Freezer Cooking: Last Month (February)

I’ve been doing plenty of freezer cooking over the past few weeks but have not posted anything about it. The reason – I’ve been freezer cooking my family’s tried and true favorites. These favorites have already been posted here on Happy Clippings.

Here are some of the meals and sweet treats I’ve cooked up and frozen during the month of February.

FreezerCookingBeefStew

FreezerCookieDoughFinal

I hope to post new freezer cooking sessions in the near future. Stay tuned.

What have you been freezer cooking lately?

I’m on a mission to make food ahead of time and freezing it. If you missed my previous Freezer Cooking posts, then be sure to find them HERE. My goal is to make and freeze food in less than 2 hours every 1 to 2 weeks. I don’t necessarily mean whole meals but food items that we can get from the freezer. It provides us homemade food that is convenient while also saving us money.

Freezer Friday: 100 Chocolate Mini Muffins

FreezerCookingChocolateMuffins

I recently had a craving for my Chocolate Mini Muffins one cold and somewhat snowy morning. So, I went ahead and made them. This time I doubled the recipe. It was quick and easy to do thanks to my Kitchen Aid Mixer and several mini muffin pans. I ended up baking a grand total of 100 mini muffins.

I saved 40 of them to enjoy with my family. The rest of the muffins were stored in the freezer. I packaged the muffins in 2 freezer bags with 30 in each.

That’s 60 Chocolate Mini Muffins in my freezer ready to be eaten whenever a craving strikes.

LowFatChocolateMiniMuffinsRecipe: Low Fat Chocolate Mini Muffins

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I could say I cooked up some other things like a meal to put in my freezer. But, the mini muffins was all I could manage that afternoon and I’m fine with that. Sometimes my freezer cooking sessions consists of only making a big batch of dessert like cookie dough or mini banana muffins.

So do you do anything similar? Do you freeze any sweet treats?

I’m on a mission to make food ahead of time and freezing it. If you missed my previous Freezer Friday posts, then be sure to find them HERE. My goal is to make and freeze food in less than 2 hours every 1 to 2 weeks. I don’t necessarily mean whole meals but food items that we can get from the freezer. It provides us homemade food that is convenient while also saving us money.

(This is linked to Works for Me Wednesday.)

Freezer Friday: Chili and Ground Turkey

FreezerCookingChili

My latest freezer cooking session was spent making Chili and cooking ground turkey. I had already plan to make Chili for our dinner than night. I figured I might as well make double the Chili and freeze it. I also then thought I should go ahead and cook up some extra batches of ground turkey.

You may recall I like to cook chicken in bulk and ground turkey in bulk and then freeze it. This is an example of how I make future dinner prep faster and easier. I like having the flexibility of having just the meat cooked. I have the option to make different meals. Having at least one part of the cooking process done makes it easier to throw a meal together.

Back to my cooking…

I first cooked four (4) 1-lb packs of ground turkey. I was able to cook 2 at a time using two pans. After the first two was done, I let it cool and went on to cook the remaining 2 packs of ground turkey.

I made a homemade chili seasoning mix at some point while the ground turkey was browning. The Chili Seasoning Mix is a recipe I found many years ago and don’t recall the source. Here’s the recipe.

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Freezer Friday: Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Chicken

FreezerCookingCreamCheeseChicken

December kept me busy and behind on my freezer cooking. I am also late in posting this particular freezer cooking session because it actually took place in late November. Can you see the dates on my freezer bags? ;)

Anyways…

My last post on freezer cooking was about my first attempt at a freezer meal meant for the slow cooker. I made beef stew and it was a success.

I was ready to try another slow cooker freezer meal. This time I made Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Chicken. Preparing this slow cooker freezer meal was easy. I had a value pack of chicken breast (about 5ibs). I was able to get 12 chicken breasts and also 3 cups of cubed chicken out the value pack.

I decided to cook the 3 cups of cubed chicken because I like to have cooked chicken in the freezer as explained in a previous freezer cooking post HERE.

The 12 chicken breasts I used for 2 batches of Slow Cooker Cream Cheese Chicken. See recipe below.

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Freezer Friday: Slow Cooker Freezer Beef Stew and also Pulled Chicken

FreezerCookingBeefStew

I’ve been searching for some good slower cooker recipes. I’m talking about the kind of recipes where I could just literally dump the ingredients in my crock pot, turn it on and and after several hours my meal is ready. Yep…I want something easy.

I know crock pot cooking has become extremely popular recently. My only issue is many recipes still require lots of prep work.

So again…I was on a mission…and then I discovered Slow Cooker Freezer Meals. These are meals you prepare, freeze and when ready you put it directly into your slow cooker.

