

I also cook my meat ahead of time or at least freeze it w/ sauces on it to save time later. Bacon I cook 4 lbs at once and just crumble it that way you can put it on anything from pizza to eggs. Chicken, turkey and ham I cook as one meal then save the leftovers in 2C bags, when a recipe calls for cooked anything I pull a bag and throw it in. I have REALLY cut down the time I'm in the kitchen.


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