The Retro Art of Freezer Cooking

The Retro Art of Freezer Cooking

RetroArtofFreezerCooking

 

***Give Away Alert! I will be giving away four copies of my freezer cooking cookbooks The What’s for Dinner Solution A winner everyday Tuesday through Friday. PLUS – a Freezer Cooking Prize Pack including The What’s for Dinner Solution and $25 Amazon Gift Card to buy all the Ziploc bags and 8×8 pans you need to get started! Just leave a comment on the blog sometime this week and I will pick four book winners and one grand prize winner – the more comments, the more chances to win! (One comment per person, per day, please!) ***

Over the next four days, I will be giving you step by step instructions on how to have great, tasty meals for you and your family, every night. To make sure you don’t miss a post, subscribe to the blog!

empty freezer

Cooking with Kids

I want your kitchen to go from empty to bountiful.

 

 

 

 

Everyone I know is looking for solutions to making dinner easier and cheaper and this is the plan that works for me. I feed five adult-sized people seven nights a week and winging it is so not an option.

Especially since my freezer looked like this. (Ben and Jerry’s wasn’t even mine. No fair!)

I just want to warn you right now – I am a Freezer-Stuffing Master. I am super advanced when it comes to meal prep. I did 51 plus meals this week. Do not try this at home. Start small with a dozen or so after reading through this week’s posts.

Bulk cooking to get yourself ahead a few nights a week is a great idea. Tripling recipes that you already love will help you get ahead and take some stress out of your evenings.

After you have success with your first attempt at freezing and get comfortable with the procedure, then you can pull out multiple recipes stock your freezer for a month or more.

 

Day 1 – Pick Your Recipe

Today all you need to do is pick your recipe!!

The absolute easiest type of dinner to prepare ahead is a marinade. We do several chicken and pork marinades each time we freezer cook –they are super-easy and everyone in my house will eat them – a double bonus.

So go through your recipes and find the one that your family will love and will be easy to prepare. When you find it – please share it here. I will read through them all and let you know if they will freeze well – I am here to serve.

Tomorrow – I will share the shopping strategy.

Let me get you started with a Lipp family favorite:

Pesto Chicken

1/2 cup    Prepared pesto sauce

6    Boneless, skinless, chicken breasts

6 slices    Mozzarella cheese
1. Prepare: Pour pesto over chicken breasts in a one-gallon bag.

2. Freeze: Double bag the chicken. Place the Mozzarella cheese in a separate freezer bag and attach to the chicken bag. Freeze lying flat.

3. Serve: Thaw chicken overnight in the refrigerator. Drain marinade. Place chicken breasts in a pan sprayed with light cooking oil. Place one slice of Mozzarella cheese on each chicken breast. Bake at 350° for 30-40 minutes.

And here are a couple of recent blog posts about great marinades for chicken and pork.

twfds-giveaway

Tell me below – what isixchicks-freeze+fixs your favorite marinade recipe? You could win a copy of The What’s for Dinner Solution or the grand prize of The What’s for Dinner Solution and a $25 Amazon Gift Card.

Want more freezer recipes? Did you know you can get a free ecopy of Six Chicks Freeze and Fix: How to Start a Freezer Meal Co-op just by liking my Facebook Page. Once you hit “Like” just go to the tabs and download the booklet. It’s that easy. Over 20 great family-pleasing recipes!

We’ll have a free freezer download every day this week. Stay tuned!

88 Comments

  1. Well, being that I am “due any day” now. Freezer meals appeal to me. Not sure if I will be that domestic before the baby is due but if I win this prize I will be that domestic after the baby is born :)

    Reply
  2. My favorite marinade is the ginger marinade my mom always used. She wrote up the recipe for me when I moved away. It has brown sugar, soy sauce, ginger powder and garlic powder in it. Sometimes I use it as a stir fry sauce and thicken it with some corn starch. I mainly like it because it is familiar and comforting.

    Reply
  3. Two easy ones are to use Italian dressing as a marinade for chicken before you freeze it. Also, you could make a Hawaiian chicken with a bottle of BBQ sauce and a small can of crushed pineapple in its juice poured over the chicken before freezing. They are easy and good.

    Reply
  4. I love Freezer Cooking but I have such a hard time finding things everyone will eat that freezes well.

    Reply
  5. For the last few days I have been collecting recipes to create and freeze and use in the crock pot for weekly meals, being on a fixed income that only comes in twice a month, I need to find a way to make sure we always have good nutritious meals at the end of the month before the money comes in again

    Reply
  6. This would be fabulous for our family. We’ve tried it before and loved it. Now we just need to keep doing it! We have 4 kiddos. Three of them are under the age of 3 – so getting dinner going while doing “everything else” can get crazy!

