Hello from Lake City, Colorado. We've been in Colorado for 6 weeks now, and won't be heading home until the first of October. You can read about our fantastic trip on my travel blog, Wanderlust.
Before we left, I emptied out our big freezer in the basement, so when we get back, it'll need to be restocked. Since I plan on going back to subbing, as well as swimming and sewing, I've decided to try making freezer meals - where much of the prep is done all at once, and you pull out your meals or meal components and have an easier time to prepare the meal.
I thought I'd list the resources I'm using to plan this venture:
Don't Panic - Dinner's in the Freezer: Great Tasting Meals You Can Make Ahead
Don't Panic - More Dinner's in the Freezer: A Second Helping of Tasty Meals You Can Make Ahead
Frozen Assets: How to Cook for a Day and Eat for a Month
When you're looking at those books on Amazon or Barnes and Noble, you'll see quite a few others. I just started with those three. They're on my iPad now so I can access them easily.
I re-joined (I was a member many years ago) the Frozen Assets Yahoo Group. I've noticed that the traffic is fairly slow these days - but joining gave me access again to the files and old messages.
Friendly-Freezer - similar to Frozen Assets. It's also slowed down in recent months.
If you search on freezer meals or once a month cooking, you can find several more groups to try. I'm waiting on membership confirmation from FoodPreservationDryingCanningAndMore - it's a moderated group instead of open, so my application has to be approved.
There are quite a few blogs out there that either focus directly on freezer meals, or have freezer meals as one area. Here are a few that I follow and have enjoyed reading:
Freezer Meals for Us - oodles and oodles of great recipes
Journey of a Home-Schooling, Transracial Foster Family
Once a Month Cooking | Freezer Cooking | Once a Month Mom
I found several ideas via Pinterest, and continue to follow the links to more sites. There is a ton of information out there!
I've been going through my own cookbook, and have found many that I will be able to adapt to freezer cooking. I'll be sharing those as often as I can. I'll start with one that came to mind after Don and I passed a restaurant called "Southern Vittles" yesterday in Lake City. Their specialty is chicken fried steak. Well, I can do my own, thank you. I like my gravy better than any I can get in a restaurant - I don't care for the heavy doses of pepper you get in restaurant gravies.
Chicken Fried Steak
for the freezer
Note: this can be adapted to boneless, skinless chicken breasts or pork chops, too. To make additional meals, just multiply the ingredients by the number of additional meals you'd like to make.
1 cube steak for each person (my meals are all for 2 people, so I'll use two)
1/4 cup milk
1 cup flour
1/2 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1/2 t paprika
Set up two shallow bowls. In one, put eggs and milk, and mix with a fork or whisk. In the other, combine the flour, salt, pepper, and paprika. Dredge a cube steak in the flour, then dip in the egg mixture to coat. Dredge again in the flour. Wrap individually in plastic wrap and place in freezer bags. Reserve about 1/4 cup of the flour in a small bag and add to the freezer bag with the steaks.
To cook: Thaw cube steaks in refrigerator. Fry in hot oil until browned. Set aside and keep warm. Drain off all but about 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the reserved flour, and stir while continuing to heat over medium heat. When flour/oil mixture is lightly browned, add 1 to 1 1/2 cups of milk, using a flat whisk to combine. Continue to cook and stir until gravy is thickened. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Serve with steaks and mashed potatoes.