Cooking Facts & Tips

Time Saving Tips
Time Saving Tips
by Kelvin Ho

For those of you who are super busy and do not have time to make dinner each night, freezer cooking is for you. It is a great way to get a delicious, nutritious and fast meal on the table. Freezer cooking is not only for busy moms and dads, but for anyone who likes to plan ahead, shop for deals or wants a little extra free time in the evenings.

There are many general freezer cooking guidelines. Here are a few to get you started.

Planning your meals

The wonderful thing about freezer cooking is you are freezing meals you know your family already loves. If your family loves lasagna, then the next time you make it, double or better yet triple the batch. It really does not take that much longer to make a double batch than it does to make a single batch. Just tightly cover the extra batch with plastic wrap and then aluminum foil and freeze for up to 30 days.

Before you freeze any recipe, try it first. It does not make sense to make multiple batches of something you or your family do not like. Once you know your family likes it, go for it!

Some things freeze better than others. For example, cream based sauces separate after freezing. You still can freeze these items, you will just need to give the thawed out dish a stir before you bake. Dishes that contain mayo or salad dressing do not freeze well.

Take inventory of your freezer space. Freezing in bags does not take up a lot of space, so you will be able to make multiple dishes.

Flash freezing items such as meat balls or filled pasta shells will prevent the food from sticking together. To flash freeze, stick the items on a cookie sheet until frozen. Then place in a freezer bag to store.

Mark the bags with the date including the month and year along with the cooking instructions.

When you are ready to eat your frozen meal, just take it out of the freezer the night before and thaw throughout the day. Pop it into the oven when you get home and you have an instant meal. Some dishes may need to have foil added to the top so the heat can be evenly distributed. If you are cooking from a frozen state, just remember the cooking time will need to be increased. Using an instant read thermometer will also help you determine when your dish is cooked and ready to take out of the oven.

Whether you are cooking for just one or an army freezer cooking is a great way to save time, money and energy.

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