Ingredient of the month: Cream of Chicken Soup

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Okay, I have no idea what to call this post, but it seems I've had freezer on the brain! When my mother in-law was here, she saw how much stuff I ridiculously try to cram into my small freezer. I'll admit, I'm a freezer junkie, but it just save so much time and energy... and food! So, the day she left, she paid for half of a chest freezer for us. I was SO thrilled, it is just the right size and I'm loving the extra freezer space. So, here goes, my favorite ideas for freezer stuff:

1. Celery: I buy a bag of celery hearts from Costco (I think there are 4-5 for about $3.00), then I leave one out and chop the rest, put it in snack size ziplocs and freeze them. Then later, I can use them in soups, stir fry, lasagna... whatever

2. About once or twice a month, I cook a bunch of chicken in my crockpot, shred it, bag it and freeze it. Talk about easiest meals ever!!!

2 1/2. When I buy a huge package of hamburger at Costco, I cook all but a handful, bag it in small ziplocs, freeze it and then it is ready for whatever I want to do with it, soup, tacos (just add the seasoning), etc.... you get the idea

3. dry beans: you can get a bag of dry beans for less than a dollar. Since beans are a long process, I cook a whole bag at once, put them in little ziplocs, freeze them, and then use them in soups, casseroles, salads, just like I would out of a can. (We never eat the whole can at once, and this way, I get a lot more for my $)

4. Pizza dough: Trader Joes has awesome pizza dough for 1$. Or, you can make your own, double the batch and freeze half of it in a ziploc. Before you want to use it, just get it out in plenty of time for it to thaw on the counter. It works great and saves the mess of making dough everytime you make pizza (we make pizza a lot!)

5. It seems like fruit (especially banans) ripen insanely fast here in MN. So, when my bananas get too soft, I peel them, sometime I slice or moosh them, or just leave them whole, bag them and freeze them. THen you can use them for banana bread, and smoothies.

6. I just heard this idea, I havn't tried it, so if you do, post a comment and let us know how it worked out. My friend in Rochester has an apple orchard, she said she picks her apples, peels and slices them, and then freezes them. She says they work great to cook with, and don't really turn very brown. She loves to use them like this in apple pies, apple crisp, etc. Sounds like a great idea to me!

I've decided freezing food is a great way to go, if you need more ideas or recipes for food I fix and then freeze, let me know!

1 comment:

Bridget said...

Okay, Kara - I'm in freezer envy! I keep trying to convince Justin we can squeeze a chest freezer into our budget, but no such luck yet! I love your ideas and I love freezing stuff to for the time and money it saves. Whenever I make a casserole or something that is easy to double, I make an extra one to freeze for an easy meal later on (you just stick it in the fridge the day before you want to use it and then bake it according to the recipe). An easy way to do this without having to have a pan stuck in the freezer is to line the pan with plastic wrap before filling it with the meal and then freeze for just an hour. The meal will then lift out of the dish, while keeping its' shape and then you can wrap it up all the way for freezing (I think this was Dezra's great idea, but I've loved it!). Thanks for the great ideas, Kara!