Friday, August 26, 2011

Dinner on the Table in Less Time

We eat at home usually 7 days a week.  I was brought up with a home cooked meal at the family table every night of my childhood.  It’s something that I enjoyed and even on the worst teenage days when I didn’t want to talk to made me feel better.  These are the moments that I want my girls to grow up with.  It’s a family tradition that too many are letting go of.  My mom never worked so it was easy to have dinner ready and waiting when my daddy got home from work.  This is something that I don’t have the luxury of so I started looking for ideas.  Last year we ate dinner on quite a few nights.  It was hard trying to juggle bath time and bed time with cooking dinner and kitchen clean up.
I clean and or wash clothes 5 days a week.  When it comes time to cook dinner I want something quick and easy but I don’t want to opt for something less nutritional.  I had read a lot about freezer meals and cooking for the week or month.  This was something that I kinda dabbled in a year or so ago cooking up all the hamburger meat in a family pack so that it’s ready when it comes time for dinner.  It helped cut a little time but I didn’t see a big difference.  This time I wanted to try it again but go a step further. 
I started seeing a lot of the people I follow on Pinterest pinning freezer meals so I started clicking through and reading them.  I found a lot of useful information.  You can find all the sites I pinned for freezer meals here
I didn’t go all the way this past week but I plan on stepping in a little bit at a time until I’ve got a full week’s worth of meals ready to go. 
This past Sunday I bought our normal family pack of ground beef at Sam’s and I  decided to cook enough of it for the Lasagna Cups I’m gonna make this coming week.  I put it in a quart size zip lock freezer bag and labeled it.  I also cooked enough of the meat for tacos.  But instead of doing it like I did the last time I tried this I went ahead and put onions and the taco seasoning in the meat as well.  I froze it.  Then I made hamburger patties out with Dale’s sauce and Emeril’s Bam Burger seasoning..froze those.  I also mixed up my honey bbq meat loaf and lined my loaf pan with foil and put the meat in it.  I froze it this way and then when it was frozen solid I took the meat loaf out and put it in a zip lock freezer bag so it would be pre formed and ready to bake up.  EASY!  This literally took me about 30 minutes and I saved about 15 minutes off of every day of cooking meals.  It was WELL worth it.  I also boiled up a couple of chicken breasts in some seasonings and cut it up into to pieces and froze it for a chicken dish I had planned out. 
Next grocery shopping go round I plan on cooking other items up to have them ready.  There are so many great tips/tricks/ideas and recipes out there for freezer cooking.  And when your working {even part time} and cleaning house and washing clothes and taking care of whatever family things going on shaving off even the smallest amount of time to get a home cooked meal on the table is totally worth it! 

1 comment:

Kelli said...

This is a great idea. I've done this a few times but have never kept up with it. Do you know I'm not on Pinterest? One of these days I'm going to sign up because I see it's all the rave.