    Reply
  7. I’m very interested in this ‘system’! What should I take into consideration when shopping for a freezer for four? Any wisdom would be greatly appreciated!

    Reply
  8. I’d love the chance to win the freezer cooking pack – thanks! One question – in the six chicks freezer cooking co-op book, fruit jelly is included in the list on things not to freeze. Can you explain why? I’ve made an orange smoked chicken as a freezer meal, and orange marmalade is an ingredient. It seemed to work fine so I’m curious why you say not to do it.

    Reply
  9. Kathi, I think you’re not just reading my mail but my mind. I’m gearing up to get back to freezer cooking and hopefully with your help, better than ever. One of the easiest marinades that doesn’t take any work (and is all that comes instantly to mind) is a bottle of your favorite Italian Dressing. It really is great when you’re marinating chicken for Fajitas.

    Reply
  10. I’m going to follow along! That chicken recipe looks yummy!

    Reply
  11. I love freezer cooking, and can’t wait to hear more tips and tricks!

    Reply
  12. Just started freezer cooking and I am addicted! Would love your cookbooks!!!

    Reply
  13. Looking forward to this! I’m tired of the 6pm panic that I have nothing ready for dinner!!

    Reply
  14. My favorite marinade is what ever I find in the fridge to throw in! Thanks for the giveaway!

    Reply
  15. I purchased this book at the beginning of the summer and have tried at least one new recipie a week. I currently have 7 meals ready to go in my freezer for the month of September. I have been very happy with how this is working and how much it is helping my family. I have been talking it up with my friends and am trying to pull together my six chicks!

    Reply
  16. I am just beginning freezer cooking. In a few weeks, my family of five will be moving into my in-laws’ basement for a year while we build a house and I will be kitchenless. We will have a refrigerator/freezer and I am purchasing a toaster oven, so I hope that some freezer cooking will work. Thanks for you ideas!

    Reply
  17. I don’t have a favorite marinade recipe because I don’t use them (but if I did, I would definitely share it). Mostly because i don’t usually think that far ahead (which creates a ‘what’s for dinner’ panic almost every day). Having the What’s for Dinner Solution sounds like it would be a great help to me…and my family!

    Reply
  18. I’ve always been scared of my freezer, but your pesto chicken makes me want to give it a shot. What a blessing to have meals already prepared…especially at the end of a loooong (and blessed!) homeschool day with my 4 ladies. : ) ~Lyn

    Reply
  19. Can’t take credit for this recipe, but it is a good one!
    Soy Honey Marinade
    1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
    1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
    2 Tbsp. green onion
    2 Tbsp. vinegar
    1/4 c. olive oil
    1/4 c. soy sauce
    1/4 c. honey
    We have used this for flank steak.

    Reply
  20. I’d love to win this to give me a kick-start and incentive to get started. I’ve been wanting to try this for awhile but have hesitated because, for me, it feels overwhelming, even though I know it’d probably be a great help to me during the week to not have to think about dinner. *crosses fingers*

    Reply
  21. I need help getting started with the freezer cooking too. I thought I’d get a good start before my baby was born, but she came early. So much for that idea!

    Reply
  22. Looking forward to trying these recipes. Thanks!

    Reply
  23. My cousin has a great marinade recipe that works on anything and everything from chicken to London broil to venison, but unfortunately, I can’t find it right now. I promise to post it later if I find it. My quick, easy, go-to favorite is Italian dressing. I’ve also tried the Hawaiian marinade you can buy in the salad dressing aisle. I know it’s healthier and cheaper to make your own, but in a pinch, that stuff is yummy, especially on shrimp kabobs.

    Reply
  24. The Pesto Chicken sounds amazing! I’ll be adding it to my “to try” list for sure! I’ve heard freezing cheese gives it a weird texture afterward. Do you find this?

    Reply
    • stephanie – I would never freeze cheese that I was going to eat with crackers, but shredded cheese is fine. The texture may change slightly, but once it’s baked it’s good to go!

      Reply
      • Great! Thank you, Kathy! :-)

        Reply
  25. So excited to try this process.

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  26. I have been wanting to try this for a long time!! Your blog is wonderful and I am ready to start this adventure! (Trust me…its an adventure…I’m NO Betty Crocker haha ) :-)

    Reply
  27. I love freezer cooking just wish there was more room in my freezer after all the veggies and fruit from the garden this year!

    Reply
    • Elisa – What a treasure trove. You can add more meals as you eat down all that garden goodness. How great to have a freezer stocked with all that!

