Thursday, November 14, 2013

Freeze Ahead Meals

As part of my preparation for Bébé Deux/Baby Apocalypse Now*, I picked 3 dinner, 1 side dish, and 1 breakfast recipe to freeze ahead. With Jillian, I did a few different recipes but it was the same general idea.

Here are the recipes I used this time:
{If I made any alterations, I mentioned them in italics}
{I also do not have any pictures of these meals. If you would like one, I'm sure I can take one as I use them :)}

Chicken & Rice Casserole - Family Recipe {Staple at my house growing up!}
1-2 cups of cooked chicken (can be canned or fresh)
1 cup of cooked rice (cook ahead of time - cold rice made the day before works best)
1 cup frozen peas (we omitted this)
1 can cream of chicken (or mushroom) soup
1 cup of chicken broth
2-3 teaspoons of poultry seasoning (to taste)
1-2 teaspoons of garlic powder (to taste)
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup of milk (if desired)
We add about 1 teaspoon of paprika

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook chicken, and cook rice (separately). Combine chicken broth to cream of chicken soup in a bowl. Add chicken, peas, and rice to the soup mixture. If you would like to add the milk to make it creamier, stir it into the mixture now. Add all the seasonings to taste. Keep in mind you may not need much salt. Pour mixture into a baking dish, and place into the oven. Bake for 35 minutes, and let it sit for 5 minutes before serving.

I mixed everything in the recipe together, then covered with aluminum foil. It keeps in the freezer well for the 2 months I've had it in.

Chicken Spaghetti - Pioneer Woman
I omitted the following ingredients to suit our tastes:
diced green pepper
diced onion (we used onion powder)
diced pimentos
Lawry's (I used Season All because we had that on hand)
2 cups of sharp cheddar, grated (I had Colby cheddar on hand)

I also baked a 5 lb whole chicken to use for this and the previous recipe instead of boiling. Because of that, I used about 1 cup of chicken broth and 1 cup of water to cook the spaghetti noodles in.

Pioneer Woman's Pot Roast - Baked in the South Blog {Crockpot Freezer Cooking Series}
I omitted the following to suit our tastes:
fresh sprig of rosemary
fresh sprig of thyme
Only 1 onion

I will also not be using the red wine mostly so I don't have to buy it :)

Make Ahead Mashed Potatoes - Family Recipe {Another staple and a personal favorite of mine :)}
8-10 medium russet potatoes {I used 8 fat ones}
8 oz block of cream cheese, softened
8 oz sour cream
1/2 cup of butter {I usually have unsalted on hand, though it doesn't matter much}
1 clove of garlic, minced {Phil loves garlic, so I used closer to 3-4 cloves}
2 teaspoons of salt
White pepper to taste {If you don't have this, black pepper works to or you can omit it entirely}

Cook, and mash potatoes. Once the potatoes are mashed, beat in cream cheese until smooth. Add remaining ingredients, minus the paprika. Spoon into a 2 quart casserole dish, (sprayed with Pam or whatever you prefer), then sprinkle top with paprika. Cover, and refrigerate overnight, (or stick in the freezer). Remove 15 minutes before baking. Uncover, and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, or until heated through. You can also bake without refrigeration beforehand.

Sausage/Bacon Breakfast Burritos - Are We There Yet? Blog.
I used 8 eggs per recipe and it made exactly 20 small burritos

I also repeated the recipe using 1 lb of bacon instead of the sausage.

I hope these recipes inspire you whether you are preparing for a new bundle, or just love making dinner ahead of time :)

*I call it Baby Apocalypse Now because we are slated to have a wet/icy winter yet again. Since we've had storms in the past where we've lost power or were snowed in for a few days, I wanted to make sure we had enough supplies to be at home for awhile. Phil joked when I was pregnant with Jillian that I was planning for the apocalypse, which is where we got the name :)

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