I don’t want to get sidetracked. But for the purpose of this story, my latest freezer cooking adventure took place one afternoon when I was making chicken & dumplings for dinner.

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Freezer Friday: Ground Turkey (6 lbs)

FreezerCookingGroundTurkey

Some of you may remember my first Freezer Cooking post was on cooking chicken in bulk. Some had commented in that post and other past Freezer Cooking posts that you also did something similar with ground meat. Well, I also like cooking my ground turkey in bulk. I’ll buy it on sale and brown it in a pan, let it cool, bag it and freeze. My latest bulk meat cooking resulted in 6 bags of cooked ground turkey (each bag contains 1 lb).

This is another great example of how I make my future dinner prep is faster and easier. Although, I sometimes will make and freeze a meal like taco meat, I also like having the flexibility of unseasoned ground meat. By having just the ground turkey and not a whole meal in the freezer, I have the option to make different meals. Having at least one part of the cooking process done makes it easier to throw a meal together. I now have 6 easy to prepare meals ready in the freezer.

Here are a few examples of meals I use cooked ground turkey:

  • Chili
  • Pasta with Meat Sauce
  • Sloppy Joes (we call it Wimpies)
  • Taco
  • Turkey Stroganoff. This recipe uses sirloin steak. I replace that with ground turkey.

So do you do anything similar? Do you cook your meat in bulk and freeze it?

I’m on a mission to make food ahead of time and freezing it. If you missed my previous Freezer Friday posts, then be sure to find them HERE. My goal is to make and freeze food in less than 2 hours every 1 to 2 weeks. I don’t necessarily mean whole meals but food items that we can get from the freezer. It provides us homemade food that is convenient while also saving us money.

(This is linked to Works for Me Wednesday.)

Freezer Friday: Cookie Dough

FreezerCookieDoughFinal

I love fresh baked cookies – the smell…the warmth…the melted chocolate. Yum. Wouldn’t it be great to have the convenience of baking homemade cookies whenever you want? Well, I recently did this when I made a big batch of cookie dough and froze it.

So now, I can just grab a few dozen pre-made cookie dough balls from my freezer whenever I feel like having fresh baked cookies.

Here’s what I did:
I prepared 1.5 times the recipe for Whole Wheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies. I did bake about 1/3 of the made cookie dough. I wanted my family to enjoy some right away. ;) The rest went into the freezer.

I formed the cookie dough into balls using a cookie dough scoop and placed them onto cookie sheets. I was able to fill 2 cookie sheets. Each one had 40 cookie dough balls. So, I  had a total of 80 pre-made cookie dough balls. I put the cookie sheets into my freezer for about 30 minutes to 1 hour (until dough was firm).

FreezerCookieDoughTray

I then placed the cookie dough into a container. I labeled the container “Uncooked” Cookie Dough and wrote the date. The cookie dough should be good for 2 months. When baking frozen cookie dough, bake as directed by your recipe but add about 2 – 3 extra minutes to the time.

WholeWheatChocolateCookiesWM
Recipe: Whole Wheat Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

So do you do anything similar? Do you freeze cookie dough?

I’m on a mission to make food ahead of time and freezing it. If you missed my previous Freezer Friday posts, then be sure to find them HERE. My goal is to make and freeze food in less than 2 hours every 1 to 2 weeks. I don’t necessarily mean whole meals but food items that we can get from the freezer. It provides us homemade food that is convenient while also saving us money.

(This is linked to Works for Me Wednesday.)

Freezer Friday: Meatballs and Tacos

FreezerTacoandMeatballs

My latest freezer cooking involved meatballs and taco meat. I made two sets of meatballs (48 meatballs in each). I also made two batches of turkey taco meat. I now have more items in my freezer that will assist me in preparing future meals… 4 dinners to be exact. Yay! :)

I’m on a mission to make food ahead of time and freezing it. If you missed my previous Freezer Friday posts, then be sure to find them HERE. My goal is to make and freeze food in less than 2 hours every 1 to 2 weeks. I don’t necessarily mean whole meals but food items that we can get from the freezer. It provides us homemade food that is convenient while also saving us money.

When making meatballs, I use a recipe from an old Better Homes and Garden cookbook and I bake them. After the meatballs cool, I place them in freezer bags. I make sure to label the bags “Cooked Meatballs” and date it.

The meatballs can be used in future meals such as spaghetti and meatballs, meatball subs or meatballs in brown gravy sauce.

For the tacos, I brown ground turkey (1 pound) and mix it with taco seasoning and refried beans. In this instance, I used taco seasoning packets. You can purchase inexpensive seasoning packets or even get them free when you pair it with a coupon (such as manufacturer’s coupons for Old Paso or Ortega). Or you can make your own by using a homemade taco seasoning recipe found HERE.