      Reply
  28. I want to learn more and would love to win your book! So enjoy this blog!

    Reply
  29. I like the marinade idea, but I need to use less meat. We are feeding 10 and my budget cant afford all the meat for each person every night. I need recipes that incorporate meat into them, but the meat is not “the” meal totally. does that make sense?

    Reply
    • Absolutely. One of the ways I love to accomplish this is by chopping up uncooked chicken, marinading it, and then cooking it up stir fry style and serving it over rice. Another version of this is my chicken cacciatore http://www.kathilipp.com/2012/08/chicken-cacciatore/

      Reply
  30. I must do this!!! I have a big extra freezer and no time to make meals at nite. I’ve got to get my act together!!!

    Reply
  31. I am not much of a cook (plus I am a snacker by nature, so that does not cause a problem when I am on my own)…but when I have to cook for others in the house it feels like it stresses me out for half the day at work thinking what should I cook that night and not to have any back to backs…your books sounds like a great help! and the freezer-ideas too…I am looking fwd to learning much this week from you. Thanks so much for helping!

    Reply
  32. I really love a maple syrup/soy sauce marinade for salmon. Would this freeze well? I really should begin to cook in bulk and freeze meals. That would make life so much easier.

    Reply
  33. I am all about working smarter not harder. I love to double recipes for casseroles, chili, soup, etc. and freeze the duplicate. This practice has saved me from fast food frenzy more times than I can count.

    Reply
  34. My husband gets up early, so when I get home from work I need to get supper going ASAP so he can eat and have time before he goes to bed. This will be a great help! thanks!! I love to use dressings for an easy marinade, but I had never thought of using pesto. I love pesto, so I will definitely be trying your recipe!

    Reply
  35. My favorite marinade is one my husband uses on Chicken wings, and is made of spicy brown mustard and apple cider vinegar. When he grills them, he adds some bbq sauce at the end. yumm! I’ve been looking for ways to do meal preparation over the weekend, so I can quickly and easily cook GOOD food during the week. I would love some advice on freezer cooking!

    Reply
  36. My dinners are getting boring and I like easy, this looks great!

    Reply
  37. We love Asian marinades & Mojo. Sadly, I am very poor at planning ahead & getting things ‘marinated’ for more than 30 min. I soooooo need to get organized & try freezer cooking. It would save us so much money, we would eat healthier and would spare us all the daily dinner-time chaos. 3 kids + full time job = rush, rush, rush!

    Reply
  38. I have a recipe that calls for soaking chicken legs in milk before breading and baking them. They are delicious–my kids love them!

    Reply
  39. Thanks for the series this week. I’m planning on stocking my freezer with a few easy meals before baby #4 arrives around Thanksgiving!

    Reply
  40. My new favorite marinade is buttermilk (for chicken). It makes it so tender and moist for frying or grilling.

    Reply
  41. Thank you for the free ebook! I already “like” you on FB, is it just listed or does it show up when the “Like” button is clicked? Fall is the time to get back to freezer cooking as our busy routine starts!

    Reply
    • Amy – you can just go to the FB page and look at the tabs. You’ll be all set!

      Reply
      • Got it and printed it out for a 3 ring binder. Thanks!

        Reply
  42. My favorite marinade recipe is usually a bottle of salad dressing dumped on the chicken in the crockpot. It does pretty well to marinate while cooking. I have tried a little bit of freezer marinade, but I generally buy frozen chicken breasts, so I don’t tend to refreeze w/ a marinade – I don’t know if it would work. I did stumble across a wonderful quick marinade for chicken – just use the marinated artichoke marinade and artichokes, add some chopped garlic and let marinate for about 30 minutes and then cook. Yummy!

    Reply
  43. I don’t have a favorite marinade!

    Reply
  44. My 2 favorite marinade recipe is just a good Italian salad dressing makes things super easy. The 2nd is making my own homemade BBQ sauce that I can use to marinade….comes out amazing! tiffpalm75@gmail.com

    Reply
  45. My favorite marinade is a teriyaki marinade from a bottle, but I would love to try some new homemade marinades!

    Reply
  46. Our favorite marinade is Kraft roasted red pepper salad dressing on chicken breasts – yum!

    Reply
  47. I don’t usually marinade meat because it is usually last minute fix. I am very intrigued by freezing a marinade with the meat & would love to give it a try. I did once a month cooking many years ago but it was mostly casseroles. As I have aged, I try to avoid casseroles as they make me break out in fat. ;) I like this because it is a way to watch my girlish figure AND save time in the kitchen when it is that hectic time before dinner.

