Freezer Cooking Days in January

This month I am taking time to make the most of what we have, empty my freezer, and build a better pantry.

Since Christmas found my deep freezer filled to the brim, it didn’t make sense to do a round of freezer cooking this month. So, this is a bye month for me.

I’m also spending this time getting all my recipes in order and editing them for my cookbook. I had no idea that I had posted soooo many recipes over the last three years. I’m excited to revisit some old recipes in the coming months.

I am also doing some recipe testing and tweaking. I want this book to be the ultimate book for you to help you fill your freezer, feed your family, and free up extra cash. I can’t wait!

Walk Down Memory Lane

Since I am not cooking up something new to share this month, why don’t you check out some of these oldies that I found when I was digging through my archives?

Just Starting Out?

Are you wondering what all of this hullabaloo is about freezer cooking? Well, it is a life-saving strategy to help you put hot, homemade meals on the table any night of the week. Bulk cooking, making many batches at one time, can save you time, money, and a few brain cells.

Each month, the first Friday and on through Monday, I share tips for making freezer cooking easier. Readers have the opportunity to link up, ask questions, and share ideas, recipes, and cooking plans.

Freezer cooking is not difficult.

In fact, there are quite a few simple ways to fill your freezer with homemade convenience foods. You don’t have to love casseroles to do it. You don’t even have to have a deep freeze. You can even do it on a gluten-free diet.

Are you ready to give Freezer Cooking a try?

If you’re new to the idea, check out these posts:

The Future of Freezer Cooking Days

In order to add some consistency to our Freezer Cooking Days, like a regular schedule, I thought I would lay out the basics this month.

Schedule: Mark your calendars for the first Friday of every month and on into that weekend.

NOTE: You don’t have to cook that weekend, but share your updates with us at that time and tune in for news and information.

I’ll also be posting these regular features each month:

Friday: Link up your Plan

Share your plan for cooking in the comments section of that post.

Q & A

These posts have been extremely popular in the past, such as how to make breakfast sandwiches freezer friendly. If you’ve got a freezer cooking question that you want answered, submit it in this form. We’ll feature one question a month.

Guest Posts

Are you a writer who would like to share your freezer cooking experiences with others? I would love to feature your ideas during Freezer Cooking Days!

I will be choosing at least one guest post a month to share during the freezer cooking weekends, the first Friday of every month and the days following.

Read my writer’s guidelines and then submit your post.

Monday: Share your results and winning recipes

At the end of the Freezer Cooking Daze, we’ll share what we accomplished and how we plan to make it work for us in the coming month.

Giveaways

I’ll also be sharing a giveaway each month, starting in February.

Share Your Cooking Plan for January

Do you have a bulk cooking plan for January? Share it in the comment section so that other people can be inspired to make batch cooking make their lives easier.

Curious about freezer cooking? Consider purchasing my cookbook, Not Your Mother’s Make-Ahead and Freeze Cookbook from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or your local bookstore. It’s chock full with over 200 freezer-friendly recipes, planning pages, shopping lists, cooking plans, and basic and advanced how-to’s to making freezer cooking work for any home, family, and lifestyle.

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Comments

  1. This is not really on the subject, but I am trying to educate myself on my crock pot and on MEAT, in particular. Can you recommend a cookbook and blog that tells me all about kinds of meats, what you can make from them and recipes in the oven or crockpot? I’m also copying down a bunch of your recipes to try. Also freezing ones. THANKS!!! LOVE LOVE LOVE your site and YOU!

  2. I made 5 Crock Pot freezer meals a couple of weeks ago. I plan to use one a week on an evening I work.

  3. I purchased your Organizing life planner and LOVE it already, I haven’t even printed it off yet~! I was wondering if you had a download for the freezer cooking worksheets you have pictured in the post above, I didn’t see that they were included in your planner, but can I find them somewhere on your site? Thanks for all you do and share Jessica, you have helped make a difference in my life!

  4. Thank you so much for hosting Freezer Cooking Days again! (Love the new graphic!)

    Instead of making complete meals, I tend to make ingredients that can later be incorporated into meals. So I’m making chicken broth, cooked beans, salsa, and a few other things.

    Here’s my plan: January 2011 Freezer Cooking

    Thanks again!

