Cooking Ahead

Someone commented that I probably have a spreadsheet for keeping up with what’s in the freezer.  Of course I do!  Do you think I can keep up with all that in my head?  NO!  There’s too much else bouncing around in there.  If you can keep up with what goes in and out of your freezer in your head, that’s great.  It takes me less time to keep a spreadsheet than it would to dig around in the freezer trying to remember and find what’s in there.

food

This post and this post discuss how I store food, and try to keep up with what’s in there.

Items that work well in the freezer:

  • Meatloaf – partially cook, thaw in fridge and finish baking.  I do this with Sweet & Sour Meatloaf and an Italian Meatloaf.
  • Meatballs – brown but not necessarily cook all the way through.  Flash freeze.  Thaw before dropping into simmering sauce.
  • Spaghetti Sauce – I freeze it without the meatballs.
  • Gina’s Italian Sausage Soup – I don’t put the tortellini in it until right before serving.
  • Red Beans & Sausage – Make fresh rice, cornbread and the meal is done!
  • Gumbo
  • Stuffed Green Peppers
  • Taco Soup

I do not freeze anything that has mayo or salad dressings.  Mostly, I do not freeze anything that has pasta.  I don’t like the texture of it after it’s been frozen.  I also don’t normally freeze soups or casseroles that have milk or cream.  It tends to separate or become grainy after freezing.

I’ll try to remember to post a note on recipes I share and let you know if they freeze well or not.

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Comments

  1. 1

    says

    OMG!! Thank you so much for saying what you don’t freeze and why!! I am single and it is so hard cooking portions for just one and I am always so hesitant about freezing leftovers or extras because I don’t know how well they will hold up and I am too chicken to try!

    PS – I am learning to knit so that I can make socks! I have been inspired by you and all the other great bloggers who knit socks! Last night was my second class and I am about 2/3 done with a dish cloth! 🙂

  2. 2

    says

    I’ve never particularly noticed a difference in texture when I freeze lasagna or baked ziti (and I always make 2 pans of those and freeze one). I don’t think I’ve ever tried freezing other pastas.

    I have a very basic inventory on notebook paper, on the outside of my freezer – I list what’s in the freezer and then mark it off when I take it out. mostly.

    • 2.1

      Evelyn says

      I keep the potatoes, rice, pasta and milk out of my frozen foods and just add them before eating. One thing I really love to freeze is pulled bar-b-que pork. I cook a big roast in the crockpot and then freeze it into servings that fit on large rolls for quick hot sandwiches down the road. I like to freeze cooked bacon (very fast to re-heat in the microwave when I am in a hurry). Having pre-cooked, frozen chicken (I cut mine into little cubes) and pre-cooked scrambled hamburger on hand has been a life-saver many times too! Great tips Judy!

  3. 3

    Michelle Cyr says

    I hope to hear more of these types of tips. I find that my health is deteriorating, so on my good days, I’d like to make bigger batches of things to freeze for those times when I don’t feel up to cooking. Would help when the kids and their families come to visit too….