    Reply
  48. I don’t have a favorite marinade. The ones I’ve used have been from a bottle and not that great. I’d love to try some homemade ones.

    Reply
  49. I love simply marinating in Italian dressing. So good, especially on ribs!

    Reply
  50. My favorite marinade is a greek marinade with olive oil, fresh lemon juice, minced garlic, and oregano.

    Reply
  51. An easy one is bottled Italian dressing for chicken. This is quick and we like to grill the chicken. I also like soy sauce, honey, garlic and oil with chicken or pork kabobs.

    Reply
  52. I like using butte, salt, pepper, and garlic powder for veggies. It tenderizes them and seasons them.

    Reply
  53. My husband loves pepper so we use a peppercorn marinade on Venison steaks.

    Reply
  54. I have always wanted to try freezer cooking, but honestly I am not the best cook & jave been hesitant.

    Reply
  55. I’ve never taken the time to be a big freezer cook, but I sure would LOVE to start!! We are an extremely busy family of 5 and this would be much easier than some of the other methods I’ve tried!! Thanks!!

    Reply
  56. I love to use a simple greek marinade with olive oil, minced garlic, fresh lemon juice, and oregano.

    Reply
  57. One of my goals is to move away from the boxed processed foods. I think that having homemade meals in the freezer will be a good thing. I must check your facebook page for the ebook.

    Reply
  58. I am looking for easy recipes. The marinade that I use is Italian dressing.

    Reply
  59. love the idea of organization but in a doable way

    Reply
  60. I’m excited about the freezer meals! I’ve done it a few times and I love pulling meals out of the freezer for meals. My favorite marinade is just taking whatever salad dressing I need to get rid of and using it up, especially if it’s one I bought that sounded good, but wasn’t. I don’t feel like I’m wasting it by not using it, and it still makes the meat taste good.

    Reply
  61. great organization

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  62. I don’t know that I have a favorite that I prefer, but I do tend to use a bottle of italian salad dressing when I don’t know what else to do.

    Reply
  63. Needing new ideas for my family of 8–3 teen/young adult boys in that mix!

    Reply
  64. my favorite marinade is a local one you can buy- Basque Norte. Absolutely amazing. Homemade, my favorite is subject to change, but currently has olive oil, garlic, fresh basil, rosemary and parsley from the garden, salt & pepper and some sprite.

    Reply
  65. Making meals ahead is a huge help with a large busy family. I always make a several small meals in addition to the larger ones. I pack one for my elderly father to keep his freezer stocked with simple meals he can use. the other small meals are used by the kids for long days at work or even when they come home late from games and need a hot meal.

    Reply
  66. I can’t wait to start organizing my food in the freezer!!!

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  67. So excited to be introduced to your page through Karen Ehman. I love the idea of getting recipes and meals organized in my freezer! Looking forward to reading through your posts.

    Reply
  68. I’m always in need of simple, good recipes and anything that helps make meal times easier!

    Reply
  69. I don’t really do a lot of marinades. Maybe just a little olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic, and onion.

    Reply
  70. looking forward to new freezer ideas! thanks for sharing.

    Reply
  71. Don’t really use a lot of marinades, but Italian dressing is always a good one, and then so is salsa.

    Reply
  72. Thanks for the great tips on freezer meals! I’ve been wanting to do more, right now I only do a couple of meals.

    Reply
  73. Thank you so much for the great tips! I just did some freezer meals for the first time :)

    Reply
  74. my marinade of choice for chicken is olive oil, mccormick’s chicken montreal seasoning blend, and a little bit of salt. It makes the most tender, juicy chicken. You can marinade it as little as an hour or as much as overnight. I love that flexibility.

    Reply
  75. Kathi, I made the pizza roll ups this week. They are the first meal everyone in my family gave a thumbs up to (Thank you!). However, they really fell apart while cooking. Any suggestions? Also, where did you get the bread dough? I used the type that comes in a paper can because I couldn’t find frozen. Please don’t say I have to make that, too! I am doing all I can! ;-)

    Reply
  76. My goal is to have all my meals planned and prepared in advance in 2014. I started doing this some the last couple months of 2013 but I want to start doing it more often and keep up on it. It made our busy schedules easier to manage with meals made ahead of time and kept us out of the drive thrus!

    Reply
  77. Have tried this a few times , now just want to get it down to a doable routine.

    Reply
  78. I am starting to freezer cook over the past few months. I find my family is eating better, we have more time during the weeknights and I am much less stressed! I also find that my meditation time is in the kitchen! I am hungry for new recipes and love anything that resembles homesteading!

    Reply
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    Reply
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