The taco meat can be used in future meals or appetizers such as soft tacos, hard tacos, nachos or taco dip. I place the taco meat in a tupperware container and label it “Cooked Turkey Tacos (with refried beans).”

So do you do anything similar? How do you improve meal time cooking process?

(I’m linking up to Works for Me Wednesday!)

Freezer Friday: Homemade Pancakes

FreezerCookingPancakes

I like to make homemade pancakes and freeze them instead of buying a box of frozen pancakes at the grocery store. Already-made pancakes are a quick weekday breakfast and snack option. It’s nice to have them available during busy mornings.

I’m on a mission to make food ahead of time and freezing it. If you missed my previous Freezer Friday posts, then be sure to find them HERE. My goal is to make and freeze food in less than 2 hours every 1 to 2 weeks. I don’t necessarily mean whole meals but food items that we can get from the freezer. It provides us homemade food that is convenient while also saving us money.

Making and freezing pancakes is easy. I just double my pancake batter whenever I make them for breakfast or lunch or dinner. Breakfast for dinner…yum {wink}

Anyways, the extra pancakes go straight to the freezer. Or you could make pancakes anytime during the day (which is what I recently did) for the main purpose of freezing them. A few days ago I made 30 pancakes and I froze 24 of them.

You could use any pancake recipe you prefer such as a basic pancake recipe. The recipe I used here is based on the basic pancake recipe but with a few changes. It’s a low fat version using white whole wheat flour and 1/4 parts oil and 3/4 parts applesauce.

I mentioned in a past post how my family likes to have a big breakfast on Saturday mornings. That’s when I’ll most likely make “regular” pancakes. But for the day-to-day quick breakfast or snack, I like to eat this low fat version.

PancakesCloseUp

Notes for freezing:

  • I place 4 pancakes on a piece of foil. I then lay foil on top and put another 4 pancakes on top of that. So, I have 2 layers of 4 pancakes equaling to 8 pancakes. I place these 8 pancakes in one freezer bag.
  • Instead of the above, you could lay your pancakes on a baking sheet and stick in the freezer until frozen (about 30 minutes). Afterwards, put them in freezer bags or containers.

To Thaw: I heat them in the microwave for 15-20 seconds. I then warm them in the toaster. I used to put the pancakes directly into the toaster but found it wasn’t defrosting completely. The middle of the pancake would still be cold. The microwave helps defrost and soften while the toaster keeps it from being soggy.

Do you do anything similar? What other breakfast items have you made and froze?

(I’m linking up to Works for Me Wednesday!)

Freezer Friday: 30 Turkey Burgers

FreezingTurkeyBurgers

I decided since it’s summer grilling season it was time to make a big batch of burgers. I challenged myself to make 30 turkey burgers in 1 hour. I was able to complete the challenge in 1 hour 10 minutes. This includes making the burgers, cleaning up, and storing in freezer bags. Now, my family has plenty of turkey burgers ready in the freezer whenever we feel like grilling some.

I’m on a mission to make food ahead of time and freezing it. If you missed my previous Freezer Friday posts, then be sure to find them HERE. My goal is to make and freeze food in less than 2 hours every 1 to 2 weeks.  I don’t necessarily mean whole meals but food items that we can get from the freezer. It provides us homemade food that is convenient while also saving us money.

Here’s how I was able to make 30 turkey burgers in about 1 hour:

  • I set out all my ingredients, bowls, measuring spoons and wax paper. This is what I normally do when cooking or baking anything. I like to have all ingredients and kitchen tools on the counter.
  • I also had my wax paper already cut to size to fit into my freezer bags.
  • I used 5 big bowls. I made one set of burgers in each bowl. Each set made 6 burgers.
  • I placed the ground turkey and each ingredient in the bowls one right after another. 

Other Notes:

  • I use ground turkey and a recipe from a Better Homes and Garden cookbook. So, my burgers are already seasoned.
  • I lay 3 burgers on a piece of wax paper. I then place wax paper on top and put another 3 burgers on top of that. The result is 2 layers of 3 burgers equaling to 6 turkey burgers. I place 6 turkey burgers in one freezer bag.
  • Instead of the above, you could lay your burgers on a wax paper lined baking sheet and stick in the freezer until frozen (about 1 – 2 hours). Afterwards, put them in freezer bags or containers.
  •  I defrost the burgers before grilling. (I usually move a bag to the refrigerator the day before we plan to eat.

I label the freezer bags with the date and mark it as “Uncooked Turkey Burgers.” 

Do you do anything similar? How do you improve your meal time cooking process?

(I’m linking up to Works for Me Wednesday!)