    – Laura from Frugal Follies

  5. I also do meal components to freeze and have ready. We are in a temporary situation without a deep freeze, and I miss it terribly. Have found so many great recipes on your site. I’ll definitely be in line for the cookbook!

  6. Love freezer cooking days although I’m having to spread mine out this month. Here’s my plan:
    http://www.frugalandfocused.com/2011/01/january-freezer-cooking-plan.html

  7. New cookbook for Christmas gave me some great ideas! I’m also working on cleaning out the pantry, fridge & freezer of ingredients and having finished meals!

  8. I’m just adding a few items to the freezer this month (things I bought in Dec on sale and didn’t have time to cook):

    Seasoned Ground Beef in 1 lb increments (for chili, spaghetti sauce, tacos, etc.)
    Pork Loin that I will shred for Carnitas or tacos
    Chicken for chicken and noodles, chicken enchiladas or chicken soup

    The pork and chicken I cook in the slow cookers; ground beef I do in a large pot on the stove.

    I like having all the pieces in the freezer, so if I forget to defrost something (like yesterday), I can just pull out one or two bags of the meat and make something in 30 minutes or less. Easy!!

  9. I’m planning on doing a bit of freezer cooking this weekend with things I already have on hand.

    1) Veggie soup — I am heading back to school next week. I plan to make a big batch and freeze in small portions for easy lunches on the go.

    2) Red sauce — will make enough for a lasagna and several pasta dishes later in the month.

    I may also try my hand at freezing some muffins…first time for that.

  10. I’m still trying to get my freezer full before the baby gets here! Only 7 weeks to go!!

    http://thedomesticatedhousewife.blogspot.com/2011/01/january-freezer-cooking.html

  11. I have been wanting to try this for a long time now. I just haven’t yet because it felt too overwhelming, and I had no idea where to start. Thanks to this post, I feel encouraged to start at least planning.

    I do have a question. We buy meat when it’s on sale a store it in the freezer. Can you freeze meat from the store, thaw it, cook it, then freeze the cooked product again? Or do you have to cook straight from the store before freezing?

    Thanks again for such a great post! I just love your blog!

    Happy New Year,
    Jennifer @ http://justpeachyindixie.blogspot.com

    • Jessica Fisher says:

      @Jennifer, you can cook and refreeze thawed meats just fine.

      According to the USDA, you can thaw and refreeze safely without cooking, but the texture might go funky on you if you don’t cook it first. I prefer to thaw, cook, and refreeze if I’m going to stockpile sale meats in the freezer.

      If I buy boneless, skinless chicken breasts, I just do a quick mini-cooking session, mix up a bunch of marinades, and toss them in the freezer. It takes about 10 minutes and then I don’t worry about the thaw – refreeze – funky texture thing.

      I hope that makes sense

  12. Here are some of my freezer cooking plans this month:
    -Banana Cinnamon Waffles
    -Buttermilk Chicken Tenders
    -Sloppy Joe
    -Pizza Dough

    I have my full plan posted at my blog:
    http://forfreeyatake.blogspot.com/2011/01/january-freezer-cooking.html

    Happy New Year!

  13. I have an overly-ambitious plan (yikes!), but I hope to knock out some of them on MLK Day.

    - Stuffed Shells (x2) (from This Week for Dinner) I just made a double batch for some girlfriends who had babies over the holidays….now, it’s the Lawrences’ turn! :)
    - Hamburger Buns
    - Whole Wheat Bread
    - Spinach & Chicken Enchiladas (from GoodLifeEats)
    - Vegetable Minestrone Soup (from Pioneer Woman)
    - Gobi Matar Sabzi (from This Week for Dinner)

    Full post with links at:
    http://lawrencehouse.blogspot.com/2011/01/freezer-cooking-january-2011.html

  14. I’ve never actually had a weekend or day designated to freezer cooking. My strategy is to double recipes and freeze the second. For example I roasted a chicken today and with carcass I made chicken broth. I’m using the chicken broth and leftover chicken for noodle soup (freezing leftovers) and also to make Italian Wedding soup for tomorrow night’s diner.
    I’ve wanted to have a freezer cooking day but I’ve never gotten organized for it. I might try it soon.

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