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December Freezer Cooking Plans

Well, now that I’ve checked the freezer and baked up a ton of cookies, I am ready to top off the freezer with the makings of breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the month of December. I’m really looking forward to creating some margin in the month.
As you know I’ve got a cookbook to write (squeee!) and a family to love on, so mealtimes need to be easy — and yummy.

Beef enchiladas, anyone?

Taking the Load Off

To make my cooking daze easier, I’ll be giving my small kitchen appliances a work-out. The bread machine and Kitchenaid mixer can be working on pizza dough while the crockpots will be cooking up red sauce, shredded beef, and pinto beans.

On the shopping front, I’ll also swing by Costco and buy the pre-grated cheese since it’s a great bargain and costs no more than the block. And since I’ll be making so many burritos, I may even buy the BIG can of refried beans since it’s less than $3 and will save me some time.

Here’s what I’ve got cooking:

  • Potatoes: Mashed, Twice Baked, and Hashbrowns

How about YOU? Are you ready to give Freezer Cooking a try?
If you’re new to the idea, check out these posts:
A Quick Start Guide to Freezer Cooking
How to Do Freezer Cooking
Freezer Cooking Recipes You Can Count On

Got a Plan?

Share your freezer cooking plan so that we can be inspired with new ideas and new approaches to filling the freezer and feeding our families.

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Comments

  1. Your menu looks yummy! Congrats on the cookbook deal. How exciting!

  2. I am envious of your enchiladas! Recently I had to face reality they’re just not a good option for our family as my kids just won’t eat them. Made me sad because they’re easy, freeze well, and I can get 4 meals out of 2 packages tortillas, leftover chicken, beans, and 2 cans of chili sauce. Oh well.

    While I so admire your montly planning with the freezer cooking I want to send some encouragement to those who are not able to be this organized. It doesn’t work for me to plan a whole month of menus but I still freezer cook. Every two months or so I cook up a bunch of dried beans, shredded chicken, ground meat, meatloaves, taco meat/refried beans, spaghetti sauce, and a few other things and freeze it all. Even if I don’t have a specific plan for each item it gives me so much freedom over the next eight weeks. I use the crock pot a ton and having that many components frozen makes my life so simple. So even if someone doesn’t do the kind of planning you do they can still make freezer cooking work!

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      @Beth, Absolutely! Thank you for bringing that up. I know I’ve talked about it before, but it’s easy to lose track of what I’ve said and what needs to be said again. And it’s already got a space in the cookbook. ;)

      And just for the record, three of the six kids don’t eat enchiladas. But, us other five enjoy them. So, they have rice and beans for their main dish that night. :) Or if I can, I leave some of the enchiladas without sauce, which is the thing that they don’t care for.

  3. I made red sauce in the big crockpot about a month ago (prodded by you! I can’t believe I never thought to do it myself, jeez) and we ate it all up, so that’s on tap for this weekend. I scored some great deals on chicken (.77/lb), pork chops ($1.67/lb), and London Broil ($1.97/lb) at Vons today (did you see that sale???) and remembered your trick of putting the marinade in with the meat before freezing. I am so excited to have some great stuff in the freezer for not too much $$$. Thanks so much!

  4. A play group I belong to just had a soup exchange today. I only made one kind of soup (lots of it) and now have 4 four cup containers in my freezer of the other soups as well as the recipes.
    We’re also doing the normal cookie exchange in 2 weeks. But we’ve already talked about repeating the soup exchange at the end of January.

  5. I don’t have a blog but I will be doing some freezer cooking this month. My husband has to have 6 weeks of radiation treatment and we will be living temporarily in Philadelphia for that time. I plan to have freezer meals ready to take. We are about 3 or 4 hrs from Philly so we hope to come home for a weekend here and there to restock our freezer meals. My menu will depend on what dh requests. I want to make things that he feels will be comforting to him during that time.

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      @Lynn, prayers going out to you guys! Bless your heart for making stuff that is comfort food.

      (Not sure if it helps, but when my aunt had radiation, she didn’t want to eat things that she loved. The tastes changed, and she was sick, so she ate stuff that wouldn’t be “ruined” for her when she was better.)

      God bless you both!

      • @Jessica Fisher,

        Well they haven’t said anything about the taste being affected from this radiation. So hopefully it won’t change his tastes, and if it does, maybe he will actually LIKE veggies. LOL. Thank you for the words of encouragement.
        Lynn

  6. Oh man, as if my pregnancy craving for enchiladas hasn’t been strong enough! Looks yummy!

  7. I’m so excited… I’m freezer cooking for the first time this week! I left my posted my plan in your linky. Thank you so much for the great tips. I’ll let you know how it goes!

  8. elizabeth says:

    I have not had good results with frozen pizza dough; it is too hard for me to roll it out even though it is fully thawed. Do you think I could roll it out first, and then freeze it? Or is there a trick to making it roll out easier after freezing it. BTW your picture there looks AMAZING :)

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      @elizabeth, how long are you letting it rise before you freeze? Do you use the same recipe when you make fresh?

      And, yes, I’ve heard of rolling it out, flash freezing and then storing in freezer. But, that can be hard to wrap airtight.

  9. This weekend I’m making a smaller version of your red sauce, pizza sauce and salsa chicken to shred for several upcoming meals this month.

  10. How do you prepare your hash browns? Do you have a recipe for making them into patties? I’m thinking something like a real food version of what you’d get at a fast food place. Thanks!

    • I haven’t done this in a long time, but what I did was freeze chopped, baked potatoes. For hashbrowns, I fried them in oil until very, very crisp. It works, but it takes a while to get crisp enough to offset the texture changes that happen to the potatoes upon freezing. It’s not my favorite method. Honestly, now I buy the frozen shredded potatoes at Trader Joe’s which are pretty clean.

      • I found a few sites with very similar recipes for hash browns and how to cook them so they keep their shape. I’m hoping to cook and freeze a bunch this weekend.

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