Last week, I realized that I was spending far too much time in the kitchen cooking meals each night, and so I was looking for a way to cut down on my kitchen time so that I can devote my time to other things, like writing fascinating blog articles, digging in the dirt in my patio garden or playing with my new Janome sewing machine and designing lovely new clothes for myself!
Now, if you have been following this blog for awhile, you know that I love my slow cooker! I mean, who doesn’t love throwing everything into a slow cooker, turning it on and letting it create wonderful smells in the house as dinner cooks throughout the day?
Well, last month I learned about freezer cooking and how it is saving many people time in the kitchen. If you are not familiar with freezer cooking, basically you spend several hours preparing a bunch of different meals which you package up and freeze for dinners throughout the month. When it’s time to prepare that meal, just take out a frozen dinner, let it thaw if necessary and cook. Voila, you have an easy meal! There are many women out there who use this type of batch cooking to fix their dinners for an entire month. This is known as “once a month cooking” (OAMC) and it has become pretty popular!
So I began looking at different freezer recipes to see what others were doing…..then took a look at some of the recipes already on the site (or on my list to fix in the future) to see which ones could be converted for easy freezer meals. And I was particularly interested in slow cooker meals, since we are moving into the warm months of the year here in South Carolina and I am not going to want to use my oven.
I pulled out ten different slow cooker recipes…. some that are already here on this site, and some that aren’t yet. All of these meals were pretty easy to fix. I did have to brown some ground beef, but was able to brown enough for several different meals, which saved time. I did blanch the potatoes that I needed for a couple of dishes, so that they wouldn’t turn brown. And I chopped and chopped…..and chopped. Onions, green peppers, mushrooms, garlic, carrots, celery. I spent a good deal of time chopping.
But ultimately, it was worth it. I put together a system for compiling meals that works well for me and my small kitchen. And today I used the first freezer meal.
So how was it? The meal I made was yummy! I did a potato ham chowder that was hearty, satisfying and really good! And it was super easy to fix dinner. I simply grabbed the bag from the freezer, added some bone broth and heavy cream, turned the slow cooker on and let it cook.
And one other benefit that I didn’t even think about until I was cleaning up after dinner was that I didn’t have to wash so many dishes….so it saved me quite a bit of time during cleanup after dinner too!
I definitely will be doing more freezer cooking. During the warm seasons, I will be primarily doing slow cooker meals, and then in the fall when the temperatures cool, I will add some good oven ready casseroles and dishes too!
You can look for my new freezer ready recipes under the category tag of “freezer meals”.