Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Some Serious Nesting and Freezer Cooking

I have been busy in the kitchen the past couple of weeks. I'm 37 weeks pregnant with baby #3 and I feel the final countdown clock ticking away. More so than with my first two children. Perhaps this one will come a bit early? Anyways, I've been cooking, doubling, and freezing meals like a mad woman. Our little deep freeze has filled up quickly and I feel better knowing that once baby and I are home from the hospital, we will have some easy, homemade, nutritious meals to eat. Yes, I'm sure we'll be getting take-out once or twice for a few days, but at least we won't be eating it EVERY day and night. Here's what I've done so far:

Peanut Butter Granola - I made a double batch - put half in the freezer and we already polished off the other half. This will make for a quick and healthy breakfast or snack. Our favorite way to eat this granola is mixed with Greek Gods Honey Yogurt - so delicious! (and thanks to SnoWhite at Finding Joy in My Kitchen for the tip on using olive oil in granola - I used half olive oil and half canola oil in this recipe and it turned out nice and crunchy!)

Slow Cooker Spaghetti Sauce - I doubled the recipe which will allow for at least three to four spaghetti meals for us.

Chicken Tacos - I doubled the recipe and froze a big batch of shredded chicken taco meat for easy taco night. Just heat up some tortillas or taco shells (which I've stocked up on from Costco in the past week), set out some salsa and sour cream, and we have an easy meal.

Cheesy Beef and Rice - we ate this last week so I made a double batch and put one pan in the freezer. This is the easiest ever - just thaw the casserole and bake. Maybe I'll get crazy and throw together a side salad. Either way, easy easy easy.

Burritos - I tweaked this recipe by using ground beef and homemade taco seasoning. Double the batch - kept out a few for supper and I'm freezing the rest (15 burritos!) for quick lunches or suppers once baby arrives. This was a new recipe and one I'll be making again in the future - my whole family really liked them!

Lasagna - I made a double batch. I froze one pan and we ate the other for supper one night (with plenty of leftovers for the next day or two). This was my first time making this recipe and it turned out really well and tasty.

Cinnamon Raisin Bread - this recipe makes two loaves, so we ate one for breakfast and popped the second loaf in the freezer for a quick breakfast or snack. I tweaked this recipe by cutting back the sugar by at least 1/2 cup and substituted 1 cup whole wheat flour for the white. It still turned out very tasty and my kids loved it!

Chunky Chicken Soup - I made a double batch and froze what we didn't use after supper one night. We have two Ziploc gallon freezer bags FILLED with this soup in our freezer now, which will easily provide for two separate meals plus plenty of leftovers. I served this soup with some cheesy bread I made under the broiler and fresh melon. Yummy!

Ham and Cheese Casserole (or "Hotdish", as I call it in my neck of the woods) - made this last night and it turned out awesome! This is another recipe that makes a double batch so one pan went into the freezer. We made a 7.5 lb ham last weekend so this was a terrific way to use up most of the leftovers we had. I think my husband ate about half of the pan - he loved it! (And yes, this recipe uses canned cream soup. Although I use the "healthy request" kind, I know it could still be made healthier...but this was super quick and easy to put together using the canned soup. Sometimes a gal needs to use some shortcuts!)

I have one more freezer meal planned for later this week and that will be it because our deep freeze will be FULL.

By the way, did you notice that a lot of these recipes are from Taste of Home? I bought the little Taste of Home book "Fall Freezer Meals" after I eyed it at the checkout in Wal-Mart. So glad I did - there are lots of great little recipes in that book.

In addition to cooking, I have the baby's room all put together - clothes and bedding are washed, closet is organized, bottles have been sanitized, diapers and wipes are bought. I've also cleaned out my laundry room and gutted the mud room closet (what would my mother think of such a messy laundry room when she comes up to help after baby arrives??!) I cleared out two shelves in the laundry room closet (lower shelves so little ones can reach easily) for my kids' art supplies so they can easily grab what they need and want when grandmas are watching them in the coming weeks. I'm keeping up on laundry every day so there won't be any laundry when we go to the hospital and everyone will have enough clean clothes and pajamas to last them a week if need be. I think we're ready...now we just need baby to arrive!


  1. Boy, you are doing some serious nesting! :) I love the freezer cooking you done, and Taste of Home has a freezer cooking cookbook? I have GOT to get that one. Thanks for sharing, now sit down and rest! :)

  2. Hi April - definitely pick up that little cookbook if you can find it! I think it was something like $5 in the magazine rack at the checkout. :-)

  3. This list is amazing! I am so grateful for it, as I am making some meals for a good friend of ours expecting baby #1 any day now :)